About us, about our administration & faculty

Lamdeinu is a center for high-level, accessible and inspiring Torah learning in Teaneck, New Jersey.  It is housed in the beautiful Beit Midrash of Congregation Beth Aaron.  Classes are given weekday mornings and afternoons, Monday through Thursday.  There are lectures during the evening as well as Rosh Chodesh celebrations and other events.

Lamdeinu was founded by Dean Rachel Friedman, for many years the Associate Dean and Chair of Tanakh at Drisha Institute in New York City.  Ms.  Friedman is a noted  author and lecturer in Bible, liturgy and parshanut.  She has served as a scholar-in-residence at synagogues, schools and other venues throughout North America and beyond.  She has an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University and a JD      from Columbia University School of Law.

RuthRuth Hartstein is Lamdeinu’s Program Director. Ruth has a B.A. in Philosophy from Queens College and a M.A. in Jewish Communal Service from Gratz College.



Rabbi Hayyim Angel is the National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (jewishideas.org). He also teaches advanced Bible courses at Yeshiva University, and lectures widely. He has published over 100 scholarly articles, primarily in Bible, and is author or editor of thirteen books. He has a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Yeshiva College, an M.A. in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and an M.S. in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He previously served for seventeen years as Rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. He lives in Teaneck with his wife and three children.

Alisa Danon Kaplan currently works at Areyvut developing programs and educational content.  She also serves as a Chaplain at St. Barnabas Medical Center providing pastoral counseling and support to patients, family, and staff at the Saint Barnabas Cancer Center, Infusion Center and Radiation-Oncology Department at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Alisa Danon Kaplan holds a Bachelors of Arts from The College of William and Mary, and a Masters of Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism.  Previously, Alisa taught middle school at Solomon Schechter of Bergen County and worked for fifteen years as the Religious and Intergenerational Programs Coordinator at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale.

Rabbi Ezra Frazer teaches Tanakh at Ramaz Upper School.  He has rabbinical ordination, a BA in Computer Science, and graduate degrees in Secondary Education and Bible, all from Yeshiva University.   He also studied in Israel for several years at Yeshivat Har Etzion and its affiliated Herzog College and received ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.  He has previously taught at Yeshiva University and the Torah Academy of Bergen County, and he coordinated the US Chidon HaTanach (National Bible Contest) for many years.  He was the junior co-author of the first two volumes of Rabbi Chaim Jachter’s popular Halachah series, Gray Matter, and is currently completing his doctoral dissertation about Abraham Ibn Ezra.  He and his family live in Teaneck, NJ.


Daniel Fridman picRabbi Daniel Fridman is continuing his post-rabbinic studies at Yeshiva University as a RIETS kollel fellow. He is the Morah D’Atra at the Jewish Center of Teaneck and a Rebbe at Torah Academy of Bergen County. Rabbi Fridman is a graduate of Columbia College and Yeshivat Har Etzion and received his smikha from RIETS.



Dr. Shalom Holtz is an assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University.  Dr. Holtz holds a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) from Harvard University (1999) and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (2006), both in Near Eastern languages and civilizations.

Dr. Holtz’s research interests include the relationship between ancient Mesopotamian civilization and Jewish civilization.  His most recent book is Neo-BabylonianTrial Records. The goal of his current research, supported by a grant from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, is a monograph-length investigation of connections between prayer and the courtroom in the biblical world.

Dr. Elana Stein Hain is a widely well-regarded teacher and scholar, earned her doctorate in Religion from Columbia University with a dissertation on the topic of legal loopholes in rabbinic literature sponsored by Professor David Weiss Halivni.

A graduate of the Yeshiva University Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies and the Cardozo Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Jewish Law and Legal Theory, Elana has taught across the country and in Israel, including as a member of Wexner Institute faculty.  Elana previously served as a community scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue and The Jewish Center, both in New York, as well as adjunct faculty at NYU. She is a board member of Sefaria: A Living Library of Jewish Texts, co-founded the Orthodox Leadership Project (OLP) to support female leaders working in the Orthodox Jewish community, and was recognized by The Jewish Week in its inaugural “36 Under 36” as an emerging Jewish leader.

Ms. Miriam Krupka is Dean of Faculty and teaches Judaic Studies at the Ramaz Upper School since 2006. For the last five years, Ms. Krupka has chaired the Tanakh Department.  Ms. Krupka also teaches in the Jewish Law and Thought (JLT) Department and has taught interdisciplinary seminars and courses on Taharat haMishpacha and Jewish intimacy and family life.

In her new role as Dean of Faculty, she serves both as an advocate for faculty welfare as well as an energetic champion of furthering the professional development of teachers as lifelong learners.  She also leads the Department of Israel Guidance and makes it a priority to have thoughtful, guided conversations with all students about their post-high school spiritual lives and plans.

Ms. Krupka completed a Masters in Jewish Philosophy from Columbia University where her thesis work focused on the messianic writings of Isaac Abarbanel.  Ms. Krupka lives in Teaneck, NJ, with her husband, Dr. Ari Berger, and their sons.

Rabbi David Nachbar received his semikha from RIETS, and continued his studies as a member of the Harry and Bella Wexner Kollel Elyon of Yeshiva University.  He holds a master’s degree in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.  Rabbi Nachbar currently serves as a maggid shiur to the Master’s Program in Biblical and Talmudic Interpretation at Stern College and as a rebbe at TABC.

Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz has spent more than 15 years in the field of Jewish secondary and post-secondary education.  She currently serves Associate Principal, General Studies at SAR Academy High School, and previously served as Director of General Studies at The Frisch School. Dr. Schwartz earned her B.A. in physics and history of science at Case Western Reserve University.  She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, writing her dissertation about the cultural history of the Manhattan Project.  She has also served as adjunct professor of history at both Yeshiva and Stern Colleges.  She lectures widely both on the history of science and on Jewish topics, frequently addressing issues of contemporary importance in the Orthodox community. Dr. Schwartz also serves as the Rebbetzin of the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights, NY, where she lives with her husband, Rabbi Ezra Schwartz, and their five children.

Shuli Taubes received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and her BA in history from Barnard College. She currently serves as a faculty member at SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, where she teaches Tanakh, Jewish Identity, and chairs the Jewish Philosophy department. She has also developed and teaches a curriculum for educating Modern Orthodox high school students in comparative religion. Last year, Shuli was the Sopher Community Scholar at the Young Israel of North Riverdale where she gave shiurim and served in a pastoral role. She also lectures in synagogues throughout the country. Shuli and her husband Ari live in Washington Heights, New York.

Rabbanit Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the director of education and community engagement at Sefaria.org. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at the Drisha Institute, and served as JLIC educator and Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life – Hillel at Princeton University. Sara served as a intern at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, TX,  and as a Beit Midrash Fellow at S.A.R. Academy in Riverdale, NY. She lectures in synagogues and Hillels on a variety of topics, and also teaches Hilkhot Nidah to brides and engaged couples. Sara holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat,and Beit Morashah. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and four children.

bergerRabbi Gedalyah Berger serves as a Ra”M in the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University, and as a maggid shi’ur at the Yo’etzet Halakhah program of Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center. He recently joined the Orthodox Union as Adult Education Coordinator in the Dept. of Synagogue Services.  Rabbi Berger graduated from Yeshiva College in 1994 with a B.A. in physics, studied for three years at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel under the tutelage of HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l, received his semikhah from RIETS in 1998, and was a fellow of RIETS’s Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon.

Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak Berger, a graduate and musmakh of Yeshiva University, is Associate Professor of Bible and Head of the Hebrew Division at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He has published numerous studies on the Bible as Literature and on Medieval Biblical Interpretation, and has recently published a book on Sefer Yonah entitled Jonah in the Shadows of Eden.

J.DauberDr. Jonathan Dauber is Associate Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.  He holds a PhD in Jewish Mysticism from New York University and is the author of Knowledge of God and the Development of Early Kabbalah.


