About Barkai

Building Israeli society one community at a time.

aboutBARKAI trains rabbis to be the communal leaders their congregants need.  With skills such as abuse recognition, sensitivity training, suicide prevention, mediation and other pastoral skills, Barkai rabbis are better equipped to support and sustain their communities’ spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

Why We Do What We Do

For thousands of years, Jewish life centered around the community, led by a synagogue rabbi. Families celebrated good times and bad --together. This created a sense of stability and belonging for Jews regardless of events in the outside world.

While this model has held true in the Diaspora, in the Jewish State, the synagogue is for prayer and the occasional shiur. Here, few shuls employ rabbis, moreover, they are rarely full time and are not trained in pastoral skills. As a result, a sense of community is often missing.

Ironically, in a country full of their brethren, Jews can find themselves alone.

This matters because individuals and families with a support network show greater resilience, mental stability, and communal health. Those without communal support are at greater risk for depression, suicide, shorter life span, crime, substance abuse, and sexual abuse.

Barkai Rabbis Lead
Flourishing Jewish Communities
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Israeli society is more diverse than ever. The ingathering of the exiles has brought Jews of various backgrounds together to build a nation. Yet, a strong nation needs more than military might. It needs healthy communities - ones that are connected and supportive, and have a deep sense of belonging.

Barkai Founders and Deans
barkai trains rabbis

Rabbi David Fine - Barkai Center

Rabbi David Fine

Rabbi Fine holds a BA with honors in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, an MA in Jewish History, and rabbinic ordination the Joseph Straus Rabbinical Seminary in Efrat, Israel.

Rabbi Fine served in pulpits in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Overland Park, Kansas before making Aliyah to Modiin in 2008. Before founding Barkai, Rabbi Fine served as the Jewish Identity Coordinator at the Modiin Community Center and the Director of Rabbinic Outreach at the Eretz Hemda Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Fine is married to Julie, a psychologist, and together they have four sons.
Rabbi Shlomo Sobol - Barkai Center

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol

Rabbi Sobol is a tenth generation Jerusalemite who studied in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav and served in the IDF's Artillery Corps. He has a Master's Degree in Talmud from Bar Ilan University and received his rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate in 1997. He is also a licensed marriage counselor and mediator.

Rabbi Sobol headed the Tora Mizion Kollel in Detroit for four years and served as the rabbinic consultant for Torah Mizion upon his return to Israel. Since 2005, he has been the rabbi of the Kehillat Shaarei Yonah Menachem Congregation in Modiin where he is well known for his work in education and immigrant absorption.

Rabbi Sobol is married to Tali, a specialist in advanced Jewish education, and together they have four children.