Merrick Jewish Centre has hired a new assistant rabbi. Rabbi Ravid Tilles, recently ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, joins Rabbi Charles Klein and Cantor Ethan Leifer at the Long Island synagogue.

“We are very hopeful and positive about the future of the Merrick Jewish Centre even though we know the picture for Jewish community engagement has been bleak over the past 10 years,” Rabbi Klein said in a statement. “We are working to strengthen the Merrick Jewish Centre, to make it grow stronger and more capable of meeting the new and significant challenges faced by synagogues today. We will do it with a fuller, more creative and energetic clergy team who will be able to engage the younger population of our community more so than ever before.”

Rabbi Tilles and his family were officially welcomed to the congregation last weekend at a special Shabbat service.

With a young son of his own, Rabbi Tilles said in a statement, “I have a vested interest in strengthening the young family community in Merrick to make it a place my son can grow up similarly to the way I did.”

Merrick Jewish Centre is located on 225 Fox Blvd. in Merrick, and can be reached at (516) 379-8650 or merrickjc.org for more information.