Jewish Philosophy: Torah Umadda

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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Rabbi David Horwitz

Rabbi David Horwitz is a rosh yeshiva and the Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz Professor of Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also is an instructor of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva College and teaches an advanced shiur (lecture) for the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. In 1997, Rabbi Horwitz received Yeshiva’s 13th Annual Moshe and Madelaine Baumel Judaic Faculty Incentive Award, which honors outstanding Jewish studies educators at the University and RIETS. Rabbi Horwitz is an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School for Boys (where he won the National Bible Contest, Chidon Hatanach), Yeshiva College, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon. Sample Titles Issues in Sefiras HaOmer Inyanei Pesach Halachic Issues in Japan Sefirat HaOmer – Is Verbalization Necessary? Halakha and the Scientific Revolution Rav Horowitz Sefer Hamadda Human Effort and Determinism in Ralbag Memories of the Rav Torah Umadda Rambam vs The Chachmei Ashkenaz on the Haggadah – some surprising differences An Argument of Rav and Shmuel – Matchil B’Gnut U’Lsayem B’Shevach – Spiritual Redemption and Talmud Torah The Corporate Completeness of Kelal...

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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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Rabbi Ari Lamm

Rabbi Ari Lamm completed his B.A. in History & Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, and his M.A. in Jewish Studies and Eastern Christianity at University College London. He completed his Semichah at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 2015, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity at Princeton University. He was Yeshiva University’s first ever recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, which took him to London for his M.A. In addition, he has received a Henry Kressel Research Scholarship, a Tikvah Postgraduate Fellowship, and is currently a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Rabbi Lamm is the Special Advisor to the President of Yeshiva University, a position he started in June with the election of YU’s fifth president, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. He works closely with the president on all matters concerning the university’s mission and vision, and oversees the intellectual and philosophical initiatives emerging from the Office of the President. Previously Rabbi Lamm was the William Fischman Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center on the Upper West Side. He is passionate about exploring Jewish identity through the study of Jewish history and archaeology during the Biblical, Second Temple and Rabbinic eras. His regular classes on Judaism and the origins of Christianity have garnered a wide, online listenership, and have been spotlighted on Voice of Israel radio. He is also a founding editor and contributing author at The Lehrhaus. He is also keenly aware of Jewish responsibilities to the rest of humankind, and to that end is an Executive Committee Member of the Sri Lanka based organization, “Global Unites,” which promotes grassroots, non-violent, youth-based peace-making in conflict-torn areas from Africa and southeast Asia to Latin America and the Middle East.  Rabbi Ari Lamm will be teaching at YU’s Community Beit Midrash for the Fall 2017 semester. Sample Titles Hero or Hypocrite? Attacks on the Pharisees During the Second Temple Period Faith & Fanatacism: The Maccabees & Christian Martyrdom From the Persian Empire to the U.N. – Hakamat...

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Rabbi Yona Reiss

Rabbi Yona Reiss, a noted Torah scholar, attorney and jurist, is the Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University (RIETS). He previously served as the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. Rabbi Reiss is a summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College and went on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Law Journal. He received semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he also earned the distinction of Yadin Yadin. Rabbi Reiss served as director of the Beth Din of America from 1998 to 2008. In his directorship of the Beth Din, Rabbi Reiss worked to resolve cases of agunot and popularized the use of the Rabbinical Council of America pre-nuptial agreement as a protection against future agunah problems. From 1992 to 1998, Rabbi Reiss was an associate at the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Manhattan. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, a certified mediator for the City of New York court system and a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council for New York. Rabbi Reiss serves on the editorial board of Tradition magazine. A frequent writer on a variety of topics relating to both Jewish and secular law, he has published widely in Jewish publications, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and New York Law Journal. Sample Titles Should a Good Jewish Boy/Girl be a Lawyer? Jew vs. Jew in Secular Courts Teshuva as Liberation: The Joy of Being Only Human The Power and Limitations of Jewish Justice Litigating Outside of Beis Din The Yamim Noraim: A Wake Up Call for Teshuva Contemporary Aspects of the...

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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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Dr. David Shatz

Dr. Shatz is University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University, editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, and editor of the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, which has brought into print many of the previously unpublished manuscripts of The Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l. After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Yeshiva University, Prof. Shatz was ordained at  the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and then earned his Ph.D with distinction in general philosophy at Columbia University. He has edited, co-edited, or authored fifteen books and has published approximately eighty articles and reviews, dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy. His publications in general philosophy focus on the theory of knowledge, free will, ethics, and the philosophy of religion, while his writings in Jewish philosophy focus on Jewish ethics, Maimonides, Torah and science, Judaism’s view of other religions, and twentieth-century rabbinic figures. Prof. Shatz has appeared many times on a PBS television series featuring distinguished scientists, theologians, and philosophers. He was named a winner in the John Templeton Foundation Course Competition in Science and Religion and has been chosen numerous times as outstanding professor by the senior class of Stern College for Women. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Tradition and the Steering Committee of the Orthodox Forum. In recognition of his achievements as a scholar and teacher, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion at Yeshiva University, the first member of the various university faculties to receive this highest honor. A book concerning his life and thought will appear in The Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers, a series that the  publisher, Brill, states “showcases outstanding Jewish thinkers who have made lasting contributions to constructive Jewish philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century.” Sample Titles The Jew in the Modern World: Reflections of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Suffering in This World: The Approach of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Faith, Fate and Folly: Astrology,...

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