Shapell’s/Darché Noam to Welcome a New Rosh Yeshiva!

Jun 07, 2017

Shapell’s/Darché Noam is excited to share that Rabbi Dovid Schoonmaker has been appointed as the new Rosh Yeshiva of Shapell’s/Yeshiva Darché Noam as of this coming Elul. Rabbi Yitzchak Hirshfeld (co-founder and current Rosh Yeshiva) will assume the position of Rosh Yeshiva Emeritus.

Rabbi Schoonmaker comes to Shapell’s after 15 successful years at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah. For the past six years, he has served as Rosh Beit Midrash and given a daily, methodology based Gemara class to their advanced level students. During his years at Aish, he developed curricula and programs for the Yeshiva, created their current semicha program, mentored faculty and has guided the academic and spiritual growth of hundreds of students. He has also served as Mashgiach of the Yeshiva, was Director of Aish’s outreach division and led a team that revamped their famous Discovery seminar. Rabbi Schoonmaker was highly recommended by Rabbi Steven Burg, the Director General of Aish HaTorah, as well as by many colleagues.

Rabbi Schoonmaker is the author of טעמי ספר החינוך which is a “user friendly” version of the classic Sefer haChinuch, קונטרס פתחי שמחת יום טוב which is a work about joy on Yom Tov and in Mitzvot and Avodah Thoughts – monthly essays on mussar ideas. An alumus of NCSY (and later a faculty member of their acclaimed Summer Kollel), he learned at Kerem B’Yavneh, Heichal HaTorah, Yeshivas Mir and Birchas Mordechai, and has smicha from HaRav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, שליט”א.

Rabbi Schoonmaker’s wife, Dina, is herself an accomplished adult educator. She is on the administration of Michlala and teaches in a number of different seminaries and women’s mussar groups. They are blessed with seven children and three grandchildren.

Rabbi Hirshfeld shared, “Even though I have known him only for a few months, I sense in Rabbi Schoonmaker a kindred spirit who is in tune with our culture and our educational goals. I foresee a new era of innovation and expansion as Shapell’s carries on with its traditions of excellence in Torah education.”

Rabbi Schoonmaker commented, “I am honored and humbled to accept the position of Rosh Yeshiva at Shapell’s. The chance to work together with such dedicated and accomplished rebbeim to help the Yeshiva thrive is one that I so look forward to. I hope to further develop the program to meet the needs of the new generation of students, to help each and every student to learn and to grow and – of course – to build on the incredibly rich Shapell’s tradition. My wife and I look forward to hosting students and alumni in our home, and to becoming part of the Shapell’s family.”

Rabbi Schoonmaker invites students, alumni and friends to introduce themselves to him and to begin the discussion about the next generation of Shapell’s/Yeshiva Darché Noam. Starting in Elul, you’ll find him in our Beit Midrash. But in the meantime, feel free to email him at

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