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Our Faculty

by Angie Parker

Rabbi Sholomo Levy pursued a B.A. at Middlebury College in Vermont, completed part of his rabbinic and secular studies at Tel Aviv University, graduated with a Master’s in African-American Studies from Yale University, received an M. Phil degree from Columbia University in American History, and was installed as the Spiritual Leader of Beth Elohim Hebrew Congregation in Saint Albans, New York.    Other accomplishments include President of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, editor and contributor to the Hakol newsletter, has held positions as professor of American and African American History at LaGuardia Community College, Long Island University, Medgar Evers College, and Middlebury College, and is currently a tenured Associate Professor of History at Northampton Community College.

Professor Y’sudah Yehudah holds a Master of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the New School for Social Research in New York.  She was awarded the A. D. Felheim Scholarship, which supported her participation in archaeological excavation of Canaanite Hazor in northern Israel and has conducted fieldwork near Mbale, Uganda, where she gathered ethnographic data for her Master’s thesis examining the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda.  Professor Y’sudah was also a visiting student at New York University where she participated in a seminar examining the alleviation of poverty at Uganda Martyrs University at Nkozi, Uganda.  Professor Y’sudah also holds an Advanced Business Certificate in Marketing from St. Francis College in Brooklyn.  She is currently an adjunct professor in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York, a Lecturer in Anthropology and Religion, and Bursar at the Israelite Rabbinical Academy headquartered in Queens, New York.

Rabbi Malchah Netanyahu is a Dean of the Academy and Director of Curricula. She is an accomplished scholar of Torah and Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Culture.   She holds advanced degrees from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Colgate Rochester Bexley Hall, Crozer Theological Seminary.  A gifted author, lecturer and teacher, Rabbi Malchah has presented workshops, keynote addresses and seminars throughout the United States and is the recipient of several scholarly awards and honors.  She is the author of articles on Judaica, the Israelite experience and Africana history. Chronicling the Africana experience and the Africana perspective is one of her budding interests.  Rabbi Malchah is the co-author of a forthcoming trilogy on the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and the history of race relations in the United States

Professor Dr. Harold Barnes, Sr. is the president and CEO of the Center For Quantum Leadership, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation is also Chairman of the Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation, founded by Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.  Professor Barnes received his J.D. degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law and his B.A. degree in Political Science from Elizabeth City State University where he later became a Professor.  His religious career boasts positions as Local Pastor of Fifth Tabernacle, Elizabeth City, NC and Associate Minister of Temple Beth El, Suffolk, VA where he was also Director of Development.  His other accomplishments include Headmaster of the Work-Force Proficiency Institute, President/CEO of HESED Consultants, and Managing Partner of the law firm of Barnes, Faulcon, McKenna & Kithcart

Chief Rabbi Capers Shmuel FunnyeRosh Yeshiva Israelite Academy – Chicago, Illinois – Rabbi Capers Shmuel Funnye is the rabbi and spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, Associate Dean of the Israelite Academy, and a member of the faculty of the Academy. Rabbi Funnye received his undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies and a Masters Degree from Spertus Institute of Judaica, in Chicago, Illinois. Rabbi Funnye is a graduate of the Israelite Academy and received ordination from Chief Rabbi Levi Ben Levy in 1985.   Rabbi Funnye has taught Jewish History, African American History, Talmud, Midrash, Bible and Hebrew for the Israelite Academy

Professor Gerald J. Wingster  has been an Associate Professor for the past 11 years in the Mortuary Science Department at SUNY Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York holds an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies (AOS) from American Academy McAllister Institute of New York, a B.S and M.S in Organizational Management with a Certificate in Microcomputer Applications, and an Executive MBA in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn, New York. Prof. Wingster also serves the community as a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer.

Rabbi Baruch A. YehudahDean Spiritual Leader of B’nai Adath Kol Beth Yisrael in Brooklyn, NY received his Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences from New York Institute of Technology, graduated from the Israelite Rabbinical Academy, and received Sh’meka from the late Rabbi K’naizadek Yeshurun. He serves as Executive Secretary of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis and is a member of the Board of Directors. Rabbi Yehudah has served in his post as Dean of the Israelite Academy since 1999.

Professor Tabari Bomani earned a BA in History and Secondary Education from Hofstra University and a MA in History from Brooklyn College. Tabari earned his School Based Leadership License through the Scaffolded Apprenticeship Model Program. He teaches courses on the History of Latin America and The Caribbean, African American History, African History, as well as a course on the Revolutionary Movements in the US from 1965 to Present.

