Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Montreal, Canada. He attended Chabad Yeshivot in New Jersey and New York where he obtained his Semichah (ordination.) He also spent two years studying and teaching in the Jewish community of Caracas in Venezuela. Whilst in South America, Rabbi Brawer also worked with the Jewish communities of Santiago, Chile and Bogota, Colombia.
After taking Semichah at the age of 22, Rabbi Brawer was appointed Educational Director of Friends of Lubavitch, Bergen County, New Jersey and Associate Chaplain at the Bergen County prison annex.
In 1996, he was appointed Rabbi of Northwood United Synagogue; a post he held until joining Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue in August 2007.
Rabbi Brawer serves on the Chief Rabbi's cabinet with responsibility for Jewish-Muslim relations. In this capacity, he has addressed business leaders, religious leaders and politicians in national and international settings.
In May 2008, Rabbi Brawer was elected as Vice Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue for a three-year term. In this role, Rabbi Brawer will focus on raising the profile of the United Synagogue Rabbinate and encourage it to lead on issues of major concern to Orthodox Judaism.
Rabbi Brawer is also a member of various advisory boards including CCJO Rene Cassin; an international Jewish Human Rights organisation and Children of Abraham; an international Jewish-Muslim dialogue organisation for teenagers.
He is a regular columnist for the Jewish Chronicle and an occasional broadcaster on the BBC. Rabbi Brawer is an honorary research fellow and lecturer at the London School of Jewish Studies where he teaches applied ethics, while he also holds a PhD in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from University College London.
The Jewish Chronicle recently listed Rabbi Brawer amongst the 100 most influential people shaping the Jewish community in Britain.
He is married to Dina (originally from Milan, Italy) and they have four sons ranging in age from 3 to 14.