Rabbi Shmuel Kravitsky, Ariel, their daughters Moussia, Chana Zelda, and son Yosef, moved to Amherst in August of 2008 to enhance Jewish life and Judaic programming for college students in the Amherst area. They are followers of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement, founded by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi in the 1700s.
Rabbi Shmuel Kravitsky was born to a Russian family in Israel and immigrated to the United States as a child. He grew up in New York City and began exploring his Jewish heritage and attending religious schools at the age of eighteen. After five years of intensive study in the Hadar Hatorah Rabbinical Seminary and the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva, Rabbi Kravitsky was ordained by the Central Israeli Rabbinical Court.
Rabbi Kravitsky has touched the lives of many. For the past ten years, he has traveled throughout the U.S. and various countries abroad, in order to teach, inspire, and care for people of all faiths and backgrounds. He brings experience from directing camps in various Eastern European cities and in New York City, and from teaching and mentoring American students, lawyers, businessmen, artists, and politicians in various cities. Rabbi Shmuel's forte is lecturing about Judaism and Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah) to those who have had little or no exposure to it. His love of knowledge and easygoing character become evident during his lectures and discussions. Rabbi Shmuel enjoys meeting with students, and is always available to talk, whether it's to work through a crisis or just to shoot the breeze.
Ariel Kravitsky is from Hartford, Connecticut. She attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. where she studied sociology, poetry, and sustainable agriculture. She finished her degree at a womens seminary in New York and afterwards studied in Israel. After getting married she and her husband worked in the Flatiron area in New York City at a community Chabad house.