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Meet Our RabbiS & 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. In addition to his pastoral, educational, and organizational responsibilities, Rabbi Engel currently serves as the Recording Secretary of the Rabbinical Council of America. He is a former President of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and former Chair of the Membership Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His affiliations include AIPAC and the Jewish United Fund of Greater Metropolitan Chicago. Before arriving in Skokie in September 2008, Rabbi Engel served as the Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Fairfield, CT for five years.

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 . To subscribe to Rabbi Engel’s Podcast, please click here: us/podcast/rabbi-zvi-engel/id1234332040 .


 Rabbi Yitzy Sprung
 Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Or Torah
 Office: (847) 679-3645

Rabbi Yitzy Sprung is the Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Or Torah and a Rebbe at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, both in Skokie, IL. A former fellow at the Yeshiva University- Torah Mitzion Kollel of Chicago, he previously attended Yeshivat Birkat Moshe in Ma’ale Adumim for two years before obtaining a Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) at Bar Ilan University. Following Bar Ilan, Rabbi Sprung studied for three years under Rabbi Jeremy Wieder at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, where he obtained rabbinical ordination. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, also at YU. Yitzy, Tiferet, and their three children Eliana, Joseph, and Kiva can be found at Timber Ridge Park, the Skokie Library, or somewhere in Or Torah.

 Sarah Silvestri-Bernstein
 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. Sarah has served as the Executive Director of Congregation Or Torah for the past five years working to help members realize the potential of what they want their community to look like. Sarah is responsible for the full spectrum of synagogue management: building and grounds, facilities, security, website, calendar, communications, marketing, programming, and fundraising. She prides herself on working collaboratively with committee members and on reaching out to all ages and all corners of the synagogue’s population. Previously, she served as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional at Clearbrook/The Libenu Foundation. Sarah and her husband, Josh, are the proud parents of their three children, Olivia, Liam & Aiden.

  Marla Kirshner
  Senior Administration Manager
  Office: 847-679-3645 ext 221

Marla Kirshner received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Northeastern Illinois University. She has been employed at Congregation Or Torah for the past 26 years. Marla and her husband Mark have lived in Skokie and have been members of Congregation Or Torah for the past 30 years. They have four children.

Sara Goldman
Youth Director of Congregation Or Torah

Sara holds a BS in graphic design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. Before moving to Chicago, Sara was a Jewish Educator in South Florida, teaching Hebrew school and working in both USY & NCSY. Sara, her husband, Noah and their 3 children moved to the Skokie community a year and a half ago. 

Sat, July 24 2021 15 Av 5781