Rabbis Gleizer, Weinstock join expanded Kollel

PHOTO: Rabbi Berel Weinstock, left, and Rabbi Dovid Gleizer, pictured at the Portland Kollel Wednesday, Jan. 10. The pair joined the Kollel in recent months to enhance the Kollel's educational programs. (Rockne Roll/The Jewish Review)

The Jewish Review
In recent months, the Portland Kollel has welcomed a pair of new rabbis, both moving to Oregon from Jerusalem.
Rabbi Dovid Gleizer joined the Kollel as Rosh Beit Medrash in November, coming from Jerusalem’s Mir Yeshiva. 
“We spent six years there and we were looking to stay in Israel forever,” Rabbi Gleizer said of himself, his wife, Rivka Malka Gleizer, and their three children. “And then we did the next common move from Jerusalem to Portland.”
Rabbi Gleizer laughed and then explained that the Kollel is expanding its programing to reach out to the broader Jewish community, and he was excited to be a part of such a project while having the opportunity to continue his own studies. 
After atte an Orthodox day school in Boston, Rabbi Gleizer  received a degree in psychology from Yeshiva University in New York, starting his rabbinical training there before moving to Yeshiva Mir, where he had been teaching after finishing his ordination until moving to Portland.
“You can continue studying, but at the same time you’re involved in the community here, having a chance to attract people from the outside and educate people of all different ages and all different backgrounds,” he said of his new posting. 
As Rosh Beit Medrash, which translates to “head of the house of study,” Rabbi Gleizer is tasked with developing programs for all levels of religious understanding, from advanced-level instruction for those already immersed in Jewish scholarship to more foundational level classes and events for those interested in deepening their textual understanding.
“I enjoy things that are related to interpersonal relationships through the lens of the Torah. How the Torah views that,” Rabbi Gleizer said. “One thing I very much enjoy is the idea of growth; how to grow as a person, how to grow as a Jew, how to expand yourself. If you can present it in the right way to the right crowd, I think it can be very powerful.”
He’ll have some help in this endeavor, as Rabbi Berel Weinstock joined the Kollel as a teacher at the end of November.
Also coming from a Jerusalem Yeshiva, though a smaller one than the 9,000-student Yeshiva Mir, Rabbi Weinstock grew up in Toronto. After finishing high school, he moved to England to study at the Gateshead Yeshiva in northern England. He then moved to Israel, returning to the United States for a time where he met his wife, Leah Weinstock, before completing his yeshiva studies back in Israel. As he began to look for teaching opportunities, he connected with Rabbi Gleizer. 
“Rabbi Gleizer is very convincing,” Rabbi Weinstock said of his decision to make the move with his family, which now includes three children, but there is more than that.
“Portland is a very nice place to be. The people I find are very pleasant. They’re very open and they want to grow,” he said. “So it was a great opportunity for me.”
Rabbi Weinstock enjoys teaching all aspects of the Torah, from the ideals of Jewish character development to the intricacies of halacha, Jewish law – particularly the Torah’s insights into winemaking, as he is a hobbyist winemaker. 
Both Rabbis are eager to share their learning with the broader community, not just around the specifics of the texts themselves, but how the logic of Jewish thought and philosophy links the various texts together.
“I think an unbelievable value that Kollel rabbis bring is that when you spend day and night for years immersed, understanding the logic of the Torah, getting all the fine details, your brain starts to begin to be trained on how the Torah logic really works,” Rabbi Gleizer said. “That’s something which, until one experiences it, it’s a little bit hard to hard to fully understand, but when they do experience it, you see it, you see it smiles, excitement, because they’re connecting to that which they want to connect to. It unlocks something.”
“We want to promote growth, but  it shouldn’t be like a head overload,” Rabbi Weinstock added. “We do it in slow steps. That means at all levels.”
See the latest Kollel programs and classes at portlandkollel.org



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