Cantors, Scholars, and Entertainers


Chaim Adler

Cantor Chaim Adler is the Chief Cantor of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. He has performed with the Great Russian Tenors in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Cantor Adler also chose to perform Keulen, Germany to represent Jewish Religious Music for Pope Bendict XVI. The Pope told Cantor Adler – “You touched my heart with your singing”. In the last 10 years Cantor Adler performed the Memorial Prayer, E-l Maleh Rachamim, and the Kadish for thousands of people from all over the world on the Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, in Poland at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He has received the honor of lighting the Torch in the 61st Yom Ha`atzmaut Celebration as a Representative of the Orthodox Jews in Tel Aviv. Cantor Adler has also performed all over the world in concerts and prayers. He has received Gold Medals and an Honorary Diploma and has produced several CD’s and DVD’s.


Avi Albrecht

Cantor Avi Albrecht has sung in every major city in the United States, Canada, and Israel, from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, and from the north of Edmonton, Canada, to the south of Miami, Florida, with hundreds of stops in between. He has enjoyed accolades and standing ovations at each concert. Cantor Albrecht has performed in major concert halls, including Carnegie Radio City, Merkin, 92nd Street Y, Lefrak, Colden Center, Whitman, and he has sung for some of the largest national conventions. At the special commemorative event celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of Israel, Cantor Albrecht was a soloist in the presence of former Israeli President Ezer Weizman. Another spectacular performance celebrating Israel’s fiftieth year was held in New York. Cantor Albrecht sang in the presence of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Consul General of Israel Avital, and many presidents and executive directors of major American Jewish organizations.


Nati Bar Am

Cantor Nati Bar Am is a native of Jerusalem. His father teaches music and his mother is a professional artist. Both parents imbued him with a love of music from the time he was a toddler.

The turning point in his life came when he attended services at The Jerusalem Great Synagogue for the first time. As he listened to the inspiring prayers chanted by world renowned Chief Cantor Naftali Herstik accompanied by the magnificent choir conducted by Elli Jaffe, Netanel determined that he would like to become a Chazzan.

Following his High School graduation, Netanel continued his Torah studies at Yeshivat Ateret Yisrael and at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav Kook. He also began serious Cantorial study at the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute where he was guided by its Dean, Chazzan Naftali Herstik, Raymond Goldstein and other master teachers. His musical talents and skills were further developed by his father and by Maestro Elli Jaffe. Netanel has been a featured soloist at many concerts of The Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute in Israel and abroad. He has been a member and soloist of The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir and serves as guest Chazzan at that Synagogue.

During the past few years, Netanel has also been engaged by congregations in Israel and other countries to officiate as guest Chazzan. He has been a chazzan at Sea Point Congregation in Capetown, South Africa , at Zurich, Switzerland , Melbourne, Australia and more… . He has appeared as soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra , the Kibbutz Lavi Music Festival and more… He has also, founded the “Kol Rinah” Choir, which officiated throughout Israel and abroad.

Netanel is currently serving as the cantor of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, California.


Simon Cohen

Simon Cohen was born and grew up in London surrounded by cantorial and classical music. Today he is one of the leading international young cantors both in concert and in Synagogue being invited to perform with the most prestigious orchestras to excite and warm the hearts of thousands. Coming from such a rich musical background, his repertoire spans across the board, including performing in Italian, English, Hebrew, French and singing the traditional Cantorial classics, Opera, Israeli, Yiddish and even some Broadway!

He was influenced by his grandfather Rabbi and Chazan Eliezer Spector z”l and under the direction of his Father, Stanley Cohen y”la. He began his singing career in Shul (Synagogue) as a child soprano and created those magical moments where the beauty and purity of a child’s voice met with Prayer. Today he creates the same magical moments in Synagogue at Services or Wedding ceremonies with his own outstanding choir or on stage with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in front of thousands.

Simon’s voice has developed into a beautiful and powerful, flexible lyric tenor voice with a brilliant and exciting tone, across a wide dynamic spectrum. In both Synagogue and on stage his voice reveals instinctive musical sensitivity as well as a deep understanding of the text.

Simon studied at the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute under the world renowned Cantor Naftali Herstik, Cantor Chaim Feifal and pianist composer Raymond Goldstein. He made Aliyah and married in 1995 and is presently living in Raanana with his wife Nechamah and 3 children.

He continues to be in great demand and officiates as Chazzan across Europe, United States and prestigious Synagogues in Israel. Simon continues to perform with leading Orchestra’s including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dr Mordechai Sobol and Eli Jaffe.

Simon officiates at numerous Wedding Ceremonies, Chuppot, Shabbatot Chazzanut and Bar Mitsvot as well as concerts in Israel, London, New York, Miami, Canada, Budapest and places as far out as Istanbul.


Daniel Gildar

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Cantor Daniel Gildar studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, majoring in piano, theory and voice. In addition to his cantorial duties, Cantor Gildar has an international reputation as a highly skilled accompanist of both cantorial and secular music. He has participated in seven historic missions to Eastern and Central Europe under the auspices of the Chaim and Gila Weiner Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Art, and has also been the accompanist for every concert produced by Cantors of the World.


Tsodik Greenwald

Cantor Tsodik Greenwald has been blessed with a beautiful lyric tenor voice, and the ability to surf from the bottom of the vocal-range to the highest notes, with ease and clarity. His voice remains crystal-clear at all times, and that is a real “Gift of heaven”.

Born in New York, Zudik received his education at the Haredic (Ultra Orthodox) community. He then made Aliya (immigrated) to Israel where he got married. Today he is the proud father of four children. He learned Chazanut (the Cantorial art) with Cantor Moshe Stern and the conductor Maestro Eli Yaffe, who was astonished with the talent of young Greenwald.

Although he already had the experience of singing solos as a boy, over the last two years, Zudik placed himself in a respectable position at the Cantorial world. His performances left many listeners amazed, and enthusiastic. Many will say today that he will be one of the greatest cantors of our time. Mr. Levie Kanes, a master producer in the Cantorial world and who established “Cantors Centre”, was very quick to realize the great potential of the young cantor and produced for him – in alliance with Mona Rosenblum – a professional CD.

Zudik Greenwald had his début at the honorary concert for the great cantor Moshe Stern. Since then, he has sung in other productions such as “Voice and Music in the Shteitel”, “The Rebbe’s Dream”, “Music and Tales” with Jackie Levi, a special evening with the world famous opera tenor Yevgeni Shapovalov, and more. Recently, Greenwald was appointed Chief Cantor for the Jewish community of Frankfurt, Germany. There he walks in the shoes of his predecessor Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.


