Thursday, February 20, 2020

Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich will be the scholar-in-residence for the eighth Dr. George S. Rotter Memorial Shabbaton at Congregation Shaya Ahavat Torah in Parsippany, June 14-15. The shabbaton will begin on Friday, June 14, with Shabbat services at 6:30 p.m. followed by a sumptuous Shabbat dinner at 7:30 p.m. Following dinner, Rabbi Mendelevich will give his keynote presentation, “Confessions of a Jewish Hijacker.”

The shabbaton continues on Saturday, June 15, with services at 9 a.m. Rabbi Mendelevich will again address the congregation following a deluxe kiddish, speaking of “Tasting and Embracing Freedom: From Prisoner for Zion to Citizen of Zion World.”

Rabbi Mendelevich is a Jewish refusenik from the former Soviet Union, who is now living in Jerusalem. He gained fame for his adherence to Judaism and public attempts to emigrate to Israel at a time when it was considered to be against the law in the USSR. His riveting story relates how he survived 11 years in the Gulag. During his imprisonment, he resisted attempts to squash his body and soul while deepening his faith and love for Israel. Worldwide pressure by the Soviet Jewry movement finally gained his release to Israel. He married to become the father of seven, obtained rabbinical ordination and happily teaches Torah in Jerusalem.

Congregation Shaya Ahavat Torah is located at 113 Hawkins Ave in Parsippany, New Jersey, and has expanded its community eruv to include the nearby Holiday Inn and the Ramada Inn. The deadline for shabbaton reservations is June 3. For more information, contact Naomi Rotter at [email protected] or Rabbi Shalom Lubin at 973-896-6577.