LINK Kollel & Shul - 1453 S Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 310-470-5465  

Rabbi Asher Brander - Rosh Kollel, Dean

A native of Oak Park, Michigan, he studied at Yeshiva University (where he received his Bachelors, Masters and Semicha), Yeshivat Shaalvim, and the Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem before coming to Los Angeles in 1990.

Since LINK’s inception in 2002, Rabbi Brander has guided the Kollel’s development; from recruiting the original team of scholars from Israel to shaping its vision and opening its doors to the LA Jewish community and beyond. Most impressively, he has created a very broad and diverse donor base that has proved to be durable and resilient, expanding to meet the burgeoning needs of the Kollel.

Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar - Rosh Kollel

Rabbi Lebhar is returning as LINK’s Rosh Kollel after a stint in Toronto, Canada, where he served as Rosh Kollel of Kollel Yismach Moshe. He hails from prestigious yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel and America and has learned under some of the most prominent poskim of the generation, including Rav Tzvi Kushelevsky shlit”a, Rav Ezriel Aurebach shlit”a and more recently Rav Shlomo Miller shlit”a.

Rabbi Lebhar is well-known for his popular sefarim on Minhagim and has Daily Halacha emails which reach thousands worldwide. He is the founder of Machon Magen Avot and is currently co-authoring “Darke Avoteinu”.

Rabbi Eli Stern - Director of Outreach

A veteran of nearly 30 years in Rabbinic and Outreach work, Rabbi Eli Stern is the senior member of the LINK team. A native of Manhattan, Rabbi Stern began his Yeshiva learning after graduating with a degree in Political Science from Hunter College of CUNY. After 2 years in Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, he studied for 7 years at the Yeshiva of Staten Island, under Rabbi Reuven Feinstein. He has held outreach and/ or pulpit positions in Buffalo, Richmond and Dayton before coming to LA in 1996 to become Ashreinu’s pioneering campus Rabbi (JAM). He laid the ground work for much of LINK’s outreach mission while serving as Outreach Director and Associate Rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla from 1997-2002.

Kollel Members

Rabbi Aaron Becker

Ahron Becker is a native of Chicago, IL. He attended Wits High School in Milwakee prior to moving to Eretz Yisrael and learning at Yeshivas Beis Yisrael for 4 years. From there he went on to learn in the Mir Yeshiva under Rav Usher Arieli for one and a half years. Thereafter, he joined the Lakewood Yeshiva where he studied for almost 8 years. While in Lakewood, he took advantage of all the high level of learning and the Talmedei Chachamim that Lakewood has to offer, as well as a number of the opportunities that are offered by the Yeshiva. These include Talmudav Byado- a program designed to help develop and write Chidushei Torah, and Aish Dos- a Chinuch course and Ner LAlef- a Kiruv training program.

He is married to Carli nee Sacks a native of Tarzana, CA. Carli attended Emek Hebrew Academy, Bais Yaakov High School and Meohr Bais Yaakov Seminary. She received a masters in education from Touro, and taught in both Emek and Bais Yaakov for a number of years before she married Ahron. While in Lakewood, Carli was employed by Bruriah High School for 7 years, where she taught a wide array of Kodesh subjects. Additionally she was the 9th grade Mechanenchet, and ran the 9th grade programming. She is currently the 8th grade Morah in Yavneh. They have three children, Shana, Yehuda and Yosef. They are very excited to be joining the LINK Kollel and are looking forward to learning and growing together with the community.

Rabbi Tzvi Rubin

Rabbi Tzvi and Shana Rubin are a talented couple bringing from coast to coast a burning desire to give over their years of growth in Torah, Middos and community involvement. Rabbi Rubin is originally from Teaneck, New Jersey attended Moriah elementary school and proceeded to go on to MTA YU’s high school. It was then that he began his special journey and switched to Breur’s High School, after that he went on to attend Yeshivas Bais Yisroel in Neve Yaakov for four intense years of full and total absorption in his Torah learning. Following a brief period at the yeshiva of Rav Gershon Ribner shilta who is Rav Shneur Kotler zt”l’s son-in-law he went on to attend the famous Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood for almost seven years continuing his close relationship with Rav Gershon Ribner shlita as well as many other Torah luminaries. His wife Shana is from Monsey and attended Bais Yaakov of Ramapo and Bnos Chava seminary and is excited to meet everyone in the LINK community and share in any way she can. Even though Rabbi Rubin has traversed the great distance between Teaneck and Lakewood he retains strong ties to the Teaneck community delivering shiurim regularly as well as delivering shiurim in neighboring communities such as Cherry Hill, NJ and Manalapan, NJ. We look forward very much to have him as part of the link team.

