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Today is December 12, 2018 -

Our Rabbi

Rabbi Ronald Roth

Rabbi Ronald Roth

Rabbi Ronald Roth was born in Far Rockaway, Queens and spent his childhood in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Cornell University with a BA in theatre arts. He grew up in a non-observant home, and he was greatly influenced by the Cornell Hillel Rabbi, Morris Goldfarb. After spending three years as a teacher, he decided to attend the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received an M. A. in Rabbinics and Rabbinic Ordination. After graduation from JTS he served Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor, New Jersey for seven years and then left for a larger congregation, the West End Synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2007 he was chosen to become the Rabbi of the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel.

At the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel he has emphasized outreach, teaching a class for those who want to know more about Judaism called “Explore Judaism” and arranging for the Rabbinical Assembly’s intensive “Introduction to Judaism” class to meet at the congregation. He has helped to create a Keruv Committee that is working to make the congregation more open to intermarried Jews. He was the only Rabbi in Northern New Jersey to teach the Mitzvah Initiative class, a special program established by the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Arnold Eisen. He led a congregational trip to Israel that included a bar/bat mitzvah ceremony for several students in Jerusalem. He has worked closely with the Social Action Committee to strengthen several of its projects, including their visits to those who are hospitalized. He has a special interest in Adult Education and Family Education. In addition to offering a number of adult education courses, he continues to teach his popular weekly class, “Nosh and Knowledge” each Tuesday. He enjoys interacting with and telling stories to the students in our Shirley and Paul Pintel Nursery School and teaching classes in the Howard and Joshua Herman Education Center, our Religious School. Working with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism he created a young leadership group for the congregation.

Rabbi Roth has been actively involved in the community. He is a member of the West Bergen Ministers Association and arranged for the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel to host the annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving service. He is the treasurer of the North Jersey Rabbinical Assembly, and a member of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis. He has twice arranged for our congregation to host the community wide “Sweet Tastes of Torah” adult education programs.

Rabbi Roth was one of the first Conservative Rabbis chosen to mentor neophyte rabbis. He received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2005. He taught a semester-long course on Jewish Liturgy at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and was a consultant for a series of social studies textbooks for Macmillan McGraw Hill. Nashville Life magazine chose him as one of the 100 Coolest People in Nashville in 1997, and in 2003 he was one of fifteen Nashville clergy chosen to meet with President Bush. He will be leading a synagogue tour to central Europe in the summer of 2014.

One of his hobbies is photography and he took many of the photos on this web site and on our Facebook site.  He is married to Rhonda Cass Roth and they are the parents of two adult children Gabriel and Deena. You can contact him directly at rabbi@fljc.com


Rabbi Keven Tzvi Friedman

Rabbi Keven Tzvi Friedman was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, received his Bachelor’s of Science in Speech from Northwestern University (Go Cats with first ever NCAA Basketball Tournament Appearance in 2017!), his J.D. from Hofstra Law School, and his Rabbinical ordination and M.A. in Jewish thought from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Before beginning rabbinical school Rabbi Friedman worked as a litigation attorney (licensed in NY, NJ and CA) for more than 14 years in various positions including a public defender at the Legal Aid Society in New York, NY, a court attorney serving the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, GA, a senior associate at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA in Woodbridge, NJ, and as a mediator at Friedman Law Firm and Mediation Center, LLC. The common thread between his legal career and his rabbinical career has been serving and helping people.

Rabbi Friedman is energized by serving and helping people and striving to assist others along their Jewish journey, and to make Judaism more relevant in their everyday lives. Rabbi Friedman recently completed a mussar character development facilitator course thru the Mussar Institute, and enjoys the practical everyday benefits and life lessons of both teaching and being a student of mussar character development. Rabbi Friedman served as a rabbinic intern at Beth David in Toronto, ON, and as an American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Leffell Fellow where he participated with a cohort of rabbinical students from across the denominational spectrum and travelled together twice to AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, as well as an unprecedented educational trip to Israel. Rabbi Friedman is also passionate about social justice work and worked with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) where he represented a young woman from Honduras in immigration court in Newark, New Jersey and fortunately able to prevail in her political asylum case to allow her to remain in the United States, where she is currently studying in college.

Rabbi Friedman has completed five units of clinical pastoral education (CPE), including one unit as a MJHS hospice chaplain intern thru the JTS Center for Pastoral Education, and four prior CPE units as all-faith hospital chaplain resident at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick, NJ, a trauma one center, for a total of approximately 1,500 clinical pastoral care hours.

Rabbi Friedman is fluent in Hebrew and Spanish, after living in Israel, Spain and Argentina respectively. Rabbi Friedman’s interest range from studying mussar texts, mystical texts, Chassidic stories and songs, to playing guitar, scuba diving and ice hockey. He lives in Fair Lawn, New Jersey with his wife Rebecca and his two children Madeline and Ariel who are blessing and inspiration every day.