Rabbi Ahron and Esti Kramer
Known for his genuine love of every Jew and visionary thinking Rabbi Kramer was born in Philadelphia where he studied in the local renowned Yeshiva followed by Yeshivas Kol Torah under renowned scholar Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach z’l and Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem. After marrying Esti, a highly talented and popular teacher, the Kramers moved to Kiryat Sefer where he studied in Kollel Hamerkazi before settling in Manchester and attending Heichal Hatorah where Rabbi Kramer obtained his Semicha. As well as leading her family of seven children and teaching in Yesodey Hatorah Jewish day school in Manchester for nearly 20 years, Esti and the family have been coming to Leeds nearly every Shabbat, hosting families for Shabbat meals and becoming beloved members of the community. Since the Kollel has started several of the Kramer children have gotten married and celebrated memorable Sheva Brachot in Leeds. Rabbi and Mrs Kramer have brought the Kollel to Leeds and run it tirelessly and with endless love.
Rabbi Nosson Krausz
Rabbi Krausz, who commutes daily from Manchester, has been the Rosh Chabura and co-led the learning in the Kollel since the very start. As well as fundraising to keep the Kollel alive, Rabbi Krausz has more importantly nurtured and cultivated the tremendous warmth and excitement for learning within the Kollel in a thriving manner, no matter what other weighty projects the Kollel is involved with. Rabbi Krausz, youngest son of the venerable Dayan Krausz of the Manchester Beth Din, learnt in Gateshead Yeshiva Ketana and Gedola, Yeshivas Ponivez in Benei Barak, a Kollel in Kiryat Sefer near Modi’in in Israel, and finally in Heichal Hatorah in Manchester where he received his Semicha. He is respected by and beloved to all of the Kollel Avreichim as he steers the learning in the Kollel to ever-higher levels.
Rabbi Elchonon Dovid Cohen
Rabbi Cohen who is from Manchester, learnt in the local prestigious Yeshivas Sharei Torah. He spent some time in upstate New Yorkin the renowned South Fallsburg Yeshiva, and went on to Yeshivas Mir and Yeshivas Brisk in Jerusalem. He currently resides in Manchester with his wife and children, splitting his day teaching in the morning in Ahavas Torah Grammar School in Manchester and in the afternoons travels to Leeds where he serves as the Kollel’s Sho’el Umeishiv (Senior Scholar) in our Kollel, a recent undertaking. With his sweet voice, he is a sought after Ba’al Tefila in Manchester. His pleasant and humble manner have endeared him to the Kollel members.
Rabbi Aaron and Penina Stroh
The Strohs have been with the Leeds Kollel since its inception in 2014. Rabbi Stroh, was raised in London. He learnt in Yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov in Gateshead followed by learning under Rabbi Tzvi Kushelevski in Jerusalem and continuing there after his marriage to Penina, nee Hausman, originally from Manchester. As well as gaining experience teaching in the STEP programme and in Yeshivas Lomdei Torah Rabbi Stroh has higher level teacher training. Together with their lively children they are enthusiastic and caring members of the Leeds community. Penina teaches in the Leeds Menorah School, pioneered and led ‘Kollel Shabbos’ as well as being the artistic expert at countless Kollel events, hosting friends from the community for meals and providing for so many with her culinary delights- even during lockdown individuals look forward to her weekly Shabbat food packs! Aaron co-led the DBLA Sunday morning boys programme and currently co-leads the successful Sunday night Shiur programme, delivers the first and only dailyDaf Yomi shiur, and learns on a one to one basis on a variety of topics. Together they co-led lunch and learn sessions and are involved in numerous Kollel projects.
