Rabbi Jonathan Tabachnikoff named to lead Congregation Dor Chadash

Rabbi Jonathan Tabachnikoff named to lead Congregation Dor Chadash

Rabbi Jonathan Tabachnikoff and his mother, Paula, stand in front of the Rabbi Barry Tabachnikoff Sanctuary.

Rabbi Jonathan Tabachnikoff, son of the late Rabbi Barry Tabachnikoff, has been named to lead Congregation Dor Chadash — A New Generation— lcocated at 9400 SW 87 Ave.

Dor Chadash is off to a promising start with a foundation of remaining Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom members who wanted to build together, according to Tabachnikoff.

“As a ‘new’ congregation, we are off to a great start with more than 225 members already joining,” said Tabachnikoff, 47. “We’ve also got a religious school with nearly 30 students, including more than 10 in the high school confirmation program. The future looks bright for our growing congregation.”

Housed in the award-winning building that was home to Bet Breira since 1982 (for seven years prior to having its own building Bet Breira met at the Killian Pines United Methodist Church in Kendall), Dor Chadash is a unique mixture of both Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism that is expected to appeal to a wide range of potential congregants.

“This is a perfect blend of Judaism that will, we believe, attract many people, especially new, younger families looking for affiliation,” said Tabachnikoff, a 1987 graduate of Miami Killian High School.

Tabachnikoff graduated from Brandeis University in ’91 and Hebrew Union College in ’98.

“Statistics show that more young families have moved and are moving into our area,” he said. “I think they’ll find us appealing.”

Before returning to head up Dor Chadash, Tabachnikoff was involved in congregations in Los Angeles; Chicago, and Rochester, NY.

In addition to Tabachnikoff, Dor Chadash has assembled a strong leadership team consisting of administrator Linda Hornik, education director Rose Meltzer, Cantor Don Bennett and co-presidents Ira Price and Phil Coller.

“This is a great team that will help our congregation grow and be responsive to the needs to our congregants,” Tabachnikoff said. “We have co-presidents because this was such a major undertaking, we felt the stronger our foundation, the better. I think the fact that we have already added 20 families shows we’re going — and growing — in the right direction.”

Tabachnikoff, whose wife of three years, Lori, is expecting their first child in November (he has three other children, ranging in age from 10 to 15), is anxiously looking forward to conducting his first High Holy Day service in early October. Tickets are only $180 and a small number of free tickets are available through the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. High Holy Day ticket purchases are applicable to Dor Chadash membership.

Even though he “officially” started on July 1 and only recently moved into his office after the new building owner gave Dor Chadash a lease, Tabachnikoff admits to some unique feelings now heading up the congregation in his “father’s building.” Barry Tabachnikoff, a popular and beloved rabbi, died suddenly in 2003 at age 62.

“It does feel strange not to be ‘playing’ at daddy’s desk,” he said with a smile as he was starting to rearrange books on the shelf, making the office his “own.” Obviously, my whole family history is tied to this building. And while it is strange pulling up, parking in the rabbi’s spot and walking in, there is also a warm, welcoming feeling coming here. It’s like returning home.”

For more information on Dor Chadash membership or High Holy Day tickets, call the temple office at 305-595-3008.

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