Rav Baruch Wieder

Rosh HaYeshiva

Rav Baruch Wieder was born and raised in Netanya and is a graduate of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva Netanya. He later studied in Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav under Rav Zvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook Zt”l.

Rav Wieder continued his learning in Yeshivat Hakotel. After completing the Hesder Program and receiving Semicha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, he joined the Kollel where he served the Rosh Kollel Rav Yaakov Katz.

He currently serves as both Rosh HaKollel and Rosh HaYeshiva.

Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl

Posek of the Yeshiva

Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl is the former Chief Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem and Rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue in the Old City. A prolific author, he has written over ten books on Parashat Hashavua and Chagim.

Rav Nebenzahl is considered by many to be the leading student of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as well as his chavruta for over forty years.

Aside from his role as Posek of the Yeshiva, Rav Nebenzahl delivers shiurim in Parshat Hashavua, Hilchot Shabbat and Rambam Yad Hachazakah, and delivers a weekly shiur and question-answer session to Shana Bet.

Rav Tuvia Lifschitz

Mashgiach Ruchani

Rav Tuvia Lifschitz studied at Yeshivat Hakotel and has both Semicha from the Israeli Rabbinate and a Teacher’s Degree from Michlelet Lifshitz. He is well known for his Tanach and Machshava shiurim and for maintaining the yeshiva’s unique atmosphere. He gives a weekly sicha for overseas talmidim and hosts talmidim at his home in the Old City which includes a breathtaking view of the Har HaBayit.

Rav Reuven Taragin

Dean of Overseas Students

Rav Reuven Taragin, is a former Wexner Fellow and Musmach of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and has completed a B.A. in Science and Philosophy at Yeshiva University and an M.A. in Jewish History and Education at Touro College (Israel). 

Rav Taragin is the Dean of Overseas Students at Yeshivat Hakotel where he is responsible for the quality and message of the overall program and the welfare of each of its students.

Despite his many responsibilities, Rav Taragin manages to develop a deep kesher with each of the talmidim both while they are in yeshiva and afterwards (he maintains personal contact with each one of the yeshiva’s alumni).

He is well-known for his shiurim in Gemara, Tanach and Machshava, his inspiring talks, signature tisches, and the personal advice he offers to talmidim.

Rav Taragin is also the Educational Director of World Mizrachi and the RZA (Religious Zionists of America).  In that position he drives educational initiatives that strengthen the relationship of communities and individuals in the USA and around the world with Eretz Yisrael.

 

Rav Taragin is also the Rosh Beit Midrash at Camp Moshava (I.O.), Rav of Kehillat Eretz Chemdah in Katamon, and the founder and director of the Yeshivat Hakotel Vayichan Program (vayichan.com) and which brings together the world’s leading Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbonim, and Mechanchim of different hashkafot for achdut programs that educate hundreds of thousands around the world.

Rav Taragin lives with his wife Shani and their six children in Alon Shvut, Israel.

Rav Ari Heller

Ram

Rav Heller received a degree in Education from Herzog Teacher’s College and Semicha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. He also holds a Teacher’s and Master’s Degree in Judaic Studies from Israel’s Ministry of Education.

Rav Heller’s gemara shiur is unique in that it provides talmidim with solid foundations in both the textual and conceptual aspects of learning. He is also known for learning b’chavruta with each of his talmidim. Rav Heller gives numerous other shiurim in yeshiva including Nevi’im Rishonim and Chassidut.

He oversees the Machal Program and provides the boys with emotional and practical support and advice throughout the process..

Rav Jesse Horn

Ram

Rav Jesse Horn is a Senior Ram known for his methodological and Brisker approach to Gemara, creative Shiurim in Tanach, and warm personality.  In shiur, he teaches Talmidim to rigorously read and dissect texts, to ask major questions on the Sugya, and to develop and analyze the answers and approaches offered by the Rishonim. He works extensively with them during seder helping develop their own skills.

Being a constant presence in the Beit Medrash, along with having a warm personality and an ability to understand Overseas Talmidim, Rav Horn forges particularly close relationships with his Talmidim.  
Rav Horn also has taught in many other seminaries including MMY, Shaalvim for Women and Midreshet HaRova.  Additionally, Rav Horn also has published books, articles and sends out a Halachik email weekly to over one thousand five hundred readers.
Rav Horn earned a B.A. in Judaic Studies and M.A. in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University and received smicha from Yeshiva University/RIETS. Rav Horn resides in Neve Daniel along with his wife and seven children.
 
 
 

Rav Ari Cutler

Ram

Rav Ari Cutler received Semicha from Yeshiva University and has a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Rav Cutler’s daily Gemara shiur teaches students the necessary methodology and skills to be confident in building a sugya with in-depth analysis of Rishonim and Achronim. The shiur is known for its culture of chevra, confidence to build sugyot by student-led chaburot and connection to Torah. His unique ‘vaad’ is a highlight for the talmid’s week in building their Avodat Hashem.  Rav Cutler takes pride in the close relationships that he develops with talmidim.

Rav Cutler is also known for his passionate sichot, guidance delivered, and Halacha and Machshava Shiurim (with a focus on Machshevet Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Kook).

Rav Cutler is the Founder and Director of the Yeshivat Hakotel Leadership Program which features mentoring and practical experience in community and youth leadership.

Moti Jerbi

Executive Director

Moti Jerbi has a BA in Education and Communications and Media and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Army Reserves, responsible for protecting Israel’s southern borders.  In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Mr. Jerbi builds personal relationships with many talmidim. 

Rav Uri Goldstein

Director of Overseas Program

Rav Uri Goldstein received Semicha from Yeshiva University. Before making Aliyah in 2016, Rav Uri was rabbi of a community in Fair Lawn NJ and taught in Frisch and Maayanot high schools. Along with his wife, Rav Uri founded the JLIC at UCLA. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Rav Uri gives shiurim in Tanach and Jewish Thought at the Yeshiva, and serves as Rabbi of a school on Beit Shemesh..

