Rabbi Samuel Karff formerly served as Associate Director and Visiting Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGovern Medical School. After retiring from the rabbinate in 1999, he founded the Health and Human Spirit Program—the precursor to the McGovern Center. He co-created the Sacred Vocation Program and previously served as the program’s co-director and instructor. A widely-published author, he has lectured extensively in this country and abroad.

Rabbi Karff graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a Doctor of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College. Before joining the McGovern Center, he served for over two decades as the senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, Texas’ oldest synagogue. A former president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, he also taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University.


Bachelor of Arts
Harvard University
Doctor of Hebrew Letters
Hebrew Union College