Moshe Weinberger shlit”a
Rav Moshe Weinberger founded Congregation Aish Kodesh and the Aish Kodesh Institute. Rav Weinberger received smicha from Yeshiva University and earned an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy and an M.S. in Education Administration from Columbia Universities Teachers’ College. During the tenure of Rav Freifeld zt”l, Rav Weinberger learned at Shor Yoshuv Institute.
For two decades Rav Weinberger was a rebbi at Ezra Academy in Queens where he educated, influenced, and guided the lives of hundreds of adolescents and teenagers. During these years Rav Weinberger was responsible for inspiring many to maintain their path in Jewish observance and to pursue tremendous spiritual growth.
Rav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg shlit”a
A child prodigy and grandson of Rabbi Gedalia Schorr zt”l (known as the ga’on of the Slabodka Yeshivah), Rabbi Zilberberg is known for his extreme diligence, spirited davening, and tremendous thirst for learning. Since his years as a bachur until the present, he has enjoyed a close relationship and weekly meetings with the Amshinover Rebbe shlit”a. Rabbi Zilberberg was instrumental in the founding and leadership of Nachlas Yaakov, where he serves as the Rebbe and rosh chaburah..
Rabbi Zilberberg’s pnimiusdik (stressing the inner dimension of Torah) parsha classes, which are delivered every Erev Shabbos, are recorded and broadcast worldwide. His spirited shalosh seudos divrei torah with singing, dancing, and crying, have become a magnet amongst a wide variety of Jerusalem residents and frequent visitors. His powerful Torah messages have attracted many Derech Hamelech students to his minyanim and tischen. Rabbi Tzvi Meir was responsible for facilitating the first meeting between Rabbi Gartner and Rabbi Weinberger. His advice to Rabbi Gartner was, “if you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people”.
The students of Derech HaMelech have found that exposure to such a significant leader and scholar in the Torah world is an immensely positive influence in their own personal growth. As one student shared:
“Seeing, hearing, feeling Rabbi Tzvi Meir, whether on Shabbos, at a yeshiva shmuze, or being with him for davening is something different than anything else. He is unique. He gives me strength and chizuk for the entire week. It cannot be described.”
Many students also specfically plan Shabbos activities and learning within close proximity to the Nachlas Yaakov community in order to daven at the shtibl, to hear Torah from Rabbii Tzvi Meir, to sing, dance, and eat amongst his chassidim, and to enjoy a small taste, as one student described it, of ”givaldik malchus shamayim!” (the incredible Kingdom of Heaven).
Rabbi Tzvi Meir is frequently invited to speak at the yeshiva, and he delivers powerful messages that resonate with students, staff, and Rebbeim. As one teacher said, “If we dwell on his words and messages with clarity and consciousness, our learning, davening, and simcha will reach new heights never before thought possible. If we hear him–not simply listen–but hear him, Rabbi Tzvi Meir awakens within us the drive to achieve our own special potential.”
Rabbi Moshe Wolfson shlit”a
Rabbi Wolfson has learned from undisputed Torah giants of the previous generation. As a talmid in Torah Vodaath he was infused with Torah from Rabbi Gedalia Schorr zt”l, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz zt”l and Rabbi Avraham Pam zt”l. In time, the brilliant student joined the staff of Torah Vodaath, and he is known today by thousands simply as “hamashgiach” (the mashgiach, or spiritual advisor). Over two decades ago, Rabbi Wolfson expanded his community and Torah influence by establishing the community of Emunas Yisroel in Boro Park.
Rabbi Wolfson stays in close contact with many of his former students, amongst whom are members of our staff. Rabbi Shmuel Rosenbaum, who previously served as the posek of Emunas Yisroel, remains one of Rabbi Wolfson’s closest talmidim, and consults with him regularly.
Rabbi Wolfson authored the sefer Emunas Itecha, a collection of discourses known for their deep and inspiring messages, originally delivered on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Rabbi Wolfson normally delivers his divrei torah in Yiddish, though on recent appearances at the yeshiva he has shared his elucidated Torah wisdom in English.
