Faculty & Staff
Rabbi Nissim Tagger Rosh Yeshiva
Rabbi Tagger was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Englewood, NJ. He attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City, received a B.A. in Judaic Studies from The University of Michigan, and a J.D. from Boston University. Rabbi Tagger served as a prosecuting attorney for the King's County District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, NY until he moved to Jerusalem in 1996. He received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Shimon Green (Ashkenazi) and Rabbi Shlomo Zafrani (Sephardic). His approach to learning places a heavy emphasis on creating a passion within one's self for Hashem, His Torah, and His creations. He stresses the character development and the perfection of one's middos. In addition to teaching a daily Gemara shiur, Rabbi Tagger teaches the Chofetz Chaim's Shmiras HaLashon sefer and has given many Mussar shiurim which stress personality refinement. Rabbi Tagger started the Mishna Berurah program in January 2005, designed to give the Bircas student accurate, extensive knowledge of Halachos as delineated by the Mishna Berurah, and is flavored with the Sephardic distinctions in law and custom. Rabbi Tagger authored a book, Sefer Bircas HaTorah, which is a compilation of shiurim taught to the advanced track of the yeshiva on Mesechta Shabbos, revealing great depth and profound insights into the Gemara, Rashi, and Tosafos.
Rabbi Asher Baruch Wegbreit - Mashgiach Ruchani
Rabbi Wegbreit was born in New York and raised in the New York area as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee. He attended Pomona College for undergraduate studies and later received a Ph.D in Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate School. He worked as a management consultant in the area of organizational development with prominent companies in the United States and Europe. Rabbi Wegbreit received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Shimon Green and Rabbi Shlomo Zafrani. In addition to teaching Gemara to a range of students from beginner to advanced, Rabbi Wegbreit serves as the Mashgiach Ruchani of the Yeshiva. Using classic and beloved texts such as Proverbs and Pirkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers), he tries to reveal the tremendous insight and usefulness of the Torah Sages’ approach to living an inspired and growth-oriented Torah life. Rabbi Wegbreit lives in Bait Vegan, Jerusalem, with this wife Ayelet and their children.
Rabbi Zahav Gold Green
Rabbi Green is one of the prominent and most sought after teachers at Bircas HaTorah. He was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. At twenty years old he, along with his brother, the Senior Rosh Yeshiva, made aliyah and has lived in Eretz Yisroel ever since. In addition to his formal studies in the U.S. at Johns Hopkins University, Rabbi Green studied at Yeshivas Toras Yisroel where he received Semicha. His renowned, crystal-clear thinking, combined with his unique ability to communicate with his students, make him a dynamic and beloved teacher and mentor. Rabbi Zahavie Green gives an inspiring sicha in the morning as well as an in-depth Chumash class that trains students how to refine their ability to approach and analyze the Torah and its various commentaries.
Rabbi Avraham Willig - Ra"m & Menahel Ruchani
Rabbi Willig is a unique blend of rabbi, lecturer, MSW, and musician. Beloved by his students for his knack at fostering uplifting relationships, Rabbi Willig is known for his warm personality and quick smile. He serves as Ra"m and Menahel Ruchani of the Yeshiva. Originally from New York, Rabbi Willig learned at Yeshivat Kerem B'yavne and Ner Israel Rabbinical College, received rabbinic ordination from RIETS at Yeshiva University, and earned his MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Yeshiva University. He has been a popular rebbi at Yeshivat Shaarei Mevasseret Zion and Yeshivat Torat Shraga for a combined seven years, and was a founding member of the Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel. He lives with his wife and five children in Ramat Bet Shemesh.
Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin - Ra"m & American Israeli Programs Director
Rabbi Rubin grew up in Queens, N.Y. until the age of 11, when he moved with his family to Jerusalem. He studied at the Mir Yeshiva, where he received his Rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, and at Ner L'elef Kiruv Institute where he received intensive training in Jewish outreach.In 2004, Rabbi Rubin joined the Rabbinical staff of Yeshivas Gevuras Yitzchok/Kesher Institute in Jerusalem for three years, where he taught daily classes in Gemara, halacha, and Jewish philosophy, to teenagers from abroad.In 2007, Rabbi Rubin moved to Boston, Massachusetts to become campus Rabbi for the Meor Boston Organization for Jewish Outreach, where he worked on the college campuses of Tufts, Boston, Brandeis, and Harvard University. He served as Program and Recruitment Director, and created a structured program about Judaism, that very successfully attracted and educated non-affiliated college students.In 2009, Rabbi Rubin was invited to join the Jewish community of Chicago, IL, where he founded and established “The Boiler Room” - an extremely popular and effective teen and young adult drop-in center which he directed and manned for two years. Aside from his popular teaching style, Rabbi Rubin brings with him a professional background of programming and organizational leadership. His charisma, huge heart, and glowing smile are part of what make him a strong asset to Bircas and beloved to his talmidim.Rabbi Rubin recently joined the Bircas HaTorah family when he made aliyah with his wife Chaya, and their four children.
Rav Gabi Levethal - Overseas Director
A beloved talmid of senior Rosh Yeshiva Shimon Green (who also happens to have married his daughter), Rabbi Leventhal epitomizes the Bircas HaTorah derech -- he’s a down-to-earth, accessible and inspirational teacher who excels at fostering personal relationships with individual talmidim. Rabbi Leventhal, a Toronto native, attended Ner Yisroel and Ohr HaChaim high school before relocating to Jerusalem. He joined the yeshiva in 2003 and entered the kollel program in 2008. The rabbis and staff of Bircas HaTorah are very excited that Rabbi Leventhal has agreed to guide the yeshiva through its next stages of growth.
