News

Swampscott community welcomes new rabbi

SWAMPSCOTT – A young family is embarking on a new chapter in their lives at Chabad Lubavitch of the North Shore.Rabbi Shmaya Friedman moved to Swampscott two weeks ago with his wife Aliza and their 10-month-old daughter Leba to work at Chabad.Rabbi Yossi Lipsker of Chabad Lubavitch of the North Shore referred to the young couple as the “dynamic duo.””We’ve been looking for 16 months for a young couple to add to our staff,” Lipsker said. “We want an enormous infusion of energy into our community and our goal is to broaden the scope of our educational opportunities on the North Shore. I feel like we found the right couple to do that.”Shmaya Friedman studied in rabbinical colleges in Miami, Montreal and Israel, where he received his Rabbinical ordination.”Being a rabbi has always been my dream,” he said. “It’s more than being Rabbinical. I love working with people and being a community helper. I want to bring joy and meaning to people’s lives on the North Shore.”Shmaya, who grew up in Brooklyn, and his wife, Aliza Friedman, said they feel right at home in Swampscott.”I’ve been coming here since I was a child because Leah Lipsker (wife of Yossi) is my cousin,” Shmaya said. “I love it here. The people have been welcoming, warm and nice. I enjoy the suburban aspect, not having to hunt for a parking space and the overall quality of life. We hope to establish roots here and stay forever.”Aliza, who is already teaching at Cohen Hillel in Marblehead, said she is happy in Swampscott.”I love it,” she said. “The Chabad here is an active, vibrant community and it’s like an instant family.”Shmaya added the Boston area has held a special significance for his family for several generations. He explained his great-grandfather immigrated to Boston in the early 1900s to escape the European persecution of the Jews.”He was one of the first rabbis in Boston and his family was one of the first orthodox families in the area,” he said. “My great-grandfather was the only ritual slaughterer here. My grandfather moved to New York City as a teenager but my family always called Boston home.”A ritual slaughterer has a prescribed method of slaughtering an animal in a ritual manner.His maternal grandfather, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, is the chairman of Chabad Lubavitch International and was recently voted the “Most Influential rabbi in America” by Newsweek magazine. He is the son of Rabbi Yosef B. Friedman, director of the “Kehot Publications,” the largest Jewish publishing house in the world.With a laugh, Shmaya said he has “some very big shoes to fill.”Aliza said she always knew her life work would be in the Chabad. She is the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Grossbaum, who is the Executive Director of Chabad in Indiana.”This was my life growing up in Indianapolis,” she said. “I always wanted to spend my life helping my community. Community is a big deal to me.”She said she loves working with children and one of her first projects would be starting a Jewish preschool, which she hopes will be open by September.Shmaya said he would be working closely with Lipsker and would be actively involved with the Hebrew School, Jew Crew, Camp Gan Israel and holiday programming.

More Stories In News