Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin set to complete shul’s Orthodox transition.
Congregation Sons of Israel in Manalapan has taken a huge step forward in its effort to reposition itself as a fully Orthodox synagogue. As reported previously in The Jewish Link, the shul reinstated its mechitza as of March 5 and was conducting a search, in conjunction with Yeshiva University, for a new rabbi to help it attract more Orthodox families to the community.
On March 24, the shul held a congregational vote, attracting nearly half of its family units, to vote on the contract for a new rabbi, Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin, and the retirement package for Rabbi Robert Pilavin. The vote for the new rabbi was overwhelmingly positive. Synagogue leader Bonnie Leff reported: “It was a huge turnout—our largest since COVID, we had approximately 85 people there.”
Rabbi Brodkin has served as the rav of Congregation Kesser Israel in Portland, Oregon since 2005. In that role, he helped the synagogue move to a new building in the heart of the Portland Jewish community and joined with other community leaders in founding the Maayan Torah Day School. He offers a weekly podcast, “The Jewish Growth Podcast,” which is available on Amazon Music, Audible Books, TuneIn and Podcast Addict. He is scheduled to start at Congregation Sons of Israel in August.
Rabbi Pilavin, who has led the synagogue for 19 years, is retiring and will become Rabbi Emeritus to the synagogue. In honor of his exemplary dedication and tenure as the synagogue’s longest-serving rabbi in over 100 years, Congregation Sons of Israel will hold a brunch in his honor on June 26, catered by Orchid Caterers, the synagogue’s in-house caterer (under Star-K supervision).
For more information on this event, please call 732.446.3000.
By Harry Glazer