Michigan Hillel and AAOM Welcome New Rabbi
Rabbi Jared Anstandig returns to Michigan to join the Ann Arbor Jewish community this summer.
by Michael Weiss
After 35 years under the leadership of retiring Rabbi Rod Glogower, the Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan and Michigan Hillel are preparing this summer to welcome Rabbi Jared Anstandig to the new leadership role of Rabbi of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Community.
A native of West Bloomfield, Rabbi Anstandig was ordained at Yeshiva University, where he also earned degrees in Judaic Studies and Biblical Studies. Prior to coming to Ann Arbor, he completed rabbinic internships at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York, Kesher Israel in Washington, DC, and Congregation Shaare Tefilah in New Jersey, and taught in the Upper School at Ramaz, a co-educational Modern Orthodox day school in Manhattan.
“As someone who grew up in Metro Detroit, coming back to Michigan really feels like coming home,” said Rabbi Anstandig. “In high school I always thought of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan as very special places, and it’s very exciting to become part of this wonderful community.”
In his new position, which begins in July, Rabbi Anstandig will work through Michigan Hillel, leading both the AAOM and the student Orthodox community, which hold joint services throughout the year in the Hillel building.
“Ann Arbor has a small but really unique and strong Orthodox community, and I’m looking forward to being in a community where I can have a real impact,” said Rabbi Anstandig. “I want not only to bring more people to the shul, but also to bring more shul to the people — to listen to what the community needs and wants, and to help the minyan to meet those needs.”
Monica Rosen, representing the AAOM, and Tilly Shames, representing Michigan Hillel, co-led an extensive search process. Rosen noted, “the search committee received dozens of applications and interviewed numerous candidates prior to making our recommendation to the board. Rabbi Anstandig possesses all of the qualities we were looking for in a Rabbinic leader — he is kind, extremely knowledgeable, and very personable. We are looking forward to watching his achievements in the years to come.”
Tilly Shames, Executive Director of Michigan Hillel, said “We are very excited to have Rabbi Anstandig join our staff team and be a resource for our Orthodox student community. It is a pleasure to watch him interact with students, showing a deep interest in their experiences on campus and thoughtful understanding of their needs as students. We are looking forward to starting the next school year with Rabbi Anstandig on staff, furthering our outreach and impact on campus.”
In addition to his other work, Rabbi Anstandig serves in the Chaplain Corps in the US Army Reserve. “Working and training with soldiers of all religious backgrounds has been an inspirational experience,” Rabbi Anstandig said. “Just recently a casual question from a soldier about whether Jews practice ‘tithing’ led to a really rich and rewarding group conversation about the purpose of charity, how we all have a responsibility to help the needy, and how we can best meet that obligation.”
“As I listened to these soldiers engaging with really important ethical and pragmatic issues, I thought, ‘This is Talmud — this is its essence, right here,” Rabbi Anstandig said.
Rabbi Anstandig’s wife, Sarit Anstandig, is also an accomplished Jewish educator. A native of the East Coast, she is looking forward to exploring what Orthodox Jewish life is like in a smaller, more intimate community, and hopes to find a role in Jewish education and community service locally.
One of the most gratifying aspects of his new position, said Rabbi Anstandig, is the warm welcome he received from Rabbi Glogower, who will retire this summer. “He was the first person who called to congratulate me,” said Rabbi Anstandig. “Rabbi Glogower is really both a brilliant scholar and a warm and thoughtful leader, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to continue the incredible work that he has done for this community.”
“This has been an important year of evolution for the Minyan. We have been led for over 30 years by Rabbi Rod Glogower, who has left an indelible impression on scores of local families and generations of students,” said AAOM President Marc Bernstein. “Both the AAOM and U-M Hillel are thrilled that Rabbi Anstandig and his wife Sarit will be joining our community, and look forward to the growth of the unique partnership we enjoy together.”
Rabbi Anstandig’s position at Michigan Hillel officially begins in mid-July, and he expects to begin his leadership of the AAOM the week of July 23.