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Herbert A. Opalek

Herbert Alan Opalek (1944-2011) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and for much of his life, identified himself as an orthodox rabbi. He received his semikhah around the year 1962. In the early 1970s, he appears to have been a fellow at Dropsie College Philadelphia, studying Christian-Jewish relations in Antiquity. In 1978, Rep. Leo Zeferetti (D-NY) introduced him before the US House of Representatives as a colleague and "executive vice president for Yeshivos Zichron Pinchos for boys and Kesser Malka for girls" in Brooklyn. In 1986, the Washington (DC) Board of Rabbis issued a formal letter about his involvement in a scam. In 1987, he was reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to have been swindling people for apartment rent and event tickets. Around the year 2000, a story is told of his conversion to Christianity, after which he was ordained as a Christian (Baptist) pastor and served as a consultant to Messianic Jewish-Christians. His obituary notes that he was active in the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, and that he was the CEO of Merced County (California) Rescue Mission, the president of the Pacific District of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, and the board president of Rescue Israel Ministries. The obituary also claims that he was the recipient of multiple doctoral degrees (possibly from his time at Dropsie College) and that he served as a consultant to the U.S. House of Representative's Select Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In the year following his death, two prayerbooks, both for Messianic Jewish-Christians, were published in his name: Sabbath Delights: A Messianic Shabbat Siddur and Celebrating Yeshua in the Fall Holidays: Messianic Festivals Siddur. (If you can contribute any more details to this short bio, please contact us.)

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Herbert A. Opalek on 2 March 1978

Contributed on: 02 Mar 2024 by Herbert A. Opalek | the Congressional Record of the United States of America |

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 2 March 1978. . . .

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