Rabbi Ron Wittenstein
Most people can’t tell from looking at Rabbi Ron that he is a native of Alabama. But his manners and gentility will give him away every time. Ron moved with his family to Jerusalem when he was 11, and has successfully navigated a truly bi-lingual and bi-cultural existence. He is as comfortable and as at home in a Yeshiva in Meah Shearim, where he spent most of the last 30 years learning Torah, as he is driving down the backroads of America (often riding on his bicycle) belting out a song, be it Jewish, country or even classical. He is a truly unique individual who gives his time and attention to everyone he knows; and his warm, friendly personality wins him friends and fans wherever he goes. He is well-known in Jerusalem and Santa Fe as a Torah scholar & teacher, master-Leiner, Baal Tefilah, Sofer, ice cream maker, mentor, father and friend. Rabbi Ron Wittenstein became the rabbi of KBR in September 2014.
About Rebbetzin Rivkah Wittenstein
Rabbi Avraham & Rabinessa Liora Kelman
Rabbi & Rabinessa Kelman will be Kol BeRamah’s new rabbinic couple, beginning in September 2019, G-d willing. They are planning another visit to Santa Fe in August, giving us further opportunities to get to know them. You can also email them through their KBR email addresses (Rabbi Kelman and Rabinessa Kelman).
Rabbi Avraham Kelman received his rabbinical ordination at Yeshiva University and was a student of Rabbi Y.D. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Kelman has served in diverse communities, including being the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of Trieste, Italy. While there, he was able to absorb the sublime melodies of the Torah reading and prayers of the ancient congregation.
While Rabbi Kelman is Ashkenazi, his wife, Liora Kelman, is Sephardi and of Italian descent, and goes by “La Rabinessa,” the Italian cognate to “The Rebbetzin.” She has always been an essential and involved partner in his rabbinical career. She is an accomplished chef, who loves teaching Torah through the medium of cooking. She is also the author of the very popular Sephardic cookbook, Gizar kon Gozo.
While studying and teaching Torah and Jewish Thought have always been the essence of his life, Rabbi Kelman is also a specialist in the most practical areas of Judaism. A Sofer, Mohel, and Shochet, he also, for many years, served on the Beit Din of Boston. In addition, he has also pursued other varied interests such as Bel Canto music and astronomy, and has a particular love for Jewish history. Throughout his career, he has developed an extensive Jewish history curriculum, teaching classes on topics such as the Aleppo Codex, Rembrandt and the Jews, and the biography of Menashe ben Israel.
The Kelmans have grown children and several grandchildren.