Faculty

Midreshet Moriah’s tradition of outstanding, creative, inspiring teachers was established by its founding faculty, including Dr. Bryna Levy, Rabbi Dr. Reuven Aberman, Rabbi Dr. Aharon Rakefet, and others. Today, we are proud that these traditions continue through our current faculty. Our teachers revere as their own mentors Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, Dr. Nechama Leibowitz, and others.

 

Mrs. Leora Bednarsh loves to teach Gemara and Halachah, and the enthusiasm and warmth she brings to Torah are infectious. In her shiurim, she not only teaches our students Torah and love of Torah, she also gives them the research skills to learn more and the presentation skills to give their own shiurim. Leora earned a BA in Psychology & Linguistics at Princeton University, completed the Scholars' Circle program at Drisha Institute, and is certified as a Yo'etzet Halachah of the Keren Ariel Program at Nishmat. She taught at Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and serves as a Yo'etzet Halachah on Nishmat's Halachah Hotline. She lives in Alon Shvut with her family.

lbednarsh@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Mrs. Leora Bednarsh

 

Rabbi Uri Cohen ("Rav Uri") teaches halachah and Jewish Thought at Midreshet. Rav Uri's vast knowledge, infectious curiosity and love of learning, broad grasp of contemporary Jewish and popular culture, and warm smile and sense of humor all endear him to our students and make his shiurim not-to-be-missed. Rav Uri learned at Yeshivat Shaalvim and Yeshivat Hamivtar and received Semichah from RIETS and the Joseph Straus Seminary at Yeshivat Hamivtar. He earned a BA in Jewish Studies, an MA in Medieval Jewish History, and an MS in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. Rav Uri has served as a teacher and Rabbi at Princeton University. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh with his wife, Dr. Yocheved Cohen.

ucohen@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Rabbi Uri Cohen

 

Mrs. Rena Coren teaches Machshavah at Midreshet. Rena, as our students call her, approaches all of her students with love, warmth, smile, and intuitive understanding. Her humor, spirituality, optimism, and deep belief that each student is gifted with great potential all make her the ideal address for students looking for guidance, inspiration, help with a problem, or just someone to listen. Rena earned a BA at Michlalah and has completed studies toward an MA as well. She lives in Jerusalem with her family.

renacoren@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 

 

Benji Davis teaches Modern Israeli History. Benji made aliyah in 2009 from Los Angeles after earning a BA in Middle East Studies and History at the George Washington University. Upon enlisting into the IDF, he created his own “start-up army experience” by establishing a unit to assist the enlistment and placement of Lone Soldiers. Upon completing his army service, Benji began working as an Israel Educator to groups visiting Israel, focusing on the geopolitics of Israel & the Middle East. He joined Jerusalem U in 2015 as an Israel Educator, teaching the Israel course in numerous gap year programs. Benji lives in Jerusalem with his wife Rachel and holds an MA in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University.

 

 

 

Mrs. Estie Fried teaches Tanach and Jewish Thought. Having joined our team after fifteen years of teaching in the U.S., Estie is passionate about cultivating strong relationships with her students and highlighting relevance in Torah learning. A proud Lower East Side of New Yorker, Estie and her family made aliyah from Cleveland, where she taught Tanach and Jewish History at the Fuchs Mizrachi School and served as Israel Guidance Counselor and Senior Grade Advisor. Before that, she taught at Yeshivat Beit Hillel in Passaic, New Jersey. Estie learned at Michlalah Yerushalayim before earning a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Jewish History at Yeshiva University. She and her husband Ben and their children live in Ramat Shiloh.

 

 

 

Dr. Aviva Goldstein is an educational consultant and family counselor whose research, counseling and teaching focus on the intersection of positive psychology, family cohesion, and Judaism. She teaches positive psychology to both college students and educators, weaving together what research and Judaism teach about happiness and a life well-lived. Fascinated by the science of resilience, empathy and gratitude, she particularly enjoys teaching gap-year students at a critical moment in their lives. In her private practice, she works with individuals and families and specializes in parenting, adolescence and child development. Aviva holds a doctorate in education from Yeshiva University. She made aliyah from Riverdale, New York, and lives in Jerusalem with her family.

 
 
 

 

 

Mrs. Malka Hubscher teaches Tanach. Malka, as our students call her, is known for her great sense of humor, her ability to make any and all learning exciting, her down-to-earth wisdom and good advice, and the intensity and focus of her shiurim. Malka learned at Michlalah and earned a BA in Jewish Studies and an MA in Bible at Yeshiva University. She lives in Efrat with her family.

mhubscher@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Malka Hubscher

 

Mrs. Sepha Kirshblum teaches Tanach and Jewish Thought at Midreshet Moriah. Sepha, as our students call her, has a genuine love for both her students and Torah, especially Tanach. She tries to create a balance of creativity, fun, humor and kavod Ha-Torah in the classroom to help her students love learning as much as she does. Before making aliyah, Sepha taught Tanach at the Ramaz Upper School, where she was also Senior Grade Advisor, Israel Advisor, and involved in extracurricular programming. Sepha received her BA from Stern College with a Major in Judaic Studies and a Minor in Psychology. She received a dual Masters in both special and regular Education from Hunter College. Sepha lives in Efrat with her family.

sepha@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Rav Jason Knapel ("Rav Jason"), our Shana Bet Director, is beloved as a mechanech for both his fascinating and inspiring shiurim as well as his easy approachability and warmth as a mentor to our students. He served as Director of Informal Education, Director of Judaic Studies and Assistant Principal at Hillel Yeshiva High School in Deal, New Jersey for many years. Subsequent to his aliyah, he was Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshivat Shvilei HaTorah and teaches at Shaalvim for Women. Rav Jason was ordained at RIETS and received his BA from Yeshiva College and an MS from the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He lives in Beit Shemesh with his family.

rabbiknapel@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

Rabbi Yitzchak Lerner teaches Halachah and Jewish Thought at Midreshet. Rav Lerner is known for his high-energy teaching style, his fiery passion for Torah and mitzvot, his personal warmth as a mentor, and his outstanding shiurim in Hilchot Shabbat and Mussar. Whether in shiur or in personal conversations, Rav Lerner's transformative impact on his students remains with them for years to come. Rav Lerner learned at Yeshivat Midrash Shmuel and received Semichah from Rav Zalman Nechemyah Goldberg. He earned a BA in Political Science at Concordia University. Rav Lerner lives in Betar with his family.

ylerner@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Rabbi Yitzchak Lerner

 

Mrs. Neima Novetsky teaches Tanach at Midreshet Moriah. Neima creates a unique environment in her shiurim – setting a high standard of learning, she also embraces her students with personal caring, shares her own enthusiasm for learning, and in every shiur,gives over some of her own love for Torah. Neima’s unique approach not only excites and inspires with insights into the topic being learned, but also leaves her students with a sense of method, “learning how to learn,” so that they can go on to learn further on their own. Neima holds a BA in Religion and a Certificate in Language and Culture from Princeton University and an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Before making aliyah,she founded and directed the Advanced Tanach Beit Midrash Program at Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue. She lives in Yerushalayim with her family.

nnovetsky@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Neima Novetsky

 

Mrs. Michal Porat-Zibman teaches Jewish Thought at Midreshet. Michal, as our students call her, is a teacher of great charisma and passion, inspiring her students with her exciting shiurim in Mussar and Machshavah, learning individually with them in chaburot (small groups) and chavrutot in the Bet Midrash, and devoting countless hours to personal conversations and one-on-one shmoozes. Michal's famous sichot at Thursday night Mishmar, accompanied by piles of nosh, are the perfect inspirational ending to the week of learning. In addition to her role at Midreshet, Michal also guides groups at Yad Vashem and leads groups touring Poland on the Heritage program. She has served as Educational Director at Camp Moshava and has worked at Moshava's Mach Hach Ba-Aretz and Camp HASC. Michal earned a BA at Bar Ilan University in Jewish History and lives in Neve Daniel with her family.

mporat-zibman@midreshetmoriah.org

 

Mrs. Michal Porat-Zibman

 

