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Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovsky

Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovsky

JRCC 18 Rockford


Who's Who at the JRCC

Karpilovsky May 2007.jpg

Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovsky
Director JRCC @ 18 Rockford
416.222.7105 x235

Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovsky was born and raised in Moscow at a time when Russia was still under the oppressive communist rule.  Although Judaism was always an important part of his family's life, complete observance was limited.

Only with the collapse of the Soviet Union did young Yisroel start spending more and more time in the newly opened, local shul — Rabbi Berel Lazar’s Mariana Rosha Lubavitch Center.

Under Rabbi Lazar’s influence, he finally made the most important decision to dedicate his life to spreading the message of Yiddishkeit among his fellow Russian-speaking Jews. After graduating from high school, instead of accepting an offer from a prestigious Moscow university, he entered the just established Moscow Rabbinical Yeshiva.

Years of dedicated studies would follow in Moscow, New Jersey, Connecticut, and finally, in New York, where he received rabbinical ordination from the well known and respected Rabbi Lobkowsky, the preeminent authority in the Lubavitch community there.

After marrying Henya in 1998, Rabbi Yisroel continued his studies for another two years in Montreal under the supervision of Rav Hendel, one of the great rabbinic authorities of our time. In 2001 he joined the JRCC as director of the JRCC branch @ Rockford.

He is now responsible for running the largest Russian-speaking synagogue in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, Rabbi Yisroel performs the duties of the Associate Editor of the monthly Exodus Magazine in Russian, and is the Director of the Russian-speaking programs at the Institute for Jewish Studies. Rabbi Yisroel is well known throughout the Toronto Russian-speaking Jewish community for his innovative, original programming that attracts more and more people. His lectures, classes, as well as other educational activities, are popular fixtures in the community.

Rabbi Yisroel and Henya Karpilovsky found their mission and their passion in being the Rebbe's shluchim, serving the needs of the Russian-speaking Jewish community in Toronto where they reside with their children.


Henya Karpilovsky (nee Forshtendiker) was born back in Russia, in what was then known as Leningrad, but grew up in Toronto.  Her birth was a doubly happy event for her family, because on that same day they finally received a permission to leave the U.S.S.R.  Henya practically grew up with the JRCC, with her family being involved with the community from its inception, and always dreamed of doing the Rebbe's work by sharing the beauty of the Torah with others.

Upon graduating from Bais Yaakov High School, Henya spent two years in Montreal at the Bais Chaya Mushka Teacher's Seminary and College.  When she returned, she worked at the JRCC Daycare, and in the summer of 1998 she married Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovsky.

In 2001, they joined the JRCC as directors of the JRCC Rockford Branch. As co-director, Henya immediately got involved with all the branch’s activities and programs. She is the catalyst behind the initial set up and continuing success of the shul’s kids and youth programs. Henya is also actively involved in ongoing programs and special events for women, and is devoted to help every woman make her family and home a wonderful place where the Rebbe's teachings can shine. In addition, the doors of her home are always open to anyone who needs advice or just a helping hand.

Henya also serves as a teacher at the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School for girls, where she has been the sixth grade Hebrew studies teacher since 2000.