Ask the Rabbi
About Our Rabbi
Rabbi Jonathan Seth, Shalom Yisrael, Morgenstern grew up in Monsey, New York. Rabbi Morgenstern attended the Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland (ASHAR) elementary school and went to Yeshiva University’s MTA High School for boys. He was raised by his parents, Michael and Lottie Morgenstern, in a traditional Modern-Orthodox Home. He learned Talmud in the morning and played hockey at night. The holy and the mundane intermingled in his life with a beautiful symmetry. It was during these formative years that Rabbi Morgenstern began thinking about a future career in Jewish education and the Modern-Orthodox Rabbinate. He envisioned a movement infused with passion and flair, as well as Rabbinic leaders that cultivate personal, lasting, relationships with their constituents.
Motivated by this vision, Rabbi Morgenstern spent his post high school studies at Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim, the Genesis Jerusalem Institute, in the Old City of Jerusalem, for a year and a half. He then attended Yeshiva University, where he earned his B.A. in Economics in 1999. Rabbi Morgenstern began his Rabbinic studies and training at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of YU and eventually completed his training in 2002, receiving his Semicha (ordination) from Beit Midrash LeTalmud, an affiliate of the Lander College in Queens,NY. Concurrent to his Semicha studies, Rabbi Morgenstern also attended a Masters Program in General & Addictions Counseling at Pace University, where he eventually earned his M.S. in Counseling in 2004.
Before assuming the role as the full-time Rabbi of the Young Israel, Rabbi Morgenstern taught Judaic Studies for 7 years at the Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, NY from 1999-2006; during his time there, he also served as the school’s: Spiritual/Mental Health Counselor, Hockey Coach, and Softball Coach. Rabbi Morgenstern then moved on to serve as an administrator at the Westchester Day School, in the role of Dean of Students for 2 years. While Rabbi Morgenstern was paving his path in Jewish Education, he was also very much entrenched in Rabbinic and communal leadership roles, specifically, at the Young Israel of Scarsdale.
Rabbi Morgenstern began his tenure at the Young Israel of Scarsdale in 2000, as the Synagogue’s first Rabbinic Intern. He served 2 years in that role, after which he became the Synagogue’s first Assistant Rabbi, a position that he held until 2008. As Intern and Assistant Rabbi, Rabbi Morgenstern was blessed to receive invaluable guidance and training from Rabbi Jacob S. Rubenstein z”l, Rabbi Emeritus. Rabbi Rubenstein z”l was and will always be a master teacher, cherished mentor, and beloved friend of Rabbi Morgenstern. Like Moses and Joshua, they shared a truly special relationship; Rabbi Rubenstein z”l transmitted so much of the wisdom and unique experiences that he had amassed from over 25 years in the Rabbinate to Rabbi Morgenstern, and Reb Jonathan, as he was affectionately referred to by Rabbi Rubenstein, is undoubtedly, the better for it.
Rabbi Morgenstern lives his life and leads by the guiding principles of Emet – Truth, and Ahava – Love. He prides himself on always trying to be sincere and compassionate to others; he models these ideals and seeks to engender them into others. If you give a Jew love, sincerity, warmth and support, then a nurturing Jewish community will grow. He further believes that if we are honest with ourselves, then our love for God and His Torah and Mitzvot will flourish.
Rabbi Morgenstern is a devoted family-man; he married his High School-sweetheart, Jordana, in 1998 and they currently reside in Scarsdale with their 4 children, Simon, Ayden, Ella, and Jacob. They thank God for these wonderful blessings every single day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find out the Hebrew date of my child’s birthday and subsequent Bar/Bat Mitzvah, as well as any other Hebrew Date (i.e. Yahrzeit) Answer: www.hebcal.com
How do I know which kosher symbols are reliable under the Orthodox standard? Answer: http://www.kashrut.com/agencies/
Where can I find a minyan anywhere I go? Answer: GoDaven.com
For specific questions pertaining to Halacha and Jewish custom please e-mail: sharon at yisny dot org. Please add "ASK RJM" into subject line.
For urgent, time-sensitive matters please contact the shul office 914.636.8686
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