Font Size


Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  ( has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


As I’m sure you are aware, maintaining an Orthodox synagogue in San Francisco is quite a challenge. Our shul would not be able to exist if it weren’t for the tremendous support of our community, which numbers around 100 families. However, since membership dues only cover around 50% of our overhead, we must fundraise the balance. 

A few years ago, we began an “end of the year” fundraising campaign in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. In case you are unfamiliar with Giving Tuesday, it’s a global effort (started in 2012) to motivate people to give to others after having spent money on themselves over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Initially our campaign did ok, but nothing spectacular. However, once we added a matching dollar for dollar component, it made a huge difference.

Last week I mentioned that my plan for the coming week was to focus on putting together our end of the year matching funds fundraiser, and that you’ll be hearing from me soon.

Well, I started contacting people Sunday and currently thanks to: 

Cyril Attia & Linda Schmidt, Marc & Fleur Attia, Shay & Robin Attia, John Banner & Denise Assayag, Evelyn Baum, Baruch & Batya Berenfus, Bob & Esther Berger, Tolik & Tali Besedin, Ava Brand, David Brodsky, Velvel & Irina Brodsky, Lev & Irina Dratva, Abraham & Shabnam Drucker, Natan Dubinsky, David Garth & Sarah Phommavongsay, Lens Giderman & Dovik Nissim, Yoel & Jessica Gluck, Alex & Inna Goldshteyn, Marc Gottlieb, Amy & Barry Greenberg, Willie & Joane Greenspan, David Heller & Betsy Eckstein, Thomas & Zahava Holland, Joe & Anna Hollander, David Javaheri, Roman & Leah Kagan, Fred & Bonnie Kalbrosky, Matt Kalbrosky, Joe & Ester Kaplan, Phil Kaplan, Aaron Karpel, Dr. Ian & Cheryl Katz, Elliot Katzovitz, Keva & Anna Kelenson, Dr. Leonid & Ludmia Khamishon, David & Roberta Kimmel, Emil Knopf, Phylis Kurzbard, Rabbi & Johni Landau, Harry Lenczner & Estelle Monderer, Ben Leyne, Joe & Eve Loecher, Kevin & Renee Mahan, Claire Manber, Ari & Meirav Mann, Josh & Lynne Muller, Tal Niv & Ana Miletijev, Ari Ochs & Natalie Melendez-Ortiz, Bella Pasynkova, Jack & Dora Piotrkowski, Heddy Pilpel,  Maksim & Ashely Polonsky, Norman Reid, Ian & Jessica Ozeri Reynolds, Alex & Rita Riskin, Avi & Marina Riskin, Alex & Masha Rudakov, Alex & Slava Ryvkin, Michael & Maureen Samson, Drs. Kevin & Sharon Saitowitz, Stanley Saitowitz, Alvin D. Sered, Daniel Shapiro, Gershon & Rivka Shif, Zeev Shpitalnik, Seth & Sheila Skootsky, Broni & Inna Slepnyov, Max Slepnyov, Roman Slepnyov & Polina Pasynkova, Igor Smirnov, Mark & Chloe Sugarman,  Boris & Bronia Spektor, Zina Spektor & Aton Popov, Tommy & Genie Tabak, Mordechai Tarnovsky & Irena Itskova, Patrick & Sabrina Thillard, Rabbi & Judy Traub, Moshe & Marina Tselner, Slavic & Svetlana Veksler, Pesach & Larissa Vinnitsky, Sally Weiss, Linda Wertheim, Neal Wohlmuth, Michael & Sofia Zakharevich, Anatoly Zelkin, Eugenia Zelkin, we have raised approximately $45K! There are still people who have yet to respond to my request to participate in the campaign, so, hopefully, the final total will be a little more.

Being that we are in the midst of Chanukah, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you a perspective on how the fundamental culture war that went on between our ancestors and the Greeks continues to this very day in this article by R. Shmuley Boteach in the Jerusalem Post.