Yitzchak Meir Helfgot

Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. From the tender age of five, after hearing Moshe Koussevitzky’s recording of “Akavia Ben Mahalalel,” Yitzchok Meir knew what his life’s calling would be. At just eight years old, Cantor Helfgot recorded his first works, and then spent much of his childhood and teenage years studying voice and nussach (the art of prayer).

Cantor Helfgot held his first concert at twenty-three years old, performing three great works—Zibert’s “Mimkomcha,” Kwartin’s “Tiher Rabbi Yishmael” and Rosenblatt’s “Ad Hena”—all of which were masterfully executed and admired by those in attendance. It was at this point that the world began to realize the divine gift in Cantor Helfgot, taking us back to the Golden Age of Rosenblatt, Koussevitzky, Kwartin, Sirota and Hershman.

Truly living up to his name, Helfgot (literally translated as someone who helps G-d) rouses all who hear his golden voice to new spiritual heights. Leading the way in today’s revival of liturgical music, Cantor Helfgot has performed in concerts spanning six continents, where time after time he has left audiences spellbound. From New York to Beijing, from South Africa to Italy, and from Russia to Australia, Cantor Helfgot has drawn record crowds. Concertgoers agree it is almost impossible not to be warmed by the fire of his magnificent, soulful voice. Just when you think he has reached his peak, Helfgot takes you higher.

Cantor Helfgot currently serves as Chief Cantor of the Park East Synagogue in New York City. He appears regularly for Shabbatot around the world, and is currently booked for Shabbatot and concerts through the spring of 2008. Cantor Helfgot’s recent recording, entitled “Barchi Nafshi – Bless Hashem O My Soul” and his latest album “Avot,” have broken Jewish record sales.


Naftali Hershtik

Cantor Naftali Hershtik, the chief cantor emeritus of the magnificent Jerusalem Great Synagogue, is descended from a long line of chazzanim and ba’alei tefila. At the tender age of six he had already gained a reputation as a prodigy, able to interpret complicated cantorial recitatives with phenomenal skill. His musical education has been wide and varied, and he owes much to his first teacher, his late father. He also studied under Cantors Leib Glantz, Shlomo Ravitz, and Moshe Kossevitzky, and graduated from the Royal College of Music in London. Cantor Herstik possesses a rich and heartwarming tenor voice of rare quality, but the dominant characteristic of his interpretative originality lies in the unity of music and words. He has earned a worldwide reputation as a superb concert artist with rare elegance and class, and has sung with some of the most famous orchestras and finest choirs in the world. A number of these distinguished groups can be heard on his numerous recordings. Cantor Herstik is also the director of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute.


Yaakov Rosenfeld

Rosenfeld was born in 1979 in Jerusalem with great cantorial and musical background. His cantorial Rosenfeld family was well renown in Hungary before the Second World War. His great-grandfather Moshe Yonah Schlesinger served as cantor and headed the choir in the Orthodox community shul in “Tshaba” near the border of Romania. His maternal grandfather Rabbi Mordechai Shalom Rochman served as a choral soloist with Moshe Koussevitzky in Warsaw. Later he became a young cantor and appeared in many communities in Romania. His Paternal grandfather, Rabbi Naftali Rosenfeld ran the prayer services at the very young age of 13 in various Hungarian communities and led the prayer services in Israel to this day. The prominent Cantor now serves as a cantor on Rosh Hashan and Yom Kippur in the famous Motevide Synagogue in the 16th district of Paris, France. He also serves as a guest cantor in many communities around the world including Der Shul in Miami Beach, The Bratislava Shul in Slovakia, The Bethal Synagogue in Brooklyn, The Hampton Synagogue with Rabbi Schneier, The Great Synagogue in Jerusalem and The BIalystok Synagogue in NYC. He also appears in concerts worldwide.


Yaakov Motzen

Cantor Yaakov Motzen is a native of Tel Aviv and the fifth generation of a family of Cantors. He attended well known Yeshivot in Israel and studied music and vocal technique with the late Yosef Goland, the principal baritone in the Berlin opera in the late 1920’s.
Yaakov studied liturgy with the renowned Cantor Yitzchak Eshel.
Yaakov served as vice president of the Nachala organization from 1973-1978, which was dedicated to entertaining wounded soldiers. Cantor Motzen held the position of Chief Cantor in Givatayim, Haifa, and Ramat Gan, and sang on Kol Yisrael radio and television. In 1978, Motzen went to Montreal to take the position of Cantor of Congregation Shomrim Laboker-Beth Yehuda-Shaarei Tefillah for nine years, and then became the Cantor of the Adath Israel Poalei Zedek Congregation for the next ten years until July, 1997. From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Cantor of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto, Canada.

In November of 1987 and 1988, he joined several other outstanding cantors in a historical tour behind the Iron Curtain, organized by the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts and the Gila and Haim Wiener Foundation. Yaakov Motzen has performed in concert in many parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa, England, Israel, and many cities in North America. He has released over a dozen recordings of liturgical and Chassidic music.

Cantor Yaakov Motzen is currently serving as the Cantor of The Bal Harbour Synagogue, Florida.

Yaakov is a proud father of six children, and “saba” to seventeen grandchildren. When not “on the road”, he and his wife Marsha reside in Englewood, NJ.


Dudu Fisher

Dudu Fisher is known throughout the world for his stirring performance as Jean Valjean in the hit show “Les Miserables,” but his career began in his native country, Israel. After three years of service in the Israel Defense Forces, Fisher studied at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music and studied privately with some of the great cantors of the previous generation. He was only 22 when he was invited to become the cantor of the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv. Fisher also traveled throughout the world, bringing traditional Chassidic, Yiddish, and Cantorial music to new audiences. Playing the lead in “Les Miserables” was a turning point in his career. It was the longest running show in Israel and catapulted him to stardom. In 1988 he was invited to London to take part in a royal command performance hosted by the Queen of England, a special version of “Les Miz” featuring artists from around the world. As an observant Jew, Fisher was the first actor on Broadway and the West End to be excused from performing on Friday nights, Saturday matinees, and all Jewish holidays. During his long career, Fisher has recorded over twenty albums, and he’s recently filmed an Emmy-nominated PBS special in the valley of Beit She’an, Israel. From the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, to Madison Square Garden in New York, from Singapore to Sao Paulo, Dudu Fisher spends most of the year traveling around the globe bringing joy to millions of people.


