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Previous Rabbis of TBDJ

 

Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich

2016-2022

Rabbi Freundlich joined Congregation TBDJ in August 2016, after moving to Montreal from Atlanta, Georgia. He previously served as Associate Rabbi at Atlanta’s Congregation Beth Jacob from 2007 to 2016. From 2014-16 he also served as Head of School at Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael, a 40-student high school for boys, where he also taught for several years.

“Rabbi Y”, as he is known to many of his congregants and students, received his Semicha in 2005 from Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College, where he also earned a Masters of Talmudic Law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Science Degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University.  

Rabbi Freundlich served as a member of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, responsible for promoting personal and religious growth through family meetings, personal development classes and social programming, with special attention given to marital counseling and parenting consultations. In this role he also directed the Maor Eliyahu program, an advanced nightly Talmud study group, and held outreach responsibilities for university students and pre-school parents. 

Amongst his other accomplishments and publications, Rabbi Freundlich developed a popular “3 Minute Parenting Through the Parsha” video series which was featured by Aish.com and OU.org. The video series can be viewed here: http://tbdj.org/RYF1.  

Together with his wife Rifki, The Freundlichs are parents to seven children: Racheli, Binyamin, Ephraim, Shlomo, Rena, Shai, and Shayna.

Rabbi Freundlich moved to Lawrence, New York with his family in August of 2022 to become Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom.

 


 

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

1996-2015

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz joined TBDJ in September 1996, having served congregations in Mount Vernon, NY, and Jersey City, NJ, beforehand.

He received his ordination from Yeshiva University, where he was a fellow of the elite Gruss Kollel Elyon. He has a M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and a M.A. in Education from Adelphi University. He has completed Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) and Meorot Rabbinic fellowships.

Rabbi Steinmetz was a regular contributor to the Canadian Jewish News, the Toronto Star, The Montreal Gazette and La Presse, as well as many other Jewish publications. Together with his online blog, he reached a broad audience and made many a follower and friend.

Rabbi Steinmetz helped reinforce our sense of community, and helped us ensure that Congregation TBDJ was not only open to all, but that all were welcome, and welcomed when entering. Saying hello to a neighbour and friend is now a weekly practice in shul because of Rabbi Steinmetz instilling in us the need to be a true community. 

Rabbi Steinmetz moved to New York in January 2016 in order to assume the role of Senior Rabbi at Kehillat Jeshurun (KJ), leaving behind a community grateful for his contributions and dedicated to continuing his teachings. 

Our tribute to Rabbi Steinmetz can be found here: http://www.tbdj.org/tribute


 

Rabbi Joshua Shmidman ז"ל

1975-1995

Rabbi Joshua Shmidman served as Rabbi of Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem from 1975 until retiring from the synagogue in 1995. 

Rabbi Shmidman was been a professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College, Stern College and Yeshiva College, and was a recognized Halachic authority who had published numerous authoritative articles including entries in the Encyclopedia Judaica.  He played a significant role in the Halachic decisions that led to the establishment of the Mikveh and the Eruv in Montreal, and had a significant role in the community’s representation to the Canadian Government on the Get issue.

Rabbi Shmidman was beloved to many families and generations in the city. His words of Torah, with their unique mixture of depth and sweetness, are often heard repeated to this day at tables across the world.

Rabbi Shmidman passed away on Erev Tisha B'av 5765 (August 12, 2005) and is buried in Sanhedria, Jerusalem. A memorial service was held on his 10th yahrzeit, which can be viewed here: Part 1 - https://vimeo.com/134947275, Part 2 - https://vimeo.com/134947276, Part 3 - https://vimeo.com/134536671.


 

Rabbi David Hartman ז"ל

1960-1971

 

Rabbi Hartman was TBDJ’s founding Rabbi, and served our synagogue from 1960 until he made aliyah to Israel in 1971. During those years, he also founded the Akiva day school, and was a professor at McGill University.

His presence is still profoundly felt in our synagogue and around the Montreal Jewish community. He was a passionate and provocative spiritual leader who brought to our synagogue an approach that was both vibrant and intellectual, that engaged the heart and the mind.

Rabbi David Hartman passed away on Rosh Chodesh Adar, the 30th of Shevat, 5773 – February 10, 2013. He was mourned by our entire congregation, and by all of the other students and friends whose souls he touched. Please also see a special memorial page from The Shalom Hartman Institute.

 

Fri, 9 December 2022 15 Kislev 5783