HARTFORD (Mar. 17)
For the first time in the history of the State of Connecticut, a rabbi has been appointed to serve as a member of the prestigious seven-member State Ethics Commission which administers the code of ethics for all public officials, state employees and their families, candidates for public office, and lobbyists at the state level.
Rabbi Michael Menitoff, spiritual leader of 930-family-member Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge and Fellow of Ezra Stiles College of Yale University, was sworn in last week at the State House in Hartford following hearings of the Joint Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.
Highly regarded for his general and Jewish scholarship, the Conservative rabbi is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, holds an M.A. from Columbia University, Bachelor of Jewish Education cum laude and Master of Hebrew Letters from Boston Hebrew College, Master of Hebrew Literature and rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a Ph.D. from UCLA.
Menitoff’s career of public service includes work in a Harlem settlement house, volunteer Hebrew teaching of immigrants to Israel, the development and implementation of an educational enrichment program for the children of the Chippewa Indian Tribe in Northern Wisconsin, and the 1985 Columbus House Emergency Night Shelter Volunteer Service Award “for enabling homeless men and women to receive shelter, food, and companionship necessary to protect their lives and preserve their dignity.”
He is perhaps best known in his former habitat of Southern California where he spent the first 15 years of his rabbinate as host of KABCTV’s popular weekly series “Rap with Rabbi Mike.”