The Young Israel of Merrick was incorporated in 1987 by a core group of 18 families. From 1986 through mid 1988, services, cultural events and meetings were held in private homes with facilities being rented for the High Holidays. In mid 1988, the Young Israel purchased a home for use as a Shul. Eventually, The Young Israel received a variance from the Town of Hempstead to convert the home into a synagogue building. The construction was completed quickly with the help of our extended Young Israel family. Our building, though small, has always served as a perfect space for our members in all walks of life.
Our Rabbi and Rebbetzin, Rabbi Dov and Rena Winston have been serving our shul since June of 2018. Prior to their arrival Rabbi Marc and Jeryl Volk served YIM for 22 years. Rabbi Volk, currently serves as the Rabbi Emeritus.
Meet Our Rabbi and Rebbetzin
Rabbi Dov and Rena Winston
After great anticipation, our shul welcomed the Winstons to our shul in June of 2018.
Rabbi Winston received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University. Rabbi Winston is also in the final stages of completing his M.A. in Biblical Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He is also an authorized Shaatnez checker. Rabbi Winston also currently serves as Community Programming Director of Yeshiva University's Center for Jewish Future. Rabbi Winston is a proud member of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).
Originally from Long Island, NY, Rabbi Winston is the founder and former director of Kahal, an organization that supports Jewish and Orthodox life on college campuses that have few resources. In addition, he is the founder and former director of Hisoriri, an organization that enables student leaders to strengthen Jewish communal life across the East Coast. Rabbi Winston has also served on the Rabbinic team at The Young Israel Ezras Israel of Potomac. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Rabbi in Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis, TN.
In July 2016 Rabbi Winston married his amazing wife Rena. After receiving her bachelors from Stern College, Rena completed her M.A. in Occupational Therapy from SUNY Downstate. Rena has worked in some of the top OT Rehabilitation facilities in the country. In addition to her "day job" Rena has previously served a crucial role in a number of communities. Most notably, Rena was on the board of Mt. Sinai, the most prominent shul for young families in Washington Heights, NY.
The Winstons are the proud parents of two little girls, Leora and Shalva. While napping and eating are two of their most favorite past times, they also really enjoy meeting new people.
Rabbi Marc Volk, Rabbi Emeritus
Our Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Marc Volk epitomized the mantra of the Young Israel of Merrick, namely to provide an environment where all participants feel comfortable and are able to grow their Judaism at their own level and pace. Rabbi Volk has the unique ability to find a common ground with people of all backgrounds, whether talking about sports or halacha. The Rabbi's examples of "gemilat chesed" like visiting the sick and interaction with people in their time of need make him a real asset to our community. Jeryl Volk embraced her role as Rebbitzen with gusto. She has welcomed guests for Shabbat and Yom Tov hospitality, lead discussions and classes, and has been there as a friend to our congregants. Her warmth and genuine friendliness are appreciated and cherished by the entire membership. The Volk's served our shul for 22 years and we are lucky to still have them in the community.
Rabbi Volk currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Council of Young Israel.
Shul Board and Leadership
Board of Directors, 2019-2021
President: Steven Gage
Vice-President: Stuart Daitch
Treasurer: Debby Gage
Secretary: Dr. Stanley Fish
Gabbai: Sam Sperling
Building Chariman: Dr. Howard Nathanson
Trustees: Avi Abikzer, Larry Korman, Jan Levine
Sisterhood: Stacey Nathanson
Immediate Past President: Jeffrey Maynard
Past Shul Presidents
2017-2019: Jeffrey Maynard
2015-2017: Jan Levine
2013-2015: Steven Gage
2011-2013: Jan Levine
2007-2011: Jacob Kurland
2005-2007: Aaron Stein
2003-2005: Jeffrey Maynard
2001-2003: Allen Rosenthal
1997-2001: Steven Gage
1995-1997: Avi Abikzer
1993-1995: Steven Hamburg
1991-1993: Howard Nathanson
1989-1991: Ira Zimilover
1987-1989: Aaron Stein