From Mishna to Philosophy, Shalhevet Teachers Also Learn

By Mati Hurwitz, Torah Editor

By Mati Hurwitz, Torah Editor

Reb Tuli Skaist is the only person on the Shalhevet Staff learning Daf Yomi, having made the commitment to join in the new worldwide reading when it began earlier this summer, as did this writer.   He describes his personal commitment to Daf Yomi as “a system for me to finish Shas — to reach that goal.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to find the time,” Reb Tuli said,.  But he hopes to complete Shas so in seven years he can celebrate with the next siyyum, along with fellow participants all over the world (see related story).

He said he also studies Tanach with modern-day commentaries, Academic Talmud (a Talmud study focusing on syntax and different words rather than traditional learning), the Maharal, and Pachad Yitzchak. 

Although no Shalhevet students or teachers participated in the worldwide Daf Yomi study just completed (see adjoining story), teachers are surely learning Torah in addition to their class preparation.

Mrs. Ruthie Skaist, who teaches Tanach, learns a lot of Tanach aside from what she’s teaching. She also reads English books on Hassidut, and sometimes studies Daf Yomi together her husband.

In the Hebrew Department, Morah Michal Davis enjoys learning the weekly Torah portion with commentaries along with “spiritually lifting Jewish books,” she said. Ms. Shlomit Abrams reads online articles – for example, at — on various religious topics.

In the Jewish History Department, Mr. Jason Feld enjoys learning Pirkei Avot, Jewish Philosophy, and Mussar while Ms. Tova Sunshine studies Navi.

New Judaic Studies Rebbe, Rabbi David Stein, enjoys learning Bekiut Gemara and Hilchot Shabbat.

At the Segal home, Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal loves lto learn parsha. Ms. Atara Segal studies Mishnah with her daughter and learns Halacha. Both of the Segals also enjoy Jewish Philosophy.

Student Support Services Coordinator Josh Horwatt likes learning Gemara and chakirot: 

“Take a subject and learn as many halachik opinions as possible,” Mr. Horwatt said.

As for the Music and Art Departments, Mrs. Joelle Keene enjoys Megillot, the Hertz Chumash, and the works of Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller. Art teacher Mrs. Roen Salem learns through her son, a rabbi.

“He’s always teaching me Torah wisdom,” Roen said.

Director of Development Mr. Aaron Keigher reads English Torah books. Mr. Keigher said these books “could be on parsha, hashkafah [perspective] or personal improvement.”

Mr. Eli Schiff, Facilities Manager and new Athletic Director, said he ;ikes going to shiurs [lecture classes] relevant to his life, currently Shalom Bayit shiurs.

Judaic Studies Director Mr. Noam Weissman likes learning Gemara, specifically anything he can apply to his classes. Mr. Weissman also studies Halacha and the hashkafah of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik and Rabbi Eliezer Berkowitz.

If he learns so much Gemara, why doesn’t Mr. Weissman learn Daf Yomi?

“Everything I learn I automatically have a desire to teach about,” said Mr. Weissman, and not every part of Daf Yomi is interesting and applicable to Mr. Weissman’s class.

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