Josh Kahn SmallRabbi Kahn is a graduate of YU’s Yeshiva College, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, where he is pursuing a doctorate in education. He served as the Associate Principal for Judaic Studies and Dean of Student Life at Torah Academy of Bergen County before joining MTA (Yeshiva High School for Boys) as Head of School this past Spring. While at TABC, he pioneered initiatives like the Senior Mentoring and Beit Midrash Programs and organized community programming and disaster relief missions. In addition, he has brought his classroom expertise to his Gemara and Chumash shiurim. He is known for building strong relationships with students and parents and is excited to continue his work at MTA.


1. What is your favorite aspect of your job at YU?

There are two parts of my role at YUHSB that are very special!   Over the past four months, I have appreciated getting to know the MTA faculty and administration. I am privileged to work with an amazing team of devoted and enthusiastic colleagues. They are intelligent, passionate, caring, and thoughtful.  I have already enjoyed learning from them and collaborating with them.  Another aspect of my job that I especially look forward to is the opportunity to continue to teach Torah to the future leaders of Klal Yisrael. I am excited to teach each of the freshman Chumash shiurim for a quarter of the year to build relationships with the students through the give and take of Torah discussions.

2. What profession did you think you would one day hold when you were a child?

I thought that I would go into finance.  I have always enjoyed learning about companies, reading about their performance and speculating about their future.  I recall with fondness the summers I spent interning in financial firms.

3. What are some of your proudest accomplishments in your current role?

I am most pleased to be building on the collaborative environment that Rabbi Taubes has created at MTA.  I look forward to working with Rabbi Taubes, Dr. Taylor, Rabbi Schenker, Rabbi Green and the faculty of MTA to continue to build on this strength.  As a faculty we collaborated on a goal setting exercise that began with small group discussions, led by faculty facilitators based on the input of our faculty.  Each group discussed a potential goal for the upcoming year and brainstormed about how to make it a reality.  After the meeting, the facilitators met and debriefed.  Over the summer, we have been following up to narrow our goals and we look forward to sharing these goals for the upcoming year with the MTA community.  I am proud that over the past four months, I have focused on being a good listener and learner, as learning and listening is essential to understanding how to help support effective growth in our yeshiva.  I have been privileged to meet with various stakeholders at MTA, including the faculty, students, parents, and alumni individually and in small groups. I encourage each member of the MTA family to continue to be in touch and share their valuable insight and knowledge.

4. How do you maintain a relationship with your students once they graduate?

Staying in touch with my students is a priority.  As educators, we invest ourselves in the development and success of our students not only for the four years we are physically with them but for their life.  After cultivating a relationship with our students for four years, maintaining a relationship with them is a natural outgrowth and can provide a safety net for them as they go on to discover the world more independently.  Staying in touch has become easier with an increasing number of students having American cell phone numbers while learning in Israel and the growing popularity of WhatsApp.  Quick check-ins via texts and / or setting a time to speak for a lengthier amount of time helps keep the relationship strong. I have found that even if I check in and I do not have time to speak at length, the feeling that the student gets when remembered by a rebbe, stays with them and allows them to feel connected. Inviting alumni for Shabbos meals, or to come over Shabbos afternoon is a way to remain in touch. It is important to me to visit alumni while they are learning in yeshiva in Israel or once they are in college.  Opportunities also present themselves, when asked to learn chosson classes with alumni as they prepare for their weddings or when meeting an alumni’s kallah or just having a shmooze as an alum approaches the next dimension in his life vis-a-vis school or dating.

The inspiration we draw from watching our alumni grow makes this a worthwhile investment.  Seeing the B’nei Torah who are products of our yeshiva provide us with great pride.

5. What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?

My colleagues may be surprised to know that I enjoy playing basketball.  My high school basketball team lost in the championship game, which we played at the Izod Center.  Maybe we would have had more luck if we played at the Max Stern Athletic Center!


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