Rabbi Bill Rudolph, z”l

Rabbi Bill Rudolph, z”l

“Beth El is a wonderful community. It was my privilege to be a part of it for more than 30 years and to be its spiritual leader from 2001-2014.” – Rabbi Rudolph, May 2015


Rabbi Bill Rudolph z”l began his tenture with Congregation Beth El in 1983. He served on a part-time basis about half of that period, during which he was the associate international director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He was number two at Hillel when it achieved the Renaissance that changed the face of the American Jewish community. He was elected as Beth El’s associate rabbi in 1996 and rabbi in 2001.

At Beth El, Rabbi Rudolph was instrumental in creating enduring programming that marks the synagogue’s creativity. Included are:

  • Early Shabbat morning minyan
  • Friday night musical Services
  • The Senior Caucus
  • Latke-Hamantash Debate
  • Israel Media Series
  • Synagogue themes for the year, beginning with “Hospitality”

Rabbi Rudolph took a leadership role in Beth El’s multi-faceted response to Middle East crises in 2002 and 2006, including two $1 million dollar rallies for the Israel Emergency Campaign. He was recipient of the Federation’s Matthew Simon Rabbinic Leadership Award.

His position with the Federation included the Federation Board (many terms), its Planning & Allocations Committee, its Rabbinic Cabinet, and its Missions Committee. He was co-chair of the Community Division and the Affinity Division of the Annual Campaign.

Rabbi Rudolph was married to Gail Fribush, who is a consultant with the International Baccalaureate and an active participant of the Beth El community. He was the father of three children: Dan, Sara, and Marc. He leaves behind three grandchildren.

In 2014, Rabbi Rudolph announced that he would be retiring as head rabbi for Congregation Beth El in the summer of 2015. He had a lot of projects and ideas that had been awaiting his having some free time. At the Annual Congregational Meeting in May of 2014, Rabbi Greg Harris was elected by an overwhelming majority to succeed Rabbi Bill Rudolph.

Rabbi Rudolph passed away on March 27, 2023. May his memory be for a blessing.


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