Our Rabbeim are selected not only for their pedagogical proficiency, but also for their capacity to connect with today’s growing teenager, to inspire and instill values as well as knowledge.
Rav Ronen Dvash grew up in Staten Island, New York. He learned in the Beis Medresh L’Talmud/Lander College Kollel for nine years while simultaneously earning semichah and a bachelor’s in psychology. During this time, he was privileged to establish programming for younger talmidim including daily shiurim, pre-shacharis learning and an ongoing rosh chodesh sefarim project. He also served as night seder support staff. More recently, Rav Dvash was commissioned to lead and develop the night seder program at Yeshivas Toras Halacha in Queens, New York. Rav Dvash served as the assistant rabbi to Rav Peretz Steinberg, at the Young Israel of Queens Valley for three years and as Rav of Ohr Hatorah of Kew Gardens Hills beginning in January 2017. He lives in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens with his wife and children. Rav Dvash will be teaching a gemara shiur at the Beis Medrash of Teaneck and a learning program for retirees beginning after Succos at Heichal.
Rav Eli Hersh learned at the Telshe Alumni in Riverdale NY. He continued his learning at Telshe, Cleveland where he formed a very close bond to the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rav Mordechai Gifter, zt”l. He maintains a very close relationship with Rav Elya Chaim Swerdloff, shlit”a, in Paterson NJ. In Israel, Rav Hersh learned Kodshim in the famed Brisk Yeshiva under Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, shlit”a and Rav Tzvi Kaplan, shlit”a. For a decade Rav Hersh served as a Rebbe in the Beis Medrash in Bridgeport, CT under the leadership of Rav Simcha Bunim Berger, shlit”a. His special connection to his talmidim made Rav Hersh decide to found Camp Hamachaneh in 2007, which grew from 35 boys to over 200 boys from across the globe. He lives with his wife and children in Spring Valley, NY.
A close talmid of Rav Meir Twersky, shlit”a, Rav Komet is known as one of the finest Talmeidei Chachamim to come out of the YU Beis Medrash. He also studied under the tutelage of Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit”a, and in the Kollel Elyon. Rav Komet received a B.A. in mathematics from Yeshiva College. He later became a Meishiv at the RJJ Yeshiva of Edison. Over the past two decades, Rav Komet developed a stellar reputation as a first-rate talmid chacham and a master mechaneich. After many years as the tenth grade Rebbe and pre-Calculus and Calculus teacher at Moshe Aharon Yeshiva High School, Rav Komet was appointed Menahel of MAYHS for three years. For the last several years he served as Segan Menahel of Shaarei Tzion in Piscataway, NJ. Rav Komet is respected for his sincere and warm personality, coupled with a sharp sense of humor, which enables him to form life-long relationships with his talmidim. Heichal is extremely blessed that Rav Komet decided to return to the classroom and serve as our tenth grade Rebbe and Honors Mathematics teacher. He live with his wife and children in Edison, NJ.
Rav Kronenberg learned in Yeshivat Sha’alvim as well as Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim. While in Ohr Hachaim, he attended Touro college, majoring in Judaic Studies. Rav Kronenberg taught Gemara at Yeshivat Noam, and worked for NCSY as a summer camp rebbe and chapter director. He is currently a member of the Fair Lawn Bais Medrash program, where he teaches and learns with members of the community. He lives in Fair Lawn, NJ with his wife and children.
Rabbi Avi Epstein is known as an energetic and dynamic mechanech with the ability to connect with and motivate students to truly excel and attain their full potential. Avi grew up in Monsey, New York and studied in Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim for 6 years. At the Mesivta of Waterbury, Rabbi Epstein served as a mentor and role model for hundreds of boys. He created and implemented both in-school and extra-curricular programs and activities, which empowered the boys to increase their self-esteem and helped facilitate their success in and out of the classroom. At RYNJ, he was a popular middle school rebbe and assistant program director. This past summer, Rabbi Epstein served as director of Shoresh Day Camp.
Rav Menashe Mazurek studied at Yeshiva Derech Hatalmud in Israel for three years, and graduated from Yeshiva University with a degree in history. He received semichah from Yeshiva University as a member of the Bella and Harry Wexner Semikha Honors Program and completed a fellowship as a member of the Israel Henry Beren Kollel Elyon. Rav Mazurek worked as a shoel u’maishiv at Yeshiva University for two years.
Rav Parnes is a highly respected and veteran mechanech and talmid chacham who comes to Heichal after serving as rebbe for the 12th grade honors shiur at JEC for 36 years.
Rav Parnes received his semichah from the Mirrer Yeshiva of Brooklyn, New York. He also studied at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Israel, and at Y.U. under the venerable Gaon HaRav Dr. Joseph Ber Solovetchik, zt”l. He has the privilege of being a chavrusa with his father, HaRav Yehuda Parnes, the esteemed magid shiur at Y.U. and Landers.
