New Rabbi at Chabad Lubavitch of Utah Grew Up in SLC
Jews in Utah and around the world are celebrating Chanukah this week, and one synagogue in Salt Lake City is also welcoming a new rabbi with a familiar name.
Rabbi Benny Zippel of the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue in Salt Lake intoned a prayer before the lighting of the menorah at Utah’s state capitol on Tuesday. Many of the arrangements for the event were made by his 23-year-old son, Rabbi Avremi Zippel.
The Zippels have lived in Utah for more than two decades. Avremi finds himself in the rare position of being a rabbi who grew up in the state.
“I didn’t have very many Jewish friends growing up, definitely not ones who were my age," Zippel tells KUER. "But it definitely came along together with a strong sense of purpose, feeling like we were here for a reason.”
AvremiZippel was home-schooled by his parents in Salt Lake City. He attended a yeshiva high school in Chicago as he got older, then studied in England and New York. But he says the most important lessons were learned here at home.
Zippel says, “More than the actual studies, I think growing up in the house of a rabbi and watching my father, the rabbi, interact with the community, and to observe from a first-hand standpoint the amazing job he does with people, I think that’s what inspired me and gave me the oomph to do what I want to do.”
Rabbi AvremiZippel and his wife Sheina will serve as the youth and program directors for the synagogue.