Rabbi Beni Wajnberg (pronounced Vine-berg) became the rabbi and spiritual counselor of Temple Beth Rishon’s congregation in 2018. He prefers to be called simply “Reb Beni” by everyone in the congregation, including his students. This informal moniker creates a sense of familiarity with our rabbinical mentor and fosters open communication.
Reb Beni’s biggest passions are people and spirituality. His time and energy are dedicated to accompanying congregants through moments of nachos and tzuros, joy and struggle. Reb Beni uses a balanced combination of Judaism, mindfulness and energetic kindness to guide people as they search for a freshened connection with their purpose in life. He considers it a privilege to have an intimate spiritual connection with each person at Temple Beth Rishon. Reb Beni is committed to inspiring a spiritual renewal and nurturing the relevancy of yiddishkeit for the modern Jew. Environmental preservation is an important issue to our rabbi. His hope is that we will leave the world just as we found it, if not better, for our descendants.
Reb Beni came to Temple Beth Rishon from Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. Originally from Brazil, he trained at the Seminario Rabinico in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. He has served as rabbi, rabbinic intern, hospital chaplain, student rabbi and teacher in congregations, hospitals and nursing homes in New York, California, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, Argentina and Brazil. Reb Beni is an active member of the OHALAH (Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal), the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. In addition, Reb Beni is a certified energy healer in the Usui Reiki lineage.
When not in shul, Reb Beni shares life with his three loves: his wife Miriam and their young sons Shai Lev and Rafael Mendel. At home, he enjoys strumming his guitar, cooking a nice dinner, sitting on his meditation cushion, reading or rooting for Botafogo, a Brazilian soccer team.
But all of this information is not enough to truly get to know Reb Beni. The best way is to stop reading this now, pick up the phone, call the synagogue (201-891-4466) and set up a time to come have a cup of tea in his study. That would literally mean the world to him!