Tanya Farber


Tanya Farber, with many years of teaching experience, continues to evolve as an educator and to refine her skills in crafting meaningful student-directed lessons. For her first seven years in the classroom, Tanya taught Tanach in yeshiva high schools in NY and NJ.  For the past five years Tanya discovered the joy of teaching elementary grades and taught 4th graders in a daily afternoon program. She developed her own experiential curricula of Torah texts, prayer, and jewish calendar. She integrated beit midrash study, with  improv and other creative modalities, and  Tefillah and liturgy with mindfulness meditation. Morah Tanya emphasizes the dynamic spiritual practices of  middot, respect, listening, generosity, curiosity, leadership and other values as part of classroom culture and routines.  On weekends, Tanya works as a supervisor in a shomer Shabbat group home for Jewish women with developmental disabilities.

Originally from Arizona, Tanya has studied Torah in a variety of Jewish settings:  at teachers' seminaries for Bais Yaakov graduates in both Israel and the US, batei midrash in New York City (Drisha, Yeshivat Hadar), non-denominational programs (Institute of Jewish Spirituality, Elat Chayyim), and with beloved havrutot every step of the way

Yael Keller

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Yael Keller is the former Director of Operations at Yeshivat Maharat. She earned a Masters in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and a Masters in Jewish Professional Leadership at the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University.  Upon graduation, she was the Director of Programming at Uri L’Tzedek, the Orthodox Social Justice movement.  In graduate school she was an intern at the Joint Distribution Committee in Israel, where she worked on the grant writing team, advocating for Jews at risk throughout the world and a site educator at Impact Boston, where she facilitated a teen experience focused on social action, community service and advocacy. Before graduate school, Yael spent three years in Washington, DC, working at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and Hillel’s Schusterman International Center.  She also spent a semester in Israel studying at the Pardes Institute of Judaic Studies before attending the Hornstein Program. Yael earned her B.A. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.  She was active in her campus Hillel, serving as a student leader and board member.

Dr. Elizabeth Shayne


Dr. Liz Shayne comes to Yeshivat Maharat after getting her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar and is currently interning at the Hebrew Institute of White Plains. Liz received her B.A. in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania and did her doctoral research on how digital editions are changing the way we feel and experience books. She has taught lectures and classes on topics ranging from the history of the Gemara to technology in science fiction. At Yeshivat Maharat, Liz is taking her research on the relationship between learning and technology out of academia and into the world of Jewish education. She loves discovering new online editions of the Gemara almost as much as she enjoys learning from a sefer. Though she misses Santa Barbara, Liz is glad to be back in New York, where she grew up. She and her family now live in Riverdale, where she can be found most Shabbatot, except when she in White Plains, slowly teaching her daughter to sit through all of Torah reading.

Livya Tinestit-Weiss


Livya Tinestit teaches Jewish adult education classes in Great Neck and in Riverdale and works as a private tutor in Jewish Studies. Since October 2017, she is a Jewish Chaplain at the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Riverdale.

She earned a chaplaincy certificate from the New York Chaplaincy Task Force and is a member of Neshama (National Association of Jewish Chaplains). She has also studied Bible and Talmud at the Drisha Institute.

Livya, a native of Algeria, was raised in Paris, France. She created and directed a Talmud Torah religious school under the supervision of the Consistoire Israelite de Paris after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Boston University.

Livya made Aliyah with her family and earned her M.A. from the Institute of Communication and Journalism of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she was a research assistant in Television and Cinema Studies. She received a one-year scholarship to conduct a qualitative content analysis on  the Israeli Melodrama and Borekas film genres from the Research Center for Gender Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Livya created the Television Production track of the Ulpena Tzviya Religious High School in Jerusalem and studied Education and Judaic Studies in the Lifshitz Religious College of Education and the Ma’aleh Film School in Jerusalem. Livya went on to teach courses in Television and Cinema Criticism at Talpiot College, Neveh Sha’anan College and Givat Washington College on biblical and talmudic motifs in Israeli fiction films.

Livya studied Piyutim at the Kehilot Sharot of the Keren Avi Chai in Jerusalem for three years and is teaching liturgy and  piyutim of the Sephardi tradition to women at the Congregation Beth Aharon, the Orthodox Sephardi Congregation located in HIR-The Bayit .

 Livya completed the High Holiday Leaders Training of the Hadar Institute of the Summer of 2018 during which she was a rabbinical intern at HIR-The Bayit.

Livya brings together empty-nesters of diverse Jewish backgrounds for Rosh Hashana and Passover Seders, Purim banquets and screenings of Jewish-themed films. She moved to Riverdale in 2017with her husband Eliezer to attend Yeshivat Maharat.