• Senior Staff

  • Rabbi Kenneth Brander
    Vice President of University and Community Life, Yeshiva University

    branderRabbi Kenneth Brander is the 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 the Boca Raton community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Under his leadership, the Hahn Judaic Campus was built to include the Boca Raton Community Mikvah, a sanctuary, library, social hall, youth and senior center and yeshiva high school. He is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) [link to RIETS] in 1986. During his tenure at RIETS, he served as the student assistant to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

    In 1999, Rabbi Brander received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from then-Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics, which included the topics of infertility, gynecology and Halacha [Jewish law]. He is currently a doctoral candidate in general philosophy at Florida Atlantic University.

    Rabbi Brander has received numerous awards for his community service, including the South Palm Beach County Federation Award for Rabbinic Leadership, the Hurowitz UJA Federation Award for Rabbinic Leadership and the Key to the City of Boca Raton, for enhancing the quality of life in the community. He was the first recipient of the Yeshiva University Wexner Rabbinic Leadership Award in 1999 and was honored with the State of Israel Medal of Honor, presented by the Mayor of Gush Etzion, for rabbinic leadership in supporting Gush Etzion. Recently, Rabbi Brander was given the Bernard Revel Memorial Award by the Yeshiva College Alumni Association.

    Rabbi Brander has authored many articles in various scholarly journals and also co-edited The Yeshiva University Haggadah.  He was born in Michigan and grew up in New York, and is married to Rachel Tambor Brander. They are blessed with five children.

    glasser-small Rabbi Yaakov Glasser
    The David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future

    Growing up in Los Angeles, California, Rabbi Yaakov Glasser spent his formative years greatly influenced by his parent’s devotion to Jewish communal service. Upon graduating Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles, he continued his Torah studies in Israel for two years. Rabbi Glasser earned a BA in Psychology at Yeshiva University, and an MA in Jewish education at the Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education. Earning his Semicha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Glasser continued to study in the Kollel LeHoraah.

    In 2005, Rabbi Glasser became the Rav of the Young Israel of the Passaic Clifton. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown dramatically, and prides itself on the ideological and demographic diversity of its membership. The Young Israel is renown throughout the Passaic community as a “family” oriented Kehila, hosting many creative programs for all ages. Concurrently, Rabbi Glasser served as the Regional Director of New Jersey NCSY and the NSCY International Director of Education. In these capacities, he worked extensively with Jewish teens from across the spectrum of affiliation, creating programs and experiences to inspire Jewish youth. Rabbi Glasser was responsible for developing and implementing educational curriculum throughout NCSY’s branches across North America. Rabbi Glasser gives Shiurim throughout the Passaic and Bergen County community, and has lectured extensively on subjects relating to “teens and spirituality,” drawing on both substantive torah sources and his own experience with youth. Recently, Rabbi Glasser was appointed the Associate Dean for the Center for the Jewish Future and University Life at Yeshiva University.   


    Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter
    Senior Scholar

    Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at YU in addition to serving as Senior Scholar at the CJF. From 2000 to 2005 he served as dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston, where he also served as rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA. He was the first rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, from 1977 to 1981, creating a new, vibrant and committed community. From 1981 to 2000, he served as the rabbi of the Jewish Center in New York City, moving the congregation from 180 to more than 600 members over the course of his tenure.

    Rabbi Schacter holds a PhD in Near Eastern languages from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College in 1973 with the Abraham S. Goodhartz Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies. Rabbi Schacter was a teaching fellow at Harvard from 1978 to 1980, director of Yeshiva University's Torah Umadda Project from 1986 to 1997 and an adjunct assistant professor at YU's Stern College for Women from 1993 to 1999. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship from Harvard's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He presently serves as a member of the faculty of the Wexner Foundation and the Wexner Heritage Foundation.

