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Leadership team

Leadership team

To learn more about Mijal, check out her website or follow her on Instagram or X

Connect with RK Mijal 

Publications & addresses


Dr. Mijal Bitton is the Rosh Kehillah (spiritual leader) and co-founder of the Downtown Minyan.


She leads the Downtown Minyan as a community guided by Jewish covenantal aspirations and steeped in rich and accessible Jewish learning. Integrating her Sephardic, Latin-American, and traditional backgrounds, Mijal teaches Torah exploring what it means to confidently and authentically embody Jewish values in the twenty-first century. 


Beyond her role as a spiritual leader, Mijal is a public intellectual and a sociologist of American Jews. She has written on questions of peoplehood, diversity, and agency. She earned her doctorate from New York University with a focus on Syrian Jews in New York and is now directing the first national study of Sephardic Jews in the United States. 


Mijal is a Sacks Scholar, a Maimonides Fund Fellow, a Hartman Fellow, and a New Pluralist Field Builder. She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and was selected in 2018 for inclusion in “36 under 36” in the New York Jewish Week as a “Public Intellectual (with) Public Values.”


Mijal lives in New York with her husband, Rabbi Sion Setton, and their two children. 

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Mijal Bitton 

Rosh Kehillah

Publications & addresses


To learn more about Rabbi Sarna, follow him on Instagram or X

Connect with Rabbi Sarna

Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai - Exhibit on the Holocaust (Curator)

Orthodox Forum Series: Toward a Jewish Perspective on Culture (Editor)

The Koren Shabbat Evening Siddur (Editor)

Yehuda Sarna is a Community Scholar for the Downtown Minyan, where he teaches, preaches, and assists with strategic visioning. 

He is the Executive Director of the Bronfman Center at New York University, where he serves as a University Chaplain, co-directs the Dual Degree Program (MPA-MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies), and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service at the Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service. He is the founder of the Jewish Learning Fellowship for college students. He lead the campaign to build an eruv in Lower Manhattan and founded the Downtown Va’ad

Since 2019, Rabbi Sarna has served as the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates and is the Chief Rabbi of the Moses ben Maimon Synagogue at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, where he teaches at NYU Abu Dhabi and attends the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace. An award-winning PBS documentary titled Amen-Amen-Amen chronicles his work and the history of the Jewish community in the UAE and aired in 2021. He is a member of the Council of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the International Rabbinic Fellowship. 

Rabbi Sarna is married to Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna, a psychologist. They have six children.

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Rabbi Yehuda Sarna

Community Scholar

Gabriel Slamovits is Community Scholar and co-founder of The Downtown Minyan.

An attorney and communal leader, Gabe promotes a Judaism that is relevant, diverse, halachic, and engaged with the world. He works to make The Downtown Minyan a warm and vibrant community of young people that embodies these ideals. Gabe serves as gabbai and frequent hazzan (cantor) for the minyan, and he enjoys teaching Jewish texts to help apply Jewish tradition and ideas to our increasingly complex world. He was selected in 2019 for inclusion in “36 under 36” in the New York Jewish Week.

Gabe is a graduate of NYU Law, where he was President of the Jewish Law Students Association and a Casebook Research & Writing Editor of the Moot Court Board. Prior to law school, Gabe attended medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As an undergraduate, he served as President of Hillel at NYU and Vice Chair of Jewish Life for NYU AEPi.


Gabe Slamovits

Community Scholar

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