Niles Elliot Goldstein is the founding rabbi of The New Shul, an innovative and independent congregation in New York's Greenwich Village, where he served as its spiritual leader for over a decade. He is also an associate faculty member of CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, where he was the Steinhardt Senior Fellow. Goldstein is a member of PEN, the Renaissance Institute, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and a former congregational rabbi in New Rochelle, New York. The New York Observer included him in its special Millennium Edition as one of the "Top 40 People to Watch" in the 21st century.
Goldstein is the award-winning author or editor of nine books: The Challenge of the Soul: A Guide for the Spiritual Warrior(2009), Craving the Divine: A Spiritual Guide for Today’s Perplexed (2007), Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), Lost Souls: Finding Hope in the Heart of Darkness (Crown, 2002), God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places (Crown, 2000), Spiritual Manifestos: Visions for Renewed Religious Life in America from Young Spiritual Leaders of Many Faiths, Forests of the Night: The Fear of God in Early Hasidic Thought, Judaism and Spiritual Ethics, and Duties of the Soul: The Role of Commandments in Liberal Judaism. He was the founding editor of Contact, a quarterly journal of Jewish thought and opinion, and his essays and poetry have appeared in various publications around the country, including Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, Newsday, The Forward, Moment, Sh'ma and Confrontation. He has been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Jerusalem Report, The New York Observer, New York Magazine, Glamour, The Jewish Week, The Huffington Post, and Beliefnet.com, as well as on domestic and international television and radio such as Dateline, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the Voice of America, and the BBC. Goldstein was a regular contributor to the show New Morning on the Hallmark Channel.
Goldstein served as the voice behind "Ask the Rabbi" on the Microsoft Network. He is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. Goldstein holds an honors degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and received an M.A. and his ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He has traveled and taught throughout North and South America, the United Kingdom, and in places as remote and isolated as Central Asia and the Caucasus, and he is currently on the faculty of Loyola University. Goldstein's lectures focus on issues in mysticism and spirituality as well as on new models for religious life in this uncertain and unsettling century. He lives in Chicago.