Administration

  • Rabbi Yonah Berman

    Rabbi Yonah Berman

    Dean of Rabbinic Initiatives

    A Teaneck, New Jersey, native, Rabbi Yonah Berman is passionate about Israel, the Jewish community, and Jewish learning. Rabbi Berman studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, received his BA in psychology at Yeshiva University and served in the IDF Tank Corps., receiving honors for excellence in training. After receiving semikha in 2007 from YCT, Rabbi Berman served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal, Canada for 5 years. He then married Dr. Rachel Stein and joined her in Boston, where he served as Rabbi of Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe, Orthodox Rabbi of Harvard Hillel and as an Orthodox member of the Jewish Life Team at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School. Rabbi Berman loves learning and teaching Torah and has taught various courses and topics through Limmud, Hebrew College, Kevah, Maayan and Camp Yavneh. Rabbi Berman has returned to YCT to help build the Yeshiva by attracting and training a new generation of excellent Orthodox rabbis to serve the Jewish community.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 110
    yberman@yctorah.org

    Dean of Rabbinic Initiatives

    A Teaneck, New Jersey, native, Rabbi Yonah Berman is passionate about Israel, the Jewish community, and Jewish learning. Rabbi Berman studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, received his BA in psychology at Yeshiva University and served in the IDF Tank Corps., receiving honors for excellence in training. After receiving semikha in 2007 from YCT, Rabbi Berman served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal, Canada for 5 years. He then married Dr. Rachel Stein and joined her in Boston, where he served as Rabbi of Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe, Orthodox Rabbi of Harvard Hillel and as an Orthodox member of the Jewish Life Team at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School. Rabbi Berman loves learning and teaching Torah and has taught various courses and topics through Limmud, Hebrew College, Kevah, Maayan and Camp Yavneh. Rabbi Berman has returned to YCT to help build the Yeshiva by attracting and training a new generation of excellent Orthodox rabbis to serve the Jewish community.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 110
    yberman@yctorah.org

  • Rabbanit Yafit Clymer

    Rabbanit Yafit Clymer

    Co-Director of Rikmah

    Rabbanit Yafit Clymer received her BA from Hebrew University and her MA from Haifa University, and spent five years studying intensively at Beit Midrash Matan in Jerusalem. She continues to lecture at the various Matan campuses while also teaching courses for Emunah and WebYeshiva. Rabbanit Clymer is on the steering committee of the Beit Hillel rabbinic organization and is involved with its Meshivat Nafesh initiative, bringing women’s scholarship to modern questions of Jewish Law and Thought. She and her husband Gershon have spent time on Shelichut in the Washington DC area, and they live in Modiin with their five children. Rabbanit Clymer serves as Co-Director of Rikmah, the YCT Beit Midrash for Rabbinic Leadership in Israel.

    Co-Director of Rikmah

    Rabbanit Yafit Clymer received her BA from Hebrew University and her MA from Haifa University, and spent five years studying intensively at Beit Midrash Matan in Jerusalem. She continues to lecture at the various Matan campuses while also teaching courses for Emunah and WebYeshiva. Rabbanit Clymer is on the steering committee of the Beit Hillel rabbinic organization and is involved with its Meshivat Nafesh initiative, bringing women’s scholarship to modern questions of Jewish Law and Thought. She and her husband Gershon have spent time on Shelichut in the Washington DC area, and they live in Modiin with their five children. Rabbanit Clymer serves as Co-Director of Rikmah, the YCT Beit Midrash for Rabbinic Leadership in Israel.

  • Nava Grant

    Nava Grant

    Communications and Marketing Manager

    Nava Grant previously worked as a Digital Media Strategist at B’nai B’rith International’s Washington, D.C. office. Anne received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.A. from Yale Divinity School. Anne ran a traveling Judaica exhibition called Shmattes from 2013 to 2017.

    Communications and Marketing Manager

    Nava Grant previously worked as a Digital Media Strategist at B’nai B’rith International’s Washington, D.C. office. Anne received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.A. from Yale Divinity School. Anne ran a traveling Judaica exhibition called Shmattes from 2013 to 2017.

  • Noya Lavie

    Noya Lavie

    Director of Development Operations and Finance

    Noya Lavie previously worked as Synagogue Manager at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. She has a Master’s of Science in Nonprofit Management; Concentration in Fundraising from Spertus College and a BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 106
    nlavie@yctorah.org

    Director of Development Operations and Finance

    Noya Lavie previously worked as Synagogue Manager at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. She has a Master’s of Science in Nonprofit Management; Concentration in Fundraising from Spertus College and a BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 106
    nlavie@yctorah.org

  • Rabbi Dov Linzer

    Rabbi Dov Linzer

    President & Rosh HaYeshiva, Norman & Tova Bulow Chair

    Rabbi Dov Linzer is the President and Rosh HaYeshiva of YCT Rabbinical School. Having served as YCT’s Rosh HaYeshiva for over 20 years, Rabbi Linzer became its President in 2019 and assumed both the institutional and Torah-based leadership of YCT. In this dual capacity, Rabbi Linzer has set the vision for YCT as a Center of Torah and Torah Leadership, and, with an amazing team of colleagues and partners, oversees its growth, reach, and further development.

    An acclaimed Torah and halakha scholar, Rabbi Linzer has been a leading rabbinic voice in the Modern Orthodox community for over 25 years. He has published over 100 teshuvot (responsa) and scholarly Torah articles, and hosts a number of highly popular Torah podcasts.

    In his capacity as a mentor, Rabbi Linzer provides religious guidance to the yeshiva’s students and the over 150 YCT-ordained rabbis who are serving in the field. He answers hundreds of halakhic questions from YCT rabbis and broader community each year, which are available to the public on his blog, psak.yctorah.org.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 102
    dlinzer@yctorah.org

    President & Rosh HaYeshiva, Norman & Tova Bulow Chair

    Rabbi Dov Linzer is the President and Rosh HaYeshiva of YCT Rabbinical School. Having served as YCT’s Rosh HaYeshiva for over 20 years, Rabbi Linzer became its President in 2019 and assumed both the institutional and Torah-based leadership of YCT. In this dual capacity, Rabbi Linzer has set the vision for YCT as a Center of Torah and Torah Leadership, and, with an amazing team of colleagues and partners, oversees its growth, reach, and further development.

    An acclaimed Torah and halakha scholar, Rabbi Linzer has been a leading rabbinic voice in the Modern Orthodox community for over 25 years. He has published over 100 teshuvot (responsa) and scholarly Torah articles, and hosts a number of highly popular Torah podcasts.

    In his capacity as a mentor, Rabbi Linzer provides religious guidance to the yeshiva’s students and the over 150 YCT-ordained rabbis who are serving in the field. He answers hundreds of halakhic questions from YCT rabbis and broader community each year, which are available to the public on his blog, psak.yctorah.org.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 102
    dlinzer@yctorah.org

  • Eva Mandel

    Eva Mandel

    Program Associate

    Eva Mandel earned her BA at New York University, where she studied Language and Communication. She has previously worked as a special events coordinator, including hosting premiere parties and patron galas at Lincoln Center. She has travelled internationally since youth, including studying and volunteering in Argentina, Chile, Thailand, and China. When not working, Eva enjoys reading, getting together with friends, and providing foster care for animals with a local rescue organization in the Bronx.

    Program Associate

    Eva Mandel earned her BA at New York University, where she studied Language and Communication. She has previously worked as a special events coordinator, including hosting premiere parties and patron galas at Lincoln Center. She has travelled internationally since youth, including studying and volunteering in Argentina, Chile, Thailand, and China. When not working, Eva enjoys reading, getting together with friends, and providing foster care for animals with a local rescue organization in the Bronx.

  • Rabbi Ilay Ofran

    Rabbi Ilay Ofran

    Rabbi Ilay Ofran is the Rav of Kvutzat Yavneh, and founder and joint head of  Mechinat Ruach Hassadeh, a pre-military Jewish academy for boys, located in Kibbutz Beerot Yitzhak. He is a graduate of Yeshivat Kibbutz HaDati in Maaleh Gilboa and of the Beit Midrash in Beit Morasha, and received his Semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.  Rav Ofran is a Psychologist, and has a degree in Talmud from Bar Ilan University.  He is a teacher in Tzahali and at the Yaakov Herzog College, and serves as Director of Rikmah: YCT’s Beit Midrash for Rabbinic Leadership in Israel.

    Rabbi Ilay Ofran is the Rav of Kvutzat Yavneh, and founder and joint head of  Mechinat Ruach Hassadeh, a pre-military Jewish academy for boys, located in Kibbutz Beerot Yitzhak. He is a graduate of Yeshivat Kibbutz HaDati in Maaleh Gilboa and of the Beit Midrash in Beit Morasha, and received his Semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.  Rav Ofran is a Psychologist, and has a degree in Talmud from Bar Ilan University.  He is a teacher in Tzahali and at the Yaakov Herzog College, and serves as Director of Rikmah: YCT’s Beit Midrash for Rabbinic Leadership in Israel.

  • Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff

    Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff

    Rebbe & Interim Dean

    Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff teaches Talmud and Halakha and is the Director of Community Learning. He learned for two years at Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati at Ein Tzurim before majoring in history at the University of California in Berkeley. Following graduation from Berkeley he spent several years in Israel doing graduate coursework in the Hebrew University Talmud Department and learning in various Batei Midrash in Jerusalem. He trained at Chovevei after spending a year as a Judaic Studies teacher at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, California and graduated in 2014. He is presently the project director of the Torat Chovevei Community Learning Project which seeks to spread Chovevei’s message of openness and sensitivity in scholarship to communities across the United States.

    Rebbe & Interim Dean

    Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff teaches Talmud and Halakha and is the Director of Community Learning. He learned for two years at Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati at Ein Tzurim before majoring in history at the University of California in Berkeley. Following graduation from Berkeley he spent several years in Israel doing graduate coursework in the Hebrew University Talmud Department and learning in various Batei Midrash in Jerusalem. He trained at Chovevei after spending a year as a Judaic Studies teacher at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, California and graduated in 2014. He is presently the project director of the Torat Chovevei Community Learning Project which seeks to spread Chovevei’s message of openness and sensitivity in scholarship to communities across the United States.

  • Ruthie Strosberg Simon

    Ruthie Strosberg Simon

    Executive Director

    Ruthie Strosberg Simon, Executive Director, is a native of Schenectady, NY. She earned a BA in Spanish and Russian languages from Union College and a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Ruthie has been with YCT for over 18 extraordinary years, contributing in the areas of recruitment, student affairs, rabbinic placement, and alumni relations.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 101
    rsimon@yctorah.org

    Executive Director

    Ruthie Strosberg Simon, Executive Director, is a native of Schenectady, NY. She earned a BA in Spanish and Russian languages from Union College and a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Ruthie has been with YCT for over 18 extraordinary years, contributing in the areas of recruitment, student affairs, rabbinic placement, and alumni relations.

    To get in touch:
    212-666-0036 ext. 101
    rsimon@yctorah.org

  • Rabbi Avi Weiss

    Rabbi Avi Weiss

    Founding President

    Rabbi Avi Weiss founded Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 1999. He is also the founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale-the Bayit, a congregation of 850 families in Bronx, New York, founder of Yeshivat Maharat, and the co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF).  Rav Avi served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) from 1982 to 1991 and subsequently as the National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience on behalf of the Jewish people and humankind throughout the world. He is the author of Women at Prayer: A Halakhic Analysis of Women’s Prayer Groups, Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World, Open Up the Iron Door: Memoirs of a Soviet Jewry Activist, and Journey to Open Orthodoxy. His new book, Torat Ahavah: Loving Torah will be published this year.

    To get in touch:
    718-796-4730 ext. 102
    aweiss@yctorah.org

    Founding President

    Rabbi Avi Weiss founded Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 1999. He is also the founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale-the Bayit, a congregation of 850 families in Bronx, New York, founder of Yeshivat Maharat, and the co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF).  Rav Avi served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) from 1982 to 1991 and subsequently as the National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience on behalf of the Jewish people and humankind throughout the world. He is the author of Women at Prayer: A Halakhic Analysis of Women’s Prayer Groups, Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World, Open Up the Iron Door: Memoirs of a Soviet Jewry Activist, and Journey to Open Orthodoxy. His new book, Torat Ahavah: Loving Torah will be published this year.

    To get in touch:
    718-796-4730 ext. 102
    aweiss@yctorah.org

Board of Directors

Benjamin Belfer is a Managing Director of Moerus Capital Management, LLC. He received his BA and MBA from Columbia University. He is a trustee at the Lincoln Square Synagogue. Benjamin was past Chairman of the American Friends of the Saroka Medical Center of the Negev and was part of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, NY Class of 94. He is married to Michelle Friedman, and they have three children: Emily, Sarah, and Rachel.

Michael Brill is Managing Director and Head of US Capital Markets at Duff & Phelps, LLC. He previously held senior leadership positions at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Yale University. Michael and his wife, Judy Abel, are the founders of Yavneh-The Jewish Living Project, a Manhattan partnership minyan. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Wall Street Synagogue. Michael and Judy live in Manhattan with their three children, Joshua, Rebecca and Noah.

Tova Bulow is a long-time member of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and was one of the founders of its Bikkur Cholim Shabbat Services and the Women’s Chevra Kadisha. She was also a volunteer in the Hospice Unit at Beth Israel Medical Center. Tova is a graduate of Barnard and holds Masters degrees from Columbia Teachers College and Sarah Lawrence in Health Advocacy. Her primary involvement has always been with her children and grandchildren. Tova is an active participant in learning opportunities both at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun.

Jonathan Canel is a real estate developer from Highland Park, IL. He specializes in mixed-income multifamily housing development and affordable housing preservation. Jonathan received his JD from Harvard in 2014 and his BA from Stanford (in history) in 2010. Jonathan is married to Shiran and has one daughter, Eliana, who is presently 18 months old.

Jonathan was an auditor of the YCT semikha program in 2020-2021 and came to admire the honesty and intellectual integrity of the YCT Rabbinical staff and appreciates the sensitivity they exhibit, both in their teachings and in their psak, to the factual realities – scientific, social, and spiritual – of our world today. He believes that as a result of their work, YCT stands uniquely positioned to heal many of the rifts within the contemporary Jewish world.

Dr. Jody Dushay is Medical Director and Lead Medical Research Officer at the Clinical Research Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at Beth Israel. Her research and clinical practice focus on metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Dr. Dushay received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University. She is a member of Shaarei Tefillah in Newton, MA. Jody is married to Paul Gompers and they have three daughters.

Rella Feldman has been continually involved in Jewish communal institutions with an emphasis on educational institutions, Holocaust education and philanthropy in the American Jewish community and in Israel. She is a past-president of The Moriah School in Englewood, NJ and of the Women’s Division of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.  Rella is currently a vice-president at the Drisha Institute and a Board member of Yad Vashem.  She and her late husband, Charles (“Chuck”) Feldman z”l, were founders of Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, New Jersey. Rella is a partner at LPZ Management, a NJ based real estate company.  She is the proud mother of five children (two of whom live in Israel) and a proud grandmother.

Eric Feldstein is the chief financial officer of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a large US healthcare insurance provider. Prior to joining HCSC in May 2016, Mr. Feldstein held posts as Executive VP of the Enterprise Growth Group at American Express, CFO and operating partner at Eton Park Capital Management, CEO of GMAC Financial Services, and VP of finance and corporate treasurer of General Motors Corporation. Mr. Feldstein also currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Governance Committee of Northern Trust Bank’s Complex of Mutual Funds. He earned his BA in economics from Columbia University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Along with his professional work, Mr. Feldstein has served his local community through his involvement with Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan, where he served as president from 2006-2012 and remains an active member.

Ari Hait, Secretary of the Board, is a Partner with the law firm of Kaye Scholer LLP where for over twenty-five years he has specialized in commercial real estate and real estate finance. Ari is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Yeshiva College. He is a former President of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Ari and his wife, Beth, live in Riverdale, New York.

Hillel M. Jaffe, Treasurer, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed an MBA and post-graduate studies in economics at Columbia University. Hillel has taught economics at Barnard College and Columbia University, worked in international finance, and has been an investment professional for the past twenty-nine years. He is currently a Vice President at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Additionally, he serves on Boards of several nonprofit organizations, both domestically and internationally. Hillel and his wife, Madeline, have three married children and five grandchildren and are long-time residents of Riverdale, NY.

Dr. Adena Klineman is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in the treatment of eating disorders. She earned her doctorate in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on interpersonal relationships and communication of emotion. Adena has served as a volunteer or lay leader in the Cleveland Jewish community since 2003. She served as the first female president of Green Road Synagogue, an Orthodox Synagogue in Beachwood, Ohio, from 2017-2021. During her tenure, Green Road Synagogue engaged Rabbi Binyamin Blau as their full-time spiritual leader, hired a Yoetzet Halacha, expanded youth and family programming, developed a partnership with the Community Beit Midrash to expand adult learning opportunities, and experienced a growth in membership, particularly among young families. Adena spearheaded fundraising and oversaw construction of the synagogue’s new facility and campus. Currently, she is serving as a Vice Chair of Women IN Philanthropy, a division of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She and her husband, Jonathan Klineman, live in Beachwood, Ohio and are the parents of three sons.

Dr. Steven Laufer, Chair of the Board, is a researcher at the Meyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem. Prior to making aliya in 2019, he worked as a principal economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., where he conducted research and advised Board members on issues related to housing and mortgage markets. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Economics from New York University. He has been a member of Ohev Shalom the National Synagogue in Washington and of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and served as board president of the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. Steven and his wife, Chani, are the proud parents of three children, Shoshana, Ari and Erez.

Steven Lieberman, Chair Emeritus, is a partner at the firm of Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck in Washington, D.C. He specializes in intellectual property and constitutional law, and his current clients include The New York Times Company, Dow Jones, Fox, McGraw-Hill, NBC, CBS and Time Warner. Mr. Lieberman has also devoted a substantial portion of his practice for the past 25 years to pro bono work on behalf of the Jewish community. Mr. Lieberman has served on the Board of YCT since its founding.  He is currently a Vice President of Beth Sholom Congregation & Talmud Torah in Potomac, Maryland and a member of the Board and Vice-President of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (“ASIRT”); he has also served on the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He has been honored by Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and the Association for Safe International Road Travel for his work on behalf of those organizations.

Jeremy Novich, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist. He earned his doctorate from Long Island University, Post Campus, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Novich has worked on LGBTQ concerns as a clinician, researcher, and community educator. He published a chapter, titled Gay Jewish Men in the Orthodox Community: Striving for Selfhood, that summarizes his doctoral dissertation. In addition to his clinical work relating to sexuality, identity, and LGBTQ issues, Dr. Novich specializes in helping people with problematic substance use. He is a psychologist at the Center for Motivation and Change and maintains a private practice as well.

Daniel Perla has an MBA in management from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, and spent nearly 18 years in the financial world before earning semikha from YCT. He worked as a security analyst and portfolio manager at investment firms and hedge funds including Iridian Asset Management, Centurion Investment Group, and Soros Fund Management. Dan has been active in Jewish communal life for many years and was privileged to serve as a Wexner Heritage Fellow. He served for seven years as the President of The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Dan currently serves on the boards of Mechon Hadar, The SAR Academy of Riverdale, and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, where he served as Chairman of the Board for three years. 

Rabbi Joshua Pernick, Alumni Representative, joined Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie, LA, in July of 2019. A graduate of Brandeis University for his BA (Sociology) and MAT (Elementary Education) degrees, as well as the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators’ year-long fellowship program, he was an early childhood and elementary school educator before beginning his rabbinic journey. After teaching in Jewish day schools in Charleston, SC; Watertown, MA; and Atlanta, GA, Rabbi Josh began his rabbinic training at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. While at YCT, Rabbi Josh interned at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal as well as serving as the student rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in Portland, ME and the Orthodox Kehillah in Durham, NC. Since moving to New Orleans, he has joined the boards of the Jewish Community Day School and the Jewish Childrens’ Regional Service, as well as serving on the Strategic Planning Subcommittee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans

Dr. Kenneth Prager, Chair, is a pulmonologist and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is Director of Medical Ethics and Chairman of the Medical Ethics Committee of Columbia University Medical Center. He lectures annually at The Ben Gurion University Medical School for International Health in Beersheba. In the 1980’s, he traveled to the USSR and was deeply involved in the medical and humanitarian problems of Soviet Refuseniks. Kenny and his wife Jeannie have lived in Englewood, New Jersey, for 40 years and are affiliated with Congregation Ahavath Torah. They have four children and six grandchildren. Kenny and Jeannie were both active leaders in Moriah School of Englewood when their children were young.

Ariela Rosenberg-Brafman is the Executive Director of the Reinvention Foundation. She has over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, including as the Senior Director of Program Operations, Design, and Evaluation at Read Ahead and as the Senior Manager of Product and Evaluation at the Taproot Foundation. Ariela holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Columbia University. She is a past JOFA board member and currently serves on the board of the International Beit Din. A native Texan, Ariela lives in Newton, MA with her husband, Yonatan, and their two children.

Rabbi Adam Scheier is Rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, a 1400-member Orthodox synagogue in Westmount, Quebec.

A members of YCT’s “pioneer” graduating class (2004), Rabbi Scheier is an advocate for “spiritual activism” on behalf of Jews around the world. He had led solidarity visits to many different communities, including Paris following the 2015 attack on Hyper Cacher; Montana following anti-Semitic threats against the local Jewish community; and Venezuela following hate crimes against the Jewish community. In 2010, Rabbi Scheier testified before a Canadian Parliamentary committee on the topic of human rights in Venezuela.

Prior to his arrival to Montreal in 2004, Rabbi Scheier participated in the founding and development of the first Yeshiva in post-World War II Germany, and has continued to work extensively with the immigrant Jewish community in Germany.

In 2015, Rabbi Scheier co-edited and published the Canadian Haggadah Canadienne, which received positive acclaim in Canada and worldwide. In July, 2016, Rabbi Scheier was honoured to accompany Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his visit to Poland and Auschwitz.

Rabbi Scheier has published opinion pieces in the Montreal Gazette, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Times of Israel, the Canadian Jewish News, and other publications.

Rabbi Scheier is proud to be the rabbi of the first synagogue to hire a graduate of Yeshivat Maharat.

Rabbi Scheier is married to Rabba Abby Scheier, and they have been blessed with five daughters, Aviya, Ayelet, Annael, Allegra, and Arella.