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Rabbi Yaacov Haber, an international leader in Jewish outreach, will return to his native Buffalo on Nov. 2 to speak in the Amherst Jewish Center.

His 7:15 p.m. lecture on "The Individual and the Community: Finding a Balance" is in observance of the 10th anniversary of the Women's Study Group, which meets monthly to learn discuss heritage and the Jewish religion.

Now national director of Jewish education for the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Haber is in charge of outreach to Jews who may wish to learn more about their religion. He began his life's work by founding the Torah Center of Buffalo in 1979 after being ordained a rabbi in Jerusalem, where he lived and studied since the age of 14.

Known for his easy wit and warmth, Rabbi Haber, 41, travels extensively on the speaking circuit from Monsey where he lives with his wife, Bayle, and their 12 children.

An alumnus of the local Kadimah School, he served as spiritual adviser to the Amherst Synagogue and the Saranac Synagogue in North Buffalo. He was the first director of the Kashrut (Kosher) Board of Greater Buffalo.

After bringing hundreds of Jews back to Judaism, Rabbi Haber left Buffalo in 1990 to start a national Jewish outreach program in Melbourne, Australia. He was dean of the Australia Institute for Torah for three years.

His lecture in Amherst will deal with the conflicting pressures to express one's individuality and to fulfill one's obligation to the community.

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