About Us | Congregation Beth Israel

About Us

Mission Statement

Congregation Beth Israel, also known as CBI, is an egalitarian community that is spiritually inclined, soulfully joyful, communally oriented, intellectually geared, and where music, prayer, and song play a big part.

We are a community dedicated to bringing goodness and kindness into the world by harnessing our individual and collective energies and being accountable to each other and humanity. Our goal is to inspire each individual to be a more intentional and compassionate human being using the tools Judaism has to offer.

We believe that Judaism means different things to different people, and we aim to foster a culture that is post-denominational, and that fits everyone’s specific life story. We are a community that delves deeply into the wisdom of classical Judaism but also encourages utilizing other ecumenical paths to catalyze our Jewish spiritual journeys.

Most importantly, we’re a community where everyone is welcome and included, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or belief system.

About Our Rabbi

Rabbi Abe Lebovic

Rabbi Abe Lebovic joined Congregation Beth Israel in August of 2018. Prior to CBI, he was the Ritual Director at Park Avenue Synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for five years, where he did everything from leading daily prayer and Shiva services to teaching adult education. He also taught the Derekh Torah course at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the 92Y during this period.

Rabbi Lebovic has the unique experience of growing up and being educated in the Orthodox/Hassidic world of intense Jewish scholarship and observance, and also working in the more liberal denominations of Conservative, Reform, and Renewal Judaism. He tries to bring that eclectic spirit to his pulpit and interactions with other Jews and believes that all are essentially trying to get to the same place, but that each of us do it at their own pace. He tries to meet each person where they are, and to assist them in their individual spiritual quest.

He started his Jewish studies very early in his life and studied many of the Jewish Classic texts intensely into his mid-twenties. Concurrently and subsequently, he also studied for a B.A. in Psychology and Judaic studies at Touro College (2004) and received an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University in 2006. He has worked in journalism for several national publications, such as Fast Company and Inc., and also did PR and marketing for Jewish National Fund.

He has traveled widely in various Jewish leadership roles to assist Jewish communities (some highlights are Russia; Australia; England; and Slovakia), and spent two summers visiting Jewish inmates in prisons across the United States for the Aleph Institute.

Rabbi Lebovic studied most of his Rabbinical studies at Machon L’Smicha in Melbourne, Australia, and received his ordination and Smicha from the Rabbinical Academy of Mesifta Adas Wolkowisk in NY. He is a member of the OHALAH Association of Rabbis, the New York Board of Rabbis, and the Long Island Board of Rabbis.

Rabbi Abe also studied acting and improv at several leading schools in NY, including Terry Knickerbocker Studio, The PIT, and Gotham City Improv, and was the lead actor in a short film (Goyta) that was part of the short film selection at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. He still enjoys the visceral art of acting and performing.

Rabbi Abe is a big proponent of mental health, has an MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and is an LMSW in NY, NJ, and PA.

Outside his professional rabbinical duties, Rabbi Abe enjoys playing guitar and tennis, biking, and exploring new neighborhoods and cultures.

Rabbi Abe is married to his dear wife, Allie Wahrman, a Special Education teacher at The Shefa School. They live in Harlem, NY.

Contact Rabbi Abe by email:  rabbi@cbicg.org

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