To satisfy the growth of its congregation, members of (CDT) in Johns Creek voted this spring to add an assistant rabbi to the existing clergy team of Rabbi Ron Herstik and Cantorial Soloist Michael Zuspan. Effective this week, Rabbi Michael Weinstein of Boston, MA, begins as Dor Tamid’s first Assistant Rabbi, relocating to Johns Creek with his wife, Laurie, educated in Jewish music, and their son, Mose.
Rabbi Michael Weinstein, 38, has served since 2010 as rabbi at Temple Shir Hadash in Westford, MA, a suburb of Boston. He also served as Social Justice Rabbi at the Rashi School, a Reform Jewish day school in Boston. Currently working toward a certification in professional fundraising from Boston University, Rabbi Weinstein worked with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island focusing on engagement and event planning for those in their 20s and 30s.
CDT President Howie Rubenstein shares that “not many congregations our size warrant the need for an Assistant Rabbi. CDT is unique in that our member base necessitates a large religious school, growing half-day and full-day pre-school and a wide variety of activities to meet the needs of our youth and post B’nai Mitzvah life stages. We are confident that Rabbi Weinstein will continue to help our members ‘Live their Best Jewish Life’ by engaging our youth, providing outreach to North Fulton, South Forsyth, and Gwinnett residents, and by bringing more diversified and spiritual programming to CDT.”
Rabbi Weinstein explained how Dor Tamid was the top choice of the opportunities presented to him. “When I began to research CDT, it was clear to me that it was much more than a synagogue. CDT is a place where relationships are emphasized and prioritized though a vast array of opportunities to make not only a religious and spiritual connection, but to engage as individuals and with their families socially, through groups, education, giving back to the greater community at large, and even athletic activities. Coming to CDT and this community provides contentment that my family will benefit from this caring, close community similar to the one that I myself grew up in.”
Rabbi Weinstein plans to focus in the future on extending the connections of Dor Tamid to the Johns Creek surrounding areas and Atlanta Jewish community. Versed in both Judaic and Christian knowledge, Rabbi Weinstein will provide outreach to the growing population of interfaith families on ways in which to integrate Judaism into their lives.
Growing up, Michael Weinstein did not always know that he wanted to be a rabbi. Raised in Cincinnati’s close-knit Jewish community, he was active member of the Isaac M. Wise Temple, the city’s largest Reform synagogue, and was involved as a teen in Jewish camping, youth groups (NFTY), and was an assistant teacher in the religious school.
In his early 20s, Michael Weinstein started his career as a Realtor. He attended synagogue services regularly, and was actively involved in congregational life. His rabbi encouraged him to share his love of Judaism with others, and it was during that period that he realized that his life’s purpose was to become a rabbi. He earned a degree in Philosophy with an emphasis in Judaic Studies from the University of Cincinnati, and a Masters of Arts degree in Christian Theology from Xavier University. During that time, Rabbi Michael taught at the Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School and the Rockdale Temple. After interning at The Temple, the largest congregation in Louisville, Kentucky, he was awarded his Rabbinic ordination in 2010 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and simultaneously received a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters.
Rabbi Ron Herstik, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Dor Tamid explains that he is “particularly looking forward, as I know our Cantor is as well, to have Rabbi Michael join us as a trio to begin the process of not only working together for the benefit of our congregation, but also to provide our collective vision of what our congregation ought to become in the future.”
About Congregation Dor Tamid
Congregation Dor Tamid, the Reform Jewish synagogue in Johns Creek, serves more than 400 families from Alpharetta, Cumming, Duluth, Johns Creek, Roswell, Suwanee and the surrounding areas. Established in 2005, Dor Tamid has one of the largest accredited Jewish religious schools in Georgia, full day and half day preschool, adult enrichment programs, with spiritual, cultural, recreational, and social action programs and services for members of all ages. For more information, visit www.dortamid.org or connect with CDT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DorTamid.