Meet the Residence Life Staff

Residence Life Director

Brad Moot is The Jewish Theological Seminary's Residence Life director, overseeing and administering all student housing and residential operations. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Brad started working at JTS in the fall of 2007.

Before coming to JTS, Brad worked for 15 years in the field of residence life at SUNY–Alfred State College and Hamilton College. When asked why he loves working in residence life, he explains, "It is exciting to witness how students are challenged to live with one another. How they negotiate and compromise to solve their issues is crucial in developing the skills they will need when they leave JTS." In his spare time, Brad loves to spend time with his dog, sing with a chorus, and escape to the Adirondacks.

Contact Brad Moot at


Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall Staff


Alex and Clara Salzberg, MSRH RDs

Resident Directors

Alex and Clara Salzberg
are delighted to serve as the resident directors for Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall (MSRH).

Alex is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and Clara is from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. They both attended Wesleyan University, where they majored in the College of Social Studies and became well versed in the art of all-night paper-writing sessions.

Following college, Clara attended the University of Maryland School of Law, and is now an assistant district attorney in the Bronx. Alex received an MA in Jewish Education from Towson University, and is currently enjoying his studies at The Rabbinical School.

In their spare time, Alex and Clara love going on Shabbat walks through Riverside Park and bike rides along the Greenway, cooking food, baking bread, and caring for their baby girl.

Contact Alex and Clara Salzberg at

  Tyler Dratch

Second-Floor Resident Advisor

Tyler Dratch
, the resident advisor on the second floor of MSRH, is originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is in his fourth year of the Joint Program studying Bible and Political Science, and enjoys the vibrant community of MSRH and JTS. He loves living on the best floor of MSRH with its best residents, and sharing wisdom from his experiences in college so far. Tyler is involved in Columbia/Barnard Hillel and the Columbia Chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. Feel free to knock on his door any time.

  Ethan Shapiro

Third-Floor Resident Advisor

Ethan Shapiro is the resident advisor of the third floor of MSRH. Originally from Cooper City, Florida, Ethan is in his third year of the Joint Program and is studying Modern Jewish Studies, History, and Business Management. Ethan loves hanging with friends, sports, movies, music, cooking, and exploring the city. He teaches second and third graders in Hebrew school, referees intramural sports, has worked in a few marketing jobs, and is the treasurer of both the Ferris Reel Film Society and Tamid Israel Investment Group. He's extremely happy with the communities he is a part of. and loves to impart his wisdom about his student experience to fellow classmates and residents. Feel free to visit or reach out to him at any time.


Ortal Isaac


Fourth-Floor Resident Advisor

Ortal Isaac is a New York City native (hailing all the way from 96th Street) majoring in Jewish Literature at JTS and Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia. She loves language, poetry, photography, and yoga, as well as drinking inordinate amounts of tea (usually while browsing one of her many favorite food blogs). She sings in the coed Columbia/Barnard a capella group the Clefhangers, and you can usually hear her humming "doo-doo's" and "ba-ba's" when she walks back to MSRH from rehearsal. In her free time, Ortal loves riding her bike around the city, strolling in the nearby parks. and looking for new bookstores and coffee shops that she hasn't explored yet. She's also a huge foodie and loves to cook, so stop by her kitchen to try out a new recipe with her or to grab a bite.


Zoe Kress

Fifth-Floor Resident Advisor

Zoe Kress is the resident advisor on the fifth floor of MSRH. She is majoring in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies at JTS and in Psychology at Columbia. Zoe was adopted from China at the age of two months, and loves finding ways to mix her Chinese and Jewish identities at List College. Zoe is the coordinator of the Asian Youth Program, a community impact club at Columbia that pairs college mentors with Asian children who have been affected by domestic violence; a sister of Alpha Chi Omega; and a member of Shalhevet, Columbia/Barnard Hillel's Israeli-inspired dance troupe. In addition, Zoe has held a variety of internships both on and off campus including at JTS's Va'ad Gemilut Hasadim: Susan and Jack Rudin Center for Community Outreach, NYU’s Collegiate Leadership Internship Program, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park. Zoe loves eating all kinds of food—so if you ever want company to eat, feel free to knock on her door.

Horace W. Goldsmith Residence Hall Staff


Andy and Michelle Markowitz

Resident Directors

Andy and Michelle Markowitz are overjoyed to rejoin the Goldsmith community as its resident directors. A fourth year rabbinical student, Andy lived in Goldsmith during his first year at JTS. Before entering rabbinical school, Andy received a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Temple University, where he previously served as a member of the residence life team. Andy’s year as an RA was one of the most meaningful experiences he had in college, and some of Andy’s former residents even attended Andy and Michelle’s wedding in November 2012. Andy has spent the past 10 summers working at Camp Ramah in the Poconos as a counselor and then division head. Andy’s passions include Jewish education, science fiction fantasy novels, and making fabulous balloon artistry. Feel free to stop by for a personalized balloon creation (no bicycles).

