Today is January 19, 2020 / /

Testimonials

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Ari has gotten the recognition from Hillel International for the remarkable work he has done over the last three-plus years at Cornell Hillel. He has literally transformed our Hillel, spearheading the Cornell Jewish Learning Fellowship, which adds serious learning for an ever-growing group of students, and shepherding our Perspectives trip to Israel which brings student leaders, many of them non-Jewish, to Israel for a nuanced experience of the political situation there. And, this year, Ari led us to embark on our most aspirational program, Base Ithaca, which has already made a huge impact on campus.” Elena Lefkowitz and Eric Alderman, co-chairs of the Cornell Hillel board of trustees, Ithaca, NY

 

“For decades, Berkeley’s Jewish community was transient and in constant flux. People came here a short while to study or on academic sabbatical. Through his warmth, intellect, humor, and vision, Rabbi Cohen has transformed Beth Israel into a destination in its own right—a shul bursting at the seams, where Jewish families can settle, grow, and thrive. His status as a halachic authority has never hampered his humanity or ability to connect with individuals, and personally, he’s the first rabbi I’ve ever known who I considered a true friend.” Jesse Kellerman, Congregant, Beth Israel, Berkeley, CA

 

“Rabbi Jon was the religious leader that I needed for most of my life, but I didn’t know it until I ended up meeting him in Spring 2016. He truly makes each community member feel as though the vast collection of Jewish traditional texts has something to offer each person, no matter who they are. He makes the stories of the Chumash, the Talmud and beyond not only relatable but does so in a way that compromises neither the text’s ancient sources nor its relatability in the contemporary world. Being very knowledgeable about both today’s pop culture and the kaleidoscope of Jewish tradition, Jon is the rabbi every community craves.” Jared Gimbel, New York, NY

 

“As one of Rabbi Yanklowitz’s regular students, I have found a home for Jewish learning in my post-retirement years that I never thought existed. The single greatest lesson I have learned is something he says often: We need to give more to the world than we take. He spends each day trying to figure out how he can give more than he has received. His is a life of deeds as much as it is of creed. He has quietly worked to advocate for people in need and distress, he has donated a kidney to a stranger, he and his wife have become foster parents to a mixed-race baby born to a drug dependent mother, he has addressed problems facing both legal and illegal immigrants, those in prison treated unfairly, the homeless, the hungry and so much more. Rabbi Shmuly’s energy never diminishes and his commitment to doing what is right for the least among us has made me a better person. I have come to know countless rabbis of all streams of Judaism. Many have been inspirational but none has had a more profound impact on my life than Rabbi Shmuly. He is the very definition of the word tzaddik. He inspires me each and every day.”  Stuart Turgel, Phoenix, AZ

 

“Rabbi Dan Millner’s impact on our synagogue and on our relationship with the organized Austin Jewish community has been spectacular. We are unbelievably fortunate that Rabbi Dan has made building a thriving Modern Orthodox community in Austin, TX, his mission. Membership has risen from 30 to 75 families. He created the first Orthodox Chevra Kadisha in Austin, made the Eruv a reality, and we now have Orthodox burial plots for the shul. Traditionally inclined Conservative Jews are joining despite their mechitza-itis. Instead of being an insular shul disconnected from the community we are now part of it. When people have had major life challenges he drops everything and is there for them, his pastoral skills are another aspect drawing people to our shul. The davening here used to be flat and uninspired, now it has ruach. The programming was “phoned in” now it has some care and attention and he inspires others to step up their game.” Arthur Altman, President, Congregation Tiferet Israel, Austin, TX

 

“Abe is a kind, caring, loving, rabbi. He’s not judgmental and accepts everyone. I love it when he leads our Kabbalat Shabbat services with his guitar. He is able to connect to all of the residents regardless of their religious affiliation. He listens and makes sure that everyone is heard. He has a way of capturing everyone’s essence – whether that’s in leading a class or having a one-on-one conversation. He is such a good person — and that’s what makes him a good rabbi.” – Sandra Abel, Resident of the Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab, Memphis, TN

