about rabbi skolnik

About Rabbi Skolnik

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, spiritual leader of The Forest Hills Jewish Center, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1981. Immediately upon his ordination, he served as Assistant Rabbi under the late Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser for almost three years. With Rabbi Bokser’s death in 1984, Rabbi Skolnik assumed the rabbinic leadership of the congregation, and has served in that capacity since then.

In addition to his responsibilities at The Forest Hills Jewish Center, the largest Conservative congregation in Queens, Rabbi Skolnik is involved in numerous communal activities. A past president of the Commission on Synagogue Relations of UJA-Federation and past chairman of its Committee on AIDS, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of the Solomon Schechter School of Queens, and the Board of Governors of the New York Board of Rabbis. He is the Treasurer of the Rabbinical Assembly, an Adjunct Lecturer in Professional Skills in the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a Vice President of the Zamir Choral Foundation.

Rabbi Skolnik has published numerous articles- he is a frequent contributor to The Jewish Week- has lectured extensively throughout the New York area, and has appeared on national radio and television. His collaborations with the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble on “The Chanukkah Story,” “The Birthday of the World: Music and Traditions of the High Holidays,” and “A Taste of Eternity: A Musical Shabbat,” have received wide critical acclaim. These productions, commissioned by Public Radio International, feature scripts written by Rabbi Skolnik, and read by Theodore Bikel and Leonard Nimoy.

Rabbi Skolnik is married to Robin Segal Skolnik, the Middle School Librarian at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in Manhattan. They have four children: Hillel, who attends the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, as does his wife Sharon;  Leora, who is a research associate for sociologist Steven M. Cohen and Synagogue 3000;  Talya, who is spending a year in Israel before attending Barnard;  and Matan, who is a sophomore at the Heschel High School in Manhattan