Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom of Rochester, upstate New York’s largest orthodox congregation. He received his Rabbinical Ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and studied closely under Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, the Rosh Hayeshivah.
Rabbi Kilimnick has served as Congregation Beth Sholom’s Chief Rabbi since 1976. His influence runs deep throughout the entire Rochester Jewish community and community at large. He has served on virtually every major Jewish community board in Rochester and is often called upon to give advice on many Jewish issues. Additionally, Rabbi Kilimnick is the chaplain and religious coordinator for the Jewish Home of Rochester.
Rabbi Kilimnick enjoys an international reputation as a major Jewish leader and his connections run deep throughout the world. Nationally, Rabbi Kilimnick has served for more than two decades as the B’nai Brith Youth Organization as its Orthodox Rabbi at KALLAH and ILTC camp in Starlite, Pennsylvania. He has also been a member of the Rabbinic Cabinets of the UJA, the Rabbinic Cabinet of Israel Bonds, where he has been a national chairman, and has been a Vice President of the Rabbinic Council of America, where he continues to be an active member. He has been a guest at the White House for State Dinners, including those which have hosted the Israeli Prime Minister.
Rabbi Kilimnick is also noted for his extensive involvement and assistance with the State of Israel, having raised large sums of money for Israel’s religious, economic and security growth. He has often spoken on the Zionist movement and has encouraged countless individuals to make aliyah. Congregation Beth Sholom is known as a pathway for many individuals to live the Zionist dream by making aliyah, and Rabbi Kilimnick has personally assisted numerous individuals in their move to Israel. Our congregation members annually make trips to Israel to demonstrate support and Rabbi Kilimnick has personally visited Israel more than 50 times.
Rabbi Kilimnick is married to Nechie, formerly Nechele Wernick. Rabbi and Mrs. Kilimnick have five children: Dr. Yosef (Dr. Suzanne) Kilimnick of Rochester, New York; Shifron (Laurie) Kilimnick of Teaneck New Jersey; Tziporah (Avi) Hornstein of Chashmonaim, Israel; Dovid Kilimnick of Jerusalem, Israel; and Rabbi Avi (Esti) Kilimnick of New York City. Rabbi & Mrs. Kilimnick have 13 grand children.