When Heichal HaTorah began eight years ago with 17 ninth-grade students, Rav Aryeh Stechler, the founding rosh yeshiva, was the only full-time administrator. Rav Stechler coordinated all aspects of the yeshiva, assisted by a small group of lay leaders led by Yehuda and Yael Jacoby.
Heading into its ninth year, the yeshiva has expanded enormously: Over 235 talmidim are expected to enroll—185 talmidim in the high school and over 50 talmidim studying in its post-Israel Yeshiva and College Institute.
Heichal is home to a full educational and operational leadership team that includes: Rabbi Maccabee Avishur, academic dean and general studies principal; Rav Daniel Schwechter, mashgiach of the high school; Rav Moshe Don Kestenbaum, mashgiach of the beis midrash program; Dr. Ari Klein, director of guidance; Rabbi Avi Epstein, director of admissions; Teri Normand, executive director; Dr. Joel Berman, assistant principal of STEM; and Rabbi Shimon Kronenberg, facilities director. In addition, Heichal has over 20 full-time rebbeim and 15 faculty members.
Heichal’s Board, headed by Dr. Aron Schwarcz, has ten active committees. Heichal’s recently completed — “Heichal is My Home Bais Campaign” — included over 300 volunteers and raised over $1,150,000. Heichal is now a major Torah institution and community, with over 500 employees, lay-leaders, parents and students growing together. Heichal is proud to announce that three more educational leaders will be joining the yeshiva in Elul.
Rav Avi Oberlander will assume the role of principal of Judaic studies. Rav Oberlander studied in Yeshivas Toras Moshe and the Mir in Israel, and has worked for decades as a mechanech in middle school, high school and beis midrash programs. Most recently, Rav Oberlander served as sgan menahel of the Waterbury Mesivta and rosh chaburah in the Waterbury Beis Midrash program.
Rav Stechler said: “Although Heichal is growing, we are committed to be a very small yeshiva, with less than 50 talmidim per grade and 17 per track, and where everyone knows your name. Rav Oberlander is a caring and concerned mechanech, who is well known for the individualized attention he offers each talmid.”
Rav Chaim Marcus will assume the roles of rebbe and mashpia. Rav Marcus studied under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l, at Har Etzion, and earned his semicha at RIETS, Yeshiva University. In addition to serving as the mara d’asra of Congregation Israel of Springfield (CIS), Rav Marcus was the senior Halacha rabbi of Bruriah High School for Girls for nearly two decades, and leads the Semichat Chaver program at CIS. “It is an honor that Rav Marcus, one of the most influential and inspirational rabbis in our community, has chosen Heichal to continue his illustrious chinuch career,” said Rav Stechler.
Deniera Goldenberg will assume the chair of the Heichal science department and serve as the biology instructor for the ninth grade and medical ethics instructor for the 12th grade. Goldenberg joins Heichal after 17 years of teaching biology at the Torah Academy of Bergen County, and most recently as chair of its science department. Goldenberg was also the director of the Distinguished Scholars program at TABC since its inception in 2015, in which students are immersed in a two-year-long research program and given opportunities to delve into a wide variety of exciting and thought-provoking research topics. She will design a similar program at Heichal HaTorah.
“Mrs. Goldenberg exemplifies our ongoing commitment to offering rigorous and challenging academics for our students, where students grow, learn and enjoy the challenge of exploring how much they can learn,” said Academic Dean and Principal of General Studies Rabbi Maccabee Avishur. “Mrs. Goldenberg has an outstanding reputation for encouraging her students and helping them achieve.”
With these new renowned mechanchim and educational leaders, combined with the already impressive leadership, Heichal is poised for continued excellence and growth in its upcoming second decade.