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Rabbis & Staff

Rabbis & Staff

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RABBI EFREM GOLDBERG
Senior Rabbi
reg@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 702-4198 (for emergencies only)
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Rabbi Efrem Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), a rapidly-growing congregation of over 700 families and over 1,000 children in Boca Raton, Florida. BRS is the largest Orthodox Synagogue in the Southeast United States. Rabbi Goldberg's warm and welcoming personality has helped attract people of diverse backgrounds and ages to feel part of the BRS community, reinforcing the BRS credo of 'Valuing Diversity and Celebrating Unity.'

Rabbi Goldberg came to Boca Raton in 1999 as a member of the Boca Raton Community Kollel, where he founded the BRS Lome Explanatory Service and initiated many learning and outreach programs. In 2001, he became Assistant Rabbi of BRS, in 2003 he was named Associate Rabbi, and in 2005 he was appointed Senior Rabbi.

In addition to his position at BRS, Rabbi Goldberg plays a leadership role in many vital components of the greater South Florida community, and in 2010 he was recognized as one of South Florida's Most Influential Jewish Leaders (to read about it click here). He serves as Co-Chair of the Orthodox Rabbinical Board's Va'ad Ha'Kashrus, as Director of the Rabbinical Council of America's South Florida Regional Beis Din for Conversion, and as Posek of the Boca Raton Mikvah. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Hillel Day School, Torah Academy of Boca Raton, and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Additionally, Rabbi Goldberg is involved in a number of national organizations and projects. He serves as Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Chairman of the Orthodox Union Legacy Group, and is a member of the AIPAC National Council. In 2011, Rabbi Goldberg was invited to deliver the invocation to the U.S. House of Representatives (to watch a video of the invocation click here).

Rabbi Goldberg has been actively engaged in Outreach efforts in South Florida since joining the Community Kollel and continues to be deeply committed to inspiring Jews of all backgrounds throughout Palm Beach County. BRS sponsors a comprehensive Adult Education Program for adults at all levels of background and observance, as well as programs for teenagers, young children, and college students on their campuses. Rabbi Goldberg personally leads numerous weekly learning opportunities for large and small groups, as well as individualized study. Many of his classes are available on the internet to listen please click here. He has been involved in producing videos aimed at providing instruction and inspiration (such as here and here). In 2011, Rabbi Goldberg and Rabbi Broide were recognized by the National Jewish Outreach Program for BRS's commitment to outreach (to see NJOP's video click here).

Rabbi Goldberg is passionate in his support and love of Israel and has been a tireless and forceful advocate for Israel. In 2010, he was part of a small delegation of rabbis invited to the White House for meetings with the Administration about the U.S.-Israel relationship. In 2011, Rabbi Goldberg received the Star of David Award from Israel Bonds in recognition of his support.  In June of 2012, Rabbi Goldberg was invited to a small meeting of Orthodox Jewish Leaders with President Obama in the White House.


Rabbi Goldberg is married to Yocheved and has seven children, Racheli, Atara, Leora, Tamar, Estee, Temima and Shai.

 

pmoskowitzRABBI PHILIP MOSKOWITZ

Associate Rabbi
rpm@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 491-2338 (for emergencies only)
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Philip Moskowitz, our new Assistant Rabbi was previously the Assistant to the Rabbi at the Young Israel of Holliswood, NY and a Program Director at Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish future. In his capacity at Young Israel of Holliswood, Rabbi Moskowitz gave frequent classes and sermons. At YU, Rabbi Moskowitz was responsible for harnessing the vast resources of the university to strategically support and enrich communities around North America with transformational initiatives.  He is a graduate of Yeshiva College and has received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.  Rabbi Moskowitz is joined by his wife Arielle and their children Moshe and Shayna.  He can be reached at rpm@brsonline.org or at the Shul office.
 

rsmRABBI DAVID SHABTAI, MD
Sephardic Rabbi
(561) 299-1277
rds@brsonline.org
Cell: (718) 288-3157 (for emergencies only)

Rabbi will be serving as our Sephardic Rabbi.  In that capacity, he will be davening daily with the Sephardic Minyan, delivering divrei Torah and classes, responding to halachic questions from a Sephardic perspective and working with the Sefardic youth.  Rabbi Moskowitz and I will continue to the deliver derashot to the Sephardic Minyan on Shabbat mornings and look forward to working closely with Rabbi D. Shabtai in meeting the particular needs of the Sephardic Minyan.  In addition to being a graduate of Yeshiva University's Kollel Elyon and a true Talmid Chacham, Rabbi D. Shabtai has a medical degree and has published a work on the Jewish approach to brain death titled,"Defining the Moment: Understanding Brain Death in Halakha."  He will be sharing his expertise through classes and shiurim for the entire community and we look forward to learning from him.  The expense of the Sephardic Rabbi position is being paid by our Sephardic Minyan.


