Rebbeim & Administration

Rabbi Shmuel L. Schuman
CEO

Rabbi Shmuel Leib Schuman (FYHS ‘85) is Chief Executive Officer of Hebrew Theological College. He has held a number of important positions at HTC. He is a longtime faculty member in the Fasman Yeshiva High School and previously served as Registrar and Director of Financial Aid at HTC.  Previously, Rabbi Schuman studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel. He continued his studies at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, where he studied under Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg. In Ner Israel, Rabbi Schuman received a Master’s in Talmudic Law and rabbinic ordination Rabbi Schuman studied accounting at the University of Maryland and obtained his CPA license in 1991. After working at Walpert, Smullian and Blumenthal in Baltimore Rabbi Schuman chose to devote his life to Jewish education. He also volunteers as an EMT for Chicago Hatzalah. Rabbi Schuman is also a sought-after lecturer in Chicago, particularly in the areas of relationship and marriage.

Rabbi Avraham Friedman
friedman@htc.edu

In 2008, Rabbi Avraham Friedman (FYHS ‘65) was appointed Rosh Ha-Yeshiva of Hebrew Theological College, where he has served and taught for more than thirty years.  As a student in HTC, Rabbi Freidman studied under a number of excellent scholars, most notably Rabbis Yaakov Perlow and Ahron Soloveichik. Rabbi Friedman received rabbinic ordination from Rabbis Zalman Nechemia Goldberg and Bezalel Zolty in Israel. He also studied at Mosad Ha-Rav Kook and in the Mirrer Yeshiva under the guidance of Rabbis Chaim Shmuelevitz and Nochum Partzovitch. Before returning to HTC as a teacher and leader, Rabbi Friedman served as a faculty member of the Massachusetts Torah Institute in Boston, YULA in Los Angeles and Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel.

Rabbi Friedman is the author of many works on the Talmud and its commentaries.

Elliot Bartky
elliot.bartky@htc.edu

Dr. Bartky is the new dean of the men’s college. He brings more than 35 years of experience in higher education to his role with HTC. He is currently an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he served as an assistant professor, and subsequently as an associate professor, from 1988-2019. Dr. Bartky also taught for twenty years at the University of Notre Dame as an adjunct professor in its Program of Liberal Studies.

Dr. Bartky’s publications include articles and essays on religion and politics, American political thought, ancient political thought, and Jewish political thought. In addition to his academic work, he founded the Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI), has written many public essays, lectured on Israel and Judaism, and introduced two laws against BDS passed by the Indiana State Legislature.

Michael Verderame
verderame@htc.edu

Michael Verderame is the Head Librarian at HTC and the Assistant Dean for Men\'s College Program. He teaches courses in poetry, composition, business writing, short story, British literature, business communication, social, legal, and ethical aspects of computing, school law, American government, speech, and Western civilization. His research focuses on British literature and the environment in the 18th and 19th Centuries. He has been recognized with a University of Illinois Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship, a dissertation prize from the University of Illinois Department of English, an outstanding essay prize from the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, and the National Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Collaborative Scholars Program.

He is the co-editor of a collection, New Directions in Ecocriticism, digitally published by the University of Illinois. His work has appeared in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Studies in Romanticism, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, College Literature, Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Green Theory and Praxis, the Modern American Poetry Site, AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Climate Change: An Encyclopedia of Climate and History, and Romantic Circles. He has presented his work in a number of venues, including the Modern Language Association, the Midwest Modern Language Association, the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, the International Conference on Romanticism, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Rabbi Josh Zisook
jzisook@htc.edu

Rabbi Josh Zisook hails from Seattle, WA. An alumnus of FYHS (2001), Rabbi Zisook spent two years at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel before returning to HTC to complete his B.A. in 2005 and Semicha in 2008. He also holds an M.A. in Educational Administration from Loyola University. For nearly 15 years, Rabbi Zisook has served HTC in a variety of ways. While formally the Director of Admissions at Fasman Yeshiva High School and the Beis Midrash and College for Men, he also directs special events for the Yeshiva, including young alumni events and the Names, Not Numbers student-produced documentary film project. Rabbi Zisook is involved in nearly every aspect of the business office, including alumni relations, marketing, fundraising, and systems integration. He is a proud Yeshiva alumnus and shares that pride with students and alumni alike.

