and professional backgrounds, but are united by their concern for the ongoing development of each student. Roshei Yeshiva, Mashgichim, and teachers provide one-on-one guidance and a family-like community atmosphere at the yeshiva, answering questions, listening, and learning together. Our faculty hails from a broad array of the world’s best yeshivot, including Mir, Lakewood, Brisk, Yeshiva University, Kerem B’Yavneh, Har Etzion, and our very own, Shapell’s -- and together, they weave a tapestry of Jewish life that exposes students to differing perspectives on Avodat Hashem and Jewish life.
Originally from Chicago, Rabbi Hirshfeld is a graduate of the Hebrew Theological College (“Skokie Yeshiva”). In 1969, after completing a BA in Mathematics at Roosevelt University, he came to Israel and was privileged to learn at Mir Yeshiva from Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l and Rabbi Nachum Pertzovich zt”l. Before co-founding Yeshiva Darche Noam in 1978, Rabbi Hirshfeld taught at the original Shapell College and at Aish HaTorah. For 39 years, Rabbi Hirshfeld served as our Rosh Yeshiva, devoting his energy and talent to our students and alumni.
At the end of the 5777 summer zman, Rabbi Hirshfeld retired from his position as Rosh Yeshiva. As Rosh Yeshiva Emeritus, however, he is far from retired. He continues to teach Gemara and other subjects in his daily shiurim. Regarded by many students as the father figure of the yeshiva, Rabbi Hirshfeld can often be found meeting one-on-one with students, and continues to be a resource for alumni and their families in Israel and around the world.
Rabbi Karlinsky is co-founder and dean of both Shapell’s/Darche Noam and our sister seminary for women, Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya. His reputation as an expert educator is a reflection of both his academic training and his motivational personality. Through his direct approach of questioning students and forcing them to question themselves, he has succeeded in awakening inquiring minds for Torah study throughout the years. A Los Angeles native, Rabbi Karlinsky studied at UCLA before going to Israel in 1968, to study at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and the Mir Yeshiva. After receiving smicha from ITRI, he completed a Master’s degree in educational psychology at Philadelphia’s Temple University and returned to Israel in 1975. His “eye” for connecting with students on their individual levels and his ability to see straight to the core of issues can be partially attributed to skills gained from his work as a widely published photojournalist.
Rabbi Schoonmaker came to Shapell’s in Elul, 5777 after 16 successful years at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah. Rabbi Schoonmaker has brought many new initiatives that have enhanced the academic, spiritual and emotional aspects of our programs. He is deeply involved in the lives of all of our students who are inspired by his wisdom, warmth and excitement. He also teaches weekly at Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya.
While at Aish HaTorah, he served for as Rosh Beit Midrash and gave a daily, methodology based Gemara class. He developed curricula and programs for the Yeshiva, mentored faculty and has guided the academic and spiritual growth of hundreds of students.
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.
Each week, Rabbi Schoonmaker sends our 2 short videos via WhatsApp:
1) an inspirational 1-2 minute inspirational clip on mussar and hashkafa. To join more than 325 members of to the “RDS Weekly” WhatsApp group click https://chat.whatsapp.com/
2) a 5 minute video on Gedolei Yisrael. To join more than 165 members click: https://chat.whatsapp.
He is also the founder and teacher of “Finish Moed BH,” a unique on line program (including review plan and summaries) to enable advanced learners to finish all of Seder Moed and Mesechet Brachot in Gemara in eight years AND “Finish a Masechta.” For more information, visit https://shapellsjerusalem.com/finishmasechta/.
Rabbi Shuster’s many classes, open home, and regular presence in the yeshiva endear him to students as a combination of rebbe, guidance counselor, friend, and mentor. His multifaceted educational background makes him especially suited to serve the wide variety of students who learn at Shapell’s. Rabbi Shuster learned in Yeshivat Hakotel and Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin, and remains a regular and close student of the Tolner Rebbe shlit”a in Jerusalem. A Boston native, Rabbi Shuster is a graduate of Tufts University, and spent years combining his Torah study with a career in computers. In addition to teaching at Shapell’s, Midreshet Rachel, and other area seminaries, Rabbi Shuster has taught in Skokie Yeshiva and Machon Lev.
Rabbi Shuster’s “shmuze” – a masterful weave of divrei Torah, good advice, mussar, anecdotes, and humor – is among the highlights of the Shapell’s experience. Through one-on-one discussions, shiurim in mussar, chassidus, and hashkafa, and the weekly Shalosh Seudos that he hosts for students, he helps our students – and the many alumni who continue to consult with him – more deeply connect with the Torah.
Rabbi Cohen leads the Semicha preparation program at the yeshiva, guiding advanced students as they work out the complexities of halacha and difficult source material. Owing to his easygoing and friendly nature, Rabbi Cohen is also a resource for students of any level looking for guidance and answers to day-to-day and complex halachic questions. With a father who worked for the Mossad, he traveled the world as a child, living in France, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Turkey and Italy. Finally settling in Brooklyn, New York, he spent 18 years in the business world, spending his spare time as an avid golfer and golf instructor. He has been learning at Yeshivat Darche Noam/David Shapell College since 1995 and received semicha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Cohen lives in Jerusalem with his wife Orna and four children.
