Rabbi Yaakov Fleshel hails originally from Cape Town, South Africa. The only time you don't detect an accent is when he is doing his Israeli and Brazilian soccer commentary or duck-brushing-his-teeth impersonation. Rabbi Fleshel is partnering up with the Meor Leadership Program to educate and inspire college students at Emory University. In his free time, he runs after his active sons, plays soccer and eats biltong in his home.
Rabbi Mayer Freedman
Shani and Rabbi Mayer Freedman, came from Phoenix, Arizona to lead the ASK Morningside Center at Anshi. As the Associate Rabbi there, Rabbi Freedman taught day school students, directed the Vaad Hakashruth, ran outreach programs, in addition to his rabbinical duties. Rabbi Freedman is a certified narrative therapist and marriage educator. He and his wife, Shani, are both originally from Baltimore, where he studied in Ner Israel Rabbinical College. Shani, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), teaches nutrition at a community college. For several years, they lived in Jerusalem where Rabbi Freedman studied in the Jerusalem Kollel and received rabbinical ordination.
Rabbi Daniel Freitag
Rabbi Daniel Freitag is Director of programming at the Dunwoody Dome where he teaches his popular classes and Shabbat Beginners’ Service. He brings his energetic teaching to home groups and business lunch and learns throughout the city. His interests include cholent making, small motors, and barrel sour pickles. Rabbi Freitag loves the South, and although a native of the New York area, he has taken to calling everyone 'y'all'. His wife Rivka, part-time actuary/full-time mom, finds time to teach classes, tutor and provide guidance for women. Their kids range in age from, ``Is he Mr. Right?`` to ``See my pretty picture I made on the wall?`` He received a BS in Psych. from SUNY and a Masters in Talmudic Law from the Ner Israel Rabbinical College.
Rabbi Binyomin Friedman
One of the original founding families of ASK, the Friedmans arrived in Atlanta in 1987. In 1994 some ASK students asked Rabbi and Morah Dena Friedman to assume leadership of the newly formed Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody, a position they hold until today. In addition to her role as Rebbetzin of Ariel, Morah Dena is the beloved kindergarten teacher at Torah Day School. Rabbi Friedman teaches torah morning and evening in the ASK Dome adjacent to Ariel. Recently, his fame has spread as the Rabbi in the Jeff and the Rabbi show on YouTube. Rabbi Friedman a native of Minneapolis, refuses to wear a winter coat in Atlanta. Rabbi Friedman received a bachelors and Masters of Talmudic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College.
Rabbi Netanel Friedman
Rabbi Netanel Friedman joined the Kollel in Dunwoody in 2014 with his wife Reva and their 6 children after 3 years in Massachusetts and is enjoying the warmer climate. With his exuberant energy, Rabbi Friedman can be found all over town teaching and running programs. His Young Couple events have created a wonderful network for families to connect. He'll meet virtually anyone for coffee or pizza to discuss life and the pursuit of Jewish meaning. He hosts the annual JWRP Men's trip to Israel which is becoming increasingly popular. Rabbi Netanel loves to sing and be in the great outdoors. He received a Bachelors and Masters of Talmudic law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore.
Rabbi Yitzi Graff
Hailing from St. Louis, Missourri, Yitzy spent seven years learning in Yeshiva of Long Beach before going to Yeshiva in Israel. He then learned in Lakewood where he received his Bachelors in Talmudic Law. His hobbies include playing sports (any type) and hiking. His wife Shari is a Special Education teacher and enjoys trying new things and meeting new people. Yitzy, Shari and their children Binyomin and Shoshana, can’t wait to move to Atlanta and be part of the vibrant community and its amazing Kollel.
Rabbi Menashe Goldberger
Rabbi Goldberger is the coordinator of the Lavista Community Beis Midrash in Toco Hills. He was ordained at Ner Israel Rabbinical College and has a Bachelors of Talmudic Law from there as well. His responsibilities at the Kollel include teaching, programming, fund-raising, shlepping, cup-stocking, and all other aspects of maintaining the Kollel's largest facility. Rabbi Goldberger is known for his singing and classical piano talent and is the son of a 7th generation cantor. Born in Akron Ohio, and raised in Silver Spring, MD, Rabbi Goldberger joined the Kollel in 1989, while also pursuing a 9-year teaching career ... In their spare time, Rabbi and Mrs. Goldberger enjoy keeping in touch with their children and grandchildren!
