Temple Israel seeks images of Rabbi Michael Panitz and his family for 30th anniversary celebration

by | Mar 16, 2023 | What’s Happening

Celebration slated for Sunday, April 2 is sold-out.

A young Rabbi Michael Panitz, his wife Sheila, and their three children—Emily, Zeke, and Benjamin—came to Norfolk to assume Temple Israel’s pulpit in 1992. Trained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1982 and received a Ph.D. in Jewish history in 1989, Rabbi Panitz was the search committee’s unanimous choice. For all these 30 years, his spiritual leadership on the pulpit and his guidance and support for congregants has made him respected and loved by all.

Jewish education has always been a love and focus of his life. In Tidewater, Rabbi Panitz has been active in adult Jewish education, teaching for the Florence Melton Adult Mini School since its inception in South Hampton Roads. He has taught religious studies, history, and Hebrew language at Old Dominion University and Virginia Wesleyan University. He regularly contributes to national scholarly journals and gives lectures on a variety of topics, from Judaism to music to history, often interweaving the three.

Possessed of a razor-sharp wit and an unabashed love for a joke (the cornier, the better it seems), there is little he likes more than a rousing game of Stump the Rabbi. And almost nothing he likes more than answering thoughtful questions from eager learners.

A slide show is being created for the event. Temple Israel requests that if anyone has pictures of Rabbi Panitz and/or his family to share to please e-mail templeisraelva1954@gmail.com or send a copy to the Temple Israel office, 7255 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505.

Bobbie Fisher