Rabbi Shafner has been the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation since 2004. He has Smicha (rabbinical ordination), a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW), and an MA in Jewish philosophy, from Yeshiva University in New York City and a Certificate in Advanced Psychotherapy from the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.
Before becoming our rabbi, Rabbi Shafner was the Campus Rabbi of the Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis for 8 years. Under his religious guidance Hillel and Washington University’s diverse Jewish life experienced great growth, from an expanded kosher food program, to deeper Jewish spiritual knowledge and a new growing Orthodox minyan.
Rabbi Shafner considers himself blessed to have spent much time with Bais Abraham’s former rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Magence, over the past few years, learning from him and from his unique ability to speak to all Jews and help them to grow spiritually. Bais Abraham is excited about having a vibrant rabbi who can follow in Rabbi Magence’s footsteps of deep Jewish learning combined with openness to all people and love for all Jews.
Before coming to St. Louis, Rabbi Shafner was the community Rabbi of Bombay, India, where he and his wife, Sara Winkelman, spent a year working with the Jews of India. They have three children, Benjamin, Yonah, and Hava.