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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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(Courtesy of YU) Rabbinic students at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) will receive enhanced homiletics and public speaking training on their journey to the rabbinate, thanks to a newly created endowment by Sarah Rakowitz, in memory of her late husband, Rabbi Myron Rakowitz, z”l.

This endowment at RIETS will be a fitting tribute to the life of Rabbi Myron Rakowitz, who served as the rabbi of the Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie for more than 45 years, inspiring members of the community with his expertly crafted derashot. In addition, Rabbi Rakowitz was a distinguished member and respected officer of the RIETS rabbinic alumni. Together with his wife, he was a YU Guardian.

The Department of Homiletics and Public Speaking is the arm of RIETS that focuses on training synagogue rabbis to deliver effective speeches, classes and derashot. It includes an array of courses designed to maximize rabbis’ potential as public presenters. Students take classes in oration with public-speaking professionals and conclude their studies with capstone senior courses in communication and homiletics with the dean of RIETS, Rabbi Menachem Penner, and the director of professional rabbinics, Rabbi Laurence Rothwachs.

Rabbi Penner said about this program: “Homiletics and public speaking courses are extremely important for rabbinic students, who hope to not only lead but inspire their congregations. Rabbi Rakowitz was able to do both these things for over 40 years, and we hope that this endowment will help us train our students so that they can follow in his footsteps. This is the perfect way to honor the memory of Rabbi Rakowitz.”

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