April 13, 2024
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Ahavat Achim of Fair Lawn Says Goodbye and Hello

Congregation Ahavat Achim of Fair Lawn honored Rabbi Uri and Dr. Julie Goldstein and wished them a fond farewell at the shul’s 33rd annual dinner, Sunday, May 22. At the same time, Ahavat Achim welcomed its new Rabbi and Rebbetzin, Ely and Chana Shestack. The dinner was well attended by family, friends, congregants and colleagues to honor and say l’hitraot to the Goldsteins.

Rabbi Goldstein and Julie joined Ahavat Achim via UCLA and Park East Synagogue in September, 2006 with three small children; Shimshon, Moriah and Aviad and leave us almost 10 years later with the addition of Lielle and Ayala as well as Rebbetzin Julie leaving as Dr. Rebbetzin Julie. Rabbi Goldstein will become the Director of the Overseas Program at the Yeshivat Hesder Amit-Orot Shaul, located in Ra’anana, Israel.

The dinner was chaired by Lori and David Garfunkel, Lisa and Aryeh Brenenson. This event is the single largest fundraiser of the year and fundraising exceeded budget. Funds were raised for the new marketing campaign and initiative. With Rabbi Shestack’s guidance, these funds will also allow for increased programming within Ahavat Achim and help attract new young members.

Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Rabbi Andrew Markowitz of Shomrei Torah and Rabbi Jeremy Donath of Darchei Noam all attended. Rabbi Yudin addressed the attendees, praising Ahavat Achim for allowing the Goldsteins to fulfill the mitzvah of aliyah after 10 years at the helm of Ahavat Achim. Rabbi Yudin praised the Shestacks as excellent choices to lead the congregation as it moves forward.

Rabbi Shestack, 26, will assume the Ahavat Achim pulpit. A New Jersey native, Rabbi Shestack grew up in Bergenfield and graduated from Torah Academy of Bergen County and Yeshiva University with a major in philosophy and a minor in psychology. In addition to continuing his Semicha studies at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Shestack also studies at the Fair Lawn Community Bet Midrash and spends weekends as a rabbinic intern at Brandeis University.

Rabbi Ely and Chana Shestack have an 18-month-old daughter, Adira.

By Arnold Spier

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