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.
I began my sermon with a brief description of my trip to Pittsburgh this January to spend a shabbat filling in for Rabbi Jonathan Perlman at the New Light Congregation, which lost 3 congregants in the terrible Tree of Life massacre. (If you are curious why I have chosen the spelling ‘antisemitism’ (uncapitalized and without a hyphen), see here. ) ….Rabbi Perlman’s community, called New Light, used to have its own building, but a few years ago they sold their building and began to rent space from the Tree of Life synagogue. Rabbi Perlman says he had never heard live gunfire before, but the moment he heard the sound, he knew what it was and that he had to hide and get others into hiding. He was able to hustle the other three people with him at the front of the room into a safe area, an electrical storage closet behind the wall where the aron kodesh, holy ark is. So in that storage closet, which was pitch-black because they couldn’t find the light switch -- were four people: R
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
The Hebrew and Yiddish writer and Zionist leader Shmaryahu Levin would tell a story of a transformative incident that took place when he was age 10, in Eastern Europe. He received a gift of his very own Shofar. So as Rosh HaShanah approached, he was so excited to practice blowing the Shofar. But try as he could, he just couldn’t get any sound out of it at all. Each day, during the month of Elul leading up to Rosh HaShanah, he would spend at least an hour - holding his mouth in various positions, making various kinds of rude vibrating noises with his lips, trying to produce any sound with the Shofar. But to no avail. The day before Rosh HaShanah, as he was practicing outside his home, a Russian farmer came by. “What’s that?” So he explained it, and the farmer said, “Can I try?” and he took the Shofar, held it up to his lips - and out came a Tekiah Gedolah that would be the envy of any Shofar-blower in the world. And young Shmaryahu raced back to his teacher and choking back tea