Rabbi Farber is one of the pillars of the Shapell’s beit midrash, arriving early each day to learn with current students and alumni and share his unique brand of wisdom and holiness. From 1990 to 2010, Rabbi Farber gave daily shiurim in Gemara and Hashkafa, and now serves our students as study partner and treasured advisor. A close talmid of Rav Yitzchak Hutner zt”l, Rabbi Farber is an expert on Rav Hutner’s monumental work Pachad Yitzchak, in addition to the writings of the Maharal and the Ramchal. Rav Farber continually radiates Torah words and Torah ideals, and his love for all the students can be seen through his well-known and enthusiastic participation in the joyous celebrations and simchas of the yeshiva community. Rabbi Farber is a graduate of both Mesivta Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin and Brooklyn College.
Rabbi Fischer introduces beginning students at Shapell’s to the fundamentals of Hebrew language and understanding the Biblical text. He has a BA in English Literature from Yeshiva University, Smicha from RIETS, and an MA in English Literature from NYU. After serving as Rabbi and educator at a small congregation in New Jersey, Rabbi Fischer made aliya in 1986. He was Director of Jewish Studies at the WUJS Institute in Arad, and teaches at a number of educational and outreach programs, including Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya – Shapell’s sister seminary for women. His warmth and wit make learning Hebrew fun and students of all levels enjoy speaking with Rav Fischer about language and life.
Rabbi Haber – whose wide-ranging Torah knowledge is expressed in every one of his classes – is known for the clarity of presentation and dynamic teaching style that highlight his Gemara and Halacha shiurim. An enthusiastic educator, he came to Shapell´s in 2007 with a decade of expertise in high-level Torah education at Yeshiva University: as a rebbe in YU´s Stone Beit Midrash Program; as coordinator of the practical halacha learning program for semicha students at RIETS; and as a teacher of Halacha, Jewish thought, and prayer at Stern College for Women. Rabbi Haber is a graduate of Yeshivat Kerem B´Yavneh and Yeshiva University, holds a master’s degree in Computer Science, and was a fellow at YU’s prestigious Kollel Elyon. He is a dedicated student of Rav Hershel Schachter shlit”a and Rav Mordechai Willig shlit”a and shares with his students the mesorah of Torah from Rav Soloveitchik that he received from his rabbis.
Rabbi Meshulam Isaac has been at Shapell’s/Darche Noam almost since the beginning, joining the faculty in 1979. From that time through 2011, Rav Meshulam – as he’s known by all – introduced more than a generation of Shapell’s students to the vocabulary and style of Gemara. Revered by both students and faculty for his expertise in the workings of the Gemara, he now serves fortunate students as a one-on-one study partner,and serves faculty colleagues through his well-refined knowledge of the function of every phrase and word in the Talmud. With a ready story and great wit, he can often be found sharing his life wisdom with students. Raised in Detroit, he studied with Rav Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l, accompanying Rav Scheinberg when the yeshiva moved to Israel in 1966, and has been teaching Torah for over 40 years.
Having grown up around the yeshiva, Rabbi Ephraim Karlinsky is known to decades of Shapell’s students and alumni. Since 2010, Rabbi Karlinsky has dedicated his energy and sharp intellect to his role as Night Seder Rebbe, assisting beginning and advanced students in reviewing their daily learning and embarking on independent learning projects. Rabbi Karlinsky – or “Rav Ephraim” as he is affectionately known – is a graduate of Ateres Yisrael Yeshiva and has been a full-time student and scholar at Mir Yeshiva since 2002.
Rabbi Kamenetsky teaches our most advanced students both Gemara and Hashkafa. Rabbi Kamenetsky, a great scholar and scion of a famous family of Torah giants, grew up in Israel and studied at the Mir Yeshiva and ITRI. He is a professional sofer and teaches daily Gemara classes – both in the morning and at night – to working men, many of whom have studied with him for many years and through many tractates. The breadth of his knowledge acquired during years of teaching the complete Talmud with his students serves as an inspiration for the students in his classes at Shapell’s.
Rabbi Yonatan Kohn joined our faculty as a Gemara Rebbe in Elul Zman of 5776. Previously, he taught in the overseas programs at Yeshivat Kerem BeYavneh and Shaalvim for Women. Rabbi Kohn has also written and edited both for the Koren English language Talmud Bavli and Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon’s Halacha Education Center. He grew up in Chicago where he graduated from Fasman Yeshiva High School at “Skokie Yeshiva.” Rabbi Kohn studied at Shaalvim and then attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a degree in Jewish history. After teaching for one year in the Maimonides School in Boston, he made aliyah and studied at Yeshiva University’s Gruss Kollel, where he earned smicha. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Jewish history from Machon Lander and is completing a second Master’s degree from Ben Gurion University. Rabbi Kohn lives in Yad Binyamin with his wife and six children.
