MTA (Yeshiva University High School for Boys) is excited to announce new faculty positions for the upcoming year, as the yeshivah continues to build its commitment to academics, Torah programming, and student life.
Rabbi Dov Emerson, former Director of Teaching and Learning, will transition into the role of Interim Principal for General Studies. Rabbi Emerson brings over ten years of administrative experience during his 20-year career in Jewish education, having served for the past four years as a valued member of MTA’s leadership team. He has worked with its faculty on professional development, initiated the yeshivah’s cohort-based learning model in the Freshman humanities classes, and led its efforts to shift to remote learning during the pandemic. Rabbi Emerson is a recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish education and has written and presented on a variety of topics, including the impact of technology on adolescents and in education, teacher coaching and support, and on school culture. He has also participated in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Principals’ Center Summer Institute, in both the “Art of Leadership” and “Leadership: An Evolving Vision” programs. Rabbi Emerson’s expertise in coaching and mentoring is highly valued in the realm of Jewish education. As a trained Veteran Mentor for the Jewish New Teacher Project, Rabbi Emerson mentors new teachers at MTA and also oversees a team of faculty mentors who ensure that each new teacher has access to regular coaching. Rabbi Emerson currently serves as a faculty member of YOULead, Prizmah’s year-long intensive leadership training program, where he mentors emerging Jewish educational leaders.
In addition, Ms. Leah Silvera, who for the past two years has served as MTA’s Director of the Learning Center, will also assume the interim title of Director of Curriculum and Innovation. In this expanded role, Ms. Silvera will continue to lead the Learning Center, while also working alongside Rabbi Emerson to advance the yeshivah’s General Studies educational program. Ms. Silvera has instituted many exciting new initiatives in the Learning Center, including the addition of a life skills class focused on practical subjects, such as understanding taxes and credit card debt. Ms. Silvera also has experience providing guidance to faculty on the latest educational techniques and strategies from her time as a Professor at Mercy College, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate classes in education, and as a member of the professional development team at SAR High School.
In his new role, Rabbi Emerson, in partnership with Ms. Silvera, has enhanced MTA’s academics to include increased emphasis on personalized learning, which speaks to each talmid’s passions, as well as offers practical and relevant skills-based instruction. He has spearheaded the yeshivah’s significantly expanded electives program, which includes an Entrepreneurship track that begins in Tenth Grade, Computer Science and Coding, Graphic Design, and an enhanced Scientific Engineering track headquartered in the Innovation STEM Lab. Additionally, he has overseen the implementation of new initiatives for Seniors, which include: an updated schedule that allows for even greater access to Yeshiva University courses as well as more choice and seamless integration between college and high school courses and giving incoming Seniors a true voice in their English course selection, as they were able to vote on a menu of options offered by MTA’s English Department and then select their desired courses based on their interests. With Rabbi Emerson’s help, MTA is also eagerly embarking on an exciting journey to gain accreditation by NYSAIS, the gold standard for independent school accreditation in the northeast United States.
MTA is also excited to welcome Rabbi Ezra Wiener (’89) as Rosh Beis Midrash and maggid shiur. Rabbi Wiener joins MTA after 21 years of serving as rebbe, Mashgiach Ruchani, Director of Israel Guidance, and most recently as Judaic Studies Principal at Torah Academy of Bergen County. He also serves as Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck. During this time, Rabbi Wiener has inspired thousands of talmidim and remained connected with his talmidim well past their high school graduations. Under the leadership of Associate Principal Rabbi Shimon Schenker and with the addition of Rabbi Wiener, MTA will be offering an enhanced Night Seder as well as daily afternoon chaburos and a variety of new community-wide learning programs.
Rabbi Danny Konigsberg (’05) has served as MTA’s Director of Student Activities for the past three years, overseeing all trips, programming, student leadership, clubs, academic teams and the dorm program. He previously served as the Founding Director and Senior Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva Toras Halachah in Queens, where he developed curricula and taught Gemara and Halachah to undergraduates. Prior to that, he served as a rebbe and Director of Student Life at Yeshiva Madreigas HaAdam. He received s’michah from Lander College’s Beis Medrash L’Talmud, where he attended college and was a member of the kollel. He also earned his JD from Fordham University School of Law and has practiced as an attorney. In his new role as Dean of Student Life, Rabbi Konigsberg will expand MTA’s student activities programming to include grade-wide nights out, day trips, grade-wide overnight trips, monthly Rosh Chodesh programming, and community-wide Shabbos and Yom Tov programming. Rabbi Konigsberg will also plan extensive programming exclusively for dorm talmidim, including a Friday morning learning program, Night Seder, trips, and Shabbatonim.’
Rabbi Sam Dratch (’12) will join the Student Life team as the Assistant Director of Student Activities, in addition to his current role as Tanach Rebbe. Rabbi Dratch also serves as the Teen Program Director at the Young Israel of West Hempstead, where he runs a weekly minyan and develops regular programming for the local teens. Rabbi Dratch received s’michah from RIETS and earned a degree in Psychology from Yeshiva University. He also spent time learning at YU’s Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem.