In 1982, Avrohom Litvin was ordained as a rabbi at the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Brooklyn NY. Three years later he moved to Louisville with his wife, Goldie, and their 15-month-old son, Shmully, to serve as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, directing Chabad of Kentucky.
The Litvins quickly fell in love with Louisville and the people who live here. From the culture of Cardinals Basketball to teaching about the beauty of Judaism in a way that all could appreciate – it was a labor of love.
The biggest challenge they faced was that there was no Yeshiva for their children to continue their studies after elementary school. They sent their children to out of town Yeshiva schools at a young age, and struggled with calling them and keeping in touch by phone and later by computer and Skype.
Chaim went to study in Yeshiva in Los Angeles, Miami and Montreal. He completed his studies in Sydney, Australia, and was ordained as a rabbi. He now works alongside his father at Chabad of Kentucky.
Shlomo went to Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Sefat, Israel, where he received rabbinical ordination. He has opened a branch of Chabad on the UK campus in Lexington.
Mendel went to Sefat, Israel; Postville, Iowa; and then back to Ramat Gan, Israel; and just received his rabbinical ordination. He will be returning to Louisville at the end of the summer.
Shmully studied in Yeshiva too, but never took the formalized ordination program. Instead he went into the field of computer programming and web design working at the executive offices of B & H in New York and then moved back to Louisville and opened his own computer business. But he always felt he wanted to finish the rabbinical training he had studied for so many years.
In 2010, Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm realized that there were many students like Shmully who had not finished their rabbinical ordination program for any number of reasons. So, he created an intensive online program which entailed a serious commitment of advanced learning over a three-year period.
On July 3, Shmully Litvin completed this program and on September 7, he will officially receive his rabbinical ordination and join his three brothers (and two brothers-inlaw) and father as an ordained rabbi.
This is the first Louisville family in history to have all of their adult sons join their father as ordained rabbis.
The entire community is invited to help celebrate this community milestone and simcha. The program will take place on Wednesday, September 7, at 7 p.m. at the new Jewish Learning Center, 1110 Dupont Cir.
The Jewish Learning Center will house the Louisville Jewish Day School, a chapter of Friendship Circle and will offer JLearn – a series of adult education programs which will enable this Louisville family of rabbis to educate, empower and inspire this community through a variety of classes and educational programs.
The celebration will be followed by a dessert reception and tours of the new Jewish Learning Center. All are welcome.