rsmRABBI MORDECHAI SMOLARCIK
BRS West Rabbi
(561) 299-1277
rms@brsonline.org
 

The Boca Raton Synagogue West Boca satellite is under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Mordechai Smolarcik. Rabbi Smolarcik has over 25 years of experience in presenting teens and adults with a Judaism that is a relevant and dynamic part of their lives. Rabbi Smolarcik has served in multiple capacities on behalf of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) and the Orthodox Union. Until recently, Rabbi Smolarcik served as the Regional Director of NCSY's Southern Region and continues to serve as Director of NCSY's Jewish Overseas Leadership Summer program. Rabbi Smolarcik also has served as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Aventura, Florida and currently teaches Judaic studies at the Hillel Day School of Boca Raton. Rabbi Smolarcik has a bachelor's degree in Talmudic Law and rabbinical ordination from the Talmudic University of Florida and is currently pursuing his doctorate in clinical psychology.

 


Rabbi_Josh_BroideRABBI JOSH BROIDE
Outreach Rabbi 
rjb@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 702-3864 (for emergencies only)
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Rabbi Josh Broide is the Outreach Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue and the Director of the Boca Raton Jewish Experience. He has worked at BRS for the past 12 years and has also served as the shul's Executive Director and Youth Director. Before launching the BRJE he served at the Director of JSU South Florida and regularly attends the March of the Living and NCSY's The Jerusalem Journey. Rabbi Broide received his Rabbinical Ordination and earned a Masters in Advanced Talmudic Law from the Ner Israel Rabbinical College, as well as a Masters in Special Education and in School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University. He is the recipient of the prestigious Grinspoon/Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. He is the host of Jewish Pride Radio and the co-producer of Jewish Pride Films. Josh and his wife Simone have five children, Ayala, Avigayil. Eliana, Asher Yosef & Ahuva Leah.

 

rsmRABBI SIMMY SHABTAI
Rosh Beit Midrash
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (347) 439-7031 (for emergencies only)
rss@brsonline.org
 

Rabbi will be serving as the BRS Rosh Beit Midrash.  In the years of his organizing and leading our Summer Kollel, Rabbi S. Shabtai has shown great leadership and the ability to create a true Kol Torah, the sounds of a vibrant and full Beit Midrash, Sender's Library.  In his new position, Rabbi S. Shabtai will be directing three learning projects.  He will be overseeing and recruiting for our Night Seder Program, coordinating chavrusa study and supporting learning by answering questions and providing help.  He and his wife Devora, will also be coordinating and recruiting for our new once a week Women's Beit Midrash program.  Lastly, he will be supervising our new Gentlemen's Afternoon Kollel for Beis Midrash style text study in one on one and small groups.  The position of BRS Rosh Beit Midrash is privately funded and we are very grateful to our generous sponsor.

 

 
 BranderRABBI KENNETH BRANDER 
Rabbi Emeritus
brander@yu.edu

Rabbi Kenneth Brander is Rabbi Emeritus of Boca Raton Synagogue. Rabbi Brander was named Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) in October of 2004. CJF is the nexus of Yeshiva University's efforts to shape and effectively impact Jewish life and the Jewish future. Collaborating with YU's colleges, schools, and affiliates, CJF helps to build programs and initiatives which actively develop future Jewish lay and professional leadership. 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.
 

MJHMATTHEW J. HOCHERMAN
Executive Director
mjh@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 491-2336 (for emergencies only)
 
 

Matthew Hocherman graduated from Johnson & Wales University as Valedictorian with an Associate and Bachelor degree in Hospitality Management. Matthew was employed at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach for four years and then transferred to The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach in 2008. With this transfer, Matthew moved to Boca Raton and fell in love with the warmth and caring of the community and synagogue. This helped lead him to the decision after 2 years to leave the Ritz-Carlton company, and join the BRS Family. Matthew and his wife Tova got married in October 2010 and had the privilege of welcoming their son, Zev Solomon, to the world in September of 2012.

