Shabbat Shalem with Dr. Zvi Zohar, April 27-28, 2018
Zvi Zohar is a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Sephardic Law and Ethics at Bar-Ilan University, where he teaches in the Faculties of Law and Jewish Studies and is editor in chief of the international Journal of Law, Religion and State. At Shalom Hartman Institute, he heads the Alan and Loraine Fischer Family Center for Halakha.

Shabbat Shalem with R. Nathaniel Helfgot, February 16-17
R. Nathaniel Helfgot is the Chair of the Department of Talmud and Rabbinics at SAR High School and is the Spiritual Leader of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ. He is a member of YCT’s faculty in the Department of Bible and Jewish Thought and is the convener of the department’s Yemei Iyun. He is the editor of Community, Covenant, and Commitment: Selected Letters and Communications of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and the author of Mikra and Meaning among several other works.

Rachel Korazim:The Silver Platter: The Birth of an Iconic Text, February 7, 2018
Dr. Rachel Korazim is a freelance Jewish education consultant in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. Until 2008 she had been the Academic Director of Distance learning programs at The JAFI Department of Education. Korazim is a graduate of Haifa University with a PhD in Jewish education.

R. Haim Ovadia, January 19-20
R. Haim Ovadia is the Rabbi of Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, MD. He was born in Jerusalem to an Iraqi family. R. Ovadia served in the Israeli Army and holds a BA in Talmud from Bar Ilan University and a MA in Near East languages and Cultures from UCLA. R. Ovadia received semikha from Chief Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu through SSC Shehebar Sephardic Center in the Old City of Jerusalem. He went on to serve pulpits in Israel, Colombia, and the Unites States – in Deal, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Tal Becker, December 4, 2017
Power, Land and God: The Six Day War and its Meaning
Dr. Tal Becker is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a leading member of the Institute’s iEngage Project. Tal also serves as principal deputy legal adviser at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is a senior member of the Israeli  peace negotiation team.  In this position, he is on the front lines of many of Israel’s most pressing diplomatic, legal and policy challenges and is a veteran negotiator, and key behind the scenes representative, for Israel in a wide variety of context.He is the author of Terrorism and the State, which won the Guggenheim Prize for best international law book, and has served, among numerous positions, as the Vice-Chairman of the United Nations General Assembly’s Legal Committee, the first Israeli to hold a position of this stature in over 40 years.

Victoria Hanna, December 1-2, 2017
Jerusalem based artist, Victoria Hanna, is a world-renowned composer, creator, performer, researcher, and teacher of voice and language. The daughter of an ultra-orthodox rabbi, she has been greatly influenced by her childhood environment. In her work, she deploys a variety of vocal techniques in the performance of ancient and modern Hebrew texts, among them Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), an early Kabbalistic treatise.
Victoria Hanna’s residency at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is made possible in partnership with the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program of The Israel Institute, which is dedicated to enhancing knowledge and study of modern Israel.

Scholar-In-Residence Dr. Esther Fisher, November 18
Dr. Esther Fisher is a graduate of Midreshet Ein Hanatziv’s first class. She has been teaching Gemara, Rabbinic Literature and gender studies at the Midrasha for the last ten years. Esther holds a BA and MA  in Talmud from Hebrew University and is a graduate of Kerem Institute for teacher’s training and of Matan. She is holds a doctorate in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University.  Esther is the mother of five and lives on Merav.Dr. Esther Fisher is a graduate of Midreshet Ein Hanatziv’s first class. She has been teaching Gemara, Rabbinic Literature and gender studies at the Midrasha for the last ten years. Esther holds a BA and MA  in Talmud from Hebrew University and is a graduate of Kerem Institute for teacher’s training and of Matan. She is holds a doctorate in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University.  Esther is the mother of five and lives on Merav.

Shabbat Shalem with Dr. Elisheva Baumgarten, November 10-11
Sponsored by CBI Sisterhood
Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten holds the Prof. Yitzhak Becker Chair for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches in the Department of Jewish History and the Department of History. She is a social historian who specializes in the history of the Jews in medieval Germany and Northern France. Her first book, Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe, was published by Princeton University Press in 2004 and received several prestigious awards.

