Rabbi Neil Tow comes to Woodbury Jewish Center after serving nine years at Glen Rock Jewish Center in northern New Jersey.
He is incredibly blessed to share his life with Rabbi Rachel Schwartz and their children Dara and Micah.
Rabbi Tow was ordained from Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2006. He also studied at Machon Schechter in Jerusalem, Israel. During his years at Seminary, he served at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Ivry Prozdor Hebrew High School, and Sha’rey Shalom in Leesburg, Virginia. Additionally, he participated in pastoral care training at Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC.
During his years in New Jersey, Rabbi Tow implemented and originated new and innovative programs within his congregational family strengthening the values he holds dear. Rabbi Tow placed a strong emphasis on education by creating the Hebrew school computer lab and Hebrew immersion program as well as Kulanu, a class for students on the autism spectrum. To make services more accessible, he created the Shabbat Companion book, and the High Holidays companion book, with transliterations and explanations of the prayers, choreography of the service, and more. He taught an annual interfaith study class with Pastor Roger Spencer of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glen Rock. Each year at Simchat Torah, he unrolls the entire Torah and takes youth and adults on a guided tour of the text and the creation of the scroll. To pursue community building, together with Rabbi Rachel Schwartz he developed ‘Apples & Honey’, an annual family-friendly taste of the High Holidays program open to all Jewish families in the area and engaged in outreach. Together they also started and volunteered in the synagogue Chevra Kadisha, traditional Jewish burial preparation, being the only Conservative synagogue in the area to offer this service to members, supporting chesed (loving-kindness) in the community. He also organized synagogue volunteers to serve dinner to guests at the Bergen County Shelter and ‘Family Promise’ shelter program. He led the synagogue’s first Israel trip in 2010 in the spirit of ahavat Yisrael (love of Israel)and its Jewish heritage tour of Eastern Europe in 2013 in the spirit of klal Yisrael (Jewish peoplehood). He was Vice Chair of Intergroup Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council, building relationships with other faith and ethnic groups in the region.
Neil is pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education from the Davidson school at JTS.