Rabbi Yossi and Vardi Dansky
The Danskys have been with the Leeds Kollel from the very start in 2014. Rabbi Dansky grew up in Gateshead. He learnt in Gateshead Yeshiva Ketana and Gateshead Yeshiva Gedolah followed by the Mir in Jerusalem. After his marriage to Vardi, nee Kandler, originally from London, he continued to learn in the Mir until their move to Leeds. Together with their gorgeous children, the Danskys are a vibrant and active part of the Leeds Jewish community. Yossi has led two groups of teenagers on trips to Poland, co-led the DBLA Sunday morning programme for boys and currently co-leads the successful Sunday night shiur programme. Together they run games evenings for teenagers, and Vardi co teaches the Zone-Ed cheder programme and the Bat Chayil course. As well as hosting Shabbos guests, leading Jewish assemblies and lunch-and-learn programmes in the Leeds Jewish Free School, the Danskys are involved in countless Kollel projects.
Rabbi Yisroel and Baila Cohen
The Cohens have been with the Leeds Kollel since its inception in 2014. Together with their lively boys they are beloved members of the Leeds Jewish community. Rabbi Cohen hails from Finchley in London. He learnt in Yeshivas Bais Yisroel in Jerusalem followed by Yeshivas HeichalHaTorah, and in Kollel DarcheiHora’ah in Jerusalem after his marriage to Baila, nee Meyer from Golders Green. Rabbi Cohen teaches in the Leeds Menorah School. He learns Gemara with members of the community. He often regales a crowd with his entertaining and moving Divrei Torah. Baila is a qualified midwife and has worked for the NHS for sixteen years. Since moving to Leeds she has been a beacon of light and comfort for countless Jewish women throughout pregnancies and beyond. She has been a support to women as their boys have their bris, explaining the process and more. As well as her professional role, she has made a big impression through telling her story and always emphasising the importance of Judaism in everything she does. Her challahs are also a well-known treat!
Rabbi Doniel and Sephy Stern
Rabbi Stern, originally from Manchester, attended Gateshead Gedolah yeshiva followed by Yeshivas Shaarei Chochma in Jerusalem. Following his marriage to Sephy, nee Baker from London he continued to learn there, followed by Kollel Ner Yisroel in Rechasim in the North of Israel. The Sterns joined the Leeds Kollel in 2015. Together with their fun-loving children they have loved hosting friends in the community. They have arranged two teenage trips to Poland and worked together to pioneer the Mikva Month initiative, as well as leading and being involved in many Kollel projects. Sephy teaches in the Leeds Menorah School and co-leads the Bat Chayil programme and Bat Chayil reunion programmes. In addition, she leads many teenage volunteering programmes. Doniel leads a shiur on Medical ethics as well as many other learning commitments. Their original desire to return to their Leeds roots; both have great or great, great grandparents from Leeds, which has led to deep felt love for the incredible warm Leeds Jewish community and all their friends here.
Rabbi Yaakov and Dobra Bayla Kohn
Rabbi Kohn hails from Gateshead. He studied in Yeshivas Tifferes Yaakov in Gateshead before studying in the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. After his marriage to Dobra Bayla, nee Rose, originally from Manchester, he learnt in Rabbi Goldbloom’s Kollel in Jerusalem. Rabbi Kohn is a qualified Sofer (scribe). The Kohns joined the Leeds Kollel in 2018 together with their adorable two children. As well as being the much sought-after only lady in Leeds to wash and set sheitels, Mrs Kohn teaches in the Leeds Menorah School as well as teaching the Zone Ed Sunday ‘Cheder’ style programme. Rabbi Kohn learns on a one-to-one basis and leads talks on a variety of topics. The Kohns led a teenage trip to Poland and continue to develop relationships with community members as well as contributing to countless Kollel projects. The Kohns’ caring and gentle personalities have made them beloved members of the community that they feel so fortunate to be part of.