Shabbat Shalem with R. Seth Farber, August 5th
Seth Farber, founder of Itim, is a Modern Orthodox rabbi and historian. He is a graduate of New York University, was ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University in 1991, received his Masters in Judaic Studies from Yeshiva University in 1995, and a PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2000. ITIM was founded in 2002 by Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber to oppose the alienation that many Israelis feel at what are supposed to be the most significant moments of their lives as Jews: birth, marriage, divorce, burial, and conversion. The encounter with the religious establishment at these moments is often accompanied by fear, lack of knowledge, disgust, frustration, and anger.

R. Naftali Citron of the Carlebach Shul — July 12
“THE BEAUTIFUL MAIDEN”  – One of the most romantic and intriguing stories in all of kabbala –
Opens the gates to understanding of Torah and Judaic consciousness.

Shabbat Shalem with R. Jason Weiner — May 19-21
R Jason Weiner, BCC, serves as the senior rabbi and manager of the Spiritual Care Department, where he is responsible for the chaplaincy team and all aspects of spiritual care at Cedars-Sinai. Rabbi Weiner is the president-elect of the Southern California Board of Rabbis and has been honored with Rabbinic Leadership Awards from the Orthodox Union and Chai Lifeline. He is a member of the Cedars-Sinai End of Life Committee, the Organ Donor Council and the Bioethics Committee, for which he serves on the internal advisory board. Rabbi Weiner is also the rabbi of Knesset Israel Synagogue of Beverlywood, he teaches a Talmud class at Shalhevet High School, and he frequently serves as a scholar-in-residence at conferences and synagogues throughout the nation on topics related to Jewish medical ethics, pastoral care, health and wellness. He is the author of Guide to Observance of Jewish Law in a Hospital (Kodesh Press) and has published more than two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a number of “popular” pieces.

Shabbat dinner and lecture with Dr. Orit Avnery — May 5, 2017
Dr. Orit Avnery is a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has studied at the Matan Women’s Institute for Jewish Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Bible Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Her dissertation is entitled The Threefold Cord: Interrelations between the Books of Samuel, Ruth and Esther. Orit was a participant in the ATID – Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions – fellowship program for future educational leaders, and she served as the coordinator of its Yeud Beit Midrash for three years.
Orit taught Bible studies at Pelech High School for girls, and Midreshet Lindenbaum and currently teaches at the Be’eri School for Teacher Education, Shalem College, and Matan. Orit’s book Liminal Women: Belonging and Otherness in the Books of Ruth and Esther was published by The Shalom Hartman Institute and Keter Press in 2015.

Breakfast and Lecture with R. David Forhman, Sunday, April 23, 2017
Rabbi David Fohrman is the founder and CEO at Aleph Beta Academy. He is author of “The Beast that Crouches at the Door,” finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award, and “The Queen You Thought You Knew.” Rabbi Fohrman seeks to open layers of meaning of Biblical text and to help the reader develop a relationship with the texts that make us who we are. For more of his work, see www.alephbeta.org.

Lecture with Dr. Rachel Korazim—Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Dr. Rachel Korazim  is a freelance Jewish education consultant in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. Since her first Shlichut to Canada where she was the head of JAFI delegation from (1985 to 1988) she is involved with Jewish education worldwide; creating and implementing in-service training programs for educators, writing educational materials, counseling and teaching. Rachel teaches at Israel’s well known learning centers such as Pardes and the Shalom Hartman Institutes as well as numerous world Jewish communities.

Shabbat Shalem with Dina and R. Naftali Brawer, February 17-18, 2017
Dina Brawer holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish studies from London School of Jewish Studies and an MA in Education (Psychology) from the Institute of Education. For close to fifteen years she has worked alongside her husband, a congregational rabbi, and in that capacity she taught numerous kallahs, ran adult education programs, led strategic community development among other roles. Dina has recently been appointed as JOFA’s UK ambassador and in this role she is seeking to amplify the voices of Orthodox feminists and create a movement for positive change.
Rabbi Naftali Brawer is a values theorist, ordained Orthodox rabbi and Chief Executive of Spiritual Capital Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to instilling values and purpose in the workplace. Naftali Brawer was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi at the age of twenty two and has ministered to two London congregations over the course of fifteen years. He holds a PhD in Hebrew and Jewish studies and is a published author, columnist and broadcaster. He has written and lectured widely on theology and Jewish mysticism.

Shabbat Shalem with Alan Morinis, January 6-7, 2017
Alan Morinis is the founder and Dean of The Mussar Institute and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition, about which he regularly gives lectures and workshops. Born and raised in a culturally Jewish but nonobservant home, he studied anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. For the past sixteen years, the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion, a journey recorded in the book Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Broadway 2002). His guide to Mussar practice, entitled Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar, was published in May 2007. His newest book on Mussar, With Heart in Mind, was published in August 2014.

Evening on Israel, the Environment, Population and Sustainability with Alon Tal

Sunday, August 21, 6:30 PM
Professor Alon Tal founded the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Israel’s leading green advocacy organization and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Shabbat Shalem with R. Elishav & Ma’ayan Rabinovich, August 12-13, 2016
R. Elishav and Maayan Rabinovich served as shlichim and Youth Directors in our community,  and worked at OHDS and at the Merkavah Torah Instute from 2011 to 2014. Elishav & Ma’ayan live in Tel Aviv where they both work in the field of education and in building a vibrant community in the city.

Scholar-In-Residence R. David Levin-Kruss, June 18, 2016
Rabbi David Levin-Kruss (DLK) sees himself as a bridge between Jewish tradition and those seeking to connect to that tradition, He has twenty years of experience working with people at critical junctures in their lives and is founder and director of My Open Book Life Coaching (www.myopenbooklifecoaching.com) which uses literature and texts to facilitate personal breakthroughs. He is currently on sabbatical from the Pardes Institute (www.pardes.org.il) where he is a faculty member and director of special programs. Previously he directed the overseas department of the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education and before that he was the community director and family educator at Stanmore Synagogue in north-west London, the largest orthodox synagogue in Europe. He is married to Ayala and they have three sons. David hails from South Africa originally but has lived in Israel most of his life.

Hagai Aharoni of Shorashim/Judur/Roots, May 13, 2016
A Local Palestinian Israeli Initiative for  Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation

An Evening with Shaharit’s Dr. Eilon Schwartz, May 8, 2016
Haredi, Religious and Secular, Jews and Arabs, Sephardim and Ashkenazim: An Unlikely Coalition Re-imagining Israel’s Future.

Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Elie Holzer, January 29-30, 2016
Dr. Elie Holzer serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University Churgin School of Education and as assistant editor of the International Journal of Jewish Education Research.  Dr. Holzer holds a BA in psychology and Jewish thought from Bar-Ilan University, and an MA and PhD in Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University.  He is the author of numerous publications in education and Jewish thought. http://education.biu.ac.il/en/node/570

Professor Ori Aronson: “Constitutional Politics in a Jewish a Democratic State“, Tuesday January 12, 19, and February 2 at 8 pm
Ori Aronson is the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/Israel Institute visiting professor at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, UC Berkeley School of Law. He is an assistant professor at the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law in Ramat-Gan, Israel, where he is also a founding member of the Center for Jewish and Democratic Law. Ori received his LL.B from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and LL.M and S.J.D from Harvard Law School.

Scholar-In-Residence Rabba Yaffa Epstein, December 18-19, 2015
co-sponsored by Berkeley Hadassah and CBI Sisterhood
Yaffa Epstein is a Rabba and serves as Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish Law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade. http://www.pardes.org.il/faculty/yaffa-epstein/

R. Francis Nataf , October 30 & 31, 2015
Rabbi Francis Nataf is a respected educator, writer and thinker, well known for his ability to find new ways of looking at Jewish texts and tradition and for his willingness to confront the community’s problems head on. He is the author of Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Genesis (Urim: 2006), Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Exodus (Urim: 2010) and Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Numbers (Urim:2014) as well as of numerous articles for a variety of important Jewish periodicals and websites. www.francisnataf.com

Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Hammer-Kossoy, July 11, 2015
Dr. Hammer-Kossoy, originally from Washington, D.C., has a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her dissertation explored the courageous manner in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a new criminal punishment system.
Dr. Hammer-Kossoy is also a graduate of NATIV, Pardes, Midreshet LindenbaumMaTaNDrisha, and ATID. She has received many fellowships including Lady Davis, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, Memorial Foundation and ATID. Dr. Hammer-Kossoy has also taught at NYU, Drisha and Midreshet Lindenbaum and currently teaches Talmud and the Social Justice Track at Pardes. Despite having written her dissertation about criminal punishment in the Talmudic period, Meesh is known by her husband and three children as a lover of mercy and kindness.

Shabbat Shalem June 26-27 with Scholar-in-Residence Rav Baruch Gigi
Rav Baruch Gigi came to Israel from Morocco at the age of 11 and joined Yeshivat Har Etzion in 1975. From 1983-1988, Rav Gigi served as a Ram and Rosh Kollel at the Hesder Yeshiva “Ma’a lot,” and since 1988, he has served as a Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion. Rav Gigi currently teaches Hilchot Shabbat in the Kollel of the Yeshiva and serves as the Rav of the Sephardic Synagogue in Alon Shevut. He also teaches at the Beit Midrash for Women in Migdal Oz and at the Women’s Advocates Training Program of Ohr-Torah Stone Institutes. In 5766, Harav Baruch was inaugurated, together with Harav Yaakov Medan, as Rosh Yeshiva, alongside the founding roshei yeshiva.


Scholar-In-Residence R. David Levin-Kruss, June 13, 2015
Rabbi David Levin-Kruss (DLK) sees himself as a bridge between Jewish tradition and those seeking to connect to that tradition, He has twenty years of experience working with people at critical junctures in their lives and is founder and director of My Open Book Life Coaching (www.myopenbooklifecoaching.com) which uses literature and texts to facilitate personal breakthroughs. He is currently on sabbatical from the Pardes Institute (www.pardes.org.il) where he is a faculty member and director of special programs. Previously he directed the overseas department of the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education and before that he was the community director and family educator at Stanmore Synagogue in north-west London, the largest orthodox synagogue in Europe. He is married to Ayala and they have three sons. David hails from South Africa originally but has lived in Israel most of his life.


Scholar-In-Residence Dr. Shai Secunda, May 16, 2015

Dr. Shai Secunda is a Lecturer in Rabbinic Literature and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he serves as a Martin Buber Society Fellow. His recent book The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in its Sasanian Context was published in 2014 by UPenn Press. He is founding editor of The Talmud Blog, a unique forum for discussing the many different lives of rabbinic texts ‐ from the traditional beit midrash to the university library, popular culture, and artistic expression.

Scholar-In-Residence R. Dov Linzer, March 27, 28

Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and the primary architect of its groundbreaking curriculum of Torah, Halakha, pastoral counseling and professional training. He teaches regular classes in advanced Talmud, advanced Halakha and the thought of Modern Orthodoxy, and serves as a religious guide to the yeshiva’s 47 rabbinical students and its close to 100 rabbis currently serving in the field. Rabbi Linzer has been a leading rabbinic voice in the Modern Orthodox community for over 20 years, and teaches a Daf Yomi shiur which is available on YouTube and iTunes. He was most recently the convener of the 2012 Modern Orthodox Siyyum HaShas.

Guest Speaker, January 31, R. Idit Solomon: Infertility – Community Awareness
Rabbi Idit Solomon will be speaking on Shabbat morning at CBI on January 31, 2015. A new CBI member, Rabbi Idit Solomon is the founder Hasidah (Hebrew word for stork). Hasidah’s mission is to be the voice of hope and compassion that raises awareness of infertility, connects people to support, and reduces financial barriers to treatment in the Jewish community. Idit and her husband started Hasidah after experiencing years of infertility and recognizing that no organization existed that met all of these needs for all Jews. Idit will be presenting various Jewish perspectives and responses to infertility.

