Kehilat Chovevei Tzion, Skokie, IL
Mar 17, 2014
Rabbi Shaanan Gelman was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in the Bronx. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science at Yeshiva College and Semicha from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanon Theological Seminary. While at RIETS, he studied in the Marcos and Adina Katz Kollel under the direction of Harav Herschel Schachter Shlit"a. He spent three years studying in Israel, two at Yeshivat Hakotel and later on at the Gruss Institute in Bayit Vegan. Rabbi Gelman began his professional career in the pulpit as a kollel fellow in the Boca Raton Community Kollel where he filled the role of Spiritual Leader for the Elinore Lome Explanatory Service. The highlight of the year was Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when over 350 unaffiliated Jews from all over South Florida would gather to participate in a traditional Orthodox tefila service.
In the year 2006, Rabbi Gelman and his family moved to Skokie, IL, where he was hired as the Mara D’atra of Kehilat Chovevei Tzion. Then a startup Synagogue with around 50 families, Rabbi Gelman began on a part time basis, learning in the Kollel Torah MitZion in the mornings. Within a short time period, the congregation experienced tremendous growth, and in August of 2013 moved into a brand new building. Under Rabbi Gelman's leadership, the shul has expanded to approximately 200 families, boasts a full calendar of educational and youth programming, and an active and ever-growing membership. The new building features both Ashkenazic and Sephardic sanctuaries to meet the needs of the diverse membership.
Rabbi Gelman is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, and has served on its executive board. He also serves on the executive committee of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and is currently Vice President of the organization. He has spent a great deal of time on the Geirus commission and currently heads the funeral standards commission. Through his involvement in the CRC, Rabbi Gelman has been fortunate to develop a relationship with the Rosh Beis din, HaRav Gedaliah Dov Schwartz Shli"ta, as well as the Av Beis Din, Rav Yona Reiss Shli"ta. He has served on the board of the Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago, an umbrella organization for the many Orthodox schools in the community.
Rabbi Gelman is a fervent Zionist, is active in AIPAC, and has conducted a number of campaigns on behalf of our brethren in Israel, including a solidarity mission to Israel several years ago.
Rabbi Gelman’s wife, Tziporah, is from New Jersey, was a Judaic studies teacher at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Skokie for seven years and is an accomplished entrepreneur, currently running an enormous popular fitness organization for religious women throughout Chicago. Through each of her roles, she has engaged the Jewish community, demonstrating the importance and sanctity of mind, body and soul.
Together,the Gelmans have partnered to further energize and invigorate the diverse orthodox community of Skokie providing for the many religious and emotional needs of those they encounter. The Gelmans are blessed with three children, Zerachya, Avraham, and Dalia.