Rabbi Sandy Zisser is the Founder and Director of Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary, as well as serving as the mentor for the guided Darshan Training Program. Also Rabbi Zisser teaches in the Center for Academic Support at Schechter Westchester. He holds B.A. degrees in American History and Judaic Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, a M.A. in Special Education from Bank Street College and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute. He is also a member of the Westchester Board of Rabbis.
Smicha, Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute MA, Bank Street College of Education BA, SUNY Albany
Practical Rabbinics (Lifecycle)
Rabbi Barbara Aiello is a pulpit rabbi with TWENTY years of congregational experience, currently serving as rabbi of Sinagoga Ner Tamid del Sud, the first Reconstructionist synagogue in Italy. She was the first and only woman rabbi in Italy and the first and only non-orthodox rabbi in Italy. Rabbi Aiello came to the rabbinate later in life, after a career as a special education teacher, counselor and a professional puppeteer – as creator of The Kids on the Block international educational puppet program.
Rabbi Barbara has a MS in education/psychology from George Washington University, para-rabbinic certificate from Hebrew Union College, smicha (ordination) from Rabbinical Seminary International and advanced smicha from The Rabbinic Academy.
Smicha, The Rabbinical Academy Smicha, Rabbinical Seminary International MS, The George Washington University
Rabbi Joshua Cahan teaches Rabbinics and Prayer at the Schechter Westchester high school. He received his rabbinic ordination and a Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he also served as director of the JTS Beit Midrash. He previously spent eight years directing the Northwoods Kollel and Beit Midrash Program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Rabbi Cahan’s expertise in litury and prayer spans the academic and the practical – he is an accomplished baal tefilla (prayer leader) and song leader, and published a widely-used bencher, Yedid Nefesh, as well as academic articles on the ritual aspects of prayer.
Smicha, Jewish Theological Seminary of America PhD, Talmud, Jewish Theological Seminary of America MHL, Jewish Theological Seminary of America BA, Philosophy, Yale University
Rabbi Fredda Cohen, MA, JD, BCC, is the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. She has lectured extensively in the fields of pastoral education, bikur cholim, palliative care and spirituality. Rabbi Cohen was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2010, where she also earned an MA in Judaic Studies. She is a board certified chaplain under the auspices of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC), and currently serves on its board. Rabbi Cohen received the prestigious Chaplain of the Year Award conferred by the New York Board of Rabbi in 2015. Prior to her career as a chaplain/rabbi, she worked as a trusts and estate attorney.
Smicha, Jewish Theological Seminary
MA, Jewish Theological Seminary
JD, Fordham University School of Law
A teaching rabbi, university lecturer and researcher in religion and the humanities, and Scholar-in-Residence at OneShul, Rabbi Lobel brings an eclectic and transdenominational focus to Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary. Rabbi Lobel's focus, which is based on ideas located across the Jewish spectrum of denominations, primarily Renewal, as well as Earth-based Judaism – is a practice that keeps the cycles of nature and the wheel of the year in mind in belief and ritual.
Rabbi Lobel's path to the rabbinate was inspired by an ongoing career as a religion lecturer, as also wanting to connect and work with interested students as a rabbinic teacher and mentor, on both the intellectual and emotional levels.
Smicha, Mesifta Adath Wolkowisk (The Rabbinical Academy) PhD, Religion/Religion and Science, Concordia University
After working as a pulpit rabbi, Rabbi Mayer felt a calling to leave Jewish professional life and instead have a successful career as a high school math teacher and founder Religion-Outside-The-Box (ROTB), which empowers adults to find and be with the God of their understanding. ROTB seeks to feed the spiritually hungry, much like doctors-without-borders – wherever help is needed.
Rabbi Mayer returned to the rabbinate by becoming part of Darshan Yeshiva's conversion to Judaism program and is excited to further his Jewish professional work with Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary.
Smicha, MHL, Hebrew Union College
Survey of Torah & Post Biblical Books
Daniel Mond is a lecturer and teacher in Jewish studies and in film, and has taught and lectured on 4 continents, in 5 countries. He has a Master of Hebrew and Jewish Studies with Distinction from the University of London, a Master of Education from OISE in Toronto, both a First Class Honours degree and a Diploma of Education from Monash University in Australia, and he read for a Doctorate in Philosophy, at King's College, Cambridge. Daniel also was a recipient of the prestigious Jerusalem Fellowship from 1989-1991; where he specialized in media for Jewish education. He came to the US from Israel to do a Master of Fine Arts in Film at Columbia University, and has lectured in film at both NYU and Baruch College and was a film reviewer for the Ma’ariv newspaper in Israel.Daniel currently teaches Tanakh in New York.
Fun facts: Daniel represented Australia twice in the International Bible competition, and, as a recipient of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Award, he met and joked with Prince Charles.
MA, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of London MFA, Film, Columbia University MEd, Curriculum Development, University of Toronto
Ariel Simon teaches high school students at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. His courses focus on Jewish History, Tefilah, and Torah. He has also taught Jewish History classes for students of all ages and backgrounds in synagogues throughout the New York area.
Ariel earned undergraduate degrees in Ancient Studies from Columbia University and in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He then spent two years studying Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva, in Jerusalem. Afterwards, he enrolled at New York University's Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies where he earned a master's degree studying the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism.
MA, New York University BA, Columbia University BA, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Master Curriculum Developer
Rabbi Rothenberg has had a long and winding path towards the rabbinate. Raised Orthodox in Miami, Florida and receiving a yeshivah education, Rabbi Rothenberg often works with those who have fallen on hard times and those society deems “forgotten” – those suffering from addiction, and spiritual and actual incarceration. He lectures and teachs in the areas of Jewish law and spirituality, specifically the ideas of joy, happiness and acceptance of every person for who they are, as taught by the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
In 2019, Rabbi Rothenberg became the first Orthodox conversion rabbi for Darshan Yeshiva, a distance learning based conversion to Judaism program.
Smicha, Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim BA, University of Florida
Hadassah Wrightman is a certified teacher, originally from Israel, working at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester for the past thirty-two years. Hadassah has taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies to all grade levels and for the past decade has served as department chair for Hebrew and Judaic Studies. She is currently at the lower school where, in addition to some teaching, Hadassah works directly with teachers to improve instruction and learning in these areas. Hadassah is proud to be a “student centered” teacher always focusing on the learning needs of her students first and constantly seeking new ways to engage with her students and improve their learning.
Certification, Hebrew Language and Tanakh, Kfar HaNoar HaDati Teachers' College Certification, Education, Specializing with Working with Trouble Youth, Beit Rutenberg
Master Curriculum Developer
Aaron Levi is an experiential Jewish educator, curriculum developer, and the founder and CEO of Gate City Tours, LLC, which offers hyper-local, neighborhood-based walking tours exploring the history and evolution of Atlanta and its Jewish community. Aaron holds dual Master's Degrees in Education and Judaic Studies from New York University, where he was a Jim Joseph Fellow. He is a graduate of the Yeshiva University Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education; the iCenter Master's Concentration in Israel Education; and the American Jewish World Service Rabbinic and Graduate Student Global Justice Fellowship. Aaron received his bachelor's degree in Journalism, Judaic Studies, and Hebrew from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
MA, New York University Graduate Certificate, Yeshiva University Graduate Certificate, iCenter Master's Concentration in Israel Education BA, New York University
Rabbi David HartleyMark
Rabbi David Hartley Mark is from New York City’s Lower East Side. He attended Yeshiva University, the City University of NY Graduate Center for English Literature, and received smicha at the Academy for Jewish Religion. He currently teaches English at Everglades University in Boca Raton, FL, and has a Shabbat pulpit at Temple Sholom of Pompano Beach. His literary tastes run to Isaac Bashevis Singer, Stephen King, King David, Kohelet, Christopher Marlowe, and the Harlem Renaissance.
Smicha, MHL, Academy for Jewish Religion MA, Queens College M.Phil., Queens College
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Rabbi Siritsky spent time living in France, Cuba and Israel before moving to the United States in 1997. She studied at several Orthodox yeshivas, including Pardes in Jerusalem, prior to beginning her studies as a Reform rabbi at Hebrew Union College. For Rabbi Siritsky, studying Judaism from traditional perspectives was important because "it was important to understand what we were reforming". Rabbi Siritsky believes in making educated choices from the rich set of resources provided by Jewish tradition, in order to ensure that every ritual and prayer is meaningful.
Rabbi Siritsky is a founding board member of the Society of Classical Reform Judaism, due to her unwavering commitment to advocacy for interfaith families and the creation of inclusive Jewish communities that are unconditionally welcoming of all spiritual seekers, regardless of their religious background, relationship status, identity or Hebrew speaking ability.
In addition to nearly a decade working in synagogues, teaching, counseling and participating in life cycle events, she is also trained as an interfaith chaplain, and worked with the American Red Cross after 9/11, providing counseling and support at the family assistance center, Ground Zero and the morgue. This led Rabbi Siritsky to get a second Masters in Social Work, and I have spent several years working as a psychotherapist, social worker, counselor and chaplain in multiple settings including hospice, palliative care.
Smicha, MHL, Hebrew Union College
MSW, Louisville Kent School of Social Work
Rabbi Winter was born in South America to parents who fled Europe at the beginning of World War II. Inspired by his father's work to build multi-faith bridges in Uruguay, Rabbi Winter pursued a rabbinic career that would extend his family’s rabbinic dynasty dating back to the 16th century.
Rabbi Winter has lived in five different countries in Latin America as well as in the United States, and has a wealth of experience in working with individuals of all ages and all ethnicities. It is his firm belief that conveying an understanding of the rich tapestry of the Jewish religion and tradition to people raised in an environment with little or no knowledge of it, is a transformative experience.
Smicha, MHL, Seminario Rabínico Latinamerico
Director, Strategy & Innovation
Rabbi Patrick Beaulier is the founder and executive director of PunkTorah Inc, a series of Jewish educational websites. Additionally, he is the co-spiritual leader of Kehillah, a pop-up Jewish community in Richmond, VA. For Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary, "Rabbi Patrick" focuses on our Innovation program, helping rabbinical students learn the practical skills needed to develop and launch Jewish for profit and non-profit projects.
Smicha, Rabbinical Seminary International BA, City University of Seattle
Ms. SaraStirne Ibanez
Human Resources, Policy & Finance
Sara Stirne Ibanez is the Managing Director of Operations for Darshan Yeshiva. She manages all conversion rabbis and mentors as well as Darshan Yeshiva's virtual support team. Sara is focused on sustaining and growing programs and services through this HR lens. A former communications specialist and media maven, Sara holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University. For PRS, Ms. Stirne Ibanez manages the development of HR and student policy, as well as supports administratively as both an HR specialist and in financial administration.
MA, Baylor University (matriculating 2020) BBA, Georgia State University