Shayla Blog


Matan Responsa Online

Shayla is an online Halakhic resource in English directed and run by graduates of Hilkhata – Matan Jerusalem’s five-year Advanced Halakhic Institute.  Shayla answers a growing need of Jewish women, including students, for an accessible go-to address for them to ask Halakhic questions and seek guidance. Even though where possible it is preferable to address questions to your community Rabbi, we recognize that in today’s mobile and digitized world that isn’t always an option.  That’s why we created Shayla for you.

Our Halakhic Responders share an extensive background of learning, prior to their studying in Hilkhata.  They are all Torah educators and are actively involved in their communities.  Shayla has the full backing of HaRav HaDayan Ariel Holland, Rav of Hilkhata and a committee of Halakhic experts.  All answers will be reviewed by HaRav Holland and/or the committee.

Rabbanit Batya Krauss

is a Yoetzet Halakha, a graduate of Keren Ariel and Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute.  Rabbanit Krauss teaches Halakha in the Morot L’Halakha program at Matan HaSharon and gives shiurim to the general public, which focus on the interface between Halakha and society, family and welfare.  She is a senior social worker specializing in old age, disability and community.

Rabbanit Debbie Zimmerman

teaches Tanakh, Gemara, and Jewish Thought in several Jerusalem midrashoth. She holds a B.A. in social work from Bar Ilan University and is completing an M.A. in Jewish education. She completed the Master's Program in Bible at Matan and studied advanced Talmud in Bet Morasha. Debbie is currently a fellow in Hilkhata – Matan’s Advanced Halakha Institute.

Rabbanit Nechama Goldman Barash

made aliyah from Philadelphia over 20 years ago after graduating from Stern College. She studied for three years in Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute and finished an M.A. in Talmud at Bar-Ilan University. She is a graduate of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halakha program and has been certified to teach brides before their weddings, as well as qualifying as a sex educator through Yahel and the Eden Center. She also studied for three years in Matan's Advanced Halakha program, Hilkhata. She teaches contemporary Halakha and Talmud at Matan and Pardes, as well as Talmud and women and Halakha in Torah V'Avodah (TVA), a Bnei Akiva gap year program based in Matan. She is an active member of Beit Hillel and participates in interfaith dialogue through Roots, based in Gush Etzion, close to where she lives with her husband and daughters.

Rabbanit Rachel Weinstein

studied in Migdal Oz, Nishmat (Keren Ariel – Yoatzot) and is a fellow in Hilkhata – Matan’s Advanced Halakhic Institute. Rachel Yoetzet in her community, gives classes for women, teaches Kallot and runs the Matan Beit Shemesh Kallah teachers certification course. She lives in Tekoa and is the mother of 8 children.

Rabbanit Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel

was in the first graduating class of Matan's Advanced Talmud Institute. She is the head of the new Advanced Halakha (Hilkhata) Program at Matan. Rachelle is a Yoetzet Halakha and teaches Talmud and Halakha at Matan and Nishmat.

Rabbanit Surale Rosen

a graduate of Matan’s 5 year Halakha program, is a certified To'enet Rabbanit and a graduate of Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute. For the past 5 years she has headed Metivta – Matan’s Advanced Gemarah Program. She has taught Midrash, Talmud and Halakha and Daf Yomi in a wide array of shuls and communities, besides the Matan Beit Midrash, and written responses to halakhic questions through the Meshivat Nefesh online forum. Surale is also a graduate of Bar Ilan University and holds degrees in English Literature and Talmud. This past year she wrote the weekly Parashat HaShavua column for Chumash Shemot in the leading religious Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon and periodically writes Divrei Torah for weekly Torah publications. Surale Rosen is married to a community Rabbi and lives with her family in Jerusalem.

Sarah Baumol

is a graduate of Matan's Talmud Institute, and has an M.A. in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. Her responsibilities in Matan include coordinating the Daf Yomi daily shiur as well as the weekly Tzurba Halakha program. In addition to teaching, Sarah is a student in the first cohort of Hilkhata – Matan’s Advanced Halakha Institute.