Rabbi Josh Yuter Announces Departure From Stanton Street Shul

Rabbi Josh Yuter.

Rabbi Josh Yuter.

Rabbi Josh Yuter of the Stanton Street Shul has decided the time has come for a big change. During Shabbat services this past weekend, Yuter announced he’s stepping down after five years leading the diverse Lower East Side congregation, and intends to make Aliyah.  He plans a move to Israel during the summer.  Here’s a portion of a message the rabbi posted on Yutopia, his popular blog:

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, my immediate family is all there, and of course it’s a religious obligation.  But making Aliyah is still a huge step. It’s probably the only time where you can give up a career, family, friends, security, and the entire life you knew for a completely uncertain future and people will still wish you “Mazal Tov” for doing so. 3 The question for me is less a matter of “why” than it is “why now?” Let me say at the outset that my decision was not determined by any internal factors within my shul.  There is still time for retrospectives for the blur that has been the past 5.5 years of my time here, but for now I will just say that I am leaving with the utmost appreciation and gratitude towards the entire community, and I hope to elaborate on my experiences in a later post. The immediate catalyst was actually a decision by the Seward Park Cooperative where I have been subletting since my arrival. On January 9 of this past year the co-op decided to raise the fees it charges owners for the privilege of subletting apartments such that the amount I am currently paying in rent – a non-trivial sum to be sure – would not even cover these fees, let alone any profit the owners would understandably like to collect. While the co-op later rescinded this decision on March 11, I had already come to terms with the reality of needing to move again and stress and uncertainty of finding other suitable “affordable” accommodations, let alone the prospect of finding a long-term housing solution…

Rabbi Yuter went on to explain that he explored a number of options to stay in this country, but none of them panned out. You can read his entire post here.