• Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was installed as 11th Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth on September 1st, 2013 at St John’s Wood Synagogue in London. Before he became Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Mirvis earned a reputation as one of the UK’s most respected community Rabbis, most recently as Senior Rabbi at Finchley United Synagogue. Under his leadership, the congregation was transformed into a vibrant powerhouse of educational, social, cultural and religious activity and the fastest growing community in the United Synagogue. As Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1984 to 1992, Chief Rabbi Mirvis represented the Jewish community to government, other faith communities and the media. He joined the UK Rabbinate in 1992 when he was appointed to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London. He is the Founder Rabbi and Honorary Principal of Morasha Jewish Primary School, the Founder and Director of the Kinloss Learning Centre and the Founder and President of the Kinloss Kollel. Chief Rabbi Mirvis is married to Valerie, a local authority senior social worker, and they have four sons and seven grandchildren.

  • Rabbi Daniel Oppenheimer Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Rabbi Oppenheimer, a graduate of the Mir Yeshiva is the Rav of the leading Ashkenazi community in Buenos Aires, and principal of the Rav Yosef Caro School, and the head of South America's largest Kashrus Organization, Ajdut Kosher. Rabbi Oppenheimer received his Semicha (rabbinical ordination) from Rabbi Yacov Fink z”l - Av Bet Din of Haifa. Since 1981 he has been Rabbi at the Achdut Israel synagogue. He is also the Lecturer de la Midrashá de la Congregación Sefaradí “Lesod HaDat.” He has been a Lecturer at the Yeshivá Ateret Tzví, and with Ner Le’elef and teacher training programs at Sucath David community. Rabbi Oppenheimer also founded the “Centro Neshamá”, a psychological and therapeutic family assistance agency. The following are books that Rabbi Oppenheimer published: 1. “Jemdat Iamim” Shabbat on the Laws of the Shabbat 2. “Veshinantam levaneja” on parenting 3. “VeSamajta beJagueja” on the Jewish holidays 4. “Banim Atem” on domestic harmony 5. “Emet veEmuná” on the fundamentals of Judaism 6. “Vehí sheamda” Passover Haggada

  • Cantor Yaakov Lemmer Chazzan, Lincoln Square Synagogue

    Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cantor Yaakov “Yanky” Lemmer is one of the leading young cantors on the cantorial horizon. His beautiful lyric tenor voice, dramatic color, and precise coloratura have garnered him universal praise among his peers and connoisseurs, alike. He began his singing career as the star soloist of the Young Israel of Bethel Choir, where world renowned Cantor Ben Zion Miller took him under his private tutelage. Yaakov earned a scholarship to the Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University, where he studied with Cantors Joseph Malovany and Bernard Beer. He also studied with cantorial legend Cantor Noach Schall, and has won a scholarship for vocal training in N.Y.C. As an internationally renowned concert artist, Yaakov is in constant demand on the concert stage, as well as synagogues, thrilling audiences throughout the world. He has appeared at the Tel Aviv Culture Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and has been featured throughout the United States, Canada, England, and at various European Culture Festivals. In addition, he has performed with Jazz/Klez legend Frank London and received rave reviews of his unique interpretations of traditional liturgical music. He has also officiated at some of the world’s most prominent pulpits throughout the world. His repertoire spans many genres and languages, including traditional Hebrew liturgy, Yiddish folk, Opera, Broadway, Israeli, and more. In additional to his Cantorial vocation, Yaakov is a Licensed Special Education Therapist, working with special needs children in Brooklyn, NY. He currently serves as Cantor of Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York, NY.

  • Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, M.D. Rabbi, Edmond J. Safra Synagogue

    Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. comes from a long and distinguished rabbinical lineage dating back to fifteenth century Spain and Provence. Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain and later Provence his family migrated throughout the ages through Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Rabbi Abadie was born in Beirut Lebanon, and grew up in Mexico City, coming to the United States to attend Yeshiva University. He earned his B.A. in Health Sciences in 1983, B.S.C. in 1984 in Bible Studies, Hebrew Teacher’s diploma in 1985, and a Master’s degree in Jewish Philosophy in 1986 from Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Abadie received his ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He attended SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he graduated in 1990 with an M.D. degree. He did his residency in Internal Medicine, and later his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Maimonides Medical Center finishing in 1995. Rabbi Abadie is the founding Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York City, the Head of School of the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan and the Spiritual Leader of the Moise Safra Community Center in Manhattan. He is also the Director of the Jacob E. Safra Institute of Sephardic Studies, at Yeshiva University and is a scholar and college teacher of Sephardic Judaism, history, philosophy, and comparative traditional law. He was a member of the Board and an Officer of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). As Co-President of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), he was instrumental in passing a Congressional resolution on behalf of Jews from Arab Countries to be recognized by the U.S government in their dealing with the issue of Middle Eastern Refugees. He has lectured on Jewish themes, philosophy, law, and medical ethics. As a member of the board of the American Sephardi Federation and the World Sephardic Educational Center, he lectures on Sephardic Judaism, history, and comparative traditional law. He has appeared and was interviewed on many English, Television and Radio Programs several times, Spanish Radio and Television programs and Israeli Media. He was featured in the Jewish Voice Weekly, Image Magazine, the Jewish Week, Hamevasser, Israel Hayom, Hamodia Magazine and many others. He received the Orden Del Merito Civil, the highest civil decoration by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Rabbi Abadie follows in the footsteps of the greatest Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, as he is both a rabbi and a physician. Rabbi Abadie maintains a practice in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He is married to Elise Eichler and together with their children, they presently live in New York City.

  • Rachel Friedman Director of Lamdeinu of Teaneck

    A noted teacher, author and lecturer in the areas of Bible and Jewish liturgy, Rachel Friedman is Founding Dean of Lamdeinu, a center for Jewish learning in northern New Jersey. She served for many years as Associate Dean and Chair of Tanakh Studies at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York City. Ms. Friedman has been a scholar-in-residence at synagogues and educational institutions throughout the United States and abroad. She has an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University and a JD from Columbia University School of Law.

  • Malcolm I. Hoenlein Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

    In June 1986, Malcolm Hoenlein was elected CEO/Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the central coordinating body on international and national concerns for 51 national Jewish organizations. Previously, he served as the founding Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York, the central coordinating agency for Jewish organizations in the metropolitan New York area. Prior to that, he was the founding Executive Director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. Malcolm Hoenlein received his B.A. in Political Science from Temple University and completed his Masters degree and doctoral course work at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of International Relations. A National Defense Fellow in the University’s Near East Center, Mr. Hoenlein taught International Relations in the Political Science Department and served as a Middle East specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In addition, he served on the editorial staff of ORBIS, the Journal of International Affairs. Mr. Hoenlein has traveled across the globe meeting with top world leaders and heads of Jewish communities. He has written and lectured across the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Hoenlein serves as an advisor to many public officials and is frequently consulted on public policy issues. He appears regularly in the media and co-hosts the nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show on the ABC radio network weekly, and does a weekly commentary on the “JM in the AM” radio show. Mr. Hoenlein has been the recipient of many awards and tributes. Among them, he was conferred a Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by Yeshiva University and a Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa) from Touro University and was honored by, among others, State of Israel Bonds for his “valiant and extraordinary service to Israel and the Jewish people,” the Private Sector Initiative Award from President Ronald Reagan, American ORT honored him with a special “Man of the Millennium” Tribute, the first Quittman Award for Jewish Professional Excellence, the Defender of Jerusalem Award, Millender Fellow at Brandeis University, the Henry M. Jackson medal, Fellow of the Jerusalem College of Technology, the Jack D. Weiler Award for Jewish Communal Service, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations National Service Award. He received numerous recognitions from foreign governments, including the highest civilian decoration from His Majesty, King Mohammad VI of Morocco in August, 2013. The Mayor of Jerusalem and the City Council designated Mr. Hoenlein recipient of the city’s highest tribute, the “Neeman Yerushalayim” (Trustee of Jerusalem) award. He was the 2010 recipient of the Guardian of Zion Award. He received the Defender of Jerusalem award from Israeli Prime Minister Shamir. Mr. Hoenlein was appointed by three Presidents as a U.S. delegate to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and participated in several Presidential delegations. He served on the New York State Ethical Standards Board. Mr. Hoenlein is associated with and serves on the boards of many communal, educational and civic organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations and Council for a Secure America. He is Chairman of America’s Voices and Co-Chair of the Secure Community Network. He also serves on the boards of high tech, pharma and other companies.

  • Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky President, Rabbinical Council of America

    Rabbi Matanky serves as the Rabbi of Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park, and Dean of Ida Crown Jewish Academy. A native Chicagoan, he was ordained and received a Masters degree in Religious Education in 1981 from the Hebrew Theological College, a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Loyola University in 1982, and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York University, in 1989. Rabbi Matanky is the president of the Rabbinical Council of America, the past president of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and currently serves on numerous boards including, the Presidents Conference of Major Jewish Organizations, Religious Zionists of Chicago, the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University, Camp Moshava, and is co-Chair of the Rabbinic Action Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Rabbi Matanky has lectured across the United States, Israel and Europe, and is the author of numerous educational articles, including chapters in “The Ultimate Jewish Teachers’ Handbook” and “What We Know About Jewish Education.” Rabbi Matanky is married to Margaret (Novick), and the father of seven children, Yaakov, z”l, Chani (Rabbi Yehuda) Isenberg, Raanana (Reuven) Stein, Shoshana (Benjamin) Neikrug, Yitzchak (Aviva), Avi and Elisheva; and the grandfather of eleven.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva University

    Rav Herschel Schachter, considered by many the preeminent Posek of the Modern Orthodox community, has had a distinguished career with Yeshiva University and the Orthodox Union. Since 1971, Rabbi Schachter has been Rosh Kollel in RIETS' Marcos and Adina Katz Kollel (Institute for Advanced Research in Rabbinics) and also holds the institution's Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud. One of Rabbi Soloveitchik's closest disciples, Rav Schachter has authored a three volume intellectual biography of the Rav, in addition to his other seforim and countless articles. Rav Schachter is a halachik consultant for the Orthodox Union, and is turned to for guidance from thousands around the world.

  • Professor Richard B. Stone Past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations

    Richard Stone grew up in New Orleans. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spent two years in Israeli yeshivas. He began his legal career in a large Washington, D.C. law firm where he practiced for two years. He was then appointed to the position of Assistant Solicitor General of the United States where he served for four years, representing the United States Government and arguing cases in the Supreme Court. In 1974, he moved to New York, joined the faculty of Columbia Law School and was for twenty years the Wilbur Friedman Professor of Tax Law. For the last twenty years, he has been active in venture capital and is the co-founder of various private and public medical and technology companies. He is currently a director of a number of Israeli companies, including Powermat, Enhanced Surface Dynamics and Nanox Imaging. He is also Chairman of the Board of EsproAcoustiguide. Professor Stone has devoted much of his time to Jewish communal activities. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He was recently the Chairman of NCSJ, which advocates for the Jewish communities in the fifteen republics that emerged from the Soviet Union. He has served as Vice President and on the Executive Committee of the New York JCRC and for a number of years chaired its Government Relations Commission. He was the Chairman of the Institute for Public Affairs, the public policy arm of the Orthodox Union, from 1992 to 2002 and served on the board and Executive Committee of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs from 2005 to 2009. He served for long periods on the boards of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, the America-Israel Friendship League, the American Zionist Movement and the New York Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty. From 1997 to 2000, he was Mayor Rudy Giuliani's representative from Manhattan on the board of the City University of New York (CUNY). Professor Stone lives today in New York City and has four children, all of whom were educated in Jewish day schools and then studied at Jewish educational institutions in Israel.

  • Rabbi Ya’akov Trump Assistant Rabbi, Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhust

    Rabbi Ya’akov Trump serves as the Assistant Rabbi of the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst. Additionally, he currently works as a student advisor in Yeshiva University in Undergraduate Torah Studies. Rabbi Trump grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. After graduating high school, he spent several years in Yeshivat Kerem BeYavneh in Israel followed by Ner Yisrael, Baltimore. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Yeshiva University and has taken multiple Actuary exams. While completing Semicha at RIETS, he served as Rabbinic Intern in Kesher Israel DC, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates and the Beth Din of America. He spent two years as Rabbinic fellow of the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel of Chicago creating new programs and shiurim. Rabbi Trump enjoys nature, thoughtful conversations and spending time with family and friends. It is his passion to share his passion for the Torah and its relevance in contemporary times. He and his wife, Malka, and children live in Cedarhurst.