Noted teacher, author and visionary, Rabbi Riskin originally hails from Brooklyn NY. Rabbi Riskin graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University (YU) in 1960, where he majored in Classical Language and Literature, as well as English Literature. He went on to receive semicha (rabbinical ordination) from the eminent Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Seminary (RIETS) at YU, a Master’s Degree in Jewish History from YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School, and a Ph.D from New York University’s department of Near Eastern Languages and Literature in 1982.

As the founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, Rabbi Riskin created a focal point for an exciting approach to Orthodoxy, attracting many young intellectuals and professionals.

Yet, in 1983, Rabbi Riskin left his thriving career in Manhattan to pioneer the settlement of Efrat, south of Jerusalem; the city now numbers just over 10,000 people and is considered the most thriving, vibrant and desirable bedroom community of Jerusalem.

Upon arrival in Israel, Rabbi Riskin founded a boys’ High School in Efrat, the first in what would eventually become Ohr Torah Stone (OTS): a network of groundbreaking educational institutions, women’s empowerment programs, innovative leadership training, bridge-building outreach initiatives, and proactive social action projects that today encompasses 3,000 students from Israel and the Diaspora, ranging from elementary school to post-graduate programs for men and women. 

Rabbi Riskin and his wife, Vicky live in Efrat, surrounded by their children and grandchildren.

Field / Profession: Educator, Community/Synagogue Rabbi, Leadership & Motivation

Educator at: Yeshiva, Midrasha, Other

Languages: English, Hebrew

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