Rabbi Scott B. Weiner, N '04, was named Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of New Rochelle, the 101 year old congregation in Westchester.
Temple President Paul Warhit announced the appointment earlier this year and said, "Rabbi Weiner is a dynamic and innovative leader whom we know will expand and enhance the role of the synagogue and its activities on multiple levels." Rabbi Weiner, who started at Temple Israel on July 1, is a co-founder of the "Running Rabbis," a group of HUC-JIR students, alumni, and friends, who participate in road races for charity.
Rabbi Weiner is currently training for the 2009 New York City Marathon, to be held November 1, and will be featured in an upcoming article in Runner's World magazine. He says there is "a minyan" of "Running Rabbis" training for this year's marathon, all HUC-JIR students, alumni, and family members. This year the "Running Rabbis," who also include cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, are raising funds for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, founded by Paul Newman in 1988 to provide a no-cost camping experience for seriously ill children. Rabbi Weiner notes that, like the New York Soup Kitchen, the "Running Rabbis" serve the entire community.
Rabbi Weiner and Rabbi Benjamin David, N '04, had the idea to co-found the "Running Rabbis" (http://runningrabbis.com) while studying at HUC-JIR's New York campus. Both volunteers for the New York Soup Kitchen, the future Rabbis noted the profound effects of homelessness both at the Soup Kitchen and during their training runs in New York City's public parks. They fundraised for the Soup Kitchen during their early training and gained national attention soon after. The group has raised money and awareness for causes like the Hole in the Wall, Autism research, and domestic violence organizations that are not specifically Jewish but certainly work to repair the world.
As he continues his involvement in the "Running Rabbis," Rabbi Weiner has ambitious plans for mobilizing Temple Israel's social justice and youth programs, while building on its hundred-year tradition of outreach and community involvement. He lauds the "untiring efforts" of Temple Israel's Rabbi Emeritus Amiel Wohl, C '57, and his many years of strengthening community and interfaith relations in New Rochelle.
"Judaism is not a spectator sport," says Rabbi Weiner. "One must engage Judaism in every way possible, from prayer to learning, from protest to visiting the sick, from visiting Israel regularly to feeding the homeless. Judaism is at its best when spirituality and action are paired together."
In addition to his MA in Hebrew Literature and Ordination from HUC-JIR, Rabbi Weiner holds a BA in Judaic Studies from the State University of New York at Albany. He served for five years as rabbi of the Hebrew Tabernacle congregation in Washington Heights, New York City, and spent four years as the Rabbinic Intern at Manhattan's Central Synagogue, where he also served as its Youth Director.