About Us

Orthodox Rabbinic Leaders Writing About how they see Judaism, Israel, the Jewish People and Our World.

Rabbi Hyim Shafner-is the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to Bais Abraham Rabbi Shafner was the Rabbi of the St. Louis Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis for eight years. He has S’micha (Rabbinical Ordination), an MSW in social work and an MA in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University in New York City. Before coming to St. Louis Rabbi Shafner was the Rabbi of India where he and his wife, Sara Winkelman, spent a year working with the Indian Jewish community under the auspices of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. They have three children, and live in University City, Missouri. Rabbi Shafner is the author of The Everything Jewish Wedding Book.

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky-Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky was ordained in 1989 at Yeshiva University, from where he also received a Master’s Degree in Jewish History.  He began his rabbinic career in 1990, as the associate Rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, New York. The Hebrew Institute is one of the national flagships of Modern Orthodoxy.  Rabbi Kanefsky came to B’nai David – Judea Congregation in Los Angeles in the summer of 1996. During his tenure, he has helped B’nai David – Judea emerge as a voice of creativity and innovation within Orthodoxy, and as a vital link between the Orthodox community and the larger Los Angeles Jewish community. He has also introduced changes in synagogue ritual and leadership intended to enhance the role of women in Orthodox life, and has established social action as a central dimension of the congregation’s activity.   He is a past president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and a regular contributor to the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.  Rabbi Kanefsky is married to Sari Abrams, and they have 3 sons: Ori , Adin, and Yakir.

Rabbi Barry Gelman- is Rabbi of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, Texas. Rabbi Gelman has also served as Rabbi at the Hebrew Institute if Riverdale, Congregation Shaar Hashomayin in Montreal, Canada and Kehilath Jeshurun in New York. He has S’micha (Rabbinical Ordination), and an MS  in Jewish Education Yeshiva University in New York City. He is the author of Irresistable Judaism: A Collection of Inspirational Sermons and Essays.

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold is the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment at Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. Previously, she served as the Education and Ritual Director at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. Rachel (pronounced “Rakhel”)  received her B.A. in Religion from Boston University and completed the Drisha Scholars Circle. She graduated in 2013 as part of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat, a new institution training Orthodox women as halachic and spiritual leaders. Rachel lives in Montreal with her husband, Rabbi Avi Finegold, and their three young daughters.

Rabbi Nissan Antine is the Rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, MD.  He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated, summa cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. He received his ordination from YCT Rabbinical School in 2006. Before entering rabbinical school, Rabbi Antine studied in various yeshivot in America and Israel and he was a fellow of the Torah Metzion Kollel in Cleveland, Ohio.  Rabbi Antine is the Senior Rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac Maryland.  He is also currently the president of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, a rabbinic organization with over 180 members.


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