Friedman to be installed Friday as Temple Israel senior rabbi
Published 8:39 am, Thursday, September 11, 2014
Rabbi Michael S. Friedman will be installed as the senior rabbi of Temple Israel on Friday during evening services.
Friedman has been at the 64-year-old Reform congregation since July 1, but an official welcome and celebration are planned this weekend.
Services will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the synagogue, 14 Coleytown Road, followed by a festive oneg. Other weekend events include an adult Jewish learning event, featuring novelist Liana Finck at 10 a.m. Sunday, and Temple Israel's annual BBQ from 11 a.m. to p.m.
Before joining Temple Israel, Friedman was associate rabbi at Central Synagogue, in New York City, one of the largest Jewish congregations in North America. Peter J. Rubinstein, rabbi emeritus of Central Synagogue, will participate in Friedman's installation, as will Rabbi Robert J. Orkand, the rabbi emeritus of Temple Israel.
Friedman succeeds Orkand, who retired as senior rabbi after 30 years of service.
"It is with great enthusiasm and delight that I accept the position of senior rabbi of Temple Israel," Friedman said in a statement issued by Temple Israel. "I am honored to be invited to serve a community that has demonstrated such warmth, sophistication, insight and deep love of its synagogue. It is a congregation with a great future. I look forward to working with the staff and lay leadership to help Temple Israel become the very best that it can be."
Friedman graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University and began his career as a rabbinic intern at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y. After he received his ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2004, he served as director of junior and senior high school programs for the Union for Reform Judaism and then as assistant rabbi at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, N.J.
"We are thrilled that Rabbi Friedman has chosen to join us and help write an exciting, next chapter in the long and respected history of our Temple," Steven Phillips, president of Temple Israel, said in the congregation's statement. "In a few short months, as he and much of the congregation have gotten to know one another, he has already made a significant mark on the life of our synagogue."
Friedman is adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College. He is also a long-time participant in Running Rabbis, a group that uses distance running to promote social causes. For the past two years, he has guided visually impaired runners in the New York City Marathon.
Friedman and his wife Haley, a costume designer and fashion stylist for film, theater and advertising, have relocated from New York City to Weston.