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OUR CLERGY

Our community is blessed to have incredible clergy.  Get to know them each a little better.

Email Rabbi Rank

516-938-8390, ext. 105

Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank (we call him "Rabbi" or "Rafi") was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended the University of Minnesota, earning a BA in Hebrew in 1976. He received an MA and Rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1981. Before coming to Midway Jewish Center, Syosset, NY (1999), he was the spiritual leader of two other congregations: Congregation Shomrei Emunah of Montclair, New Jersey  (1981-1987) and Temple Beth Ahm of Springfield, New Jersey (1987-1999). During his eighteen years in New Jersey, he sat on the national board of  MERCAZ--the Movement to Reaffirm Conservative Zionism and in October of 1994, he became President of the RANJ.

Rabbi Rank chaired the 1994 and 1995 international conventions of the Rabbinical Assembly and served as president of the international Rabbinical Assembly in 2004-06. He is coeditor of the newly revised Rabbi's Manual for the Rabbinical Assembly, Moreh Derekh, and has since published much Torah commentary on the Internet in the form of his MJCyberShul.

He is married to the former Ellen Simson of Springfield, NJ, also a Jewish educator, author, and educational consultant. Rabbi Rank and Ellen are very proud of their children--Rami & Lauren;  Shuli; and Jonah & Raysh.  Rabbi Rafi & Ellen Rank have three grandchildren:  Nathan, Aiden and Ariana.  

Click here to visit Rabbi Rank's blog.

Email Rabbi Levenson

516-938-8390, ext. 106

Rabbi Dr. Joel Levenson has a powerful ability to build and grow a community.  With his warm and caring manner, he knows how to engage each member and create meaningful experiences that draw them in to synagogue life. He serves a wide spectrum of populations handling pastoral needs as well as dynamic programs for diverse populations including young families, teens, preschool, and empty nesters.  

Rabbi Levenson earned a doctorate in Pastoral Care & Counseling from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received a Masters Degree in Jewish Education. He earned a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, OH with degrees in Psychology and Political science, with studies abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Originally from Akron, OH, in 1991 he served as International President of United Synagogue (USY). 

He delivered the Opening Prayer for the United States House of Representatives, the 112th Congress, Second Session.  He is an alumnus of the Jewish Leaders Program, an initiative of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.   He serves on the Board of the Long Island Board of Rabbis.  In addition, he enjoys time each summer at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, a sleepover camp, serving in many capacities that reflect his love of fun-based education and inspiration. 

Rabbi Dr. Levenson is married to Leora Cohen of Livingston, NJ a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania & Gratz College Joint Program in Social Work and Jewish Communal Services. They have been blessed with three beautiful children:  Shir, Sam, and Gideon.  

Cantor Adam Frei is Midway Jewish Center's Hazzan, a position he assumed in September 2010. For the previous 11 years, Cantor Frei served at the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Forest Hills, New York.  Prior to that, Cantor Frei served the Wantagh Jewish Center of Wantagh, New York, B'nai Israel of Elmont, New York and B'nai Chaim of Branchville,Connecticut.  Additionally, Cantor Frei served as a Cantor-in-Residence for shuls in Gainesville and Aventura-Turnberry, Florida.  Cantor Frei performed concerts at the Concord Hotel, the Jewish Museum, and the Knitting Factory with fellow artists Pete Seeger and Lawrence Avery. Cantor Frei also performed as a guest artist with Opera Aegean and the CoOPERAtive opera ensemble.

Cantor Frei received a Masters of Sacred Music and a Diploma of Hazzanut from the  H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in May 1999.  He received his
Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied voice with Martha Lipton and Giorgio Tozzi.

Rabbi Emeritus Ezra Finkelstein served as Rabbi of the Midway Jewish Center 1976-1999. Ezra "Mike" Finkelstein was born to Carmel and Louis Finkelstein in the city of New York. His early education was in the Public School of New York, including Bronx High School of Science. Ezra enlisted in the United States Army in 1944, studied at New York University until placed on active service in April 1945. He served for a year in the Army of Occupation in Japan. Returning to civilian life Ezra studied at Columbia University as an undergraduate in Columbia College, and then doing graduate work in the School of International Affairs, where he received a Masters in International Affairs in 1952.

Married to Elaine Samuels, in 1952 Ezra began his life in Jewish communal service with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and then as a Fund raiser for the United Jewish Appeal.

Deciding to enter the Rabbinate, Ezra studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary from 1956 -1961, when he was ordained and received as Master in Hebrew Literature. Beginning service as a Rabbi, Ezra served as Assistant to Rabbi A.M. Heller at the Flatbush Jewish Center for two years before assuming the pulpit of Town and village Synagogue in Manhattan. After serving the congregation for three years, he was elected to be Rabbi of the Whitestone Hebrew Center in Queens where his three children attended the Solomon Schechter School. In the decade he served in Queens, Rabbi Finkelstein was involved in communal affairs, particularly during the teachers strike and the issue of housing in Queens. He also spent summers working with the Ramah Camps and the United Synagogue Youth programs.

Following the death of Rabbi Bernard Rubenstein, Midway Jewish Center elected Ezra to be its spiritual leader. During the twenty three years that he served in that capacity he had a major role in the transforming of the congregation into an egalitarian one. Ezra was also involved in the activities of the Interfaith Clergy Council of Syosset and in participating in Brotherhood Services. For the years of work as a pulpit Rabbi Ezra was honored by his congregation, the Israel Bond Organization, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Seminary also bestowed on him an Honorary Doctorate in 1996 for his 25 years of service to the Jewish People. Rabbi Finkelstein retired from active service and from the Midway Jewish Center in June 1999.

Fri, November 16 2018 8 Kislev 5779