Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Young rabbi returns home to open Chabad in Clearwater

Rabbi Yankel Adler, 25, left, with 6-month-old daughter Rochel Adler and wife Chanie Adler, 22, moved from Brooklyn to open a Chabad Center serving Clearwater and the surrounding areas. 


Rabbi Yankel Adler, 25, left, with 6-month-old daughter Rochel Adler and wife Chanie Adler, 22, moved from Brooklyn to open a Chabad Center serving Clearwater and the surrounding areas. 

CLEARWATER — Rabbi Yankel Adler grew up watching his parents reach out to the Jewish community in north Pinellas County. Now an ordained rabbi with a family of his own, it seemed natural that he should come back here and help the community grow.

He and his wife Chanie recently moved here from Brooklyn to establish a new Chabad Center serving Clearwater, Clearwater Beach and the surrounding beach communities.

"It's nice to continue on," Rabbi Adler said. "To continue what my parents have been doing, I feel, is very fulfilling."

Adler is the only second-generation rabbi in Pinellas County. His parents Rabbi Shalom and Chanie Adler (yes, mother and daughter-in-law share the same name) have been directing Young Israel-Chabad of Pinellas County for more than 20 years, first in Clearwater, and now at 3696 Fisher Road in Palm Harbor.

"It is every parent's dream to have their child follow in their footsteps," Rabbi Adler said. "It is even sweeter when he comes back to the area where he grew up to give back to that community."

Chabad-Lubavitch began 250 years ago in Russia and now has thousands of rabbis around the world. The word "Chabad" is a Hebrew acronym representing wisdom, comprehension and knowledge. "Lubavitch" is the name of the town in Russia where the movement was based.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known simply as "the Rebbe," inspired thousands of rabbis like the Adlers to do Jewish outreach in countries around the world.

"We're trying to create or build a sense of Jewish community in the Clearwater and Clearwater Beach area," Yankel Adler said. "To unify Jews, bring them together."

Adler, 25, attended Hebrew Academy of Tampa Bay, then studied in New York, Chicago and Montreal. He received his rabbinical ordination from the Chabad Yeshiva of Bal Harbor. He has done Chabad outreach in the Ukraine, Poland, France and Germany. Adler has also taught in the Aleph institute, a program for prison inmates. He plans to continue prison visitations locally, helping his father, who has visited prisoners for years.

The Adlers live in Island Estates with their 6-month-old daughter. This summer they held the first Jewish high holiday services on the beach. About 40 people attended.

"It was inspiring," Adler said. "One person said they hadn't heard the shofar in 50 years."

Adler learns with people one on one, helps put up mezuzahs, and eventually plans to offer Shabbat services. In December, he will hold a public menorah lighting for Hanukkah.

Chanie Adler, 22, is starting a monthly "bagels and babies" on Clearwater Beach for Jewish moms with babies and toddlers.

"Our goal is to bring Judaism alive," she said.

To learn more

Contact the family

For more information, call Rabbi Yankel and Chanie Adler at (727) 744-6953. You can also visit or e-mail


Young rabbi returns home to open Chabad in Clearwater 10/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police make arrest in murder of 20-year-old Tampa man


    TAMPA — A 20-year-old Tampa man has been arrested and charged with felony murder after a fatal shooting during a drug deal at a north Tampa apartment complex this week, records show.

  2. Tampa man arrested in fatal shooting at apartment complex


    TAMPA — A Tampa man faces a first-degree murder charge in a fatal shooting at a north Tampa apartment complex on Wednesday.

    Alexeis Perez, 20, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Antonio Roman on July 26, 2017, at Tzadik Oaks, 1250 E 113th Ave., in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Wimauma motorcyclist killed in Hillsborough County crash


    A Wimauma motorcyclist was killed Thursday night in a crash in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. 3 wonderfully weird shows premiering next week: 'The Lowe Files,' 'What Would Diplo Do?' 'Comrade Detective'


    It seems like nothing is off limits on TV these days. Next week, three new shows air that I can't believe are really happening. They're all weird in their own ways, and I'm delighted. But let's be honest, at the point I'd probably watch a TV show about people coming up with TV shows. America has spoken, and we'll watch …

    Matthew, from left, Rob, and John Owen Lowe explore supernatural legends in A&E's new reality show "The Lowe Files."
  5. 2-year-old girl shows football team how its done


    ST. PETERSBURG — Football players may dread summer workouts, but not two-year-old Sophie Rosendale. She loves joining her father, St. Petersburg offensive line coach Mike Rosendale, three times a week for the Green Devils summer conditioning. Not only does she shout encouragement like her dad, she also straps on …

    Sophie Rosendale, 2, front, warms up with offensive lineman during practice at St. Petersburg High School, Wednesday. Rosendale is the daughter of offensive line coach Mike Rosendale. "She has been coming to practice for about one year," said Rosendale who has been a coach at the the school for 10 seasons. "She likes to show the players the proper techniques." [Photo/  Mike Rosendale]