EXCLUSIVE: Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander’s Letter of Resignation
The following is Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander’s letter of resignation from his position as Vice President of University and Community Life at Yeshiva University. He will be assuming the position of President and Rosh haYeshiva at Ohr Torah Stone in Israel around January 31. This letter was sent to President Ari Berman and the YU Board of Trustees on October 3rd and was shared with The Commentator in its entirety.
Dear President Berman, Chairman Strauss and members of Yeshiva University Board of Trustees,
It is with very mixed emotions that I write to inform you formally that I will be leaving my position at Yeshiva University on or around January 31, 2018, in order to begin my new position as President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone Institutions in Israel.
While I am very excited about my new position and the opportunities it presents, I am saddened to leave Yeshiva University ‐‐ an institution that has been so much a part of my life and has educated three generations of my family.
Over the past 12 years, we have accomplished a great deal together. We have impacted communities around the world, strengthened our rabbinic placement bureau, developed a plethora of initiatives to educate rabbis and their spouses already in the field and worked to develop strong lay leaders. We created platforms to disseminate the Torah of YU including “YU Torah” and the “Holiday To Go”. These platforms have successfully allowed hundreds of thousands to benefit from the wisdom of our Yeshiva. Through the Graduate Program in Advanced Talmud Studies for Women (GPATS) we have created opportunities for women to grow in their Torah knowledge and play significant roles in our community. It was a privilege to serve as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future.
The student experience continues to become more dynamic with our student body engaged in the study of Torah and the pursuit of rigorous academics. We have created platforms in which students use their talents, learning and knowledge to make a difference in the world. We have created a multitude of opportunities for our students, whether in the public schools around the corner or in service to communities around the world. Our students continue to step up and I am proud of their accomplishments.
Finally, together we have turned around our undergraduate discount rate. We never turned a blind eye to those in need but we also recognized the value proposition of a YU education. This year, that change is more evident. Our enrollment is one of the best YU has had. It is coupled with a net tuition and ancillary revenue that is unprecedented.
Rabbi Berman, I wish you continued success and fulfillment in your presidency of Yeshiva, and will do everything I can to help assist you and orchestrate an orderly transition of my responsibilities over the next four months. I have enjoyed our time together and I am always available to help.
I thank each of you for being part of this wondrous period in my professional career and for your vision in navigating one of the most important institutions of our people.