Watch below as 5 respected Torah teachers from across the Jewish World provide a unique perspective on the religious importance of Judaism’s holiest city.
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz: Maggid shiur at Yeshivat Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and Rav of Kehillat Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem.
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz is a Senior Lecturer in Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem. Until his family’s aliyah in April 2010,he was the Rabbi of the Woodside Synagogue in Silver Spring,Maryland and Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Law School (specializing in contracts, bankruptcy commercial law, and bioethics). He received his rabbinic ordination from the Ner Israel Rabbinical College; his BA from Johns Hopkins University and JD from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude). He has written and lectured extensively both in the United States and Israel on the interface of halacha and contemporary society with a special interest and expertise in medical, family, business, and legal ethics.His articles cover topics such as stem cell research, cloning, organ donation, land for peace, Jewish perspectives on war and gun control, and even Monica Lewinsky and halacha. (A number of his shorter pieces can be found on jlaw.com). He has also written many basic source books on Jewish values for NCSY, an organization that does Jewish outreach to teenagers.
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller: Noted author, Gifted Lecturer and Teacher at Neve Yerushalayim College, Jerusalem.
Internationally known as an outstanding scholar of Jewish Studies as well as a gifted lecturer, she has been a full-time faculty member of Neve Yerushalayim College in Jerusalem since 1980. Her areas of expertise include textual analysis of Biblical literature and Jewish philosophy with an emphasis on the teachings of Maimonides and Maharal. She is also particularly well known for her courses devoted to the role of women in Judaism and analyses of the lives of women in the Bible.
She is distinguished by her unique teaching style. Based on classical sources, her insights on virtually any topic within Jewish studies flow in a seemingly effortless stream. While leading her listeners along creative new lines of thoughts, she resorts to a disarmingly keen sense of humor to provide practical examples that illustrate and draw personal relevance from even the most abstract concepts.
Rebbetzin Heller is also noteworthy as an example of a woman who has managed to balance her responsibilities as a mother of a large family with her role as a leading public figure throughout her career in Jewish education.
A sought-after speaker, her lecture tours throughout the United States, Canada, England and South Africa always draw enthusiastic crowds.
Popular worldwide as a weekly columnist in Hamodia, Rebbetzin Heller is the author of four books, "More Precious than Pearls," "This Way Up," "Our Bodies Our Souls," "Lets Face It." and the recently published 'Return - Your Path to Lasting Change'
Rabbi Michael Rosensweig: Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and the Rosh Kollel of the Beren Kollel Elyon.
Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig occupies the Nathan and Perel Schupf Chair in Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and is a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies of Yeshiva University. He has written extensively, contributing to numerous journals of Torah learning.
Rabbi Rosensweig received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS and was a distinguished fellow of its post-semikha institute, the Gruss Kollel Elyon. He received his BA from Yeshiva College and earned his PhD in medieval Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies while studying under Professor Haym Soloveitchik. Rabbi Rosensweig was also a student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik for seven years, and a student of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, renowned Talmudic scholar, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion and director of the Joseph and Caroline Gruss Institute in Jerusalem.
In 1997, Rabbi Rosensweig was appointed rosh kollel (dean) of the prestigious Israel Henry Beren Institute for Higher Talmudic Studies (Ha-Machon ha-Gavohah le’Talmud) at RIETS.
Rabbi Rosensweig is known for his intricate conceptual approach to Talmud study, as well as his heavy use of Brisker methodology in Talmudic analysis.
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter: University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University; Senior Scholar, Center for the Jewish Future.
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University. From 2000-2005 he served as Dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston. He was the first Rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, from 1977-1981, creating a new, vibrant and committed community. From 1981-2000, he served as the Rabbi of The Jewish Center in New York City, moving the congregation from 180 to over 600 members over the course of his tenure, and also served as Rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA from 2000-2005.
Dr. Schacter holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1973, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with the Abraham S. Goodhartz Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies. Dr. Schacter was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard from 1978-1980, Director of Yeshiva University’s Torah u-Madda Project from 1986-1997, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University from 1993-1999. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University and in 2014 he was awarded the Chelst Grant for Publication Assistance from Yeshiva University. He also presently serves as a member of the faculty of The Wexner Foundation.
Dr. Schacter is co-author of the award winning A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism published by Columbia University Press in 1996, author of The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways: Reflections on the Tish‘ah be-Av Kinot by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (2006) and close to one hundred articles and reviews in Hebrew and English. He is also the editor of Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung (1992), Jewish Tradition and The Nontraditional Jew (1992), and the award winning Judaism’s Encounter with other Cultures: Rejection or Integration? (1997), and co-editor of The Complete Service for the Period of Bereavement (1995) and New Perspectives on Jewish-Christian Relations: In Honor of David Berger (Brill, 2012). He is the Founding Editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, a prestigious academic publication which has gained international acclaim.
Rabbi Schacter holds a number of prominent Jewish communal positions. He served as Founding President of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations (COJO) of the Upper West Side from 1994-2000, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Orthodox Union and is on the Editorial Boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, BDD (Bechal Derachecha Da’ehu) and Jewish Educational Leadership. He was awarded several fellowships and grants to further his scholarly research. In November, 2007, Rabbi Schacter was the Scholar-in-Residence at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Nashville, TN and in March, 2016, was invited to address the opening plenary of the Jewish Funder’s Network Conference in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Schacter is presently completing a new Hebrew edition of the autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden, an eighteenth century Jewish figure.
Rabbanit Shani Taragin: Noted author, Teacher at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Midreshet Torah V’ Avodah, MaTaN, Migdal Oz, Sha'alvim for Women, Lander's College, and the Women's' Beit Midrash in Efrat and Ramat Shilo.
Rabbanit Shani Taragin completed a B.A. and M.A. in Tanach and Talmud at Bar-Ilan University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Tanach while serving as Ram for Tanach in Midreshet Lindenbaum. She also teaches collegiates and adults at MaTaN, Migdal Oz, Sha'alvim for Women, Lander's College, and the Womens' Beit Midrash in Efrat and Ramat Shilo. Shani is a graduate of Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Program for certification as a halachic advisor in issues of family purity law. She lectures and leads Tanach tours throughout Israel and serves on the local religious council dealing with issues of Jewish law and education. Shani and her husband Reuven live in Alon Shvut with their six children and serve as leaders of the Beit Midrash Program in Camp Moshava.