Faculty

Drisha Kollel Faculty

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Miriam Gedwiser is a faculty member at Drisha and teaches Talmud and Tanakh at the Ramaz Upper School. 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.

Yael Landman Wermuth will be an Affiliated Scholar at the Katz Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019-2020, in addition to serving as Acquisitions Editor for Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East, and Jewish Studies at Gorgias Press. Yael holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from Yeshiva University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has completed fellowships through the Association for Jewish Studies, the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU School of Law, and the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo School of Law. Yael has taught at Yeshiva College and was Visiting Research Fellow in Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College from 2017-2019.

Sam Lebens 2Sam 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.

Avi Mandel grew up in Ginot Shomron, Israel, studied at Yeshivat Beit Orot and Yeshivat Otniel, and served in the IDF. He earned a B.Ed. in English and Jewish Thought at Herzog Academic College, and received a Master of Jewish Education (MJEd) degree in Jewish Day School Education from Hebrew College, Schoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies at the Day School Educators Program of Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. He currently teaches Tanakh, Jewish Philosophy, and Contemporary Israel and Israel Advocacy at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Dani Passow is Associate Rabbi and educator at Harvard Hillel. He served as assistant campus rabbi at Columbia University Hillel and as rabbinic intern at Congregation Shaare Tefillah in Newton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Cooper Union’s engineering school and formerly a researcher in chemistry and bio-engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, he has studied in a number of yeshivot in Israel, including Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Maale Gilboa and received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.


daniel reifman 3Daniel 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 SchickShana Strauch Schick teaches courses in Talmud and Halakha at Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim and Matan. She is currently a fellow of the Center for Israel Studies at Yeshiva University and has held research fellowships at Bar Ilan and Haifa University. Her upcoming book discusses the role of intentionality in the development of Talmudic law. She holds a PhD in Talmud and an MA in Bible from YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School.

david Silber 2David 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 2Devora 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.

Joe Wolfson is the OU-JLIC Rabbi at New York University. He received his semikha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate after studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion for many years. He has degrees in political philosophy from Trinity Hall, Cambridge and University College London. He has taught on five continents and as well as his local responsibilities in downtown Manhattan, teaches Tanakh  each day to 600 people via his 929 whatsapp groups. He lives in the East Village with his wife Corinne and daughters Mika and Tal.

Shlomo Zuckier is a PhD candidate in Ancient Judaism at Yale University and a member of Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon. Previously he served as Director of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Yale University. Shlomo is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semihah), as well as of the Wexner, Tikvah, and Kupietzky Kodshim Fellowships. He has lectured and taught widely across North America, and is excited to share Torah and Jewish scholarship on a broad range of issues. A Founder of The Lehrhaus, Shlomo serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition and has edited two books on contemporary Jewish thought.