May 22, 2024
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Rabbi Tuvia Brander to Lead Young Israel of West Hartford

The Young Israel of West Hartford has hired Rabbi Tuvia Brander as its new head rabbi. Rabbi Brander and his wife, Miriam, most recently residents of Washington Heights, are embracing their new leadership roles within the Greater Hartford Jewish community.

“Miriam and I are excited and humbled to join this warm and engaged community,” said Rabbi Brander. “From our first visit, we felt the incredible energy and sincere welcome from everyone we met. Together, with the support of the board and Young Israel congregation, we look forward to continuing to build a welcoming, family-friendly shul committed to Torah, the State of Israel and chesed (kindness). We look forward to partnering with the Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy, the Hebrew High School of New England, and the broader Jewish community.”

Young Israel is one of 29 synagogues in Greater Hartford, a vibrant community which boasts more than 30,000 Jewish residents, three Jewish day schools and rich professional and personal opportunities. “We are thrilled to welcome the Branders to Young Israel,” said Debra Luger, coordinator of the Young Israel of West Hartford. “Their energy, excitement and enthusiasm are a great match for our congregation and our community.”

Raised in Boca Raton, Florida, Rabbi Tuvia Brander graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva College with a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in Jewish Studies and later received his ordination from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). There, he served as the Founding Director of the Yeshiva University Kansas City Summer Experience, as the executive editor of “Gesher: Yeshiva University Journal of Jewish Studies,” and led the campus American-Jewish World Service Humanitarian Mission.

He served as Rabbinic Intern at the Young Israel of Plainview, NY, and Congregation BIAV of Overland Park, KS. He was a fellow at the Straus Center for Western Thought at YU as well as part of the AIPAC Leffell Israel Fellowship and received advanced training in Family Purity and Medicine from the Puah Institute. Rabbi Brander is a recipient of the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship and a member of the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L’Horaah, a program focused on training future rabbinic judges. He is currently completing his M.A. in Bible Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

Miriam Brander, a native of Fair Lawn, NJ, is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at New York University. Miriam has been awarded a FEREP graduate fellowship by the Jewish Federations of North America, and looks forward to continuing her FEREP commitment here at the Federation of Greater Hartford. She is passionate about social justice and Jewish youth work, and has traveled to Muchucuxcah, Mexico as part of a humanitarian mission, to Rwanda to work with victims of gender-based violence, and recently served as Director of Teen Leadership Development for NJ NCSY.

Programming and minyanim (services) meet daily at the shul; all are welcome and encouraged to attend. For information and times or to join us at our October 30 Shabbaton, please visit YoungIsraelWH.org or call 860-233-3084. Rabbi Tuvia Brander can be reached at [email protected].

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