New York NCSY Welcomes Rabbi Josh Kohl as New Regional Director

18 Jun 2013


Rabbi Josh Kohl, new regional director of New York NCSY

NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, welcomes Rabbi Josh Kohl as the new regional director of New York NCSY.

Rabbi Kohl holds a bachelor’s degree in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore. After his ordination from the Jerusalem Beis Din in 1997, Rabbi Kohl launched an outreach kollel in California. Rabbi Kohl has served as a senior lecturer for Aish HaTorah’s Discovery Program and is also the founder of J-Family, the Jewish Family Enrichment Project. He has toured the world speaking on topics of family and parenting issues. He lives with his wife, Aviva, a social worker, and their children in Monsey.

“New York is the center of the world and I’d like to see New York NCSY as the center of NCSY,” Rabbi Kohl said.

According to Rabbi Micah Greenland, interim international director of NCSY, “New York NCSY is one of our strongest regions and we believe that Rabbi Kohl has the ability and talent to take it to the next level.”

Rabbi Kohl takes over a thriving region that serves several hundred teenagers in the Greater New York area including Long Island and Westchester. Under the leadership of Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone for six-and-a-half years, the region became an innovative organization with many of the programs being copied and implemented around the United States and Israel.

“We are sad that Rabbi Lightstone is leaving to pursue the emerging field of online Jewish education, but the impact he made continues,” stated Keevy Fried, associate international director of NCSY. “Tasked with merging the Long Island and New York NCSY regions early on his career, Rabbi Lightstone brought the two together and built a substantial and strong organization.”

Rabbi Lightstone praised his successor. “I am thrilled to leave the region in the capable hands of Rabbi Kohl and the New York NCSY staff,” he said. “I am certain that the region will only continue to grow.”

“After spending five minutes with Rabbi Kohl, it was obvious to us that he was a perfect fit,” said Kenneth Sicklick, chairman of the board for New York NCSY. “His educational and kiruv (outreach) background, as well as his enthusiasm and innovative spirit for this type of work, will help continue the tradition that has made NCSY so successful around the world.”

Esther Gerson, a board member of New York NCSY, said that she knew right away that Rabbi Kohl would be a perfect fit for the position.

“Rabbi Kohl immediately endears himself to everyone he meets,” she said. “His genuine warmth and passion for kiruv is evident. He has a tremendous amount of experience and expertise. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber to guide us moving forward.”

The position is a homecoming for Rabbi Kohl, who, as an adolescent, became Torah observant through NCSY in his hometown of Santa Barbara, California.

“NCSY made me religious,” Rabbi Kohl explained. “It provided me with the warmth and spirituality I needed to connect to my heritage. It’s always been my dream to come back to this amazing organization.”

Rabbi Kohl may be contacted at the New York NCSY office at 516.569.6279 or

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