Our Staff

OUR STAFF

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander has been actively involved in Jewish community building for his entire 33-year rabbinical career.

Prior to taking the helm at Ohr Torah Stone and making aliyah in 2018, Rabbi Brander served as Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University (YU). Among his areas of focus were students’ global service learning and Israel advocacy, and engagement with Jewish communities around the world.

Before joining Yeshiva University, Rabbi Brander served as the senior rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue for 14 years (1991 – 2005), overseeing its explosive growth from 60 families to more than 600 families. As one of the fastest growing modern Orthodox communities in the United States, he also is credited with building key institutions to support Jewish life in the region.

Prior to making aliyah, Rabbi Brander was also a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s Rabbinic Cabinet Round Table.

Click here for more on Rabbi Brander.

Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum – Head of OTS Amiel Bakehila

Founding Director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel Programs, Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum’s vast experience makes him an excellent role model and source of inspiration. His position as the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and community rabbi in Turin, Italy, is complemented by his extensive professional work in Israel. In addition to training educational and spiritual leadership, he serves as a Judge on the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Conversion Courts and writes prolifically on the challenges facing Jewish communities and communal leaders. A holder of both an BA and an MA in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew university, Rabbi Birnbaum is considered an authority on matters of the Diaspora and he is consulted regularly by Israeli officials and Diaspora leaders alike for advice and information regarding conflicts, halachic questions and challenges that arise across the globe. Contact Rabbi Birnbaum

Rabbi Reuven Spolter – Director of OTS Amiel Bakehila

Raised in Silver Spring, MD, Reuven Spolter served as the rabbi of the Young Israel of Oak Park in Michigan until his aliyah in 2008. He then served as a Judaic studies instructor and Academic Coordinator of the Elkana Campus of the Orot College of Education from 2008 until 2018. Rabbi Spolter also serves as the Shorashim Coordinator for English-speaking countries for Irgun Rabbanei Tzohar. A graduate of Yeshiva University with an MA in Secondary Jewish Education and Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary, he has taught and lectured to groups of all ages in communities around the world. Rabbi Spolter lives with his family in Yad Binyamin, Israel. Contact Rabbi Spolter

Tzivia Kusminsky – Director of Spanish Speaking Communities

Born in Argentina, where she worked as an educator with needy children in Buenos Aires and taught Jewish subjects, she made Aliya to Israel in 2002. She directed Shavei Israel’s outreach work to the Bnei Anousim and the Hidden Jews of Poland for eleven years. A graduate of the Faculties for Political Science and History of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Tel Aviv University. Contact Tzivia Kusminsky

Eliezer Shargorodsky – Director of French Speaking Communities

Lecturer in History of Zionism, Government and Politics in Israel and Jewish identity at various academic (Bar Ilan and Open Universities) and general institutions (Yad vaShem, Jewish Agency, Herzl museum, Hibba Center…), former facilitator and director at the religious-secular students’ dialogue program (Bar Ilan U.), former content and educational director at the Jewish Agency and Midrasha Tzionit, currently: head of the French Department at the Sulamot educational center headed by Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon; head of French Department at Amiel Bakehila within Or Tora Stone. Contact Eliezer Shargorodsky

Rivka Magzimoff – Director of European Communities

Born in Israel, Rivka holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and education and further studies in digital marketing. Rivka is a graduate of the Claudia Cohen Women Educators Institute, which trains women educators for leadership positions in Diaspora Communities. Rivkah recently returned from Leeds, England, where she and her husband served as a rabbinic chaplaincy couple for 1,500 students at 10 universities. In the more distant past, Rivkah worked in graphic design and digital marketing, and gave lectures in these areas to various organizations and companies.
Contact Rivka Magzimoff

Miriam Hartog – Office Manager/Logistic Coordinator 

Born in Canada, Miriam came on Aliya with her family in 1983, and grew up in Ginot Shomron with her family. Miriam did two years of National Service and graduated with a BA in English Lit. and a second degree in Communications from Bar Ilan University. Miriam has worked in outreach programs through the Jewish Agency and spent three months in Australia working for the Australian Zionist Federation giving seminars in the Jewish highschools on Jewish Identity and Zionism. Miriam worked as the director of the afternoon daycare in the community where she lives with her husband and seven children. Contact Miriam Hartog