Rabbi Klein came to The Merrick Jewish Centre in June 1978 a year after he was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. It was during his student days at Brandeis University that he made the decision to pursue Rabbinical Studies. While at JTS Rabbi Klein also earned his Masters of Hebrew Letters and completed his Masters of Social Work at Columbia University.
In the years since Rabbi Klein arrived at The Merrick Jewish Centre he has been our dedicated spiritual leader. Our synagogue and our congregation have been and continue to be his life’s work. The strength of our congregation is very much a testament to his vision, his energy and his tireless commitment to continually raise the level of everything which takes place at The Merrick Jewish Centre.
Rabbi Klein’s career has taken him beyond the Merrick Jewish Centre and he has long been considered an outstanding leader within the New York Jewish community. After many years of dedicated work on behalf of the New York Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Klein was elected president of that very prestigious organization. The New York Board of Rabbis is the oldest and largest interdenominational rabbinic group in the world and our congregation was enormously proud when he was elected by his colleagues to the presidency of the New York Board of Rabbis. Even before he became president of the New York Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Klein was awarded the highly coveted, “Rabbi of the Year” award. Only ten rabbis have been given this award and our Rabbi is one of them. Rabbi Klein has also served as president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Nassau/Suffolk, he co-chaired the Rabbinic Advisory Council of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, and he was a member of the Board of UJA-Federation as well and served on that board with other leaders of the New York Jewish community. Our Rabbi’s communal involvement does not end there. It can certainly be said that he has been in the forefront of many important efforts within the New York Jewish community for the last 30 years.
Our Rabbi is also an author. Some years ago he wrote the very wonderful book entitled, “How to Forgive When You Can’t Forget: Healing our Personal Relationships.” As a result of the publication of his book which melded together his rabbinic and social work perspective, Rabbi Klein became a much sought after lecturer, counselor and television and radio commentator. With the publication of his book he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and scores of other television programs and literally hundreds of radio programs. The name, Rabbi Charles A. Klein, became synonymous with healing and strengthening family relationships.
Our Rabbi has a very expansive vision of his rabbinate. He believes that his rabbinical work extends beyond the confines of the synagogue to include chaplaincy work and outreach to the unaffiliated. As well, during the last 36 years, Rabbi Klein and his wife Betty have led 13 congregation tours to Israel and one congregational tour to Central and Eastern Europe. Rabbi Klein is frequently heard on WABC Radio, and you’ll see him quoted often in Newsday and the New York Times. For several years he was one of the co-hosts of a weekly program on Telicare called, “Circle of Faith,” in which he represented the Jewish community in an ongoing dialogue with spiritual leaders of other faith traditions.
Rabbi Charles Klein and his wife Betty have four children, all of whom are married and they are the grandparents of eight grandchildren.
Contact Rabbi Klein at (516) 379-8650 or [email protected].