William H. Lebeau is an American rabbi, and former Dean of The Rabbinical School, Vice Chancellor and Chairman of the Department of Professional Skills, and Lecturer of Professional Skills at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America of Conservative Judaism in New York City.

Lebeau stepped down on July 1, 2007.[1] He was succeeded by Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins.[2]

During his tenure as Dean, Rabbi Lebeau has expanded enrollment in The Rabbinical School and has worked to enhance a curriculum geared toward spiritual development and professional skills.[3]

Lebeau started his career at JTS in 1988 as Vice Chancellor for Rabbinic Development, and served two stints as dean of The Rabbinical School, from 1993-1999 and since June 2002.[1] He has been an advocate for students studying in Israel as part of their rabbinic training.[4] Rabbi Lebeau has also written on the subject of rabbinic training, including On Becoming a Conservative Rabbi.[5]

As a congregational rabbi, he served three communities over a period of twenty-four years, beginning with two years as a chaplain in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. His first pulpit position was in Port Jefferson Station, New York, where he grew the congregation from sixty to seven hundred fifty members during his thirteen-year tenure. He later served for ten years as the rabbi of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois before joining the JTS faculty.[3]

Rabbi Lebeau was ordained at JTS in 1964, having earned his bachelor's degree from New York University in 1959 and a master's degree from JTS in Jewish studies in 1962. Rabbi Lebeau and his wife, Beverly, have five children and thirteen grandchildren.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Rabbi William Lebeau to Retire on July 1, 2007", Jewish Theological Seminary of America press release dated June 30, 2006. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  2. Rosen, Jane Calem. "New rabbinical school dean has local roots", jewish Standard, January 31, 2007. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rabbi William H. Lebeau, Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Accessed May 29, 2007.,
  4. Shapiro, Haim. "The Conservative Choice", The Jerusalem Post, December 30, 1994. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  5. Lebeau, William H. "Rabbinic education for the 21st century", Shma, January 2003. Accessed May 29, 2007.

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