Rabbi Mottel Zilber shlit”a
Rabbi Zilber is a master of the revealed and hidden Torah and one of the leading Jewish thinkers and Torah scholars today. His hundreds of loyal students stop at nothing to hear his divrei torah and endless streams of original parsha insights. As the son-in-law of Rabbi Wolfson, Rabbi Zilber has been widely recognized by Torah scholars worldwide as a genius since his childhood. When his Rebbe, Rabbi Yehuda Horowitz of Stuchin zt”l, passed away, he reluctantly assumed the mantle of leadership, only in response to the encouragement and demands of his fellow chassidim, becoming the Rabbi of Kehillas Toldos Yehuda Stutchin in Boro Park.
Rabbi Zilber was a critical force, initiating the support and encouragement necessary for Derech Hamelech to open its doors. Rabbi Gartner consults with Rabbi Zilber before any important strategic decision or change. Rabbi Zilber regularly provides Rabbi Gartner with perspective, strength, advice, and clarity. During the summer months, when Rabbi Zilber spends time in Israel, Derech HaMelech is privileged to host him.
Rabbi Shlomo Aschkenazy
Born in Rome, Italy, in 1948, Rabbi Aschkenazy’s family traces its roots to Belz. Saved from the Holocaust by virtue of their location in Italy, the Aschkenazys traveled west to America in 1955, settling in Washington Heights. It was during his formative years in learning that Rabbi Aschkenazy had the exposure to Torah giants Rabbi Gedalia Schorr zt”l, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l, and Rabbi Pam zt”l. Rabbi Aschkenazy also recalls the important influences of Rabbi Zelig Epstein shlit”a of Sha’arei Yosher and Rabbi Wolfson shlit”a.
While a student at Torah Vodaath, Rabbi Aschkenazy was also greatly influenced by “teachers of another kind”–Rabbi Breuer zt”l and Rabbi Schwab zt”l, of the Washington Heights community. Of Torah V’Daas he comments: “It was a makom of a wide-breadth of Torah. The scope of the genius there was beyond comprehension. The fire of yiras shamayim, commitment to values of yiddishkeit became ingrained in my bones there.”
In later years he became a friend and chevrusa to Rabbi Mottel Zilber. While at Lakewood, Rabbi Aschkenazy learned under Rabbi Shneur Kotler shlit”a before heading to the Mir-Jerusalem for almost a decade during which he became extremely close with Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l.
Rabbi Ashckenazy soon found himself as Maggid Shuir at ITRI while learning at the Kollel Ger, Knesses Yehuda Kollel.
Nearly thirty years ago, Rabbi Aschkenazy was presened with an opportunity to open a kollel under the auspices of the Bostoner Rebbe. “At that time there were no kollelim for English speakers who were baalei teshuva. The Bostoner Rebbe gave birth to the idea and the Ger Rebbe Simcha Bunim zt”l gave me his blessing and encouragment.” Rabbi Aschkenazy reminisced, “He didn’t really offer an alternative in our discussion.”
Rabbi Aschkenazy was very motivated to join the efforts in building and advising Yeshivas Derech HaMelech from his blessing over two decades prior from the Ger Rebbe in starting the Bostoner Kollel.
“Yeshivas Derech HaMelech represents a commitement to build b’nei Torah based on the fundamentals of chassidus with warmth, sensitivity, and concern for one’s fellow Jew. Attention to p’nimius content, avodas Hashem, and the laws of Shulchan Aruch are meant to attract and inspire the students and create an atmosphere of well-rounded talmidim. Exposure to Torah personalities who have dedicated their lives to the principles and teachings of chassidus and dveikus Hashem is felt here.”
“I relish the chance to see the guys, to share stories and midrashim, to reinforce the connection of their lives to the lives of our forefathers, those from the distant and recent past. The energy and atmosphere is new and exciting and steady. The success here, today, is tangible and continued success, inevitable.”
Rabbi Baruch Gartner
Founder and Dean
Rabbi Gartner’s traces his chassidic origins to Tzfat where he and Rabbi Kenig shlit’a formed a special relationship that inspired tremendous growth and dedicated focus on limud haTorah, establishing a strong foundation for the next several decades.