Mrs. Batsheva Reinitz is a Rakezet at Midreshet Moriah. Since Batsheva  spent her own Shana Alef and Shana Bet at Midreshet Moriah years ago, she can relate to what girls are experiencing in a unique way. Batsheva is easy to talk to, putting girls at ease immediately and making it comfortable for them to speak honestly about their questions, friendships, courses, and their experience in Israel. Batsheva supports, encourages and strengthens girls through the learning and growth they enjoy throughout the year, bringing out their best and ensuring their success. Batsheva has been involved in informal education for nearly fifteen years, working on Bnei Akiva's Mach Hach Baaretz and as Director and Program Coordinator of NCSY's GIVE summer program. She also served as Eim Bayit for NCSY's Michlelet and GIVE summer programs and as Director of Student life at Midreshet Yeud. Batsheva holds a degree from Machon Lander Jerusalem. She and her husband Zevi live in Ramot, Jerusalem with their children.

reinitzb@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

Rabbi Dr. Zvi Ron teaches Jewish Thought and Halachah at Midreshet. While the first thing our students usually notice about Rav Ron is how amazingly laid-back and fun his shiurim are, the next thing they notice is the astounding breadth of his knowledge and his rare gift to make everything he says sound fascinating! His shiur on the thought of Ramchal, "Derech Hashem," is among the most beloved shiurim at Midreshet. Rav Ron has published numerous articles in both Hebrew and English in The Jewish Bible Quarterly, Hakirah, Tradition, Sinai, haMaayan and The Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy and has published a book, Katan ve-Gadol. Rav Ron learned in Yeshivat Shaalvim's Hesder Program and Kollel, received Semichah from the Israeli Rabbanut, and earned a BA in Psychology at SUNY and a PhD in Jewish Theology at Spertus University. He served as Rabbi in Richmond, Virginia, from 1994 to 2004. He lives in Neve Daniel with his family.

ravzviron@midreshetmoriah.org

 

Rabbi Dr. Zvi Ron

 

Rabbi Rafi Rosenblum teaches halachah and Jewish Thought at Midreshet Moriah. Rav Rafi earned a BA and semichah at Yeshiva University, where he also spent four years as a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. Rav Rafi has taught at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence and the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett, and many seminaries and yeshivot in Israel. Rav Rafi made aliyah in 2010 and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh with his family, who love it when students join them for Shabbos.

rafirosenblum@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Aliza Schwartz is a Rakezet and teaches Jewish Thought and Tanach. Herself an alumna of Midreshet's Shana Aleph and Shana Bet programs, Aliza has a "been there myself" sense of how to relate to our students. She spends a lot of time in our Beit Midrash, offering chaburot (group chavrutot), learning one-on-one, and helping girls find something to learn on their own. Aliza's warmth, passion, genuineness and sincerity help her connect to the girls, and being one of the younger staff, she is a powerful role model for her students. Aliza holds a BA from Stern College in Tanach and Jewish Law. She and her family live in Jerusalem.

alizaschwartz@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 

Rav Ari Shvat teaches Jewish Thought at Midreshet Moriah and is the founding Rosh Midrashah and senior lecturer at Orot Israel College in Elkana. Rav Ari’s shiurim, infused with the inspirational and spiritual Torah of Rav Kook, are beloved by our students. Raised in Riverdale, NY, he did Hesder at Ohr Etzion and Kiryat Arba, where he received semichah. Rav Ari is a popular international lecturer and has published many ideological and halachic articles, including the first scholarly book on the Israeli flag and the mitzvah to speak Hebrew. He holds a B.A. in Tanach from Michlelet Herzog and an M.A. in Jewish History and Talmud from Touro College. He enjoys utilizing his music as an educational medium and has produced three albums of original compositions, including a tune for Al HaMichya taught in the dati schools in Israel. Rav Ari has run various programs internationally for Bnei Akiva, as well as teaching at Midreshet HaRova, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Yeshivat HaKotel and the Israeli Air Force. In addition, he is in charge of the archives of Rav Kook at Beit HaRav and is featured on the Yeshivat Beit El website. Rav Ari lives in Kochav HaShachar with his family.Rav Ari lives in Kochav HaShachar with his family.

ashvat@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

Rav Asher Taragin teaches Halachah and Tanach. “Rav Ashi,” as our students call him, is unique in his educational breadth and life experience. He is currently studying Medicine at Hebrew University, Law at Bar Ilan University, and co-directs the Israeli Army’s “Netiv” program that prepares soldiers for conversion to Judaism. After reaching the rank of Commander in the Nachal Brigade, Rav Taragin received semichah from Rav Zalman Nechemya Goldberg and completed a Teachers Degree, B. Ed. in Tanach and Gemara, and a Tour Guide’s Course at Herzog College. Rav Taragin learned at Yeshivat Har Etzion, where he was a close talmid of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and a member of the Kollel Gevo'ah, and at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh, where he became close with Rav Mendel Blochman.   Rav Taragin is also a trained Sofer, Shochet, Mohel, and scuba diver. Rav Ashi lives in Lod with his family.

 

 

 

Rav Hanoch Teller  is a world-renowned storyteller and lecturer, known to many through his inspirational speaking in communities around the world and his many books on a wide range of topics and Jewish values. He has also produced two award-winning films. Rav Teller is able to bring gedolim to life for his students by recounting not only their Torah, but also their personal greatness in their midot and private everyday behavior. His unique course taught in Midreshet is a primer for life as to how to lead a courteous life of moral sensitivity. Rav Teller earned his undergraduate degree at Yeshiva University and continues to learn in the Mirrer Yeshiva.

hteller@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 
 
Rabbi Eli Wagner teaches Halachah at Midreshet Moriah. Rabbi Wagner learned at Yeshivat Sha'alvim, Yeshivat Derech Ha-Talmud, and in Rav Michael Rosenweig's shiur as a member of the YU Masmidim Honors Program. He earned a BA in psychology at Touro College and is studying towards an MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology at Touro University while he continues his learning at YU's Gruss Kollel. Rabbi Wagner has also taught at Yeshivat Sha'alvim, Sha'alvim for Women, and Yeshivat Torat Shraga. He and his family live in Yerushalayyim.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Rabbi “Y.Y.” Wenglin teaches Chasidut and Jewish Thought at Midreshet Moriah. Rav Wenglin's ultra-high-energy delivery, deep familiarity with Western culture, creativity and self-effacing humor enable him to share and inspire with provocative, life-changing concepts in emunah, midot, and connecting to God. Rav Wenglin earned a BA in History and Literature at Harvard University and a JD at the UCLA School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review -- and a lead performer in the law school musical -- all three years. After law school, Rabbi Wenglin joined the Manhattan law firm of Paul, Weiss as a corporate associate in mergers and acquisitions. But then he put all that on hold in order to learn more about his Jewish roots. He moved to Jerusalem, where he started taking introductory classes at Aish HaTorah, and the rest is history… Rabbi Wenglin teaches at yeshivot and seminaries and serves as a guest speaker for kiruv programs on campuses and communities all over. He and his family live in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

rabbiyywenglin@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

Rav Aharon Wexler is beloved by our students for his passion for Israel and the Jewish people and for his exciting, thought-provoking shiurim. He made aliyah from New York after high school and studied in Yeshivat HaKotel. After Yeshiva and his service in the IDF, Rav Aharon earned a BA in Archeology and then went back to Yeshivat HaKotel for Rabbinic Ordination. Rav Aharon went on to receive an MA in Jewish History, and is now a Doctoral Candidate studying Jewish Philosophy. He is also a licensed tour guide, and when not teaching or touring, makes his home in Efrat with his family.

awexler@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Rina Zinkin is a Rakezet at Midreshet Moriah. Rina, as our students call her, is gifted with the kind of gentle personality and warmth which make it easy for students to talk to her and seek her advice. Her deep spirituality, empathy, patience, humility, and rare midot tovot  make her a personality our students strive to emulate. Rina learned at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Michlalah, earned a BA in Judaic Studies and Speech Communication Disorders at Yeshiva University, and an MA at Brooklyn College in Speech Language Pathology. Rina lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol with her family.

rzinkin@midreshetmoriah.org

 

 

 


 


 

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