Rav Parnes is known for earning the respect of his students and inspiring them to live up to their full potential. His talmidim emerge highly skilled and sought after by prestigious yeshivos in Israel. Rav Parnes has maintained close relationships with his talmidim long after graduation, as they transition into adults and contributing members of their communities. He is always available for his past and present talmidim to discuss any and all life issues.
Rav Schwechter learned in Yeshivat Reishit for one year under Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, and at Y.U. under Rav Baruch Simon. Rav Schwechter has an undergraduate degree in psychology. He received semichah from Rav Schachter, having learned in his kollel for three years, two of which he spent in the satellite kollel in the DRS beis medrash with Rosh Kollel Rav Shmuel Marcus. After receiving semichah, he became a rebbe at Westchester Day School, and eventually became the Mashgiach Ruchani. Rav Schwechter is the Rav of a teen minyan on Shabbos. Rav Schwechter is renowned for his commitment to and connection with all types of talmidim. He lives with his wife and children in Woodmere.
After studying in Israel for three years at Kerem B’Yavneh, Rav Zev Senter later received his B.S. in accounting from Lander College, where he learned under the guidance of HaRav Eliyahu Soloveitchik and HaRav Yonason Sacks. Rabbi Senter served as director and rebbe in Shoresh Kollel, and and as a night seder rebbe and basketball coach at Heichal.
Rav Skulnick learned in Ner Yisroel in Baltimore for 17 years and offered an afternoon chaburah to advanced students. Hundreds of Ner Yisroel talmidim consider Rav Skulnick their Rebbe Muvhak. He also served as a Mesivta Rebbe at various yeshivos in Baltimore. His past Menahel described him as a dynamic mechanech, “who inspired talmidim to go off to top Yeshivos and taught them a tremendous amount of skills and materials.” Rav Skulnick enjoys playing basketball with the talmidim. He has spent the last 11 summers at Camp Romimu, where he teaches the ninth grade shiur. He completed his undergraduate degree and CPA studies at the University of Maryland. He studied in Kerem B’ Yavneh for two years. Rav Skulnick just completed Shas taking the Dirshu tests, which requires the review of each masechta countless times. Rav Skulnick’s warm and personable character, coupled with his deep concern for the religious and emotional development of each talmid, make him one of the most sought after Rabbeim in the country. Rav Skulnick lives with his wife and children in Passaic, NJ.
The Heichal family recently welcomed Rav Dani Staum as our new full-time Guidance Counselor and Rebbe for the ninth grade intermediate Limudei Kodesh track. Rav Staum received semichah from the renowned Rav Berel Wein and graduated from Fordham University with his Licensed Masters of Social Work degree, with a special focus on adolescent mental health. He has served as a division head at Camp Dora Golding as well as rebbe, teacher, general studies principal and guidance counselor at several top-tier yeshivas and day schools, most recently at Ashar. A sought-after speaker and noted author on issues relating to the mental health of teenage boys, Rav Staum has distinguished himself as a leader in the guidance of young men.
Rav Moshe Tzvi has spent many years in high school Chinuch, where he is considered one of the most dynamic and inspirational Rabbeim. He now serves as Mashgiach of the Stone Beis Medrash Program at Yeshiva University and gives a daily shiur to many talmidim in the Yeshiva. His weekly shalosh seudos in Bergenfield, NJ, are attended by dozens of people who come to hear his inspiring divrei Torah. He is widely considered one of the most motivational young Mashgichim in the tri-state area. Rav Moshe Tzvi spends time speaking with talmidim one-on-one and offers motivational mussar and insightful ideas into the Sedra of the week. He lives with his wife and children in Teaneck, NJ.
Rav Aryeh Westreich is a graduate of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, where he received a Master’s in Talmudic Law. Afterward, Rav Westreich entered the Katz Kollel of Yeshiva University, under the auspices of Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit”a, and later moved to the Israel Henry Beren Kollel Elyon. Rav Westreich was an Assistant Rebbe in YU’s Mazer Yeshiva Program and is also a candidate for an MBA at Loyola University, and an MA in Jewish Philosophy at Bernard Revel Graduate School. Rav Westreich lives with his family in Washington Heights.
Rav Willig will be joining Heichal to launch our senior class advanced learning program. Rav Willig currently serves as a maggid shiur at RIETS, Yeshiva University. An alumnus of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh as well as Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim, Rav Willig earned his BA at Yeshiva College and received his semichah from RIETS, where he was a member of the Wexner Semicha Honors Program. Subsequently, he was a fellow at the Beren Institute for Higher Talmudic Studies. In the summer, Rav Willig serves as Mara D’asra of Camp HASC. He also gives a shiur in the Yeshiva program in RIETS, YU.