July 21, 2024
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Rabbi Zev Goldberg to Lead Young Israel of Fort Lee

Fort Lee—Just before Sukkot, Rabbi Zev Goldberg, a Teaneck native, will join the Young Israel of Fort Lee as senior rabbi.

Rabbi Goldberg, his wife, Rebbetzin Dr. Michal (née Safier) Goldberg, and their two children, Meira and Yakir, lived in Beverly Hills since 2010, where he served as the assistant rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, a large congregation of 500 member families/singles in the Pico Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Rabbi Neil and Rebbetzin Andrea Winkler, who preceded them, are making aliyah. Under the Winklers’ leadership, the Fort Lee community grew from a small community of 20 families with one shul in 1978, to a community that is now home to three Orthodox synagogues with an established eruv and mikvah.

Flourishing under Rabbi Winkler’s leadership, Fort Lee’s warmth, energy, and tremendous potential for additional growth were key selling points that attracted Rabbi Goldberg to the position.

“Rabbi Winkler has done an outstanding job in growing the community over three decades, and we feel very excited to [build] off of his hard work. We’re also very excited about being closer to home and giving back to the greater community we’ve been brought up in,” Goldberg told JLBC.

Rabbi Goldberg said his first priority is to continue expanding services and programming that the shul already offers as the community continues to grow. “We’re going to work very hard to make sure everyone knows what a jewel Fort Lee is,” he said.

Rabbi Goldberg is a product of the Teaneck community. “My wife and I both grew up in Teaneck, and we’re very excited to be coming back to the area.” He attended Yavneh Academy and TABC. His parents, Eli and Helen Goldberg, have been active members of the Young Israel of Teaneck, where his father has served as president. Rebbetzin Goldberg grew up in the B’nai Yeshurun community; her parents are Steve and Priva Safier.

Rabbi Goldberg expressed gratitude to Young Israel of Century City’s senior rav, Rabbi Elazar Muskin, for helping him prepare for his new job. “Rabbi Muskin is considered one of the finest pulpit rabbis in the country,” said Goldberg. “Working at a large shul has allowed me to touch all parts of synagogue life, from teaching, dealing with communal issues, providing pastoral services, as well as building meaningful relationships with many of the congregants.”

Goldberg received his smicha from Yeshiva University’s RIETS program, and a BA in economics from Yeshiva College. He is an alumnus of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, where he studied for two years after high school. He served as the rabbinic intern at the Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side of New York, as well as in Livingston, New Jersey and Riverdale, New York. Rebbetzin Goldberg is a psychologist and will be working at a clinic in Monsey.

Asked whether there are any inherent differences between working as a Rav on the East Coast versus the West Coast, Rabbi Goldberg said one difference will involve wintertime minyanim. “You never have to get people to come out and walk through the snow in Los Angeles. Besides that, the switch from East Coast to West Coast should be fine,” he joked.

Rabbi Goldberg’s transition will take place in October. For more information, visit http://yiftlee.org/.

By Robert Cordas

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