J. Rolando Matalon

Rabbi

J. Rolando Matalon

rabbis@bj.org

ext. 233

Biography

José Rolando Matalon, B’nai Jeshurun’s senior rabbi, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was educated in Buenos Aires, Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York City. After his ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1986, Rabbi Matalon came to BJ to share the pulpit—and vision—of his mentor and friend Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer. They worked together to revitalize the congregation and turn its focus to prayer, learning, service, social justice, and interfaith cooperation.

After Rabbi Meyer’s death in 1993, Rabbi Matalon became BJ’s spiritual leader. He was joined by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein in 1995 and by Rabbi Felicia Sol in 2001. With the support of Hazzan Ari Priven, Rabbis Matalon and Sol now lead a vibrant, diverse community of 1,800 households.

Rabbi Matalon’s visionary leadership has had a profound impact on the revitalization of Jewish synagogue life in the US and in Israel, his involvement in the New York, Jewish, and Israeli communities is broad and deep. He has received awards from the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, the New Israel Fund, and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

Rabbi Matalon is a founding co-director of Piyut North America, a partnership between B’nai Jeshurun and Hazmanah Le-Piyut in Israel, which is dedicated to the dissemination of liturgical music from Jewish communities around the world. A student of Arabic and Turkish music, Rabbi Matalon plays the oud (Arabic lute). Rabbi Matalon is married and has two daughters.

Articles Written by
J. Rolando Matalon

Responding to the Crisis of Homelessness

Homelessness has been a painful, difficult and persistent issue in New York City since the 1970's, and ther...

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Tuning our Souls for Teshuvah

This poetical and musical experience with Rabbi Roly Matalon, Lizzie Leiman Kraiem, Rabbi Uri Kroizer, Hazz...

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Find Your Waze to the Light: Our High Holy Days Journey

Today is Rosh Hodesh Elul—the beginning of the month before the High Holy Days. So, as we do every year, ou...

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Homelessness in our Community

Over the past few weeks, a controversy has erupted on the Upper West Side regarding the temporary use of lo...

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We Will Do and We Will Listen

The Jewish community, our community, has a sacred calling to truly become a holy community, honor the digni...

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Our High Holy Days Plans

And so while it is clear we cannot celebrate the Yamim Nora’im together in person this year, the BJ communi...

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Welcome Rabbi Rebecca Weintraub

Ever since Rebecca’s visit to our community in January, we have been excited at the possibility of her join...

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A Time of Pain and Fury

These are days of pain, rage, and fury. The vicious murder of George Floyd—a veritable lynching—is the late...

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Toward Shabbat: Bamidbar

In a time of unprecedented “normals” and as new paradigms emerge, we need the Torah to awaken our imaginati...

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Toward Shabbat: Shemini

To save human life is to do God’s work. You—doctors, nurses, technicians, EMTs, nursing home aides, pharmac...

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