At a congregational meeting on May 7, members of Beth Jacob Synagogue unanimously voted to hire Martin Applebaum of Lakewood, N.J. as their new rabbi, with a one-year contract, beginning Aug. 1.
Applebaum grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received his rabbinic ordination from the Orthodox Institute of Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn. He holds a master’s degree in special counseling from Long Island University, a master’s degree in military science from the U.S. Army, and a rabbinical studies degree from the Talmudical Institute of Pittsburgh.
Applebaum served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army for 20 years; he was also a military liaison to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He has held rabbinic positions in Margate, N.J.; Little Rock, Ark.; Des Moines, Iowa; and St. Catharines and Windsor, Ontario. He and his wife, Rosalie, have four married children.
Applebaum takes over as Beth Jacob’s rabbi from Rabbi Hillel Fox, who has served the congregation since 1993. Fox completes a one-year paid sabbatical in Israel on July 31, the last day of his current contract with Beth Jacob; the synagogue board declined to renew Fox’s contract.
Beth Jacob, Orthodox in its origins, is not affiliated with a Jewish movement but identifies as Traditional in practice, to the religious left of Orthodoxy but to the right of Conservative Judaism. Although there is mixed seating during worship services, women don’t lead services and aren’t called to the bima for honors during services.
Beth Jacob President Dr. Herman Abromowitz said the congregation will continue its Traditional format with its new rabbi.
“We all pray and wish the Applebaums and Beth Jacob lots of nachas and success in this coming year,” Abromowitz said.
— Marshall Weiss