Rabbi Engel & Staff
Meet Our Rabbi & Staff
Rabbi Zvi Engel
Rabbi of Congregation Or Torah
Office: (847) 679-3645 ext 222
Rabbi Zvi Engel is the Rabbi of Congregation Or Torah in Skokie, IL. Before coming to Skokie, in September 2008, Rabbi Engel served as the Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Fairfield, CT, for five years. In addition to his pastoral, educational, and organizational responsibilities, Rabbi Engel currently serves as the President of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and as the Chair of the Membership Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His affiliations include the Jewish United Fund of Greater Metropolitan Chicago, AIPAC, and he is a member of the Orthodox Union's Legacy Group.
Born and raised in Montreal, Rabbi Engel studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, holds a B.A. in English Literature from Yeshiva University, and received his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University, in 2002. Beyond enjoying the benefits of strong mentors within his own family and of various teachers, Rabbi Engel credits a number of formative experiences with shaping his approach to the rabbinate, including working with Jewish youth in Australia, Belarus, Canada, Israel, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. Over the years, he served as the leader of various programs, such as: Yeshiva University's counterpoint, OU-NCSY's JOLT Program, as as a regional coordinator for OU's Yachad/Re'im Program for Jewish People with special needs.
Combining an abiding love for the Jewish People with a passion for learning and teaching Torah, Rabbi Engel strives to connect with people of all ages within the congregation and the wider community. Rabbi Engel and his wife, Laurie, are the proud parents of four children. To learn with Rabbi Engel online through a sampling of various presentations (shiurim and drashot) at Congregation Or Torah, please visit www. rabbizviengel.org
Executive Director of Congregation Or Torah
Office: (847) 679-3645 ext 226
Sarah Silvestri- Bernstein received her Bachelors in Biology & Psychology from Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. She most recently served as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional at Clearbrook/The Libenu Foundation. In this role, Sarah managed the day to day operations of several group homes, coordinated with the various stakeholders including parents, the board and Clearbrook operations, while also working for Chicago Yachad. This helped lead Sarah to join the Congregation Or Torah family. Sarah and her husband Josh got married in August 2012 and have one child, Olivia.
Youth Director of Congregation Or Torah
Herschel Joseph has been the Youth Director at Congregation Or Torah for the past six years. Herschel grew up in Los Angeles, attended Yeshivat Torat Shraga in Jerusalem for two years, and graduated Yeshiva University with a B.A. in Political Science. Herschel is also a former fellow of the Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowship and has an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Herschel and his wife Jessica, a Skokie native and practicing Occupational Therapist, live in Skokie with their two children, Akiva & Elisheva.