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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

Professional Staff

Rabbi Emeritus

Samuel H. Weintraub

Rabbi Samuel H. Weintraub was pulpit Rabbi of Kane Street Synagogue from 1996 to 2021. For that quarter of a century, Rabbi Weintraub devoted himself passionately to outreach. He labored to keep our Synagogue both accessible and appropriately challenging to people from all religious backgrounds, levels of Jewish observance, races, ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, physical abilities, and economic brackets.

His pioneering efforts in the ritual inclusion of LGBQT+ Jews, interfaith couples, and Jews with physical disabilities were featured in three separate New York Times articles.

In order to institutionalize this pluralism, Rabbi Weintraub established several innovative, ongoing programs. These included a weekday+Shabbat Hebrew School; Synaplex, which offered the Shabbat morning experience in multiple small group offerings around prayer, study and socializing; Me’ah, an intensive two year exploration of Jewish civilization, with Hebrew College; and the HIAS Refugee Welcome Campaign. He founded and directed Open Beit Midrash, which for fourteen years brought the most talented, sought after adult Jewish educators in North America to engage hundreds of learners in enthusiastic, informal “Yeshiva style” study of classical Jewish texts and their relevance to modern ethical issues. 

Rabbi Weintraub believes that Jewish texts, ethics, and history have powerful messages for us to build a more just and compassionate world. He spearheaded many Synagogue social justice efforts to combat hunger, gun violence, homophobia, transphobbia, poverty, racism, and genocide and to welcome refugees, support victims of terror, and maintain an ongoing dialogue with the local Muslim community. He led the most active New York Synagogue response to the 2005 genocide in Darfur, and more recently initiated a Brownstone Brookyn Synagogue coalition, under the auspices of HIAS, to integrate refugees and asylum seekers into new lives in Brooklyn. With other professional staff, he pursued leadership training from Keshet, the premier national organization for Jewish LGBQT+ equality. To foster a multi-faceted relationship with Israel, Rabbi Weintraub led a Synagogue trip to Israel during the murderous second Intifada, established Israel 360, a forum focused on important aspects of Israeli politics and cultures, and promoted Synagogue support for religious pluralism and Jewish-Arab co-existence in Israel.

His extensive Congregational messages, sharing the Jewish perspectives on these and other social issues, known as L’fi Dati (“As I See It”), continue to be relevant, and are available to read on our website.

Kane Street for over a half of the twentieth century was the home of influential Synagogue music composer Rabbi Israel Godlfarb. Rabbi Weintraub, influenced by the power of music to join worshippers in love and reverence , stewarded the Synagogue’s current revival of Congregational singing. From 2007-2014, he mentored Joey Weisenberg’s leadership as Music Director, and later initiated a Liturgical Director position, now held by Cantor Sarah Myerson. 

Over his tenure at Kane Street, Rabbi Weintraub has been active in social justice organizations including T’ruah: Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, HIAS, New Israel Fund, New Sanctuary Coalition, Poor People’s Campaign, and Mazon.

Rabbi Weintraub received his B.A. from Haverford College, Rabbinic Ordination and Master’s of Hebrew Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Honorary Doctorates in Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Before coming to Kane Street, he served as a Rabbi in Synagogues in White Plains, Toronto and Danbury, as well as Program Director at MIT Hillel and Interfaith Affairs Fellow at the American Jewish Committee. His articles have appeared in publications of the Jewish Theological Seminary, American Jewish Committee, and the Coalition for the Environment and Jewish Life, as well as in Conservative Judaism, The Reconstructionist, and the Canadian Jewish News. 

Rabbi Weintraub is the proud father of Gabriel and Daniel Weintraub.

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