Leadership

Rosh Yeshiva – Rabbi Avraham Tanzer

Rabbi Tanzer was born in Brooklyn New York, U S A in October 1935. He was educated at the Yeshiva Torah Ve d’as in New York, and at the Telsher Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio. After he received smicha, he continued as a fellow at the Post Graduate Institute Kollel Yad Eliyahu Meir, and was also a graduate at the Kaufman Teaching Institute in Cleveland.

As Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva College of South Africa since 1963, the schools developed under his jurisdiction include: Yeshiva College Boys High School, Yeshiva Leila Bronner Girls High School, Yeshiva Menora Primary School, Yeshiva Menora Primary School and Yeshiva Pre-Grade and I E Goldberg Nursery Schools.

Rabbi Tanzer is the founding Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Glenhazel Area Hebrew Congregation, a community of 750 families catering to the individual needs of many groups of congregants. In the greater community, Rabbi Tanzer has been involved with the following positions:

  • President of the South African Rabbinical Association 1988 – 1995
  • Vice President of the South African Rabbinical Association 1995 -2007
  • Honorary Life Member of the Rabbinical Association – August 2007
  • Member of the Gauteng Council of the S A Jewish Board of Deputies since l988 – present
  • Member of the Israeli United Appeal/United Communal Fund National Campaign Cabinet 1975 – 1990
  • Member of the National Council of the South African Board of Jewish Education 1975 – 2000
  • Honorary Vice President of the South African United Mizrachi since 1983 – 2000
  • Honorary member of the Hebrew Order of David Lodge Jerusalem since 1967 – date
  • Member South African Delegation World Keren Hayesod Conference – Jerusalem 1975 – 1996
  • Member South African Delegation (JAFI) Jewish Agency for Israel – Jerusalem 1975 – 1996
  • Member South African Delegate to Prime Minister Solidarity Conference for Israel
  • Member of Justice Margo Commission on fund raising South African Zionist Federation
  • Honorary Officer of the United Communal Fund for South African Jewry 1975 – 1987
  • Chaplain to His Worship the Mayor of Johannesburg Counsellor Alan Gadd in 1983
  • Chaplain to His Worship the Mayor of Johannesburg Counsellor Eddie Magid – 1984
  • Honorary Patron – Jewish National Fund of S A; Patron of South African Friends of Sharei Tzedek Hospital.
  • Beit Mordechai Kollel Campus – President
  • Recipient in 2009 of the Eric Samson-Mendel Kaplan Communal Service Award for outstanding service to Jewish causes in South Africa.
  • Featured in the Mishpacha Sukkot magazine in 2009
  • Rabbi Tanzer is married to Marcia Charrick of Baltimore, U S A. and they are the parents of six children who have made them proud grandparents.

Managing Director – Rabbi Leron Bernstein

Rabbi Leron Bernstein joined Yeshiva College Schools after spending a number of years learning in Israel. Rav Leron learnt in various Yeshivot including Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshivat Hakotel, Hamivtar and as a Rabbinic intern on the Orayta Fellowship programme. During this time he completed his Smicha while attending various practical courses in Education and teaching. He simultaneously completed a Bcom in Information Systems and Industrial Psychology through UNISA.

Rav Leron is a graduate of King David Victory Park and after matriculating began his tenure in Israel on the Bnei Akiva MTA programme. After his first two years in Yeshiva, he returned to South Africa to dedicate 3 years to the community – working at the Division of Informal Jewish Education and then as Rosh Machaneh for Bnei Akiva in 2006. Rav Leron then returned to Israel for a further 5 years on the YAD programme – Mizrachi Organization of South Africa’s pioneering long term leadership development programme

After completing his studying in Israel, Rav Leron, along with his family, made his way to South Africa to eagerly begin his Shlichut at the Yeshiva College Boys’ High School in 2012.

