Features Archive

Teacher Bio~Mrs. Atara Eis


Mrs. Atara Eis, a native of Sharon, MA, has tremendously enjoyed coming home to MMY after a fourteen year hiatus since her Shana Ba'Aretz. That year was incredibly transformative for her, as she felt it propelled her Torah knowledge and growth in unpredictable ways.

In her year in MMY, Mrs. Eis fell in love with Eretz Yisrael and knew she needed to raise her family there. The place where all arrows have been Divinely pointing our nation home so clearly in this last century.

Before finding her way home for good with her husband, Rabbi Rafi Eis and their four children, Mrs. Eis spent time in both the U.S. and Israel. At Stern College, she studied Judaic Studies as intensely as she could, and paired it with the study of music, another one of her passions. Her intense Torah Sheba’al Peh studies at MMY catalyzed her to focus on Gemara, Halacha, and the philosophy of Halacha in college (ok, yes, Tanach and Jewish Philosophy as well!). This prepared her to spend her first two years of marriage in Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies, while earning a Masters in Jewish Education from Azrieli. She graduated with the question, “what’s my next learning program?” The natural answer was to spend two years at Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Institute to become a Yoetzet Halacha, while her husband was studying at Gruss. She felt this would prepare her best not just to learn and live Torah, but to serve Am Yisrael in a meaningful and deeply needed way.

Having fallen in love with Eretz Yisrael in MMY, followed by the zechut to live in Kollel in Eretz Yisrael, Mrs. Eis was reluctant to leave.  However, her husband was passionate about spending time giving back to the American Jewish community which had raised them so well. Rabbi Katz had planted in her head during her Shana Ba’Aretz that it might be necessary for her to do that, so she acquiesced. The Eis family relocated to Lower Merion, PA for an amazing six years of working at Stern Hebrew High School, which later became Kohelet Yeshiva High School.
During this time, Mrs. Eis served as a Yoetzet Halacha first in Silver Spring, MD, followed by many shuls in Manhattan and her own community of Philadelphia. She realized that unless Nishmat began educating Yoatzot Halacha in the U.S., this important resource with the potential to change lives for the better would not take strong roots in the United States, since most Israeli-trained Yoatzot Halacha planned on staying there. She worked with Nishmat’s Dean, Rabbanit Chana Henkin, and the American Friends of Nishmat board, to make this American branch a reality, and then became its director. When the first five fellows graduated in Summer, 2013, and her positions at many shuls could be replaced, and the presence of Yoatzot Halacha expanded and became part of the Modern Orthodox landscape, the Eis family felt they could finally fulfill their lifelong dream of aliyah.

Mrs. Eis loves MMY because it is a place of positive Torah dialogue and growth, where everyone’s presence seems infused with a genuine love of HaShem, Torah, and Am Yisrael from all walks of life. Every time she teaches, she leaves class more motivated to live and learn more Torah. She is excited and grateful to be part of this balanced, nourishing environment, and looks forward to many years of dynamic Torah growth at MMY.

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