Rabbi Elimelech Berlin
Elimelech originally of Scranton. Pennsylvania studied at the local Yeshiva Beth Moshe for nearly a decade before continuing on to learn at his current Yeshiva, Lakewood’s Beth Medrash Gevoah. During his 4+ year tenure there he married Leah (nee Pollack), a Baltimore native. While residing in Lakewood, Elimelech and Leah completed the Ner L’elef Young Leadership Training program. Elimelech, a photography enthusiast, also enjoys a casual interest in astronomy. Leah shares this interest in photography as well. Elimelech, Leah and their toddler daughter Leeba Shaindel (age 2) are really excited to join the Kollel family and the Atlanta Jewish Community.
Rabbi Moshe Hiller
Rabbi Hiller's good cheer and educational technique allows him to teach students on all levels mastery of the hebrew language and learning skills. Rabbi Hiller, who enjoys Hebrew grammar and usage, is a second grade rebbe at Torah Day School, as well as being the director of Pirchei Day Camp. Rabbi Hiller received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Mirrer Yeshiva in New York and an MA in cognitive educational psychology from the Teachers College at Columbia University. Rabbi Hiller, his wife Leah and their children came to Atlanta from Israel in 1993.
Rabbi Michoel Lipschutz
Rabbi Lipschutz leads a number of study groups as well as working on administrative and fund-raising activities for the Kollel. Rabbi Lipschutz, a native of Nashville, joined the Kollel in 1990 and lives in Toco Hills with his wife Rivka and their children. Rabbi Lipschutz was ordained at the renowned Chaim Berlin Yeshiva and holds a bachelors degree in Accounting. Mrs. Rivka Lipschutz holds an MA in education from Georgia State and presently teaches at Temima High School. Rabbi Lipschutz enjoys hiking in North Georgia, Montana, and Wyoming as well as the beaches of South Carolina.
Rabbi Doniel Pransky - Rosh Kollel
Rabbi Pransky, originally from Philadelphia, studied for many years in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, MD, receiving his smicha there, and spent four years in the Columbus Community Kollel in Columbus, OH, before coming to Atlanta. Meticulous and thorough, Rabbi Pransky specializes at presenting complex and in-depth concepts in a clear, articulate format, on a wide-spectrum of subjects. He is equally comfortable teaching students with little background and those with yeshiva experience, often at the same time.
Rabbi David Silverman - Dean
Rabbi David Silverman, aka Rabbi Dave, one of the original founders of the Kollel, now shares the leadership responsibilities with Rabbi Doniel Pransky. As the Dean, Rabbi Silverman oversees the fundraising and the outreach activities. He runs the high school program at Pace, Woodward, Paideia, and North Springs, teaches a few adult classes, including Study Buddies – the longest continuously running Kollel class, and learns one-on-one with supporters and growth oriented Jews. Rabbi Dave, originally from LA, is known for his proficiency at juggling, mime, and burning his hands as one of the Kollel Kashering team. He received his rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College as well as a MS in Education from Johns Hopkins Univ.
Rabbi Yosef Shapiro
Rabbi Yosef Shapiro, from Baltimore, is the Director of the Brookhaven division of the Kollel. He has his MBA as well as Rabbinic ordination from Jerusalem, and has several years of experience, both in the business world and the field of education. His hobbies are snowboarding, the stock market, and traveling. His wife, Rookie (also an MBA from New York) will be assisting with the woman's programming. The only thing she loves more than hosting is spending time with her family. This highly energetic couple, along with their son Gavi, have moved into the Brookhaven community where they hope to make an incredible impact.
Rabbi Yosef Vakrat
Rabbi Vakrat was born and raised in Jerusalem. He studied in Yeshiva Beit Matityahu and in two Kollels: one headed by Rabbi Nebenzal - the Chief Rabbi of the Old City and the other, Aish HaTorah. He was involved in outreach activities at that time as well. He graduated from the Diaspora rabbinic training program Ner LeElef and took education courses at the Michlala College in Jerusalem receiving a dual degree from Rav Simcha Cohen. He is mohel and a scribe. He presents a deep understanding of many aspects of Jewish life in the Hebrew language.
