Our Rabbi


Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn, was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and ordained at Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati, Ohio). He hails from a line of Hasidic Polish rabbis who emigrated to Brazil in 1929. His maternal grandfather came to Uruguay in 1930 where he became one of the founders of that Jewish community.


He is considered an expert on the so-called anusim, the descendents of Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity but who maintained their Jewish identity secretly in some cases, until today.

As an advisor for international organizations, such as Kulanu, Rabbi Cukierkorn has been a key player in some of the most controversial mass “returnings” of Jews to the rest of the tribe, from the crypto-Jews of northern Brazil to the Abayudaba of Uganda. He is dedicated to helping people learn about Judaism and has helped over 400 people, to date, convert or return, mainly in Latin America but also in Europe and the United States.

He is the author of guides to Judaism now available in English, Spanish and Portuguese: Accessible Judaism: A Concise Guide to JudaismHaMadrij: La Guia and Judaísmo Acessível: um Guia Conciso dos Valores e Práticas do Judaísmo Moderno(digital) and most recently, They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust, co-authored with Bill Tammeus.

Rabbi Cukierkorn is the spiritual leader of Temple Israel of Greater Kansas City. He is a past Vice-President of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism. He is president of Brit Braja World Wide Jewish Outreach, the first online synagogue in Spanish and Portuguese in the world (www.britbraja.org)

He is married to Denisse and is the father of two daughters. He and his family reside in Overland Park, Kansas, USA.