Dr. JuJulie Yanofsky Goldstein Photolie Yanofsky Goldstein received her doctorate in medieval Jewish history at the New York University and is currently the chair of the Jewish History department at Ma’ayanot.  In 2013-14, she was a Golda Meir postdoctoral fellow at The Hebrew University and a research fellow at The  Global Research Institute at Tel Aviv University.  Julie has received a number of awards, including fellowships from Cordozo’s Center for Jewish Law and Civilization and The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.  She lives in Fair Lawn, NJ with her husband, Rabbi Uri Goldstein, rabbi of Congregation Ahavat Achim and their five children.

Dr. Michelle Levine is a tenured Associate Professor of Bible at Stern College for Women, where she has taught since 2001. Dr. Levine was awarded the senior class Jewish Studies Professor of the Year award in 2011. She received a Master’s degree in Bible from Bernard Revel Michelle Levine 09 20 15Graduate School of Jewish Studies and a PhD in Jewish Studies from New York University. She is the author of Nahmanides on Genesis: The Art of Biblical Portraiture (Brown University Press, 2009). She has published a number of articles, delivered academic papers, and lectured nationally and internationally on topics in Tanakh and medieval biblical exegesis. She has been teaching an adult education class in Tanakh in her Queens community for over fifteen years.

Chaviva Levin Headshot

Dr. Chaviva Levin teaches Jewish History at Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University. She received her doctorate in Jewish studies and History from New York University and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Yeshiva University.  She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program.  She is a member of the steering committee for the “Study of Religious Conversions” Group at the American Academy of Religion.

Aaron Segal, Philosophy / YC -- faculty headshotsRabbi Dr. Aaron Segal is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva University, where he specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of religion.  He studied for several years in the Kollel Gavoah at Yeshivat Har Etzion, and has taught Talmud in a variety of educational settings to students of varying backgrounds and skill levels. Aaron holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and Rabbinical Ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Yosef Bronstein Picture Rabbi Yosef Bronstein is a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon, an instructor of Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University’s Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies Honors Program and a PhD candidate in Talmud at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He received semikha from RIETS and a MA in Talmud from the BRGS.  While in Israel he studied at Kerem B’Yavneh, Yeshivat Har Etzion and Merkaz HaRav.


Rebbetzin Shira Schiowitz is a noted teacher of Tanakh.  She currently teaches at SAR Academy High School and has served as Chair of the Tanakh Department and co-director of professional development at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School where she also mentored new teachers. She has lectured for adults in various venues including Shaare Tefillah of Teaneck where she is “rebbetzin.” Shira has an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University.

Mrs. Shifra Shafier is a Second Grade Judaic Studies teacher at SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY  and a teacher mentor through the Jewish New Teachers Program.   Shifra has been practicing yoga for over ten years. She completed the RYT 200 yoga training with Charlotte Stone at Stone Center for Yoga and Health in the fall of 2013.  Shifra combines teaching Torah and yoga both in her Second Grade classroom and “on the mat” in her yoga classes.

Nathaniel Helfgot picture

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot is the author of numerous articles and books in Jewish Studies, including Mikra and Meaning: Studies in Bible and its Interpretation.  He is the rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Teaneck and the Chair of Talmud and Rabbinics at SAR High School.  He was formerly Chair of the Tanach and Jewish Thought departments at YCT Rabbinical School and remains the covenor of the annual Yemei Iyun on Bible and Jewish Thought.  He received semicha from Yeshiva University and completed a Masters in Jewish Education as well as advanced graduate Bible work.   He was a close  student ofRav Aharon Lichtenstein z”l.

Nechama Price pictureYoetzet Halacha Nechama Price has been on the faculty at Stern College in the Bible and Judaic Studies departments since 2004.  Prior to that, she completed the Stern College Graduate Program for Advanced Talmud Studies, received her masters in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School and Masters in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School.  She is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the of the American branch of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha Program.  She is serving as a Yoetzet Halacha for several communities. Nechama is also the Director of Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies.

tammyDr. Tammy Jacobowitz received her PhD in Midrash from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and is a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she has taught extensively in various communal settings throughout the New York and Philadelphia areas.   She recently co-authored JOFA’s gender-sensitive Shmot curriculum and is on the Rabbinics faculty for Me’ah NYC.