Rabbi Gavriel Bachrach
bachrach@htc.edu

Since receiving his BA in Computer Science followed by semicha at YU, Rabbi Bachrach has been combining his interests in Torah study and teaching with technology. He was innovative in utilizing his computer skills as a Rebbe in Atlanta, GA, teaching high school and middle school students for over 20 years. While in Atlanta, he completed his MS in Secondary Jewish Education at YU’s Azrieli Graduate Institute.

In 2012, Rabbi Bachrach took his desire to utilize his computer skills in furthering Jewish Education to HTC, moving to Chicago to become Assistant Registrar and Systems Admin of HTC’s Student Information System (SIS). When HTC joined the Touro College and University System in 2016, he became the Registrar and worked with Touro’s system team on implementing the Banner system, migrating student data and integrating HTC’s student records into the TouroOne SIS.

Rabbi Bachrach’s duties as Registrar have since expanded to include School Certifying Official (SCO) with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Designated School Official (DSO) with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), allowing him to assist a broader student population including veterans and international students.

Paul Pinkus
pinkus@htc.edu

Mr. Pinkus has been a practicing Certified Public Accountant and Business Consultant for over 40 years. His professional experience is in providing a broad range of accounting, tax and consulting services to organizations consisting primarily of privately-held manufacturers and distributors of both commercial and consumer products ranging in size from startups to companies with volumes exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars, and having both domestic and foreign operations. Mr. Pinkus has been directly involved in assisting clients with acquisitions and divestitures, valuation of businesses, financial statement projections, financing matters, formal and informal strategic business, marketing planning, succession planning, and a variety of other accounting, business and tax matters. Mr. Pinkus joined Hebrew Theological College and the Blitstein Institute as Chair of the Department of Business in 2019.

Rabbi Moshe Revah
moshe.revah@htc.edu

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Rabbi Moshe Revah first studied in Passaic under Rabbi Meir Stern, then in Brisk Yerushalayim under Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Solovetchik, before learning under Rabbi Hillel in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Revah came to Chicago as a Chicago community Kollel member, and got semicha from Rabbi Dovid Zucker. Rav of a popular shul in WRP Ohel Tefilla, Rabbi Revah has authored three sefarim on the Laws of Interest, Shabbos and Meat and Dairy. Her regularly contributes to Halacha Encounters and speaks around the city.

Rabbi Seymour Wechsler
wechsler@htc.edu

Rabbi Yehoshua (Shiya) Wechsler, C.P.A., Chair of the Accounting Department at HTC/Blitstein Institute since 2007, has had a lifelong connection with the school, both as a student and faculty member. He was one of the first students to attend the Yeshiva High School (later to become the Fasman Yeshiva High School) and studied for semicha at HTC, while attending Roosevelt University. He received his semicha from HaRav Ahron Soloveichik, zt”l.

Rabbi Wechsler graduated from Roosevelt University with a degree in Accounting, and has been a practicing CPA for the past four decades. He is the owner of his own CPA practice in Skokie, Illinois, and is a longtime member of the Illinois CPA Society. Rabbi Wechsler has authored and updated numerous continuing professional courses for accountants over the years. He been the primary instructor of Accounting at HTC/Blitstein since 1993, and has guided many of his students to successful careers in accounting, business and finance.

Rabbi Hertzel Hillel Yitzhak
yitzhak@htc.edu

Rabbi Dr. Hertzel Hillel Yitzhak serves as interim Dean of the Max Bressler School of Advanced Hebrew Studies and the Kanter School of Liberal Arts and is also Chair of the Psychology Department. He completed his undergraduate degrees in psychology and Hebrew from Queens College, New York, and his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

Rabbi Yitzhak received his Rabbinical ordination from HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, of the Beit Din of HaRav Shmuel Wosner zt”l, HaRav Yona Metzger, former Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, and other distinct Rabbis. Since 2009 he has served as the Rabbi of the Sephardic Congregation in Evanston.  

Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak has taught courses in psychology and Tanach at both Hebrew Theological College and at Blitstein Institute for nearly fifteen years.