Michelle graduated from the University of Delaware with a double degree in Psychology and Sociology, and completed her Masters of Social Work at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. After a year of volunteering and relaxing in Israel, Michelle is looking forward to finding a job in her field. In college, Michelle served as religious chair and later president of KOACH, as well as a writing fellow and teaching assistant for a criminology course. Michelle has worked at Camp Ramah in the Poconos for the past eight summers as a counselor and teacher. When Michelle is not busy addressing issues of social justice, she likes to crochet kippot, learn about the history of superheroes, and ask Andy to make bicycles out of balloons.

Andy and Michelle both hail from the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area—Andy is from Northeast Philadelphia, while Michelle grew up in Lower Merion. Andy and Michelle were friends during their time in USY (both served on the regional board), and finally started dating during a summer at Camp Ramah, when they were on the same staff. Together, Andy and Michelle enjoy traveling and exploring new places and cultures, including taking the subway to Times Square.

Yoni Dahlen

Graduate Resident Advisor

Yoni Dahlen is a third-year rabbinical student hailing from the tropical paradise of Sioux City, Iowa. Before coming to JTS, he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he received his MA in Jewish Philosophy from Brandeis University. He is thrilled to have left the cornfields and fried food of the Midwest for the deli grid and fried food of New York City. A die-hard baseball fan, he loves taking the train to Yankee Stadium (though he is a devoted Chicago Cubs fan), and spends the majority of his non-rabbinical time reading, writing, and exploring the city. Yoni is a proud member of the Residence Life team, and looks forward to a fun and meaningful year.


Mayla Boguslav

Second-Floor Resident Advisor

Mayla Boguslav, the resident advisor on the second floor of Goldsmith, is from Worcester, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Jewish Thought at JTS, and is a Mathematics major and Premed at Columbia. Mayla loves meeting new people and being in new situations. She volunteers in the emergency department at the local hospital, teaches Hebrew school to kindergartners and fifth through seventh graders, and is involved in  Columbia/Barnard Hillel. She is the coleader and choreographer of Shalhevet, the Israeli-inspired dance group on campus. Even though she does not consider herself funny, she loves comedy, specifically movies. She watches too much television, which both relaxes her and distracts her from her work.

Benjamin Goldwater

Third-Floor Resident Advisor

Ben Goldwater, the RA on the third floor of Goldsmith, is in his final year of the Joint Program, studying Jewish Thought and Biology. It's been a few years since he left Dallas, Texas. to meet his amazing peers in New York City and make a home for himself on the Upper West Side. He says that he loves singing, cooking, and shining his shoes, but don't we all? Ben has been a member of the Nightline peer listening hotline since 2011, and is currently a director for the crisis helpline, always here to lend an ear. Catch Ben touring around the globe with the not-for-profit Jewish a cappella group Pizmon. Ben is especially receptive to Netflix suggestions, so feel free to drop by and join him for a classic or quirky flick. 


Julia Russell


Fourth-Floor Resident Advisor

Julia Russell is the resident advisor for the fourth floor of Goldsmith Hall.  She is studying Modern Jewish Studies at JTS and Environmental Biology at Columbia. Batman is her favorite superhero, but if she had a superpower, it would be flight. She is in the fencing club at Columbia, and enjoys cooking and baking. She works at Ramah in the Rockies, and loves being outdoors—so if you ever want to have a picnic in Central Park, let her know.

Louis S. Brush Residence Hall Staff

Simeon Cohen

Resident Director

Simeon Cohen is excited to be the resident director at Brush this year. He is a third-year rabbinical student. and has just returned from a year of study at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem through JTS. He is also a graduate of List College, where he studied Jewish Thought at JTS and Philosophy at Columbia. Prior to beginning rabbinical school, Simeon spent a year in Israel as a staff member on the Nativ program. He has also spent time studying at the Conservative Yeshiva and at Yeshivat Hadar, and has taught in many settings, including at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. This year, he will also be serving as the Conservative rabbinic intern at the Hillel at Yale University. When he is not studying the writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel or Maimonides, you can find Simeon reading fantasy literature, playing guitar and enjoying the music of Phish and the Grateful Dead.


Meet the Office of Student Life Staff.