: Jewish Community

Dr. David Berger

David Berger is dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. For many years he was Broeklundian Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was also President of the Association for Jewish Studies, co-chair of the academic advisory committee of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and has served as a member of the academic committee of the Rothschild Foundation Europe and of the executive committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, where he is a fellow. He serves on the council of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the editorial board of Tradition. Dean Berger is the author of “The Jewish-Christian Debate in the High Middle Ages,” which was awarded the John Nicholas Brown Prize by the Medieval Academy of America, and co-author of “Judaism’s Encounter with Other Cultures: Rejection or Integration?” a finalist for the Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought. His book, “The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference,” received the 2003 Samuel Belkin Literary Award. He has written numerous articles on medieval Jewish history, Jewish-Christian relations, anti-Semitism, contemporary Judaism and the intellectual history of the Jews. Dean Berger has been a fellow of the Annenberg Research Institute, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Yale and Harvard universities. Sample Titles The Messiah and the Redemption: Beliefs, Movements and Calculations from Talmudic Times to the Present The Catholic Church and the Jews: From Crusades, Expulsions and Holocaust to Dialogue and Diplomatic Relations A two or three part series called “Christians and Jews: Interfaith Relations from the Crusades to the Jewish State” Halakhah Confronts a Changing Society: Reflections on the Dynamics of Jewish Law Kiddush Hashem and Conversion from Crusades to Inquisition to Holocaust The Jewish-Christian Debate from Medieval Disputations to Modern...

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Rabbi Yosef Blau

Rabbi Yosef Blau has been mashgiach ruchani (spiritual guidance counselor) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University since 1977. He also serves as spiritual guidance counselor for students at Yeshiva College. Rabbi Blau earned a BA in 1959 from Yeshiva College and an MS at Yeshiva’s Belfer Graduate School of Science in 1960. He was ordained at RIETS in 1961. Rabbis Blau is president of the Religious Zionists of America and served as national president of Yavneh, the National Religious Jewish Students’ Association. He is a former national vice president of the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals. An author of many articles on Jewish thought, Rabbi Blau became a member of the Orthodox Forum in 1989. He is a former member of the executive board of the Orthodox Caucus, was a delegate from the Religious Zionists of America to the World Zionist Congress and was elected a member of the Vaad Hapoel of the World Zionist Organization. Sample Titles Preserving the Jewish Character of Israel Challenges facing religious Zionism Halakhic Responses to scientific, economic, and social changes in society Women’s role in Orthodox Judaism The ethical dimension in Judaism Relating to non-Orthodox Jews Living in democratic America: An Orthodox Jewish perspective Moshe and Aharon: Balancing Truth and Peace Religion and Superstition A historical analysis of Orthodoxy in...

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Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a Maggid-shiur at Yeshiva University, is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author and lecturer. He has written 12 highly acclaimed and best-selling books, with combined sales of close to half a million copies, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism and Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, which was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as the single best book on Judaism in our generation. Together with an accompanying six-hour video, filmed by the producers of 20/20 and featuring Rabbi Blech, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed is used in study groups in numerous synagogues and universities around the country. His book Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs was featured in a full-page article in the New York Times and his If God is Good, Why Is The World So Bad? has been translated into Indonesian, where it has had a powerful reception in the wake of the country’s tsunami. Rabbi Blech’s most recent book is The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s starting work on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, this groundbreaking book is already the subject of huge interest, discussion and controversy. Translated into 15 languages, available in 25 countries, a first printing of 100,000 copies by HarperOne, movie and TV rights presently in negotiation with three major film companies and with national TV coverage, this major work proves that Michelangelo incorporated many teachings of Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah into the Sistine Chapel. As a result of a personal meeting with the late Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Blech was instrumental in securing the loan of Jewish manuscripts for exhibition in Israel and he is involved in further negotiations for the return of precious Judaica held by the Vatican that may prove to be of historic significance. Rabbi Blech, a 10th generation rabbi, is rabbi emeritus...

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Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He received his PhD in general philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to Judaism?” Contemporary...

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Mr. Charlie Harary

Mr. Charlie Harary, Esq. is a Clinical Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and an Associate Entrepreneur in Residence at the Syms School of Business in Yeshiva University. In addition, Mr. Harary is the CEO of H3 Capital LLC, a private equity company based in New York. Prior to H3 Capital, Mr. Harary was the First Vice President of Residential Operations and Legal Counsel of RXR Realty, a multi-billion dollar Real Estate Company based in New York. Prior to RXR, Mr. Harary was an associate in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Davis Polk & Wardwell. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School where he was awarded the James Kent Scholar and the Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Harary is a prolific speaker who has traveled all over the country and abroad speaking for organizations, schools, universities and institutions on a variety of topics and to audiences of various sizes and affiliations. He has created dozens of videos that have received worldwide attention reaching hundreds of thousands of people in over 15 countries. Mr. Harary is also a Senior Lecturer for the Orthodox Union, Aish Hatorah and NCSY. In addition, he is an active community leader. He is the founder and president of Milvado Inc., an organization that develops innovative methods to teach spirituality in relevant and modern ways. He is a member of the Executive Board of the OU as well as the Founding Chairman of its Young Leadership Cabinet. He is also a member of the Conference of Young Jewish Presidents. Sample Titles From Vision to Execution: How to Turn Your Idea into a Reality The Traits of Great Jewish Leaders Tapping into your Inner Greatness Moses and the Making of a Great Leader How to Build and Excite A Board and Lay Leadership Creating Successful Companies Principles of Entrepreneurship Social Entrepreneurship How to Have Great Relationships The Secret to Happiness The Building Blocks of Godliness in the First Four Stories of Genesis The Seven Shepards...

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President Emeritus Richard M. Joel

Richard M. Joel became Yeshiva University’s fourth president on September 21, 2003, and was named Bravmann Family University Professor in April 2010. Over the past 10 years, Joel has built upon the illustrious tradition of this storied institution by placing a renewed emphasis on the student experience, academic excellence, Torah scholarship and communal involvement. With these advancements, and guided by the distinctive belief in education as a process of “ennobling and enabling” young women and men to build whole and meaningful lives, Yeshiva has emerged as North America’s Torah-informed university. Further, with his guidance, Yeshiva University has expanded its focus far beyond the walls of the university, whether through professional and rabbinic placement globally or service learning missions worldwide. With his characteristic charm and wit, Joel can often be spotted around Yeshiva’s campuses engaging with students and learning about them; one of his great pleasures at Yeshiva is in serving on its faculty and teaching his weekly course. Following his lead, the university has further developed a culture of warmth. Joel is renowned as a charismatic leader and a captivating orator, and has traveled globally to dialogue with audiences on values-driven education, communal leadership, and Jewish identity. Just as Yeshiva University has embraced its role as the flagship institution of American Modern Orthodoxy, Joel has in many ways become more than a university president but a true spokesperson for the Jewish people. Before taking the helm at Yeshiva, President Joel earned his reputation as a dynamic force with young people as president and international director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. There, he facilitated an extraordinary renaissance of Jewish life on campuses through building  numerous new facilities, partnering in the creation of Birthright Israel, and using  engagement and empowerment models to reach Jewish youth. Growing up in Bronx, NY, Joel earned  his B.A. and J.D. from New York University where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar; he has received honorary doctorates from Boston Hebrew College and Gratz College. He also served as assistant...

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Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph

Josh Joseph is the senior vice president at Yeshiva University where he has operating responsibility for the administrative and academic aspects of the University, ensuring strategic planning and implementation of restructuring initiatives. Recently, Josh successfully defended his dissertation, earning his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in Higher Education Management. A native of Montreal, Josh completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Penn as well. He received rabbinic ordination from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, while completing a Master’s in Jewish philosophy at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School. He also completed fellowships and certificates at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Administration, as well as Harvard’s Institute of Higher Education. Josh previously worked at a hedge fund, as a community rabbi, served as the executive director of the Orthodox Caucus, and director of social entrepreneurialism at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. He and his wife, Julie, live in Lawrence and are the proud parents of Zach, Ozzie, and Marsha. Sample Titles Leadership 2020 The End of Human Specialness The Creativity Crunch Happiness U Emotional Intelligence Next Practices to Train and Inspire the Next Generation of Jewish Leaders What Question is Hashem Asking YOU? The Guidance of the Netziv for Life Decisions & Direction Let My Startup Nation Go Power of Prayer The Power of Positive Thinking: Faith in Trying Times Blackberry Unplugged and The Power of Now Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Jewish Life A Survival Guide to the Second Seder UP: A direction we can all agree upon Blind Sides and Blind Spots: The State of Orthodoxy in 2010 Beyond Time: The many facets and faces of Shabbos What number was yesterday? A reminder about Sefiras haOmer The Closing of the Jewish Mind Forces for Good: Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today Transformational Conversations and the Speaker-Listener Technique THE EXPERT WITHIN: Educational Leadership and the Millennial...

