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Rabbi on the Move Likes Feel of the Area

September 10, 2009 By:
Aaron Passman, JE Staff
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Rabbi Jeff Sultar

Rabbi Jeff Sultar, 47, once spent more than two years riding his bicycle 16,000 miles around the United States. Having spent all that time touring 46 states, you might now say that he's doing something similar -- touring the various Jewish communities around Philadelphia.

Sultar recently joined Congregation Tiferes B'nai Israel in Warrington, his third pulpit in three counties of the five-county region in just five years.

Prior to joining TBI, Sultar served as interim rabbi at Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley and as senior rabbi at Mishkan Shalom in Roxborough.

Now that he's on the bimah in Bucks County, Sultar's looking forward to getting to know the community in some depth. He pointed out that all of his previous posts had been congregations with 300 or more families, where TBI is home to a little more than 100.

"One of the things with a smaller congregation is that it's much more possible for a rabbi to form relationships with a large portion of the community," said Sultar.

Part of what drew him to the synagogue, he said, was the fervor the community has for it, even among people who have been involved with it for 40 years.

"There's a kind of passion about it, which you tend to see more in start-up congregations," he noted.

When he's not on the pulpit, he's searching for a publisher -- Sultar wrote a book about his bike travels, and if there's anyone listening out there, he's got a "big old manuscript" sitting in his closet.

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