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Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He also serves as a faculty member at Yeshiva of Los Angeles and its high schools, and holds the Sydney M. Irmas Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School.
Rabbi Adlerstein is a contributing editor of the quarterly Jewish Action, as well as its regular computer columnist. His essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Present Tense, Tradition, Shma, the Los Angeles Daily Law Journal, and a host of Jewish and general printed and electronic media. He was frequently heard on KABC’s Religion on the Line, and appears often in the printed media as a voice of traditional Judaism. He co-hosted Rabbis With Attitude, a weekly radio program. His Be’er Hagolah, the classic defense of rabbinic Judaism by Maharal of Prague, was published by Artscroll/Mesorah Publications.
Rabbi Adlerstein received his ordination from the Chofetz Chaim yeshiva in New York. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Queens College, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. [All associations are for identification purposes only. All content and opinions offered are solely the responsibility of the author and not those of the institutions with which he is affiliated.]
Rabbi Harvey Belovski is the rabbi of the Golders Green Synagogue in London. In addition to his rabbinical duties, he lectures regularly at venues including the JLE, LSJS (where he is a teaching fellow) and Torah Way. He is the New Chaplains’ Mentor for Jewish Chaplaincy, a relationship counsellor, dating adviser and popular speaker.
Rabbi Belovski is the author of two books published by Targum Press, contributes frequently to the Jewish Chronicle, and has written numerous articles for Hamodia and other publications. His areas of interest include Midrash, contemporary Halakhah, 19th-century Polish Chassidic thought, pre-marital counseling and developing independent-minded students. He is currently a post-graduate student at Birkbeck College in London, where he is researching the Chassidic school of Sochaczew.
Rabbi Belovski received his ordination from Gateshead Yeshivah, and graduated in mathematics from University College, Oxford.
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, presently living in Jerusalem, is one of the most respected and distinguished figures in the American rabbinate. He led Atlanta’s Congregation Beth Jacob for almost forty years, from its infancy until its current position as one of America’s finest Torah institutions. Ordained by Baltimore’s Ner Israel, with degrees from John Hopkins and a doctorate from Emory University, he has taught at Jerusalem’s Ohr Somayach Yeshiva, at Bar Ilan University, and at Emory University.
For many years, Rabbi Feldman served as editor-in-chief of Tradition, the journal of the Rabbinical Council of America. His many book credits range from the scholarly (Jewish Law and the New Reproductive Technologies, Ktav Pub., 1997) to the personal (Tales Out of Shul: The unorthodox journal of an Orthodox rabbi, Shaar Press, 1999), and he has written hundreds of articles in journals like The New Republic, Saturday Review, Judaism, and The Jerusalem Post.
Toby Katz teaches Jewish History and Tanach at the Beth Jacob High School of Miami and also teaches adult education courses at CAJE (the Council for the Advancement of Jewish Education) and other venues. Her articles and stories have appeared in Jewish Action, the journal of the Orthodox Union, as well as published anthologies. She is a homemaker with three children; her husband, Rabbi Michael Katz, served congregations in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melbourne, Australia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia — he now owns a Judaica store in Hollywood, FL.
She is the daughter of the late Rav Nachman Bulman, zt”l, who was one of the great Torah leaders and thinkers of his generation; and tibadel lechaim, of Rebetzin Shaindel Bulman, the Jerusalem writer, raconteur, rebetzen and great-grandmother extraordinaire. She studied at the Michlala in Jerusalem and has a degree in English and History from Brooklyn College.
Eytan Kobre is an attorney practicing in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Yeshiva of Staten Island and Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah. A graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, he previously practiced law with two Manhattan firms and served for several years as associate general counsel at Agudath Israel of America.
A published author in both Hebrew and English, Mr. Kobre has written about the contemporary American Jewish scene for various print and electronic publications including The Forward, Sh’ma, Jewish Observer, Beliefnet, Jewish World Review and Aish.com. Mr. Kobre’s deep interest in Jewish education and outreach has found expression in his past roles as a regional director of the Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island, and as a board member of the Mussar Institute. Mr. Kobre lives with his family in Bayswater, New York.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the founder of Project Genesis, a pioneering program in the field of Internet-based Jewish Outreach and education. Project Genesis hosts Torah.org, the Internet’s premier Jewish learning web site, as well as Cross-Currents and other Jewish sites and programs. Both Yaakov Menken and his organization maintain open communication with Jews at all levels of learning and education, and Project Genesis is endorsed by Jewish leaders from across the Jewish spectrum.
Rabbi Menken is the author of The Everything Torah Book, a basic guide to Jewish thought and history. Rabbi Menken is a featured writer for the Baltimore Sun’s In Good Faith blog, and his writing has appeared in the Jerusalem Report, the Baltimore Jewish Times, and elsewhere.
Yaakov Menken earned his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in Computer Science, and then pursued Rabbinic studies in Yeshivas Ohr Somayach of Monsey, NY, Beth Medrash Govoha in Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva Jerusalem, before founding Project Genesis in 1993.
Jonathan Rosenblum is a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post’s domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is also the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures.
In 1999, Rosenblum founded Jewish Media Resources, a media organization dedicated to furthering an understanding of Torah Judaism. Jewish Media Resources works with foreign journalists stationed in Israel and with local journalists by providing access to leading figures within the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, and with information and insights about the community. Rosenblum is also the Jerusalem director of Am Echad, a media outreach organization founded in the United States. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, Rosenblum lives with his family in Jerusalem.
Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya.
Mrs. Schmidt is a member of the faculty of the Haredi College for Women, and also co-founded Voices of the Wall, a group of Orthodox women which was created to balance the distorted perception created by Women of the Wall, a Jerusalem-based organization agitating to abandon traditional custom at the Western Wall. Voices of the Wall represents the vast majority of the women who take advantage of the opportunity to pray at the wall regularly, who wish to preserve the traditional nature of that holy site.
Rabbi Avi Shafran serves as Editor-at-Large for Ami Magazine, Agudath Israel of America’s director of public affairs, and previously as American director of Am Echad, an educational outreach effort and media resource. Copyrights for his contributions to Cross-Currents may be held by any of these three.
He served as a high school rebbe for close to twenty years before assuming his current position, writes widely in the Jewish and general press and is the author of several books, most recently, Migrant Soul: The Story of an American Ger (Targum/Feldheim). He was ordained by Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Ruderman zt”l of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore,
Sarah Shapiro is a Jerusalem-based author, whose books include Growing With My Children [Targum], A Gift Passed Along [Shaar Press/Artscroll] and Wish I Were Here (Shaar Press/Artscroll). In 1991, she edited the first Our Lives Anthology, designed to promote writing by Orthodox women. The fourth volume in that series, All of Our Lives: An Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Writing, was opened to all Orthodox writers and published in May, 2009. She has also been teaching writing since 1992.
Mrs. Shapiro speaks in both Israel and the United States on numerous topics. Her articles have appeared through the years in The Jewish Observer, The Los Angeles Times, Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Yiddishkeit, International Herald Tribune, Hadassah, Jewish Action, torah.org, aish.com, ou.org and other publications. She has served as a columnist for Hamodia, The New Standard, Mishpacha, and American Jewish Spirit.