Rabbi Ariel Rackovsk

The Jewish Center, New York, NY

Jun 8, 2009

A native of Rochester, New York, Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky studied for two years in Yeshivat Kerem Be'Yavneh prior to attending Yeshiva College. He graduated Yeshiva College in 2002 with a Bachelors degree in Biology.

Rabbi Rackovsky says he "became a Rabbi because I realized, after attending Dental school for a semester after completing three years of Semicha at RIETS, that my talents were better suited to the pastoral, pedagogical and oratorical aspects of the rabbinate. I like to say that I felt I was better at touching people's hearts than their gums."

In March 2006, he received his Rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary while serving as Rabbinic Intern at the Riverdale Jewish Center and on the Chaplaincy staff of the UJA/Zicklin Residence of the Metropolitan Jewish Hospice of New York. He has participated in a number of Yeshiva University programs in cities across the US and Canada, and served as the director of the YU Atlanta Summer Kollel.

In the fall of 2006, he became Senior Rabbinic Intern at the RJC, and joined the Rabbinical staff of the Beth Din of America. Since July 2007, he has served as Assistant Rabbi of The Jewish Center. Reflecting on that role, R. Rackovsky notes that "one of the challenges I have encountered, particularly as a rabbi in Manhattan, is that people can have robust social lives - married or single - and still feel lonely and disconnected. Creating that deeper sense of connection, with one another and with the Ribbono Shel Olam, is a large part of what we are trying to do here."

He is working toward a masters degree in counseling at Pace University.