Faculty and Administration
David Silber is the founder and dean of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York and Israel. Rabbi Silber received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He is a recipient of the Covenant Award, for excellence in innovative Jewish education, and is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (Jewish Publication Society 2011) and For Such a Time as This: Biblical Reflections in the Book of Esther (Koren Publishers 2017). He is also a nationally acclaimed lecturer on the Bible. Rabbi Silber is married to Dr. Devora Steinmetz. They have eight children and live in New York City.
Click here to access podcasts recorded by David Silber.
Shira Hecht-Koller is the Director of Communal Engagement at Drisha and Director of Education for 929 English. In her portfolio at Drisha, she also directs the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program. She teaches Talmud and Jewish identity to a wide variety of audiences, and writes and speaks on topics of education, creative living and family life. She was a Fellow at the Paideia Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm, where she continues to serve as a consultant. She holds a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, where she is adjunct faculty. She is a graduate of the Beruria Scholars program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and holds a JD from Cardozo School of Law. Prior to embarking on a career in Jewish Education, she was an associate in the Intellectual Property department at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP. She is an avid tennis fan, amateur photographer and loves to hike and explore the world with her partner Aaron and children Dalya, Shachar, Amitai and Aiden.
Click here to access podcasts recorded by Shira Hecht-Koller.
Aaron Koller is associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is chair of the Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies, and also Core Faculty and Coordinator of Adult Educational Programming at Drisha. His most recent book was Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and his next book, Unbinding Isaac, on the ‘aḳedah in religious philosophy, is forthcoming, but he usually works on Semitic languages and linguistics. Aaron has served as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and held research fellowships at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research and the Hartman Institute. He lives in Queens with his wife, Shira Hecht-Koller, and their children.
Rabbi 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 at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
Click here to access podcasts recorded by Daniel Reifman.
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Dr. Devora Steinmetz serves on the faculty of Drisha Institute in the United States and Israel and on the leadership team of Drisha’s new yeshiva in Israel. She is the founder of Beit Rabban, a Jewish day school profiled in Daniel Pekarsky’s Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban.
She is the author of scholarly articles on Talmud, Midrash, and Bible as well as of two books: From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. Dr. Steinmetz also serves on the faculty of the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership.
Click here to access podcasts recorded by Devora Steinmetz.
Featuring Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and educators from all sponsoring organizations
Neesa Berezin-Bahr is the Director of Student Engagement at Drisha. 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 an Eilu v’Eilu and Drisha Kollel Fellow in 2010 and spent a year studying at Midreshet Lindenbaum.