Rabbi Binyomin and Chaya Schvarcz
Rabbi Binyomin Schvarcz joined the Kollel in April 2020. Originally from Manchester, he studied in the Yeshivos in Gateshead before joining the famed Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem in 2014. He married Chaya – nee Sugarman – in 2016. Originally from Gateshead, she spent two years in Beis Soroh Schnierer seminary in Manchester and then went on to study Motion Graphics and Video editing and is now a Freelance Video Editor. Whilst newly married they lived in Jerusalem where they joined the NerL’Elef Community Outreach P and Leadership Training Program. Moving to Leeds in April 2020 with their rambunctious 2 girls, Yehudis aged 3 and Nechoma 4 months, they are particularly excited to be in Leeds as many of Chaya’s ancestors lived in Leeds in the early 1900’s. They are very much looking forward to meeting the community as soon as Covid allows and have already thrown themselves into many Kollel projects and learning opportunities with the community. The Schvarcz’s led the candle lighting at the Kollel’s Escape Room Chanukah event and as well as developing many videos for the Kollel in the short time they have been here. As an example, Chaya is involved in the ‘Baking for Carers’ initiative.
Rabbi Nochum and Rivky Salomon
Rabbi Nochum Salomon, originally from Gateshead studied in Yeshiva Ketana Gateshead, followed by Yeshivas Nezer in Gateshead before learning in the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Following his marriage to Rivky nee Thursch, originally from Manchester, he continued to study in the Mir Yeshiva followed by the Kollel of Rabbi Shraga Kallus in Jerusalem. Together with his wife, the Salomon’s joined the Leeds Kollel in September 2020. Despite coronavirus restrictions and having a gorgeous baby boy Shlomo in the middle of it all, the Salomon’s easy-going personalities and hard work have already made them an integral part of the Kollel. Mrs Salomon continues to study towards a degree in web development and has used her knack for graphic design to produce the beautiful Chanukah publication presented by the Kollel to the community, as well as many posters for the Kollel’s programmes. In addition, the Salomon’s are involved in many ongoing Kollel projects such as the ‘Baking for Carers’ initiative and are getting to know the Leeds community daily as well as keeping up with the learning schedule.
Rabbi Yitzchok and Shani Katz
Rabbi Katz, originally from London, studied in the Sunderland Yeshiva, followed by Gateshead Yeshiva Gedola as well as the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He continued his learning in the Mir Yeshiva after his marriage to Shani nee Spitzer who was born and raised in Gateshead. The Katz family found themselves trapped by the coronavirus pandemic. Ever-optimistic in their natures, they used their new-found situation as a spring-board for a new stage in life and joined the Leeds Kollel in October 2020 together with their sweet new-born Rikki. The Katz’ have roots in Leeds as Yitzchok’s great grandparents were Arnold and Claire Katz. Shani is soon to complete her degree in special education and has already thrown herself into Kollel programmes such as the ‘Baking for Carers’ initiative. Yitzchok has already used his passion for inspiring others through film and media to produce a short and inspiring clip on their adventurous and unexpected journey to Leeds.
Rabbi Yitzi and Pearly Springer
Born in London and raised in Gateshead studied in Sunderland Yeshiva and Yeshiva Gedola of Gateshead before studying in the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. After his marriage to Pearly (nee Glickman) from Gateshead, he continued to study in the Mir. Pearly has fond memories of visiting Leeds when her brother, Rabbi Shimon Boruch Glickman, lived here as part of the Kollel. Rabbi Springer has tutored students of the Be’er HaTorah yeshiva in Gateshead catering for boys struggling with learning. Pearly is currently training to become a therapist. They are Leeds Kollel’s newest members and since moving to Leeds together with their beautiful baby Meyer, the Springers have already made their mark despite covid restrictions. Rabbi Springer has thrown himself into the learning programme and begun meeting members of the community as well as writing an article for the Kollel magazine. With Pearly’s vast experience working with youth, including authoring a book for teenagers, Pearly has already co-led baking with teenagers for a project with the Leeds Jewish Housing Association. She is in the planning stages of sharing her writing flair and expertise with the youth through the Kollel’s Careers and Ideas programme.