Who’s The Rabbi Sholom Kalmanson Who Gave Such A Stemwinder About The Rebbe?

Here’s an article about the speech with a link to the video.

Who is this Rabbi Sholom Kalmanson? He appears to be the head of Chabad of Southern Ohio.

From chabad.org:

Rabbi Sholom KalmansonRabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson, Ex. VP, Chabad of Southern Ohio & Spiritual Leader, Congregation Lubavitch

Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson is Executive Vice President, Chabad of Southern Ohio, and Spiritual Leader, Congregation Lubavitch.

Rabbi Kalmanson merited to be the first personally chosen Sheliach-Emissary of the Rebbe to bring Chabad to the greater Cincinnati area.

Thanks to his dynamic leadership, Chabad of Southern Ohio boasts today many diversified Religious, Educational, Social and Outreach institutions.

* Email Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson at: TheRabbi@ChabadOH.org

Stephen Huba writes for the Cincinnati Post Sept. 19, 1998:

Twenty-three years ago, when the Lubavitcher first set foot here, most Jews in Cincinnati knew the movement only through its charismatic, New York-based rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.

Now the Rebbe is gone, but the Lubavitch presence in Cincinnati is stronger than ever.

Their black attire, outreach programs and slick advertising have become a permanent, if controversial, fixture of Jewish life in this historically Reform town.

On Rosh Hashana, which begins at sundown Sunday, Chabad of Southern Ohio will dedicate its new FREE Russian Center, 7685 Reading Road, Roselawn.

Within the past seven years, Chabad has opened centers in Blue Ash, Loveland, Amberley Village, downtown Cincinnati and Dayton. Chabad operates a Hebrew school and summer camp, and offers services for virtually every aspect of Jewish ritual practice.

For the High Holy Days, Chabad offers training in shofar making, a crash course in Hebrew, challah baking classes, a full-color guide to the Jewish month of Tishrei, and a full schedule of worship services.

Chabad of Southern Ohio says it doesn’t keep membership records, but officials say the new centers are proof that their numbers are growing.

”They’re not offering a synagogue Judaism,” said Karla Goldman, assistant professor of Jewish history at Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College. ”They’re offering a way of life that cuts away at all the ambivalence and ambiguity of modern life.”

Rabbi Yosef Kalmanson, executive director of Chabad’s Jewish Discovery Center in Golf Manor, said Chabad has had the most success with nonpracticing, unaffiliated Jews.

”The forefront of our work is to battle the issue of the vanishing American Jew,” said Rabbi Kalmanson, son of Chabad regional director Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson. ”The goal of Chabad is to bring people to understand more about Judaism (and) become more committed, without any pressure or any pushing.”

Chabad has its roots in the Hasidism, a 300-year-old Eastern European movement that stresses Judaism as a religion of the heart and of the common man. It downplays the necessity of strict Talmud study.

One brand of Hasidism became associated with the Russian town of Lubavitch. Chabad, another name for the Lubavitch movement, is an acronym from the Hebrew words for wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Still, Chabad-Lubavitch remains a tiny minority in America, where most Jews are non-Orthodox.

”Their numbers don’t match their media presence,” Ms. Goldman said.

When Rabbi Sholom Kalmanson moved to Cincinnati with his family 1975, the first order of business was to set up a ”one-stop shop for anything Jewish,” his son said. The small Chabad House on Summit Road later became Congregation Lubavitch and the regional headquarters for Chabad of Southern Ohio.

Another priority was to help the city’s Russian Jewish immigrants, and soon the FREE Russian Center was established. FREE stands for Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe. There are about 750 such families in Cincinnati.

”Chabad has played a very dynamic role with our Russian emigre community,” said Aubrey Herman, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. ”They complement the work of other agencies.”

Here’s more about Rabbi Kalmanson:


Rabbi Sholom B. KalmansonBorn October 7, 1948, in a D.P. Camp in Pocking, Germany, Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson, Executive Vice President, Chabad of Southern Ohio and Spiritual Leader, Congregation Lubavitch, has had manifold training and experience to prepare him to successfully meet the challenges of dealing with today’s youth.


Educated in Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshivah’s and Rabbinical Colleges both in New York and Montreal, Rabbi Kalmanson was ordained in 1968 at the Central Lubavitch Yeshivah and Rabbinical College in Brooklyn, New York, after excelling in Talmudic Studies, Rabbinic Literature and Chabad Chassidic Philosophy and Psychology. He holds a D.D. degree, also a Rav Umanhig (equivalent of a B.A. in Jewish studies), and a Yorah Yorah (equivalent of an M.A. in Jewish studies).


He headed the National Council of Mesibos Shabbos, offering youth groups throughout the area opportunities for outings, gatherings, Lag B’Omer Parades, trips, etc., as well as weekly get-togethers for singing, dancing and stories, both entertaining yet educationally meaningful and stimulating.