 

“With the support of Rabbi Lerner’s exceptional leadership, a new generation of Zionist activists has emerged at UCLA, unembarrassed and unequivocal in their support of Israel.  These young leaders are prepared to confront the forces of BDS (and other anti-semites) head on, and advocate for a forward-looking, 21st century Zionism.” Jonathan Friedman, Los Angeles, CA

 

“I was reflecting on just how influential your work has already been. I don’t know of any other place in the world that is producing truly learned and text-based Rabbis who are ready to serve our particular community needs while serving the universal realities around us. The bridge you all are creating has never been important…Nothing says Klal Yisrael quite like the son of a Reconstructionist Rabbi commending an Orthodox seminary :)-Larry Tobin, Boston, MA

 

“Rabbi Jonathan Duker is a respected and highly regarded leader in our Beit Shemesh community. He teaches with great enthusiasm and shows a wide range of knowledge with a singular ability to place the Jewish texts into a larger historical context. Rabbi Duker is someone whom you feel comfortable asking your questions to and who gives real thought and care to each answer.” -Deborah Chonin-Schwartzberg, Beit Shemesh, Israel

 

“Rabbi Shapiro deeply believes and shows by example that everyone is welcome and wanted.  He teaches a Talmud class at his house and attracts people who would otherwise never be exposed to Talmud.  He connects with people in a way that cannot be overstated.  His handling of life cycle events is unmatched.  He brings a tremendous level of comfort to the ill and the families who lost loved ones.  To sum up what we think of him, let me just say he has become more than our rabbi.  He has become our rebbe.  And from what I have seen, Rabbi Shapiro is YCT.” – Jeff Forman, Baltimore, MD

 

“Rabbi Passow shaped my life at Harvard Hillel. From his brilliant divrei torah to his all-inclusive meals, he focuses on each individual while creating a wholesome community around them.” Joe Hostyk, Cambridge, MA

 

“When Rabbi Saul Strosberg came to our congregation in 2005, we were an aging Shul, isolated from our community, with a dwindling membership.  But Rabbi Saul has transformed our Shul. Our membership has grown by over 60%, with many  young families attracted by Saul and his family.  His energy, compassion, and creative innovations helped us re-invent ourselves.  His provides an ever-welcoming spiritual home for members and visitors alike.  Wise beyond his years and compassionate, Saul is always doing for others, quietly making a difference in peoples’ lives.  He makes everyone feel as if they are the most important people in the world.  Twenty-six-year-old Rabbi Saul quickly became Nashville’s “community rabbi,” welcomed in all synagogues, forging strong relationships with the other rabbis in town.   In his first year, he arranged Nashville’s first-ever eruv. When Hurricane Katrina struck, young Saul reached out to the minister of a nearby church and they collected and delivered a large truckload of provisions for the victims — a first for our previously insular Shul. Since Rabbi Saul, it’s not ‘your grandfather’s Sherith Israel!”  Evelyn Koch, Nashville, TN

 

 “Whether participating in the Prime Minister’s trip to Israel, advocating on behalf of our community, working with young families or inspiring us with his thoughtful sermons, Rabbi Scheier has become a leader in our community, beyond the walls of our congregation. Whether in times of great joy or deep sorrow, Rabbi Scheier has acted as a beacon of inspiration and of hope”. Barry Pascal, Montreal, QC

 

“Rabbi Winberg has been a huge success.  In a very short period of time, he has succeeded in revitalizing Brandeis Hillel, making a series of splendid new appointments (based on new funds that he has raised), organizing exciting new opportunities for students, such a trip to Israel for campus leaders.  Shabbat programs have been heavily subscribed, and wonderful speakers (including R. Linzer) have come to campus.  Amazing how much he has accomplished in a short time.” Jonathan D. Sarna, Newton, MA  

 

 “Michael Katzman has been a superior addition to our school.  Thank you for helping to fashion a true leader and teacher of Israel.” -Mark Stolovitsky, Dallas, TX

 

 

Featuring 20 Alumni in Our 20th Year