Menahel Boys’ High School – Rabbi Daniel Kaplan

Rav Daniel Kaplan is no stranger to the Boys’ High School, a former headboy of the school and our Senior Gemara Rebbe for the last few years. Rav Kaplan brings many strengths with him to his position of Menahel of the Boys’ High School. He played a key role in the launching of the HaKoach Committees Leadership system and has instrumental in our increased success in post High School Yeshivot. Under his expert guidance, more of our learners have elected to spend their gap year in Israel and have found increased success in their integration and development in Yeshiva. He also has extensive experience in Yeshiva, as an educator in Israel and South Africa and from serving in multiple leadership roles within Bnei Akiva in his younger years and most recently as the National Shaliach. He is well-known for his caring, warm and personable nature, which has been key to his ability to develop the organizations he has worked in and the people he has worked with

 High School Principal – Mr. Rob Long

Mr. Rob Long joins us from St John’s College, where he occupies the position of Deputy Headmaster. Mr. Long will be joining Yeshiva College from August 2018. Mr. Long has spent the last sixteen years in various senior positions at St. John’s College. He was previously employed at Queens High School, from which he received a transfer to St. John’s, and served in senior positions at Queens for eleven years. Mr. Long’s current responsibilities at St. John’s include being being responsible for admissions into the College, coordinating all major events, and liaising with the parent body on all Parent Association events. Mr. Long sits on the Campus Management Committee, College Executive, Building Committee, Scholarships and Bursaries Committee and Sports Committee. Mr. Long is a member of various schools’ disciplinary committees, is responsible for Health and Safety for the St. John’s campus and chairs the weekly Campus Operations Meeting, co-ordinating all activities across the five campuses. He is also responsible for the day-to-day running of the College (Grade 8 – Grade 12) and co-ordinating the calendar across the academic, religious, sport and cultural offerings of the College. Throughout his career, and notwithstanding his administrative roles, Mr. Long has maintained his presence in senior History classes at St. John’s, including Cambridge A-level post school students, as well as having served as an examination marker for IEB History. Mr. Long is a keen sportsman and his extra-mural activities have included coaching tennis, cricket, cross-country and athletics.

Menahelet Girls’ High School – Rebbetzin Natalie Altman

Rebbetzin Natalie is a uniquely talented and driven religious role model. We are thrilled by the dynamism, creativity and expertise that she will bring to this role – in invigorating, inspiring and holistically developing our young ladies in the Yeshiva College Girls’ High School as individuals and as a community of learners. Rebbetzin Natalie is an experienced proponent of education through learner empowerment and leadership skills. This resonates deeply with our educational philosophy at Yeshiva College and we are confident that, with Rebbetzin Natalie’s leadership, we will strengthen our Torah-centric identity, culture and environment across our campus.

Primary School Principal – Mrs. Melinda Chazen

Melinda has served in various positions of educational leadership in the South African Jewish community and
currently serves as the founding Principal of Sandton Sinai Primary School. In this most recent stage of her career,
Melinda successfully built this school from its inception – from recruiting learners, to managing building projects
and the development of an integrated and dynamic Limudei Kodesh and General Studies curriculum through the
years of the school’s development. She is renowned as a caring, insightful and dedicated leader that has garnered
the respect and admiration of her staff and parents over time. We are thrilled and grateful that Melinda has
decided to take up the position of Yeshiva College Primary School Principal, stepping up to lead our Primary
School staff, parents and learners.

Pre-Primary School Prinicpal – Ruth Kirkel

Ruth Kirkel qualified through the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Pretoria.

Her involvement in Early Childhood Education extends over a period of more than twenty five years.

Her interest in and commitment to education includes those learners with special needs and she has worked with a range of learners over the years.

Passionate about the educational and emotional needs of young children, in particular, Ruth encourages a culture of warmth and excellence in her school. With education a dynamic and ongoing process, Ruth and her staff are committed to attending continuous professional development courses on a variety of topics pertaining to Early Childhood development.

She is married with three children.

Director of Sport – Grant Forssman

Mr Grant Forssman was born in Pretoria and started his school endeavours at W.H.I.P.S. . The family then packed up and moved to Johannesburg where he started his new adventure at K.E.P.S. where he flourished as a budding sportsman receiving Provincial Colours for Swimming and represented his Area Soccer Team. He then went to Highlands North Boys High School where he received Provincial colours for Swimming, Water polo and Hockey. He then did a post matric at Parktown Boy High on a sports scholarship for rugby. Grant is very passionate about swimming and and he has swum the Midmar Mile 13 times. He also enjoys hiking and anything outdoors.

Grant Forsman has worked in the sports industry for close to a decade now and has worked in many different schooling environments including St. Stithians, Pridwin and the Ridge. Grant Forssman is the Director of Sports at Yeshiva college and is the binding force behind our sports department.