Jonathan Stiebel, Executive Director & Chief Scientist
- Expert in drawing meaning from letters, phrases, and words in the context of the entire Hebrew Bible. Able to explain unusual or missing material and to find connections between juxtaposed texts. Incorporates this expertise in Singing Torah’s publications, courses, and software.
- Accomplished in building teams from Harvard Business School and MIT. Semifinalist in prestigious MIT $100k Business Plan Competition. Distinguished finalist business plan at Harvard Business School, winning category of web-based innovation.
Mike Speciner, Chief Technology Officer
- Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. MIT-trained technologist specializing in Hebrew cantillated speech recognition.
- Non-profit expertise gained as donor and member of the Council for the Arts at MIT.
- Extensive experience building software systems.
Howard Sholkin, Director of Business Development
- Professional with deep relationships with our target customers, specialty providing with impactful marketing and communication that drives revenues.
- Marketing Communication & Corporate Communication Director for $4 billion international technology services company.
- Director, Communication and Marketing Programs, for world’s leading technology research company with more than $3 billion in revenue.
Barlow Keener – High Technology lawyer with proficiency in Python. Has keen interest in helping special needs children with their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Board of Directors Member.
Dan Simkovitz – Founder & Entrepreneur of special needs startup focusing on vision impairment assistance software. Mentor. Board of Directors Member.
Norm Abramovitz – Member Oracle’s Founding Technology team that shipped Version 1.0 of Oracle. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tutor. Mentor. Board of Directors Member.
Mimi Evans – Serial Entrepreneur & sales executive with a decade of sales experience; built and sold a successful company.
Matthew Fagan – Patent Attorney with Expertise in Drafting and Prosecuting Complex Software Patents in areas such as Speech Recognition, Distance Education, Data Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence.
Ben Snitkoff – Intellectual Property Licensing Attorney. Patent Attorney. Corporate Lawyer.
Rabbi Jeremy Wieder – Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Specialty teaching Torah, Haftorah, and 5-scrolls readings, in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic pronunciations.
Singing Torah and its Founders
Founder and Executive Director Jonathan Stiebel grew up with a dual interest in Judaism and technology. He was one of the early employees of Oracle and worked with Larry Ellison in the 1980s. While he entered the high-tech industry, Jonathan studied for his Bar Mitzvah in California. His tutor was tone deaf so Jonathan became fluent in Hebrew but could not chant.
When he moved to Israel shortly after his Bar Mitzvah, his Hebrew learning was made more difficult by a lack of appropriate chanting and a learning disability. While he became fluent in Hebrew, he couldn’t chant and his learning was more difficult because Jonathan learned incorrectly the first time.
His understanding of technology and what it could do and Jonathan’s work on a Karakoe system spurred him to begin work on Singing Torah in 2009. With Jonathan and Norm Abramovitz, a friend from Oracle and a developer of the early Oracle software, they developed an architecture and prototype for Singing Torah.
Co-Founder Mike Speciner joined as Chief Technology Officer a few years later. He developed the first of its kind online Bar/Bat Mitzvah education system for students and teachers. Several patents have been allowed or are pending for the unique elements of Singing Torah.
With the growth of the web and browsers, Singing Torah now offers a complete set of learning modules to meet the diverse needs of learners and educators.
Singing Torah’s technology-based learning system was a Mass Challenge (an organization to stimulate entrepreneurship) semi-finalist in 2016 and Jonathan led his team to become a semi-finalist in the MIT $100,000 business plan competition.