ABBI IVES GREW UP
in StamfordHill, London, in a large, insular Lubavitch family. He learned inChabad yeshivos in London, New York,Sydney, and Brussels, and gainedexperience as a rabbi in training and asa
in many communities aroundthe world. It may well have been due tothis extensive traveling that hecultivated a taste for internationaldevelopment. Today he is the founder and chairman of TAG InternationalDevelopment, a London-based NGO(non-governmental organization) thatexports Israeli humanitarian solutionsto developing nations around the world.Eight years ago, Rabbi Ives becamethe Rav of a ninety-five-year-old UnitedSynagogue congregation of two hundredtraditional families in Richmond, aneighborhood in South London wherehe lives today with his wife and sevenchildren. Although many of hiscongregants are not fully observant,they are members of an Orthodoxshul, in great contrast to thesituation in America, where a largepercentage of nonobservant Jews aremembers of Conservative or Reformtemples.“To many of [my congregants], I’mthere to provide them with rabbinicleadership: Shabbos
, and bar mitzvahs,” he said.Nonetheless, he offers those who areinterested the opportunity to grow closer to Torah and
. In addition to
, Rabbi Ives has an M.A. insocial sciences and a Ph.D. in coachingpsychology. He has also authored a
on some of the more esoteric areas of Chabad
, printed by HeichalMenachem and with a
fromHarav Mordechai Eliyahu,
former chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel.
A few years back, when a wealthyreligiously unobservant man came tohim to discuss a serious problem, RabbiIves suggested that he think of something he could do to help others inorder to create a vessel to receiveHashem’s blessing. “Everything is
,” Rabbi Ives recalled.“Since that man wasn’t
,supporting a yeshivah wasn’t one of the options on the menu, so he cameup with an unusual philanthropicidea.”The result was TAG InternationalDevelopment. TAG connects Israeliexperts in disaster preparedness,emergency medicine, and communitydevelopment with localhumanitarian organizations in over a dozen developing nations,including Kenya, Indonesia, SriLanka, Myanmar, South Africa,
HamodiaMarch 14, 2012
Rabbi Ives at the Georgia Red Cross.