The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 31, 2013

'Roving rabbis' reaching out in area, across the state

By Jessica Salmond, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The “roving rabbis” are making their way through Oklahoma.

Moshe Sasonkin, of Akron, Ohio, and Levi Misholovin, of West Bloomfield, Mich., are spending their summer vacation traveling the country to provide for the needs of Jewish people throughout remote areas or towns with small Jewish populations.

Currently, they are based in Oklahoma City and will be traveling throughout Oklahoma for a few weeks, and will return to Vance Air Force Base during that time.

Sasonkin and Misholovin are part of a group called “roving rabbis,” working through the Chabad Community Center in Oklahoma City, under the guidance of Rabbi Ovadia Goldman. Chabad’s (pronounced “Habbad”) goal is to reach out to Jewish people in every corner of the world. Sasonkin said there is only a handful of Jews in the Enid area.

“The uniqueness we have at Chabad is our mobility,” Misholovin said.

These rabbis-in-training aim to serve the needs of the Jewish people in areas that have a low population of Jews or do not have enough of a population to have a real community, Sasonkin said. He said they aim to reach out to every Jew, using their “no Jew left behind policy.”

“The primary focus is to bring encouragement,” Sasonkin said.

He hopes to help individuals develop their faith to be “more lively, more exciting and more vibrant.”

Misholovin said another goal of their travels is to help educate Jews about their faith and “help people remember their heritage.” Some of them have few connections to any Jewish community, or maybe live in a community without a synagogue.

They also are reminding Jews about the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It begins in the evening of Sept. 4, and ends in the evening of Sept. 6. The days commemorate the anniversary of the supposed date of the creation of Adam and Eve.

Misholovin and Sasonkin are rabbinical students, meaning they are studying to become rabbis. They still have a few years of education and training to finish.

To contact the Chabad Center, go to the website at www.jewishokc.com or call (405) 286-0900.