In addition to our staff, rabbis and instructors below, a full list of conversion rabbis can be found on our conversion rabbis page
Sara Stirne Ibañez
Director of Administration and Student Experience
As the face of all Darshan Yeshiva's student experience, Sara provides directorial oversight to the strategic and operational aspects of the yeshiva's educational, training and conversion programming. A former communications specialist and media maven, Sara holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University. She brings with her seven years of experience in non-profit healthcare in addition to her sparkling personality and make-it-work mentality.
Rabbi Ben Romer (Z”L)
Co-Founder, Conversion to Judaism Program
Rabbi Ben was the co-founder of the Darshan Yeshiva conversion to Judaism program. Prior to his work with Darshan Yeshiva, he served as a rabbi for over 30 years, both in congregations and as an Army Chaplain for 22 years. He served large and small Jewish communities and prior to his passing was part of the creation of a new Emerging Jewish Community, Bonay Kodesh. Welcoming each and every seeker into Judaism was critically important to Rabbi Ben, he learned from his Army chaplaincy that spiritual leaders have the obligation to help each person to get to where he or she is spiritually going. Rabbi Romer passed away on February 28th, 2016.
Help Desk Administrator
Rivka handles the Darshan Yeshiva help desk. When you have a problem, Rivka helps solve it! Rivka lives in Louisville, KY and has ran independent Jewish programming focused around holiday celebrations for unaffiliated, young Jews, in addition to her long time volunteerism at PunkTorah.org
Jenna oversees the financial aspects of Darshan Yeshiva including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and assisting with related issues. Jenna formerly worked in Manhattan as a Human Resources Coordinator and as an Information Technology Recruiter for a boutique consulting firm that catered to hedge funds and major financial corporations on Wall St. Currently a full-time nursing student at Marshall University, Jenna has a passion for serving others and a keen eye for organization and developing new methods to increase efficiency.
Kohenet Ketzirah Lesser
Ketzirah is a Kohenet priestess, ritualist, artist and director at OneShul.org. She brings a wealth of spiritual and educational insight to the Jewish community with a focus on innovative ritual and earth based Jewish practice. Ketzirah, is the author of several holiday Haggadot, a collection of poetry and has lead Jewish and interfaith communities in the Washington D.C. area. For Darshan Yeshiva, Ketzirah developed a very popular Jewish holidays series.
Jewish Lifecycle & Family Conversion Program
Gabby is an experienced Jewish educator, having worked as an education director, curriculum writer, teacher, author and youth director/advisor in various capacities for over 20 years. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Program Director for Special Needs and also as a Program Director for Family Engagement in the Kehillah of Center City. Gabby holds a MA in Jewish Studies from RRC. For Darshan Yeshiva, she not only provides content for Jewish lifecycle classes, but also developed the Family Conversion to Judaism Program.
Rabbi Sandy Zisser
Rabbi Sandy Zisser has been teaching in Jewish education for the past 25 years, currently working at a premier Solomon Schechter School and Congregation KTI in Westchester County, NY. Rabbi Sandy earned a BA in American History and Judaic Studies from the University of Albany, a MS in Special Education from Bank Street College and ordination from JSLI. Rabbi Zisser has created courses on liturgy and Torah for Darshan Yeshiva, and also serves as a conversion to Judaism rabbi.
Jonathan T. Reich
Jonathan T. Reich was born and raised in the Gateway City and attended Washington University in St. Louis. He earned a MA from the Harvard Divinity School, and also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as the Harvard University department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife Stefanie and daughter Meret.
Lay Chaplaincy, Torah, Jewish Philosophy
Chanah holds a masters in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College with a minor in Jewish Thought, and specializes in American Jewish History. She is the Director of Ohr haTorah Virtual Jewish Academy which has classes for 1st – 5th grade as well as a b’nai mitzvah program. Chanah lives on a small barrier island off the east coast of Florida with her husband and a border collie.
Rabbi David Hartley Mark
Conversion Curricula Advisor
Rabbi Mark received his rabbinical ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion, NYC with a thesis titled, “From Sacrifice to Prayer: How Jewish Worship Evolved Historically from Abraham to the Present Day”. Rabbi Mark's current pulpit is Temple Sholom of Pompano Beach. Additionally, he is an instructor of English Composition & Literature at Everglades University and Southeastern College.
Conversion Curricula Advisor
In addition to his seminary studies, Tim holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and a Master of Science in Management from the University of Management and Technology. He has also completed graduate level coursework in Jewish Studies through Gratz College. Tim is married to Rabbi Tziona Szajman. They live together with their daughter in Binghamton, New York.