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KI Board of Trustees Approves KI’s Next Rabbi

January 20, 2022

KI Board of Trustees Approves KI’s Next Rabbi

Dear Congregants:

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, the KI Board of Trustees overwhelmingly approved the recommendation of the Rabbinic Search Committee to offer the position of KI’s next rabbi to Rabbi Benjamin David, effective July 1, 2022.

This is indeed an historic moment in the life of our congregation as we welcome Rabbi David and also honor our beloved Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D., who will officially retire from KI after 21 years of distinguished service, and will be honored with the title of KI Rabbi Emeritus.

Rabbi David currently serves as rabbi at Adath Emanu-El in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, where he has been an inspiring leader for the past ten years. Prior to his rabbinate there, he served for seven years as Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Roslyn Heights, NY.

A native of Cherry Hill, where his father served as Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel, Rabbi David is a Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Muhlenberg College, majoring in English Literature. Upon graduation, he entered Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion where he received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters (2003) and was ordained in 2004.

During his tenure at Adath Emanu-El, Rabbi David formed meaningful relationships with his congregants, from the very young to seniors. He developed engaging programs, promoting real-world application of Jewish ideas. He explored and instituted diverse formal and informal worship opportunities, promoted his deep commitment to many Social Justice initiatives and expanded Israel engagement through text, dialogue and experience. Rabbi David has taught lifelong learning about contemporary issues, from race to gender to Jewish understandings of identity and patriotism, revitalized the post-Bnei Mitzvah program through community activity, advocacy and interfaith conversations and revitalized the adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation programs.

KI’s Search Committee was impressed with Rabbi David’s commitment to teaching and learning, building relationships and engaging those across a spectrum of ages and stages in meaningful Jewish life. Rabbi David is eager to join our community and is excited to partner with the professional and lay leadership and the entire KI membership, building on and supporting our outstanding work, as we journey toward the future together.

Rabbi David and his wife Lisa, Director of URJ Camp Harlam, have three children, Noa, Elijah and Sam, and they plan to relocate to our community and happily dwell among us.

Many thanks to our Search Committee members, staff and congregants who supported our efforts over these last seven months (click here for a full scope of work report). We appreciate their diligence, commitment and understanding of this sacred work that brought us to this joyous moment.

There will be small and large group opportunities, particularly over the summer, for our members to meet our next rabbi as we begin to connect and move ahead together from strength to strength.

Janice Schwartz-Donahue
KI President and Search Committee Co-Chair
Karen Sirota
KI Past President and Search Committee Co-Chair

Find for yourself a rabbi, acquire for yourself a friend…
Pirkei Avot 1:6