Our Director and Rosh Yeshivah
Rabbi Elyse M. Goldstein
As director of Kolel, Rabbi Elyse M. Goldstein brings a distinguished background to the centre, both as an accomplished academic and as a respected congregational rabbi. She is a recipient of the 1996 YWCA Woman of Distinction award and the 2005 Covenant Award for Exceptional Educators. In 2008 she received her honourary doctorate (Doctor of Divinity) from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Dynamic, caring, and committed, Rabbi Goldstein has helped build Kolel into a community that is at once energized and energizing. She is an articulate and passionate teacher with a nation-wide reputation.
Rabbi Goldstein is joined by the many talented and learned educators and Rabbis in the Toronto area. This gives students the opportunity to learn from a variety of scholars with a wide range of ideas and subjects. Rabbi Goldstein is the author of ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens and The Women's Torah Commentary, The Women's Haftarah Commentary and New Jewish Feminism (chosen as finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards), published by Jewish Lights.
Current and Previous 'Reb on the Web' faculty
Michal Shekel is executive director of the Toronto Board of Rabbis and the rabbi of Iyr HaMelech in Kingston, Ontario. She writes the weekly Torah study for Kolel, and is the original co-editor of the holiday section of myjewishlearning.com. She is also the author of numerous textbooks used in Jewish schools throughout North America. Rabbi Shekel teaches adult classes in Toronto covering a variety of Jewish topics, and leads a monthly Torah study group.
Baruch Sienna is not a rabbi, but was the author of Kolel's weekly Parasha column for three years, while serving as the Director of Kolels department of Interactive Technology. Prior to assuming this post, Mr. Sienna was the founding director of cdrom-mu: The Institute for Jewish Education through Technology. Since 1995, Mr. Sienna has worked intensively in the field of interactive learning technology, creating Jewish educational websites, and online learning opportunities. He designed and wrote the commentary for the Leo Baeck Day School Siddur. Mr. Sienna has taught in a variety of Jewish day schools, and served as a curriculum developer and consultant of Judaic Studies for the Leo Baeck Day School and the United Synagogue Day School. He served as Director of Education at Shaarei Beth El for four years. In addition to his work in the Department of Interactive Technology, Mr. Sienna is also a popular instructor at Kolel.
Web related issues should be directed to Baruch.
Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen served as Rabbi of the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Rabbi Cohen has worked and studied in Canada, Israel, the United States and served as the Associate Rabbi of the North Shore Temple Emanuel in Chatswood (Sydney), NSW Australia before going to China. Rabbi Cohen has worked extensively in the areas of Jewish Education (youth and adult), Inter-faith Relations and Jewish Folklore. An avid story-teller, Rabbi Cohen has published in the areas of Jewish education and folklore, has served on the faculty of the internationally renown Brandies-Bardin Institute, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious title of "Reform Jewish Educator". Rabbi Cohen served for two years as Kolel's "Reb on the Web."
Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger, a former student of Kolel, rejoined the Kolel community and served as Kolel's Reb on the Web from 1999-2001. Rabbi Loevinger received his ordination as a Conservative rabbi in May 1999 from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, the newest Conservative seminary; his class was the first class of rabbis ordained in North America on the West Coast. Rabbi Loevinger has also studied at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and the Conservative Seminary in Jerusalem, and holds a Master of Environmental Studies degree from York University.
Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz was Kolel's first Reb on the Web. Rabbi Schwartz was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia.