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. Elizabeth Shayne comes to Yeshivat Maharat with a strong academic background in the interplay of English and digital media. Liz received her undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master's and Doctorate from the University of California Santa Barbara. She has lectured and presented about topics such as science fiction literature, networks of Jewish literature, and e-readers. Liz is passionate about Jewish educational technology.

Livya Tinestit-Weiss


Livya Tinestit-Weiss teaches Jewish adult education classes in Great Neck and Queens, New York and works as a private tutor in Jewish studies.  

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 brings together empty-nesters of diverse Jewish backgrounds  for Rosh Hashana and  Passover Seders,  Purim banquets and screenings of Jewish-themed films.

Livya studied Piyutim at the Kehilot Sharot of the Keren Avi Chai in Jerusalem for three years and is passionate about liturgy of Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions. She is a member of the Women’s Tefillah of Great Neck where she has lived  since 2010 with her husband Eliezer.