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NISHMA CIRCLE
OF SCHOLARS


  • Rabbi Asher Turin, Senior Scholar
  • Rabbi Benjamin Hecht
  • Rabbi Aaron Selevan
  • Rabbi Richard Wolpoe

Rabbi Asher Turin, Nishma’s Senior Scholar, is a graduate of Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland. A former rebbi at Ner Israel in Toronto, Rabbi Turin is recognized in the community as a Torah scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide spectrum of Talmudic literature. He is a Co-Director of the Machon Tzvi Institute in Jerusalem and serves the Baycrest Terrace Congregation and the Chapel at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre as rabbi.

 

Rabbi Benjamin Hecht is the Founding Director of NISHMA, is recognized throughout North America and Israel for his study, insights and perspectives in the fields of Torah law and ethics. He serves as the editor of NISHMA's various publications and writes prolifically on Jewish thought and its interaction with the world political scene and the human condition.

His work has been published internationally, including in The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Jewish Press and The Canadian Jewish News, and the Rabbi has a regular monthly column in the Jewish Tribune. He lectures extensively and is a sought-after opinion leader, having been a guest on Passages and other radio and television programs. Rabbi Hecht is active in Nishma's ongoing research and education projects and is about to complete a new book on Jewish identity.

In addition to his rabbinical ordination, he holds degrees in law, psychology and business. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1982. Born in Ottawa, Rabbi Hecht is joined in his work by his wife Naomi, who also writes for various Nishma publications and serves on the staff as an editor and advisor. The Hechts have four children and reside in Thornhill, Ontario.

Rabbi Hecht can be contacted for opinion and media interviews on a range of subjects pertaining to Judaism, Torah law and ethics, the world Jewish community and the State and politics of Israel. He is also available as a speaker, lecturer and moderator. Rabbi Hecht provides audiences with provocative and enlightening messages in an entertaining and educational manner.

Rabbi Aaron Selevan has Yoreh Yoreh and Yadin Yadin from Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (YU) and was a fellow in its Gruss Kollel Elyon. Presently active in various rabbinic duties in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario, including as a member of the Hamilton Beit Din, he has previously served as the Rosh Kollel of the Hamilton Kollel Mitzion, Rosh Mesivta and Mashgiach Ruchani of the Yeshiva of Hamilton and Instructor in Talmud, Tanach, Halacha, Jewish Philosophy and Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Selevan lives in Hamilton with his wife, Leslie and his two daughters Elisheva and Penina.
Rabbi Richard Wolpoe graduated Yeshiva of Hartford, class of 1966. Attended both Yeshivat Ner Yisrael in Baltimore and in Toronto before graduating Yeshiva College, with a major in History, in 1973, then becoming a musmach of Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (RIETS). He previously served as Rabbi at Cong. Beth Jacob of Astoria and Cong. Ohav Sholaum of Washington Heights-Inwood. Born in Hartford, Conn., Rabbi Wolpoe now lives in Teaneck with his wife Ramona and two children, Chana Yocheved and Zvi.

 

2009 NISHMA