Rabbi Shaya Coriat
Rabbi Shaya Coriat grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. He learned in Long Beach NY and has been studying in Lakewood NJ for a few years. His Wife Gitti (nee Lipsky) is a professional artist from Baltimore. Gitti paints scenic murals, portraits and abstract Judaic paintings. She also teaches art to women and children. Shaya is interested in ancient Jewish poetry. Rabbi and Mrs. Coriat enjoy the outdoors in all weather. The Coriats and their two sons are excited to join the Atlanta community.
Rabbi Yehuda Pollack
Yehuda and Rina are born and bred out-of-towners. Yehuda hails from Detroit and Rina is from St. Louis (but her mother is originally from Atlanta!). Yehuda learned in Rav Slanger’s yeshiva in Baltimore and then in Lakewood at Beis Medrash Govoha until now. They have two adorable children - Gershon who is 2 and Meira who is 4 months. When he’s not learning or running after the kids, Yehuda makes a mean cocktail and Rina is a makeup artist on the side. They are so excited to be part of the Atlanta community!
Mrs. Batsheva Gelbtuch - JWC Co-Director
Mrs. Batsheva Gelbtuch was born in New York and raised in Jerusalem. Batsheva attended Maalot and Nevey Tehilla Seminaries, received a B.A. in Psychology from Thomas Edison State College and Masters in Social Work from Wurzweilers School of Social Work. She is a Georgia State licensed Social Worker. Batsheva is passionate about both Jewish women's education and psychology of human beings. She is the Co-director of the Jewish Women's Connection of Atlanta (a project of ASK) where she is committed to providing programming for Jewish women across Atlanta. Batsheva brings her love of people and deep understanding of human nature, to everything she does.
Mrs. Randee Goldberger
Mrs. Randee Goldberger, with years of experience as Kollel Rebbetzin, mother and now Bubbe, shares space with her husband at the Kollel administrative offices, where she wears hats of graphic design and website management, correspondence, financial record-keeping, and BENA mentoring and teaching. Mrs. Goldberger attended Michlalah College for Women in Jerusalem and has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.
Mrs. Leah Pollock - Bookkeeper
Leah Pollock has been working as the Kollel’s bookkeeper since 1997. She enjoys numbers but really loves being part of the Atlanta Jewish community and being involved with outreach on the side. Her husband and children test her math skills every day to make sure she doesn’t get rusty.
Mrs. Julie Silverman - JWC Co-Director
Julie Silverman was born in Tokyo and raised in Manhattan. She received a Teacher's Degree from Michlalah Seminary in Israel and a BA from Touro College in Manhattan. In 1987 the Silverman family moved to Atlanta to start the Atlanta Scholars Kollel. Presently, Julie is the Development Director at Temima, The Richard and Jean Katz High School for Girls and the co-director of JWC Atlanta, two organizations which recognize the power, promise and responsibility of the Jewish woman in creating a Jewish future. She feels honored to learn and grow with all the incredible women in her orbit.
Ms. Marcia Sternberg - Office Manager
``Marcia from Kollel`` - Keeper of the Kollel. The foundation upon which the Kollel runs........ Although Marcia was born in Paramus, New Jersey she has called Atlanta her home for more than 5 decades. Active in Hadassah, Civitans and various other volunteer jobs, Marcia attempts to keep the Kollel running smoothly. She comes from a background working with Jewish National Fund, Southeastern Region of Hadassah and Emory Pediatric/Genetics. Marcia enjoys spending her spare time watching NASCAR and hanging out with her 3 pit bull dogs and her husband.
Mrs. Tova Zehnwirth - BENA Director
Born and raised in Atlanta, Tova, married to Yaakov Zehnwirth, a current member of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, would never have guessed she would be back here so soon. As Bena coordinator, Tova has already begun to expand and update the existing learning opportunities available, by promoting existing women’s classes and events and creating new ones. With her passion to connect with people, Tova hopes to facilitate continued personal growth among the women of our community. Whether you have a creative idea or just a question, Tova is the contact person and has the energy and drive to make things happen. She urges you to contact her either by calling, texting, emailing, or finding her at Kiddush or around town.