Rabbi Mendel Kaplan Vaughan Civic Hero Award

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan was honoured by Vaughan Council as the recipient of the Civic Hero Award for Ward 5 for his outstanding example of leadership in the community and beyond.


Rabbi Mendel Kaplan - Ward 5 Civic Hero Award, 2009


An example of Rabbi Kaplan's service to the broader Vaughan and York Region community is his position as chaplain of the York Regional Police. He is only the second rabbi in Canada to hold such a position. He is also a regular guest on local television and radio programs, addressing both topical and religious issues.


Rabbi Kaplan, as the religious leader of Chabad@Flamingo, reflects a certain unique spirit," said Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman. "He works to connect people with a very modern view of life to a traditional form of religious observance. But, perhaps more than anything else, it is Rabbi Kaplan's extraordinary empathy to the issues that arise in the daily lives of the people who live in Ward 5 that makes him an outstanding candidate for Civic Hero. He is a person who reaches out, reassures and attempts to improve the lives of the people he comes into contact with, no matter what their background might be."


Rabbi Kaplan has been a Thornhill resident since 1998. He is an American by birth, with a distinguished scholarly background. After immigrating to Canada in 1998, he and his Toronto-born wife Faygie founded Chabad@Flamingo to serve the affiliated and unaffiliated Jewish population living on the northern edge of Thornhill. Today that facility occupies the 22,000 square foot Ernest Manson Lubavitch Centre, and caters to hundreds of families through its family-oriented Synagogue and Youth Centres, Institute for Adult Jewish Learning, as well as a nursery school.​