He is the recipient of numerous honors and Awards. In 1987, Tabari was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta (the National Historian Honor Society). In 2004, in recognition of his work as a teacher, College Advisor and school Dean, Tabari and his colleague Ellie Weiss were the joint recipients of the Fund for the City of New York’s 2004 Sloan Public Service Award. In 2013, he was selected to be a member of the Expanded Success Initiative New School Design Fellowship (ESI Fellows). The ESI Fellows were charged with designing a new school model that would directly work to close the achievement gap, discipline gap and belief gap that faced African and Latino youth in the New York Public School system. After a year of design and prototyping, the ESI Fellows launched the EPIC Schools and he was selected to be the founding principal of the newly opened Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice. the ESI Fellows launched the EPIC Schools and he was selected to be the founding principal of the newly opened Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice.

Dr. John Eaves currently serves as Executive Director of the Global Youth Ambassadors program and Senior Instructor at Spelman College. He holds a Master’s Degree in Religion from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. An international specialist, John has visited and met with citizens of more than 50 nations around the globe. He received the American Marshall Plan Memorial Fellowship-German Marshall Fund and two Fulbright scholarships.

As Chairman of Fulton County, Georgia’s most populous county for 11 years, John established a reputation as staunch advocate on Transportation, Housing and Healthcare – key areas of investment and innovation for bolstering metro Atlanta’s bright future. A prudent steward of county resources, John championed the Budget Commission, applying efficient operations and fiduciary accountability to grow the county’s reserves. John concentrated on business growth and the economic recovery, re-instating the Economic Development Division to create jobs, retain and attract business. In 2014, John established the SMART Justice Advisory Council and joined President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. In 2015, he spearheaded the county’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative and became a leading partner in the White House Data Driven Justice (DDJ) communities.

Professor Deborah Benson holds a B.A. from Brown University, Providence, RI, and an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior from Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. She has taken education courses in Drama as Education at Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from the William H. Plummer Seminary with a Certificate in Religious Studies. Professor Benson is currently doing work as an editorial consultant, proofreader, and college writing skills professor.

She is a District Sabbath School Superintendent of the Department of Religious Education of Temple Beth El, an international religious organization headquartered in Suffolk, Virginia. Within the scope of her duties, she has developed several interactive tools to enhance the delivery of the subject matter, aided in the revision of the Directed Teacher Activity Curriculum for Adult Scholars, and has published several religious puzzle books.

She is the author and Executive Director of the acclaimed Passover Play which debuted at Ninth Tabernacle Beth El, Brooklyn, New York and had its international premiere at Temple Beth El.

Dr.  Shawneladee C.  Cole is a  licensed psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and adjunct professor at Hunter College in New York City.  Additionally, Dr.  Cole is a long- standing member of both ABSW-NYC and NABSW.  She chairs the Mental Health and Counseling Committee for ABSW-NYC and has presented at a number of conferences for both organizations.

She maintains a private practice in Chelsea, NYC treating children and adults.  She’s also an avid hula hoop enthusiast.  Dr.  Cole received a Masters of Social Work from New York University and her PHD from Smith College both in Clinical Social Work. Dr.  Cole works in school based mental health with both adolescents and adults. Although she treats a variety of clients, she specializes in mental health treatment for African Americans.

Despite the many strengths and challenges within our community, African Americans have a long history physical and mental health trauma.  Dr.  Cole practices her interpretation of culturally influenced psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy to provide services often inaccessible to people of African descent. Now more than ever Black Social Workers are needed to offset, support and shield our community from the political and emotional climate today.

Dr. Cole lectures on a variety of mental health topics ranging from Afrocentric theory, Colorism, Countertransference, Psychodynamic & Psychoanalytic treatment for African Americans.  Always trying to expand the boundaries of treatment, Dr. Cole is interested in varying her practice. After the stresses of the COVID 19 crisis closed many of our self-care outlets.

Rabbi Manny Viñas born of Cuban exile parents in Miami Florida. He is a three times ordained Sephardic Rabbi, with expertise in the Spanish and Portuguese customs of the New World. He has Yoreh Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination from Kollel Agudath Achim, Boro Park Brooklyn, NY and from Yeshiva VeKollel Hizkiyahu Yoel also in Brooklyn NY. He is a member of the NY Board of Rabbis and also the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami.

He is founder and Director of El Centro de Estudios Judios Torat Emet an organization with chapters and outreach throughout Latin America to assist in the recognition of and return to Jewish practice of the Anusim, the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity during the Spanish and Portuguses Inquisitions and are now living throughout the Americas.

He has worked for many years as a professor of Jewish Studies at City College of NY and is also an ordained Sofer, Scribe from Yeshiva University. El Centro has a YouTube Channel with over a million and a half downloads of videos that teach Sephardic Judaism primarily in Spanish and his weekly Facebook lectures draw over 5000 weekly viewers in 13 countries.

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