New York Rabbi Moves to South Dakota to Open First Chabad House

South Dakota was the only state in the nation without a full-time Jewish rabbi

South Dakota is the only state in the nation without a full-time Jewish rabbi.

That changed this week, when Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz moved here from New York.

After only two visits to South Dakota as a student rabbi, Alperowitz and his wife decided on a permanent stay.

“At first, we would have never imagined the possibility of us moving over from New York. But everyone was so welcoming to us, Jews and non-Jews. We genuinely felt really comfortable here, so we thought, you know what, we’re going to do it.”

Now that he’s here, Alperowitz plans to open a Chabad House in Sioux Falls, a religious center that will offer education, worship services and other programs. He’s hoping to expose more people to Jewish customs, tradition, and faith.

“Really it’s a universal message of spreading goodness and kindness for others, helping out those in need and just being there for everybody and that’s what we really want to do for everybody.”

Alperowitz estimates there are about 1,000 Jews living in South Dakota who’ve been without a rabbi for far too long.


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