RABBI LAWRENCE S. AND BERNI ZIERLER TO BE HONORED AT THE OU/NCSY’S BEN ZAKKAI HONOR SOCIETY DINNER; JEWISH CENTER OF TEANECK TO BE RECOGNIZED AND FORMALLY WELCOMED INTO OU MEMBERSHIP
The Jewish Center of Teaneck, Teaneck’s first synagogue, established 80 years ago and the foundational Jewish institution in the community, will be formally welcomed into Orthodox Union membership at the OU and NCSY’s Annual Ben Zakkai Honor Society dinner, Sunday March 10 at 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton New York. At that time, the Jewish Center’s Rabbi Lawrence S. and Rebbetzin Berni (nee Breen) Zierler will be honored with the Ezra Ben Zion Lightman Memorial Award in recognition of more than 30 years of Jewish communal service.
Berni Zierler began in NCSY as an officer and many times was president of her NCSY chapter at Nusach Ari Bnai Zion Synagogue in St. Louis. She later became a national advisor and served in that capacity for the Atlantic Seaboard Region. A major force in NCSY, she was inducted into Ben Zakkai in 1980 and has remained an active supporter of its work ever since.
She has been involved in raising funds for various communal organizations, including Matan B’Sayser and programs in Jewish special education in the communities in which she and her husband have served, by creating concerts for women. Rebbetzin Zierler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Touro College’s Physician’s Assistant Program, is a Board Certified PA, and currently works in the field of orthopedic medicine.
“Berni Breen was marked for NCSY greatness at her first event as a 14-year-old,” said Dr. David Luchins, dinner co-chair. “As a chapter president and regional officer she demonstrated the maturity and charisma that made her such an effective advisor, role model and rebbetzin in the years that followed. The role she and Rabbi Larry have played in the Jewish Center of Teaneck’s historic transformation deserves our admiration and thanks.
Rabbi Zierler was ordained in 1985 by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and has held pulpit positions in Portland, ME, Cleveland and Memphis. Concurrent with his rabbinate in Cleveland, he also served as a JCC Executive and Jewish Community Chaplain. After completing a two-year Mandel Jerusalem Fellowship in Israel he assumed the pulpit of the storied Jewish Center of Teaneck, then an unaffiliated traditional congregation, which he guided to a full embrace of Orthodox Judaism. It is now a mechitzah congregation.
“The Jewish Center of Teaneck's transformation is a landmark achievement that reflects the vision and foresight of its leadership and membership. The OU feels privileged to welcome this historic congregation into its family,” declared Rabbi Steven Weil, OU executive vice president.
Rabbi Zierler holds two MA degrees, one in Clinical Counseling and the other in Bio-Ethics. He remains active in the field of bio-ethics, serving as a consultant to various hospice programs as well as a member of the ethics committees at various hospitals and health care facilities. He serves as the Jewish Chaplain to the Teaneck Fire Department and as President of the Teaneck Clergy Council. Rabbi Zierler is also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County and the New York Board of Rabbis.