Rabbi Gartner’s original concept of Yeshivas Derech HaMelech was born from the excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement of his safrus students during the past decade. As a world-class sofer and dedicated teacher for over twenty years Rabbi Gartner infused his students with a unique and fresh perspective of safrus, chassidus, religion, and personal growth.
“My dreaming of a yeshiva where tolerance and appreciation of the path of self and others had come to a point where I had to act. I sought to find the money, support, rabbonim, and the team to build a beis midrash where the sense of community, connection to Hashem, advanced learning, resources, mentors, and teachers could provide a framework of chassidus with serious learning.”
From the beginning of Rabbi Gartner’s path from Baltimore, to Tzfat, and finally to Jerusalem where he married and raised his family, Rabbi Gartner maintained a critical theme: “This makom, this space needs to be free of pressure to act, look, or dress a certain way. Here the only agenda of the institution is that each student should write his own agenda: How do you want to grow? How do you want to get there? What do you need? How can we be your guides and mentors to help you travel your path to the King?” Adds Rabbi Gartner: “Each day, each person here has a portion in building this dream. The foundations have been laid. The dream has begun….but the avodah that remains is large, the potential massive and the vision yet incomplete.”
Rabbi Doniel Faber
Rabbi Faber’s smile exudes a deep sincerity and warmth beyond description. He has been pivotal in the planning and curriculum development of Yeshivas Derech Hamelech. An oleh for fifteen years now living in Beit Shemesh, Rabbi Faber was raised in Calgary and traces his roots, on both sides of his family, back to the Ba’al HaTanya. As a star student athlete in football, basketball, and hockey, Rabbi Faber earned scholarhsip commitments from several Canadian universities. Nevertheless, he enrolled instead at Yeshiva University, earning a B.A. in Economics, and thrived there under the guidance of Rabbi Meir Goldvicht shlit”a.
Rabbi Faber attended Hechal Hafla’ah, the Kollel of the Bostoner Rebbe shlit”a, earning semicha from Rabbi Avrohom Pam zt”l. Rabbi Faber continued learning at Beis Yehuda and Nezer HaTorah and soon became the Director of the Bostoner Mosdos in the United States. Later, he applied his valuable experience and people skills as Director of Ateres Yerushalayim in Ramot for two years. As Assistant Rosh HaKahal under Rabbi Shaya Rosenberger shlit”a of the Eida Charedis Beis Din, Rabbi Faber “gained insight and exposure to a true tzaddik and massive giant of Torah”. Rabbi Faber also served as Director and Mashgiach at Yeshivas Lev Yisrael in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
At Yeshivas Derech Hamelech Rabbi Faber’s approach is derived from years of experience, learning, and mentoring.
“A person who changes their diet, their city, their hashkafa, their friends, relationships and community cannot possibly successfully address or integrate every factor all at once or without struggles. Any person making such changes or incorporating such growth into their lives needs help, guidance, and planning. A person needs to maintain a certain level of comfort during an often very complicated and complex process. One must not ignore the amazing good, the amazing skills and qualities and potential they are blessed with when beginning this journey in Torah.
Rabbi Yehoshua Levine
Rabbi Yehoshua Levine was born and raised in San Fernando Valley, California and went to chader in Los Angeles. Learning how to teach was second nature growing up in a house where both parents were veteran mechanchim for close to forty years. R Levine’s learning took him to New York for a period of seven years at Yeshiva Long Beach where he was a close talmid of R. Feigelstock, Shlita. Yearning to learn in Eretz Yisroel, he eventually came to Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. During his nine year period at the Mir, R. Levine spent four years as a shoel u’meishiv and another four giving numerous chaburas.
Rabbi Levine has been with Derech HaMelech from day one and is an invaluable asset to the yeshiva. He delivers a fascinating lunch hour shiur weekly on the history of the era of the Tanaaim and Amoraim.
