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Faculty

The backbone of any educational institution is its faculty. At SFW we are particularly proud of the outstanding educational staff that we have assembled, not only because of their teaching abilities, but because of their warmth and individualized attention. Teachers are always ready and eager to talk with students, listen to their thoughts, invite them to their homes for Shabbat and develop a lasting student-teacher relationship.


Below you will find a partial listing of our distinguished faculty:

 

Rav Dovid Abrahamowitz Rav Dovid Abrahamowitz is a native of Toronto, Canada. He spent two years studying at Yeshivat Shilo in Israel after high school and continued with his education at Yeshiva University in New York where he received his B.Sc. R’ Dovid worked for NCSY for a number of years as the Director of Informal Education and the Director of Outreach in Toronto. R’ Dovid is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Jewish studies, majoring in Tanach, while teaching a number of very popular and exciting halacha classes. R' Dovid also serves as the Mashgiach Ruchani of Midreshet Yeud, and lives in Jerusalem with his wife Aliza and their four children.
Leora Leora Bednarsh holds degrees in Psychology and Linguistics from Princeton University . She has lectured at MaTaN in Talmud, Tanach and Halacha and has served as a scholar-in-residence at numerous locations in the United States . A recipient of awards for Jewish Education and academic achievement, Mrs. Bednarsh completed the Keren Ariel program for Yoatzot Halacha at Nishmat.and has taught Jewish studies at Yeshiva of Flatbush and is involved with Teacher training programs in North America.
Dina Blank Dina Blank, holds a degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master's in Jewish History from YU's Bernard Revel Graduate School. Prior to her aliyah Mrs. Blank taught Judaic studies in New York-area schools. Upon moving to Israel, she has been affiliated with a prestigious Jerusalem think tank where she has conducted and coordinated research projects. A graduate of Michlala's overseas program, Mrs. Blank has received numerous academic awards.
  Toby Einhorn is returning to Israel after stints in South Africa and Hong Kong where she taught Jewish studies and served in multiple capacities for the Jewish communities. She holds a master's degree in Bible from YU's Bernard Revel Graduate School and a Bachelor's in Philosophy from Stern College.
Hudi Elsant Hudi Elsant studied at Stern College for Women and at the Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education. She has previously taught at Ateret Seminary in Queens College and in Project Identity for Adult Education. In addition to SFW, she is also on the faculty of Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim. Hudi resides in Yerushalayim with her husband and baby.
Rav Fuchs Rav Fuchs
Rav Haber Rabbi Yakov Haber is known for the clarity of presentation and dynamic teaching style that he brings to his in-depth halacha shiurim. An enthusiastic educator, he comes to SFW with a decade of expertise in high-level Torah education at Yeshiva University: as a rebbe in YU´s Stone Beit Midrash Program; as coordinator of the practical halacha learning program at RIETS; and as a teacher of Halacha, Jewish thought, and prayer at Stern College for Women. After learning at Israel´s Yeshivat Kerem B´Yavneh and pursuing a master's degree in Computer Science, he was a fellow at YU´s prestigious and challenging Gruss Kollel Elyon. Rabbi Haber, his wife and children made aliya in 2007 and live in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
  Mindy Hilewitz studied Limudei Kodesh at Michlala and Stern College. She graduated Barnard College earning Phi Beta Kappa honors with a Bachelor's degree in Jewish History. Mrs. Hilewitz also holds a master's in Jewish Education from YU's Azrieli School of Education and is completing another Master's in English Education at Teacher's College, Columbia University. Mrs. Hilewitz has taught at Manhattan High School and has served on the Editorial Staff at Jewish Action magazine and Judaica Press.
Rabbi Knapel Rabbi Jason Knapel was ordained at RIETS and also received his BA from Yeshiva College and a MS from the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He worked in Hillel Yeshiva High School in Deal, New Jersey for many years as a teacher, Director of Informal Education, Director of Judaic  Studies and as Assistant Principal. He is currently the Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshivat Shvilei HaTorah.
Rav Noam Koenigsberg Rav Noam Koenigsberg studied in at Yeshivat Shaalvim and went on to receive a BA from Yeshiva University in Jewish Studies and an MA in Jewish Philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He then returned to the Shaalvim Kollel and subsequently served as a Ra"M in Yeshivat Torat Hachaim in Gush Katif and in Gush Katif's Midrasha for women. Later, after first serving as the Av Bayit at Sha'arei Mevaseret Zion, Rav Noam returned to Shaalvim, serving for the past two years as a Ra"m in the Hesder Program. Through it all, he has been a stalwart staff member of the NCSY Kollel.
  Rav Yonatan Kohn has been involved with SFW since its first year.  After high school, he learned at Yeshivat Shaalvim and the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, IL.  Later, he completed semikhah at the YU/RIETS Israel Kollel before moving to Yeshivat Kerem BYavneh, where he currently serves as a Sgan Mashgiach for the yeshiva's overseas program.  Rav Kohn also spent time in Philadelphia and Boston, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Jewish History and teaching middle and high school at the Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass.  Still, there's no place like the Homeland: he currently resides in Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh with his wife and children.
Rav Leibtag Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, founder of the Tanach Study Center, is one of pioneers of Torah Education via the internet. He began his study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in the mid 70's, and has served as a "rebbe" at the Yeshivah since the mid 80's.  His weekly essays on Parshat Ha'shavua, read by literally thousands of subscribers world wide, introduce a vibrant analytical approach to thematic study of the Tanach and reflect over twenty-five years of experience as a teacher.  Presently, Rabbi Leibtag teaches as well at Yeshivat Shaalvim,  Midreshet Lindenbaum, and at the Gruss Institute of Yeshiva University in Jerusalem.  He also lectures regularly in Jewish communities and on college campuses throughout North America.
Rabbi Eliezer Schenkolewsky Rabbi Eliezer Schenkolewsky studied at Yeshivat Shaalvim's Hesder and Keter Yehoshua Kollel programs before receiving ordination from Israel's Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Schenkolewsky serves on several rabbinical courts and has published numerous articles. A highly versatile educator who has taught the full range of Jewish subjects, Rabbi Schenkolewsky is best known as one of Israel's leading Tanach scholars. He also serves as the Assistant Principal of Shaalvim's David and Golda Lander College of Education and holds the rank of captain (res.) in the Israel Defense Forces. Rabbi Schenkolewsky is currently the Rabbi of Nofei Aviv - an Anglo-Saxon community in Beit Shemesh.
Rav Ezra Rav Ezra Shapiro learned in Yeshivat Sha'alvim from 1988-1990 at which point he joined Tzahal in the framework of the Machal program. He completed a B.S. in computer science and returned to Israel, learning at Yeshiva University Gruss kollel and receiving Semichah from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Shlit"a. In 1996 Rav Ezra was appointed mashgiach of the second year students at Yeshivat Sha'alvim and through his wisdom, warmth and devotion he has helped so many of SFW students maximize their potential while effectively preparing for life after seminary.
Rav Tabory Rav Binyamin Tabory has been a Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion since 1979, and received Semicha and a Master's in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University. Rav Tabory previously served as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva High School in Toronto. He was the founding Rosh Kollel of the Torah Mitzion Kollel in Cleveland, the first Zionist Kollel in North America. Additionally, he also taught for many years at Midreshet Moriah in Jerusalem. Rav Tabory continues to give shiurim to students around the globe, via a weekly shiur at KMTT - Ki Mitzion Teitze Torah - The Torah Podcast of Yeshivat Har Etzion and via KESHET - Kol Shidurei Torah.
Shani Taragin Mrs. Shani Taragin completed a B.A. and M.A. in Tanach and Talmud at Bar-Ilan University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Tanach while teaching in various adult education institutions in Jerusalem and Gush Etzion including MaTaN, Michlelet Herzog, and the Women’s Beit Midrash in Efrat. She also teaches Tanach, Talmud, and Halachah in Midreshet Moriah, Be’er Miriam, and Migdal Oz.  She is a graduate of Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Program for certification as a halachic advisor in issues of family purity law. She lectures throughout Israel, and serves on the Gush Etzion religious council dealing with issues of Jewish law and education.
Nili Turetsky Nili Turetsky attended Michlalah Jerusalem College for Women following high school.  Nili is a graduate of Stern College for Women where she received her BA in Judaic studies and English Literature and her Masters in Modern Jewish History at Bernard Revel Graduate School. Most of her summers have been spent in Camp Morasha where she was a member of the counseling staff, education staff and headed the Machon CIT program. Before coming to Israel, she taught in the S.A.R. School in Riverdale, NY.
Rav Yammer Rabbi Michoel Yammer, a mainstay of Yeshivat Shaalvim's Men's division, st udied in Shaalvim's Keter Yehoshua Kollel after graduating from the Yeshiva's Hesder program. He received rabbinical ordination from Israel's chief rabbinate and has taught Jewish studies in the Yeshivat Shaalvim overseas and Israeli programs. At SFW, Rav Yammer’s courses focus on a wide range of talmudical, philosophical and halachic issues through the ages and in the modern world.