Rabbi Kalmanson became active in youth work at an early age. While yet a student, he took part in the summer “Peace Corps” program sponsored annually by the Chabad movement, which took him to numerous Jewish communities throughout the United States and Europe. He was an active member of the Lubavitch Youth Organization’s College and University Council Department, dedicated to activities for Jewish college youth.


Rabbi Kalmanson also headed the “Release Time” program for Jewish children in New York City. This program provided one hour of Jewish Religious Study for children of the public school system, who did not attend any Hebrew, afternoon or Sunday School. Through special agreement, the public schools released the children, upon request of the parents, for one hour a week during school hours.


In August 1969, Rabbi Kalmanson married Shterna Sarah Ceitlin of Montreal. Their children are: Chana Alta, Yosef Yitzchak, Menachem Mendel, Menucha Dina, Devorah Leah, Shneur Zalman, Shaina Fraida, Chava Rochel, and Fruma Mushkah. Rabbi and Mrs. Kalmanson are the proud grandparents of Menachem Mendel, Peshe Chava, Aryeh Leib, Yehoshuah Heshel, Schneur Zalman, Faiga, Levi Yitzchak, Chaya Mushka and Menucha Rachel Mangel; Chana Mushkah, Menucha Shaina, Menachem Mendel, Esther Miriam, Chaya Freidah, Brachah and Shneur Zalman Kalmanson; Schneur Yehoshuah Heshel, Chana, Mushkah, Bat Sheva Tzeitka, Chaya, and Levi Yitzchak Majeski; Refael Yehoshuah Heshel, Chanah Shaina, Yosef Yitzchak, and Dina Raizel Kalmanson; Chaya Mushkah, Menachem Mendel, and Shmuel Pinson; Chaya Rochel, and Nechamah Dina Kalmanson; Yosef Yitzchak, and Menachem Mendel Levin.


In Montreal, Rabbi Kalmanson served as Administrator of the Beth Rivkah Academy for Girls, acting also as its Educational Coordinator. With his aggressive innovative approach, Rabbi Kalmanson increased the enrollment from 65 students, to well over 350. In 1970, Rabbi Kalmanson established the first and only Jewish-observant overnight summer camp in Quebec – “Pardas Chanah” – for Girls.


Upon its inception in 1973, Rabbi Kalmanson was appointed Administrator of the Chabad House of Cleveland. During the summer of 1975, the Lubavitcher Rebbe [and the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in New York] named Rabbi Kalmanson to pioneer and establish a Chabad presence in Cincinnati. At present, Rabbi Kalmanson serves as Executive Vice President, Chabad of Southern Ohio, and Spiritual Leader, Congregation Lubavitch, with many institutions and divisions under his auspicious.


Rabbi Kalmanson is an Executive Board Member and Vice President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (“Igud Harabanim”), a Rabbinic organization with over one thousand active Rabbinic members. Rabbi Kalmanson also serves on the “Vaad Harabanim” – The Rabbinical Council of Greater Cincinnati, and “Vaad Hachinuch”, the Education Committee of Chofetz Chayim, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.


Chabad arrived to the greater Cincinnati area with a great thrust and vibrancy. The well-known “Yavneh and Community Hebrew School” building on Summit Road was acquired to serve as its regional headquarters and a center where students, youth groups, individuals, organizational and synagogue groups can experience living Judaism in a Chabad milieu. This center also provides manifold services to our young people. In addition to direct counseling and crisis intervention services available on a 24-hour basis, Chabad of Southern Ohio also provides hostel facilities, meals, clothing, job opportunities, community outreach, etc.


As the largest recognized homeless shelter for families and individuals in the greater Cincinnati area, Chabad shelter division provides emergency (short and long term) shelter to an average of 80 people daily. Due to lack of space, it may, unfortunately, be forced to turn-away some 35-40 people daily.


With the successful expansion of Chabad in Southern Ohio, Rabbi Kalmanson initiated the establishment of The Chabad Jewish Center of Blue Ash, Ohio; Chabad on UC Campus; Cheder Menachem; Yeshivah High School; Semichah Ordination Program; Chabad Center of Dayton, Ohio; Chabad (of Downtown Cincinnati) Hospitality Center; Chabad of Amberley, Ohio; The Shul; The Jewish Discovery Center; Chabad of Mason, Ohio; F.R.E.E. (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) Russian Center; Chabad Hebrew School; Torah Learning Center; “Chai Club” High School; Tzivos Hashem Youth Program; and Camp Chabad. While the centers serve all the physical and spiritual needs of the greater Cincinnati, Blue Ash, Amberley, Golf Manor, and Dayton Jewish communities, the camp serves especially the needs of the underprivileged and New American families.


With the great influx of Jewish émigrés (in the first wave of immigration) from the former Soviet Union, and New Americans to Cincinnati in 1976, Rabbi Kalmanson initiated a Russian Division, dedicated to serving all physical and (especially the) spiritual needs of our immigrant brethren. As the wave of immigrants continued, Chabad of Southern Ohio, under the dynamic leadership of Rabbi Kalmanson, established the F.R.E.E. Russian Center.

