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Spiritual Leadership

Chaim Dovid Berson, Cantor           
212-774-5626 |

Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson was born and raised in Jerusalem. He graduated from the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute and honed his outstanding musical skills under the tutelage of Cantor Naftali Hershtik and composer Raymond Goldstein. Cantor Berson has led services and performed at music festivals around the world, the UN General Assembly, on Central Park’s Summer Stage, and was a featured singer with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He is married to Batya, and they have one daughter Annaelle. 

Rabbi Daniel Kraus                    Director of Community Education
212-774-5696 |

Rabbi Daniel Kraus is the Director of Community Education at KJ. Daniel is a native of MelboSave urne, Australia, and graduated Yeshiva University with a B.S. and MBA, completed the Ner LeElef Fellowship at RIETS, and received his ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem. Prior to KJ, Daniel served as the inaugural Director of the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) Downtown location where, together with his wife Rachel, spearheaded the creation of a vibrant community of young Jewish professionals and created a hub of Jewish engagement in Midtown Manhattan for over 7,000 participants. Daniel also served as MJE’s Chief Operating Officer. Outside of KJ, Daniel is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Birthright Israel Foundation, where he leads strategic alliances for the Foundation, manages the post-trip engagement strategy for Birthright alumni and Institutional Giving.

RaCHEL Kraus                                Director of Community Education

Rachel Kraus is the Director of Community Education at KJ. Rachel completed a B.S. from Stern College majoring in marketing with a minor in music, including coursework study at The Juilliard School and holds an MBA from NYU. Rachel is the Vice President of Marketing for the Westfield Corporation, where she leads marketing strategy, partnerships, and brand experience for the World Trade Center retail development project. She has over a decade of experience in teaching informal Jewish education, has taught and lectured in Australia, Belarus, and throughout the US and has been teaching the Matan Bat Mitzvah program in the NY/NJ area for the past decade. Rachel and Daniel are the proud parents of four young children. They were also listed among the 2017 Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 list of emerging Jewish leaders.

Dr. Benjamin ZaltA | Chazan

Dr. Benjamin Zalta, an Associate Professor of Radiology in the Cardio-thoracic Division at Montefiore Medical Center and a native of Damascus, Syria, has been Chazan at the KJ Sephardic Minyan since its founding in 2011. He came to New York at the age of 18 to study at Yeshiva University, and went on to earn a medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Steeped in the Syrian musical tradition, Dr. Zalta has served Sephardic congregations in Brooklyn and Deal, NJ and led the Sephardic Services at Fifth Avenue Synagogue for 18 years.

Rabbi Jeremy Wieder
Rabbinic Scholar


Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder is Yeshiva University’s Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Professor of Talmud in the Mazer Yeshiva Program, a rosh yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and an adjunct professor of Bible at Yeshiva College. A summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College, he was ordained at RIETS, received his MS in American Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and holds a Ph.D. in Judaic studies from New York University. Rabbi Wieder is a prolific scholar on issues of Torah’s relationship with modernity, with more than 900 lectures on Judaism captured on audio and video and available online. 

Sara Rosen | KJ Lecturer 

Sara Rosen has been with the KJ Beginners program for over two decades. Since she moved to New York from Jerusalem, she has been a Hebrew teacher and coordinator in children and adult programs. Building on her experience, she developed the PHD Phonetic Hebrew Decoding system, an innovative approach to learning Hebrew reading. She has also developed Eyal, a Hebrew reading app for iPad.

Sat, May 18 2024 10 Iyyar 5784