Netanel Klein is originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey. An ardent Zionist, he made Aliyah with his family at age three, settling in Ramat Gan. Netanel grew up in a Bnei Akiva environment and proudly participated in his local Bnei Akiva snif as a madrich and guide to younger chanichim. His involvement with Bnei Akiva didn’t stop there; Netanel worked as a madrich at Moshava Ennismore for several summers.
Netanel joined the Hesder program at Yeshivat HaKotel, where he learned for a year and a half before serving an extended period of two years of combat service in the IDF. As a commander, he trained a platoon of new recruits in the Givati infantry division. Upon finishing his army service, Netanel spent another year and a half as an avreich at Yeshivat HaKotel, concentrating his learning on contemporary halachic topics.
Netanel’s bond with Bnei Akiva led him to meet his wife, Eliana Blanshay, at Moshava Ennismore. Eliana graduated from Stern College and will begin her masters in speech-language pathology at McMaster University.
Netanel and Eliana will be living in Hamilton, and Netanel looks forward to contributing to the Toronto and Hamilton communities and to lending his special warmth and energy to the Beit Midrash.
Rabbi Sammy Bergman grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey where he ran the local Teen minyan, and often led Friday night ongim. After finishing high school at Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy in Elizabeth, Rabbi Bergman studied in Yeshivat Sha’alvim for two years, where his love for Torah and Ruach (inspiration) continued to blossom. He then attended Yeshiva University, where he was a member of the Masmidim Honors Program, and he received a B.A. in Accounting from the Sy Syms School of Business. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological seminary, where he was a fellow of the Wexner Semichah Honors Program.
Always looking to utilize his talents to teach and inspire others, Rabbi Bergman has served as a Rabbinic Intern for the Riverdale Jewish Center, the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, and Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, NJ. Over the course of his internships, Rabbi Bergman cultivated his ability to connect with congregants of varying levels of Jewish education. After completing ordination, Rabbi Bergman taught at both Rambam Mesivta, and North Shore Hebrew Academy high school. As a rebbe, Rabbi Bergman was known not only for his engaging and inspiring shiurim but for his passion for developing warm relationships with his students.
Rabbi Bergman is married to Dr. Ahuva Bergman, who works as a pediatrician. They have a daughter named Miriam who is 4 years old and will be starting junior kindergarten at Netivot HaTorah Day School. The Bergmans will be living in the Bathurst-Lawrence area, and are excited to become members of the Shaarei Shomayim community, where Rabbi Bergman will serve as a Rabbinic Assistant.
Rabbi Dr. Moshe J. Yeres served as Principal for Jewish Studies at TanenbaumCHAT. He leads a popular Shabbat morning class at the Thornhill Community Shul Hashkamah Minyan, and teaches in various venues in the community. He has many years of leadership experience as an educator, administrator, and religious leader.
Rabbi Yeres is an enthusiastic teacher and an articulate speaker and presenter who combines professional executive skills with learning and scholarship. He works well with adults and youth to convey a strong sense of Jewish identity, Torah study and ahavat yisrael.
Rabbi Yeres received his Semichah, Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. from Yeshiva University.
Rabbi Alex Hecht grew up in Westchester County, New York. He received a B.A. in Judaic Studies and History from the University of Arizona, where he also coordinated the Orthodox Student Minyan and was an intern at Hillel. Upon graduation, Alex studied at Yeshiva Darchei Noam (Shapell’s) in Jerusalem. He then returned to the United States to serve as the Director of Student Engagement at Eastern Michigan University’s Hillel. While in Michigan, Alex developed a variety of social and educational opportunities for a diverse population of Jewish students.
Realizing his passion for learning and teaching Torah, Alex continued on to study in the Semichah program at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and at the Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration. Most recently, Alex has served as the Rabbinic intern at the Millinery Center Synagogue in Midtown Manhattan, teaching classes and learning one-on-one with congregants.
