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Rabbi Chaim Marder
Rabbi Chaim Marder has served as the rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of White Plains since 1995. His enthusiasm, wisdom, caring and charm has brought life to our community. Under his leadership, the synagogue has experienced a true renaissance, becoming an exciting hub of thoughtful and engaging experiences, and an embracing home for the people of varied ages, interests, and backgrounds who have joined the HIWP family.
Rabbi Marder is involved in many communal organizations including the Vaad Harabonim, Vaad Hakashruth, and the Westchester Board of Rabbis. He is a former Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America and was recognized by the UJA Federation of New York with its annual Rabbinical Award. Since 2004 he has served as the chair of the department of the Professional Rabbinate at YCT Rabbinical School.
Prior to his arrival in White Plains, Rabbi Marder served as a rabbi in Providence, RI and Riverdale, NY. He holds a Masters degree in Jewish History from BRGS of Yeshiva University, and rabbinical ordination from RIETS. He also studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.
Rabbi Marder’s wife Suzie is a native of Riverdale and a graduate of Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. Suzie is an LMSW, holding a Masters in Social Work from Rhode Island College and having worked in a variety of counseling settings. Presently, Suzie is the School Social Worker at Westchester Day School, head counselor and Ma Tov day camp, and has a private counseling practice. And along with this, she is a beloved, supportive rebbetzin to the Hebrew Institute community and beyond.
The Marders are the proud parents of seven children.
Chazzan Yitzy Spinner
Chazzan Yitzy’s professional singing career began when he became the Miami Boys Choir’s youngest member at the age of eight. He was immediately elevated to the status of soloist and remained there until he left the choir 5 years later. Since his career began, he has appeared on over two dozen recordings, including his solo release, entitled You and I. He has performed with many of Jewish music’s top names, including Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Dedi, Shloime Dachs, Mendy Wald, Yisroel Williger, Yaakov Shwekey, and Yehuda. Chazzan Yitzy has performed all over the United States, Canada, and Israel, as well as in Belgium, Holland, and England. He has appeared on some illustrious stages: Nassau Coliseum, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls at Lincoln Center, Wembley Arena (London), Yad Eliyahu (Tel Aviv), and has also appeared twice live on Chabad’s annual Chanukah telethon, viewed by three million people each year.
Chazzan Yitzy’s interests led him to study music at Yeshiva University. His classes in music theory helped to advance his proficiency at both keyboard and guitar, allowing him to subsequently become an accomplished orchestrator and audio engineer. While still an undergraduate student, he also studied full time in YU’s Belz School of Jewish Music. It was here that he brought all of his talents together. Chazzan Yitzy’s well-trained ears allowed him to absorb various techniques for applying Nusach HaTefilah from some of the most well-known Baalei Tefilah, including Chazzan Bernard Beer, Chazzan Sherwood Goffin, and Chazzan Joseph Malovany. It is his synthesis of these nuances that have led congregations all over the United States to request his talents.
Chazzan Yitzy and his wife Rachel joined the Hebrew Institute family in 2006 and are proud to be raising their three children in its warm and inviting environment.
Youth Directors Sam Pearlson and
My name is Sam Pearlson and I am a second-year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. I am originally from Miami Beach, where I studied at Hillel Day School. I attended the University of South Florida, where I majored in Creative Writing and Religious Studies and served on the boards of the Hillel, Chabad, and AEPI fraternity on campus. After graduation, I studied at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem and New York, where I taught in a variety of formal and informal Jewish education settings, and received my Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education.
My wife, Ayala Raice currently teaches 6th grade at SAR Academy in Riverdale. Raised in Monsey, NY, Ayala was one of the members of the first graduating class of SAR High School. Ayala studied at Nishmat before continuing her studies at Stern College, where she received her BA in English Literature and Art History. Ayala continued at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she just received her MA in History of Art and Architecture.
In our spare time, we are as passionate about travelling as we are about teaching, and look forward to a great adventure at the Hebrew Institute of White Plains!
Our Emeritus Clergy
Rabbi Emeritus Murray Grauer
The Hebrew Institute of White Plains was born prior to World War I through the vision of a small group of people who migrated to this city. Wishing to worship in the traditions of their fathers, they gathered in a minyan in the rear of a furniture store, and in a few years, erected their first edifice. In 1917 they dedicated the first cemetery grounds. Between the Wars they were a struggling but growing Orthodox Synagogue. In 1951, within a year of the dedication of our present edifice, Rabbi Grauer came to the pulpit, following Rabbi Samuel Feldshon and Rabbi David Roth, to join The New Suburban Migration. He was our rabbi for 44 years, until 1995.
Cantor Emeritus Eli Berlinger
Eli Berlinger, a graduate of Yeshiva College Belz School of Music, and the Julliard School, served as cantor of The Hebrew Institute, a position he occupied with great distinction, from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. He is a constant inspiration to our Congregation. Cantor and Miriam Berlinger have three children and six grandchildren.