Committed to Your Growth
A dynamic, caring faculty helps Basic Jewish Studies students progress from fundamentals to more advanced levels of Jewish learning in systematic stages based upon individual growth and achievement.
Mrs. Shoshana Schechter, Director
Shoshana Schechter is assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women where she coordinates the Basic Jewish Studies Program. She also teaches Bible and English at the Alisa Flatow High School for Girls and the Ateres Bais Yaakov High School in Rockland County, New York.
A graduate of Stern College, Mrs. Schechter holds a master's degree in Jewish history from Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, as well as a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. She lectures widely on topics in the Bible and has been involved in Jewish outreach programs on four continents. She is the proud mother of four children and lives in New Hempstead, New York.
Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff
Rabbi Hajioff received his honors degree in Economics and Political Science from Manchester University in England. After working for MTV as a reporter along with moonlighting as a Jewish stand-up comedian, Rabbi Hajioff traveled to Jerusalem to learn at a yeshiva.
Rabbi Hajioff received rabbinical ordination from Ohr Somayach in Monsey, NY. In his spare time he works for New York State, counseling at-risk Orthodox youth. He is the educational director of the Jewish Enrichment Center, an outreach center in Greenwich Village, where he teaches, counsels, and leads trips to Israel.
Mrs. Deena Rabinovich
Deena Rabinovich, a native of Michigan, attended Stern College for Women as part of the inaugural group of Max Stern Scholars. Graduating in 1986, she went on to receive her master's in English literature from New York University. For the school year 1997-1998, she participated in the Melton Senior Educator Program for Jewish Education at Hebrew University. She is currently completing her doctorate in education at Yeshiva University's Azrieli School for Jewish Education and Administration.
The mother of six, Mrs. Rabinovich has participated in many areas of Jewish education as a parent, teacher, and administrator and brings to the classroom the combined experience of all three. A recipient of the Gruss Excellent Teacher award, she has more than twenty years experience in Jewish education. As a teacher, she has worked with diverse age groups that range from nursery to high school, from college to adult education. As an administrator, she served as an assistant principal for a middle school for four years.
Rabbi Gideon Shloush
Rabbi Gideon Shloush studied at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel during the first Gulf War. He went on to study at Yeshiva College, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1993. Three years later, he received semikhah(ordination) from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and an MBA from Baruch College. Upon graduation, he joined the leadership team at Congregation Adereth El in Manhattan, first as assistant rabbi and, since 2000, as rabbi.
Descending from a long line of distinguished rabbis, Rabbi Shloush is a past member of the Rabbinical Council of America's Executive Committee and is Coordinator of Professional Rabbinic Education, Advisement, and Placement at RIETS.
Rabbi Ari Solomont
Prior to making aliyah four years ago, Rabbi Ari Solomont was a licensed nursing home administrator and the executive director of New England NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth) for ten years. Well known as an expert in the field of informal education, Rabbi Ari has been a sought-after consultant for several national and international educational initiatives. Rabbi Ari's warmth, humor, love of people, and compassion have inspired a generation of Jewish youth in their quest for Torah values.
Before joining YU, Rabbi Ari served as the International Director of Resource Development for Ner Le'Elef in Jerusalem, a center for Jewish leadership advancement. He is an avid ball player and cycling enthusiast who can often be found riding through the Judean Hills, Modiin, and the Ben Shemen Forest. He and his wife Sarah Beth live in Chashmonaim with their four children.