Shalom Rabbi Epstein!
 

Meet Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, the Jewish Federation's Community Scholar in Residence. This new role in the Jewish Federation family serves to increase Jewish content for the Federation and our family of agencies, in line with our mission to enhance Jewish life. 

Rabbi Epstein is the former senior rabbi at Congregation Sons of Israel in Cherry Hill, where he spent the last 21 years of his career. During the past two decades, Rabbi Epstein has established relationships with the organized Jewish community, the local police force, hospital leadership, and even the Governor's office, serving on the New Jersey Holocaust Commission for many years. 


 

Shabbat Table Talk

By Rabbi Ephraim Epstein

  • People love to be the bearer of good news. At home, at the office, on Zoom, or wherever we are; when we have good news to share, we like to do so. Most of the time people meet our good news with war...

  • Did you ever find yourself in an exciting space and lose your footing? You meet your favorite professional athlete or actor, and you simply go numb and forget all the things you would have wanted t...

  • One of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is the social isolation it causes, especially for the elderly and more vulnerable populations who need to cloister themselves away from even close fam...

  • You are out with your close friend and confidante, and you are seeking advice and company, but she is MIA. She is not on her phone; she just is not hearing you. She is responding to you but you reco...

  • If you were starting up a synagogue and wanted to hire a rabbi, what would be some of the characteristics you would look for? Certainly, you would seek a person with a stellar Jewish education, it ...

  • When we are younger, we behave as if we will live forever. When we get older and reckon with our mortality, we approach time a lot more carefully and appreciate the preciousness of life. Death is s...

  • Part of daily life is interacting with people. We interact by phone, email, text, and in person. Hopefully, we choose our words carefully before we share them so that they are well-received. But, d...

  • How often have you heard the phrase, “We had a falling out, we are no longer in touch?” I’m not referring to losing touch or growing apart. Rather, I am writing about family members or friend...

  • Upon departing the house of Laban, our father Jacob will encounter his hateful brother Esau.

    One might think that after twenty years Esau would accept that he did not receive the blessings from Is...

  • In Parshat Vayetzei we read of Jacob’s arrival from his home in Beer Sheva to Charan where his Uncle Laban lives. It is there that he will marry Rachel and Leah; and they will give birth to the t...
  • PARENTING 101

    We need a license to drive, teach, become a doctor, and so much more. We understand that pursuits such as these require training and that without the proper education, it would make ...

  • It’s not always easy to do the right thing. So, we work on ourselves, become determined and then go for it. We then feel good about our decision and then…. sometimes despite our best intentions...

  • From Monday evening, September 27, at sunset until Wednesday night, September 29, when the stars come out, we celebrate the final holiday of this glorious Holiday Season entitled Shemini Atzeret ...

Words of Wisdom

A weekly video series from Rabbi Ephraim Epstein

Tu B'Shvat: Celebrating the New Year of the Trees

Learn about traditions, values, and rituals from our Community Scholar in Residence. Rabbi Epstein can also serve as a resource for everyday issues, offering perspective with a Jewish lens. He will answer all questions submitted by community members, and questions will remain anonymous unless permission is provided to share with the larger community. Highlight this as a resource that he provides to the entire community as our Community Scholar in Residence.

 

Have a question on your mind about Jewish culture or everyday life from a Jewish perspective? Submit it to our Community Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Ephraim Epstein: AsktheScholar@jfedsnj.org

 

Check back soon for new Q&As!

  • Q: HaShem gave us the ability to exercise freedom of will – making our own choices. Why, then, did he also give us guilt? Why, if one is committed to a decision (small or great), having implement...

  • Q: My brother and his wife are moving into a new home. Aside from hanging a mezuzah, are there any other rituals for a Jewish "house-warming"?

    A: Mazel Tov on the new home! Indeed, affixing a Me...

  • Q: Are there any Jewish rituals for the winter solstice?

    A: Since the Jewish calendar and festivals are primarily based on the Lunar Calendar, and the solstice is related to the sun, there is no ...

  • Q: What types of spices (Havdalah) should be used for Havdalah?

    A: Smelling sweet spices after Shabbat concludes serves to strengthen our souls that feel diminished after Shabbat goes away.

    The g...