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BIO – Rabbi Michael Pont

Shalom! I am thrilled that my rabbinic journey brought me to the Marlboro Jewish Center. My wife Natalie, and our children Gabriel, Emma, and Jordana enjoy the rich relationships and diverse community of the congregation and of Monmouth County.

I grew up in Southfield Michigan, near Detroit. My family belonged to Congregation Shaarey Zedek, where I went to Hebrew School, and was active in United Synagogue Youth. I met my closest friends at Shaarey Zedek in part because we shared a unique bond. That bond is Judaism, the faith that emphasizes family, study, and care for others, and celebrating holidays and life itself.

I attended the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), and graduated in 1991 with a degree in Psychology. I loved my college years and met many students from New Jersey!

After college I served as a Youth Director at the Conservative synagogue in Ann Arbor. The experience inspired me to apply to Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993. In 1999 I was ordained and went to Greensboro, North Carolina as an assistant until 2004, when I arrived in the Garden State. My wife, kids and I love this area and are so happy to remain here!

Professionally, I am happy to partner with Cantor Teplitz on the bimah, with Executive Director Dara Winston and the office staff, and with Reba Schneiderman the Ritual Administrator. I am also thrilled to be working with President Len Whitman, Executive Vice President Steven Solomon, and the rest of the lay leadership. All of these individuals are helping me a great deal, and I am excited for a wonderful year.

I am proud to be a Conservative Jew and I embrace its principles. Namely, that we can be both a modern, dynamic congregation and maintain a commitment to Torah values and to Jewish life. I am a Past President of the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly. My daughters attend Camp Ramah in the Berkshires where Natalie and I and our son Gabe serve on staff. Finally, my children are current and past students at the Solomon Schechter Day School here in Marlboro, where my wife and I volunteer regularly. I am also a staunch supporter of Masorti/Conservative Judaism in Israel.

Community outreach is important to me as well.

  • I am a national chaplain for the Jewish War Veterans;
  • I am a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and rabbinic partner in its Synagogue Initiative;
  • I am chairperson of the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Rabbis for Israel Society for Monmouth County, and;
  • I am the Secretary of the New Hope Integrated Behavioral Health Care (NHIBHC) Executive Board. Based in Marlboro, NHIBHC is an organization that helps drug addicts with their recovery.

Among my interests are playing basketball, and I hope to see you on the court. I enjoy reading a good book, keeping up-to-date on current events, especially those that impact Israel, playing games and staying in touch with friends.

Hiney mah tov umanayim shevet achim gam yachad. How wonderful it is for us to be together! What are your hopes and dreams for our community? Please let me know so we can continue to build a strong congregation.

Shalom,
Rabbi Michael Pont

Sun, July 22 2018 10 Av 5778