Rabbi Shlomo Gemara
Rabbi Gemara was introduced to teaching at a young age when, as a Grade 9 student during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and due to a shortage of teachers, he and some friends were asked to teach Grade 3 and 4 children. The interaction with students and the feeling that he was making a difference were more compelling than he expected. "I actually fell in love with teaching, and it was quite clear to me that this is what I would like to do in the future."
A native of Petach Tikva, Rabbi Gemara served in the parachute unit of Yeshivat Hesder. He then obtained smicha from Kerem B'Yavneh, under the Chief Rabbanut of Israel. He was very involved in the Bnei Akiva movement in Israel.
Rabbi Gemara came to be Rosh HaYeshiva of Bnei Akiva Schools Toronto in 1993, and, with a two year break, has been in this position ever since.
He spends on average 13 hours a week in the school's classrooms teaching Talmud, as well as promoting an Israel Advocacy programme. Rabbi Gemara encourages students to spend the year after school in Israel, experiencing the renaissance of Jewish life in our homeland, and visiting the historical sites of Biblical events.
He believes in the importance of excellence in Jewish and General Studies. A clear vision of Judaism and Torah is necessary to direct life and has philosophical and religious importance for Medinat Yisrael in the process of Geula (Redemption) that we begin to see in our days.
His wife Ofra teaches in Ulpanat Orot, and to date, 5 of his 8 children have graduated from Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto.