Probah Shabbos Information
Rabbi Matt LeVee, May 31 - June 1
Rabbi Matt LeVee was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in Chicago, IL. A graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Rabbi LeVee learned in various yeshivot in Israel and continued his learning with semicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He has a Master’s from Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, a certificate of mental health counseling from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology - RIETS, and is working towards a second master’s (in Talmud) from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Currently, Rabbi LeVee is a Rabbi/Mashgiach/Academic Advisor for Yeshiva University's James Striar School and Katz School programs. He lives in Washington Heights with his wife Sheli and children Yochanan and Devorah.
Rabbi Jonah Steinmetz, June 14-15
Jonah Steinmetz is currently a fellow in the Wexner Kollel Elyon program and a student of Modern Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. After two years in Yeshivat HaKotel, Jonah spent four years at Yeshiva University, graduating as the Yeshiva Program valedictorian, and continuing his studies in the RIETS Semikha Honors Program. Most recently, he was the rabbinic intern at Beis Knesses of North Woodmere under the leadership of Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz. Jonah currently resides in Washington Heights with his wife, Shoshana, who is studying to become a pharmacist, and their two children, who will do whatever it takes to make sure Shoshana has no time to study. The Steinmetz’s are excited to get to know the Shenk community in the coming weeks!
Rabbi Ben Keil, June 21-22
Rabbi Ben Keil has been learning at the RIETS Israel Kollel for three years, and teaches Gemara at Yeshivat Orayta in the evenings. He grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and attended Boston University, where he and his wife Dana met. Rabbi Keil spent two years teaching at the Breuer's Mesivta High School, a year running the youth department at Lincoln Square Synagogue, and two years as Executive Director of LSS before their family moved to Jerusalem to spend time learning. The Keils, and their children Meir (5) Ashira (3) and Livia (1) are excited to return to New York City in June, at which time Rabbi Keil will be fulfilling his residency requirements for semicha at RIETS. Rabbi Keil also holds private semicha from Rabbi Joseph Polak, the Av Beit Din of the Rabbinical Council of New England.
Feedback process and your representatives:
The Search Committee was built with the hope that it would gather representatives from all sides of our community, who would be able to speak up for their peers.
Do not hesitate to provide any of the Search Committee members with your feedback, to voice any concerns, and/or to ask any questions.
The Search Committee members are:
The Official Vote for Rabbi Will Be Sent Out Sunday Night, June 23rd, 2019
*Reminder - You must be a member of the shul to vote
A Message From The President - April 2019
Over the course of the next few months, Shenk Shul will be undergoing several changes. After much discussion and deliberation with our board, we believe that these changes will be executed with the community's best interests in mind.
The first change is an upgrade to our physical space. Yeshiva University is expected to have completed the renovation of our ceiling when we return to our Shul on Friday, May 3rd. As you are no-doubt aware, the Shul's ceiling has deteriorated to the point where a repair was necessary. This is the most notable physical change to our Shul.
While we work on other possible aesthetic and physical changes to our Shul space, we will also be entering a month of leadership changes.
As Rabbi Wiederblank has announced, our Mora D'asra will be leaving our community this summer. We are grateful for all the time, hard work and relationships he's built with us over the last four years. We will miss the entire Weiderblank family and wish them well in their new home in Passaic.
With the Rabbi's impending departure, a search committee has been formed and tasked with selecting our new spiritual leader. Headed by Akiva Schreiber, I am confident in this group's ability to find the best fit for our community's needs.
Over the next few weeks the search committee will continue to collect applications. The committee will then interview potential candidates and select a few of them for a Probeh Shabbos. On those Shabboses the community will have an opportunity to hear from each candidate during the morning drasha slot, before mincha on Shabbos afternoon, plus a Q&A program during Suedah Shlishit. The entire community is invited to meet our candidates and help us choose the future spiritual leader of our community. More details will follow regarding the exact dates and times for each of the Probehs. We hope to have the Probehs and membership vote within the month of May and hope to have a new Rabbi this summer.
The month of May is also the end of the board's term. I would like to thank Evie Tavin, Rivka Grossman and Andy Botvinik for their strong work in making Shenk what it is today and hope that they will continue to stay involved in the community. In the next few weeks, board applications will be sent out and I encourage all interested to apply. We are looking for a few dedicated volunteers to hop on our board for the 2019-2020 year. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Another change that I can happily report to the community is that the board has voted to begin a new initiative called the "Hot Kiddush Initiative". After years of no kiddushes or simple dessert kiddushes, the cold kiddush option is a thing of the past. Instead, you can expect a hot kiddush served every single week. We hope this will come as a welcome addition to our community. Click here for more information.
The above changes are just some of the upgrades that I can announce at this time. I firmly believe these changes and upgrades will usher in a new and exciting time in our community. Our Shul and its community has unlimited potential and I hope that this is just the beginning of great changes and new beginnings at Shenk.
As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or any board members with any comments, questions, suggestions or criticisms you may have. Myself and the board would love any and all feedback and we look forward to hearing from you.
President of Shenk Shul
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