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Congregation Bnai Yeshurun to Install Rabbi Elliot Schrier

Great joy and celebration will accompany the upcoming installation of Rabbi Elliot Schrier as the new mara d’atra of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun on Sunday, November 7. Rabbi Schrier comes to Bnai Yeshurun from his position as rabbi of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Synagogue, where he served since 2016. At Einstein, Rabbi Schrier and Rebbetzin Rena Schreier worked to create a dynamic, vibrant and cohesive community, a goal, along with many others, that they intend to perpetuate in Teaneck.

Rabbi Schrier is a graduate of Yeshiva University with a degree in history and Judaic studies. He received his semicha from RIETS, where he was a member of the Bella and Harry Wexner Semicha Honors Program, and served as a shoel u’meishiv for his rebbe, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig’s shiur. Prior to Einstein, Rabbi Schrier was the assistant rabbi in Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence, New York.

Rabbanit Rena Schrier earned a BSN from Columbia School of Nursing and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. She currently works as a manager on the Operational Excellence Team at the Hospital for Special Surgery. In addition, she earned an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Judaic Studies and has previously taught in local yeshiva day schools. The Schriers are the proud parents of three young sons: Coby, Zecharia and Gavriel.

Since assuming the position of rabbi of CBY in August of 2021, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Schrier have been meaningfully integrating into the CBY and Teaneck community through many creative events and venues. Beginning with his official tenure on August 1, Rabbi Schreier has addressed and spent time with each of the Shabbat minyanim at CBY. “Meet-greet-eat-repeat events” have been held at which a dozen families join the Schriers for a Shabbat meal in one of the shul’s outdoor tents. A “chesed event” was held at which women and girls packed food baskets for the community while getting acquainted with the rebbetzin. Recently, a large “welcome block party” was held on the shul grounds and surrounding area during which the Schriers and their children “partied” with community members at a “carnival-like” event. Also, a series of “communi-tea” events are underway in which member families sign up for brief, informal sessions with the rabbi. A “’70s game night” is in the planning, affording yet another occasion for members to socialize with the Schriers. Rabbi Schrier has already introduced several new weekly shiurim and has served as a “guest maggid shiur” at some of the existing shiurim.

CBY, now in its 63rd year, has served as the bedrock of the vibrant Teaneck-Bergenfield Orthodox Jewish community for all of these years, welcoming new synagogues as they were established in different areas of the community. Bnai Yeshurun was founded in 1958 by five local families—the Bravermans, Grundmans, Kopitnikoffs, Landaus, and Manischewitzes—who saw the need for a local Orthodox synagogue. The shul was named by Esther Manischewitz and was initially housed in the basement of the Kopitnikoffs. Over the years, and through many eventful expansions and renovations, a strong core of devoted members dedicated their skills, finances and many sleepless nights to the ongoing stability and service of CBY to the community.

In 1959, Rabbi Label Dulitz was invited to lead the congregation, followed by Rabbi Macy Gordon in 1961, Rabbi Aryeh Weil in 1985, and Rabbi Steven Pruzansky in 1994, who served the congregation with wife Karen for 25 years. Serving along with Rabbi Pruzansky were Associate Rabbi Ari Zahtz, who also serves on the faculty of the Mazer Yeshiva Program at RIETS, Rabbi Yosef Weinberger, associate rabbi and Jewish studies instructor at Yeshivat Frisch, Rabbi Jonathan Schachter, director of teen programming and instructor at Yeshivat Frisch and YU’s Stone Beit Midrash Program, and Rabbi Yehoshua Szafranski, rabbinic intern and CBY youth director together with wife Rivka. This dynamic and talented team will accompany Rabbi Schrier as he leads CBY into this new era.

Congregation Bnai Yeshurun currently hosts 540 member families and approximately 250 affiliate members. CBY’s membership has remained constant despite the movement out of retirees, those making aliyah and others joining closer congregations. Balancing these losses has been an influx of younger families moving into the neighborhood. In the past 12 months alone 30 new, young families have joined CBY. As shared by Clive Lipshitz, co-chair of the Rabbinic Integration Committee, “With the hiring of Rabbi Schrier, the expectation is that his extraordinary skill set as both a teacher and pastor, his passion to get to know and understand his congregants as individuals, his ties to the Einstein community, and last but not least his terrific enthusiasm and optimism will serve the needs of our large and diverse membership and draw new families to our community.”

The installation of Rabbi Elliot Schrier as mara d’atra of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, the theme of which is “Moving Forward Together,” will take place on Sunday morning, November 7, at 10 a.m. in the main shul. Members of the shul and larger community are invited to attend. The program will feature Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, as the keynote speaker. The charge to Rabbi Schrier will be delivered by Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Shrier will conclude the program with an address to the assembled. A collation will follow in the social hall.

Community members who would like to attend are asked to register at https://www.bnaiyeshurun.org/rabbinic-installation.html.

By Pearl Markovitz

 

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