Rabbi Moshe Krieger - Shoel U'Meishiv
Rabbi Krieger was born in Brooklyn, NY and was a Talmid of Rabbi Reuven Gershonovitz. He attended Brisker Yeshiva for 3 years for Yeshiva Gedola and was in the Telzstone Kollel for 8 years. Rabbi Krieger had the merit to get Smicha from the Telz Rabbanim and completed the Miphal Ha’Shas program where he was fully tested in all of Shas--Gemara and Mishnayos. Over the past 20 years he has taught at Ohr Yerushalayim, Mevaseret Zion and Keser David. Rabbi Krieger is an invaluable asset to Bircas HaTorah. Each week he writes a riveting summary of the weekly Parsha that is distributed to the Bircas community. He is available to Bircas HaTorah students of all levels during learning hours to help with their studies of Mishna Berurah and Gemara. His thorough knowledge of Oral Law and Halacha is an inspiration to all of the Bircas Talmidim.
Rabbi Pesach Allen - Ra"m
Rabbi Allen was born in Paarl, a small town outside of Capetown, South Africa. He grew up in a traditional Jewish home and developed a strong Jewish identity in his formative years. After attending Stellenbosch University, he owned and managed a successful property development and construction business in South Africa.
Although Rabbi Allen had learned Torah informally in South Africa, he came to Israel in December 1999 to begin his formal yeshiva learning at Bircas HaTorah. He received Semicha from Rabbi Shlomo Zafrani shlit"a. He strives to teach Gemara with the utmost clarity and precision, and through interaction in the shiur, he inspires students to see the depth and beauty of the Gemara. Rabbi Allen happily lives in Har Nof, a neighborhood of Jerusalem, with his wife Tybee and four children.
Rabbi Baruch Munic - Ra"m
Rabbi Munic grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He later obtained a Masters Degree in Special Education at Northwestern University. His first career path was teaching special needs children. After spending several years at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, Rabbi Munic was attracted to Bircas HaTorah. He received Semicha from Rabbi Shlomo Zafrani shlit"a. His excellent teaching abilities and patient demeanor make him an integral part of the Bircas HaTorah Faculty.
Rabbi Munic teaches an Advanced Gemara shiur and is the Director of the Bircas HaTorah Extension Program. This is a unique distance learning program in which students and alumni throughout the world learn with top Bircas HaTorah educators via telephone. Rabbi Munic is married to Nechama, the oldest daughter of the Rosh Yeshiva. They live in the Old City of Jerusalem with their five young children.
Rabbi Shaul Berkus - Ra"m
Rabbi Berkus was born in Gainesville, Florida, grew up in San Antonio Texas and then attended a Jewish high school in Hollywood Florida. Coming to Israel immediately after High school in 1996, Rabbi Berkus has attended a number of yeshivas, both American and Israeli, where he has been exposed to a variety of Talmudic approaches. After marrying Shifra Green (the Rosh Yeshiva's daughter) in 2003, Rabbi Berkus was attracted to Bircas HaTorah, initially, because of the honesty and integrity of the teachers and students he met there.
Rabbi Berkus teaches an advanced shiur for students, and has authored a booklet presenting the Yeshiva's dynamic Gemara workshops. His goal is to expose his students to the depth of wisdom in each piece of text - to show them that an honest grappling with the Talmud is all that's necessary to begin to experience the beauty and the grandeur of the D'var Hashem.
Rabbi Binyamin Shenkier - Ra"m
Rabbi Shenkier was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. He graduated from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville with a degree in Public Health.
Rabbi Shenkier got his start at Bircas HaTorah in 2005 as a respected member of the Kollel. He is also a vital part of the Yeshiva's distance learning program, in which he learns many hours a week, b'chavrusa, with Bircas HaTorah alumni. Rabbi Shenkier teaches an advanced shiur in Meseches Kiddushin in the afternoon. His students speak of the amazing clarity and precision in which his shiurim are delivered and the vigorous debates that take place everyday as they try to uncover the depths of the Gemara. He lives with his wife and son in Ramot.
Rabbi Yehoshua Bloom - Afternoon Seder
Rabbi Bloom was born and raised in San Diego, California. Prior to Bircas HaTorah, Rabbi Bloom attended Neveh Zion as well as Yeshivat Ofakim in the Negev, headed by Rav Chaim Kamil zt"l. He came to Bircas HaTorah in 2002 as a member of the Kollel, and subsequently received semicha from HaRav Shlomo Zafrani.
Rabbi Bloom teaches a class in Pirkei Avos and has been a resounding force in the Beis Medresh for the past 8 years. He also teaches an afternoon Gemara shiur in Meseches Megillah to the Shana Aleph students. He hosts night seder at his house on Monday nights and it is always a lively experience. He lives with his wife Elisheva, and four children, in the Old City of Jerusalem. His home is known as a place of tremendous chesed and warmth and it's a frequent destination for many students.
Rabbi Arnie Wittenstein - Night Seder
Rabbi Wittenstein is an accomplished Tanach teacher. He currently teaches in Yeshivat Torat Shraga as well. He joins the Bircas HaTorah staff this year as a night seder Rebbe.