About Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson works at the intersection of politics, law, and contemplative practice.  A journalist, meditation teacher, and professor, Jay is the author of ten books and over three hundred articles.

Jay is a contributing writer to New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, and other publications, where he most frequently writes about the Supreme Court, religion, LGBTQ issues, and climate change. He has appeared on NPR, CNN, and MSNBC, and in 2013, he wrote the landmark report Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign against Civil Rights. Jay has twice won the New York Society of Professional Journalists ‘Deadline Club’ award for opinion writing.

Jay is also a teacher, podcast host, and editor at the Ten Percent Happier meditation startup, which makes serious contemplative practice available to a contemporary audience.  He has written several books about meditation and spirituality, including The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path  and Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment. He is also  a nondenominational rabbi and frequently writes and teaches about Jewish theology and mysticism. Books on that subject include Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice. Jay has been a scholar in residence at numerous universities, synagogues, and other institutions.  Samples of this work can be found on this site’s multimedia page and on Jay’s YouTube channel.  Testimonials can be found here.

Finally, Jay is an affiliated assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and a visiting fellow at the Center for LGBTQ & Gender Studies in Religion, where he teaches and writes about religion and sexuality, law and religion, and Jewish theology and mysticism. He holds a Ph.D from Hebrew University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He previously held teaching positions at Boston University Law School and City College of New York. Dr. Michaelson’s academic CV and publication list is here.

From 2003 to 2013, Jay was a professional LGBT activist; he founded two LGBT organizations and spoke at over 100 religious institutions in support of his bestselling book God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality. In 1998-99, Jay clerked for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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