This past Friday night the Messianic Jewish movement lost another one of its great leaders. Rabbi Betzalel (Barry) Budoff served as the rabbi of Ahavat Zion Synagogue (AZS) in Beverly Hills (where I now serve as the rabbi) from 1980-1991.
Receiving the news of his death has been a tremendous blow to me personally. As I transitioned into leadership at AZS, Rabbi Budoff was very helpful in helping me navigate the transition and provided much needed encouragement and support. Just days ago we were together in Chicago for the UMJC’s annual conference discussing his coming out to AZS again to speak and my going to his congregation, Bnai Maccabim.
Not only did Rabbi Budoff serve several congregations during his rabbinate, he served as the General Secretary of the UMJC and worked with a couple prominent Messianic Jewish organizations. His leadership, pastoral care and contagious smile will be deeply missed.
This past February Rabbi Budoff flew out to celebrate AZS’s 40th anniversary and it was so wonderful for him to reconnect with old congregants and friends.
Jewish tradition teaches that it is a blessing to die on Shabbat and that it is a blessing reserved only for special individuals. Obviously, Rabbi Budoff was a special individual and now his family desperately needs our help.
Please join me in rallying around the family to help cover his funeral and burial expenses and to provide a financial cushion. You can donate HERE.
You can also read more about Rabbi Budoff HERE on the UMJC website.