Rabbi Kenneth Brander
Dean, Center for the Jewish Future, Yeshiva University
Dec 20, 2007
Rabbi Kenneth Brander was named Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future by Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel in October of 2004. The Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) was officially launched in September, 2005. CJF is the nexus of Yeshiva University’s efforts to shape and effectively impact Jewish life and the Jewish future. Collaborating with Yeshiva University (YU) colleges, schools, and affiliates CJF helps to build programs and initiatives which actively develop future Jewish lay and professional leadership. Under his guidance, CJF also focuses on using Yeshiva University’s vast academic, rabbinic and student resources to help shape Jewish public policy, leadership and partnership strategies, and community strengthening in Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
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. Under his leadership, the Hahn Judaic Campus was built to include the Boca Raton Community Mikvah, a sanctuary, library, social hall, a youth and senior center, and a Yeshiva high school. He also helped establish two satellite communities, BRS West and The Weiss Family Shul by the Grove. He is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. There he had the distinction of serving as the personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, in 1999 and from the Chief Rabbi, Mordechai Eliyahu, in the field of medical ethics—infertility, gynecology, and Halakhah. He is currently a PhD candidate in general philosophy at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
He has received numerous awards for his community service, including: South Palm Beach County Federation Award for Rabbinic Leadership, 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 is married to Rachel Tambor Brander. They are blessed with five children.