Rabbi Tuvia Brander
Rabbi Tuvia BranderRabbi@youngisraelwh.org
Rabbi Tuvia Brander is the rabbi of Young Israel of West Hartford, CT.
Following two years of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, he graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva College with a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in Jewish Studies. At Yeshiva University, he served as the Founding Director of the Yeshiva University Kansas City Summer Experience and led the campus American Jewish World Service Humanitarian Mission to Muchucuxcah, Mexico. On campus, he served as the Head Resident Adviser, the Executive Editor of Gesher: Yeshiva University Journal of Jewish Studies and the Chief Justice of the student court.
He was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. During his time there, he spent a year in the Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem, served as a fellow in Straus Center for Western Thought at Yeshiva University and coordinated the AIPAC Leffel Israel Fellowship. Additionally, he was a member of the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L'Horaah, a program focused on training future rabbinic judges, completed the Katz Kollel and is still completing his M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.
Rabbi Brander has a passion for youth work and has held leadership roles in a number of different youth initiatives including NCSY, Shoresh, Plainview Friday Night Lights, and the Torah Leadership Network. He has served as Rabbinic Intern at the Young Israel of Plainview and Congregation BIAV of Overland Park, KS and has been invited to various communities as scholar-in-residence.
Rabbi Brander is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He enjoys fishing, reading and amateur archaeology and is married to wonderful Miriam (nee Apter) Brander.
Meet the Musmachim: Rabbi Tuvia Brander
Rabbi Tuvia Brander '12YC '15R, rabbi of Young Israel of West Hartford, Connecticut, shares how RIETS prepared him to tackle the many different aspects of communal leadership that synagogue rabbis in smaller communities take on. Meet the incredible musmachim who will celebrate their ordination at the RIETS Chag HaSemikhah on March 19.
Published in Yeshiva University's Purim To Go (2017)
Of the many oddities codified as part of our annual Purim celebrations, Rabbi Moshe Isserles, in his glosses on the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 695:2), records a little-
known custom of eating ma’achal zeronim (foods with seeds) on Purim in commemoration of the food Daniel and his fellows eat while in captivity in Nevuchadnezar’s court (Daniel 1:8). Yet surprisingly, this medieval minhag to eat seeds on Purim (Kolbo # 45) is one many of us fulfill eachyear — albeit unknowingly — when we consume copious quantities of hamantashen of the poppy seed variety.... Click here to read the whole article.
The Jewish Response to Tragedy
By Cindy Mindell, Connecticut Jewish Ledger (August 10, 2016)
Brander addressed the tragedy during his sermon the following Shabbat, tying together the highs and lows of the holiday weekend.
“I said, ‘We began last week by ascending the mountain, knowing that part of our role as Jews is not just going up the mountain but bringing the Torah down to the world and unfortunately, we came back into a world that was more imperfect, more fragmented and more in pain than we had left,’” he told the Ledger.
Brander suggested that the congregation craft a meaningful response to the suffering caused by the Orlando shooter.
“Paraphrasing the words of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, in times of darkness, righteous people seek to add light,” Brander says. “We wanted to proactively do something positive to contribute to the world.” As a result, the rabbi and his congregants decided to organize a food drive at the synagogue to benefit the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford.
Not even a month later, five Dallas police officers were shot dead by a sniper. Again, Brander rallied Young Israel, sending an email of support to West Hartford Chief of Police Tracy Grove.
Rosner's Torah-Talk: Parashat Behar with Rabbi Tuvia Brander
By Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal, (May 27, 2016)
Our guest this week is Rabbi Tuvia Brander, leader of Young Israel of West Hartford, CT. Rabbi Brander, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary...
Young Israel of West Hartford Welcomes Rabbi Tuvia Brander
By Stacey Dresner, Connecticut Jewish Ledger, (September 30, 2015)
WEST HARTFORD – While growing up as a rabbi’s son in Boca Raton, Fla., Tuvia Brander had no plans to go into the rabbinate.
“Growing up in a rabbinic home, I always was passionate about serving the Jewish community but wanted to stay as far away from the rabbinate as possible,” he explained. “I really liked mathematics and thought I would either go into engineering or some other math-related field.”
But the son of Rabbi Kenneth Brander, who served for many years as the spiritual leader of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), and who is now vice president for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University, Tuvia Brander eventually, as they say, entered the “family business.”