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Our Alumni

Jacob (Yaacov) Marmor '06, Rabbi

Rabbi of Bais Mordechai in Hollywood and Rabbi of Young Israel of Greater Miami

What warms your heart when you think of your time at Scheck Hillel?    

The amazing friends I had and the epic fun we had at school.

Share a funny or unique story from your time at Scheck Hillel.    
One day in 12th grade my friends and I decided we were in the mood for snow cones, so we went to the closet where Rabbi Parsons kept the Hillel snow cone machine, asked the lunch room for a giant bucket of ice, and started making snow cones. People started lining up because they assumed it was a sanctioned event so we started distributing snow cones to anyone who wanted. Eventually Rabbi Parsons walked by with a shocked look on his face, so we offered him a snow cone. I loved that snow cone machine.

Was there a teacher who had a positive impact and made you feel like you could do it all?    
My favorite teacher at Hillel was Rabbi Parsons. He put up with so much rowdiness and wildness, and he never got mad or upset. He was always nice to us, and did everything he could to make sure we enjoyed learning with him. I know dozens of alumni who still stay in touch with him and learn with him regularly. It takes a really special Rabbi to stay in touch with his high school students after 15 years!

Do you feel like your days as a Scheck Hillel student had an impact on your adult life and your choices? How so?    
Absolutely! Hillel taught me how to have fun while striving in my academics. I had to learn to balance, friends, sports, and tests. I honestly enjoyed going to school every day because there was such a positive atmosphere for learning.

What educational path did you follow?    
After graduating from Hillel, I went to Israel to Yeshivat Ner Yaakov for a year and a half. Then I went to YU where I graduated with a BS in accounting. After 2 years in Manhattan working as CPA in public accounting, I made Aliyah with my wife and baby boy. In Israel I worked as a Rebbe teaching in Yeshivat Mevaseret Tzion for 3 years until joining a five-year rabbinical fellowship at the Center for Kehillah Development where I earned my smicha.

What is your current profession and where do you work? How did you come to work in this field?    
I currently work as a Rabbi at Bais Mordechai in Hollywood and as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Greater Miami. On my personal journey I fell in love with learning Torah and teaching it to others. I had many amazing Rabbis that changed my life and I wanted to pay-it-forward by inspiring others to get closer to Hashem. Most people that remember me from highschool will probably be shocked that I became a Rabbi, but I am proof that anyone who is searching for the truth and willing to listen with an open mind can discover the beauty and profundity of Torah.

What is most rewarding about the work you do? What are you passionate about?    
My goal in life is to help others live a passionate, inspired Judaism. Growing up, many of us (including me) looked at our religion as a burdensome nuisance. But, as we mature we can begin to appreciate how beautiful and meaningful Judaism really is. There is so much depth and relevance in our Torah that can enrich our lives and help us become better people. Prayer and Torah learning can enhance not only our relationship with God, but also our relationship with our spouse, our parents, and our children. Most people are just too busy to explore our history and tradition, but when they do, they discover that it holds the secret to happiness is this world and the next. I would like to extend an open invitation to anyone who would like to reach out and start learning more about what Judaism has to offer.

Looking back, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?    
Just because you didn't connect to Judaism is high school, doesn't mean you won't connect to it when you get older. Keep an open mind, remain intellectually honest, and remember that you are part of a 3,000 year old tradition. If it lasted that long, they must be on to something.