The Glebe Shul, JET’s program for young adults, will transition to new leadership this summer when Rabbi Michael and Stacy Goldstein leave the program to assume new positions at Congregation Machzikei Hadas.
Rabbi Goldstein will become executive director of the modern Orthodox congregation while Stacy, a practising chiropractor, will become the part-time director of family and youth programming.
Family considerations, available Shabbat services and community needs are at the core of the family’s “emotional” decision to make the move, Rabbi Goldstein said.
“Our kids are getting a bit older and it’s important that they be around a Shabbat community with friends to play with on Shabbat,” he said, adding they would continue hosting some Shabbat dinners.
“It’ll look a bit different, and we’ll have more families with young kids than the young professionals we have currently at the Glebe Shul, but we expect that it will still be a big part of our life,” he said.
Rabbi Goldstein said that as his family has grown, so have those of many peers, friends and constituents, who now have different needs than they first did when they dropped in to the Glebe Shul.
“First they were single, then they got married, now they’re starting to have kids and families, and there’s a need for them to have a more full-service shul,” he said. “So we’re excited about the opportunity to work with Machzikei to provide something for the needs of those families who are looking for something Glebe Shul isn’t designed to offer right now.”
Rabbi Idan Scher, who will succeed Rabbi Reuven Bulka as spiritual leader of Machzikei Hadas this summer, said he is very excited about the Goldsteins coming to work at the congregation.
“When you look at them as a couple, it would be hard to envision any better team,” he said. “They complement each other and together they’re just fabulous.
“They’re so reflective, so dynamic. In my mind, they’re just the most incredible choice.”
“Machzikei is a great shul right now and we’ll continue the work that’s already in place,” Rabbi Goldstein said, adding they will explore new programming that will focus on the “resurgence of young families in the shul.”
“A big part of my job as executive director is to make sure there are people in the shul and that there’s money in the shul and that everything is paid for.”
“If I’m doing my job well, Rabbi Scher can focus on what his job is meant to be: building relationships with members, providing pastoral care and teaching Torah.”
For Rabbi Goldstein, the move to Machzikei Hadas will be a homecoming of sorts as it was the congregation he attended while growing up in Ottawa before leaving the city at 17 to pursue
“Sometimes when you’re young, you don’t appreciate what you have right in front of you, and Machzikei is a wonderful shul and a wonderful community,”
“Alta Vista is a great neighbourhood to live in and a great neighbourhood to raise a family in.”
JET has announced that Rabbi Yoey Shaps – son of JET directors Rabbi Zischa and Lauren Shaps – and his wife Smin (Sora Minna) will return to Ottawa this summer to become the new Glebe Shul directors. An interview with Rabbi Yoey Shaps is scheduled for the June issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.