He is available to Derech HaMelech students of all levels during learning hours to help with their studies of Shulchan Oruch, nosei keilim, Gemara and mefarshim. His extensive knowledge of Halacha, Bavli, and Yerushalmi is indeed an inspiration to all our Talmidim.
Rabbi Shmuel Zucker
Rabbi Zucker currently has made his home in Ganei Geulah, near the Kiryat Belz section of Jerusalem. Rabbi Zucker’s childhood and early adulthood took place in the Golders Green neighborhood of London. He decided to make aliyah over eighteen years ago after spending four years at learning at the yeshiva in Gateshead.
Upon making aliyah, Rabbi Zucker learned at the Mirrer Yeshiva and Kollel for eight years. Rabbi Zucker has been a maggid shiur at Ohr Yerushalayim for eleven years. Rabbi Zucker feels that his connection to the Amshinover Rebbe has “provided me with massive encouragment, support, chizuk, and direction over the years.”
Rabbi Zucker’s sefer Sha’ashu Shmuel has recieved approbations from Rabbi Moshe Shapira and Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva. His book is a commentary on gemara sugyos and pnimiusdik Torah on parshyos and chagim. Rabbi Zucker desrcibes Yeshivas Derech HaMelech as “catering to those finding and searching for a connection to serious learning, serious davening, chassidus, and avodas Hashem where English speakers can thrive and find a welcoming warmth with the fire of Torah. There is no other current parallel.”
Rabbi Chaim Zitter
Rabbi Zitter currently residing in the Ezras Torah neighborhood of Jerusalem, hails originally from Washington Heights, NY. Rabbi Zitter spent two years as a bochur in the Brisk yeshiva, and two years in the kollel at Nachlas Yaakov under Rabbi Tzvi Meir Zilberberg. He joined the yeshiva staff from the beginning in 2005 when Rabbi Rosenbaum, his former chevrusa for two years at the Nezer HaTorah Kollel encouraged Rabbi Zitter to come aboard.
Rabbi Zitter’s decision to join such a new concept was greatly influenced by the gedolim who supported Yeshivas Derech Hamelech and the haskama of Rabbi Rosenbaum. Rabbi Zitter explains he soon experienced for himself the niche the yeshiva was filling in the learning world:
“Yeshivas Derech Hamelech is letting the light of Torah and chassidus influence a portion of klal yisroel to whom it was not previously available. Here we offer Torah, Mishnayos, Gemara, Chassidus–serious learning all under one roof. There are guys here who are excited to listen, to work hard, to learn. Five years ago a place like this could not be found for guys who could not speak Hebrew or Yiddish, for predominantly English speakers.” Rabbi Zitter understands that the potential and possibilities are greater than the exisiting makom, the exisiting roster of students, the current shurium and classes: “I know Rabbi Gartner’s dream…it’s BIG! The personal attention, the intimate environment and the solid foundation for a small, yet growing yeshiva like ours is unparalelled. We are going to make this place more tremendous than you see today. Its going to happen.”
Rabbi Yisroel Gartner
Rabbi Yisroel’s Gartner grew up a short walk from his current home in Ezras Torah. He is close to Rabbi Itche Meir Morgenstern, having learned four years in Rabbi Monrgenstern’s kollel. Rabbi Gartner’s connection to the tzaddikei ha’dor inspired him to reach out to those not blessed with such exposure, by becoming involved with a kiruv organization in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Gartner details the immense need for Yeshivas Derech Hamelech: “I have great respect for those who are pursuing the tools and skills necessary to learn. Many of the guys here have not been exposed to serious learning, chassidus, simcha, and ruach. The yeshivish world needs a place like Yeshivas Derech Hamelech where the drive and commitment to care for a student’s learning and personal development, shidduchim and married life, personal relationships and spiritual needs are our highest priorities
Growth should not be restricted to the beis midrash. Here our growth is with dveikus to Hashem in mind, always. We are not aiming to have a student change in any specific way, inside or out. Out highest priority is, and will remain, the individual’s connection to Hashem and the individual’s potential. This dream is bigger than a beis midrash or yeshiva. This is not about an institution, but a movement of chassidus, connecting guys to the gadolei hador and meeting their needs and interests.”