On Sunday, April 29, at their 46th Anniversary Dinner, the Young Israel of Scarsdale will honor Jordana and Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern for 18 years of serving the Young Israel of Scarsdale (YIS) community with dedication, love and inspirational leadership.
“It is a very humbling and reflective experience,” said Rabbi Morgenstern. “We have been in this community for 18 years, and have watched our family grow up here. Being honored has given us a chance to reflect back over this time period.”
When asked about his hopes for the future of YIS, Rabbi Morgenstern stated, “I hope we all continue to grow and that everyone feels they have a place in their community regardless of spectrum of Orthodoxy and that everyone feels they have a place of respect and can appreciate the diversity of our community.”
Rabbi Morgenstern grew up in Monsey, New York. After graduating from MTA, Rabbi Morgenstern attended Yeshiva University, earning a BA in economics in 1999. Rabbi Morgenstern began his rabbinic studies at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of YU and received semicha in 2002, from Beit Midrash LeTalmud, an affiliate of the Lander College in Queens.
In a statement to their community, YIS described Rabbi Jonathan and Jordana Morgenstern as “inspirational leaders of the Young Israel of Scarsdale community for the past 18 years.” The Morgensterns arrived in Scarsdale in 2000, as he became the first YIS rabbinic intern. After two years, he became the synagogue’s first assistant rabbi, a position that he held until 2008, when he was promoted to senior rabbi, following the tragic death of his mentor, Rabbi Jacob Rubenstein, z”l. Before becoming the full-time rabbi, Rabbi Morgenstern taught Judaic studies for seven years at Westchester Hebrew High School, and served as the school’s spiritual/mental health counselor, hockey coach and softball coach. Rabbi Morgenstern then served as dean of students for two years at Westchester Day School.
Jordana grew up in Teaneck. After graduating from the Ramaz Upper School, she studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Israel, Stern College for Women and Columbia University School of Nursing. She is an active member in the Young Israel of Scarsdale and Westchester Day School communities. Jordana, along with other community members, frequently cooks and delivers food for people who are ill, new parents and new shul members.
The Rabbi and Jordana, married in 1998, are devoted parents to their four children: Simon, Ayden, Ella and Jacob.
“We are putting together a video as a tribute to the Morgensterns. This video will include interviews from colleagues, members of our community and friends,” explained Dana Jason, one the dinner chairs. “We are also having a performance by the comedian Modi.”
Jason added, “We are hoping that guests of the dinner will walk away with a feeling of pride in our rabbi and rebbetzin and have the opportunity to reflect on their 18 years of serving our community with inspirational leadership.”
For more information about the dinner, please visit the Young Israel of Scarsdale website at www.yisny.org.
By Judy Berger