by the Forward

Shmuly Yanklowitz

Valley Beit Midrash | Phoenix, Arizona | 34 years old

As one of Rabbi Yanklowitz’s regular students, I have found a home for Jewish learning in my post-retirement years that I never thought existed. All my previous attempts at learning in the Jewish community pale by comparison. The single greatest lesson I have learned is something he says often: We need to give more to the world than we take. He spends each day trying to figure out how he can give more than he has received. His is a life of deeds as much as it is of creed. He has quietly worked to advocate for people in need and distress, he has donated a kidney to a stranger, he and his wife have become foster parents to a mixed-race baby born to a drug dependent mother, he has addressed problems facing both legal and illegal immigrants, those in prison treated unfairly, the homeless, the hungry and so much more. Rabbi Shmuly’s energy never diminishes and his commitment to doing what is right for the least among us has made me a better person. I have come to know countless rabbis of all streams of Judaism. Many have been inspirational but none has had a more profound impact on my life than Rabbi Shmuly. He is the very definition of the word tzaddik. He inspires me each and every day.

— Stuart Turgel

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