Fifty years ago, Rabbi Benjamin and Rebbetzin Shevi Yudin came to Congregation Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and sparked a journey that has transformed the community which in turn continues to impact the world.
Today, as Rabbi Yudin transitions to Rabbi Emeritus and we prepare for the next phase of leadership, we celebrate 50 years of inspiration while looking ahead to the future.
Shabbos meals at the Yudins are the best! Rabbi Yudin always seats our boys on either side of him and proceeds to ask them detailed questions about themselves, school, their interests, and what they are learning. They are always completely mesmerized by the Parsha stories and Torah he shares. Meanwhile, we have stayed up late into the night on countless occasions as Shevi regales us with tales of all the amazing and often jaw dropping stories of their efforts for the community.
– Ari and Yael
Hashem led us to Fair Lawn over 30 years ago. Inspired by the Rabbi and Shevi, our lives have been made more meaningful and better in every way. Thanks to the Rabbi and Shevi, Fair Lawn is an amazing place to live. Our children and grandchildren must feel the same way because they also decided to move here. May Hashem bless the Rabbi and Shevi in every way.
– Mendy and Honny
For the past 34 years, we have watched Rabbi and Shevi Yudin watch and love everyone else. They devote their entire essence to the well-being of fellow Jews. Their intuition is immeasurable; they know how and when to help. The following tells it all: We were at the Kotel in Yerushalayim together with Shevi. As we sat there together to speak with Hashem, we looked over and there was Shevi with the shul list… reading each and every name in her “time with Hashem.” May Hashem bless, protect, and hug the Rabbi and Shevi always.
– Jake and Michele
In the 36 years we have known the Rabbi and Shevi we never met any couple who were more caring and loving of their community. Their acts of chesed and welcoming to all are exemplary. Their many acts of gemilas chasodim are examples of their character and middos. They lead by example, and from that comes their strength. They look for no special recognition and are very humble. Their doors are open to all to talk, ask advice, or just schmooze! They truly enjoy and have nachas from their kehila in times of joy, and empathize in times of sorrow.
– Michael and Sharon
Simply put, Rabbi Yudin and Shevi are the reason our family moved to Fair Lawn. They have consistently invested the time, effort, and personal energy to keep us on the right Torah path. Singlehandedly, they have profoundly impacted future generations of our family. We heard one family tell us the Yudins are like second parents to them. We can only imagine the thousands of couples who feel the same way. We know we do!
– Jeff and Carol
The Rabbi and Shevi are wonderful. To say that the mold was broken after them is an understatement. They give 110% of themselves 100% of the time. Living in the shadow of the Yudins is a glimpse into Jewish life of yesteryear. Our family is privileged to call them our Rabbi and Shevi.
– Jay and Claire
When we moved to Fair Lawn we quickly learned that the Yudins were not just any other Rabbi and Rebbetzin. The first night we moved in they insisted we join them in their sukkah for dinner and I was told right away to call her Shevi and not Rebbetzin Yudin. When we had personal tragedies the Yudins were always there to guide us and hold our hands. When we had simchas they always joined to share in our joy. The Yudins have always made us feel like we belonged and we were never alone.
– Daniel and Rachel
Once in a lifetime there are leaders that have the ability in the most beautiful and spiritual way to impact the lives of a family. Shevi & Rabbi Yudin are those leaders and it is their friendship and guidance to our family that is a bond that we treasure each and every day. The Reinheimer family so appreciates that the Rabbi & Shevi have included us on this very special and exciting journey.
— Michael and Elaine
After spending a few summers with Shevi and the Rabbi in Camp Hillel, we knew there was only one place for us to buy a house – Fair Lawn. The Yudins became our role models, teachers, mentors, and most of all, our true friends, always believing in us, encouraging us to grow by example, never by demands or instructions, never judging, always loving, through the best of times and the worst of times. Our children also benefited tremendously from the Yudins’ influence, being in their home, growing up with their children and continuing those friendships to this day.
— David and Debbie
We were treated to Shomrei Torah’s legendary welcome right from the start. On our very first Shabbat at shul in 1986, Shevi introduced herself to Janis and then proceeded to introduce Janis to two other young women. It was a perfect match, as those women and their husbands remain our closest friends to this very day. Shomrei Torah would not be the exceptional shul it is without the extraordinary efforts of Rabbi Yudin and Shevi. On a daily basis, they strive to infuse our shul and community with their exceptional middot. Thank you, Rabbi and Shevi, for all you do, and for setting such a beautiful example for all of us.
— Oren and Janis
For 50 years, the Yudins have followed a simple recipe: They’ve done whatever it takes to make us happy and to help us grow. They’ve guided us through sorrow and joy, through sickness and pain, through fear and through doubt. They’ve been models for our children. They lead with their hearts.
— Leo and Dossie
The Yudins taught us how to live more fulfilling lives by peeling away the infinite layers of the onion of Torah to guide us and our children to see the Hand of Hakadosh Baruch Hu in every aspect of our lives. They taught us to build relationships with younger and senior members, to pay a shiva call to someone we don’t know, to be sensitive towards the needs of others, to be happy for the success of others, to know that we don’t know, to realize that there’s no such thing as a coincidence, to grow from our challenges, to dance in the aisles over an incredible Torah insight, to buy a complete set of seforim for one possuk’s interpretation, to know that we had it first, to fasten our seatbelts and that it’s ok to say ouch if someone steps on our toe. Their guidance, knowledge, divrei Torah, divrei Mussar, davening and personalities have become woven into the fabric of our lives that will clothe us for generations to come. It is such an incredible honor and privilege that we have been blessed with to live in their community.
— Roy and Marilyn
When we look at our three girls, we are so proud of the wonderful women they have become. One of the biggest impacts on who they became was growing up under the influence of the day-to-day acts of chesed of Rabbi Yudin and Shevi and the amazing community that they have inspired. We can’t imagine a greater gift that the Rabbi and Shevi could have given the children of Shomrei Torah than the example of how they live their lives.
– Gil and Barbara
The Rabbi and Shevi teach Torah by doing. They exemplify the idea that the Torah speaks to every aspect of our lives and makes us better people. We have learned from their acts of kindness and love for the Jewish people that we all matter. We feel privileged to have them in our lives and as an integral part of our family.
– Danny and Deena
When we first moved into the community when we got married, Rabbi Yudin and Shevi instantly made us feel at home and we knew right away that this was the place for us. They have opened their doors to us and we have learned so much from them throughout these years. One of our favorite experiences has been helping Shevi cook for the entire Shul for the Simchas Torah kiddush and helping her pack Mishloach Manot for everyone…while we went there to help, we got so much more out of the experience than we gave, and we feel so fortunate to have been able to develop a relationship with these truly special people.”
Yoni and Danielle
- The Yudins are the perfect example of making Judaism come alive. Whether at the matza bakery, picking daled minim, dancing on simchas torah, or visiting the sick at a nursing home or hospital, the Yudins have not only taught how to do mitzvot but have modeled to us how to be ovdei Hashem in its fullest sense.
– Elli and Merav
- Over the past 50 years I have personally seen Fair Lawn and Bergen County being magically transformed into a vibrant Orthodox Jewish Community. Shomrei Torah was the first Orthodox Shul in Fair Lawn and has been truly blessed with Rabbi and Shevi Yudin, whose acts of reaching out to people are endless. Because of the Rabbi and Shevi, Shomrei Torah became my “home away from home”. My parents, Nettie and Herbert Weiss “ztl”, repeatedly referred to the Rabbi and Shevi as “one in a million”.