Rav Menachem Levine joined our community in August of 2007. Originally from Miami Beach, he graduated cum laude from Yeshiva University and received awards for outstanding performance in history and in Talmudic studies.
Upon graduation, Rav Levine relocated to Yerushalayim to attend the world-renowned Mir Yeshiva, where he also attended the lectures of the mussar giant, HaRav Shlomo Wolbe. At the Mir Yeshiva, his primary focus was on intense Talmudic study and in-depth learning of the classic mussar (ethical) texts.
Rav Levine returned to the United States and attended Yeshivah Sha’ar HaTorah-Grodno, where he formed a close relationship with the Rosh Yeshivah, HaRav Zelik Epstein. Rav Levine met his wife, Rachelli (Zakheim), during this time, and they moved to Lakewood, NJ, where he was a full-time member of the Beth Medrash Govoha Kollel. In Lakewood, Rav Levine began his studies for semicha (rabbinic ordination) and was a Rosh Chabura, while Rebbetzin Levine taught computer graphics in a girls’ high school.
The Levines subsequently moved to Philadelphia, where Rav Levine attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, while concomitantly completing his semicha. He became close with the Rosh Yeshivah of the Philadelphia Yeshivah, HaRav Shmuel Kamenetzky, and also studied daily at the Philadelphia Community Kollel. Rav Levine began to work in Jewish outreach and founded the Jewish Heritage Club at the University of Pennsylvania. The club had over 120 student members, who received a weekly e-mail, and participated in “lunch-and-learns” and other events. The Levines also hosted many Penn students as Shabbos guests. Rebbetzin Levine taught an Honors Chumash course in Torah Academy Girls’ High School and also gave a popular computer graphics course in the school.
After graduating Law School, and passing the New Jersey Bar Exam, Rav Levine chose to put aside the law degree, and instead devote himself to the community by becoming the Rabbi of Am Echad. An idealistic individual and a dynamic speaker, Rav Levine strives to help bring out the unique potential within each Jew and works to raise the level of Torah knowledge in the community through classes, one-on-one learning and weekly drashos. He also works with other local communities in strengthening the Jewish infrastructure of the Bay Area. In this regard, Rav Levine has arranged for noted rabbis and communal leaders to visit and address the community on a broad spectrum of topics.
In addition to her community and familial responsibilities (BS’D the Levines have 8 children -- 4 daughters and 4 sons), Rebbetzin Levine completed a Master’s Degree in education at California State University in June 2011, and teaches Limudei Kodesh at Meira Academy.
Rav Levine marvels at the tremendous growth that he has seen within the community in the years since he has moved here. He anticipates that, B’siyata D’shmaya, the natural growth will continue as the shul represents Torah-true Judaism to the Bay Area.
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