The Zemer HaZayit synagogue was established with the support of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat. Rabbi Riskin is the halachic (Jewish legal) decisor of the congregation and frequently participates in the prayer services and gives sermons on special occasions.
Between 2009-2019, the congregation was led by Rabbi Dr. David Bollag and Rabbanit Dr. Caroline Peyser Bollag. Their leadership and vision infused the congregation with a spirit of friendship and mutual respect among its members and in Efrat at large, even as it grapples with the impact of change and modernization. A rich and healthy dialogue in the congregation continually mediates between the various opinions in and around the community.
The Rabbi and Rabbanit delivered sermons on Shabbat and taught in-depth classes on a variety of subjects. They met with the young members of the congregation who are approaching the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In addition, they led numerous cultural, social and religious activities and helped establish goals for the future.
Rabbi Dr. David Bollag received his ordination from Yeshiva University in 1987, where he studied with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. Prior to joining Zemer HaZayit, he served as Rabbi in Zurich (Switzerland) and Cologne (Germany). Rabbi Bollag holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University and serves as a lecturer for Jewish Studies at two universities in Switzerland.
Rabbanit Dr. Caroline Peyser Bollag is a clinical psychologist. She has a private practice in Jerusalem and is clinical director of "Hakshiva", a psychological clinic in Bet Shemesh. In the past, she taught Talmud for ten years at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem.
The Bollags have 3 children, Eden, Netanel, and Tova.