Drisha Kollel Faculty
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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.
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.
Aaron Koller is an associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he studies the ancient world of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. His most recent book is Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He has served as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University, and held research fellowships at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research and the Hartman Institute.
Sam Lebens has a PhD in philosophy from the University of London (Birkbeck College). He is also a Rabbi, having spent a number of years in Israeli Yeshivot. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University, in the philosophy of religion. He is also a co-founder of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism; and he blogs for Haaretz.
Adina C. Levine is currently an associate at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, a full service New York law firm, where she specializes in litigation. Prof. Levine received her JD from Harvard Law School, with a focus on comparative law. She holds a Masters in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education, with a focus on secondary Jewish education. Prior to attending law school, Prof. Levine participated in the Avi Chai Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University and received her Bachelors in Journalism from Stern College for Women as a Golding Distinguished Scholar. She is an adjunct professor at Touro Law School in Jewish Law, and also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University Stern College for Women, teaching a wide-range of law courses including Constitutional Law, Women and the Law, and Comparative American law and Talmudic law.
Shlomo C. Pill is the founding Director of The Institute for Jewish Muslim Action. He is a Senior Fellow and Post-Doctoral Fellow in Law and Religion at The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, as well as an Instructor in Emory College’s Middle Eastern Studies Department and the TAM Institute for Jewish Studies where he teaches courses on Jewish and Islamic law. A licensed attorney with expertise in religious freedom, church-state, arbitration, and related issues, he received his JD from Fordham Law School, and LLM and SJD degrees in Law and Religion from Emory Law School. His current work utilizes the comparative study of the Jewish, Islamic, and American jurisprudential traditions to develop new ways of thinking about a range of issues in contemporary American life, including religious freedom, faith-based arbitration, judicial and legal ethics, interactions between religious traditions and secular societies, and legal interpretation and decision making processes and methodologies.
Daniel Reifman teaches in the Kollel, High School Program, and Continuing Education classes at Drisha. He received ordination and an MA in Bible fromYeshiva University and his PhD from Bar-Ilan University where he is currently a research follow in its Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. He has teaches at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem and has taught in the Drisha Scholars Circle and at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
Shana Strauch Schick is a post-doctoral fellow at The Center for Inter-disciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah at Haifa University and a shoelet u-meishivah at Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Women’s Halakhic Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. She received a PhD in Talmud and MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University. While pursuing her doctorate she completed the Graduate Program in Advanced Talmud at Stern College.
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, published by JPS in 2011, and the newly released For Such a Time as This: Biblical Reflections in the Book of Esther, published by Koren Publishing in 2017 (Hebrew).
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.