Faculty

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By Shalva Gozland, Current MMY Student

In 1970, at age 22, already a veteran of the Jewish underground, a young man participated in a daring attempt to escape the Soviet Union with a group of Jews on a small civilian aircraft.

This past Thanksgiving, the talmidot of MMY had the Zechut to hear from this moral giant, Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, world renowned soviet refusenik and former prisoner of Zion, whose unthinkable sacrifices led millions of Soviet Jews to freedom.

Rabbi Mendelevich is a true Jewish hero in our time, who represents the paragon of Emunah, Bitachon, and unwavering Jewish pride.

At a time when he so easily could have lost faith, Rabbi Mendelevich asked not what G-d could do for him, but what he could do for G-d.

I have no doubt that his remarkable story of courage and unbroken spirit in the face of adversity will play a formative role in deepening our understanding of Jewish identity and Jewish pride for many years to come.

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In memory of Elicia Brown Pomeroy

“Good things come in small packages” may be a classic idiom. But in MMY 5778, one of the best things has come in the form of quite a large package. After last year’s students were welcomed into MMY with the inauguration of our new gym room, this year’s students were greeted with our brand new set of bicycles! Donated in memory of Elicia Brown-Pomeroy, עליזה אלקה בת טדרוס, the newest addition to the MMY world has far surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Rabbi Katz, usually one to be excited about any and all donations, was skeptical when first approached with the idea of a bike donation. “Perhaps because I never learned to ride a bike myself and I am quite happy with driving my car, I couldn’t imagine anyone would actually ride a bicycle around Yerushalayim. Boy was I wrong! The bicycles have turned into the hottest item I can remember in a long time.”

MMYers have taken advantage of the bikes on a daily basis.  One student, Eliana Feifel from Chicago (pictured above with her friends), shared with us her excitement about this new service. “The new bicycles in MMY have been such a great addition to the school that everyone has been able to benefit from. These bikes provide us with such a positive opportunity to exercise, learn our way around, and hang out with friends in a fun and exciting way. MMY is located in such a beautiful area, and with these bikes, we are able to appreciate it more. I have personally enjoyed taking advantage of my free time by riding along the local bike path by Tachana Rishona and discovering various beautiful parks in the MMY area. I am truly so thankful to the donors of these bicycles because they enhance our school and help keep the students happy and healthy!”

Read more: Cycle of Life – MMY Rides On

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Rebecca Grossman, MMY 5773

I grew up in Merrick, NY, which is about as close to out-of-town as you can be while still being in Nassau County. I graduated from HANC in 2012. I was actively involved with New York NCSY all four years of high school. When it came time to choose a seminary, there was no question in my mind that I was going to MMY. I had known by the time I hit eleventh grade that I wanted to go to MMY. I had advisors and friends who had gone to MMY and I looked up to them as role models of the type of person I wanted to be.

It has been almost four and a half years since I left MMY. And what an amazing four and half years it has been! I graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. I interned at Sikorsky Aircraft, a helicopter company in Stratford, Connecticut, for eight months. I worked on the CH53K “King’s Stallion” which is their heavy-lift helicopter. The helicopter is huge. If you have ever seen a Blackhawk, this thing could swallow it. I have volunteered on two Israeli army bases. I spent three and a half weeks in Europe. And in July, I started a job as Accenture as a technology analyst. I work on front-end web development, graphic design, project management and more. I love my job!

In addition to all that, I also had the opportunity to intern at The Boeing Company last summer. I lived in Seattle and it was incredible. I tested out electrical systems, watched test flights, flew the simulators and explored all the planes. When I flew to Europe on a 747, I convinced the flight crew to let me go up to the upper deck after we landed. The pilot then invited me into the cockpit. He took the picture above. After spending three months working at Boeing, I finally know how planes fly: magic.

Seattle is an awesome city. If you are ever looking for a place to visit, I highly recommend it. The people are cool, the hiking and views are spectacular and do not forget the flying fish stand at Pike Place Market. Thereis even a Sefardi family that has a fish stand and they have special knives for kosher customers. If I wasn’t planning to make Aliyah, I would definitely move to Seattle.

Reflecting on the past four and a half years, I know that I could never have done it without MMY. MMY allowed me to build strong skills in my learning along with strong connections to friends and teachers. My learning skills have allowed me to continue my learning and growth no matter where I am, whether in College Park, Connecticut, Seattle, or Germany. In moments of hardship, I knew I could reach out to any of the staff and they would be able to guide me. MMY also gave me the tools to develop my own nuanced hashkafa and approach to Torah and halacha. I have been able to merge my love of engineering and science with my love of Torah. For me, engineering is part of my avodat Hashem. I have been able to embrace all of these incredible opportunities because I see them as opportunities to grow personally and religiously. I will forever be grateful to my experience in MMY and the MMY family for giving me everything I need to succeed. 

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Rabbi Yosef Bronstein, Current MMY Faculty

 

A recent Oleh and new face at MMY, Rabbi Yosef Bronstein lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh with his wife, Batya, a psychologist, and their children, Talya (6), Yehuda (3) & Yonatan (1 month).

The family previously lived Washington Heights, NY, where Rabbi Bronstein was a member of the Yeshiva University community for over a decade.  Excluding his three years of post-high school learning, Rabbi Bronstein slowly traversed the Yeshiva University system, from a freshman in high school and continuing through college, smicha, kollel and graduate school. 

Most recently, he was an instructor of Jewish Philosophy at Stern College for Women, and Yeshiva University’s Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies Honors Program while concurrently pursuing a PhD in Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School of Judaic Studies.  In addition, he and Batya served as the Campus Couple at Stern, spending Shabbatot there contributing to the Shabbat environment on campus.

Since making Aliyah in Summer 2017, Rabbi Bronstein has joined the MMY faculty.  He teaches Hilchot Shabbat as well as Halacha LeDoroteha, a class which traces the history of halacha from Sinai to contemporary times.  Invariably, class conversations turn to Rabbi Bronstein’s passions in the world of Jewish Philosophy: the teachings of Rav Kook, Rav Soloveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Rabbi Bronstein has been very impressed with the seriousness, engagement and passion of the MMY student body, who both inspire him and cause him to think more critically about the topics that he is teaching.  He looks forward to building on his first few months and developing a great, mutually beneficial relationship with MMY and its students!

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The year spent in seminary in Israel is a very special and critical time in the life of a young Jewish woman. Within this relatively short span of time there is a disproportionately large amount of spiritual and emotional growth , which lays the foundation and sets the tone for one's continued path in life.

It is vital for time be set aside for reflection in order to allow for processing and greater self-awareness. Within the context of the art chug at MMY, participants are encouraged to share moments of inspiration which they have had over the course of their Israel experience, and share them with each other through artistic expression

Four projects are planned for the year. Each one is designed to guide each young woman express her own unique spiritual path. The first project focuses on an object of inspiration, and is based on a realistic approach to art. The second project will introduce abstract techniques as we explore the theme of inspirational places we have visited in Israel. The third project will introduce surrealism and symbolic representation as a tool for spiritual reflection. A group collage is planned as well, designed to foster camaraderie and creativity as a community.

The year has begun with a strong and positive reception for the art class. Everyone has begun to keep a diary of thoughts, feelings, and inspirations. We have started to share from our inner world and to plan out in a practical way how we may go about expressing ourselves through artistic medium.

Read more: Self-Awareness and Spiritual Growth through Artistic Expression with Geula Twersky

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