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This year we are looking for volunteers to house our Rabbinic Intern as well as to host him for meals. Please sign up to house him or for Shabbat dinner or Shabbat lunch. Housing and meals are separate. Thank you.

Rabbinic Intern Brian Chernigoff

Brian Chernigoff is currently a Rabbinical student in RIETS at Yeshiva University, where he is concurrently pursuing a master’s degree at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, as well as a certificate in Mental Health Counseling from the joint RIETS-Ferkauf Program. 

Previously, he received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Yeshiva College, and attended Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel.  In his free time, he enjoys reading and spending time with his friends.  

Brian is very excited to join the Plainview community and looks forward to getting to know everybody. 


Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Toviya Slager

Toviya Slager was born in Israel, grew up in Minnesota, and is also a Dutch national (yes, he waits 1 hour). He went to public high school, followed by 2 years at KBY, and just graduated from Yeshiva University with a BA in mathematical-economics and psychology with a minor in finance. Currently he is studying at RIETS and working part-time at Thunder as a venture capital analyst. He enjoys spending his free time reading and hiking but is always looking for ways to go sailing and skiing.

Toviya’s wife, Sarah, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Stern College in 2019, and currently splits her time working as a BCBA in New Jersey, helping adjust behaviors of children with autism, and taking care of their daughter Avigayil. Sarah loves reading and baking, especially experimental baking.

They currently live in Washington Heights and are very excited to join the Plainview community.


Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Yoni Zolty

Yoni Zolty is a rabbinical student at Yeshiva University where he is concurrently pursuing a masters in Bible at Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.

Previously Yoni attended Yeshivat Har Etzion and has a B.A. from Columbia University in English and Physics. 

Yoni and his wife Mindy are excited to join and meet the Young Israel of Plainview community


Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Moshe Kurtz

Moshe Kurtz is a Rabbinical student at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and is completing his final year at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education & Administration. Moshe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yeshiva College where he was also granted theSteven Gladstein Memorial Award for Service to the Jewish People”.

During his undergraduate career, Moshe held the position of Executive Director at Hisoriri, a program which services under-resourced synagogues in America’s Northeast region. Moshe is an alumnus of the Limmud NY/Hartman Rabbinical Student Fellowship and has worked at the UJA-Federation of NY’s Wiener Center for Leadership and Learning.

In addition to Moshe’s Rabbinic duties at the Young Israel of Plainview, he currently works as a Kollel Fellow teaching Talmud at Ramaz Upper School and is a member of the 92nd Street Y’s Jewish Innovation Fellowship.

Moshe lives with his wife Marisa Pollack-Kurtz, who was born and raised in Plainview! She is a graduate student at Hofstra University, studying to be a speech-language therapist. Moshe and Marisa love playing tennis, listening to classic rock music, and competing against each other in Mario Kart. 

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Judah Kerbel

Judah Kerbel has gotten to know much of America over the course of his lifetime – he was born in Bowie, Maryland and has lived in Cleveland, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Atlanta, Georgia; and Roslyn Heights, NY, just to the west of Plainview. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in psychology and Jewish studies. At Maryland, he served as a gabbai of the Orthodox community for two years and served in the Student Government Association. After graduating college, Judah learned in Yeshivat Har Etzion before coming to the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). In addition to studying for semicha, he is pursuing a Master's’ degree in medieval Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School and a certificate in mental health counseling through a joint program between Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and RIETS. Over the last few years, Judah has participated in fellowships with AIPAC, UJA-Federation, Center for Modern Torah Leadership, and Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics. He currently serves as co-chair of the education committee at Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights. This past year, Judah has been an intern at The Roslyn Synagogue. When the opportunities arise, Judah enjoys strumming a guitar & singing, accumulating steps on his FitBit, watching TED talks, and cooking for Shabbos.

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Motti Sturm

Motti Sturm grew up in Woodmere, NY, where he attended Mesivta Ateres Yaakov High School. He continued to Yeshivas Derech Hatalmud in Yerushalayim, where he learned for two years under Rav Chaim Ilson, followed by an additional zman in the Mirrer Yeshiva. Motti graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yeshiva College, with a degree in mathematical economics. He is currently a member of the Wexner Smicha Honors Program at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, where he participates in the Katz Kollel, under the auspices of Rav Hershel Schachter. Motti enjoys baseball and football, though he wouldn't say no to a game of hockey or tennis either. His wife Zahava grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, and teaches Navi and Biology at SKA High School for Girls. They currently live in Washington Heights and they look forward to an enriching year as part of the Plainview community. 

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Willie Balk

Willie Balk

Willie grew up in Cleveland where he attended the Fuchs Mizrachi School. Upon graduating from FMS in 2007, he studied at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh in the Old City of Jerusalem under the leadership of Rabbi Aharon Bina and Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl. Later he attended Yeshiva University and graduated with a degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the Sy Syms School of Business. For the last 5 years, Willie has been involved with NCSY, working his way up from a chapter advisor to head advisor and director of advisor recruitment (Seattle NCSY). In addition to his semicha studies, Willie has been a teachers assistant for Professor Charlie Harary at YU and a beit midrash fellow in the RIETS Kollel at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, NJ. This year, Willie will also be interning for the Department of Service Learning at Yeshiva University, where he was previously active in Torah Tours, the Yismichu Shabbat Enhancement Program, and the Eimatai Leadership Development Project. He enjoys cooking and country music, and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan (which sometimes drives him crazy!) Willie is married to Estee (Gross), originally from Teaneck, NJ, and she serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Aish New York. They currently reside in Washington Heights, and eagerly look forward to becoming a part of the Young Israel of Plainview family!  

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Moshe Genack

Born and raised in Englewood NJ, Moshe attended Yeshiva University High School for Boys. After graduating from YUHSB, he studied in Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah in Queens, and subsequently in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he was privileged to learn under Rabbi Asher Arieli. Moshe graduated from Touro College with a B.A. in Psychology and is also pursuing an M.B.A. from Touro.
While studying for semicha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University, Moshe has taught Gemara at MTA, and was a madrich on the NCSY Israel Summer Kollel. Additionally, he worked for Cory Booker’s New Jersey senate campaign this past summer. An avid tennis player, Moshe enjoys athletics, music and impersonating famous (and not so famous) people. Passionate about learning and teaching Torah, he looks forward to enriching the Plainview community. 

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Tuvia Brander

Following two years of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, he graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva College with a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in Jewish Studies. At Yeshiva University, he served as the Founding Director of the Yeshiva University Kansas City Summer Experience and led the campus American Jewish World Service Humanitarian Mission to Muchucuxcah, Mexico. On campus, he served as the Head Resident Adviser, the Executive Editor of Gesher: Yeshiva University Journal of Jewish Studies and the Chief Justice of the student court. Rabbi Brander is currently the Rabbi of the Young Israel of West Hartford CT.

Rabbinic Intern Alumnus Ari Neuman

The Neumans, who met when both were advisers for upstate New York’s NCSY, have a strong background in teaching. Rabbi Neuman studied psychology at Yeshiva University before earning his master’s in medieval Jewish history at YU and his ordination from RIETS, YU’s rabbinical college. While studying for his ordination, he served as NCSY city director and as a rabbinic intern at Young Israel of Plainview and the Riverdale Jewish Center.

Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784