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Rabbi Dr. Elie Holzer is the founding president and educational director of Shma Koleinu, a nonprofit institute registered in Israel.


Elie is a practice-oriented philosopher of Jewish education whose work integrates text-based Jewish studies, philosophical hermeneutics, pedagogy, and ethical-spiritual traditions.

He holds rabbinical ordination and a Ph.D. and serves as a professor at the School of Education of Bar Ilan University, where he also holds the R. Dr. Ochs Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies and is the director of the Stern Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Education.

He also serves on the faculty of the North American Mandel Teacher Educators Institute. Elie also has taught in post-high school yeshiva programs as well as in a number of educational and academic institutions in the US.


He was a co-founder of Shira Hadasha Congregation in Jerusalem and has been labeled as an academic spiritual activist and as a “davenologist,” referring to his ongoing efforts to create learning opportunities for individuals’ religious growth in and through prayer, song, and Hasidic text study.


His book A Philosophy of Havruta: Understanding and Teaching the Art of Text Study in Pairs (Academic Studies Press, 2013) won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award. Elie recently authored Attuned Learning: Rabbinic Texts on Habits of the Heart in Learning Interactions (Academic Studies Press, 2016).

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