Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership – 5783 Cohort

5783 /2022-23 Cohort 

Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership (WIHL)

Rabbanit Yaffa Aranoff, fifth-year fellow

Rabbanit Yaffa Aranoff holds a B.A. in history from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.A. in Jewish History from the Hebrew University, both with honors.  Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Yaffa made Aliyah in 1995.  From 1999-2003, she and her husband, Rabbi Yedidya Julian Sinclair, worked as the Rabbi and Rabbanit for students at Cambridge University, England. Rabbanit Aranoff loves teaching both halakha and parshat hashavua and brings her extensive academic training and love of textual analysis to bear in her writing and speaking. She has also served on the board of her synagogue, where she regularly speaks and is an active community member. She also works occasionally as a speechwriter in the Knesset.

Rabbanit Elisheva Brauner, second-year fellow

Rabbanit Elisheva Brauner holds a B.A. in Jewish Education from York University and an M.A. in Tanakh from Bar Ilan University. She has worked as a teacher of Jewish Studies in elementary and high schools. She has also worked as an educational counselor at Michlelet Mevasseret Yerushalayim (MMY) and has developed educational curricula for Herzog Academic College. Rabbanit Brauner has participated in various Talmud and Torah study groups for women, and as a lecturer at conferences focused on Torah and Technology.  She is a certified bride counselor.

Rabbanit Aluma Florsheim-Dor, fifth-year fellow

Rabbanit Aluma Florsheim-Dor was recently appointed as Spiritual Advisor for the synagogue at the Hebrew University dormitories. There, she is responsible for Shabbat and holiday services, in addition to responding to halakhic questions, providing guidance and teaching classes.

She also counsels young brides who have been subject to sexual abuse, and engages in halakhic writing on this topic.  Her article, “Bedikat Taharah, (internal self-examination) for Victims of Sexual Abuse”, was published in the journal Tchumin Vol. 40 (2020).

Rabbanit Florsheim-Dor trained as an intern Rabbanit at the Va’ani Tefillah community in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood, under the guidance of Rabbi Aharon Leibowitz.  She gave classes on a variety of topics (focusing mainly on the weekly Torah portion, the Jewish holidays, Kabbalah and Hassidism) and answered halakhic questions put forth by the men and women of the community.  She also gave workshops on prayer to first-year students at the religious pre-military academy, Lapidot.

Rabbanit Florsheim-Dor serves as chairperson of Lissan, a non-profit organization that promotes proficiency of the Hebrew language to women and girls from East Jerusalem, with a special focus on the neighborhood of Isawiya, and also offers Arabic lessons to Hebrew-speaking students of medicine and medical teams.

Rabbanit Florsheim-Dor received her B.A. and M.A. in history with honors from the Hebrew University. Her research focused on visual history and its social impacts.

Rabbanit Shani Haddad, second-year fellow

Rabbanit Shani Haddad holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from The University of Oregon and an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University, and has studied Gemara, Halakha and Tanakh at Matan.  At the Hebrew University, Rabbanit Haddad developed a Beit Midrash study program for English-speaking students. She also teaches Jewish Philosophy at Midreshet Torah V’Avodah.

Rabbanit Ravit Kalech, fifth-year fellow

Rabbanit Ravit Kalech is a lawyer by profession, specializing in international contract law.  She worked in the legal department of the Israel Aerospace Industries for two decades.  Rabbanit Kalech is a graduate of Bar-Ilan’s Beit Midrash Metivta program and also holds an LL.M. (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University, where she studied in the Legal Procedure track.  Over the past 14 years she has been studying in the women’s Beit Midrash, Shaalina.  She is also one of the founders of the Darchei Noam community in Modi’in, where she is an active member.

Rabbanit Kalech gives weekly lessons in Talmud for women, as well as numerous Torah lessons in the city of Modi’in and the vicinity.

Rabbanit Shira Lieberman, second-year fellow

Rabbanit Shira Lieberman has a B.A. in Literature and Education from Herzog Academic College. She has studied Gemara at Migdal Oz – Beit Midrash for Women.  Following her initial career as a graphic designer, in recent years, Rabbanit Lieberman has taught at The Hartman Institute and at Midreshet Lindenbaum.

Rabbanit Orli Malchiel, first-year fellow

Rabbanit Malchiel is a trained counselor for individuals and couples. She facilitates personal growth and development workshops in various settings. Orli also conducts study and prayer workshops for teaching staff as part of the Beit Midrash for Renewal. She has an MA in Counseling from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a graduate of the continuing education program in Arts for Older Adults from ASA College in Netanya.

Rabbanit Hila Naor, fourth-year fellow

Rabbanit Hila Naor holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern and Jewish History from Hebrew University and an M.A. in Conflict Management and Mediation from Tel Aviv University, as well as a teaching certificate in special education.  She formerly worked as a special education teacher, in particular, helping youth-at-risk complete their high school graduation requirements.  Rabbanit Naor has studied Talmud and Bible in various settings.  She is a member of Eschar, a mixed secular and religious community in the Galilee, where she has taken an active part in founding a congregation of prayer.  She is socially active in the community and promotes Torah learning activities.

