After Years Without Rabbi, South Dakota Is About To Get One

South Dakota’s small, tight-knit Jewish community has made do without a rabbi for several years, but the state’s status as the only one with no rabbi will change this winter when a family arrives from New York to open a Jewish community center.

Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz and his wife will open a Chabad House in Sioux Falls that will offer religious education, worship services and other programs. Alperowitz will also travel across the sparsely populated prairie state to reach as many Jews – observant and nonobservant – as possible.

Alperowitz says the Chabad House will host social and cultural activities for children and adults.

Estimates show about 400 Jews live in South Dakota – less than a tenth of 1 percent of the state’s population.