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Mr. Andrew Lauer

Andrew “Avi” Lauer serves as Yeshiva University’s vice president for legal affairs, secretary and general counsel. In this capacity, Mr. Lauer is responsible for all legal matters pertaining to Yeshiva and its affiliates within the United States and abroad. Mr. Lauer also serves as counsel to President Richard Joel. Prior to his appointment at Yeshiva, Mr. Lauer was a partner at the international law firm of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman and Steiner LLP, where he maintained a large and diverse practice, while also serving as an active member of Thelen’s labor and employment law department. Mr. Lauer served as relationship partner to numerous clients in relation to various areas of legal specialty, including corporate, real estate, litigation, technology, outsourcing, bankruptcy, patent and trademark, and he often functioned as outside general counsel to many companies. Mr. Lauer also established and maintained an extensive Israel practice at Thelen and he worked with many Israeli owned and/or affiliated companies and regularly traveled to Israel to meet with his Israeli clients and contacts. Mr. Lauer also has prior professional experience as senior employment counsel in the office of general counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwC Consulting), where he was responsible for all employment law related matters affecting the firm and its more than 30,000 employees. In addition, he was responsible for all in-house employment law related matters pertaining to the planned IPO and the ultimate sale of PwC Consulting to IBM. Before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, he served as assistant general counsel of Deloitte & Touche USA, where he was employment counsel to both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte Consulting L.P. Mr. Lauer was also an assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, where he conducted numerous trials and investigations and was assigned to several bureaus, including the elite Trial Cadre unit of the Homicide Bureau. Mr. Lauer is involved in numerous community causes and serves and/or has served on the Executive Board of several charitable organizations in...

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Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter

Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future, at Yeshiva University. From 2000 to 2005 he served as dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston. He was the first rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, Mass., from 1977 to 1981, creating a vibrant and committed community. From 1981 to 2000, he served as rabbi of The Jewish Center in Manhattan, moving the congregation from 180 to more than 600 members over the course of his tenure, and also served as rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA from 2000 to 2005. Rabbi Schacter is co-author of the award winning “A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy and American Judaism” published by Columbia University Press in 1996; author of “The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways: Reflections on the Tish‘ah be-Av Kinot by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” (2006); and close to 50 articles and reviews. He is founding editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, a prestigious academic publication which has gained international acclaim. Rabbi Schacter holds a number of prominent Jewish communal positions. He served as founding present of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations of the Upper West Side from 1994 to 2000, is a member of the board of governors of the Orthodox Union and is on the editorial boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, BDD (Bechal Derachecha Da’ehu) and Jewish Educational Leadership. Sample Titles The Power of Connections: Thoughts on Rosh Hashanah Yom Hashoah Haskalah,Secular Studies and the Close of the Yeshiva in Volozhin in 1892 Facing the Truths of History Torah Umadda Revisited: The Editor’s Intro Ashkenazim, Sephardim and the Hannukah Menorah: A Study in Cultural Cross-Transference Beyond Rabbi Akiva’s Students Sefirah Mourning In Medieval And Modern Times The Concept of Amalek in Jewish Law and History Sitting in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeret The Meaning and Significance of Tisha B’Av:...

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Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall

Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall is currently on the faculty of the Yeshiva College Psychology Department and the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He has published widely and lectured nationally on topics related to religion and psychology, as well as mental health and the Orthodox Jewish community. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, on the cover of the Jerusalem Post, and on CBS television news (– and was even joked about by Jay Leno in his opening monologue on NBC’s Tonight Show.) Rabbi Dr. Schnall received ordination from Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He did his clinical residency in psychology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of UMDNJ, and holds a PhD in psychology from Yeshiva University. Sample Titles Orthodox Jewish Marriage: Why we’re satisfied, why we’re stressed Prayer and Longevity: Will going to shul help you live longer? The more things change the more they stay the same: An intergenerational view of mental health in the Orthodox Jewish community Avadim Hayeenu: Building Pyramids, Building Legos, and Building Self-Esteem Groupthink: How did the Sanhedrin avoid the kinds of mistakes that plagued JFK, NASA, and the captain of the Titanic? Multicultural Counseling and the Orthodox Jew Beyond Jerry Seinfeld and Jackie Mason: Is Humor Jewish, and Why Should I Care? Stress and Distress in the Modern World: Jewish Spirituality Responds Bringing Awe into our Lives: Positive Psychology and the Aesthetic in Judaism Harnessing the Power of Gratitude: A Contemporary View of a Timeless Mitzvah Hope and Optimism: In Judaism and in Our Daily Lives Making Marriage Work: Jewish and Psychological Perspectives Prayer and Longevity: Will Attending Shul Help You Live...

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