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Rabbi Naftali Brawer, Ph.D.

Jewish Chaplain, Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel


Rabbi Naftali Brawer was appointed Tufts’ Jewish Chaplain and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel in May 2018. Before coming to Tufts, Naftali was Chief Executive of the Spiritual Capital Foundation, a London-based think tank and consultancy on the centrality of values in organizations. Prior to that role, he was Senior Rabbi to the Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue in Northwest London, one of the largest Jewish congregations in Europe, with close to 1300 members.

Naftali also served as interfaith advisor to British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, in which capacity he dialoged with faith leaders in various fora. He was a delegate to the International Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace (Brussels,2005, Seville, 2006), a contributor to the Caux Round Table on Sustainability as Moral Responsibility (Bangkok, Thailand, 2013), and the Keynote speaker at the Zermatt Summit ‘Humanising Globalisation (Zermatt, Switzerland, 2014). He met with the Dalai Lama in Amritsar, India, and Dharma Master Hsin Tao in Taiwan.

In addition to his Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination, Naftali holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from University College London, and he has a keen academic interest in mysticism and theology. He is the author of ‘A Brief Guide to Judaism: Theology History and Practice’ (Constable Robinson, London, Philadelphia 2008) and contributor to ‘Faith Based Radicalism: Between Constructive Activism and Destructive Fanaticism (Brussels, 2007), and ‘The Nation that Forgot God’ (London, 2015). He is a columnist for the British weekly newspaper ‘The Jewish Chronicle.’ As a broadcaster for the BBC, Naftali regularly presented ‘Thought for the Day’ to some 7 million listeners.

Naftali is married to Dina, also rabbi, and they have four sons (not rabbis!). In his spare time he enjoys theatre, art and travel.

Naftali is a confidential resource on campus.