Rabbi Albert Gabbai is the rabbi at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, which is an historic synagogue, founded in 1740 rebuilt by the government for America’s Bicentennial and contains many Sefer Torahs from pre-revolutionary times.
Rabbi Gabbai is was born in Egypt and came to the US in 1971, after being in an Egyptian prison for three years.
The spiritual leader of Congregation Mikveh Israel attended Yeshiva University but wanted a Sephardic smicha, so he went to Rabbi Sam Kassin and the Shehebar Sephardic Center to complete his studies, pass his tests and receive his ordination. He graduated in 1989.
Rabbi Gabbai has been the rabbi of Congregation Mikve Israel for 22 years. During that time, he feels that the congregation has advanced in many ways. “The congregants are more knowledgeable about their heritage, they are more committed to Judaism, most of our children now attend Jewish day schools and we have many more services. Also, we have a very good track record at shiduchim, so within a year, there is a good chance we will marry off a single person.”