Rabbanit Idit Mevorach-Shaag, fourth-year fellow

Rabbanit Idit Mevorah-Shaag teaches Torah in numerous frameworks representing the entire spectrum of Israeli Judaism: in various programs in Beit Prat –  Israeli Midrasha, Beit Midrash Negba, the Hadar Israel Institute and at Ohr Torah Stone’s Midreshet Lindenbaum.

Rabbanit Mevorach-Shaag is the community coordinator at the Hadar Israel Institute.  She is also responsible for organizing conferences and seminars aimed at empowering and professionalizing the leadership of the communities.

Rabbanit Mevorach-Shaag is a member of Beit Midrash Arevot – Women Connecting Traditions, a women’s Beit Midrash which fosters a traditional Sephardi Judaism.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Ben Gurion University and is currently working on her M.A. in Talmud and Halakha from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, where she completed their rabbinic track.

She is working as a spiritual advisor at the Shacharit High School in Jerusalem.

Rabbanit Tikva Sapira, fifth-year fellow

Rabbanit Tivka Sapira is a graduate of Midreshet Orot Etzion in Givat Washington and the Migdal Oz Beit Midrash for Women, where she engaged in advanced Talmud studies while studying for her B.A. at Herzog College.

In addition to her Talmud and halakha studies, Rabbanit Sapira also takes part in the study of Zohar, Hassidism and the writings of Ha’Ari (Rabbi Yitzhak Luria).  She also organizes discussion groups on prayer in high schools and in informal education settings.

Rabbanit Sapira moderates chavruta learning sessions and gives a Talmud class at Midreshet Lindenbaum as part of the Midrashit program.  She is a Ra’amit (Gemara teacher) at Midreshet Be’er  in Ashdod, a midrasha for young women prior to service in the IDF or through Sherut Leumi (National Service).

Rabbanit Michelle Shelemay Dvir, first-year fellow

Rabbanit Michelle Shelemay Dvir holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Manchester and an M.A. in Management with a focus on Organizational Development. Passionate about expanding meaningful tefilla opportunities for women, she leads a women’s Rosh Chodesh prayer group, and is responsible for ensuring that the women’s section of the synagogue she attends is welcoming.

Rabbanit Shelemay Dvir’s thirst for high-level Torah learning began during a year at Midreshet HaRova. Since then, she has studied at a variety of institutions including the London School of Jewish Studies, Matan, and most recently, WIHL’s International Halakha Scholars Program. Shelemay Dvir is the Director of Development at the Center for Women’s Justice, and delivers divrei Torah and gives classes regularly in her community of Tzur Hadassah.

Rabbanit Moriya Taasan-Michaeli, fifth-year fellow

Rabbanit Moriya Taasan-Michaeli studied at Nishmat and at Midreshet Shuva, as well as in the Beit Midrash at Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus.  In recent years, she has served as personal assistant to government ministers, most recently working in the office of the Minister of Culture, Miri Regev.  In the field of Torah, she might be called an autodidact and an entrepreneur.  Rabbanit Taasan-Michaeli engages in Torah-related matters in her own community, and has started Talmud lessons in her community through the Tzurba M’Rabanan Institute.

Rabbanit Taasan-Michaeli takes an active part in halakhic feminism forums on social media and elsewhere.  She has a B.A. in Political Science and History from Hebrew University and a Research M.A. in Jewish Heritage from Ariel University.

Rabbanit Batel Picar, third-year fellow

Rabbanit Batel Picar has a B.A. in Jewish History from Bar-Ilan University.  She trained in Sexual Health Education and Marriage Counseling at the Yahel Center.  She studied in Midreshet Tal Menashe, at the Midrasha in Bar-Ilan University and at Matan HaSharon.  Rabbanit Picar was also involved in developing educational content, and training seminar and educational program moderators in Jewish topics to be taught in public schools under the auspices of the El Ami organization.  She has held numerous educational and leadership positions in informal education settings, which include working as a regional coordinator and counselor in Bnei Akiva , managing the educational content and offering guidance to Bnei Akiva branch coordinators.  Furthermore, she was in charge of educational seminars for youth and National Service girls.  Rabbanit Picar currently gives Torah classes and takes an active part in the leadership of the community in which she resides.

Rabbanit Avigail Unterberg, fourth-year fellow

Rabbanit Avigail Unterberg is a graduate of Nishmat – The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, and received her B.A. in Bible Studies and Political Science from Bar-Ilan University.  She also studied at the Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, and was a madricha (counselor) in the Maria & Joel Finkle Overseas Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum.  She has experience working in various formal and experiential educational settings. Rabbanit Unterberg currently teaches halakha and Bible Studies (focusing at present on the book of Genesis and the Return to Zion) at Midreshet Torah v’Avodah in Jerusalem. She is also a certified bride counselor.