Avraham Fried

Avraham Fried is a legend in the world of Jewish music. He’s been entertaining Jewish audiences for thirty years, in numerous concerts and venues. His music integrates a wide range of musical styles, combining them with Jewish lyrics and themes, to create unforgettable melodies that become all-time favorites. Fried is incredibly prolific, and has produced thirty CDs, the latest of which are “Yankel, Yankel” and “Live in Israel,” which is offered as both a DVD and a double CD. Fried lives with his wife and their six children in Brooklyn, New York.


Yaakov Shwekey

Born in 1977 in Jerusalem, Israel in 1977. His family moved to New Jersey when Shwekey was eight years old — he spent his earliest years in Mexico City where he sang in the Ateret Yosef Choir. He began his musical endeavors in earnest in the United States with his brother Yisroel Meir, singing with the Miami Boys Choir. Prior to embarking on a solo career in 2001, Shwekey was a successful wedding singer. Since the release of his debut album, Shomati, Shwekey has issued a steady stream of popular contemporary Jewish music albums, compilations, and DVDs, including Shwekey 2 (2002), Yedid (2004), Leshem Shomayim (2007), Ad Bli Dai (2009), Libi Bamizrach (2010), Cry No More (2012), Kolot (2014), We Are a Miracle (2016), and Those Were the Days (2017). In 2018, he delivered Musica, which peaked at number three on the Billboard World Albums chart.


8th Day

8th Day, the Jewish Rock group co-founded by brothers Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus, is one of the most sought after music acts these days. With their latest hit album “Stronger Closer”, the group has now released eight studio albums that get air play regularly on the radio, and have been top sellers on the World Music, Alternative Rock and Jewish Music charts. Their last album “Slow Down” reached the #1 spot on iTunes World Music chart, #8 on Billboard’s Heatseekers, and #11 on the Billboard Top 100 selling World Music Albums. Critic are calling this latest album “Stronger Closer” the groups best yet. The band has played hundreds of sold out concerts across the globe with stops in Australia, Europe, Israel, Asia, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean Islands and all over the United States. Their hit music video for “Ya’alili” has 6 million views on YouTube and helped drive 8th Day to the top of the Jewish Music charts. They followed that up with more fan favorites like “Celebrate”, “Miracle of Light”, and now their latest hit video “My Shtetl’s Calling”. The band got their start in Southern California where the Marcus brothers grew up in a very musical, Orthodox Jewish home. Their first shows were for small local community events, and performing for friends and family. As their music started to attain recognition they joined up with well known local musicians; popular rock drummer Rosy Rosenquist, Grammy nominated bassist Philip Bynoe, Klezmer aficionado Leo Chelyapov and began touring in earnest in 2007. 8th Day’s fresh and unique sound is complimented by their poetic lyrics and spirited vocal harmonies. What started as a fun family project, has now become a global phenomenon as their fan base continues to grow all over the world.


Gad Elbaz

Gad Elbaz is an Israeli Superstar who is currently the most recognized name and face in Jewish music world wide. With millions of hits on his YouTube music videos, Gad is one of the top recording Artist, whose songs are played and covered around the globe. Through his soulful and contemporary sound, Gad has brought Jewish music to a new level, and continues to serve as a role model to his many fans. Gad is reaching audiences around the world as his music and message of unity are being embraced by Jewish communities worldwide. In 2009, he began a multi-city world tour to promote his music and message. His goal is to help people renew their faith through music and empower them to live their lives with an open heart, faith in themselves and faith in G-d.



When Matisyahu emerged in 2004 with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust…Arise, his musical persona seemed a novelty to some. Here was a Hasidic Jew — dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard — who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica. Moreover, he punctuated his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious about his craft, and his diverse style soon garnered Grammy nominations, gold record certifications, and a broad audience.

Matisyahu was born Matthew Miller on June 30, 1979, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Berkeley, California, which they eventually ditched for White Plains, New York. Miller initially rebelled against his traditional Jewish upbringing, considering himself a Deadhead and a hippie by his early teens. But at the age of 14, during a camping trip in Colorado, he reconciled himself to Judaism and visited Israel shortly thereafter. After returning to White Plains, he dropped out of high school and traveled the country to attend Phish concerts. Back at home again, he agreed to let his parents send him to a wilderness school in Bend, Oregon, where he became enamored of reggae and hip-hop, and began rapping at open-mike competitions. He returned to New York at 19 to attend the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, but also joined the Carlebach Shul, a synagogue where his musical interests were encouraged. Meeting a Lubavitch rabbi, he became interested in the strict Lubavitch Hasidic sect of Judaism and renamed himself Matisyahu.

Continuing to perform, Matisyahu assembled a backing band consisting of guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Josh Werner, and drummer Jonah David. The group recorded Shake Off the Dust…Arise, which was released by JDub Records in 2004. While touring in support of the album, Matisyahurecorded one of his February 2005 concerts and released the material as Live at Stubb’s, which was issued in April courtesy of Or Music before getting picked up for national distribution by Epic Records. Epic reissued it on August 23, 2005, as Matisyahu toured around the country and prepared a second studio album with producer Bill Laswell. The final product, Youth, appeared in March 2006 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Reggae Album. A simultaneously released dub version of the album was made available to mail-order customers.


Mordecai Shapiro



ZUSHA is a Hasidic/Soul/Folk band seeking to inspire the world through their original music, combining ancient tradition with modern melody.

Shlomo Gaisin (lead vocals, ukulele) and Zachariah “juke” Goldschmiedt (guitar, backup vocals), have traveled the world with the messages of torah and unity, playing to sold out audiences around the globe including New York, California, Jerusalem, Toronto, Russia, London and Australia.


Shulem Lemmer

Raised in Boro Park, Brooklyn, Shulem’s singular voice has gained widespread attention in the Chasidic community and beyond.

Lemmer made history as the first born-and-raised Orthodox singer to ever sign a major record deal in the U.S. His recent contract with Universal Music’s Decca Gold Label positions him as an artist primed to break through to a global audience with the release of his album, The Perfect Dream.

One of the most sought after Jewish singers today, Shulem has performed in front of a wide range of audiences across the Jewish spectrum as well as those of other faiths. Shulem provides an authentic taste of Jewish music and culture with his proud Jewish appearance and style.

He performed the National Anthem at San Francisco Giants Stadium
and G-d Bless America at Fenway Park and Citi Field.


Mendy Hershkowitz

Mendy Hershkowitz is an icon in the Jewish Music industry. He is the founder of Sonic Duo Inc, a diversified entertainment and media company, that has produced many Jewish Hit Albums and singles for the most famous Jewish Singers and performers.
Mendy is also known for being the Musical Director of the popular Sababa Band and has been performing internationally for many years. He is also the creator and founder of where you can find all Jewish Sheet Music, Mendy is a co-founder of now popular Jewish music streaming app ShiraLi.



Jessica Kirson

Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage. Jessica’s act is a hilariously relatable performance of sheer silliness, vulnerability and ridiculous characters. Her countless comedic character videos have racked up over 30 million views on social media. Her audience is multigenerational creating an excuse for large groups of friends and families to spend a night out together.

In an era where only 10% of all touring comedians are female, Jessica stands out as one of the strongest comedians regardless of gender. As her friend Dave Attell says, “I’d hate to follow her.”

This year, Jessica will be featured playing herself on the HBO series Crashing with Pete Holmes. She recently served as a consultant, producer and writer as well as acted in Robert De Niro’s film “The Comedian.” She has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, “The View, and “Kevin Can Wait.”

She was recently awarded “Best Female Comic” by the MAC association in New York City and received the prestigious Nightlife Award for “Best Stand-up Comedian.” And in her spare time, Jessica is a regular contributor to the “Howard Stern Show, where she produces and stars in prank calls for the program.


Jeff and Tessa Evason

“The finest act of its kind in the world.” – NBC
Celebrity mind reading duo Jeff and Tessa Evason- The Evasons! Experience strong emotional reactions, laughter, amazement, and a real sense of connection. You won’t just sit back and watch the show. In no time, everyone will be eagerly participating in interactive mind-blowing feats of Second Sight and telepathy. And don’t be surprised if you and those around you react in ways you’ve never imagined! Tessa’s spot-on powers of perception are so captivating, you might gasp with surprise and unleash a spooked-out shriek!
The mind reading duo has performed in over 35 countries across the globe and made numerous TV appearances on major networks like NBC, FOX, CBS, CW Network, Discovery Channel, Netflix and Amazon Prime. They’ve performed at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and at the Great American Comedy Festival in the Johnny Carson Theater.And they are the only mentalists in history to be featured performers at an NBA halftime show before a crowd of 20,000 people!
When you see the Evasons, you’ll understand why on Penn & Teller’s international primetime TV show Fool Us, Penn & Teller said: “The kind of mental gymnastics that are done on this are unbelievable. This is one of those rare acts where the more you know about it, the more amazing it is. This act is so good – we’ve never seen better!”
The Psychic Entertainers Association gave them its most prestigious award for distinguished professionalism. They were also the first recipients of “The Mentalism Award” from the Milbourne Christopher Foundation and the only mentalists ever to receive the “SARMOTI Award” which legendary magicians Siegfried and Roy present to their favorite act in Las Vegas.


Elizabeth Savetsky

Elizabeth Savetsky is a wife, mother, and accessories blogger who uses her platform to advocate for causes that are close to her heart. Through her blog and social media channels, Elizabeth shares her journey of fashionable motherhood, often featuring her two young daughters and new baby boy. She and her husband, Ira, a plastic surgeon, are vocal activists for Israel and the Jewish people and work with numerous non-profit, philanthropic movements to support their people and homeland. Elizabeth served as an Honorary Grand Marshal for the Celebrate Israel Parade for all of her advocacy for The State of Israel. She travels across the country to give talks on infertility and pregnancy loss, two topics with which she is intimately familiar. Elizabeth founded the “Real Love, Real Loss” movement on social media to destigmatize pregnancy loss for women on a global level. The movement went viral. Her mission is to empower people to stand up for what they believe in and live a life of kindness and fulfillment.


Jacob Steinmetz

Jacob Steinmetz is eighteen years old and is currently a starting pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system. He is a 6’6 right hander who was selected early in the third round as the 77th overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball player draft. Upon being selected by the Diamondbacks, Jacob became the first Orthodox Jew to be selected into Major League Baseball. Jacob’s fastball was clocked as high as 97 miles per hour during his senior year of high school and his breaking ball has recorded spin rates that are well above Major League average.

Jacob graduated from the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway in 2021. He was committed to go to Fordham University on a baseball scholarship following high school but decided to sign with the Diamondbacks and become a professional baseball player. Besides for baseball, Jacob also played varsity basketball at HAFTR and was a member of the National Honors Society. During the spring of his senior year, Jacob moved to Florida for three months and attended Elev8 Baseball Academy while continuing his classes at HAFTR via zoom. This allowed him to pitch against high level junior college competition in front of professional scouts as he worked to raise his draft value. Jacob is from Woodmere, New York, and currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Elliot Steinmetz

Elliot Steinmetz is the head coach of the Yeshiva University Maccabees men’s basketball team. Under Elliot’s leadership, in the 2019-20 season, the Macs won their second Skyline Conference Championship in the past three years going undefeated in conference play and advancing all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Tournament before the season was cancelled due to COVID19. YU earned its first national ranking in school history, finishing the season as the 8th ranked team in the country. The Maccabees extended their nation longest win streak to 36 wins in a row by going 7-0 during the truncated 2020-21 season and finishing as the 3rd ranked team in the country . Elliot was named National Coach of the Year in NCAA Division III basketball by three separate outlets, along with various regional and conference awards. Elliot has transformed the Yeshiva University men’s basketball team into a nationally recognized program in just his sixth year at the helm, earning a career coaching record of 117-53. The Maccabees have finished with a winning record in each of the six years Elliot has led the team and earned a berth in the Skyline Conference Championships in each season. The Maccabees will start the 2021-2022 season as the #2 ranked team in the country.

Elliot is also a founding partner at Rosenberg & Steinmetz PC, a law firm with its practice focused on commercial real estate transactions and litigation. Elliot’s primary practice areas include bridge and mezzanine financing, preferred equity investments, acquisitions and sales, leases and joint ventures, along with other general commercial and corporate matters. Prior to forming RSPC, Elliot served as a senior vice president and associate general counsel for Seneca Mortgage Servicing LLC, where he was responsible for handling all corporate, litigation and insurance matters for the company. Before joining Seneca, Elliot was an associate general counsel at Arbor Realty Trust, Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Elliot’s prior experience included working as an associate in Weissmann Abruzzo LLP’s commercial real estate transactions practice.


Lisa Lancry

Lisa Lancry joins us from Montreal, Canada with her husband Dr. Eytan Lancry and five children as Camp Director for PGA’s dynamite Passover Day Camp!

Lisa Lancry has been an integral part of several Passover programs working as a Camp Director. For years she has worked diligently to provide children with fun filled, engaging activities in a warm, safe and stimulating environment. Mrs. Lancry completed her masters degree in Education from McGill University. She has vast experience working in experiential education for high schools, federation organizations and summer camps. Her expertise is in planning Shabbatonim, informal educational trips, holiday initiatives and specialty camp days.

Lisa has chosen a wonderful staff to ensure our campers have reputable, positive, dependable and hard working role models just like her. In addition to the creative activities our camp director and counsellors have planned, we will have special activities brought to the hotel daily for your children to enjoy.

Lisa Lancry’s Passover Day Camp Program has raised the standards of childcare in the pesach hotel industry with her well deserved reputation for warmth and caring. We are exceedingly proud of our Camp and it’s Director!


Dini Klein

Dini Klein is a food host, recipe developer, former private chef, and founder of the Prep + Rally family meal prep service.

Prep + Rally was Dini’s solution to getting a wholesome dinner on the table on those busy weeknights when juggling mommy-ing and work life felt almost impossible. Her system now helps thousands of busy families all over the world get through the week stress-free with her uniquely designed meal plan structure.

Dini has created food content for brands such as Walmart, Starbucks, Weight Watchers, Popsugar, Barilla, Campbell’s and more. Her work with Tastemade airs on Roku, Amazon, and Apple TV and she’s appeared live on KTLA, The Hallmark Channel, KSDK and The CW sharing the Prep + Rally method. Her recipes have been published in cookbooks such as Starbucks Coffee, Dawn to Dusk, and Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers. Dini has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Goop and she’s on a mission to help every busy family enjoy more and stress less with the Prep + Rally system. Her first cookbook entitled Prep + Rally is due out Fall ’22.

Dini and her husband Mike live in Los Angeles with their three kids.

Be sure to follow @prepandrally and visit for lots more meal prep inspo, cooking tips and oodles of unfiltered family fun!


Talia Reese

Talia performs regularly at the hottest comedy clubs in NYC. The New York Post featured Talia as a “Hot Ticket” in a full-page article about her life and comedy. Additionally, Talia has been written about in The Wall Street Journal (“Keeping Kosher, With a Side of Jokes”), The Times of Israel, and The Jerusalem Post (“Toning It Down For The Rabbi”) and most recently (“NY Jewish Comics Laugh Through The Pandemic”). She is a regular contributor on Sirius XM and Cindy Adams’ Page Six column has quoted Talia’s jokes many times. She has appeared on The Wendy Williams Show and worked as a bankruptcy attorney at firms Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Paul, Weiss. Talia’s personal website is and on social media @taliareesecomic.


Alyssa Schechter

Alyssa Schechter lives in Lawrence, NY with husband Josh and three children: Julie (13), Charlie(11) Sophie (7). Alyssa enjoys creating and organizing programs and activities for HAFTR High School students. She focuses on making sure every student is engaged and is having an enjoyable and valuable experience. For the past 15+ years, Alyssa was a program director for day camps throughout the Jewish community. Most recently she was part of the programming team at Camp Lavi in Lakewood,PA. She loves working with children in the community so much, she even dedicated her Shabbosim for a few years and revamped the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst’s Youth program. Besides her wealth of experience and love of working with children of all ages, Alyssa has a passion for teaching. She earned her Masters Degree in elementary education and special education and used that to passionately engage 1st year students in Haftr’s Early Childhood division for many years.
She also enjoys swimming, going on trips with her family and planning awesome fun activities.

She is excited to join Kosherica/Leisure Time this Pesach and help bring smiles to everyone’s face!!


Stephen Savitsky

Steve Savitsky was both the former President and Chairman of the Orthodox Union.  He was a member of the Board  of Governors of the Jewish Agency, a board member of Mesorah Heritage Foundation, and founder and President of the Kew Gardens Hills Eruv which led the movement for Eruvim across America. He was the Chairman of Mesivta Ohr Torah, and President of Congregation Nshei Chesed in Hewlett. He currently is President of the Bnai Zion Foundation, Chairman of Partners in Torah, on the executive  committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations  and President of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway.  He has traveled the world speaking and representing the Jewish community on many occasions.  Mr. Savitsky has been in the Health Care industry for many years and has been CEO and founder of  several public traded companies.  He  lives in Woodmere NY with his wife Genie and has been blessed with a large family of children, grand children and great grand children .


Rabbi Steven Weil

Steven Weil comes to Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) following an 11-year tenure at the Orthodox Union. The son of a German cattle dealer, Steven grew up on a farm in Upstate New York. He attended Yeshiva University, concurrently completing his ordination at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (REITS) and a Master’s in Business Administration from NYU’s Stern School of Business. 

 Steve began his career teaching, and then moved to pulpit work, first in Michigan and then in Beverly Hills, California. In 2009, Steve and his family returned to the East Coast to assume the position of Senior Managing Director of the Orthodox Union, where he led their institutional advancement and community engagement efforts.

Steve is deeply passionate about Jewish continuity, and engagement within and outside the Jewish community. He is an ardent proponent of Jewish education and the future of the Jewish people – its younger generation. With his life-long love and devotion to the state of Israel, Steve has channeled his talents and energy into fostering governmental and organizational relationships, in support of the Jewish homeland.

Steve is thrilled to be part of the FIDF family, and is excited to channel his skills in institutional advancement as well as his vast experience in the Jewish community to support Israel and its heroic guardians, the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Steve resides in New Jersey with his wife and is a proud father and grandfather. 


Rabbi Yehoram Ulman

Rabbi Yehoram Ulman has served as a Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of a large community in Sydney Australia since 1986. He and his wife Shternie had been sent there as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Ulman heads an organizati on called FREE (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) which is responsible in connecting thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to their Jewish roots.

Rabbi Ulman also serves as a Rosh Beis Din (Senior Dayan) on the Sydney Beis Din and is the immediate Past President of the Rabbinical Council of NSW.

Rabbi Ulman has received smicha for Rabbonus (Yore Yore) as well as Dayonus (Yodin Yodin) from world renowned authorities including Rabbi Pinchos Hirschprung zt”l and yblch’t Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg shlit’a.

In his capacity as a Dayan and Posek, Rav Ulman regularly gives unique lectures and talks for Rabbonim, Yeshiva and Kollel students, as well as lay people, on the many diverse shayles and halachic matters that he deals with. These include topics such as geyrus (conversion), gittin (divorces), mamzeirus and possible solutions, halachic requirement in IVF and other fertility and genetics issues and many other subjects which are both topical and scholarly.

Rabbi Ulman, many of whose tshuves and psokim (responsa and rulings) were published, has been consulted by Australia’s Attorney-General for his views on suggested changes to the Family Law Act and by the Australian Cabinet for halachic outlook on stem cell research.


