Rabbi Bill Rudolph

Rabbi Bill Rudolph

wrudolph@bethelmc.org

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.

Biography

Rabbi Bill Rudolph 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 has been 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 is recipient of the Federation’s Matthew Simon Rabbinic Leadership Award.

His position with the Federation includes 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 is married to Gail Fribush, who is a consultant with the International Baccalaureate and an active participant of the Beth El community. He is the father of three children: Dan, Sara, and Marc. He has two grandchildren.

In 2014, Rabbi Rudolph announced that he would be retiring as head rabbi for Congregation Beth El in the summer of 2015. He has a lot of projects and ideas that have 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.

Blog Posts

Novel Experiments

September 21, 2020

Every book browser knows that libraries and bookstores typically separate books broadly into fiction and non-fiction – fiction in these bookcases and non-fiction in the bookcases over there. But some …

Building A Bridge

September 21, 2020

By Robin Jacobson.   Goldie Goldbloom’s novel On Division is a rarity among books about the Hasidic world. Unlike many books on Hasidic life, it is not a bitter exposé by …

Masada Backstories

September 21, 2020

By Robin Jacobson.  Two thousand years ago, on a mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea, 967 Jewish men, women, and children faced down the military might of the Roman empire. When …

This Month in Jewish History: September

August 30, 2020

By Tiarra Joslyn. Over the summer, British rapper Wiley faced backlash – including permanent bans from Facebook and Twitter – after he made several anti-Semitic tweets, which included common anti-Semitic …

Covid-19 Response Update

August 18, 2020

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Beth El is practicing social distancing but spiritual nearness. As the community works to resume in-person activities, we are open – for services, to provide support …

Sermons

Shavuot Day Two 5775

May 26, 2015

I am going to remind you today of a children’s song that you have probably not heard or sung in man years unless you hang around our preschool.  And I …

Passover: The Holiday of Stringencies

April 9, 2015

Pesach – Yom Sheni – 5775 Definitely the important sermon for these days of Yom Tov was given yesterday. Had few ideas for today – liked one about being thankful …

Vayishlach – Dinah and Sexual Abuse in Our Time

December 9, 2014

Every rabbi at some point teaches a course entitled, “Bible stories they never taught us in Religious School.” We go through the Bible and teach all the chapters that we …

Rosh Hashanah 5775 – Theme of the Year

October 20, 2014

This is what we call the theme sermon, actually a segue between last year’s and this year’s themes as we launch the year of Food and Jewish Values. This thrice …

Rosh Hashanah 5775 Second Day: We Work for God

October 6, 2014

There are two subjects that most rabbis seem to avoid these days, especially on the High Holidays. One is Israel. One of the 16,000 NY greetings – meaning fundraisers – …