Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program: Faculty
Summer 2016 Faculty (Summer 2017 forthcoming)
Jesse Abelman teaches Tanakh at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School and taught in the Yesodot Skill-Building Program at Drisha. He is pursuing a PhD in Medieval Jewish History at Bernard Revel Graduate School and is a rabbinical student at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received an MA in the Talmud Department of Yeshiva University.
Wendy Amsellem is the Rosh Kollel of Drisha’s July College Kollel and a faculty member of Drisha and Yeshivat Maharat. She is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program and an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle.
Gila Bieler-Hoch is the former Director of the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program. She is a graduate of the Advanced Talmudic Institute in Matan and is currently pursuing an MA in Talmud at Bar Ilan University while teaching Talmud at Hartman Girls High School in Jerusalem. Next year she will be teaching Talmud at Midreshet Lindenbaum.
Josh Blaustein holds a BA in chemistry from Yeshiva University. He spent several years studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion, where he taught Gemara to Australian and South African students and received semikha from Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. Rabbi Blaustein has spent six years teaching high school Gemara, chemistry, and physics at the Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, MD, and was the Greater Washington region’s winner of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2012. He currently teaches Talmud and halakhah at SAR High School.
Miriam Gedwiser is a faculty member at Drisha. She has a BA from the University of Chicago in the History and Philosophy of Science and a JD from NYU School of Law. She studied in the Drisha Scholars Circle as well as at other programs in Israel and Boston, and has taught at several New York area synagogues and Hillels. She practiced commercial litigation at a large law firm, and completed a judicial clerkship in the Southern District of New York.
Shuvi Hoffman teaches Tanakh and Hebrew at SAR high school. Previously, she has taught Tanakh and Machshevet and was head of Judaic studies in a public-secular high school in Israel since 2005. In addition, Shuvi has mentored teachers in Judaic studies through the Hartman Institute (Be’eri program). Over the past 10 years she has been involved in writing curriculum as well as the Matriculation exam (“bagrut”) in Jewish philosophy. Shuvi holds an MA in Tanakh from Hebrew University and is a graduate of Revivim program, where she has also worked as a teacher and mentor.
Phil Keisman is thrilled to be teaching in Drisha’s High School summer program. Phil has taught Mishna and Tanakh at the Heschel school. He received his MA in Jewish education from Hebrew College through the Pardes Educators Program. At Heschel, Phil also functioned as an advisor for students, ran a Talmud habura, and enjoyed offering students tips on their basketball skills. In the fall, Phil will begin his doctorate in Modern European History at CUNY’s Graduate Center.
Daniel Reifman teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He received rabbinic ordination and an MA in Bible from Yeshiva University and a PhD in hermeneutics from Bar Ilan. He has taught in the Drisha Scholars Circle, at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and at Midreshet Lindenbaum, and has lectured widely on topics in philosophy of halakhah and Jewish medical ethics.
Rachel Rosenthal is a member of the faculty at the Drisha Institute and a PhD candidate in Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary . A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she has served as an American Jewish World Service Kol Tzedek Fellow and taught at the 92nd Street Y, Limmud, Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS and in communities throughout the United States. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nomi Schneck is currently studying Jewish Art and Visual Culture at the Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her academic interest lies in the intersection between Jewish studies and the visual arts. Nomi has an MA in Biblical Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and a BA in English Literature from Stern College. Aside from teaching at Drisha, she teaches creative writing and English literature at Yavneh Academy.
Ben Skydell teaches in the July College Kollel, high school program, and continuing education classes at Drisha. He is the Rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in Manhattan. He is also an Instructor of Judaic Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy of Great Neck, New York. He received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.