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Meet the Rabbi

Meet the Rabbi

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Rabbi Raphael (Rafi) Andrusier, the youngest from a family of five, was born and raised in New York. After his Bar-Mitzvah he left New York to study in Pittsburgh and Paris and returned to New York City where he concluded his Rabbinic Ordination from the Central Chabad Rabbinical Court of Israel.

Rafi spent two years in Chicago, IL and Toronto, Canada as a student mentor assisting the local high-school and community.

As a Rabbinic intern, Rafi spent his summers visiting and assisting Jewish communities in Sydney, Australia, Kobe, Japan, Venice, FL, Dubrovnik, Croatia and Peru. He has conducted Seders for scattered communities in Taganrog, Russia and Crete, Greece. Rafi has led Released Time groups in schools in New York, inspiring Jewish children who attend public schools and don’t receive a Jewish education. He has reached out to Jewish prisoners in upstate New York arranging for holiday programming and ensuring that their spiritual needs are met. Rafi looks forward to bringing his vast experience and unique talents to the Eastern S. Diego area.

Chaya, the second of eight children, was born and raised in S. Diego, California. Her parents, Rabbi Dovid and Rochel Smoller, moved three years earlier to S. Diego from Brooklyn to dedicate themselves to instructing Jewish children as teachers in the celebrated Chabad Hebrew Academy of S. Diego. As a teenager, Chaya left home to continue her studies in Los Angeles at the Bais Chana Academy, distinguished for producing future educators. She spent her summers volunteering for Jewish day camps in California, Maryland, Montreal, Germany and Ukraine. She graduated Machon Shoshanat Seminary in Jerusalem, Israel. For the past three years Chaya has worked as an educator, instilling Jewish pride and values in students of all ages.

The Andrusiers are joined by their daughters, Yehudis and Henny, and sons, Isaac and Nosson, who are primary (and very popular) partners in their parents’ work.

 

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