Michael Novich

On Shabbos morning, January 21, the congregants of Young Israel of Memphis (YIOM) was excited to celebrate with Michael and Alison Novich, as Michael marked his second cycle of completing the study of the entire Babylonian Talmud with a joy-filled Siyum HaShas and gala Kiddush. YIOM President Jonathan Kaplan commented, “Our community is incredibly impressed with Michael’s monumental accomplishment. His commitment to consistently study Torah on a daily basis inspires each of us to carve out time in our own busy lives for daily Torah study.”

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Michael and Alison also arranged for their former rabbi – Rabbi Allen Schwartz (together with his wife Alisa and two of their children) of New York City’s Congregation Ohab Zedek – to join them for this special weekend. During his stay in Memphis, Rabbi Schwartz shared six well-attended intriguing Torah presentations with the community.


Rabbi Schwartz was as impressed with our Memphis Jewish community as we were with him. At several points over the course of Shabbos he remarked how important it was for him and his wife to see and experience our terrific community first-hand. Many young couples they interact with are looking for more affordable Jewish communities. Rabbi Schwartz told us he would readily suggest Memphis as an option for those interested in relocating.

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Rabbi Akiva Males began serving as rabbi of the Young Israel of Memphis in the summer of 2016. Prior to that, he served as a congregational rabbi in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at: [email protected].