Dr. Chaim Zighelboim

Dr. Chaim Zighelboim was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. After graduating medical school at the Universidad Central de Venezuela with Magna Cum Laude Honors, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

Dr. Zighelboim continued his training with a fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Board Certified in Gastroenterology, Dr. Zighelboim was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and currently serves as Chairman of the Department of Gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin.

Known affectionately by his patients and colleagues as “Dr. Z”, Dr. Zighelboim is an enthusiastic advocate of a plant based diet as a path to integral wellness.

In his spare time, Dr. Z enjoys learning Torah and is also an avid fan of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Bucks.


Alan M. Dershowitz

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” “the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,” “the top lawyer of last resort,” “America’s most public Jewish defender” and “Israel’s single most visible defender – the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg.

He has also published more than 100 articles in magazines and journals such as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Nation, Commentary, Saturday Review, The Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Journal, and more than 300 of his articles have appeared in syndication in 50 national daily newspapers. Professor Dershowitz is the author of 27 fiction and non-fiction works with a worldwide audience. His most recent titles include “an exceptional, action packed book,” The Trials of Zion, a novel which has been called “a thought-provoking page turner,” Rights From Wrong, The Case For Israel, The Case For Peace, Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence and Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways, Finding Jefferson – A Lost Letter, A Remarkable Discovery, Shouting Fire and The First Amendment In An Age of Terrorism.

In addition to his numerous law review articles and books about criminal and constitutional law, he has written, taught and lectured about history, philosophy, psychology, literature, mathematics, theology, music, sports – and even delicatessens.

In 1983, the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith presented him with the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award for his “compassionate eloquent leadership and persistent advocacy in the struggle for civil and human rights.” In presenting the award, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel said: “If there had been a few people like Alan Dershowitz during the 1930s and 1940s, the history of European Jewry might have been different.” Professor Dershowitz has been awarded the honorary doctor of laws degree by Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, Brooklyn College, Syracuse University, Tel Aviv University, New York City College and Haifa University.


Rabbi Sholom Dovber Lipskar

Since receiving ordination from the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn in 1968, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Lipskar has worked as an emissary for the Lubavitcher Rebbe. In 1969 he founded the Landow yeshiva Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He has served as its principal and dean of its elementary, academy, and high school studies. Directly responsible for the training of its rabbinical students. He has formulated a school-wide curriculum and manages a multi-million dollar budget.

In 1981 he founded The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida. As its head Rabbi he is both the spiritual leader and educational programmer for all ages. Also in 1981 Rabbi Lipskar founded the Aleph Insititute and the Educational Academy for the Elderly, both based in Surfside. The Aleph Institute is a non-profit national humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for both prisoners and military personnel and their families. Rabbi Lipskar has created alternative punishment philosophies and developed unique educational opportunities for the general public in the field of treatment of closed populations.

As director of the Educational Academy for the Elderly, Rabbi Lipskar develops pilot programs and restructures the educational priorities of elderly citizens, trying to positively alter their self-image.

Rabbi Lipskar is recognized as an international leader bringing Torah values to people from all walks of life.


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

A distinguished communal Rabbi for over 35 years, Rabbi Riskin continues to change the face of modern Orthodox Jewry in Israel and the Diaspora. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rabbi Riskin graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Yeshiva University in 1960, where he majored in Greek, Latin and English literatures. He received his Smicha (rabbinical ordination) from the eminent Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Riskin holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish History and was awarded his PhD from New York University’s department of Near Eastern Languages and Literature.

As a young rabbinical graduate, Rabbi Riskin became the founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, internationally renowned for its outreach to the entire Jewish community, as well as for its educational and social action programs. He became a major spokesperson for Modern Orthodoxy by pioneering the first women’s Advanced Talmud Study program (Kollelet) and the first synagogue service conducted for women by women in the early 70’s.

In 1983, Rabbi Riskin left his thriving career in Manhattan and pioneered the city of Efrat in Israel’s West Bank. Beginning as a small settlement, Efrat now numbers over 11,000 people with 28 synagogues, and is a thriving community in the Gush Etzion bloc.

With hard work, determination, vision and love of the Jewish people and the land of Israel Rabbi Riskin founded the Ohr Torah High Schools for young men and women. Over the past two decades it has developed into an important network of high schools, colleges, graduate programs, a yeshiva, programs in Russia and Great Britain, a rabbinical seminary, a women’s college of advanced Torah studies and a school for women advocates. Not content with merely educating students, each year scores of rabbis and teachers are sent to North and South America, England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs educate over 3,000 students each year from Israel, the U.S., England, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Rabbi Riskin speaks in communities all over world. His innovative and creative ideology of an authentic Halachic Judaism that is inclusive of every Jew and is exquisitely sensitive to universal human concerns has made him an outstanding figure in the modern Orthodox world. He is the author of five books, “Torah Lights, Exodus Defines the Birth of a Nation”, “Women and Jewish Divorce” , “The New Passover Haggadah”, AAround The Family [email protected], and ATorah Lights, Genesis Confronts Life, Love and Family”, scores of articles and monographs on Judaism and contemporary issues, as well as a weekly column which is syndicated worldwide. Given Rabbi Riskin’s illustrious career as rabbi and educator, city and institution builder, Rosh Yeshiva and public speaker, author and activist, he has been chronicled in major newspapers, magazines, and on TV and radio. He was described in a New York Times magazine feature article as, “teacher who cares… a charismatic speaker and widely respected Talmudic scholar: Rabbi Riskin sees as his major mission the preparation of a new generation of religious leaders, rooted in Judaism and secular learning, for Israel and the entire Jewish world.”

Rabbi Riskin has been married to Victoria since 1963; they have four married children and thirteen grandchildren all living in Efrat.


Rabbi Marc Schneier

Rabbi Marc Schneier is a leading personality and spokesperson for the Jewish community. The Forward, in its annual survey of Jewish leaders, named Rabbi Schneier one of the 50 most prominent Jews in the United States, and Newsweek Magazine named him one of America’s top 50 rabbis. As President and Founder of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and as one of the leading voices in the field of intergroup and race relations, reconciliation and understanding, Rabbi Schneier is at the forefront of strengthening ties among the Jewish, African-American, Latino and Asian-American ethnic communities, as well as promoting dialogue and cooperation among the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith communities. He has been honored by the United States Congress and the State of Israel as an advocate for human and civil rights and religious and ethnic tolerance. At the National Convention of the Democratic Party in Denver, Rabbi Schneier was among the religious leaders who led delegates in prayer at an interfaith gathering to kick off the convention; it was the first such forum at a Democratic convention. In 2008, Rabbi Schneier represented the American Jewish community in New Orleans at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) 50th annual convention, in New York at the national dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), in Memphis at the 40th anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in Madrid at the World Conference on Dialogue convened by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and hosted by King Juan Carlos of Spain.

