Rabbi Melvin N. Sirner was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He pursued undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts in political science and psychology, whereupon he began his formal rabbinical studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. While at the Seminary, Rabbi Sirner was the recipient of the Lamport prize in Talmud, and the Rabbi Israel H. Levinthal Award in Homiletics, and was awarded the degree of Master of Hebrew Literature. One year of academic training was spent in Jerusalem, where Rabbi Sirner studied at the Israel branch of the Seminary, along with the Graduate Department of Judaica of the Hebrew University. In 1972 he received his Rabbinic ordination.
During his college and Seminary years, Rabbi Sirner taught and led youth groups at various Synagogues in the New York area. He spent 11 summers on the staff of the Ramah camps, the national educational camping programs, sponsored by the Conservative Movement. Rabbi Sirner has pursued part time graduate study in guidance and counseling at Teachers’ College of Columbia University.
Upon his ordination in 1972, Rabbi Sirner came to Beth El Synagogue of New Rochelle as its assistant Rabbi, serving under the late Rabbi David I. Golovensky, 1972-1975, and continuing as Associate Rabbi from 1975-1976. In 1976, upon Rabbi Golovensky’s retirement, Rabbi Sirner was selected as Senior Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue.
Active in a broad range of community endeavors, Rabbi Sirner is currently a member of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of UJA. He has served as the President of the Westchester Board of Rabbis (Conservative, Reform, Orthodox and Reconstructionist) as well as on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. He is currently an officer of the New York Board of Rabbis.
For the last several years Rabbi Sirner has served on the Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In the local community Rabbi Sirner was a founding member of the Interrreligious Council of New Rochelle. He currently chairs the Pastoral Care Committee of Sound Shore Medical Center. An enthusiastic participant in the Meals on Wheels program in New Rochelle, Rabbi Sirner is a supporter of its H.O.P.E. Soup Kitchen. He is also active in activities of the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. Rabbi Sirner is married to Lenore Richman Sirner, a medical social worker. They are proud parents of three children - two daughters and a son.