Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

The Rabbi's Page

The spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation is its rabbi. Our temple's rabbi also serves as principal of our Hebrew School, the Mike Weiner School of Jewish Learning, and conducts the Rabbi's Class as part of the temple's Adult Education program.

Rabbi Dr. Andy Dubin came to the JCNWJ in July, 2015, succeeding Rabbi Mary Zamore came to the JCNWJ in July, 2013, who in turn had succeeded Rabbi Emerita Ellen J. Lewis who served for 19 years.

After graduating from Amherst College in 1988, Rabbi Dr. Dubin embarked on a 20-year career in the field of education during which he taught religious studies at some of America's most demanding high schools, including St. Paul's (NH), Northfield Mount Hermon (MA), Trinity (NYC), and Exeter (NH). As well, Rabbi Dr. Dubin served as Dean of Students at two of the nation's finest pluralistic Jewish Schools: Gann Academy (MA) and American Hebrew Academy (NC). Over the years he also spent four summers as a Head-of-Tour for NFTY in Israel, which led to a position at the Union for Reform Judaism as Director of College Education and Founding Director of the Meitav Fellowship for Teen Leadership.

Rabbi Dr. Andy Dubin
Photo courtesy NJJN

Throughout his years of teaching, Rabbi Dr. Dubin never stopped pursuing his own studies too, which led to a master's degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 2008, both from the Department of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages of The Jewish Theological Seminary.

A 2014 ordinee of Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Dr. Dubin purposefully constructed a varied a student pulpit experience during his three years of training in New York., serving as Student Rabbi for Temple B'nai Israel (Albany, GA), Pastoral Care Intern for DOROT (NYC), Rabbinic Intern for Woodlands Community Temple (Greenburgh, NY), Religious School Principal and Rabbinic Intern for Union Temple (Brooklyn, NY), Student Chaplain at Weil Cornell Hospital (NYC), and Student Rabbi for Temple Beth HaSholom (Williamsport, PA).

Since 2013, Rabbi Dr. Dubin has been serving as the part-time Director of Hebrew Home Study and Adult Learning at Manhattan's Metropolitan Synagogue (a position he will continue to occupy, so long as his schedule at JCNWJ permits). Rabbi Dr. Dubin also teaches privately and officiates major life-cycle events.

A native New Yorker, Rabbi Dr. Dubin lives in Manhattan with his wife, Nancy (Cantor Nancy Dubin (Temple Am Echad, Lynbrook, New York) and their four children, Shira, Liron, Noa, and Ari.

The "Rabbi's Message" appears in every issue of the JOURNAL, the newsletter of the JCNWJ. The most recent message appears below; past messages are also available. Selected sermons are also provided below.

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November 2017 Message from Rabbi Dubin

Dear Friends,
We all have moments in life that are forever burned into our memories. For some, it is the birth of a child. For others, itís the day we pass a professional exam. And for others still, it may even be the day our favorite sports team finally wins a long-awaited championship. As for me, I have memories etched permanently into my brain from all three categories. During the month of November, however, I always come back to one memory in particular.

It was November 4, 1995. I was in Philadelphia for the wedding of a graduate school roommate. As I started getting ready to meet some friends so we could travel together to the ceremony, I flipped on the TV for no particular reason. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. The news was pouring in from Tel Aviv that Prime Minister Rabin had just been shot. The reports were confused and harried. No one seemed to have a clear idea of exactly what had happened, but everyone feared the worst-case scenario might actually play itself out. And then, a few hours later, it did.

A radicalized twenty-five-year-old right wing Jewish law student, convinced of the perverse notion that Rabinís dogged pursuit of peace was somehow in violation of Jewish law, had taken matters into his own hands. After attending a massive peace rally in Tel Aviv where the Prime Minister had been the marquis speaker, this depraved deviant waited until after the participants had joined together in a final singing of the classic Israeli song, ďA Song of Peace.Ē He then took position by the Prime Ministerís car, waited for his opportunity, and fired three shots, two of which hit his target.

The Prime Ministerís security detail rushed the wounded leader to the hospital, but it was too late. Yitzhak Rabin died that night.

Two days later, on November 6, when the Prime Minister was laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, I, and most everyone I knew, found ourselves glued to the television. Though we knew it was true, still, none of us could actually believe it.

I will never forget those two days. By the actions of a single evil person, our world lost one of the last best hopes in our lifetime for Middle East peace, and I lost one of my most beloved personal heroes. The fact that we are so much farther away from true peace today than we were on the eve of his death twenty-two years ago is a tragic source of endless sorrow. At the same time, we Jews donít give up easily. No matter how discouraged we may become at times, when foundational principles such as the imperative for peace are at stake, we rethink, regroup, and find new hope.

May it be Godís will that Yitzhak Rabinís vision of peace will be realized in the not too distant future. And if members of the current generations of leadership fail to achieve that dream, may the next generation stand taller than we. Yes, we will do what we can, but should we fall short, may we maintain faith that the next generation will continue on and achieve that which we ourselves are unable.

It is no accident that Nancy chose the middle name that we did for our fourth child. Ariís full name, Ari Yitzhak Dubin, is one of hope and perseverance. May he, and all in his generation, live up to the responsibility that comes with such a name, and may we never give up until peace is finally announced across the land.

LíShalom (ďIn PeaceĒ),
Rabbi Dubin

Selected Sermons:

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Last updated: October 12, 2017