Our Musmakhim/ot


Rahel Berkovits

Rahel Rahellectures in Mishnah, Talmud, halakhah, and the status of women in Judaism at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching for almost twenty years. She recently published the book “A Daughter’s Recitation of Mourner’s Kaddish”.  She is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership minyan, and she is the Halakhic Editor for TaShma JOFA’s Halakhic Source-guide Series. Rahel lives in Jerusalem with her husband and four children.Rahel is grateful to have R. Hefter and R. Sperber as her teachers- for their vision and courage have enabled her (and women of the world) to find their rightful place in the chain of tradition.


Jewish Women [CD ROM]: http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Women-Comprehensive-Historical-Encyclopedia/dp/0827608675A Daughter’s Recitation of Mourner’s Kaddish: http://www.amazon.com/Daughters-Recitation-Mourners-Kaddish-Learn/dp/0578093081/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326366589&sr=8-1

Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

meeshMeesh has an AB in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a MA and PhD from New York University. Her dissertation explored the courageous manner in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a new criminal punishment system. Meesh has taught at NYU, Drisha, and Midreshet Lindenbaum, and currently teaches Talmud at Pardes where she also directs and teaches the Social Justice Track. Meesh is committed to continuing to teach Torah and serve the Jewish people. She feels that Smicha grants her communal recognition for her efforts and achievements in the study of Torah and empowers her further  to be successful in the field of her passion – Jewish education for young adults.

On line publications:

Lev Israel


Lev is a native of Albany, NY. He studied Computer Science and Philosophy at Boston University, and moved to Israel in 1999.  Before learning at Har-El, he studied at Darchei Noam, The Bat Ayin Yeshiva, and Sulam Yaakov.  He is architect and senior engineer at Sefaria, helping to build a free and open online collection of Torah texts and tools for teachers.  With smicha, he plans to continue to explore and share the depths of Torah, and feels a unique calling to be present to the challenges and opportunities that new technologies bring to the world.

Dr. Ariel Evan Mayse

Ariel (748x1024)

Ariel holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University. His dissertation, “Beyond the Letters: The Question of Language in the Teachings of Rabbi Dov Baer of Mezritch,” explores the philosophy of language of one of the great maggid. Ariel, his wife and two children are moving to Ann Arbor from Jerusalem, where he has been teaching and studying for the past four years. In addition to several scholarly and popular articles on Kabbalah and Hasidism, he is a co-editor of the two-volume collection Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings From Around the Maggid’s Table  (Jewish Lights, 2013), and editor of the recent From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism  (Paulist Press, 2014). The choice to pursue smicha reflects his wish to teach Jewish sources from a place within the living tradition, giving shape to contemporary Jewish thought and theology in addition to chronicling its past.

A sample of Ariel’s publications https://www.academia.edu/4688166/Speaking_Torah_Spiritual_Teachings_from_Around_the_Maggids_Table_2_vol._


Noam Pratzer grew up in Toronto and lives in Jerusalem. He is currently working on his PhD in philosophy and towards being licensed as a lawyer in both Israel and Canada. Noam holds a BA and MA from University of Penn.  He also received smicha from Rabbi Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg in 2013. Noam hopes to use the knowledge, tools and relationships that he built at Beit Midrash Har’el, together with his academic training in legal theory, to teach and write about the rich resources the halakhic tradition holds for creating progressive-halakhic Jewish communities.