Rabbi Evan Schultz feels blessed to be a part of the B’nai Israel community, partnering with congregants to create and foster rich, meaningful, creative, and dynamic Jewish experiences and relationships here in Greater Bridgeport.
“Congregation B’nai Israel really feels like home. Our community is warm, creative, alive, thoughtful and engaged. You can be yourself here, while at the same time you can discover new aspects of yourself and your Jewish identity. Our people are what make B’nai Israel such a strong, special community. I love being a rabbi at B’nai Israel and a member of this community. My family loves the Shabbat morning Tot Shabbat, the community worship experiences and the many opportunities for thoughtful learning. Everyone has a voice in this community, and together we engage to create a space where all feel welcome and excited about Jewish life in Greater Bridgeport.”
Rabbi Schultz is working hard to sustain and expand that community, working with the Temple’s youth groups, promoting community activism and fostering a program for area Jews in their 20s and 30s. He has instituted a new, more casual Shabbat morning service – the Rabbi’s Table and created a video series in which congregants reflect on the personal meanings of prayers.
“We want the experience for our members here to be meaningful and thoughtful, whether it’s attending a class, participating in a community conversation, praying at services or volunteering with our social action committee. We want that experience to matter to the individual and have a positive impact on the world around us.”
Rabbi Schultz was ordained in 2012 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was selected as a Bonnie and Daniel Tisch Fellow, joining with leading scholars, professors and like-minded students to discuss the key issues facing American synagogues and Jewish communities. Evan also served as student rabbi of B’nai Israel Synagogue in High Point, N.C., and led monthly Shabbat Unplugged services at Shaaray Tefila in New York City, helping grow the community of young professionals in a lively band.
Prior to attending HUC-JIR, Evan piloted a full-time teacher program at Central Synagogue, spent a year volunteering in Izmir, Turkey, with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and worked as a Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at MIT Hillel.
Born in Queens, N.Y., Rabbi Schultz was raised in various cities in the Northeast, most notably Boston. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2001 with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a philosophy minor.
Evan is married to Jenny and is the proud dad of sons Koby and Elie. He is an avid runner, guitar player, reader and traveler.
He hopes your travels will lead you to Congregation B’nai Israel.