About the rabbi....
Rabbi Baruch Melman has been our Spiritual Leader since 2007.
As Rabbi, as well as Hazzan, he leads the weekly Shabbat daavening, with heartfelt, uplifting and inspiring melodies.
Rabbi Melman, a Jewish educator prior to his pulpit career, is also the Principal of the Hebrew School, and works intensively with our B'nai Mitzvah age children and our post B'nai Mitzvah teens.
He teaches classes in Intro to Judaism, Chumash, Bible, Mishna, Talmud, Tefillah, Halacha and Hebrew reading.
Our Rabbi also writes a weekly commentary on the Torah portion, exploring nuances in text and spiritual themes in depth, which can be found in his blog.
Rabbi Melman received semicha (rabbinic ordination) in 1998 from The Metivta/The Institute of Traditional Judaism, a division of UTJ, based in Teaneck, N.J., where he studied Talmud, Bible, Rabbinic commentaries, Midrash, Shulchan Aruch, homiletics and pastoral psychology.
He also studied personally under Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach for 5 years at his Carlebach Institute's Yeshiva Bayit Chadash, and also joined him in about 300 concerts on the violin and mandolin over a nine year period.
His grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Melman, z"l, received smicha at Mir and taught in Slobodka. He came to the US in 1914, at age 24, and became a leader of NYC's Jewish community in the interwar years.
His late father, I.J. Melman, z"l, was an electronics engineer, a founding member of the IEEE, and pioneered many of the electronic and technological advances of the mid 20th century, and was an advisor and mentor to young entrepreneurs through the end of the century.
Rabbi Melman credits his beloved late mother, Esther Melman, z"l, for his love of the Hebrew language. She was a scholar of classical Hebrew literature and spent fifty years in the field of Jewish education, and was publicly recognized for her achievements, receiving the first Keter Torah Award from Boston's Bureau of Jewish Education. She taught her love of Hebrew and Israel to thousands spanning several generations. At age 8, she was honored with a visit to her classroom by the renowned Hebrew poet and writer Hayyim Nachman Bialik, for her Hebrew poem which won top prize.
Rabbi Melman received his Master's in Jewish Education at Boston's Hebrew College and received his BA from Brandeis University with a double concentration in Intellectual History where he studied under the legendary Frank Manuel, and NEJS (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies) where he studied closely under Michael Fishbane.
Rabbi Melman studied at Pardes Institute in Jerusalem after his Brandeis undergraduate studies, deepening his knowledge of and his love for Jerusalem and Israel. He also participated in Young Judaea's One Year Program, which is under the sponsorship of Hadassah, and spent time working in agriculture and plastics at Kibbutz Gesher Haziv.
Rabbi Melman developed an early enthusiasm for holistic celebratory Jewish living while as a camper at Camp Ramah in New England and spent several years on staff at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. He credits Ramah with teaching him love of prayer, Torah cantillation, Jewish/Israeli song and Hebrew language skills. Rabbi Melman also recommends Camp Ramah of the Poconos and Pinemere Camp to his congregation.
Rabbi Melman has two daughters. He served two previous congregations in Oregon and upstate New York prior to coming to the Poconos.