Meet Rabbi Menashe East


RabbiEastHeadShotRabbi Menashe East grew up in New Jersey with a family that instilled a love and reverence for Judaism. From an early age, Rav Menashe was blessed to study Torah with his father and grandfather. Rav Menashe’s other teacher, his mother, directs a Jewish Family Service in New Jersey and modeled commitment to the Jewish community.

Following high school, Rav Menashe attended the Hesder Yeshiva, Shalaviim, for two years in Israel’s Ayalon Valley, studying ancient Jewish texts beside young Israelis destined to serve in the IDF. After Israel, Rav Menashe attended Yeshiva University, where he studied Torah, obtained a bachelor’s degree in literature and completed master’s level course work in Jewish thought.

Rav Menashe then attended the Open Orthodox yeshiva, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss. In YCT’s study hall, Rav Menashe was exposed to rigorous Torah scholarship and spirituality and an open mindedness to the breadth of Jewish thinking and people. Alongside his Rabbinical studies, Rav Menashe pursued an MSW at YU’s school of social work, Wurzweiller.

After ordination, Rav Menashe traveled west to San Diego, CA to serve as the spiritual leader of a fledgling synagogue, Kehillat Ahavat Yisrael (KAY). Of distinction, Rav Menashe helped KAY gain synagogue membership into the OU. Under Rav Menashe’s guidance, KAY was the first YCT-led synagogue in the United States to seek and gain membership into the OU. Alongside his role as a synagogue rabbi, Rav Menashe served as a member of the Judaic studies faculty of San Diego’s community day school, the San Diego Jewish Academy, teaching middle through high school students.

In 2010, Rav Menashe completed a three-year fellowship with the prestigious Rabbinic Leadership Initiative at the Shalom Hartman Institute. The program focused on pluralism within Judaism and study with rabbis from across the Judaic spectrum.

Rav Menashe joined Mt. Freedom Jewish Center in August 2009. He has become a valued member not only of the synagogue, but also of the greater Jewish and secular community. Rav Menashe sits on the Rabbinic Council of the Gottesman RTW Academy (the area’s community Jewish Day School), as well as the Rabbinic Council of Morris County. He is a founder of the Interfaith Council of Morris County, through which he has worked to promote interfaith programs and fostering understanding throughout the Morris County community. Rav Menashe has also become involved in the United Jewish Communities of Greater MetroWest. He currently sits on UJC board of directors. And he participated in important programs such as the Arthur Borinsky Young Leadership Program, and is a co-facilitator for the Shalom Hartman Lecture Series sponsored by MetroWest.

Rav Menashe’s greatest joy is his family. Rav Menashe and his sacred friend

EastFamily2014and life partner, Donna, are blessed with four young children – Ayala Rayati, Erez Avraham, Elisha David, and Alon Yair. Their toy poodle, Nanku, is part of the family too.

Please contact Rav Menashe at the shul: (973)895-2103, on his cell: (201) 923-1107 or via email: rabbi@mtfjc.org

Office Hours
(Subject to Change; Please call ahead)

Tuesday-Friday 9AM-12PM



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