January 29th, 8 pm: Open Sources: Beit Midrash Welcomes Rabbi Sholom Brodt
sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel and Kevah
Sholom Brodt is a Judaic studies teacher and storyteller. Sholom was educated at the Chabad yeshiva in Montreal, and at other yeshivot in Toronto and Jerusalem. Sholom has been working in formal and informal Jewish education for thirty years.He is committed to working for the unity of the Jewish people by providing high quality Jewish education. Believing that it is vital that we interact and study Torah together, that we share and celebrate together, and that we truly learn how to live together as one people, Sholom visits and teaches across North America in communities of all denominations.

Guest Speaker, January 27, 7:30 pm: Dr. Susannah Heschel
A Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity – The Life and Thought of R. Abraham Joshua Heschel
A special lecture honoring the participants of CBI’s Chavurah on Heschel’s Heavenly Torah
Sponsored by: Berkeley Hadassah, Chochmat HaLev, Congregation Beth Israel, Kevah, Graduate Theological Union and the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund of Netivot Shalom
Daughter of the preeminent Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and award-winning author, Dr. Susannah Heschel is celebrated for shedding light on important issues within the Jewish community and motivating future Jewish leaders. CBI is honored to host this renowned Dartmouth College scholar of Jewish-Christian and Jewish Muslim relations, the history of anti-Semitism, and the American Jewish experience, for an inspiring lecture honoring the life and thought of her father. Sponsored by: Berkeley Hadassah, Chochmat HaLev, Congregation Beth Israel, Kevah, Graduate Theological Union, the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund of Netivot Shalom and Urban Adamah

Rabbi Gedaliah Fleer on Healing in the Kabbalistic Tradition

Sunday, January 11, 7:30 pm
Rabbi Fleer will explore profound kabbalistic concepts and their applications to the healing process. Topics will include: Creating and maintaining “sacred space,” a fundamental prerequisite to  self-healing; utilizing the essential “I”; the dynamic of paradox in the healing process, with particular emphasis on “incurable disease”;  prayer and healing. R. Fleer is a leading teacher of Jewish mysticism and kabbalah,  chassidic philosophy, and the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

Guest Speaker, January 3: R. Dov Lerea
Rabbi Dov Lerea serves as the dean and mashgiach ruchani at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rav Dov has been a professional educator for the past 35 years. Most notably, he served for many years as the Dean of Judaic Studies of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York, and as the Director of Education at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, New Hampshire. Rabbi Dov has also served as the Director of Secondary Education at Boston Hebrew College, a faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and a faculty member for the Wexner Heritage Foundation. Most recently, Rabbi Dov was the Director of KIVUNIM, an innovative gap-year program located in Jerusalem. In addition to his role at YCT, he is on the faculty of SAR high school. R. Dov will be visiting CBI together with his family and will be sharing words of Torah throughout Shabbat.

Shabbat Toldot (November 21-22) 
Yair Harel
Yair Harel, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes, UC Berkeley, this Fall, with support from the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, is one of the major figures behind the “Piyut” (liturgical) revival that has revolutionized the face of Israeli musical culture in recent years. He is the founder and artistic director of several major projects related to Jewish traditional and contemporary music in Israel. Yair is presently the Artistic Director of Invitation to Piyut (www.piyut.org.il) and of the Jerusalem Piyut festival. He is also the founding member and Artistic Director of the New Jerusalem Orchestra (2010) and the Ben Zvi Piyut Ensemble ( 2009 ), theOman Hai Ensemble ( 2002 ) and the Tafillat Ensemble (2003). In 2011, he founded Piyut North America together with Rabbi Roly Matalon (Bnei Jeshurun, NY) and Eva Heinstein. Yair Harel received an orthodox-yeshiva education and studied music with Roger Yishai, Andre Hajdu, Piris Eliyahu, Meir Atiyah and Haim Louk.

Shabbat Matot (July 18-19)
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth serves as Rav of Congregation Ohel Ari in Ra’anana and as Executive Director of Beit Hillel, the leading voice of Modern Orthodox Religious Zionism in Israel. A former captain in the Israeli Navy SEALS, Rav Neuwirth previously served as a hi-tech executive and as Rav of Bnai Akiva North America.
Study Sessions:

  • Relevant Religious Leadership in Israel: Beit Hillel
  • Do We Need a Third Temple Today? or The Relevancy of Beit Mikdash in the 21st century
  • Equality and the Inclusion of Women in the Public Sphere: a Spiritual Perspective

Shabbat Pinchas (July 11-12, 2014)
Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz
During his childhood as the “Rabbi’s Son” in Beth Israel, Aaron Leibowitz would have sworn the one thing he would never be was a Rabbi. Today he is not only a Rabbi, but trains and nurtures new Rabbis as the founder and head of “Sulam Yaakov Threshold,” a leadership training program coupled with a co-working space and accelerator for entrepreneurship in Jewish Education. He is currently running an alternative community based Kashrut initiative which has been featured in Israeli and international press, and he is the secretary general of the Yerushalmim party in city council which he is slated to represent as a Jerusalem City Councilman in 2016. Rabbi Aaron lives in Nachlaot with his wife, Miriam.

Study Sessions:

  • Can I trust you? Kashrut, Social Dynamics, and Jewish Unity.
  • Jerusalem – Nations Capitol or City of God?
  • Under Your Father’s Shadow – the Midrash on Rabbi Eliezer the Great

Shabbat Chukat (June 27-28, 2014)
Rabbi Michael Hattin
We welcome R. Michael Hattin as our Shabbat Shalem Scholar-in-Residence. R. Hattin is a master teacher of Tanakh at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and serves as the Director of the Beit Midrash for the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. R. Hattin is the author of “Passages: Text and Transformation in the Parasha”, published by Urim Publications in 2012 and the forthcoming “Joshua: The Challenge of the Promised Land” to be published by Koren Publishers in 2014. He has served as scholar-in-residence in many communities in North America and Europe and lives in Alon Shevut with his Rivka and their five children.

Study Sessions:

  • Seasons of the Soul – The current year is a leap-year in the Jewish calendar, a system of time keeping based upon the motions of both the sun and the moon. We will investigate Biblical text, rabbinic commentary and some basic science as we try to understand not only the mechanics of synchronization but the spiritual implications as well.
  • Fallingwater – In this week’s parasha, Moshe strikes the rock and is condemned – surely one of the Torah’s most cryptic episodes. We will attempt to understand his indiscretion through the lens of a seemingly unrelated Midrash concerning Rabbi Akiva. Along the way, we may discover that sometimes even recalcitrant rocks can melt into life-giving waters.
  • Excavating the Temple Ideal – The road to peace runs through the Temple Mount, arguably the most hotly contested site in the world. Upon its summit once stood a glorious building that was destroyed almost two thousand years ago but refuses to be forgotten by our tradition. We will first study the ordering principles that underlie the Temple’s architectonics and then employ a process of “textual excavation” to recover the Temple Ideal from among the shards that remain.

Rav Yosef Gershon Carmel (August 9-10, 2013)
Rav Carmel is the Av Beit Din of the Beit Din, “Eretz Hemdah – Gazit,” as well as the Rabbinical Dean of the Eretz Hemdah, Institute for advanced Jewish studies in Jerusalem. In 1987, with the partnership of Rav Moshe Ehrenreich and under the Presidency of HaGaon Maran Israeli zal, he helped found the Eretz Hemdah Institute. Rav Yosef Carmel is a graduate of the Nir Kiryat Arba Hesder Yeshiva, and was Rosh Metivta there for more than ten years. He was a combat soldier in the IDF during the Yom Kippur war, as well as the first Lebanon war. He was Rosh Yeshiva at “Machon Meir” in 1985-86, and has been a senior lecturer at JerusalemCollege for Tanach since 1985. He heads the ‘Ask the Rabbi’ program which provides Halachic answers in English to questioners from around the world. To date, more than 15,000 replies have been sent out. He is the author of Tsofenat Eliyahu, a commentary on the Vilna Gaon’s commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Hoshen Mishpat, laws of financial damages, and seven volumes of “Reponsa B’mareh Habazak.”

Rabbi Dov Linzer (July 6, 2013)
Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in Riverdale, NY. He is a recipient of the Javits Graduate fellowship, and a doctoral candidate in Religion at Columbia University. Rabbi Linzer headed the Boca Raton Kollel for the first two-and-a-half years of its existence, giving classes to the rabbis of the Kollel and lecturing throughout the South Florida communities.  Rabbi Linzer spearheaded the development of the YCT Rabbinical School curriculum into an innovative four-year semikha program which provides its students with rigorous halakhic study and sophisticated professional training in the context of a religious atmosphere, which cultivates openness and inclusiveness. In addition to overseeing the Yeshiva’s Torah curriculum, he teaches advanced halakha in a broad range of areas across all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch, including Kashrut, Ishut and Niddah, and Shabbat and Eruvin. He also teaches advanced classes in Talmud and a year-long class in Contemporary Challenges of Modern Orthodoxy.

Esti Rosenberg (June 28-29, 2013)
Following the legacy of her grandfather, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l, Esti Rosenberg was one of the pioneers in revolutionizing the world of women’s Torah learning. She established the Migdal Oz Beit Midrash for Women in 1997, and has served as the Rosh Beit Midrash since its establishment.  Prior to Migdal Oz, she served as Rosh Beit Midrash of the Midreshet Lindenbaum Israeli Program. Esti holds a B.A. in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew University, and is a graduate of Michlalah Jerusalem in Tanach Studies. She is an active member on the board of Bnei Akiva.

Study sessions:

  • For what was the land destroyed?: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? said the LORD.” (Isaiah1, 11) During these days of Ben HaMeitzarim (the Three Weeks), as we take a closer look at the generation in which the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) was destroyed, we can’t but ask ourselves: Didn’t they understand that external actions aren’t enough? Did they really think there was a value in offering sacrifices to the Lord without Kavana (intent)? How are these questions relevant to our religious lives today? Does this danger exist today as well?
  • The Most Challenging Year of Moshe’s Leadership: Moshe’s denied entry to the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert raises critical questions: What is the process the people of Israel and Moshe Rabeinu go through during this year? What is the relevance of the Midbar (desert) generation to the sort of challenges we confront today? Our study will explore these questions and challenges by delving into Moshe’s attitude towards the people and his expectations of them.
  • Women in the World of Torah: We are witnesses today to the breakthrough of Torah learning for women. Does everyone approve of this critical change? Is the religious world prepared for this breakthrough? How has it influenced the religious world? Have women become more serious and committed in their observance of Mitzvot? Has a price been? Why do I love to teach Torah so much, and push for women and girls to learn Torah, as well?
  • The Challenge in Balancing between Kodesh and Chol: We all want to come in contact with holiness and live a life beyond the mundane. What is the relation between Kodesh and Chol in our lives? How is it possible to live our daily life in this world (to work, create, build, etc.) and at the same time become a holy people who strive to reach beyond our day-to-day lives? How might Rosh Chodesh help us with this particular challenge?

Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein (March 8-9, 2013)
Rabbi Lichtenstein is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion. He received rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate and a degree in English Literature from Hebrew University. While on sabbatical in Cleveland (1997-98), he served as Rosh Kollel of the Torah MiTzion Kollel. Rav Lichtenstein is the author of Moses: Envoy of God, Envoy of His People, and is currently writing a book on haftarot. He presently serves as Shana Alef Ram, is responsible for the Yeshiva’s Kollel Gavoha, and is teaching an advanced Talmud at the Beit Midrash for Women Migdal Oz.

Study sessions:

  • 20th Century Approaches to Psak (the Ruling of Jewish Law) – the Mishnah Brurah’s Approach and Influence
  • The Shema – The Close and Meaningful Interplay of Rabbinic Interpretation and Halakhic Practice
  • Human Need as a Factor in the Halakhic Process
  • The Interplay of Redemption and Repentance as Religious Goals – the Religious Zionist Dilemma

Noam Zion (March 30-31, 2012)
A fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Noam Zion has a Master of Arts in philosophy from Columbia University. His numerous publications include: A Different Night: The Family Participation HaggadahA Different Light: The Big Book of HanukkahA Day Apart: Shabbat at HomeSipurei Reshit, a Hebrew anthology on contemporary readings of Genesis that he published together with his daughter; and Halaila HazehA Night to Rememberhaggadot that he published together with his son.

Study sessions:

  • The Art, Politics and Psychology of the Four Daughters and the Four Sons
  • The Guide to the Perplexed Seder Leader
  • The Power of Sisterhood: The Women who Saved baby Moshe

Rav Daniel Landes (Oct. 26-27, 2012)
Rabbi Landes has been described as a “remarkable teacher who weaves the insights of his students together through a group process, in order to discover fascinating new meanings in age-old texts.” As Director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, he heads a team of outstanding scholars, well-known for their use of unique educational methodology that combines independent thinking and deep understanding with sensitivity to contemporary relevance.

Rabbi Landes was a founding faculty member and Director of Educational Projects at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and a professor of Ethics and Values at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles. He taught Jewish Law at Loyola Law School, and was a faculty member at prominent think tanks such as the RAND Corporation, and major Jewish educational institutions such as the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and CLAL. He remains a long-term faculty member of the Wexner Foundation and serves on the educational advisory committee of Taglit-birthrightIsrael.

Rav Shmuel Klitsner (Nov. 19, 2011)
Rabbi Klitsner has taught Talmud, Biblical Exegesis, and Philosophy of Halacha at Midreshet Lindenbaum since 1987. A student of the late Prof. Nechama Leibowitz, he has also served as Head of Jewish Studies at Emunah’s School for Torah and the Arts, lectured extensively at the London School of Jewish Studies and is the author of the two-volume novel, The Lost Children of Tarshish, as well as a book of Biblical readings, Wrestling Jacob – Deception, Identity and Freudian Slips in Genesis. His film credits include the award-winning  Chanukah animation, “Lights.”

Study sessions:

  • Wrestling Jacob: Wordplay and Allusion in the Mysterious Scene of Jacob at Jabok
  • Rabbinic Authority and Autonomy: A Great Medieval Debate Between Maimonides and Abarbanel
  • The Problem of Covenantal Commitment in the Age of the Internet: Now vs. Not Now in the Stories of Esau and Judah

Judy Klitsner (April 30-May 1, 2010)
Judy Klitsner is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching Bible and biblical exegesis for more than two decades. A disciple of the renowned Torah teacher Nehama Leibowitz, Klitsner has had a profound impact on a generation of students, many of whom now serve as teachers and heads of Jewish studies programs in the US, Israel and the UK. Judy is the author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other, a National Jewish Book Award-winner in 2009.

Rabbi Avi Weiss (March 16-17, 2007)
Rabbi Avi Weiss founded Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, in Riverdale, NY, in 1999. He is Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, a modern and Open Orthodox congregation of 850 families, and is the National President of the AMCHA — the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, a grassroots organization that speaks out for Jewish causes throughout the world.  He is the author of two books: Women at Prayer: A Halakhic Analysis of Women’s Prayer Groups and Principles of Spiritual Activism.

Aviva Zornberg (May 19-20, 2006; May 4-5, 2007; April 25-26, 2009; May 21, 2011)
Aviva Zornberg was born in London and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was a Rabbi and the head of the Rabbinical Court.  She holds a BA and Ph.D in English Literature from CambridgeUniversity. After teaching English literature at the HebrewUniversity in Jerusalem, she has spent the last 25 years teaching Torah in Jerusalem at Matan, Yakar, Pardes and the JerusalemCollege for Adults. Dr. Zornberg also holds a Visiting Lectureship at the London School of Jewish Studies.  Her books include,  The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious (Schocken, 2009), National Jewish Book Award-winner Genesis: The Beginning of Desire (JPS 1995) and The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus (Doubleday 2001).