With one foot firmly planted in the world of Torah and mitzvot, and the other in the dynamic and eclectic world of Jewish scholarship in Israel, each member of the Amudim faculty has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is uniquely poised to look at Torah from multiple angles, address big questions at the forefront of students' minds, press students to "think higher" and facilitate independent thought.
Experts in their fields, they are eager to devote their time to learning and establishing relationships with the curious, motivated and intellectually-adventurous students at Amudim.
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Dr. Julie Goldstein
Rosh Midrasha, Director
Dr. Julie Goldstein’s teaching experience includes NYU, Ma’ayanot High School, JLIC at UCLA, and nearly two decades of Jewish communal and adult education lectures. Dr. Goldstein received an MA in Jewish philosophy at YU and a joint PhD in medieval history and Judaic Studies at NYU. 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. Dr. Goldstein has received a number of awards, including fellowships from Cardozo’s Center for Jewish Law and Civilization and The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. She lives in Beit Shemesh with her husband, Rabbi Uri Goldstein, and five awesome kids.
Rabbi Darrell Ginsberg
Rabbi Darrell Ginsberg is the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Migdal HaTorah. He received his semicha from Yeshivat Bnei Torah, was magid shiur at Yeshiva Gedola of West Hempstead, rebbe at Rambam Mesivta, and is a primary contributor to Ner Maaravi, a widely read weekly compendium of divrei Torah. In addition to his shiurim in Migdal, Rabbi Ginsberg is a highly sought after lecturer. He delivers popular weekly shiurim at Kehillat Shaarei Yonah Menachem (located in Modi'in) as well as in Hashmonaim a nearby Yeshuv. Additionally he maintains a limited practice in dentistry.
S'ganit Rosh HaMidrasha
Aviva Sterman is currently completing her certification to be a Yoetzet Halacha at Nishmat. She has a master’s degree in Talmudic Interpretation from YU and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from NYU. Aviva has been involved in formal and informal Jewish education, including as a Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus fellow at Princeton University and teaching in shuls and other venues throughout the New York area. She has also worked in non-profit administration, for organizations such as Hazon, Young Judaea, and Consumer Reports. Aviva made Aliya with her family in 2015 and currently lives in Givat Shmuel with her husband and two adorable daughters.
Director of Community Engagemend and Eim Bayit
Having spent her childhood in Israel, Shira Greenspan finally returned this year with her husband and two sons. Shira has spent the last six years teaching Tanach, Halacha, and Tefilla at Yeshivat Noam and Ramaz Upper School, as well as through various lectures and workshops. She is passionate about improving the quality of Jewish education; she has partnered with organizations such as the IDEA Schools Network and Facing History and Ourselves to provide advanced professional development and training to teachers in the US. Shira is also a recent winner of the prestigious Kohelet Prize for innovation in Jewish education.
After a year of studying in Midreshet Harova, Shira earned her BA in psychology from Yeshiva University and her MA in Jewish Eduction and Administration as part of the Accelerated Cohort at Azrieli Graduate School. She is also a certified Morah LaGola from Michlelet Efrata in Yerushalayim.
The Greenspan family will be living right near the Midrasha in Modi'in and look forward to welcoming everyone into their home.
Rabbi Jonathan Duker
Director of Special Programming
Rabbi Jonathan Duker earned his BA and MA in Jewish History from Yeshiva University and received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He is a lecturer of Jewish Thought and Talmud for Matan – The Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies in Beit Shemesh. He is the author of The Spirits Behind the Law: The Talmudic Scholars (Urim Publications). Rabbi Duker lives in Beit Shemesh with his wife Susan and their four children.
Yael Abramowitz is a licensed rappelling, canyoning and climbing guide and
founder of Extreme Adventuring, a widely popular and intense Israel exploration and tourism business, where she uses the outdoors to build confidence, teamwork, communication and trust. Yael is particularly passionate about empowering women and teen girls to explore new horizons and to reach for the stars through outdoor challenge and adventure.
After years working as the program director of "Pioneers," an outdoor survival training program in Camp Sternberg, and spending the last decade coaching and empowering teens to use their inner strength to overcome life's challenges, Yael felt it was time to bring her work home: to Israel. It seems natural that Yael would bring her creativity and expertise in upping the ante to Amudim, where we're always taking things to the next level! Yael says "I love what I do, because I do what I love! In the end it's all about the push, the leap, which only you can give yourself. My job is to help you find it. So push yourself! Take the leap!”
