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Rabbis & Staff

RABBI EFREM GOLDBERG


Senior Rabbi
reg@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 702-4198
(for emergencies only)
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10th Anniversary tribute video

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), a rapidly-growing congregation of over 800 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. 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 Katz Hillel Day School, Hadar High School for Girls, and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Additionally, Rabbi Goldberg is involved in a number of national organizations and projects. He serves as an officer of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Beth Din of America, is on the Editorial Committee of Tradition 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.

Rabbi Goldberg is a sought after Scholar in Residence and has spoken at the AIPAC Policy Conference, the JNF National Conference, and the RCA and OU National Conventions.

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 to listen to online. 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.

Rabbi Goldberg is the author of a popular blog and is a frequent contributor to Aish.com and OU.org. His writings have appeared in Mishpacha, Klal Perspectives, Mosaic, Jewish Press, Jewish Link, Jewish Life, Jewish Action, Times of Israel, Sun Sentinel, Forward, YU to Go, and have been quoted by the New York Times and Wall St. Journal

Rabbi Goldberg is passionate in his support and love of Israel and has been a tireless and forceful advocate for Israel. He has been 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 2014, he was presented the Pillar of the Community and Israel Award by Friends of the IDF.

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

RABBI PHILIP MOSKOWITZ

Associate Rabbi
rpm@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 491-2338 (for emergencies only)

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Rabbi Philip Moskowitz serves as Associate Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), where he helps lead a rapidly growing congregation of over 850 families including over 1,000 children. His warm personality and dynamic, positive spirit make people of all backgrounds and ages feel a part of the BRS community. Rabbi Moskowitz officiates at life cycle events, provides pastoral counseling, and serves as halachic advisor and close confidante to hundreds of members. Beyond the engaging and relevant Shabbat morning sermons, delivered to multiple, diverse minyanim, and the numerous regular classes and shiurim in the Shul, Rabbi Moskowitz regularly teaches Torah in private homes, local day schools, and the community at large.

Rabbi Moskowitz, a Boston native, received his bachelor’s degree and semicha from Yeshiva University and, before coming to Boca, was the Program Director at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, where he developed, coordinated, and oversaw a robust and vibrant Adult Education Program that creatively targeted diverse populations and attracted hundreds of attendees. Rabbi Moskowitz has also served as assistant rabbi in Holliswood, Queens.

Rabbi Moskowitz is deeply active in his leadership of the Boca Raton Jewish community. He serves on the Executive Committee of Katz Hillel Day School, the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, and is involved with the Beth Din of Florida (conversion), the Orthodox Rabbinical Board (kashrut), and several local day schools and high schools. He is also a proud, staunch Israel advocate and values his close association with AIPAC, Friends of the IDF, and JNF. In addition, Rabbi Moskowitz serves as Director of the Helen and Julius Reiter Institute of Judaic Studies at BRS, where he coordinates and oversees an adult education program that boasts hundreds of classes, speakers, and special events throughout the year.

Rabbi Moskowitz lives in Boca Raton with his wife Arielle, a practicing Nurse Practitioner, and their children Moshe (10), Shayna (8), Esti(4), and Rena (5 months). His love of the outdoors includes enjoying golf, tennis, and especially running. He is an avid reader, with particular emphasis on current events and American and Israeli history. And despite the physical distance, he remains true to his Boston sports teams.

RABBI DAVID SHABTAI, MD

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

Rabbi David Shabtai, MD serves as the rabbi of our Sephardic Minyan. He also teaches at Yeshiva High School as well as at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Shabtai received his semikhah from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, affiliate of Yeshiva University and his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He has a particular interest in medical halakhah and Jewish bioethics and has authored, Defining the Moment: Understanding Brain Death in Halakhah and writes and lectures on a wide range of medical and scientific ethical issues. He is married to Monica and together are parents to Gavriel, Elyada, Eliyahu, Rivkah, Yosef Chaim, and Aharon.

RABBI RAEL BLUMENTHAL

BRS West Rabbi
rrb@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 909-0234

Boca Raton Synagogue is proud to welcome Rabbi Rael Blumenthal as Rabbi of BRS West. In addition to being a member of the BRS Rabbinic team with a focus on growing BRS West, Rabbi Blumenthal will be a faculty member at Yeshiva High School.

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Blumenthal come to BRS with great enthusiasm and excitement, and are eager to hit the ground running.

If you would like to be in touch with Rabbi Blumenthal, please contact him at rrb@brsonline.org or on his cell phone at (561) 909-0234.

Rabbi Blumenthal was born and raised in South Africa and studied for 3 years in Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Yeshiva University. He completed his Rabbinic studies at RIETS while studying in Rabbi Hershel Schachter’s Kollel.

Aliza Blumenthal completed her BA in psychology at Stern College for Women, and then went on to receive her Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College in NYC.

The Blumenthals have two children, Ayelet (3), and Dovi (7 mo), who are excited to move to warmer weather.

RABBI JOSH BROIDE

Outreach Rabbi
rjb@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (561) 702-3864

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Rabbi Josh Broide is the Director of the Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement (CJE), a Division of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. He is also the Founder and Director of the Boca Raton Jewish Experience (BRJE), a rapidly growing outreach and engagement program in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition he also works as the Outreach Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), one of the largest Modern Orthodox Synagogues in North America. He has worked at BRS for the past 16 years and has also served as its Executive Director and Youth Director. Josh’s warm and welcoming personality and his nonjudgmental approach have helped attract people of diverse backgrounds to feel part of the Boca Raton Jewish community. Previously he served as the founding Director of the Jewish Student Union (JSU) of South Florida, where he helped expand the Jewish student engagement program to include more than 30 high school clubs in South Florida public schools. Josh also worked as the Campus Rabbi at the Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach. He continues to participate every year on the Southern Regions March of the Living to Poland and Israel and has also leads teen and adult tours to Israel. Josh was the Head Counselor of a Jewish summer camp in New York called Camp Mesorah and has been accepted to the Shalom Hartman institute's Rabbinic Leadership Initiative (RLI).