The Center, in a beautiful 10,000 square foot newly renovated facility in the heart of Roselawn, serves as a “Gateway” to Cincinnati, and a “Home Away From Home” to the Russian speaking community. This center provides daily services, Yiddish, Hebrew and English classes, a Jewish and cultural library, daily, Shabbos and holiday meals, congregant socializing, congregant meals for the elderly, guidance and counseling, legal aid, resettlement aid, immigration assistance, job placement, art and cultural programs, Circumcisions, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Redemption of First Born, religious wedding ceremonies, publications, periodicals, transportations, a monthly newspaper, etc


For close to four decades, Rabbi Kalmanson has been actively involved in the area prison systems – Federal, State, County, City and juvenile alike. Rabbi Kalmanson has been appointed Official Chaplain for the Jewish inmates in several area prisons. As part of his involvement, Rabbi Kalmanson was one of the initiators, and active participant, instrumental in the establishment of Alef Institute, serving the needs of all Jewish inmates throughout the United States. The institute provides all religious needs, as well as “Religious Retreats”, whereby inmates are furloughed for two-week Torah seminars.


In 1973, Rabbi Kalmanson initiated and hosted a weekly radio program — “The World of Chabad” on the 50,000 watt radio station WERE in Cleveland, Ohio. He also became a radio and television personality by his frequent appearances on various radio and television shows.


In 1977, Rabbi Kalmanson initiated and (personally edits) a tabloid-size newspaper “The Chabad Times”    a “Chabad of Southern Ohio Monthly publication”, which has been appearing monthly ever since, with a circulation of over 23,000 (and still rapidly growing). This newspaper is “popular and highly regarded” by its readers “both near and far”.


Since march, 1980 Rabbi Kalmanson has been hosting a television talk show program    “Judaism Today” which is aired in the Tri-State area on prime time    8:00 p.m.  The show is an exciting and stimulating half-hour T.V. talk program on interesting, informative, and thought-provoking subjects.  The program has been syndicated in several other communities. Since 1976, Rabbi Kalmanson also hosts a popular two-hour weekly radio talk show – “Judaism Today” in the greater Cincinnati area. This show features Jewish news, music, interviews, and commentary on relevant topics of interest. Hosting “Judaism Today” brought forth much favorable response and accolades from the general public.


As a champion of “Freedom of Speech”, Rabbi Kalmanson fought in the Federal Court system to display Chanukah Menorahs on public property. Following years of battle against city government, Rabbi Kalmanson won his case in Federal District Court, and confirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. These battles made international “front page” news in many major reputable news mediums. Not only did he win the litigation, but was also awarded attorney’s fees in excess of $135,000.00.


Behind the Iron Curtain is also no foreign place to him. Even before Glasnost and Perestroika, when the practice of Judaism was forbidden, Rabbi Kalmanson visited the Soviet Union as a personal emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on behalf of Chabad to bring spiritual and religious support to our stranded brethren. Meeting with hundreds of Jews in this “Lion’s Den”, Rabbi Kalmanson brought them moral support in addition to religious articles for their daily needs.


A profound lecturer, Rabbi Kalmanson addresses audiences all over the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe, Africa, and the Far East, on a broad range of topics. With his unique style and oratory ability, he manages to fire the imagination and activates the participation of his audiences. Many of his lectures and interviews are available on audio and video cassettes.


With his creative talents, Rabbi Kalmanson creates ads on Jewish and Torah themes. These ads serve as an effective tool to reach out to Jews of all ages, backgrounds, walks of life, and level of commitment. Rabbi Kalmanson also has a natural knack for translating ancient Biblical concepts into modern day jargon. As a prolific writer and concerned Jewish leader, he publishes his stands on many issues pertaining to the Jewish community. A seasoned experienced down to earth practical communal activist, Rabbi Kalmanson is a much sought after counselor to his colleagues.


Despite all these involvement’s, Rabbi Kalmanson still finds time to counsel individuals and families, and for speaking engagements to audiences in Cincinnati, through out the United States, and abroad.


Rabbi Kalmanson has been personally invited, on many occasions, to the White House and Congress, to meet with the President of the United States of America, senators and Congressmen. He also has friendships with prominent personalities in the entertainment field, writers and business people.

 Rabbi Speaks on Fountain Square

His dynamic charisma builds on immediate rapport with the young. His oratorical talents electrify his listening audience. It is no wonder that the press and the media refer to him as the “Rabbi Who Shepherds Lost Children Back To The Fold”, and say about his gift of speech that “His personal appeal is tremendous, partly because of a gift for story-telling and choosing of Yiddish-flavored analogies… One can be amused and attracted by his flair, personable style and unending energy for answering questions which are consistent and make sense…”


One can truly feel that “if you have questions, he has answers.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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