I am proud to say that I have been the Rabbi at B’nai Tikvah for over twenty years. The journey that got me here is filled with many twists, turns, adventures, and… love. It started in Buenos Aries, Argentina, where I was born. Sadly, my father died when I was four years old, and my mother found herself with two young children and little money to support them. But we were Jewish, and the Jewish community in Buenos Aries was vibrant and filled with g’milut chesed (loving kindness). They not only helped my single mother through a very difficult time, they would embrace her children and pay for camps and schools all the way through college. I am forever grateful for their generosity.
As I was involved with “all things Jewish” since I was a young child, it might not come as a surprise that I decided to become a Rabbi when I was about 18 years old. I have never looked back, except with fond memories and tremendous appreciation. After graduating from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I started my career in Puerto Rico, and later took a position in Connecticut. This experience has given me insights that I carry with me every day. My love for Jewish community took me in 1999 to Deerfield, Il as I became the Rabbi of B’nai Tikvah.
It was both exciting, and frankly, intimidating. I recognized that this was one of the most desirable areas in the United States, and I knew that I would try my hardest to serve this community with all my heart and make a difference.
From the moment I arrived, I couldn’t help but notice the enthusiastic, warm, and down to earth congregants who were committed to finding a Rabbi who would carry on what their beloved Rabbi Frankel had started. Twenty years and thousands of “life moments” later, I am still as excited about the role that B’nai Tikvah continues to play in the hundreds of families who belong.
I would be thrilled to discuss your journey, whether it is simply to find a synagogue for the High Holidays, your children’s Jewish education, or your desire to find a place that will be comfortable and welcoming for your family, regardless of your orientation or faith. Nothing gives me more joy than spreading my love and appreciation of Judaism, and how I can help it be a part of someone’s life. I won’t promise that it will change your life like it did mine, but I am confident that it can play a meaningful part in a complicated world.
Welcome to B’nai Tikvah; or at least to our website! My guess is that you are looking around to find a synagogue that best suits you. Good for you, and good for us. And when I say us, I mean the entire Jewish community. While the world continues to change dramatically from one generation to the next, supporting the local synagogue has been a constant that has kept Judaism as an important part of people’s lives.
I would like to share with you why I believe B’nai Tikvah might be a good fit for you. We are not “one size fits all”, but we are “one size fits most.” Some of our congregants come every Shabbat, some come occasionally, and some come only for the High Holidays or special events. We are happy to see you no matter how often you participate.
We don’t have an “exclusive” membership. In fact, we are deliberately inclusive. No matter what your orientation or faith, we welcome you. If you feel a connection to Judaism, we feel a connection to you. We are happy to talk to you about programs and accommodations that will help you or your spouse navigate our Jewish world.
Our congregation is Egalitarian. We are proud of the fact that we all pray together. And last but not least, I am also proud of the fact that we have consciously kept our dues low. Our building is almost paid off, and we continue to watch expenses so we can remain affordable. We also understand that even though our dues are low, there are circumstances that make them unaffordable to some people. Though we clearly need money to pay our bills, we are first and foremost here for you, and are happy to talk to you about any accommodations. We want B’nai Tikvah to work for everyone who wants to be here. I hope to see you at shul!