Rabbi Broide received his Rabbinical Ordination and earned a Masters in Advanced Talmudic Law from the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, he earned a Masters in Special Education and a Masters in School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University. He also received a certificate in Kellogg Management Education for Jewish Leaders from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Josh was recently named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by the Jewish Daily Forward and was the recipient of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s James & Marjorie Baer Outstanding Young Leadership Award as well as the prestigious Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. He was recognized by the Jewish Federation of North America as a Jewish Community Hero in recognition of his contribution to the Jewish Community and the ideal of Tikkun Olam. He also received the National Jewish Outreach Program’s (NJOP) Leslie Nelkin Special Service Award for his commitment to outreach. Josh is passionate in his support and love of Israel and continues to work tirelessly for the Boca Raton Jewish community. He is the host of an internet radio show called Jewish Pride Radio and the co-producer of Jewish Pride Films. He enjoys playing drums and guitar and listening to music. He and his wife Simone have six children, Ayala, Avigayil, Eliana, Asher Yosef, Ahuva Leah & Eytan.

RABBI SIMMY SHABTAI

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

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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.

RABBI KENNETH BRANDER

Rabbi Emeritus
brander@yu.edu

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander is the incoming President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone (OTS), as of February 2018. Rabbi Brander succeeds Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who will step down in August 2018, although he will continue his involvement in OTS, the organization he founded in 1983.

Until January 2018, Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander was Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University (YU) and taught rabbinics at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). He focused on improving all aspects of the student life experience, personal and virtual engagement with Jewish communities around the Jewish world, upgrading the Graduate Program of Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women (GPATS), and restructuring YU’s Israel-based initiatives to empower greater impact on Israeli society.

Before becoming Vice President, Rabbi Brander served as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. Serving as a catalyst to infuse the YU student body with a spirit of leadership and sense of commitment to the Jewish people and society, the CJF builds, cultivates and supports communities and their lay and rabbinic leaders, and creates a global movement that promotes YU’s values.

Rabbi Brander is a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s Rabbinic Cabinet Round Table, which brings together Jewish community leaders from all denominations to discuss challenging issues affecting the Jewish community or meet with key members of the Israeli or American government.
Prior to joining Yeshiva University, Rabbi Brander served as the senior rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue for 14 years (1991 – 2005), overseeing its explosive growth from 60 families to more than 600 families.  During that time, he also became the founding dean of The Katz Yeshiva High School – the first Jewish high school between North Miami Beach and Atlanta, Georgia – and founder and posek of the Boca Raton Community Mikvah, the first mikvah complex in Palm Beach County. Rabbi Brander also helped develop the Hahn Judaic Campus, upon which these institutions reside, co-chaired the Orthodox Rabbinical Board of Broward & Palm Beach Counties’ South Palm Beach County Vaad ha’Kashrut, which brought many kosher establishments to Palm Beach County in southern Florida, and was instrumental in the development of the Hillel Day School.

From 1990-91, Rabbi Brander was the acting rabbi of New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue, after serving for four years as its assistant rabbi.

Rabbi Brander has published numerous articles on Jewish law and philosophy which have appeared in various scholarly journals, and served as the editor for The Yeshiva University Haggada (Ktav: New York, 1985).  He delivers popular lectures in various areas of Jewish thought and jurisprudence and has lectured in communities throughout North America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and Israel.

He is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. During that time he served as a student assistant to Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1982 – 1985). Rabbi Brander also received special ordination from the Machon Puah center of medical ethics in Israel, and from then-Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, in the field of medical ethics, reproductive technology and halakha.

Rabbi Brander holds a Ph.D. in general philosophy and comparative literature from Florida Atlantic University. He wrote his dissertation on “The Temple in Jerusalem Idealized and the Historic-Synagogue-Institution: A Study in Synagogue Purposes in an American Context.”

Rabbi Brander is married to Rachel Tambor Brander. They have five children:  Tuvia (married to Miriam Apter), Yoni (married to Yehudit Goldberg), Tehilla, Yosef and Yitzchak.

MATTHEW J. HOCHERMAN

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

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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 at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach to leave the Ritz-Carlton company, and join the BRS Family. Matthew and his wife Tova got married in October 2010 and have three children, Zev, Jake, & Abigail.

RABBI GERSHON EISENBERGER

Youth Director
rge@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Cell: (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)

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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.

ELISSA LOVE, MSW

  BRS/JFS Social Worker
elissal@ralesjfs.org
Direct:(561) 852-3298
Main:(561) 852-3333

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LINDA GORDON

Rabbi Goldberg's Executive Assistant
linda@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Fax:(561) 394-0180

KERRY C. PURCELL

Office Manager/Graphic Designer
kerry@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Fax:(561) 394-0180

AMY DOWNS

Bookkeeper
amy@brsonline.org
Office:
Fax:(561) 394-0180

GLORIA SCHREIBER

Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
office@brsonline.org
Office: (561) 394-0394
Fax:(561) 394-0180

Sun, August 19 2018 8 Elul 5778