Richard Aronoff
aronoff@htc.edu

Dr. Richard Aronoff is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist. In addition to being the Emeritus Chair, he is also the Director of Counseling Service and the college’s Disabilities Officer. He has over fifty years of experience as a psychologist, working with a wide range of private patients as well as being involved in several charitable organizations for disabled children and adults. He is currently a board member and Vice President of the Libenu Foundation, which provides Kosher housing for disabled Jewish adults. Dr. Aronoff was an Illinois State Special Education Due Process Hearing Officer for over twenty years and continues to provide expert testimony in both hearings and court cases involving children and family issues. For many years he has supervised psychology interns and psychology practicum students for several graduate colleges and universities in the Chicagoland area.

Rabbi Azriel Feifel
feifel@htc.edu

Yehuda Friedman
yehuda.friedman@htc.edu

Rabbi Dr. Avraham Isenberg
aisenberg@htc.edu

Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg
isenberg@htc.edu

Rabbi Moshe Isenberg

Rabbi Yehuda Isenberg
yisenberg@htc.edu

Rabbi Shmuel Kurtz
kurtz@htc.edu

Rabbi Shmuel Kurtz has Semicha from Shevet U’Machokek in Jerusalem from HaRav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, as well as from HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, Rosh Yeshiva of Be\'er Yaakov. He has taught courses in Talmud, Halacha, Oral Law and Jewish Thought at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy since 1991, and he is the chair of Talmud at ICJA. He was the recipient of an Educator of the Year Award in 2013 from the Associated Talmud Torah and he was a senior lecturer at a summer seminar in medical ethics based at Sha\'arei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for six years.

Ben Zion Lazovsky
blazovsky@htc.edu

Luis Nunez
luis.nunez@htc.edu

Rabbi Binyomin Olstein
olstein@htc.edu

Harav Binyomin Olstein arrived in Chicago in 1993 on a learning sabbatical from his position as Rosh Yeshiva at Machon Lev – Jerusalem Technological College, to spend the year as a member of the Kollel of Bet Midrash L’Torah, and as a visiting professor of Tanakh at HTC\'s Blitstein Institute for Women.

Harav Olstein’s has enjoyed relationships with gedolei Yisrael, who have helped him shape his educational philosophy. Chief among them was Dayan Zalmen Nechemia Goldberg, zt”l (son-in-law of Harav Shlomo Z. Auerbach zt”l) who provided not only guidance in Limud and Halakha but also “a role model of a Rabbinic leader who seeks and emphasizes the commonalities that unite Klal Yisrael rather than those that divide us.” In addition, Harav Olstein credits his teacher and colleague Harav Aharon Golevenzitz shlita with his sensitivity to interpersonal ethics and the importance of listening. It was he “who transmitted to me the heritage of Rav Eliyahu Lopian zt”l, with all of its implications.” 

Enriched and guided by his rebbes, Harav Olstein perpetuates the Mesorah by providing his students with a living model of Kavod Hatorah. He instills in them not only an appreciation for the intellectual adventure of learning, but a reverence for the meaning and the Masters of Torah. His influence is felt across the curriculum - Judaic and general – and his leadership is appreciated by instilling the letter and spirit of the Halakha and Mesorah in all aspects of life at HTC.

Evangelos Kobotis
kobotis@htc.edu

Evangelos Kobotis has been a valued faculty member who teaches mathematics conceptually at all levels in a clear and understandable manner. He is so respected and admired that he was selected to receive a 2021 Presidential Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from Touro University.

He was born in Kalamata, Greece, and studied mathematics at the University of Athens and at the University of Chicago. His research interests are the arithmetic of elliptic curves and the analytic properties of coverings of algebraic varieties. He has taught mathematics at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Hebrew Theological College. Mr. Kobotis\' mission as a teacher is to make mathematics accessible, and to enrich it through the consideration of its history, its people, and its current state.

Rabbi Gershon Schaffel
gershon.schaffel@htc.edu

Rabbi Gershon Schaffel is the rabbi of Young Israel of Skokie and has been teaching Jewish Law at Blitstein Teachers Institute for more than 20 years. He has published extensively on topics of Jewish Law and Talmud, most recently co-authoring an article about the impact of COVID-19 on Jewish Business Law in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society.

