Rabbi Ephraim Carlebach left, helps a local resident shake a lulav and etrog aboard a “sukka mobile.”
Photo courtesy Rabbi Ephraim Carlebach
July 21, 2009
The rabbi at the new Chabad House of Holmdel and Colts Neck is following in a family tradition.
Rabbi Ephraim Carlebach is the 22-year-old son of Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, director of Chabad House at Rutgers University and religious leader of Congregation Sons of Israel in Wayside. Another son, Mendy, is rabbi at the Chabad of South and North Brunswick.
“As a kid, often when we would go out as a family, and it would be to Holmdel State Park, and I would always think, ‘This is such a beautiful park,’ said Ephraim Carlebach, relishing his return to the area after several years of study and work far from New Jersey.
The new Chabad facility officially opened last month at 963 Holmdel Rd., although Carlebach, known to followers as Rabbi Ephi, has been organizing activities in the community since High Holy Day services last year at the Colts Neck Inn. On Sukkot, he took a “sukka mobile” to residents’ homes and held a Hanukka party at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
Although its primary focus will be Holmdel and Colts Neck, the center will also cover parts of Lincroft and Middletown.
(The Chabad houses affiliated with Yosef Carlebach are operated separately from Chabad centers operating under the aegis of Lubavitch World Headquarters and Rabbi Moshe Herson, dean of the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown. Since last August, Rabbi Shmaya Galperin and his wife, Rochi, have been operating the Chabad Jewish Center of Holmdel at 33 McCampbell Rd. in Holmdel, under Herson’s aegis.)
Among the activities Ephraim Carlebach is holding are lunch-and-learn sessions at businesses to discuss the Torah portion. The single rabbi now lives with his parents in Wayside, but is looking to move into the community.
Carlebach returned home after leaving at 14 to attend Yeshivas Lubavitch in Toronto. That was followed by study at yeshivas in Israel, Brooklyn, and South Africa, where he received his rabbinical ordination. Carlebach also served as chaplain of Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida.
Carlebach said the new center has almost 300 followers. Plans include holding weekly classes, the establishment of a religious school and a day camp, and a full slate of bar and bat mitzva classes.
The rabbi can be contacted at 732-685-8028; the center’s website is www.chabadholmdel.com.