Kenneth Brander

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Template:Use mdy dates Template:Infobox Jewish leader

Kenneth Brander is an American rabbi. He is the Yeshiva University Executive Vice President for University and Community Social Life, and Dean of the University's Center for the Jewish Future (CJF).

Life and career

Brander was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.[no citations needed here] He is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College,[1] and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986.[2] He served as the student assistant to Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.[1]

Brander was with New York City's Lincoln Square Synagogue,[3] and is Rabbi Emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue which he led from 1991–2005.[4][5] During his time at Boca Raton Synagogue the congregation grew from 60 families to approximately 600 families, and the synagogue built a mikveh.[2][6] Among his congregants was Congressman Robert Wexler and his family, who under the Brander's guidance became more observant of Judaism.[7] While in Boca Raton, he forged a strong working relationship with the local Chabad.[8] Brander is also the founder of Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton.[9]

Some congregants of the synagogue in Boca Raton questioned whether Brander knew of the allegations that followed an accused pedophile to their community. Two men, one of whom said he had been molested, told the The Forward that they tried to warn Brander about the accused pedophile during Brander's tenure as rabbi at the synagogue, but that they never heard of follow-up action being taken.[4]

In 1992, in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, Brander wrote a document detailing the impact of a natural disaster on Jewish law requirements to observe the Jewish Sabbath.[10] In 1993, he helped organize a brief protest against an anti-Semitic classified newspaper ad in the Sun Sentinel.[11] Also in 1993, he was Chairman of the Resolutions Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America.[12] In 1998, the Boca Raton News reported that he was included in a list of the "Top 50 Jewish Community Builders" by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and Bloomingdales, as voted on by a panel of four judges.[13]

Brander is an advocate for organ donation in halacha, speaking on this topic in synagogues in the United States.[14] He has also expressed the opinion that Jewish law views the biological mother as legal mother in cases of surrogacy in humans.[15]

Brander is the Yeshiva University Executive Vice President for University and Community Social Life, and the first Dean of the University's Center for the Jewish Future (CJF).[1][16][17]

Brander received the Key to the City of Boca Raton for enhancing the quality of life in the community, and the State of Israel Medal of Honor for rabbinic leadership in supporting Gush Etzion.[18]

A resident of Teaneck, New Jersey,[19] he is married to Rachel Tambor Brander and has five children.[20]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Reflections on the Rav". LXXXII. New Jersey Jewish Standard. April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 David A. Schwartz (July 9, 2013). "Rabbi Kenneth Brander, rabbi emeritus at BRS, named a vice president at Yeshiva University". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  3. "Orthodoxy in Boca Del Mar; Young Israel Breaks Ground, Boca Raton Synagogue Adds Building". Boca Raton News. December 10, 1993.,5655574. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Paul Berger (July 18, 2013). "Boca Raton Synagogue Demands Answers on Accused Y.U. Pedophile Richard Andron; What Did Rabbis Know and When Did They Know It?". The Forward. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  5. Marco Commaso (November 11, 1997). "Jewish Identity Debated". Boca Raton News.,3215273. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  6. Kerry M. Olitzky (1996). The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  7. Kurt F. Stone (2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  8. Sue Fishkoff (2009). The Rebbe's Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch. Random House. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  9. Suzanna Laurenti (June 12, 2001). "School Celebrates Landmark". Boca Raton News.,2330785. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  10. Anthony Marx (September 11, 2004). "Jewish Law Addresses Storms". Lakeland Ledger.,155313. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  11. "Local Jews Rally Against Printing of Anti-Semitic Ad". Boca Raton News. January 24, 1993.,4146138. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  12. "Rabbis Tinkering with Divorce Law". The Gainesville Sun. July 3, 1993.,1017886. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  13. Danette Goulet (May 31, 1998). "The Fifty Community Leaders". Boca Raton News.,4033130. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  14. "End of Life Issues: Autopsy, Goses, Organ Donation (Rabbi Kenneth Brander)". March 29, 2014.,_Goses,_Organ_Donation. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  15. "Are You My Mother? Surrogate Motherhood and Jewish Law (Rabbi Kenneth Brander)". April 25, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  16. "New Center to Shape Future of 'modern Orthodoxy'". The Victoria Advocate. December 3, 2005.,657708. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  17. Bruce Zuckerman, Ruth Weisberg, Lisa Ansell (2012). Jewish Cultural Aspirations. Purdue University Press. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  18. "The Center for Jewish Future - Yeshiva University". January 8, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  19. Goldrich, Lois. "YU initiative stresses women’s leadership role", Jewish Standard, June 21, 2007. Accessed October 19, 2011. "'It creates an incubator for future Jewish teachers,' he said, adding that when he moved to Teaneck, he found that while there were a lot of local classes for men, there were not many for women. Locating the upcoming beit midrash in Teaneck will help rectify that situation, he said, while providing a convenient location for the GPATS students, many of whom live in New York, 'to roll out their first beit midrash.'
  20. Cohen, Jonathan. "Email". Center for the Jewish Future. Yeshiva University. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 

External links