Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies

Rabbi Yosef Blau

Rabbi Yosef Blau has been mashgiach ruchani (spiritual guidance counselor) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University since 1977. He also serves as spiritual guidance counselor for students at Yeshiva College. Rabbi Blau earned a BA in 1959 from Yeshiva College and an MS at Yeshiva’s Belfer Graduate School of Science in 1960. He was ordained at RIETS in 1961. Rabbis Blau is president of the Religious Zionists of America and served as national president of Yavneh, the National Religious Jewish Students’ Association. He is a former national vice president of the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals. An author of many articles on Jewish thought, Rabbi Blau became a member of the Orthodox Forum in 1989. He is a former member of the executive board of the Orthodox Caucus, was a delegate from the Religious Zionists of America to the World Zionist Congress and was elected a member of the Vaad Hapoel of the World Zionist Organization. Sample Titles Preserving the Jewish Character of Israel Challenges facing religious Zionism Halakhic Responses to scientific, economic, and social changes in society Women’s role in Orthodox Judaism The ethical dimension in Judaism Relating to non-Orthodox Jews Living in democratic America: An Orthodox Jewish perspective Moshe and Aharon: Balancing Truth and Peace Religion and Superstition A historical analysis of Orthodoxy in...


Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a Maggid-shiur at Yeshiva University, is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author and lecturer. He has written 12 highly acclaimed and best-selling books, with combined sales of close to half a million copies, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism and Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, which was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as the single best book on Judaism in our generation. Together with an accompanying six-hour video, filmed by the producers of 20/20 and featuring Rabbi Blech, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed is used in study groups in numerous synagogues and universities around the country. His book Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs was featured in a full-page article in the New York Times and his If God is Good, Why Is The World So Bad? has been translated into Indonesian, where it has had a powerful reception in the wake of the country’s tsunami. Rabbi Blech’s most recent book is The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s starting work on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, this groundbreaking book is already the subject of huge interest, discussion and controversy. Translated into 15 languages, available in 25 countries, a first printing of 100,000 copies by HarperOne, movie and TV rights presently in negotiation with three major film companies and with national TV coverage, this major work proves that Michelangelo incorporated many teachings of Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah into the Sistine Chapel. As a result of a personal meeting with the late Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Blech was instrumental in securing the loan of Jewish manuscripts for exhibition in Israel and he is involved in further negotiations for the return of precious Judaica held by the Vatican that may prove to be of historic significance. Rabbi Blech, a 10th generation rabbi, is rabbi emeritus...


Rabbi Meir Goldwicht

Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, a prominent Israeli scholar and educator, is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva and a rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University. He is also head rosh yeshiva at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program. Rabbi Goldwicht received semikha from the renowned rabbinic authorities Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg, former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem HaRav HaGaon Betzallel Zolti and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, HaRav Rashi of Israel. Rabbi Goldwicht delivers Hebrew and English shiurim (lectures) extensively across the metropolitan area, throughout the United States and in Israel, including weekly evening shiurim in 5 New York area communities. He has delivered more than 1,000 inspiring shiurim every year to grateful audiences. Rabbi Goldwicht is also rosh kollel at Camp Mesorah. Sample Titles Chazal’s Perspective on Daily Life Situations The Secret of the Strength and Power of our People, from Megillat Esther Until Today Greek Culture Then and Now Yerushalayim Kisei Hashem, Yesterday and Today in the Perspective of Chazal...


Rabbi Daniel Rapp

Rabbi Daniel Rapp teaches at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program and Mazer Yeshiva Program at Yeshiva University, and is currently the Rabbi of the East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Rabbi Rapp received his BA, cum laude, from Yeshiva College and his juris doctor from Columbia University School of Law, where he was twice named a Harlen Fisk Stone scholar for academic excellence and was articles editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. In addition, he spent two and a half years studying at Yeshivat Kerem B’yavneh in Israel and was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, receiving Yadin Yadin semikha. Rabbi Rapp is a dayan (judge) at the Beth Din of America. He has lectured on a wide range of topics, with a focus on the interface between halakha and the modern world. Sample Titles The 9-11 Agunah Cases The Counterfeiters: Can you help the Nazis to Save your Life? Magic and the Supernatural The Messiah in Judaism The Third Temple in Jerusalem Introduction to the Messianic Age: The Battle Between Gog u-Magog The 13 Principles of Faith in Judaism Physician Assisted Suicide in Jewish Law Is Thanksgiving Kosher: The Halakhic Debate Parameters of Competition in Jewish Law Is there a Biblical Commandment of...


Rabbi Yona Reiss

Rabbi Yona Reiss, a noted Torah scholar, attorney and jurist, is the Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University (RIETS). He previously served as the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. Rabbi Reiss is a summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College and went on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Law Journal. He received semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he also earned the distinction of Yadin Yadin. Rabbi Reiss served as director of the Beth Din of America from 1998 to 2008. In his directorship of the Beth Din, Rabbi Reiss worked to resolve cases of agunot and popularized the use of the Rabbinical Council of America pre-nuptial agreement as a protection against future agunah problems. From 1992 to 1998, Rabbi Reiss was an associate at the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Manhattan. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, a certified mediator for the City of New York court system and a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council for New York. Rabbi Reiss serves on the editorial board of Tradition magazine. A frequent writer on a variety of topics relating to both Jewish and secular law, he has published widely in Jewish publications, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and New York Law Journal. Sample Titles Should a Good Jewish Boy/Girl be a Lawyer? Jew vs. Jew in Secular Courts Teshuva as Liberation: The Joy of Being Only Human The Power and Limitations of Jewish Justice Litigating Outside of Beis Din The Yamim Noraim: A Wake Up Call for Teshuva Contemporary Aspects of the...


Rabbi Moshe Tessone

Rabbi Moshe Tessone is Director of The Sephardic Community Program at Yeshiva University and a distinguished faculty member at Yeshiva University’s Belz School of Jewish Music and at the Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies (IBC) where he teaches Halakha (Jewish law) and Sephardic customs. Moshe Tessone has toured extensively throughout North America, Latin America and Israel as a distinguished speaker on topics related to Torah, issues of Sephardic interest and Jewish education. He has also performed as a concert soloist featuring Judeo Arabic and Judeo Spanish religious music, prayer and liturgy. Rabbi Tessone received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, and earned his Masters degree in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at YU. Moshe Tessone released his debut Sephardic Album/CD, entitled Odeh La’ El in Jan 2005. His newer album of original Jewish Sephardic pop music entitled Hakshiva was released in March of 2006, to great acclaim. Sample Titles Contemporary Sephardic Communities in America: Who Are the Sephardim? Jewish Leadership in the Sephardic Community: Understanding the Culture of the Sephardic Communal World Sephardic Liturgical Music: Judeo Arabic and Judeo Spanish Sounds and History Sephardim Vs Mizrahim: A Cultural and Halakhic Comparison Sephardic Integration: A Jewish Communal Challenge Middle Eastern Jewry: Understanding Judeo Arabic Culture Jewish Communities of The Islamic World : A Historical and Cultural Overview The Syrian Community of North America: A Historical Overview, and it’s Communal Life The Jews of Panama: A Historical Overview and Communal Life The Secret to Jewish Prayer: Understanding the concept of Avodah She’Balev The Jewish Patriarchs as a Paradigm of Jewish History: “Ma’aseh Avot Seeman Le’banim” How Can We Learn from Jewish Role Models: The Life and Times of Avraham, Yitzhak & Yaakov Expressing Gratitude Through Hallel: Understanding The Halakhic and Talmudic Sources for Hallel Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut? : Is There a Halakhic...

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