 


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RABBI GERSHON EISENBERGER
Youth Director
rge@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 845-548-4535 (for emergencies only)
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Rabbi Gershon Eisenberger has been teaching 4th grade at Hillel Day School for the last three years.  Additionally he has been running multiple programs in Boca Raton Synagogue including the Junior Chabura which gives young boys and girls the opportunity to learn Mishna every Shabbat and JuCo, Junior Congregation which conducts Shabbat Tefilot for children. On Shavuot Rabbi Eisenberger conducts a late night class for children. Recently, Rabbi Eisenberger has begun a family service that gives parents and children the chance to daven and learn about davening together.  Rabbi Eisenberger has worked closely with Aliza in our youth department and with our youth who adore him.  

 

RABBI ELI ZIANS
Teen Director
rez@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (516) 451-2123 (for emergencies only)
 

Rabbi Eli Zians, originally from Hamilton, Ontario, has spent the past few years traveling around the world helping educate and inspire Jews of all ages.  He has been working for the past several years for the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation directing summer, Pesach, and winter programs throughout central Europe.  Working hand in hand with NCSY’s JOLT summer program he has enabled countless individuals to experience Judaism in a deep and meaningful way.  Already spending time and filling in for the teen minyan, Eli Zians has spent the past two years working with the local Boca NCSY chapter engaging and inspiring the high school teens within our community.  He has collaborated with and provides classes, along with programming, for many of the public and Jewish day schools in the Boca Raton area.   He hosts monthly onegs for the teens along with his weekly classes both in BRS and at his home.  Rabbi Zians will continue with his NCSY portfolio as he now takes on the role of BRS Teen Director as well.

 

 
 BranderESTHER LUPIN, LCSW
BRS/JFS Social Worker
esther@brsonline.org
 

Esther Lupin, MSW received her Master's degree in Social Work from New York University in 2012 and passed the clinical licensing exam in the state of Florida in 2013. She received her Bachelor's degree in Business/Marketing from the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology.

Esther has worked in various fields of social work both as an intern and as a post graduate volunteer.  As a first year intern, Esther worked at Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, New York and dealt with clients with severe trauma and personality disorders. During her 2nd year internship, Esther worked with a variety of populations at the counseling center at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey.

After moving to Florida in 2012, Esther worked in the field of addiction and recovery at the Hallway of Life center for women in Delray Beach. She then worked at Chai Lifeline in Hollywood, Florida where she assisted families with pediatric illness.

Aside from her diverse work experience, Esther also has extensive familiarity and knowledge of Autism Spectrum disorders and the special needs community.  She has been an outspoken advocate for a young man with extensive special needs in New York for the last 20 years and has a 16 year old son on the autistic spectrum.   Esther is fluent in Hebrew and Yiddish.

Presently, Esther is a counseling outreach coordinator at Jewish Family Services (JFS) in Boca Raton.  Her work will include partnering with Boca Raton Synagogue in providing services and referrals to JFS.  Services include: case management, counseling, psychiatric services, financial assistance, meals on wheels, food pantry, and various senior services including assistance to holocaust survivors, as well as assistance with rides, companions, and friendly visitors.

Furthermore, Esther is available to consult on specific topics which include but are not limited to loss and bereavement, substance abuse, divorce and changing families, budgeting, and services related to seniors. Additionally, Esther can conduct in home assessments when necessary, and facilitate support groups based on the unique needs of the congregants.

Esther is available by appointment to all synagogue congregants and the community to address any related issues and is happy to set up a consultation with you.  


LINDA GORDON
Rabbi's Administrative Assistant
linda@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Fax: (561) 394-0180

KERRY C. PURCELL
Office Manager
kerry@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Fax: (561) 394-0180

 
AMY DOWNS
Book Keeper
amy@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 491-7245
Fax: (561) 394-0180

 

JAMIE LEBERSFELD
Receptionist
jamie@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-3525
Fax: (561) 394-0180

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RABBI GERSHON EISENBERGER
Youth Director
rge@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Facebook
 
Rabbi Gershon Eisenberger has been teaching 4th grade at Hillel Day School for the last three years.  Additionally he has been running multiple programs in Boca Raton Synagogue including the Junior Chabura which gives young boys and girls the opportunity to learn Mishna every Shabbat and JuCo, Junior Congregation which conducts Shabbat Tefilot for children. On Shavuot Rabbi Eisenberger conducts a late night class for children. Recently, Rabbi Eisenberger has begun a family service that gives parents and children the chance to daven and learn about davening together.  Rabbi Eisenberger has worked closely with Aliza in our youth department and with our youth who adore him.  
Tue, 30 September 2014 6 Tishrei 5775