Meet Our Faculty
Education Starts with Relationship
Connect with Teachers & Mentors Who Care About You
Good teachers care about their subject. Great teachers care about their students. Neve teachers care about you. Ask your questions, share your ideas and feelings, and receive the support to think for yourself.
Rabbi Dr. Dovid Refson, Founder & Dean
Rabbi Dr. Dovid Refson founded Neve College for Women in 1970. Originally, Rabbi Refson intended to establish a school for men, but when six women responded to his advertisements, and no men, he changed his vision and created a Jewish women’s college. He saw Neve as a place where women without a religious background could explore Judaism. Neve has since broadened its mandate and now offers a variety of levels of Jewish study which are relevant to modern-day Jewish life.
Rabbi Avraham Edelstein, Educational Director
Rabbi Avraham Edelstein is the Educational Director of Neve College for Women. A native of South Africa, Rabbi Edelstein brings over 30 years of experience in Jewish education and outreach. He has founded several Jewish organizations, sits on the board of numerous Jewish educational institutions, and is in demand as a speaker throughout the Jewish world. As Neve’s Director, Rabbi Edelstein works with Dean and Founder Rabbi Dovid Refson to oversee Neve’s programs, curriculum, faculty, facilities, and extracurricular activities. He incorporates student feedback into every aspect of life at Neve, and his enthusiasm and drive for excellence have created an unstoppable dynamic energy throughout the campus.
Mrs. Chaya Levine, Dean of Students
Mrs. Chaya Levine is the Dean of Students at Neve College for Women. In addition to working in Jewish outreach for over 30 years, Mrs. Levine is a successful counsellor by profession. She has developed several Jewish educational organizations and is a teacher, author, and accomplished public speaker. Mrs. Levine is responsible for addressing the academic and personal needs of Neve’s students. With her natural warmth and honed counselling skills, she ensures that Neve students thrive intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. She strives to make Neve a “home away from home” for each and every student.
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, Bnos Avigail Principal
Rebbetzin Tzipora Gottlieb (Heller) is one of the premier educators in the Jewish world today. An internationally acclaimed speaker, she is the author of many popular books, including Here You Are, Battle Plans, and This Way Up. Readers of Rebbetzin Gottlieb’s popular weekly newspaper column on Jewish personal growth and monthly newsletter number in the tens of thousands. Rebbetzin Gottlieb has been countless students’ favorite teacher at Neve Yerushalayim since 1980 and currently serves as principal of Bnos Avigayil seminary on the Neve Yerushalayim campus.
Rabbi Moshe Chalkowski, Founding Principal
Rav Moshe Chalkowski was one of the pioneers in the establishment of the field of unaffiliated Jewish women’s education in 1970. Neve Yerushalayim had been in existence for one year when Rabbi Chalkowski was asked by Rabbi Refson and Rebbetzin Rochel Levy, z”l, to teach a biweekly class on classic text the Ethics of the Fathers, and his involvement at Neve continued to increase as the institution grew. Rabbi Chalkowski came to serve as educational director of Neve for several decades through his retirement. Today Rabbi Chalkowski continues to educate Jewish women at Neve with special classes sharing his signature wit and profound wisdom.
Rabbi Yona Aryeh Refson, Director of Development
Rabbi Yona Aryeh Refson proudly carries on the legacy of his father, Neve founder Rabbi Dovid Refson as director of Neve’s Office of Development and Alumnae Affairs. He lives on campus with his wife and children, serving as an educator, running epic havdala guitar jams, and otherwise contributing to ongoing daily life on campus.
Rabbi Eliezer Liff, Mechina Program Director
Rabbi Eliezer Liff is a Baltimore native. He studied at Yeshivas Kol Torah and Yeshivas Mir before receiving his rabbinical ordination in Israel. Before coming to Neve, Rabbi Liff spent six years in Hartford, Connecticut as a day school rebbe, youth group leader, and university outreach program director. When the Liffs made aliyah in 1980, the Mechina program at Neve couldn’t wait to hire him. Rabbi Liff, now the program director of Neve’s Mechina program for over forty years, is known for his easygoing warmth and relaxed, approachable manner.
