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Our Team

The Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC) is a modern Orthodox community synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York. Since its founding in 1954, the RJC has served as the center of a diverse Jewish community—uniting, supporting, and inspiring the entire community in furtherance, and under the guidance, of eternal Torah law and values. The RJC’s numerous religious, social, and educational programs nourish individuals of all backgrounds and ages to grow in Torah learning, connect with God, and celebrate the beauty of Jewish life. Our members are devoted to working tirelessly for the spiritual growth and physical welfare of the Riverdale community, the Jewish people, the State of Israel, the United States of America, and humankind.


Klei Kodesh

Rabbi Dovid Zirkind

Senior Rabbi

(O) 718.548.1850 


Rabbi Dovid Zirkind became the Senior Rabbi of The Riverdale Jewish Center in the summer of 2019. A native of Baltimore, Rabbi Zirkind spent two formative years of study at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel. From there, Rabbi Zirkind continued his education at Yeshiva University. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and received Semicha/Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

From 2010-2012, Rabbi Zirkind served as an Avrech of the Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash of Toronto, studying full time in the Beit Midrash and serving as Rabbinic Assistant at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation. In those roles, Rabbi Zirkind taught classes throughout the Greater Toronto Area and was privileged to train under a number of its leading Rabbis and educators.

Following his time in Toronto, Rabbi Zirkind became Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of The Jewish Center in Manhattan. In that capacity, Rabbi Zirkind taught throughout the Upper West Side, helped grow The Jewish Center’s Young Leadership division to two hundred strong, and organized The Jewish Center’s Adult Education program and year-long Centennial Celebration. Together with his wife, Ariella, the Zirkinds conducted highly sought-after personalized marriage workshops, including Chattan and Kallah classes and ongoing Taharat HaMishpacha and fertility counseling for young families.

Rabbi Zirkind is married to Ariella Zirkind, a Chicago native and graduate of Stern College for Women. Ariella holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College in Manhattan. She is a certified Kallah Teacher through the National Council of Young Israel and plays an active role in our community. The Zirkinds are the proud parents of three young daughters - Amira, Gali and Kayla.



Rabbi Yitzi Genack


(O) 718.548.1850 x 115

(C) 201.220.8865


Rabbi Yitzi Genack joined the Riverdale Jewish Center rabbinic team in 2010. Since that time, Rabbi Genack served as Rabbinic Intern, Assistant Rabbi, Acting Rabbi and was appointed as Rabbi in February 2018. Rabbi Genack earned his BA in mathematics at Yeshiva College, Semicha from RIETS and is completing an MA in Medieval Jewish History at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Genack was awarded a Wexner Fellowship from Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon. During that  four year fellowship, Rabbi Genack pursued intensive Talmudic and Halachic study and advanced pastoral training.

Rabbi Genack is passionate about people and Torah, and he finds great satisfaction in teaching and counseling. In his drashot and shiurim, Rabbi Genack vividly brings to life the values of the Torah and tradition with thoughtful analysis and sensible application. Rabbi Genack is dedicated to sensitive pastoral care and support. In this way, he uses his training and experience to elevate life’s celebrations and guide people through hardship and loss.

Rabbi Genack is deeply engaged with Riverdale’s diverse families and individuals. He gives weekly shiurim to retirees which creates a vibrant learning environment in our Beit Midrash.  Rabbi Genack also cherishes the close relationships he has developed with the youth in our community. He has helped to expand and develop our Saturday Night Learning (SNL) and Friday evening Kinder Minyan programs. 

Rabbi Genack has introduced innovative programs bringing together people for Torah study through technology and social media. The RJC Q&A WhatsApp group has over 250 active participants and answers thousands of questions a year, and Rabbi Genack has assisted other synagogues in implementing similar programs. Rabbi Genack also hosts a weekly parsha podcast, “Drasha Deconstructed,” which teaches the parsha while giving a behind the scenes look at the process of crafting of a professional drasha.

Rabbi Genack is also an eight-grade Rebbe at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey in River Edge. In this role, he sees the unique opportunity to influence two communities at multiple levels. He also focuses on the intersection between modern middle school education and the community shul dynamic. In the classroom, he often gives examples from his real life experience in pastoral care, psak and teaching a diverse community. Rabbi Genack also serves as a member of the executive board of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Shoshana Genack enjoys hosting Shabbat meals, organizing women’s learning opportunities, counseling, supporting, and making friends with the wonderful members of the community. Shoshana is an outpatient dietician and diabetes educator at New York Presbyterian. Rabbi Yitzi and Shoshana Genack have four boys who all enjoy being part of the RJC family.



Ezra Teichman

Rabbinic Intern

Ezra Teichman was born and raised in Monsey, NY. He spent a year and a half studying in Yeshivat Sha’alvim as well as half a year in Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim, and has since received his BA in Mathematics from Yeshiva University. Ezra, heading into his final year of RIETS, will be a member of the Frisch Kollel and will be completing the RIETS-Ferkauf Mental Health Counseling Program. Ezra currently resides in Washington Heights with his wife, Jennifer, who is studying to become an occupational therapist at the Touro School of Health Sciences. 


Chazzan Shimon Craimer

Shimon Craimer



Chazzan Shim comes to us from London, England, where he studied classical cantorial style with the Chief Rabbi.  He first came to the attention of the Riverdale Jewish Center as a Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur guest cantor.  Now, as the cantor of the RJC, Shim travels the country performing at various shuls, chagigahs, simchas, concerts and events. He has released two albums, the most recent of which earned him plaudits from the Jewish music world. Shim is married and has four kids, all of whom have three letter names.

Executive Director

Oren Hiller


(O) 718.548.1855


Oren previously worked at the Mount Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights, where he was Executive Director for nine years.  While at Mount Sinai Jewish Center, Oren oversaw a one million dollar building renovation, received over $250,000 in Homeland Security security grants allowing for extensive security upgrades, and introduced ShulCloud to MSJC, making MSJC one of the the first four synagogues to use ShulCloud as their database. Oren is a ShulCloud power user and trainer. Oren and his wife Janis live in Fair Lawn, NJ, where Oren was President of Shomrrei Torah for three years.  They have four daughters and four granddaughters.

718 548-1850, x. 113


Rivka Alter

Rivka Alter








Yoetzet Halacha


Rivka Alter is a Tanakh teacher from Bergenfield, NJ. She taught middle and high school students for fifteen years at the Denver Academy of Torah where she developed the high school Tanakh curriculum. She is a yoetzet halacha and is currently completing her dissertation at the YU’s Azrieli Graduate School in the area of problem based learning and Tanakh. She has been involved in adult education in a variety of forums and formats. Her husband, Daniel, is head of school at the Moriah School in Englewood, New Jersey. They are parents to seven children, ranging in age from 19 to 4. 

Rivka is reachable by phone at 201 503-6597 or at


Elana Kook & Adam Weisel

Youth Directors


Elana and Adam are super excited to be the Youth Directors this year! They are not strangers to youth programming, and they are so excited to channel their creativity and experience in this new role. Here's a fun fact: They even met at the RJC on their Bnei Akiva/Moshava "simcha-ton" in 9th grade! Adam grew up in Teaneck, NJ and was involved in the youth department in his shul, and was a camper, counselor, and division head at Moshava. He also was involved in community organizing and programming  in college at the University of Pennsylvania. Adam is currently pursuing his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at City College of New York. Elana is excited to return to her previous stomping grounds in Riverdale! She grew up attending and leading groups at the RJC. Elana also served as a counselor and division head at Moshava, and she facilitated the Kaytana program and worked at Moshava Ba'ir this past summer. In addition to her position as an English teacher at TABC, Elana is also the 9th Grade Dean and oversees various related programming. 

RJC Mission and Values Statement



Thursday, May 19, 2022 18 Iyar 5782