Joshua and Rachel met at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine during the first day of orientation. They were married a year and a half later. When they graduated from Einstein, Joshua pursued a residency in anesthesiology at the Montefiore Medical Center and Rachel began her residency in pediatrics at SUNY Downstate, culminating with her being selected as Chief Resident in Pediatrics. When they finished their residencies, Josh became an anesthesiologist at Huntington Hospital and Rachel became a pediatrician with ODA, a well-known medical center in Williamsburg. Their residencies completed, they moved to Hillcrest, where Josh’s sister and brother-in-law, Eve and Todd Sullivan, were already living. On almost every Shabbos, the Sisser home is filled with numerous children and adults enjoying the Sissers’ amazing hospitality. The Sissers are very active in their shul, Congregation Ohr Moshe, which honored the couple several years ago.
Josh grew up in the Young Israel of Forest Hills, where his grandparents were founding members and where his parents, Arthur and Fern Sisser, still daven. Josh attended MTA and Yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva University, where he was named the Most Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of his graduating class.
Rachel was born the fourth of eight children to her parents Yakov and Malke Bakst in Detroit and was raised in Israel until the age of 10. Her family then moved to Chicago, where she completed her high school and college education. She graduated from Loyola University summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Rachel’s maternal grandfather was Rabbi Aaron Moshe Rine zt”l, the prominent Rav for many years of Congregation Beth Itzchok in Chicago, and her paternal great uncle was Rabbi Aryeh Leib Bakst zt”l, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah Ateres Mordechai of Detroit.
Both Josh and Rachel have been active in the Yeshiva since their children started at YCQ. They participate in a wide range of activities including Sunday morning learning, the Selichot program, and the Israel Day Parade. They have been involved with setting up Siddur and Chumash play collations, as well as chaperoning class trips. Rachel has given talks about medicine to the children of YCQ. Josh donates Giants football tickets to YCQ’s Chinese Auction. The Sissers are big boosters for their children, attending all of their sports and academic activities.
Rachel is an active board member of the Yeshiva, and has been involved in developing new school projects such as the Grandparents’ Club and Parnes Hayom. The Sissers, along with the Sullivans, are launching a most exciting 5K Run/Walk Campaign in memory of Michael Simanowitz a”h in support of the Yeshiva and Avigdor’s Helping Hand.
All the Sisser children excel in their studies and are very popular among their friends. Aaron, an eighth grader, has won many competitions such as the school-wide Spelling Bee while only in the fifth grade, as well as first place in the YCQ Science Fair. He is also on the Debating Team, which has achieved first place. He attends enrichment Mishnayot, is Gabbai in the Yeshiva Minyan and is Captain of the YCQ Hockey team. Rebecca is in the fifth grade. She is an avid athlete, plays all sports, and excels in both gymnastics and basketball as well as in her studies. Sophie is currently in the second grade. She is loved by all her teachers and classmates and plays violin in the YCQ band.
The Yeshiva of Central Queens is truly privileged to pay tribute to this most delightful couple, and extends best wishes for continued health and nachat.