Young Israel of Phoenix searches for new rabbi

Young Israel of Phoenix is searching for a new permanent spiritual leader after its previous rabbi resigned. 

Rabbi Ari Mandel worked as Young Israel’s head rabbi since February 2018 — and its assistant rabbi since 2015 — and turned in his resignation this summer for personal reasons, according to the shul’s president, David Zuckerman. Zuckerman announced Mandel’s departure in a July newsletter. 

In addition to working as a rabbi at Young Israel, Mandel also served as a rabbi at Shaarei Tzedek, and as a substitute teacher at both Torah Day School of Phoenix and Phoenix Hebrew Academy. 

In the electronic newsletter sent out to Young Israel members to announce the resignation, Zuckerman wished Mandel well. “I want to express gratitude for his service on behalf of myself, the board and the community. He remains a friend and we hope to see him and his family thrive.”

The newsletter also introduced Rabbi Mitch Goldstein, the director of development for Torah Day School of Phoenix, as the first guest rabbi to take over responsibilities until a new

permanent spiritual leader is found.

As of press time, Mandel is still listed as Young Israel’s rabbi

on its website.

Prior to Mandel, Rabbi Yossi Bryski was the head rabbi of Young Israel of Phoenix. He began serving the congregation as its rabbi in 2014. 

The Orthodox congregation was founded in 1993 and located at Maryland Avenue and Seventh Street. After more than 20 years in that location, the shul moved in 2014 to its current location at 6232 N. Seventh St. 

Since Mandel’s departure, Zuckerman has been bringing in local rabbis to assist with services as the board searches for a new rabbi. 

Through more newsletters, the administration has been able to keep in touch with its congregants about the situation. 

“We are actively seeking a rabbi, but will be taking as much time as needed to find the best candidate for our community, and to give our full membership the opportunity to have input in this process,” an August newsletter said. 

Another newsletter communicated Zuckerman’s optimism about the future of Young Israel of Phoenix and its

search for a rabbi. 

Goldstein will be Young Israel’s spiritual leader for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah services.

Mandel, Zuckerman and other shul leadership did not respond to requests for an interview. JN

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