Alex is married to Judith, who works as a speech-language pathologist, and they have a daughter, Tehila. The Hechts are all very excited to be joining the Clanton Park community, where Alex will serve as the Rabbinic Assistant at the Clanton Park Synagogue.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ezer Diena attended Ner Israel Yeshiva for high school. During this time, he volunteered at Clanton Park Synagogue, where he edited the Synagogue Bulletin and coordinated youth programming. He then spent two years learning at Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Jerusalem, where he developed a close relationship with Rabbi Michel Zalman Shurkin, a premier student of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik.
After Israel, Ezer returned to Toronto, enrolling in York University’s Concurrent Education program, where he studied simultaneously towards an Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. As part of this program, Ezer also taught Mathematics and Science at Earl Haig Secondary School and Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute. While at York, Ezer continued his formal Torah study, learning part-time at Kollel Zichron Meir for two years, and at Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim in Queens, New York.
In the final year of his program, Ezer also served as a Talmud teacher, and a Judaics, Mathematics, and Science supply teacher at Yeshivat Or Chaim. He also delivered a weekly parshah shiur at the Or Chaim Minyan.
While taking a first year Calculus course, Ezer met Chaya Benmergui, and they married in 2016. Chaya, a Thornhill native, works as an ABA therapist.
In addition to enjoying teaching Math and Chemistry, Ezer loves to learn (and teach) Talmud and Halachah, as well as text-based Tanach study, with a focus on recent commentaries. As well as formal teaching, Ezer is always up for a schmooze on any Torah-related topics and looks forward to making many new friends at the BAYT, where he will serve as Rabbinic Assistant.
Rabbi Elihu Abbe is from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York. After attending MTA, Yeshiva University High School for Boys, he spent three years studying in Israel at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, and received a Bachelors in Talmudic Literature. He received semichah (ordination) from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Rabbi Abbe served as Rabbinic Intern at the Young Israel of Monsey and Wesley Hills, and taught a gemara bekiut class at MTA. He also served as counselor of Camp Morasha Kollel, a summer learning program, for six summers. He recently commemorated his grandmother’s first yahrtzeit by celebrating a siyum haShas, marking his completion of the study of the Talmud.
Rabbi Abbe enjoys learning and teaching with a focus on practical halachah, and on developing a joyous personal relationship with G-d.
Rabbi Abbe is married to Eliana Lipsky from West Hempstead, New York. Eliana is a limudei kodesh (Judaic Studies) teacher, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Jewish Education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. They have a daugher, Rochel, and two sons, Yosef and Ephraim.
Rabbi Abbe will serve as Rabbinic Assistant at Congregation Shaarei Shomayim, and is reachable at email@example.com
Rabbi Torczyner has been our Rosh Beit Midrash since our founding in August 2009. Rabbi Torczyner received his B.A. (Comp Sci) from Yeshiva University in 1993, and studied toward a Masters (Comp Sci) at New York University while learning for the rabbinate in Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
After his ordination in 1997, Rabbi Torczyner served as Rabbi of Young Israel of Pawtucket, Rhode Island for four years, and then Congregation Sons of Israel, Allentown, Pennsylvania for eight years. While in Allentown, Rabbi Torczyner spent three years mentoring new pulpit rabbis for Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future. Rabbi Torczyner has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, and he has headed and served on various committees of the RCA.
Rabbi Torczyner enjoys blending different areas of knowledge with Torah, and utilizing diverse methods to develop curricula in Jewish history, Tanach and Jewish law. Examples of this include his TechnoShabbat, Tzibburology, Medical Halachah, Business Ethics, and Parenting from the Torah curricula for adults. More than 1100 recordings of Rabbi Torczyner’s shiurim delivered in Toronto are featured on www.yutorah.com, and Rabbi Torczyner is a regular contributor to the Center for the Jewish Future’s “To Go” holiday publications.
Beginning in 1995, Rabbi Torczyner pioneered a website, WebShas, offering a topic-driven index to the Talmud, and another website, HaMakor, offering bibliographies on a range of Torah topics. Rabbi Torczyner also maintains a popular blog, The Rebbetzin’s Husband, and lives in Thornhill with his wife, Caren, and their four children.