Imam Djafer Sebkhaoui, the Muslim chaplain at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), came to Rensselaer from Algeria as a graduate student in the field of psychology. He obtained his Masters in Psychology. Imam Sebkhaoui was part of Muslim Student Association (MSA) at RPI, which eventually became the Muslim Community of Troy (MCT).He was a cofounder of the Muslim Community of Troy as well as Masjid Al-Hidaya, the first Mosque in Troy.
Imam Sebkahoui was also a cofounder of Annur School in Schenectady, and its 1st Principal from 1997 till 2000.
Currently, Imam Sebkahoui is an Imam of Masjid Al-Hidaya and the Muslim Community of Troy. He is also the Director of children and youth programs for MCT.
Imam Djafer Sebkhaoui obtained his Islamic knowledge in Algeria by attending circles of knowledge of many scholars. He then proceeded further in acquiring the knowledge of Islam on his own and through association with available scholars. Imam Sebkhaoui was an assistant to Imam Mokhtar Maghraoui since 1990. He has spoken in several conferences and workshops (i.e. ICNA).
He has been involved with interfaith activities in the Capital District for the past 15 years and is a member of the Interfaith Alliance of New York State.