In January 2000, Rabbi Schneier’s book SHARED DREAMS was published which documents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s relationship with the Jewish Community. Along with FFEU’s companion student guide program, the book tells the tale of Black and Jewish cooperation in the civil rights era to more than 12,000 students in more than 500 high schools, Hillel houses and historically Black colleges across America.

Rabbi Schneier also serves as Chairman of the World Jewish Congress United States, as well as its Commission on Intergroup Relations. He is the past President of the North American Board of Rabbis, a federation of presidents and past presidents of rabbinical boards from more than 50 major cities across the United States and Canada, and is past president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the world’s largest interdenominational rabbinic body representing the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Rabbi Schneier is founding rabbi of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach and The New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He serves on myriad boards and executive committees, including the Drum Major Institute, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations and The Jewish National Fund.

Rabbi Schneier has published and lectured extensively on the subject of intergroup relations and is a frequent guest on television and radio, appearing on such television programs as: The Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), Good Day New York (FOX), CBS Sunday Edition, CBS Morning Show, CNN, Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, Religion & Ethics Weekly (PBS), on evening news programs WABC, WNBC, WCBS, FOX, WWOR, WPIX and radio programs on WABC, WBLS, WKTU, WCBS and NPR. He also played a rabbi in the Miramax motion picture, The Substance of Fire.

Rabbi Schneier is the recipient of many awards, including The Kelly Miller Smith Ecumenical Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. “Measure Of A Man Award”, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Civil Rights Leadership Award in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal, the American Civil Rights Education Services Civil Rights Award, and the Interfaith Award from the Islamic Center of Long Island.

Rabbi Schneier is a graduate of Yeshiva University and resides in New York City and Westhampton Beach. He is married to Tobi Rubinstein Schneier and is the proud father of Brendan.


Rabbi Eric Grossman

Rabbi Eric Grossman has earned a reputation as an original, fascinating and thought-provoking teacher and lecturer. He is Head of School at The Ramaz School in New York. Rabbi Grossman studied in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, Yeshivat HaMivtar, and York University, where he received a degree in religion. He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a two-time recipient of the Hebrew University Bible Prize. Rabbi Grossman lectures widely at universities, federations, synagogues, and academic conferences in the United States and Canada. Rabbi Grossman is the author of a grammar of Biblical Hebrew, and has published numerous articles on Tanach and on Jewish education in scholarly and popular journals.


Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Rabbi Benjamin Blech is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author, and lecturer.
Rabbi Blech is the author of twenty highly acclaimed and best selling books, with combined sales of close to half a million copies, including three as part of the highly popular Idiot’s Guide series.  His book, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as “the single best book on Judaism in our generation”. Together with an accompanying six hour video, filmed by the producers of 20/20, featuring Rabbi Blech, it is presently being used as the basis for study groups in numerous synagogues and universities around the country. His book Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide To Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs was featured in a full page article in the Sunday New York times and one of his recent works, If God is Good, Why Is The World So Bad?has been translated into Indonesian where it has had a powerful reception in the wake of the country’s tsunami, as well as into Portuguese .
In a national survey, ( Rabbi Blech was ranked #16 in a listing of the 50 most influential Jews in America.
A recipient of the American Educator of the Year Award, he is a Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University since 1966 and has formed thousands of student-teacher relationships through his warm and caring style.  Rabbi Blech is known for his ability to present complicated ideas in a clear and entertaining manner.
A tenth-generation rabbi, Rabbi Blech is Rabbi Emeritus of Young Israel of Oceanside, which he served for 37 years. He is a frequent lecturer in Jewish communities as far-flung as Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Israel.  Closer to home, he has served as Scholar-in-Residence at hundreds of synagogues throughout the United States and Canada and been active on behalf of countless Jewish causes.
His articles appear on a regular basis on the aish website, the largest Jewish website in the world reaching over three quarters of million people weekly, and his lectures on tape have an international following. He has appeared on national television (including the Oprah Winfrey Show); hosted a popular weekly radio program in New York; and written for Newsweek, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, in addition to a wide and varied number of scholarly publications.
As a result of his personal meeting with the late Pope John Paul II, he was instrumental in securing the loan of precious Jewish manuscripts for exhibition in Israel and he is presently involved in further negotiations for the return of precious Judaica held by the Vatican that may well prove to be of historic significance.
Rabbi Blech is an unusually eloquent and gifted speaker, as well as a profound contemporary theologian and religious spokesman, who has made a major impact on the many tens of thousands of people he has addressed. See his website at


Rabbi Mikhail Zalman Dubov

Born in Minsk, Belarus, MZ grew up in Brooklyn in an immigrant family which fled the USSR due to antisemitism. He attended public school until enrolling in the Boston College Carroll School of Management, from which he graduated with a B.S. in Operations & Business Consulting. During his time at BC, he became heavily involved in Israeli Advocacy, co-founding “Eagles for Israel.” While running diplomatic and cultural events, MZ met Rabbi Chananel Weiner, a student of Rabbi Noach Weinberg zt”l (the founder of Aish). Rabbi Weiner opened MZ’s eyes to the depth and beauty of his Jewish roots. After graduation and before jumping into the corporate world, MZ came to Aish to learn more and decided to stay, having found his calling in life. With seven years of Torah study under his belt, MZ received Rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Nachum Barowski and Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl. He acts as the Director of the FoundAISHons program, in which he teaches daily and serves as a mentor to students past and present. Rabbi MZ enjoys playing basketball, hiking, taking joyrides, listening to music, and teaching his kids about this wonderful world in which we live. He and his wife often host for Shabbat in their home in French Hill, Jerusalem.


Rabbi Steven Burg

Rabbi Steven Burg is the Chief Executive Officer of Aish, an international movement which services millions of Jews around the world. From his office overlooking the Western Wall at the Aish World Center in Jerusalem, Rabbi Burg oversees the many inspirational programs that Aish conducts in dozens of languages. He constantly travels the world to inspire communities with Jewish values and wisdom.
Prior to coming to Aish, Rabbi Burg served as the Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where he contributed to the fight against anti-Semitism and oversaw the Museum of Tolerance in New York City. Previously, he served as the Managing Director of the Orthodox Union (OU), and as International Director of NCSY, the largest international Jewish youth movement. Rabbi Burg founded the Jewish Student Union (JSU), a network of hundreds of public high school clubs that teach unaffiliated Jewish teens about their heritage, and the Anne Samson Jerusalem Journey (TJJ), an Israel experience for unaffiliated Jewish teens.
Rabbi Burg is a seasoned and popular speaker, a guest commentator on FoxNews, Newsmax, a columnist at Jewish News Syndicate, and has been published in the Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Week and many other publications.