Debbie graduated from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey with a B.A. in Sociology and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work in New York City. Debbie currently lives with her husband and two sons in Modi'in, Israel.
Internship and Chesed Coordinator
Mira Aronson has an MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, as well as a BA in Psychology from Touro College. She has worked both as a Madricha and an Eim Bayit at Midreshet Lindenbaum, and has spent the past 8 years as coordinator of the Melabev Bat Mitzvah program in Beit Shemesh, arranging a variety of chesed projects for girls prior to their bat mitzvah. Mira has also worked with the elderly at the Melabev Senior Center, and in early childhood development. As Amudim’s chesed/internship coordinator, Mira uses her special ability to connect with each student to place them in a setting best suited to their personal growth. She lives in Beit Shemesh with her husband and four children.
Channa Lockshin Bob
Channa Lockshin Bob is Head of Judaics at the Yachad School, a mixed religious-secular school in Modi'in. She has taught Talmud and Halacha at Midreshet Lindenbaum. Before making aliyah in 2009, Channa taught Talmud and Halacha at Drisha and at Maayanot Yeshiva High School. Channa has an MA in Religion from Columbia University and is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle.
Dr. Miryam Brand
Dr. Miryam Brand holds a PhD in Bible and Second Temple Literature from New York University and an MA in Bible and Biblical Interpretation from Matan and Haifa University. Her book on the portrayal of sin in the Second Temple period, Evil Within and Without: The Source of Sin and Its Nature as Portrayed in Second Temple Literature, was published in 2013. She has taught at Brown University, New York University, and Stern College and has spoken at Matan, Hebrew University, Cambridge University, and the University of Kiel. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.
As part of Amudim’s goal to foster healthy mind, body and spirit, Tova Eastman, founder of Ignite Fitness for Women and well-known personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist and fitness motivator, will bring her friendly, energetic, encouraging, and goal-oriented style of training into Amudim's weekly Chilutz Atzamot sessions. ACE certified, with multiple years of experience working with women and girls of all ages, Tova will take the students out of the Beit Midrash and into the studio to work on toning, cardio, strength, and agility training, and offer boot camps and classes in Zumba, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and other combinations of exercise that they will choose. As with all of her clients, Tova will push the students to work to their potential without going past their maximum limits of exertion and will help them to “Think Higher” in every aspect of their Amudim experience.
Rabbi Uri Goldstein
R. Uri Goldstein is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Mercaz Yeshivot and Ulpanot Bnei Akiva and Rav Beit Sefer of Orot Banot school in Beit Shemesh. He also teaches in a number of high schools and seminaries. He received ordination from Yeshiva University. Before making Aliyah in July 2016, he was Rabbi of Congregation Ahavat Achim in Fair Lawn NJ for ten years, and assistant Rabbi at Park East Synagogue in NYC. Along with his wife and Rosh HaMidrasha of Amudim, Dr. Julie Goldstein, Rav Uri established and directed the Jewish Learning Initiative (now JLIC) at UCLA. The Goldsteins reside in Beit Shemesh with their five children.
Rabbi Ashi Harow
Rabbi Ashi Harow studied at Yeshivat HaKotel. After completing the hesder program (serving in the Artillery Corps of the IDF), he continued his studies and earned his Semicha from the Rabbanut of Israel. He has served as Shoel Umeishiv, taught at the Ner Tamid High School in Hashmonaim and currently teaches at Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Lapid in Modi'in.
Dr. Hannah Hashkes
Dr. Hannah Hashkes is a fellow at the Susi Bradfield Women's Institute for Halakhic Leadership in Jerusalem. She earned her PhD in philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2005 and since then has been teaching and lecturing in Jewish thought, gender and literature. Her book, Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge: The Study of Torah is Equal to Them All (2015), discusses Torah study and halakha in terms of contemporary philosophy. Dr. Hashkes serves on the executive board of Beit Hillel. She and her husband live in Jerusalem and have four children.
Rabbi Jonathan Mishkin
Rabbi Jonathan Mishkin received his semicha from Yeshiva University where he also earned an MA in Tanakh. He is a writer and a teacher who has been active in Jewish education for close to twenty years. Known for the extraordinary preparation he invests in each shiur, his uncanny ability to make everything he teaches fascinating, his fearlessness in the face of the most daunting questions in Jewish life, and his deadpan sense of humor, Rabbi Mishkin is also the author of an on-line encyclopedia of everybody in Tanakh (www.tanakhprofiles.org) and has recently finished writing a book on informal Jewish education. He lives in Alon Shvut, Israel, with his wife Shulie and their four kids.
