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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 25 Jan 2019 08:20 PM and ends Sat 26 Jan 2019 09:20 PM
י"ב סיון ה' אלפים תשע"ג
The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia “COSA” is embarking on a major initiative to address the declining trends in attendance and membership at synagogues. Over the last few decades, secularisation of society has seen declining attendances at Churches and a similar trend is being evidenced within our own community. In seeking to address this phenomenon, COSA in conjunction with the State Orthodox roof bodies, will be looking to enter into a relationship with Yeshiva University Centre for the Jewish Future “CJF”, a Centre established by Yeshiva University in the US. The CJF seeks to shape, enrich and inspire the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva University and infusing a spirit of leadership and sense of responsibility to the Jewish people and society in general, building, cultivating, and supporting, communities and their Lay and Rabbinic Leaders, and creating a global movement that promotes the values Yiddishkeit.
The first stage in the launch of this initiative will see the Dean of the CJF, Rabbi Kenneth Brander visit Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in August where he will engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders including Rabbis, Presidents, Board members and professionals as well as meeting with a range of communal entities. This will be followed by intensive workshops where Rabbi Brander will combine his findings on the state of our communities with his vast experience in the United States and other communities throughout the world in providing guidance and direction. It is envisaged that resulting from this visit, COSA and its members will establish an ongoing relationship with the CJF which will include access to resources and future visits in both directions.
Rabbi Brander was the Rabbi of a struggling 60 family community in Boca Raton when he arrived in 1991. During his tenure, he built the community to 600 families until he was prised away by President Richard Joel of Yeshiva University to serve as the inaugural Dean of the CJF.
In announcing this new initiative, COSA President, Romy Leibler pointed out that Australia in terms of trends are behind the US and it was natural that we turn to the CJF who have been encountering this phenomena over the last 10-15 years
Rabbi Kenneth Brander is the 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 the Boca Raton 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, youth and senior center and yeshiva high school. He is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in 1986. During his tenure at RIETS, he served as the student assistant to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
In 1999, Rabbi Brander received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from then-Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics, which included the topics of infertility, gynecology and Halacha [Jewish law]. He is currently a doctoral candidate in general philosophy at Florida Atlantic University.
Rabbi Brander has received numerous awards for his community service, including the South Palm Beach County Federation Award for Rabbinic Leadership, the 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.