Rabbi Dovid Kass, Bnos Avigail Director
Rabbi Dovid Kass, a graduate of both Gateshead and Mir Yeshiva, holds a Masters in Philosophy from London University. For over three decades, the many programs and schools Rabbi Kass has directed on the Neve campus have included Shalhevet seminary, the Moreshet Institute, and Achvas Beis Yaakov seminary. He presently serves as the co-director of Bnos Avigail seminary with Rebbetzin Tziporah Gottlieb (Heller).
Rebbetzin Ayelet Elnecave
Rebbetzin Ayelet Elnecave, born in a small town in rural Iowa, received a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Vanderbilt University in 2005. She taught English as a second language in Mexico for three years before making aliyah in 2010. With thousands around the world following her online parsha class and other Torah content on social media, Ayelet has become a rising star in the Jewish world. Her enthusiasm for Torah is contagious, with a creative teaching style that brings clarity to even complex ideas. Ayelet is beloved among students for being relatable, down to earth, and able to speak their language. She lives down the block from Neve with her husband and family.
Chana Levitan, MSc, Educator
Chana Levitan, MSc, is an educator, speaker, marriage therapist and author with over twenty-five years of teaching and counseling experience. She has lectured extensively across the globe on five different continents and has counseled thousands of men and women on dating and marriage. Chana is a certified Imago Relationship Therapist with a Master’s Degree in clinical sociology and family counseling. Chana’s greatest passion is to give people the tools they need to trust themselves and their abilities to create their successful marriages.
Rabbi Yaakov Marcus, Educator
Rabbi Yaakov Marcus was born in Baltimore, Maryland and has been involved in Jewish education professionally for over thirty years. From 1989 to 1995, he and his wife organized and ran an outreach shul in the Toronto, Canada area. In 1995, they moved to Israel where he joined the rabbinical faculty of Neve Yerushalayim. His Torah classes integrate a variety of sources, woven together to create powerful and deep philosophical arguments. Rabbi Marcus presently teaches and runs programs at Neve while lecturing at other prestigious institutions and outreach training organizations.
Rebbetzin Rochel Silber, Educator
Mrs. Rochel Silber has served as a Jewish educator since 1973 in schools including Ezra Academy, Ba’er Miriam, Yeshiva Simchat Shlomo, and Neve. Mrs. Silber is beloved for her gentle manner and open heart, infusing her classes with mystical leanings and warmth.
Rabbi Gavriel Friedman, Educator
Rav Gav, as he is known, is originally from New York and now resides in Yerushalayim with his wife and children. He has spent the last 15 years studying and teaching in various yeshivot throughout Jerusalem. He currently teaches at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem and Neve Yerushalayim and is a featured speaker for the Jewish Women's Renaissance Program (JWRP). About teaching at Neve, Rabbi Friedman says that it is “a breath of fresh air to be at a place with girls who are truly interested in learning and growing.” He is a sought-after speaker and has lectured in dozens of locations around the globe, using his charisma to captivate and inspire people across the Jewish spectrum. His special ability to present Torah concepts in a deep yet entertaining fashion leaves his audiences thirsting for more.
Rabbi Menachem Nissel, Educator
Rabbi Menachem Nissel is a renowned speaker and author who has inspired thousands throughout the world. He is a widely published author including the highly acclaimed Rigshei Lev: Women and Tefillah (Targum / Feldheim 2001) and is a regular contributor to Mishpacha magazine. He has the rare ability to translate lofty concepts into practical daily living, spiced with irrepressible British humor. He is a senior lecturer for Ner LeElef (Jewish Leadership Training) and teaches in yeshivot and seminaries in Jerusalem. He is the Senior Educator for NCSY and flies regularly to North America as scholar-in-residence for National and Regional shabbatons. He gives a weekly high level Talmud class to NCSY staff as part of the NCSY Staff Enrichment program. He has an MBA from the London Business School.
