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.
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 teaches in Drisha’s Summer Kollel. He is a post-doctoral research fellow in the philosophy department at the University of Haifa, and was a fellow at Rutgers University and at Notre Dame and holds a PhD in metaphysics from the University of London. He studied at Yeshivat Hakotel, Yeshivat Hamivtar, and Yeshivat Har Etzion and received rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.
Daniel Reifman is the Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Summer Kollel and has taught Talmud and halakha at Drisha for over 15 years. He holds a PhD in hermeneutics from Bar Ilan University and received his rabbinic ordination and an MA in Tanakh from Yeshiva University. During the year, he teaches Talmud at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and Tanakh at the Bina Secular Yeshiva in Tel Aviv.
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.
Ben Skydell teaches in Drisha’s 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.
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.