A B O U T E M E K L E A R N I N G C E N T E R
The Emek Learning Center, located in the heart of the German Colony on Emek Refa'im Street, seeks to build a warm and caring community for the English-speaking residents of Baka, Katamon, and beyond. Our staff of experienced and dynamic educators, under the leadership of Rav Azarya Berzon and Rav Shalom Myers, have gathered from all over the world to form what has become a unique center for Torah living and learning in Yerushalayim.
The daily and weekly schedule, including shiurim for men and women, chavruta learning, speakers, and tefillah, offer something for everyone, regardless of experience or level of exposure to Torah learning and concepts. Additionally, our newly renovated space, conveniently located at Emek Refa'im 64, provides a wonderful venue for all of your communal needs. Pay us a visit, whether for a scheduled shiur, a spontaneous chavruta during your day, one of the tefillah times listed, or for our delicious kiddush Shabbat morning! Help us build something truly special here at Emek.
T H E T E A M
Harav Azarya Berzon is the Rav and Rosh Kollel of the ELC. Previously Rav Berzon served as Rosh Mesivta at the Beis Medrash L'Talmud of Lander College for Men. He served as Rosh Mesivta in Yeshivat Hesder Ma’aleh Adumim, as well as senior Rosh Mesivta at Yeshivat Sha'alvim from 1981-1991, and founded Yeshiva Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion in 1991, where he served as Rosh Yeshiva until 2009. Rabbi Berzon also founded Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim for women in 1996. Most recently he has served as Co-Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva University Kollel in Toronto. A Talmid of HaRav Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l, Rabbi Berzon also studied in Yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh and Yeshiva Beis HaTalmud in Israel. He has over 9,000 Torah Shiurim online at YU Torah and has served in many communities across the world as a Scholar in Residence. You can also find many of his shiurim on YouTube.
Rabbi Shalom Myers is the founder and Co-Rav of the ELC.
Previously, Rabbi Myers was director of the Mechina Program at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem. He founded a Rabbanut Kollel and an evening Kollel in Telz Stone.
He studied at Netzach Israel, Mir Yeshivah and Machon Ariel in Jerusalem where he received his smicha. He served as an army chaplain in South Africa and held rabbinic positions there. A qualified chartered accountant in South Africa and Israel, he represented South Africa in the Bible Quiz in Jerusalem in 1973.
Rabbi Simcha Dumas was born and raised in Jerusalem. He learned in the Mir Yeshiva Ketana for high school and after that at Yeshivat Ohr Elchanan under HaRav Moshe Mordechai Chadash Zt "l. During his studies at the yeshiva, he participated in a Kiruv training program run by students of Rabbi Noach Weinberg. After his marriage in 2013, he began studying at a kollel in the Old City of Jerusalem, and at the same time volunteered in several Kiruv organizations. He has also studied Christian and Muslim theology to help Jews under threat from missionaries. At the end of 2016, he joined the ELC Rabbinical Training Program. He also regularly meets with elite units in the IDF and works on bringing them closer to Torah and Mitzvot.
Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Fix, age 23, was born in America and grew up in Ramat Beit Shemesh. He learned in the Ohr Torah and Ohr Elchonon Yeshivot. He also volunteers as an EMT and first responder in MDA. He is married with one daughter and moved to the neighborhood 6 months ago.
Rabbi Yoni Gold currently lives in Baka with his wife and daughter. He has spent time learning in Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah and Yeshiva University, and has earned smicha from RIETS. Yoni is very passionate about learning gemara and halacha and loves having deep conversations about mussar and tikkun hamidos.
Rabbi Gabi Thaler is 23 years old and was born and raised in Neve Yaakov Jerusalem. He learned in the Mir Yeshiva by Rabbi Elefant. He and and wife just moved to the neighborhood and are really excited to join the community and meet everyone on Shabbos and during the week.
Rabbi Moshe Fixler is originally from America, and has lived in Israel for the past six years. He has previously learned in Mevaseret, Mercaz HaRav, and the Mir. He is also a personal trainer, and enjoys cooking and playing hockey. Moshe is getting married and moving to the area.
Rabbi Chaim Blumenau was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He learned in Yeshivot Meshech Chochma and Ponevez in Bnei Brak. He is excited to now live in the area with his wife and two children, and to teach in the ELC community.
Rabbi Yaacov Bayles is 23 years old and comes from Gibraltar. He came to Eretz Yisrael in 2016 and learned for 3½ years in Yeshiva Toras Moshe, followed by a year in the Mir Yeshiva. Yaacov spent the past year in the Gibraltar Kollel which his father runs, and that is where he discovered his passion for teaching Torah!
A L U M N I
Rabbi Shimmy Wieder is passionate about learning and teaching Torah to a wide variety of audiences. Born in London, he studied at the Hasmonean High School and was actively involved in the Ezra youth movement as well as in one-on-one Torah teaching. He came to Israel in 2004 to study at Yeshivat Midrash Shmuel followed by Yeshivat Mir. He has received semicha in Issur V'Heter and niddah from Rav Moshe Sternbuch, has completed a teacher training course, and is completing the Rabbanut semicha in the ELC. He has taught in a yeshiva and seminary in Jerusalem in an enthusiastic, dynamic, interactive and effective manner. He and his wife Abi have three young daughters. They continued their involvement in youth work, being the host family and rabbi of Ezra Summer Camp in Europe. Rabbi Wieder continues to give several shiurim in the ELC, including the Daf Yomi shiur.
Rabbi Yitzchak Thaler was born in Jerusalem. He studied at Yeshiva Ketana of Rabbi Stefansky, and Yeshiva Gedola at Mir Brachfeld by HaGaon HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l. He got a degree in Jewish Studies from the Michigan Jewish Institute. For two year, he taught Judaic Studies at night at Hebrew University in a program called "Afikim". He is married to Hadassah Gibralter, and they have two sons. He is completing the Rabbanut Semicha while teaching at the ELC. He runs a program for the Lone Soldiers in the community.
Rabbi Benny Gold grew up in Afula. He is the son of Rabbi Menachem Gold who established a kiruv organization - the Afula Torah Center "Mashmaut" which changed the face of the city. He took part in helping his father make Torah available to all. Rabbi Gold learned in Nehorah yeshiva high school then continued onto Yeshiva Gedola Netivot Yitzchak of Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau in Tel Aviv. From there he went to learn in Derech Chochma Yeshiva of Rabbi Silver in Har Nof.
During the first two years of marriage Rabbi Gold learned in Raanana Community Kollel, there he experienced learning with balebatim, giving shiurim and teaching kids how to learn Gemara.
Rabbi Yitzi Schaefer grew up in Israel to an Anglo family. He learned in Yeshiva Ketana Maoz Chayil, followed by Mir Brachfeld and then the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem at Rabbi Yosef Elefant’s shuir. He loves learning Halacha and teaching Torah and also enjoys playing basketball and surfing.