Dr. Avigail Rock
Dr. Avigail Rock holds a PhD in Tanach from Bar-Ilan University, has been teaching Tanach and Torah Shebeal Peh for over two decades in Israel and abroad. Her online classes appear regularly through Yeshivat Har-Etzion's Virtual Bet Midrash,. She is a certified Rabbinical Advocate and lives in Bet Shemesh with her husband, Rabbi Yehuda Rock, and their five children.
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks is the founding director of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education and its WebYeshiva.org program, and is an Associate Editor of the journal Tradition. Rabbi Saks is the Series Editor of The S.Y. Agnon Library at The Toby Press, and lectures regularly at the Agnon House in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Shore
R. Dr. Eliezer Shore is a teacher of Jewish thought and spirituality who has studied with some of the great Hasidic masters of today. In addition to receiving rabbinic ordination from R. Zalman Nechemia Goldberg and maintaining deep commitment to Jewish life and practice, he has a university background in comparative religion, an M.A. in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from Bar Ilan University. His unique approach to teaching analyzes Jewish texts not only for what they say, but for what they mean - culturally, historically and philosophically. Besides Amudim, R. Shore teaches as the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University and Michlalah Jerusalem. His recent book, The Face of the Waters, is an anthology of thought-provoking essays and stories based upon Hasidic teachings. He is also a dynamic storyteller, whose original tales and renderings have appeared in various anthologies and been read over international radio. He lives in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood of Jerusalem with his wife and five children.
Shonny Solow served as the dean of Machon Gold, a women's seminary in Jerusalem, until 2007, and then led the Educational Leadership Advancement Initiative of Bar Ilan Universty's Lookstein Center, an educational leadership program in New York, until 2014. A resident of Modi'in, she is currently an adult education professional in Jerusalem and Modi'in.
Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf
Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf, of the Talmud Department at Bar-Ilan University, is an internationally known scholar, lecturer and public figure. He specializes in the History of Halakhah, Medieval and Renaissance Jewish History, and the inter-action between Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and is the author of The Fabric of Religious Life in Medieval Ashkenaz.
Rabbi Joshua Yuter
Rabbi Joshua Yuter received ordination from YU, where he also earned a BA in Computer Science and an MA in Talmudic Studies. He also holds an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He served as the rabbi of The Stanton St. Shul on New York’s historic Lower East Side from 2008-2014 and is an award winning blogger, as well as writer and lecturer on various issues pertaining to law, theology, and society as seen from the unique perspective of a second-generation Rabbi with diverse personal and professional experiences and interests. In 2012 he was acknowledged by the National Jewish Outreach Program as one of the Top Ten Jewish Influencers for “creative and strategic use of social media to positively impact the Jewish community” and in 2014 was named one of PC Magazine’s Top 100 People to Follow. In addition to his academic pursuits, Rabbi Yuter has worked as an applications developer for Information Builders and JPMorgan Chase and created www.JewishGuitarChords.com.
Rabbanit Shira Zimmerman
Rabbanit Shira Zimmerman is a graduate of the the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership at Midreshet Lindenbaum (the equivalent of the chief rabbinate’s semikha for men) and the Matan Institute for Advanced Talmudic Learning. She also holds a BA in Talmud and Tanakh from Bar Ilan. Rabbanit Shira is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Midreshet Emunah V’Omanut and has spent many years giving shiurim in Gemara, Halacha, and Tanach to seminary students and her community in Gush Etzion.
Shaindy Zudick has been working as a Jewish educator for more than three decades and is currently an instructor at The Lookstein Center. She has taught Tanach and Jewish history at several schools including Hillel Yeshiva High School, Kushner Yeshiva High School, and Solomon Schechter High School, all in New Jersey. Before moving to Israel, Mrs. Zudick was the Associate Principal of Judaic Studies in The Frisch School. She holds an MA in Jewish History from YU and an MA in Speech Pathology from Hunter College. Throughout her tenure, Mrs. Zudick has always been devoted to students inside and outside the classroom, devoting time to programming, activities, and student guidance.