Rabbi Yonatan Halevy, affectionately known as Rabbi Yoni, is the Rabbi and Spiritual leader of Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim.
Brief Biographical Sketch
Rabbi Yonatan studied at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland, for five years, before pursuing his Rabbinical Ordination at the Sheheber Sephardic Center in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Yonatan received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Yaakov Peretz and Rabbi Shlomo Kassin, in Jerusalem, specializing in the laws of Kashrut, Marriage, Family Purity, and Giyur.
After founding the Jerusalem Rabbinical Academy in 2010, served as its Mashgiach Ruchani – Dean of Students, until its closing in 2012, with a graduating class of eleven, young, American Kashrut supervisors. Rabbi Yonatan was also a rabbi and teacher at Yeshivat Orayta, as well as Isralight’s Coordinator of Alumni Affairs and Rabbinic Education. Each week, you could find Rabbi Yonatan teaching a unique class on Sepharadic Jewish history at Midreshet Eshel, a Sepharadic girls’ seminary in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Four years after living in the Old City of Jerusalem, just up the stairs from the Western Wall, Rabbi Yonatan relocated to San Diego, California, where he entered the world of practical rabbinics and communal work, founding the Shiviti movement in 2015.
Rabbi Yonatan is married to Rabbanit Devorah, his partner and supporter in all things good, as well as co-Spiritual Leader of Shiviti and Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim. Rabbanit Devorah graduated with her MSW from Yeshiva Universities Wurzweiler School of Social Work, where she is currently a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor.
Rabbi Yonatan is most actively involved in teaching Torah through the various branches of the Shiviti movement, namely: Kehillat Shaar HaShamayim, the Shiviti Bet Midrash of San Diego, the Shiviti Bet Midrash of Los Angeles, and the Shiviti Bet Midrash of the United Kingdom. Rabbi Yonatan teaches classes on various topics in Judaism such as Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud, Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, as well as many other lectures dealing with a wide range of contemporary issues in Judaism.
Rabbi Yonatan also serves on the Shiviti Bet Din – an arms of Shiviti’s rabbinic division – currently specializing in conversion to Judaism.