BRIDGEPORT — Rabbi Evan Schultz, 40, of Fairfield was recently officially installed as the 19th Senior Rabbi to serve at Congregation B’nai Israel, the oldest and largest synagogue in the Greater Bridgeport area.

The leadership installation ceremony for the Bridgeport-based temple, whose 700 member families come from Fairfield, Trumbull, Stratford, Shelton, Easton, Monroe and other area towns, took place at Shabbat (Sabbath) services Friday, Nov. 15. It included tributes from a wide array of people.

One tribute came from Rabbi Schultz’s teacher at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, who said his former student “was among the best of his generation but his best work is yet to come.”

Rabbi Schultz served as the Assistant Rabbi at the temple for the last seven years and became the Senior Rabbi after his predecessor, Rabbi James Prosnit of Fairfield, retired in June concluding nearly 30 years as the spiritual leader of the congregation which is affiliated with the Reform Judaism movement.

Rabbi Schultz is known for engaging B’nai Israel community members through learning, song, prayer, conversation and social justice. The congregation was founded in 1859 in Bridgeport by a small group of German immigrants.

Born in Queens, N.Y., he was raised in various cities in the Northeast, most notably Boston. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2001 with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a philosophy minor. He was ordained in 2012 from Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion.

Evan and his wife Jenny have three sons-- Koby, Elie and Roie. He is an avid runner, guitar player, song leader, reader and traveler.

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