Rabbi Rich Nichol

Rabbi Rich Nichol


Dr. Richard Nichol is one of the founding members of MJTI. He joined the Board at the school’s founding in 2003 and in 2014 was appointed the President of the Institute.

He also serves as faculty, teaching courses in the Rabbinic Studies Program and the Panim el Panim program.

His main goal for MJTI is for us to be a school where “warm hearts and cool heads” meet under the banner of the Risen Messiah of Israel, Yeshua. Only by combining academic excellence with passion for God, Torah, and Messiah can an institution of higher learning like MJTI meet the deepest needs of our students—and through these men and women, the needs of the developing Messianic Jewish community.

Elliot Klayman

Elliot Klayman

Chief Operations Officer

Elliot Klayman has been Chief Operations Officer since 2014, and oversees MJTI’s main office in San Diego. He is also a faculty member, teaches in the Panim el Panim program, and is the former editor of Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism, a division of MJTI. He continues to contribute to Kesher through the editing and submission of articles.

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Rabbi Dr. Vered Hillel

Rabbi Dr. Vered Hillel

Academic Dean

Dr. Vered, as she is known by MJTI students, has been Academic Dean of MJTI since 2014, and teaches various graduate and Panim el Panim courses . She received her smicha as a Rabbi from the Messianic Jewish Rabbinic Council in 2018, where she now serves as the chair of the Faith and Halachic Standards committee. 

Dr. Vered strives to preserve a high academic standard at MJTI without neglecting the spiritual and emotional development of our students. Her goal is to help MJTI students to become the men and women of God they were created to be. Her academic and administrative skills, as well as her caring heart, enable her successfully to carry out her duties as Academic Dean.

Rabbi Paul Saal

Rabbi Paul Saal

Dean of Students

As Dean of Students at MJTI, Rabbi Saal has a set of values he wishes to pass down by example.

He has been with MJTI for two decades since its inception because he believes in digging in, putting down roots, and building with others.

He is the founding rabbi of Shuvah Yisrael because he believes in religious community. He does not view himself as an employee of the congregation, but rather as one of the many integral parts of the body.

He lives a Torah observant life because he believes in the uniqueness of Israel and its irrevocable call. He is hopeful for the future because God remembers us, all of us.

He became a rabbi out of the conviction that we need to remember God in all of life’s activities, “at home and out in public, even when we sleep and when we wake” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

Rabbi Michael Hillel

Rabbi Michael Hillel


Michael Hillel has been MJTI’s registrar since 2019. He is a 2019 graduate of MJTI’s Rabbinic Studies program. He holds a B.A. in Bible and Theology from the International Correspondence Institute (now Global University), a Master of Jewish Studies from MJTI, and the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council ordained him as a rabbi in June of 2019. 

Joyce Klayman

Joyce Klayman

Business Manager

Joyce came to MJTI after retiring from her position as corporate librarian in Ohio. She began volunteering for MJTI in 2012, assisting in donor management. In 2013 she was hired as the Office Manager with expanded responsibilities in all financial record keeping, overseeing Kesher subscriptions, and various other office duties.

Joyce has been an active participant in the Messianic Jewish movement for many years, and has spoken at conferences and other Messianic events.

Rabbi Russ Resnik

Rabbi Russ Resnik

Editor, Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism

Russ Resnik, veteran rabbi, teacher, counselor, and writer, has served as editor-in-chief of Kesher since 2018. He was involved with Kesher since its launch in 1994 under the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), as a frequent contributor, and general editor for several issues.

Rabbi Russ was ordained by the UMJC in 1990 and currently serves as the Union’s Rabbinic Counsel: speaking, writing, and providing consultation on issues of biblical ethics and polity, pastoral care, and congregational life. 

He is the author of Gateways to Torah, Creation to Completion: A Guide to Life’s Journey from the Five Books of Moses, Divine Reversal: The Transforming Ethics of Jesus, and A Life of Favor: A Family Therapist Examines the Story of Joseph and His Brothers.

Russ and his wife, Jane, have four children and seven grandchildren, and live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he leads Adonai Ro’i chavurah.

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