NISHMA Faculty

Noah B. Bickart is currently pursuing a PhD in Talmud at JTS, where he was ordained in 2008. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he holds degrees in Bible from Harvard and in English Literature from the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Nadia, and their children, Meir and Rina, have recently returned to New York City after a year in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Eliezer Diamond is the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS. Rabbi Diamond teaches courses in Rabbinic Literature and introductory, intermediate, and advanced Talmud. He has taught in a variety of settings, including Stern College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the 92nd Street Y, and several Ramah camps. Rabbi Diamond was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, and received his doctorate in Talmud from JTS.

William Friedman is a doctoral student in Jewish Studies in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department at Harvard University. He was the director of the Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker Beit Midrash at JTS and the founding director of Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study in the JTS Beit Midrash, which he continues to serve as co-rosh yeshiva. Mr. Friedman taught Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS and at the Academy for Jewish Religion, and has also taught in a wide variety of adult education settings. He earned his MA in Talmud and Rabbinics from JTS, and has studied at the Conservative Yeshiva, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and the Pardes Kollel. He will receive rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes.

Rabbi Shmuel (Richie) Lewis is a lecturer in Rabbinic Literature at Shalem College in Jerusalem. He received rabbinic ordination from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and a doctorate in rabbinic thought (summa cum laude) from Hebrew University. Rabbi Lewis was a senior lecturer in Talmud and Halakhah at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, a research fellow and lecturer at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and the rosh yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva, all in Jerusalem. His book "And Before Honor-Humility": The Ideal of Humility in the Moral Language of the Sages (in Hebrew) was recently released by Magnes Press of Hebrew University.

Rachel Rosenthal is a PhD candidate in Rabbinic Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary, and a member of the faculty at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she has served as an American Jewish World Service Kol Tzedek Fellow and taught at the 92nd Street Y, Limmud, and throughout the United States. Ms. Rosenthal has been a program associate running the rabbinical student delegations at AJWS, worked on curriculum development for numerous Jewish organizations, and currently serves on the board of Darkhei Noam, where she is the co-head of the ritual committee. She was awarded a curriculum prize by the National Ramah Commission for her development of a food justice curriculum at Camp Ramah in California. Ms. Rosenthal holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

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