As Rabbi of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, Rabbi Robert Scheinberg has steered a century-old community through a period of unprecedented growth and revival.
Rabbi Scheinberg is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary and recipient of the Wexner Fellowship. An engaging teacher and speaker and an accomplished musician, he previously served congregations in Massachusetts and Alabama.
Rabbi Scheinberg is also a scholar in the field of Jewish liturgy, receiving his Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2020. He served on the editorial committees for the prayerbooks for Conservative Judaism, Mahzor Lev Shalem (2010) and Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals (2016) and teaches Liturgy to students at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Academy for Jewish Religion. He has held various leadership positions with the Rabbinical Assembly locally and nationally, including serving on the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. He currently serves as the Rabbi-In-Residence at the Academy for Jewish Religion.
Rabbi Scheinberg is the immediate past Chair of the Hoboken Clergy Coalition and is a founding trustee of the Hudson County Brotherhood/Sisterhood Association. He holds leadership positions with the Hoboken Shelter, the North Jersey Board of Rabbis, and the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, among other local and national organizations.
In 2006, Rabbi Scheinberg served on the New Jersey Legislature's Death Penalty Study Commission, which set the stage for the abolition of capital punishment in New Jersey.
Rabbi Scheinberg often speaks to congregations and organizations on topics including Jewish liturgy and prayer, the prayerbooks of Conservative Judaism, and the music of the synagogue, in addition to other general topics in Jewish studies and Jewish communal life today. Contact him to inquire about bringing him to your community.
Rabbi Scheinberg lives in Hoboken with his wife, Rabbi Naomi Kalish, and their three daughters. His writings and music can be found at www.rabbischeinberg.com.
Let’s start by taking a vote on a very important issue. We are voting on the correct way to refer collectively to these days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Option #1 is to refer to them as the “High Holidays” - 2 words. Option #2 is to refer to them as the “High Holy Days” - 3 words. <VOTE> There are various ways to address this question. You can do a Google search and you find that “High Holidays” - 2 words - has 1 million 600 thousand hits, whereas ‘High Holy Days’ - with 3 words - has a paltry 692,000 hits. So the people have spoken: “High Holidays” with two words is vastly more popular than “High Holy Days” with 3 words. And yet -- “the people” are completely wrong. (In my humble but correct opinion.) High Holy Days is correct - and I will show you why. The Hebrew words upon which this expression is based are Yamim Nora’im -- often translated as “Days of Awe,” because “ nora ’’ is a Hebrew word for “awe.” Yamim is “days.” If your preferred phase is “High
Every year shortly before Rosh HaShanah, there’s an Israeli music video that I like to watch, which presents a thoughtful metaphor about our interpersonal and spiritual goals at this time of year. The brief video set to the music of Israeli musician Evyatar Banai, shows us a young man who is carrying a full length mirror under his arm. We see that that mirror has a number of dots on it - some of which are black, and some of which are white, in neat, orderly rows. While he is carrying this mirror through a beautiful Israeli wilderness trail, ‘e see some scenes in his life that are presented as flashbacks, and we also see how this mirror came to have all these dots painted on it. We see him talking with a friend in a way that makes a third person feel excluded. And then we see a brief scene of him, ostensibly at home, dipping his brush into a container of black paint, and painting a new black dot on the glass mirror. Then we see a scene of him visiting an elderly woman, apparently a
Last November, the record was set in Israel for the most expensive document ever to be sold at auction in Israel. The story of that document starts nearly 100 years ago. In 1922, Albert Einstein had recently learned that he had won the Nobel Prize. He had a previously scheduled lecture in Tokyo, so in Tokyo he was receiving numerous letters and telegrams congratulating him on winning the Nobel Prize. Someone had sent him a package, so a bellboy from the hotel came up to deliver the package to Einstein, who looked in his pocket to find some change to give as a tip to the bellboy. But he didn’t have any. So he told the bellboy instead: “Let me write you a note. Maybe someday it will become more valuable than a regular tip. And if not, then well I’m just giving you some good advice from my experience.” So he wrote, in German, on the Japanese hotel stationery, these words: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessn