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Faculty and Administration

David Silber

David Silber is the Founder and Dean of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received the Covenant Award in 2000. He is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (JPS, 2011) and is currently working on a book about Megillat Esther.   

Click here to access podcasts recorded by David Silber.

Wendy Amsellem

Wendy Amsellem is the Director of the July College Kollel for women and a full time faculty member. She is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program and a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle and high school programs. She is pursuing a PhD in Judaic Studies at New York University and has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.

Click here to access podcasts recorded by Wendy Amsellem.

Shira Hecht-Koller

Shira Hecht-Koller is Director of Communal Engagement at Drisha and the coordinator of Drisha’s Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program. She has taught Talmud and comparative ethics for many years, most recently at SAR High School. She is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project and was a fellow at the Paideia Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm. She is a graduate of the Bruriah Scholars Program in Advanced Talmud Studies at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She received her BA in Biology from Yeshiva University, and she was a Golding Scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, from which she received her JD. Prior to embarking on a career in Jewish Education, she was an associate in the Intellectual Property department at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP.

Click here to access podcasts recorded by Shira Hecht-Koller.

Jon Kelsen

Jon Kelsen is a faculty member at Drisha and Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Kollel. He also teaches Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and serves as adjunct faculty at the Pardes Institute. He received ordination from Rabbis Daniel Landes and Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from Hebrew University, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

Click here to access podcasts recorded by Jon Kelsen.

Devora Steinmetz

Devora Steinmetz serves on the leadership team for special programs at Drisha in the United States and Israel. She has taught Talmud and Rabbinics at Drisha, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Yeshivat Hadar, and Havruta: a Beit Midrash at Hebrew University. Dr. Steinmetz is the founder of Beit Rabban, a day school profiled in Daniel Pekarsky’s Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban. She is the author of From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. Dr. Steinmetz consults for the Mandel Foundation and works at Gould Farm, a therapeutic community for individuals struggling with mental illness.

Click here to access podcasts recorded by Devora Steinmetz.

Administration

Neesa Berezin-Bahr

Neesa Berezin-Bahr is Programs Coordinator for collegiate and young professional programs. She has a BA from New York University in Linguistics and Anthropology. She worked for the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus before coming to work at Drisha. She was a Drisha July Collegiate Kollel Fellow in 2010 and spent a year studying at Midreshet Lindenbaum.

Jordana Golden

Jordana Golden is the Director of Information Resources at Drisha. She has an MA in Non-Profit Management from New School University and a BS in Physics from Bryn Mawr College. She is the Executive Director of Healing Time, a nonprofit dedicated assisting American cities damaged by natural disasters. She worked at the New York Botanical Garden before coming to Drisha.

Dalia Smerka

Dalia Smerka is the Office Manager at Drisha. A native of Israel, she worked for 18 years in the New York office of Betar Youth Organization.