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Rabbi Tuvia Brander

Rabbi Tuvia Brander

Facebook: @RabbiTuvia Brander
Twitter: @TMBrander
Office: (860) 233-3084

Rabbi Tuvia Brander is the Mara D'Atra (spiritual leader) of the Young Israel of West Hartford. Under his leadership, the Young Israel of West Hartford has continued to grow rapidly – welcoming new faces and families from near and far. Rabbi Brander’s warm and welcoming personality and commitment to creating multiple, diverse, halakhicly meaningful moments and spiritual opportunities have helped attract people of diverse backgrounds and ages to feel at home in the Young Israel community.

In his capacity as rabbi of the Young Israel, Rabbi Brander plays a critical leadership role in many vital components of the Greater Hartford Jewish community. He oversees the West Hartford Community Eruv, serves on the executive committee of the local vaad and serves as the president of the Greater Hartford Rabbinical Association. He sits on the executive board of the New England Jewish Academy, the Jewish Federation Allocations Committee and the ALEPH: The Institute of Jewish Ideas.

Rabbi Brander is active in several national organizations and projects as well. He serves on the executive committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as a board trustee for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Following two years of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, Rabbi Brander graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University with a B.A. in mathematics and Jewish Studies.

He studied and was ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (YU RIETS) where he was Wexner Graduate Fellow. During his semikha studies, Rabbi Brander spent a year in the Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem, coordinated the AIPAC Leffel Israel Fellowship,was a member of the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L’Horaah, a program focused on training future rabbinic judges, completed the Katz Kollel and worked towards his M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School.

Rabbi Brander served as a rabbinic intern at the Young Israel of Plainview and Congregation BIAV of Overland Park, KS, as well as in senior leadership roles in several youth programs and organizations, and has been invited to various communities as scholar in residence.

Rabbi Brander enjoys fishing and amateur archaeology, is married to wonderful Miriam (nee Apter) Brander, and they are blessed with a daughter.

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, 2017.

In Print...

Our Hamantaschen's Forgotten Meaning 

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)

WEST HARTFORD – Rabbi Tuvia Brander and many of his congregants at Young Israel of West Hartford emerged at the end of Shavuot celebrations only to learn of the terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

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.

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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...

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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.”

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Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784