Rabbi Avi Gruen

Avi and Aliza are a “homegrown” LA couple who have been living in Baltimore for the last few years.Avi is a graduate of YULA (who occasionally came to Rabbi Brander’s shiur) before studying at Ohr Sameach Yerushalayim, Sho’or Yoshuv in New York,Chaim Berlin in New York, and Ner Israel in Baltimore. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Touro College. Aliza is a graduate of Bais Yaakov Los Angeles and Bnos Sara Seminary in Yerushalayim, and earned a bachelor’s degree through Maalot and her R.N. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. For the past year Aliza has been working on a ventilator unit in a skilled nursing facility in Baltimore, when not taking care of their very busy toddler, Ahuva Gittel.

 As an Avreich, Avi learns two sedarim in the Kollel, teaches in the community and organizes empowering Chaburah style learning for targeted groups. The Gruen home is a warm and gracious one and Aliza will certainly be a tremendous koach for the broad community. As an aside – there is big nachas here for our wonderful members Jeffrey and Judy Gruen, and for Dr. Manny and Sharon Saltiel, – who are are thrilled to get their kinder back home!

Rabbi Yehuda Kraft

The newest addition to the LINK team are Rabbi Yehuda and Sorah (nee Kroll) Kraft. But they are far from being new to the LA community, having grown up here on the La Brea side of town. Rabbi Kraft attended Yeshiva Gedola in LA and then Bais Yisrael and the Mirrer Yeshiva (under Rav Asher Arieli) in Israel. After he married Sorah, he learned for several years in the Kollel of Rav Eli Stepen before returning to LA. His depth and breadth of learning are evident to the many people he learns with weekly.

Mrs. Kraft studied in Toras Emes (having the unique distinction of being taught by LINK’s own Mrs. Robin Stern!) as well as Bais Yaakov. She attended the renowned Manchester (UK) Seminary as well as P’nimim Seminary in Israel. After speeding a number of years teaching Torah in Dallas, TX and in several schools in LA, she and R’ Yehuda were married and moved to Israel. Upon her return, she has come full cycle and is teaching a whole day at Toras Emes. In between all that, she somehow finds the time to raise their 6 wonderful children.

Rabbi Avishai Neydavoud

You can set your clock to the schedule of LINK’s greatest masmid, Rabbi Avishai Neydavoud. It’s a safe bet that he is the Beis Medrash every night until at least the stroke of 12 (midnight, that is!) – and often later. His warmth and ready smile are a magnet that draws in many students from diverse backgrounds. His patience and clarity in teaching make him one of the most beloved Rebbeim in LINK’s night Beis Medrash. He attended Yeshiva Gedola before journeying to Israel to learn at Yeshivat Be’er Yehuda. After marrying his wife Shirly, he studied for several years in Kollel Nachalat Moshe (in Bnei Brak), before joining LINK over 6 years ago.

What makes his extraordinary hasmada (diligence) possible is clearly the indefatigable support of his Aishes Chayil, Shirly. She was born and bred in Eretz Yisrael, an outstand product of the Bais Yaakov system. Behind the scenes, she takes care of all of his needs (and those of their 4 children!), allowing him the time and peace of mind to devote so much of his day (and night!) to learning and teaching Torah.

Rabbi Yisroel Thaler

Rabbi Yisrael Thaler and his wife Sarah are intimately connected with the lives of so many people in our community, including many who have nowhere else to turn to for spiritual and physical nourishment. They do all this in a typically modest, away from the camera, manner. Whether it’s a perpetually filled Shabbos/Yom table or a chavrusashaft at every conceivable hour or a late night pep talk/guidance in helping with shidduchim, the Thalers have been an invaluable lifeline for so many in LINK’s extended orbit. A native of Antwerp, Belgium, R’ Yisrael learned in Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Denver and for many years in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. He has been part of the LINK Beis Medrash since 2012.

Sarah (nee Nasseri) was born in Iran, lived in Israel and then came to LA ,where she studied at Valley Torah HS. She also spent time at Neve Yerushalayim Seminary in Israel. She is a graduate of UCLA and earned a LCSW degree from USC, working for many years in that field at the VA Hospital. She has also taught many inspirational shiurim for the women at LINK, besides raising four beautiful children.

Beis Medrash

Rabbi Daniel Amar
Rabbi Yisroel Casen
Rabbi Kiva Cohen
Rabbi Aaron Cohen
Rabbi Efraim Niehaus
Rabbi Menashe Rashti
Rabbi Aryeh Steinman
Rabbi Daniel Weinstock
Rabbi Shlomo Yisraeli
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