Nominated and Written by Naomi Benatar, NCSYer
Rabbi Frankiel has totally changed my life and for the better. He came to Israel while I was on TJJ Bus 5 and spent time with me and the other kids from Columbus. When I got back home, he pushed me to meet up with him and with my other friends and to come to NCSY events and so on. At first I was really skeptical and I thought we wouldn’t click at all. Then, we met at Hillel once for lunch and from then on, he has been “MY” Rabbi. I talk to him on a daily basis. I learn with him and his wife. Because of his pushing, I have found a place in NCSY now and for the future. Through the opportunities that he has made me aware of, I have even considered taking on things I would never have imagined such as tzniut.
Whenever I have questions about Judaism, or just about life in general, he is there for me. He has given me books to learn and helped me to prioritize what is most important to ME about my Judaism and what I need to learn for my own growth. He has been patient and loving and caring through every one of our emotional DMCs. I have never felt judged by him for who I am, who my family is, my background or my reservations.
Other Columbus NCSYers poke fun at how much Rabbi Frankiel and I talk. When I first met Rabbi Frankiel, I couldn’t imagine wanting to talk to a Rabbi ALL the time. And now that I know him, now that he is such an important figure and role model in my life, I can’t imagine a life without wanting to talk to a Rabbi ALL the time.
I really cannot think of anyone who deserves to be honored as an inspiration any more than Rabbi Frankiel. He dedicates his entire life to helping not only Columbus NCSY as a whole – but every independent member, each NCSYer in Columbus NCSY – be the best, most fun, well-learned, excited, spiritual, dedicated Jews we can be!