Our congregational family celebrated a most joyful and memorable Chaivana Gala, honoring our longtime Rabbi Jacob and Joanne Luski for their four decades of service to our community, and the 95th Anniversary of CBI. Upon retirement, Rabbi Luski will be honored as our Rabbi Emeritus.
Earlier this week the engagement of Rabbi Philip Weintraub became official as our incoming rabbi; his initial 3-year term will begin in July, with his first Shabbat July 6-7. Yasher Koach to our contract committee: Dean Hershkowitz, Eve Epstein and Greg Sembler, who worked very diligently to draft and negotiate the contract with Rabbi Weintraub.
Rabbi Weintraub brings a very diverse skill set to our Kehilla. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis Univeristy with a Bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He received his rabbinic ordination and Masters degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 2011 with a concentration in pastoral care. After graduating from Brandeis he served three years as Mashgiach at the JTS, supervising cafeteria in the observance of Kashrut.
Recently having achieved board certification as a Chaplain, of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains, he prides himself on his relationships working across generations. Weintraub’s professional summary states he “inspires communities to greater participation, to create deep connections, and discover the holiness in life.”
He says, “…I believe the Jewish world is best served one on one. Inspiration comes not just from the pulpit, but from speaking truth, being a Mensch, and recognizing the Divine Spark, the holiness in each one of us.”
Rabbi Weintraub is currently employed as the rabbi at the 130-year old Congregation Agudas Israel in Newburgh, NY, where he has served since August 2011. He had previously served as rabbi of the South Baldwin Jewish Center in Baldwin, NY.
Rabbi Weintraub is married to Rebecca, and they have two daughters, Hannah, age 5 1/2, and Eliana, almost 2. The family is looking forward to coming to the sun, sand and surf of St. Petersburg and we are most delighted to welcome them!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me at email@example.com or my cell, 727-432-0663.
Susan Marger LeVine
CBI Rabbinical Search Committee