by the Forward

Michael Knopf

Temple Beth-El | Richmond, Virginia | 32 years old

Rabbi Knopf has been our religious leader at Temple Beth El for just six months and Judaism is COOL! Inspiring sermons about Moses and Bruce Springsteen; reading the Megillah at a Purim party that featured dancing to 1980s music; the band Mensch performing live music at Friday night services; dress-down Shabbat services; toys in the sanctuary for the little ones to play with — Rabbi Knopf is working hard to expand our congregation and to make Judaism welcome to all. He will soon be officiating the first marriage of a same sex couple in our temple’s history. His number one priority is to make our temple most welcoming to interfaith couples, and has expanded what a non-Jewish partner may do in the sanctuary during their children’s b’nai mitzvah. He is the ultimate community leader. In just half a year, he has transformed Temple Beth El. We know the best is yet to come.

— Michael Edelstein + 21 other nominations

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