During his tenure at Blitstein Teacher’s Institute, Rabbi Schaffel also studied Jewish Business Law and in the process qualified to serve as a judge on a bais din (Jewish Court of Law). As such he is a member of the bais din of the Chicago Choshen Mishpat Kollel as well as a writer, editor and judge for the Business Halacha Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He is consulted by people around the country for guidance in their intricate business dealings to assure that it is compliant with Jewish Law.

Rabbi Mark Schaffel

Rabbi Yaakov Sussman
sussman@htc.edu

Rabbi Yaakov Sussman has served as a teacher and then as a Rosh Yeshiva at Hebrew Theological College since 1996. He studied in Yeshivas Chaim Berlin, Mirrer Yeshiva. Before then, Rabbi Sussman earned a BA from SUNY Albany. Prior to teaching and learning at HTC, Rabbi Sussman was a member of the Chicago Community Kollel and taught at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School. At HTC, Rabbi Sussman teaches an advanced Talmud shiur and serves as an instructor of Jewish philosophy in the Max Bressler School of Advanced Hebrew Studies. He is also a gifted lecturer who speaks throughout the Chicagoland area, most notably at the intensive Amud Yomi shiur at the Center for Torah & Chesed.

Rabbi Chaim Twerski
twerski@htc.edu

Rabbi Chaim Twerski is a Rosh Yeshiva and head of the semichah program at Hebrew Theological College. He is a scion of the Chernoble Chassidic family. Before arriving at HTC, Rabbi Twerski studied under Rabbis Elya Svei and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky in the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. Later, he studied in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood and served as a founding member of the Kollel Los Angeles, where he gained a reputation for his mastery of Halakhah and Jewish Philosophy. Rabbi Twerski moved with his family to Chicago in 1983 and has held numerous and prestigious positions at HTC and within the Chicago rabbinical community. He is a noted scholar and writer on a number of topics that relate to Jewish law. Rabbi Twerski also serves as senior rabbi of Bais Chaim Dovid in Lincolnwood, IL.

Faculty

  • Dr. Richard Aronoff , Chairman, Dept. of Psychology, Professor of Psychology
  • John Athamanah, Instructor of Natural Science
  • Dr. Kalyani Banerjee, Assistant Professor of Natural Science
  • Rabbi David Cohen, Instructor of Accounting
  • Rabbi Azriel Feifel, Coordinator of Business Instruction, Assistant Professor of Business
  • James Freitag, Instructor of Math
  • Rabbi Dr. Yochanan Friedman, Assistant Professor of Science
  • Rabbi Mark Gutman, Instructor of Computer & Information Science
  • Rabbi Tzvi Haskell, Instructor of Bible
  • Rabbi Dr. Avraham Isenberg, Professor of Hebrew
  • Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg, Professor of Mathematics and Business
  • Rabbi Moshe Isenberg, Instructor of Business
  • Rabbi Yehuda Isenberg, Instructor of Business
  • Rabbi Shmuel Kurtz,Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • BenZion Lazovsky, Instructor of Mathematics
  • Rabbi Moshe Liberman, Instructor of Philosophy
  • Rabbi Dr. Abraham Lipshitz; Lehrfield Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of Bible and Hebrew
  • Dr. Andrew Mantleman, Instructor of Psychology
  • Dr. Jay H. Mayefsky, PreHealth Sciences Advisor
  • Rabbi Michael A. Myers, Professor of History and Education
  • Rabbi Yirmiyahu Neuman, Assistant Professor of Bible and Philosophy
  • David Passman, Instructor of English and Political Science
  • Dr. Jordan Pollack, Instructor of Biology
  • David Porush, Instructor of Business
  • Dr. Paul Poskozim, Professor of Chemistry
  • Rabbi Shlomo Rosen, Instructor of History
  • Rabbi Gershon Schaffel, Assistant Professor of Jewish Law
  • Rabbi Mark Schaffel, Instructor of Computer & Information Science and Business
  • Senator Ira Silverstein, Instructor of Political Science
  • Ruben Vadnai, Instructor of Business
  • Dr. Joseph Wallach, Instructor of Psychology
  • Rabbi Seymour Wechsler, Coordinator of Accounting Instruction, Professor of Accounting
  • Neil Weiner, Instructor of History
  • Rabbi Rafael Wiesenberg, Instructor of Accounting