What students have had to say about online study with Joe.
Stuart Levy, London
I came to learning late in life. For the last 15 years I have had various learning partners but it is Joe in the last 5 years that has opened up the world of Jewish texts in a way that no one else had. His incredible knowledge is matched by his great teaching skill. Even with Joe’s move to Israel, our learning has continued thanks to Skype. As a dentist in London, I was worried when Joe left for Israel but thanks to the internet, we still meet once a week and engage in our texts.
For anybody looking for a teacher who can combine in-depth Jewish knowledge with contemporary political and philosophical thought, you could not find a better person than Joe.
Yossi and Judi Bauernfreund, parents of Avi (17) and Gavriel (14), London
Reb Joe has taught our 2 sons on a regular basis for the last 4 years.
We have always been hugely impressed by the range and quality of sources that Joe uses in his lessons. More importantly, our sons have always enjoyed learning with him and are frequently keen to repeat to us what Joe has taught them.
His lessons are original, detailed and very well prepared and we feel privileged that he has taught our sons. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Joe as an inspiring and talented educator.
Nathaniel Jhirad, Mumbai
The limitations of self – learning, were far too many for me, someone who had no formal Jewish educational background. Plus, living in India, finding a teacher was a near impossibility. Thanks to Joe (and skype, of course) we managed to bridge the distance gap and I now have my personal Torah lessons delivered live in Mumbai from no better place than Israel. Being at a very basic level of learning, I realized that I had to learn with someone in order to stay motivated. I think I needed guidance and fresh insights that only teachers like Joe can provide. Each lesson has provided me varied insights and understanding into the melodious texts of our Torah. The locational and timing flexibility of each class with Joe makes Torah learning fit into my, at times, busy days too. I think Joe has the uncanny ability of understanding the learner’s needs and skills and provide input accordingly.
Laurie Scher, London
I studied at Cambridge with Joe, and am now a barrister. I had never studied Talmud in any detail before, so in 2012 I thought it was time to start learning. As a friend and Rabbinical student, Joe was the obvious choice.
Once a week, before my working day begins, I learn with Joe via Skype. He is a truly excellent teacher. I can feel myself progressing from being a complete beginner to becoming increasingly technical competent – indeed, I would now happily attend a Gemara shiur, which I could not have done before learning with Joe.
We also have “one-off” shiurim, perhaps about an upcoming festival: these are always thought-provoking, and (as with our Talmud studies) the shiurim are framed in a philosophical or historical context which makes the texts far more deeply meaningful.
I would recommend Joe without hesitation.
Beverley Crowne, mother of Joel (18), London
Joe’s thought provoking self-contained lessons as well as more complex and in-depth master-classes provides constant analytical concepts to ponder on from week to week, as well as interesting Shabbat table divrei torah. He has the ability to break down difficult concepts for any level of understanding which allows him to meaningfully connect with students and their parents. His lessons extend beyond the ancient era, as he brings in contemporary sources to probe deeper into the topic at hand.
As a mother of a student who has had weekly lessons with Joe for the past two years via Skype I found that his flexibility with lesson timings and ability to shift them given short notice, worked extremely well with my teenage son. It was my son’s privilege to study with Rabbi Wolfson.
Emma-Jane and Elliot Weider, parents of Tomer and Adi, London
Over the last two and a half years we have celebrated the bar mitzvahs of our two eldest sons. We were really keen that they gain a deep appreciation of the parasha they were reading in shul – since they were spending so many hours learning the layning, it seemed wrong for them not to understand what they were reading.
We wanted their teacher to offer something different to the learning they were receiving at school. From the moment both my boys began learning with Joe they were hooked. Joe has an excellent ability to build meaningful connections very quickly. They enjoyed Joe’s passion, insights, enthusiasm and challenges that he presented to them. Although initially concerned that they were often unable to meet Joe face to face since he is currently based in Israel, we nevertheless decided to learn over Skype which my boys loved. It added something a little different to the lessons and the connections were so clear it didn’t have any impact whatsoever.
When my boys’ bar mitzvah was over I asked them if they wanted to continue learning with Joe. Both immediately responded, ‘yes, please’. I wish they would say that about any other lesson they attend! The ‘please’ was just a bonus!