Recently, Anshei Sfard began a new phase in its life by welcoming Rabbi Simcha Snaid as the congregation’s spiritual leader.
Originally from Savannah, GA, Rabbi Snaid is looking forward to life here. Louisville is a bit bigger than Savannah, he said, but the two communities enjoy similar life styles and comparable Jewish communities. “That is what I appreciate about this city,” he said.
In keeping with what he learned in the yeshiva, Rabbi Snaid wants to help people understand what it means to be Jewish, “to expose people to Torah and authentic Judaism.” He believes this is particularly true with young people. “The next generations have to be well-grounded and have a strong foundation in Judaism,” he said, “especially in small cities” where there aren’t as many resources.
Rabbi Snaid started his education at Jewish day school in Savannah. When he entered high school, he enrolled in the Wisconsin Institute of Torah Study in Milwaukee, where he not only complete high school, but undertook three additional years of study and then studied at a yeshiva in Queens, NY, for an additional seven years.
He holds a masters degree in educational administration from Bellevue University, and has taken numerous courses on marriage and counseling. He also has Star K kashrut training.
The reward he feels in helping facilitate change in people’s lives by bringing them closer to Judaism and Torah drew him into the rabbinic life.
Rabbi Snaid explained that his rabbi in Savannah was a big influence on his life. “What my family gained and what the community gained from his presence over 30 yearsis priceless. To be able to have the opportunity to give back, and hopefully affect the community the saneway he changed lives in Savannah is what I hope and pray to do here.”
He wants to ensure that Anshei Sfard is a happy, welcoming, vibrant place “where people feel comfortable coming for Jewish events … and mingling with other Jews.”
In working to increase people’s exposure to Torah and Judaism, he is planning a number of events and classes for the coming year. He is also looking forward to working with the community.
He and his wife, Hindy, have two daughters, Ilana and Rachel. She shares his commitment to Judaism and plans to be involved with the community.