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Welcome Rabbi David Wilfond

Rabbi David Wilfond joins Temple Shaaray Tefila as our Senior Rabbi on July 1, 2020.

We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Wilfond to our community. He will build on our strengths and expand our horizons through his recognized leadership, deep knowledge of Judaism, and innovative ideas.

About Rabbi Wilfond

Rabbi David Wilfond comes to us with a wealth of Jewish experiences and achievements, spanning four continents and including congregational leadership, teaching, and pastoral care positions.

His Jewish education and leadership began at an early age. As a teen growing up in Edison, NJ, he taught Hebrew School, led the Junior Congregation, and served as the Temple youth group president. While a student at Rutgers University, he taught simultaneously at two Hebrew schools and was a founding member of the Rutgers Progressive Zionist Caucus. After earning a B.S. with Honors, Rabbi Wilfond received a full scholarship for an M.S. at the University of Florida in Gainesville. There, he received the Hillel award for Outstanding Jewish Leader in the State of Florida.

Living in Israel has always been a priority. During high school, Rabbi Wilfond spent six months on a NFTY high school exchange program in Israel, which inspired him to spend three summers on staff at URJ Eisner Camp. Later, he spent a year on a work-study program milking cows on Kibbutz Tzora and, before attending Hebrew Union College to study for the Rabbinate, he worked for a year in the date fields of Lotan, the Reform Kibbutz. While in Rabbinical School, he also spent a year at Pardes, an egalitarian yeshiva in Jerusalem, and another year at Hebrew University as a visiting graduate student in Jewish studies.

After receiving Rabbinic Ordination and second MA from HUC, Rabbi Wilfond served for two years as the first reform Rabbi in Kiev, Ukraine. He returned to the US to serve as a congregational Rabbi in Boston for five years. In 2004, he made Aliyah and worked for six years at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem as the Director of Admissions and Rabbi of the Murstein Synagogue.

Rabbi Wilfond is married to Deborah, a lawyer, yoga instructor, and writer of a weekly blog called "Mindful Torah." In 2010, they moved to her native England, where he served as the associate rabbi at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London, England. After their son Isaac was born there, the Wilfonds returned to Jerusalem where David worked for seven years as the Director of Education for NFTY in Israel. In addition to Isaac, they have two other children, Eliora and Rafi, who were born in Jerusalem. The Wilfonds also have a Hebrew speaking cat named Ruby. Rabbi Wilfond loves bike riding, ice cream, singing with others, and sharing a good conversation. He looks forward to being a part of the Temple Shaaray Tefila Community.