RIETS Appoints New Director of Professional Rabbinics

Rabbi Larry Rothwachs Brings Extensive Experience in Jewish Education and Communal Service to Position 

Rabbi Larry Rothwachs of Teaneck, New Jersey has been appointed director of professional rabbinics at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). The position oversees an extensive professional rabbinics curriculum at RIETS, including three professional tracks and more than 20 courses per semester.

“I have no doubt that the students of today will be better rabbis tomorrow through the mentoring of Rabbi Rothwachs,” said Rabbi Menachem Penner, the Max and Marion Grill Dean at RIETS. “His rabbinic talents are matched only by his contagious energy and his love for the Jewish people.”

The professional curriculum at RIETS has undergone enormous changes in the past decade to ensure that future rabbinic leaders will have the skills they need to succeed and inspire in an ever-changing landscape. In particular, new initiatives this year offer exciting developments in mental health and personal development training for semicha students. Rabbi Rothwachs will share his many years of experience in shuls and schools as he teaches a course for new students called Contemporary Issues in the Jewish Community, in addition to co-teaching the critical Advanced Pastoral Counseling course, which focuses on pastoral skills and crisis intervention, with Dr. David Pelcocitz, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Professor of Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

As part of his new role at RIETS, Rabbi Rothwachs will meet with semicha students on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are able to achieve their professional and educational goals.

“It is a great personal thrill and honor to join the remarkably talented team of professionals at RIETS,” said Rabbi Rothwachs. “Sharing in the responsibility of shaping and guiding the future leaders of the Jewish community is daunting, yet exceptionally exciting.”

Rabbi Rothwachs will continue to serve as senior rabbi at his beloved synagogue, Congregation Beth Aaron, in Teaneck. He and his wife Chaviva (Yudin) are entering their 15th year of service to the Teaneck community, where they live with their five children. Since 1998, Rabbi Rothwachs has been a critical member of the Judaic studies faculty at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey and served as a rebbe and guidance counselor at Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys / Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy until 2005. Rabbi Rothwachs is a graduate of Yeshiva College and received his masters degree in Jewish education from Azrieli in 1997 and his rabbinic ordination from RIETS in 2000.

In addition to his tenure as an educator and rabbi, Rabbi Rothwachs writes on many topics and speaks widely. Recordings of a number of his shiurim can be found at yutorah.org. Rabbi Rothwachs was named an Inspiring Rabbi of 2016 by The Forward.