    Rabbi Schacter is co-author of the award-winning A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism, (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 more than 60 articles and reviews in Hebrew and English. He is also the editor of Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung (1992), Jewish Tradition and the Nontraditional Jew (1992) and the award-winning Judaism's Encounter with other Cultures: Rejection or Integration? (1997) and co-editor of The Complete Service for the Period of Bereavement (1995). He is the 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 president of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations (COJO) 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. He was awarded several fellowships and grants to further his scholarly research. In November 2007, Rabbi Schacter was the scholar-in-residence at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Nashville, TN.

    Rabbi Schacter is presently completing a new Hebrew edition of the autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden, an 18th-century Jewish figure.


    chaviva-fisher Ms. Chaviva Fisher Stein
    Director of Finance and Budget

    Ms. Chaviva Fisher Stein joined the Yeshiva University staff in October 2006.  She is the Director of Finance and Budget for both the CJF and for RIETS.   She received an MS in Accounting from Baruch College in 2010 as well as an MBA in finance in 2002.  Prior to joining the CJF she was the executive director of YUSSR, a non profit organization that sends volunteers to the former Soviet Union.  Ms. Stein has extensive experience in student leadership training and has led numerous trips to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

    Ms. Stein lives on Manhattan’s upper west side with her husband and two children where she is a member of the Board of Trustees at Congregation Ohab Zedek.

    Department Heads

    Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg
    Director of Jewish Career Guidance and Placement

    RLS new

    Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg has served as the Director of the Morris and Gertrude Bienenfeld Department of Jewish Career Development and Placement for Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future since 2005. Before his current position at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Schwarzberg served as a pulpit rabbi in Highland Park, NJ, beginning in July 1986 after serving as associate rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. He brought with him a passionate commitment to the principles of ahavat Yisrael [love for the Jewish people], political activism and bridge building. Shortly after his arrival in Highland Park, Rabbi Schwarzberg was instrumental in relocating Congregation Ahavas Achim from New Brunswick, NJ, to Highland Park. Under his leadership, Congregation Ahavas Achim developed Ahavas Achim University, an innovative and far-reaching educational endeavor that enlists top-tier scholars and religious leaders to teach at the synagogue and has attracted attendees from across the state. Rabbi Schwarzberg has served as co-chair of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County and was elected in December 2002 as associate chair of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Communities. Rabbi Schwarzberg served as chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Communities from 2005 to 2007. Rabbi Schwarzberg is married to Morah Judy, a preschool teacher at the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva. Together they have four children: Ari, Elana, Aviva, and Shayna.


    yoni-cohenYoni Cohen
    Director of Operation

    As the Director of Operations for the CJF, Yoni Cohen oversees the logistical and operational components of the myriad of programs that the CJF runs annually. With a degree in accounting and business administration, Yoni was the Executive Director of Bnos Malka Academy of Queens for eight years and the Executive Director of the Sephardic Congregation of Kew Garden Hills for three years. He, his wife Tzivia, and four children currently reside in Queens, NY.


     aliza abramsAliza Abrams
    Director of Student Life Beren Campus and Director of Jewish Service Learning

    Aliza Abrams is the Director of the Department of Jewish Service Learning at Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future. She holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College for Women and a Masters in Social Work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Aliza's career began at the CJF as the Presidential Fellow in the Department of Community Initiatives. Through the CJF, Aliza has helped develop the service learning program at Yeshiva University. Through her programs she has worked with thousands of college students, led over 20 different service missions around the world and has sent over 3,000 students on the Aaron and Blanche Schreiber Torah Tours program. Aliza is a member of the inaugural Wexner Field Fellows program through the Wexner Foundation.


     shuki Shuki Taylor
    Director of Department of Experiential Jewish Education and Jewish Service Learning

    Before his current position with the CJF, Shuki Taylor served as the CJF's Israel liaison. In this capacity, he founded the Counterpoint Israel Program, the annual Israel winter missions, and the Midrashiya, an advanced leadership training program for women. Previously, Taylor worked at the Koby Mandell Foundation, where he founded and directed innovative and experiential therapy programs for Israeli teens who have been affected by terror. He also studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Herzog College.

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