Many of our newest students have the pleasure of learning in Rabbi Kwass’ Gemara shiur. His gifted teaching and his warm and welcoming demeanor make the acquisition of learning skills a rare delight. Rabbi Kwass, originally from Milwaukee, received smicha and a masters degree in Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University, studied for many years under Rav Yehuda Amital zt”l and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l at Yeshivat Har Etzion, and has been teaching at Shapell’s/Darche Noam since 1997. Rabbi Kwass combines his tremendous Torah knowledge and gift for writing as the editor and lead author of our weekly Daf Kesher (study guide and Divrei Torah related to the weekly parsha) and gives a weekly online chabura for alumni. When you add his warm and easygoing nature to his many talents, it’s no surprise that Rabbi Kwass is so popular with his students.
Rabbi Lerner, a Shapell’s/Darche Noam alumnus who returned to teach here, teaches Halacha and Parsha, coordinates night seder, and is a popular teacher at our sister seminary, Midreshet Rachel. Rabbi Lerner is especially well-known for his outgoing personality and good humor, and can often be found in animated discussion with students on life issues and Torah growth. After completing his BA in International Relations from Concordia University in his hometown, Montreal, Rabbi Lerner began his studies at Shapell’s in 1992. After three years at Shapell’s, he went on to learn at Medrash Shmuel and received smicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlit”a. Rabbi Lerner continues to pursue high level Talmud study, and together with his family, frequently hosts students in their Betar Illit home.
Students from England and everywhere else enjoy the halacha classes of Rabbi Nissim, a London native. A devoted student of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l – from whom he learned for nearly 20 years – Rabbi Nissim is also an alumnus of Ohr Somayach and Mercaz Hatorah. In addition to teaching at Shapell’s/Darche Noam and other yeshivot, Rabbi Nissim works diligently as a sofer, writing mezuzot and sifrei Torah. Students enjoy Rabbi Nissim’s warmth and easygoing way and frequently consult with him on halachic questions of a wide variety. Rabbi Nissim lives in Neve Yaacov, Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Born and raised in Toronto, Rabbi Schneider brings a broad range of perspectives and opinions to his shiurim culled from his experiences in a variety of educational institutions. While still in Toronto, Rabbi Schneider earned degrees in Criminology, History, Philosophy of Law and Social Thought and a professional certificate in Dispute Resolution. An alumnus of Shapell’s, Rabbi Schneider learned in the Mir Yeshiva for a number of years before joining Yeshiva University’s Gruss Kollel from which he received smicha. During this time he also received a Masters in Jewish Education and Administration, a certificate studying the interplay between Halacha and Fertility and smicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Schneider continued to learn full-time in a small kollel before returning to the Gruss Kollel where he continues to learn in the mornings.
More than anything else, the Gemara teaching of Rabbi Silverberg gives Shapell’s/Darche Noam the reputation that it enjoys as the premier place to “learn how to learn”. Rabbi Silverberg helps students learn how to break down the Gemara into its component parts and pays careful individual attention to the development of each and every student in his popular class. Himself a Shapell’s alumnus, he came to Israel at 27, and, after six years of intensive yeshiva study, was the first alumnus to join the full-time faculty. Born and raised in Toronto, Rabbi Silverberg has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and worked for an electric corporation in Canada before arriving in Israel. His wit and humility endear him to his students, and his teaching – filled with lively debate and discussion – challenges students to develop the skills of a self-sufficient Gemara learner.
Rabbi Binyamin Wolff is the director of the Executive Learning Program. Rabbi Wolff comes to Shapell’s with a great deal of experience teaching Torah to well educated professionals. He teaches a very popular Daf Yomi class in the Rechavia neighborhood, where he has also spearheaded and directed community learning organizations for well over a decade. He has taught extensively at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center, and continues to serve on the faculty of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah. He holds rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and is an alumnus of both Yeshivat Mir and Yeshivat Kerem b’Yavneh.
Rabbi Shmuel Jablon joined Shapell’s/Darche Noam in the spring of 5775 (2015), having made aliyah with his family the previous summer. Prior to his aliyah, he served as a Jewish Day School administrator in the U.S. for 17 years. A musmach of Hebrew Theological College (Skokie Yeshiva), he also holds a Masters in Education and has significant experience in strategic planning and community relations. Rabbi Jablon resides in Efrat and loves being a part of the Darche Noam family.
Michael has been welcoming students to Shapell’s since 1981, when he first began as both a student and administrator. He has held a variety of positions here over the past 3 decades. Currently, as Student Financial Director, Michael tries to assure that no qualified applicant is unable to study here because of financial constraints. Originally from Connecticut, Michael holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from Indiana University. He particularly enjoys staying connected with almost 40 years of alumni.
Rabbi Zuckerman served as the Rabbi of Beth Jacob of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada (a community outside of Toronto) for seven years. He was successful in raising funds for important new projects- such as the area’s first eruv and a Jewish Women’s Renaissance trip to Israel. He is well regarded as a dynamic and creative leader who works around the clock to help the community. Prior to his being in Canada, he taught in Phoenix and Baltimore. We are excited to have him join us, and are confident that alumni and students will enjoy spending time and learning from him.