Rebbetzin Raquel Kirszenbaum, Educator
Raquel Kirszenbaum was born on Margarita Island in Venezuela and moved to Panama when she was six years old. After completing high school, she had a life-changing experience at Neve Yerushalayim which made her decide to become a Torah educator. She received her degree at Ma’alot College and now teaches for numerous programs, including Neve. She is continuously invited to speak to groups and in programs around the world, thanks to her unique sense of humor and true love of life that make her such a beloved teacher. She lives in Har Nof, Jerusalem with her husband and daughters.
Rabbi Yaakov Lynn, Educator
Rabbi Lynn graduated with honors from Binghamton University. He worked as a journalist and then as a Hillel Director before moving to Israel. He learned for 15 years in yeshivot, including Darche Noam/Shapell’s, Midrash Shmuel and Mir Yeshiva, and received his Rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlita. Rabbi Lynn has taught for many years in yeshivot and seminaries in Jerusalem and is a sought- after speaker around the globe. He recently celebrated the birth of his sixth child with his wife Penina. He is presently the director of Me’orot Yerushalayim.
Rebbetzin Avigail Gersht, Educator
Mrs. Avigail Gersht was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and moved to Israel nine years ago. She lives in Har Nof with her husband and two daughters. She has a Bachelor’s of Education in English from the Michlalah College of Jerusalem. Mrs. Gersht has taught English in Israeli elementary and high schools. She presently teaches a variety of topics at Neve, such as prayer and the Jewish calendar. She also teaches at Neimos, JewEssence, and Rinat Tzippora.
Rebbetzin Sarah Slater, Educator
Mrs. Sarah Slater is originally from Chicago and graduated from the Women’s Division of Hebrew Theological College with a degree in education and Judaic studies. She lives in Har Nof with her husband and two children.
Dayan Shlomo Cohen, Educator
Dayan Cohen, originally from London, is a graduate of The Institute of Monetary Law, Yeshivat Hanegev, and City of London Polytechnic. He also received semicha to practice as a Dayan in England. Rabbi Cohen spent many years learning in Yeshivat Hanegev in Netivot, followed by close to a decade studying dayanut under Dayan Ezra Basri. Dayan Cohen has been a dayan at the Beit Din Ahavat Shalom of Rav Yaakov Hillel since 2005. He’s a sought-after lecturer of monetary halacha and a Choshen Mishpat, and is the author of Pure Money: A Straightforward Guide to Jewish Monetary Law.
Rebbetzin Leah Levy, Educator
Born in Los Angeles, Leah Levy attended Jewish schools dreaming of Jerusalem. Following Bais Yaakov teacher’s institute, she taught in the Hillel Hebrew Academy and the Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles. Leah has been involved in teaching in many different seminaries, for both advanced and beginner students.
Rabbi Yaakov Altman, Educator
Rabbi Altman was born and raised in the New York area. He attended University of Pennsylvania and then went to various yeshivot and kollelim in Eretz Yisrael, including Midrash Shmuel and Lakewood East. He now lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem and teaches in a number of yeshivot and seminaries.
Rabbi Yehoshua Schwab, Educator
Rabbi Schwab holds a M.S. in Education, Guidance and Counseling from Long Island University and a M.S. in Bible Studies from Yeshiva University. He has Semicha Yora Yora from Machon Harry Fischel, and Yora Yora and Semicha Rav Ha’Ir from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. He also has Semicha Yodon Yodon from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, in addition to having certification as a dayan. Rabbi Schwab has been educating on the Neve campus since 1994.
Rebbetzin Tehila Schwab, Extracurricular Programming Director
Mrs. Tehila Schwab, from Cleveland, Ohio, has been associated with Neve since 1981, when she was a student in the second year of the Shalhevet program. She was a house mother for Neve for twenty-two years and currently serves as Neve’s director of extracurricular programming. She holds a B.A. from Macalester College in psychology and fine arts.