Rabbi Kenneth Brander, former Yeshiva University Vice President and Dean of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, has become President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone (OTS).
Brander recently arrived in Israel with his wife Ruchie and youngest son, Yitzchak, fulfilling a lifelong dream of making aliyah. Rabbi Brander will be visiting OTS high schools, yeshivot and seminaries in preparation for the upcoming academic year.
“I can’t imagine a better time to be bringing my family to Israel,” says Brander. “My wife Ruchie and I are honored to be joining such a creative, dynamic organization which makes a tremendous impact on Jewish communities and society worldwide.”
Brander has been working with OTS since February 2018 in preparation for his formal move to Israel and assuming the presidency of the organization.
“Rabbi Brander is the perfect choice to lead this organization, which has had such an effect on Jewish learning and leadership,” says Rabbi Riskin. “I look forward to seeing him take Ohr Torah Stone to even greater heights, with even greater impact and new initiatives.”
OTS is comprised of 27 institutions including high schools, yeshivot hesder for men and women, kollelim and seminaries, women’s leadership and advocacy programs, outreach initiatives, and social action projects. An international Modern Orthodox organization with headquarters in Jerusalem and Efrat, OTS has been illuminating the relevance of authentic Torah Judaism in the modern world for more than three decades.
“Ohr Torah Stone’s central mission is to inform the Jewish world and educate young people in the values that have inspired our people for thousands of years,” says Brander. “The State of Israel finds itself in a time of great opportunity with the ability to contribute to the spiritual life of Jews around the world. We at OTS have been partners in this endeavor. At the same time there is great internal tension in Israeli society. OTS is uniquely positioned to do much to help change the status quo as we interact with hundreds of thousands of Israelis each year and reflect a tolerant caring environment. We must strive to engage all Jews to find their spiritual wings through love, and not, G-d forbid, through religious coercion.”
At OTS, Brander says he is excited to embrace his new community. “I am impressed by what has already been accomplished by talented OTS professionals and lay leadership. Our schools are top tier educational institutions. We engage hundreds of thousands each year on an international platform, and there is so much more we can achieve.”