Rav Dovi Fischer

Head Of Night Seder

Rav Dovi, a Graduate and Musmach of YU/RIETS, is a close student and former Shiur Assistant of Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky and completed an M.A. in Jewish Education.

Rav Dovi oversees all aspects of Night Seder and has daily Chavrutot with many Talmidim. Rav Dovi heads the Gemara Bekiut (Yeshiva Masechta, Megillah and Sotah) Incentive Program where he enables Talmidim to maximize their potential in mastering Masechtot through a clear understanding and intensive Chazara. His Night Chaburah focuses on a Weekly Overview of Shas Bavli and Shas Mishnayot Sugyot. In addition to his Night Chaburah, he gives shiurim in 40 Comprehensive Halachic Topics, 5,000 Years Of Torah History and teaches a “Niggun Of The Week”.

Rav Dovi also coordinates and joins the annual Yeshiva Poland Trip where he plays an important role in the emotional and educational experience of all talmidim. He is known for being very easy to relate to and for making talmidim feel comfortable in Yeshiva.

During the summer, Rav Dovi is on the Educational Staff at Camp Morasha.

Dr. Carl Hochhauser

Yeshiva Psychologist

Dr. Hochhauser received his doctorate in psychology from Yeshiva University and worked for several years in the United States as a clinical and health/pediatric psychologist.

During Elul, Dr. Hochhauser meets with each Talmid individually and is then available to speak with them further regarding matters large and small. In addition, he gives a weekly shiur on “Halachic Issues in the Workplace” as well as a series of shiurim on “Psychology and Judaism”. He also organizes a special series that helps talmidim deal with the psychological pressures of the year in Israel and a special shana bet seminar on “Dating and Marriage”.

Rav Binny Davis

Mashgiach

Rav Binny serves as Mashgiach for English Talmidim.  Born in Adelaide Australia, he grew up in Chigwell, Essex just outside London. Rav Binny learned in Yeshivat Hakotel and received Semicha from the Israeli Rabbinate and studied education at Herzog College of Education.  Rav Binny, his wife Atara and children,  Moshe Daniel and Ahuva Talia live on campus, and fequently host Talmidim in their apartment.  

Rav Efroni Schlessinger

Coordinator Shana Bet, Meishiv

Rav Efroni Schlesinger received Semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ZT”L and an M.A. in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. He is Rav Taragin’s Morning Seder Shoel Umeishiv and the coordinator of the Overseas Shana Bet Program. Rav Schlesinger also coordinates the joint World-Mizrachi, Yeshivat Hakotel Mechanchim Program, which provides experience and tools for older Yeshiva students who are interested in careers in education and shlichut. Over the summer, Efroni runs the High School Beit Midrash Program in Moshava IO for 11th and 12th graders.
Rav Schlesinger made Aliyah from Memphis, TN. He has been studying in Yeshivat Hakotel for the last nine years. During which, he served as an officer in the IDF and holds the rank of First Lt. in the IDF reserves.
In addition to various weekly shiurim, Rav Schlesinger gives a Daf Yomi shiur both in Yeshiva and on YUTorah. He also has a Jewish Philosophy podcast, Exploring Jewish Thought, where he discusses the approaches of different renowned Jewish thinkers to the most fundamental questions of faith and religion.

R. Sammy Raskas

Mashpia, Shana Bet

R’ Sammy Raskas grew up in New Rochelle, NY, and made aliyah in 2014 while a talmid in Yeshivat HaKotel. Since finishing the army as part of his Hesder service, he has continued on staff as a Madrich, Shoe’l Umeishiv, and now currently as the Shana Bet Mashpia. He is concurrently studying for Semicha from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, as well as from the Mizrachi Musmachim program.
R’ Sammy lives on campus with his wife Batya and son Yehuda, and enjoy hosting talmidim for Shabbat meals and more.

Rav Chanoch Teller

Shiurim

Rav Chanoch Teller is an award-winning author and producer and internationally renowned lecturer. His scholarship on Holocaust related material has made him the premier docent in Yad Vashem for religious, English-speaking groups. He is also a senior lecturer in numerous seminaries in Jerusalem.

Rav Teller delivers a popular weekly lecture about Gedolei Yisrael. In addition he is the perennial guide for the yeshiva’s visits to Bnei Brak and Mea Shearim.

A graduate of Yeshiva University he also has a BHL from ITRI and has been learning in the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem for over three decades. He is invited to Jewish communities across the world to serve as a Scholar-In-Residence, earning him the title of the Globe Trotting Maggid.

Rav David Milston

Shiurim

Rav Milston earned Semicha from the Israeli Rabbinate and a B.A. in Judaic Studies from Jews College in London. In addition to serving as Director of the Overseas Program at Midreshet HaRova, Rav Milston gives popular shiurim at Hakotel in Mesilat Yesharim and Parashat Hashavua.

Don Kates

Director of Development

Don grew up in Chicago, was active in Bnei Akiva, and served as Mazkir, Bnei Akiva of Chicago 1967-69, and Rosh Moshava in Wild Rose, Wisconsin in 1973-74. A graduate of ICJA, he studied at the HTC in Skokie and received his MSW in Social Group Work in 1974 from the University of Illinois in Chicago.

He has 35 years of Jewish Communal experience, including 24 years in public relations and development, including four years as Director, Community Relations at Yeshivat Sha’alvim (1988-92), and Mercaz Yeshivot Bnei Akiva (2005-2008), before coming to Hakotel.

Don and his wife Susan live in Raanana.  They have five children and eight grandchildren.