Rabbi David Ross Senter, who has led the work of the to restore their Holocaust Torah, was formally installed as the community's rabbi this month.
Among the 180 people in attendance at the Feb. 13 were a host of area dignitaries, including Assemblyman Charles Lavine; Nassau County ; Oyster Bay Supervisor ; and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the Executive Vice-President of the New York Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Senter has been the Manetto Hill Jewish Center's rabbi since Aug. 1, 2010. “It is hard for me to believe that our family has only been part of MHJC for six months," Senter told the congregation. "The relationships we have developed within the MHJC family have exceeded the level of friendship entering the realm of extended family.
"This is a testament to the warm and welcoming nature of our Kehilah (sacred community).” Senter said.
The Rabbi's sentiments were echoed by Mark Hirsch, the First Vice-President of Manetto Hill Jewish Center and the Master of Ceremonies at the installation.
“It seems like Rabbi Senter has been a part of our lives for a very long time," Hirsch said. "Be it our project to restore our the infusion of more English in our Friday night service or the myriad of other projects he has spearheaded, we have developed a very close-knit relationship with Rabbi Senter."
The Holocaust Torah project has brought the MHJC community together. It was Senter who challenged the community to restore the 150-year-old sacred Torah and to find a way to remember the 480 Jews of Kolin, Czechoslovakia. The entire Kolin Jewish community was murdered during World War II by the Nazis. (For a full story on this remarkable achievement, .)
"Together, we have worked to reinvigorate MHJC and I have no doubt that we will continue to do so,” Hirsch said.
Senter is a fourth generation rabbi. He studied at Shor Yoshuv Rabbinical College in Lawrence, N.Y. and at the seminary level at KolYaakov Torah Center, in Monsey, (Rockland County, N.Y.) where he was ordained in 1985.
After a brief stint in the business world, Senter returned to the rabbinate. In 2004 he married his wife, Elissa, a professionally trained vocalist, musician, dancer and actress. She holds a B.S. in education, and has done extensive graduate work in education and pastoral care. On the center's web site, Senter describes his wife as "an active Rebbitzin" and "one of the secrets of my success."
After the installation, the guests and congregation joined in a celebratory brunch.
Manetto Hill Jewish Center is a conservative egalitarian synagogue located at 244 Manetto Hill Road in Plainview. You can learn mour about the synagogue, its Hebrew School and various programs at www.MHJConline.org.