Beit Midrash Bio’s

Calev Ben-Dor made Aliya from London in December 2005. He is Director of Research at BICOM, and has previously worked as an analyst in the Policy Planning Department of Israel‘s Foreign Ministry and in the Reut Institute. In his spare time he teaches and lectures on Jewish and Zionist thought to a variety of audiences and is a member of the David Cardozo Academy’s Jerusalem Think Tank, a forum of Jewish thinkers, educators and leaders which explores a wide range of Jewish topics.

Yishai Fleisher is the International Spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron. He is also Contributing Editor at com and a broadcaster on the LandofIsrael.com. Yishai is a frequent columnist for major English language news and analysis websites in Israel including Breitbart Jerusalem, Jerusalem Post, Israel HaYom, and has been featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox, Vice, BBC, and more. He is the founder and director of Kumah, a nonprofit organization in Israel and the United States that works to enhance the world’s connection to Israel and strengthen Israel’s national character.

Born in Haifa to Russian refusenik scientists who escaped to Israel in the 1970s, Yishai’s childhood was spent speaking Russian at home, and Hebrew and Arabic while playing, in daycare, or at school. After his IDF active duty, Yishai returned to the US to pursue post-secondary education. He completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science at Yeshiva University and received his Juris Doctorate from the Cardozo School of Law with a focus on international law. Later, in Jerusalem, Yishai received rabbinic ordination from Kollel Agudat Achim.

Peta Jones Pellach joined Shir Hadash when she came on Aliyah seven years ago from Australia, where she had a long career in Jewish Education. During her time in Israel as a Jerusalem Fellow, she had the privilege of studying with Nehama Leibowitz, who was the most important influence on her teaching and values. She currently holds a number of professional and teaching positions, including Director of Educational Activities for the Elijah Interfaith Institute, an international forum for dialogue between religious leaders and scholars. She is a competitive Scrabble player and an Israeli folk­dance enthusiast and, most importantly, mother and grandmother.

Rabbi Robert I. Rhodes is a popular teacher of chassidut and Bible in and around Jerusalem with a unique ability to explain things in plain English. He is a graduate of Jews’ College, London and a musmach of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Robert was a congregational rabbi in America and Canada for twenty years. He came  on aliya four years ago with his wife and one out of two adult children and now lives in Mekor Chayim.

Rabbi Sam Shor is the Program Director of the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem, where he oversees a vast network of classes, tours, and social programming for Jerusalem’s Anglo community. Prior to joining the Israel Center, Rabbi Shor was a popular teacher and mentor to young rabbis at both Isralight and Shir Hadash in Jerusalem. For the past two decades, Rabbi Shor has gained acclaim for his inspirational teaching in Israel and North America. Rabbi Shor lives with his family in Jerusalem’s Katamon neighborhood where he is a popular Torah teacher for the English speaking community .

Rabbi Ariel Tal is an experienced educator, Rabbi and marketing expert, serving in positions in both North America and Israel. Rabbi Tal has a B.Ed from Ohalo College in the Golan Heights, Israel, Rabbinical Semicha from Israel Chief Rabbinate, and is a Personal Coach through Da’at U’Tevuna School in Rechovot, Israel. From 2010 – 2013 Rabbi Tal taught in Toronto at Netivot HaTorah Day School.  There he managed the informal educational department of the Middle School and Elementary school including the tefillah program.

In 2014-2015 Rabbi Tal served as Marketing Director for Livnot U’Lehibanot in Tzfat. Rabbi Tal created a new leadership program and filled both campuses throughout the summer with three programs running simultaneously. The decision to initiate The Tefilla Project stems from his experience and expertise as both an educator and a Personal Life Coach, creating a platform for quality educational consulting and support.

Yael Unterman grew up in Manchester, England, and has lived in Israel since age 18. In addition to her advanced Torah studies, she earned a BA in Psychology/Talmud (Bar-Ilan University), and Masters degrees in Jewish History (Touro College) and Creative Writing (Bar-Ilan University). She is an acclaimed international lecturer and has run 300 Bibliodrama workshops in many locations around the world.
Her first book is Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar (Urim Publications), a biography of the legendary Torah teacher and finalist in the 2009 National Jewish Book Awards. Her second book The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longing (Yotzeret Publishing), a collection of fictional tales of young Jews searching for love, spiritual connection and identity, was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards.

Rabbi Menachem Weinberg originally from Toronto, holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and an M.A. in Judaic Studies, was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and for ten years served as the community Rabbi of Alon, a joint secular and religious town near Jerusalem. For over twenty years he has guided students from around the world in varied educational frameworks, including Yeshivat Har Etzion and Orot College for Women, and currently teaches the advanced Talmud class at Machon Meir. He also ran Jewish identity and conversion preparation programming for new immigrants on Israel’s college campuses, and directed the Hillel Beit Midrash Program at the Hebrew University. A certified ADR mediator (Megasher) and psychotherapist in private practice, he is also an active member of Tzohar Rabbis, officiating at weddings for religious and nonreligious couples. He lives in Tekoa with his wife Gila and four children.

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