Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow joined us at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in August of 2010. He was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. There he was active in Boy Scout Troop 18 based in Congregation Beth El. As a Boy Scout, Rabbi Sendrow earned the Ner Tamid Award. That experience established his relationship with Rabbi Howard Kahn, alav hashalom, and ultimately led to Rabbi Sendrow’s decision to study for the rabbinate.
Rabbi Sendrow’s college career began at Northern Illinois University as a music major, with a scholarship in euphonium performance and an emphasis in symphonic conducting. He ultimately earned his Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Philadelphia. He then studied at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, also in Philadelphia. During his academic career, Rabbi Sendrow received the Ruth Brin Scholarship, the Rabbi Kenneth and Aviva Berger Memorial Prize in Practical Rabbinics, the Rabbi Mordecai and Pessi Yohlin Award in Rabbinics, the Zehuva Altman Memorial Prize in Jewish Music, and the Dr. Daniel Isaacman Memorial Prize in Hebrew Literature. He was ordained in June of 1992, and received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters.
Rabbi Sendrow served his first pulpit in Southwest Florida for eighteen years. While there, he joined the Conservative Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Sendrow served two terms as treasurer for the Rabbinical Assembly’s Southeast Region, and as vice-president for the Southeast Region’s Central Council. He served for ten years as a chaplain for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and was as a member of the Ethics Committee and the Clergy Credentials Committee for Lee Memorial Health Systems. He was a founding board member of the Lee County Domestic Violence Council, and also founded the Chevra Kadisha of Fort Myers.
Rabbi Sendrow has published articles and sermons in several publications including The American Rabbi, and a story in Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul. He blogs and podcasts on various subjects at www.RabbiBen.org. Rabbi Sendrow lives in Carmel with his wife, Arlene, and their three children, Evan, Sammy, and Rachel. He looks forward to continuing his musical career on euphonium with a local wind ensemble, and at home with his guitar. He also tries to find time for reading, photography, and sports.