Rabbi David Ebstein
Originally from Chicago, Rabbi David Ebstein was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1988. He was the first full-time rabbi at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC. In 1995, after seven rewarding years in the pulpit, David and his family fulfilled a lifelong dream of making aliyah. After working for Hillel on various campuses in the Former Soviet Union, David worked at Yad Vashem in the International School for Holocaust Studies. As his Bar/Bat Mitzvah practice began to grow, David became a licensed Israel Tour Guide, a skill that would complement his work with B’nei Mitzvah families. Today Rabbi Ebstein specializes in creating meaningful Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies on Mondays,Thursdays, Shabbatot and holidays, and happily guides on the other days of the week. While he has had the privilege of celebrating with over 1000 families, each new simcha brings a fresh sense of excitement.
David lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Rena Magun, who works together with him keeping all the balls in the air. They have 4 adult children, a daughter-in-law, and a sweet dog.
Rena hails from South Jersey and got her BA and MA at Penn. After 26 years as a devoted Jewish communal servant/ Zionist educator, in 2008 she left the non profit sector, not sure what was coming next. Gradually she got involved with David’s work as Bar/Bat Mitzvah Rabbi and together they grew a side occupation into a thriving venture.
Rena wears many kippot including bookkeeping, some of the correspondence, social media, artist in residence, driver and the occasional 10th in the minyan! She loves the independence of working for herself and plans one day to write a best selling novel called “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Kotel".
An expert in video production and digital media, Chaim was a pioneer in the field as early as 1983, when most people were trying to figure out how to get their VCR’s to record when they weren’t home! Chaim’s company, Memories in Motion is the industry leader for promotional and tribute films for organizations, nonprofits and educational institutions. He also documents families as they tour Israel, and has credits in several independent documentary films. And of course, Chaim does simchas of all kinds, working together with Rabbi Ebstein for the last 15 years on many B’nai Mitzvah in Jerusalem. Zoomography is Chaim's latest specialty, and he has quickly become a master at elevating a zoom service to a truly interactive and joyous celebration!
It takes a village…THANK YOU to these fine people:
David Ebstein for all your unconditional support, love, and for believing in me…
Jeanette Kuvin Oren for your friendship that I cherish, and for everything you do for us. Thanks for the Tallit banner and the template for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah certificates.
Marshall Brill for a never-ending list of kindnesses, some of them life changing…
Chaim Snow for your partnership, friendship and talent.
Lorraine Newman Mackler for your persistence (that paid off) to help me find pictures of zoom mitzvahs.
Tandu for the background music for the movie.
The Gabbay Hasleton family and Yehoshua Halevi for the amazing pictures
The Lesser Family for getting the ball rolling and for having faith in us.
The Brody Family and Risa Schessel for the generous access to your family’s pictures and footage.
Kristin at Card My Yard Paramus
Elana Goldscheider for your wisdom and friendship, and for the picture of Avital Fisher.
All the people who sent pictures but don’t want their name on the internet.
Elliot Magun, Beth Kopin and Yehuda Cohen for sending in pictures.
And last but not least, Michelle Marchant for your amazing website design skills, and your incredible patience.