Meet the Honorees

Emunah V’Yosher Award

Rabbi Robert and Maxine Pilavin

Rabbi Robert and Maxine Pilavin have been chosen to receive our Emunah v’Yosher (Faith and Integrity) Award.  They have been supporters of the UTJ from its earliest years.  Rabbi Pilavin has served as a member of the UTJ Board and is an officer of Morashah, the rabbinic fellowship of the UTJ. Rabbi Pilavin has served as rabbi of Congregation Sons of Israel in Manalapan, NJ, since 2003.

Lomed V’Oseh Award

Emmanuel Needle, Daniel and Etty Needle

Emanuel Needle and his son and daughter-in-law, Daniel and Etty, are to receive our Lomed v’Oseh (Learning and Action) Award.  Manny, with his late wife, Norma z”l, was an early supporter of the UTJ and is a long-time member of the UTJ Board.  Daniel Needle, partner in the law firm of Kohn, Needle & Silverman, with staunch support from Etty, has recently become a central figure in UTJ’s ongoing planning and development and we are proud to be able to claim two generations of the Needle family among our leadership.

“MTV Challenge” Youth Award

Joe Klein

Joe Klein is our MTV Challenge Youth Award recipient. The MTV Challenge Award, usually reserved for professionals in the media whose work reflects Jewish values, was adapted this year to encourage youngsters who hope for a future in the media.  His recent documentary – "Surviving Surviving" – produced as an eighth-grade thesis, incorporates the traditional values prized by the UTJ.  Joe’s video thesis, about poverty-stricken Holocaust survivors, was featured in many publications as well as on CBS News. We are gratified that, at the upcoming UTJ gala, we will be able to showcase “Surviving Surviving” – Joe’s truly remarkable accomplishment.

Joining the Rabbinate

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In a moving event on Wednesday night September 9, 2009, the Institute of Traditional Judaism, the Metivta granted semikhah (rabbinic ordination) to five more men. It has now ordained 15 men who serve throughout the Jewish world.

New Rabbis Ordained - ITJ Chag Hasemikhah (Semikhah Celebration)

Some are already rabbis who took upon themselves rigorous additional learning. Others are young men who sought out a place that combined serious Torah learning with an halakhic approach to Jewish Law and observance that also fosters open-minded questioning.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, these students, ranging in age from their 30s to their 50s will come together to be ordained in a special Chag HaSemikhah ceremony at the Institute of Traditional Judaism (the Metivta), the educational arm of the Union for Traditional Judaism.

The Recent Rabbinic Scandal

The UTJ has released an official statement regarding the recent arrest of several New Jersey rabbis. Although no UTJ rabbis were associated with this scandal, the UTJ felt compelled to address this issue rather than remain silent....

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