by the Forward

Stuart Weinblatt

Congregation B’nai Tzedek | Potomac, Maryland | 63 years old

It is often difficult to guide young families toward participation in a congregation, other than to enroll their children in preschool or religious school. Rabbi Weinblatt has a special talent for touching this population. I have watched how he attracted my intellectual, skeptical Israeli son-in-law into becoming an active member by initially offering something that he could relate to — breakfast meetings for young professionals to discuss Jewish business ethics. After that, it was easy to convince my daughter and her husband to attend a family retreat where prayer, Torah study and discussion were a natural part of the weekend. My daughter commented to the rabbi, “What did you do to my husband?” She saw her reluctant husband bonding with other young fathers, vigorously arguing a point in the Talmud and praying fervently. Prior to that, Rabbi Weinblatt was a frequent presence as we watched my husband die of a brain tumor and my son die two months later of a connective tissue disorder. I cannot imagine what those years would have been like without him. He is a rare rabbi who is able to blend the Jewish elements of secular life with the spiritual aspects that are crucial to me and my family.

— Iris Myles

+ 9 other nominations

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