Our students, faculty and staff are driven to make a positive impact on the world.
Neve’s classes are taught by leading rabbis and women scholars who are exceptional educators and role models for their students. Many give inspirational lectures around the world, and several have authored books on Jewish thought and its application to contemporary issues. Along with the ability to make the subject matter exciting and challenging, Neve’s teachers spark discussions both inside and outside of the classroom that stimulate the minds and the hearts of students. The faculty is devoted to spending individual time with students in order to help them understand the relevance of the Torah’s lessons to their lives and to work out how to apply these lessons to their personal circumstances.
FOUNDER & DEAN
RABBI D. REFSON
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 Avrohom Stefansky became Director General in 1989 being responsible for all monies received and spent. Before this time, Rabbi Stefansky was responsible for the development of our current 6 acre campus. From his second floor window, he can look out on the many beautiful buildings and landscaped gardens, and take pride in a job well done. Not only is Rabbi Stefansky an outstanding Director General, totally dedicated and exceedingly capable, but he is also in his ruchniyus an inspiration to all of us.
Rav Chalkowski was one of the pioneers in the establishment of Neve Yerushalayim in
1970. The school had been in existence for one year when Rabbi Chalkowski was asked
by Rabbi Refson and Rebbetzin Rochel Levy, z”l, to teach Pirkei Avos twice a week.
Rabbi Chalkowski’s involvement at Neve continued to increase with the institutions
growth. Rabbi Chalkowski is currently the Chairman of the School of General Jewish
Studies at Neve and a renowned lecturer.
Rabbi Avraham Edelstein is the Education 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 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.
Rabbi Dovid Kass
A graduate of Gateshead and Mir Yeshiva, with a Masters in Philosophy from London
University, Rabbi Kass has directed and taught in many programs over the past 29 years
on the Neve Yerushalayim Campus. He was the director of the Shalhevet Program,
Moreshet Program, and Achvas Beis Yaakov located in Neve Yerushalayim. He is
presently the co-director of Bnos Avigail seminary in Yerushalayim with Rebbetzin
Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller is one of the most premier educators in the Jewish world today and an internationally acclaimed speaker. She is the author of six popular books, including Here You Are, Battle Plans, and This Way Up, writes a popular weekly newspaper column on Jewish personal growth as well as a monthly newsletter numbering in the thousands, and recently launched a daily video program based on the timeless Jewish wisdom of the Torah classic, Duties of the Heart. Rebbetzin Heller has been a full-time lecturer at Neve Yerushalayim since 1980 and serves as principal of Bnos Avigayil seminary on the Neve Yerushalayim campus.
Rabbi Eliezer Liff is a Baltimore native. He studied at Yeshiva Kol Torah and Yeshiva Mir and received 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 teacher. 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 Yerushalayim’s Mechina program, is known for his easygoing warmth and relaxed, approachable manner.
Rabbi Yaakov (Jerrold) Marcus was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been involved in Jewish education professionally for over 20 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.
Rabbi Yona Refson, shlita, is a Neve Yerushalayim lecturer and staff member and son of the Dean and Founder of Neve Yerushalayim, Rabbi Dovid Refson. He lives on campus with his wife and children and contributes to the daily living experiences on the Neve campus. He teaches classes on Tanya and is the director of the Office of Development and Alumnae Affairs.
Rabbi Menachem Nissel
Rabbi Nissel studied in Itri and Mishkan Hatorah Yeshivot and is a student of Rav
Shlomo Wolbe zt”l and lbc”l Rav Moshe Shapiro shlita. He has a MBA from the London
Business School. He has taught for over twenty years in yeshivot such as Ohr Somayach,
Ohr Yerushalayim and Torat Shraga, as well as in seminaries such as Darchei Binah, Michlalah, Midreshet Tehillah and Neve Yerushalayim. Rabbi Nissel is a senior lecturer
for Ner Le’Elef – World Center for Jewish Leadership Training and Community Outreach, and is the Rabbinic Resource for NCSY. He is an international lecturer, and the author of the books Rigshei Lev – Women and Tefillah (Targum / Feldheim 2001)
and Jerusalem Jems (Targum 2002).
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. Dayan Cohen’s clear style, combined with years of experience settling financial
disputes, makes for a comprehensive course on the particulars of proper business
Mrs. Levitan, M. Sc. is originally from New York, and now lives in Jerusalem with her
husband and children. She is an educator, speaker, therapist and author. She is well
known for her book, “I Only Want to Get Married Once,” a practical guide to choosing
the right marriage partner, and is in the process of publishing her next book. Mrs. Chana
Levitan has lectured across the world and counseled thousands of men and women. She
teaches at many institutions, including Neve Yerushalayim, bringing a fun atmosphere
and a love of people, music and nature.
Rabbi Leff served as a Rabbi of Young Israel of North Miami Beach for eleven years.
During that time, he built it into a thriving, youthful Torah community. Fulfilling a
lifelong dream, he moved to Israel in 1983, settling in Moshav Mattityahu where he
serves as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva. A much sought-after lecturer and teacher, Rabbi Leff enlightens and provides guidance to countless students in Israel, teaching by word and deed in numerous yeshivot and seminaries. He is the author of "Outlooks and Insights on the Weekly Torah Portion" and of a regular newspaper column.
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.
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.
Leah Levy was born and bred in Los Angeles, Leah Levy attended the Jewish schools there while dreaming of Jerusalem. After finishing high school, she was off to the Bais Yaakov teacher’s institute, where she studied in both the American and Israeli programs. After some time spent teaching in the Hillel Hebrew Academy and the Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles, she met her husband, Rabbi Binyamin Levy, of Jerusalem. She has been involved in teaching in many different seminaries, both for women who are products of institutions of intensive Jewish learning as well as for beginners.
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, Jew Essence, and Rinat Tzippora.
Rabbi Altman was born and raised in the NYC 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
Yerushalayim and teaches in a number of Yeshivot and seminaries.
Mrs. Rochel Silber
Mrs. Silber holds a BA from Queens College and from Esther Schonfeld Teachers’
College. She has been a lecturer since 1973 in schools including Ezra Academy, Ba’er
Miriam, Yeshiva Simchat Shlomo, and Neve Yerushalayim. Mrs. Silber founded a
unique website dedicated to inspiration and expansion through the Torah. You can learn
more about this groundbreaking project at www.kolrena.org .
Mrs. Toby Kleiman is originally from Toronto, Canada, and has been Neve’s primary parasha teacher since 1980. She lives in Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem, and is a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Mrs. Kleiman has a teaching degree from Michlalah College for Women. She also has a coaching degree and gives public lectures outside of Neve.
Mrs. Ayelet Elnecave received a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Vanderbilt University in
2005. She then taught English as a second language in Mexico for three years before
making aliyah in 2010. Her online parsha class is one of the most popular on social
media today and reaches thousands every week online. A rising star in the Jewish world,
her enthusiasm for Torah is contagious, and she is beloved among students for being so
relatable, for being able to “speak their language”. She lives down the block from
Me’orot with her husband and family.
Ms. Brunner was born and raised in Manchester, England, and attended Gateshead
Teachers Training College. Aside from currently being director of Ma’alot
Yerushalayim, she has taught Beit Midrash classes and Parsha in Midreshet Tehillah,
Shearim and Lahav. She assists in Aish HaTorah’s Jewel program, delivers International
conference shiurim and runs a summer kiruv tour.
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.