Meet Our Student Rabbi
by Maxine Dorot
Netzach Israel is excited to welcome our new student-rabbi, Doron Rubin. However, “new” is not really the correct description because in 1989, Doron was one of the first sabras in NOAM (the Conservative movement’s youth group) and was sent to coordinate our synagogue’s branch, working closely with our then Rabbi Futterman and the congregation .
Until starting rabbinical school this year at the age of 51, Doron was active in informal Jewish education in many different levels: he was a shaliach, (emissary) for NOAM in the UK, and later in Washington D.C. where he was director of Hillel’s Israel Fellow program in North America. Until last year, Doron worked for the Jewish Agency.
“After 30 years in organizational and administration work and running various informal education projects, I wanted to make a shift and focus back on content so I decided to become a rabbi. Now, here I am, at age 51, a first year part-time student in the Schechter Rabbinical School in Jerusalem as well as working in there part-time. My wife Judit is a rabbi. She was ordained 15 years ago and was a Masorti/Conservative rabbi here in Rechovot until a few years ago. My five kids, ages ranging from 24 to 9, are all behind me and actually think that it’s “about time” and it is.”
When asked what it’s like to be a student rabbi these days, Doron replied, “In the midst of corona, it’s a complex time to be a student rabbi, or any student for that matter. It’s hard to do community work when the community isn’t readily available, but I don’t give up easily. This week I started a project called “Sipurai Savta”, (“Stories From Grandma”). Once a week, one savta from each gan (pre-kindergarten through kindergarten) will read a story to the kids via Zoom. I’m also trying to revitalize the Netzach Israel NOAM branch and that will surely bring me full circle. This is a big challenge, especially now, but I’m more than ready to give it a go.”
“While I’m very happy to invest in the younger generation, the main reason I decided to go to rabbinical school at this stage in my life is my feeling that, on many levels, education is wasted on the young because only when we’re mature enough and ready can we appreciate all that Judaism has to offer. It’s great to collect our experiences in our youth, and we should certainly do so, but we need to continue exploring what it means to be Jewish, understand the complexity of being Jewish, and be ready from a mental perspective. That’s where there’s great potential on many levels. I’m excited and delighted to be in Netzach Israel to do this. Coming back here, and working together with Rabbi Gustavo and under his tutelage, I’m ready to implement my plans and be a part of the congregation. For me, it’s like coming home.”