Rabbi Ken Spiro

Rabbi Spiro is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorah, Jerusalem. In addition, he is a licensed tour guide from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Rabbi Spiro graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. He has an MA in History from The Vermont College of Norwich University and Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs such as B.B.C. Radio and TV., The National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Channel 4 England and Arutz Sheva-Israel National Radio. He is the author of WorldPerfect – The Jewish Impact on Civilization published by HCI books, Crash Course in Jewish History published by Targum Press and Destiny – Why a tiny nation plays such a huge role in history published by Geffen Publishing House. His writings and seminars can be accessed on and Born and raised in the U.S. Rabbi Spiro has lived in Israel since 1982. He served in a combat infantry unit in the IDF. A father of five children, he currently lives in Jerusalem.


Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Rabbi Daniel Rowe is Executive Director of Aish UK. He holds a BA in Philosophy from UCL and an MPhil in Philosophy from Birkbeck College. He was a tank driver in the 401st Armoured Brigade of the IDF and studied for almost a decade in Israeli Yeshivot. He teaches in campuses, schools, and communities across the country.

Rabbi Rowe holds a BA in philosophy from University College London (UCL) and an MPhil in philosophy from Birkbeck College. He was a tank driver in the 401st Armoured Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces. Rabbi Rowe studied for almost a decade in Israel in various Talmudic institutes and is considered one of the most dynamic Jewish speakers in the UK, teaching in campuses, communities, and schools across the country.

Rabbi Rowe has worked together with Rabbi Schiff since 2004. During that time Rabbi Rowe has been Educational Director of Aish UK and has overseen our cutting-edge educational initiatives that have played a crucial role in enhancing Jewish identity and commitment amongst teens and students across the country. In February 2016 Rabbi Rowe became Executive Director of Aish UK as Rabbi Schiff became the head of the Jewish Futures group of charities.

In addition to his work at Aish, Rabbi Rowe has been responsible for the creation and development number of programmes including the Forum for Jewish Leadership and the Aleinu Conference, together with the JLE, Seed and the RCUS. He also played an instrumental role in helping bring Aish and JLE together on campus for the Genesis Programme. Most recently, alongside his responsibilities at Aish UK, Rabbi Rowe has served as Coordinator for the Chief Rabbi’s Shabbat UK for the last two years, playing a leading role in in the initiative which saw over 120,000 people taking part in community events across the UK in 2015.


Michal Dubov

Michal is the Director of Operations at Jewessence, an organization that enables growth-oriented women to connect to themselves, their heritage, and their unique strengths. Michal has an operations and business background from the Wharton School. Since her time there, she’s been involved in the American corporate world and in the fin-tech start-up world in Israel. She’s no stranger to developing companies and ideas from the ground up through execution and thrives on efficiency.



Dr. Davidson draws upon his distinctive combination of experiences as a successful consultant, an entrepreneur, and a university dean to build businesses. He is a dynamic and engaging speaker who has addressed professionals, executives, and academics all over the world on a variety of topics and has over 60 publications, keynote speeches and presentations on various business topics, training, and development. He has been quoted and/or featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Crain’s New York Business, and has appeared on CNN, CDN, and WB11 Cable TV and is a recipient of the prestigious Literati Award for Excellence.

Most of all, Dr. Davidson enjoys researching, developing and delivering thematic speeches that illustrate Torah values and concepts as they relate to and synthesize with the professional world, leveraging his unique and different skill set and industry experience along with his dry, British wit, to deliver them to diverse audiences. His lectures/shiurim have been described by both Rabbis and scholars alike as eloquent, highly entertaining and occupying a unique space along the spectrum. As a next generation survivor, he also addresses Holocaust Remembrance gatherings. Dr. Davidson has been involved as a Scholar-in Residence, spiritual leader, and/or featured speaker at Pesach and other programs for over 35 years. After studying in Yeshivas Itri in Jerusalem, Israel he immigrated to the United States and prior to his current position as Dean at Fordham University, he was the founding Dean of NYU’s SCPS Division of Programs in Business, and the founding Dean of the Manhattanville College School of Business.

Dr. Davidson has been extensively involved in providing advice and professional services to charitable organizations, most notably the Child Life Society for Children with Cystic Fibrosis, the RCCS Cancer Society, Puah Center for Fertility, the Jewish Center for Special Education, and the Queens Torah Library. Dr. Davidson was instrumental in the formation and growth of Yeshiva Netzach David, a post high-school Yeshiva founded for the benefit of those students who wish to continue their Torah studies while pursuing a full-time college education, where he also gave a weekly shiur.


Rachel Burg

Rachel Burg is the Director of Camp Dina for Girls and a teacher at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey. She has worked in informal, mainstream and special education for over twenty years. A charismatic and inspirational speaker, Mrs. Burg has lectured extensively on parenting around the country. She is also a founding board member of Naaleh High School for Girls in Bergen County and currently resides in Bergenfield, NJ with her husband Rabbi Steven Burg and their six amazing kids.


Rabbi Ahron Yoel (AJ) Kushner

Rabbi Ahron Yoel (AJ) Kushner is an ordained rabbi and graduate of Telshe Rabbinical College. He continued his studies at Kollel Torah LIFE Institute, and in 2010 went on to become a rabbi at Agudas Achim Congregation in Canton, Ohio.
He is a member of the Agudas Harabonim of the Mid-West as well as the Vaad Harabonim of Cleveland.
He does various services for the Cleveland and Canton communities in addition to being a chaplain for the police department, prison system and the community hospital.


Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff

Originally from London, England, Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff graduated with honors in political science from Manchester University. After working for MTV in news production, and winning the national competition ‘Jewish Stand-Up Comedian’ of the Year, Rabbi Hajioff traveled to study in Israel and then Monsey to receive his rabbinical smicha ordination from Yeshiva Ohr Somayach.

Rabbi Hajioff was the educational director of Birthright Israel Alumni in Manhattan, New York. He implemented programs for Birthright Israel and has led nearly thirty trips to Israel, Poland and Prague for hundreds of young professionals.

Rabbi Hajioff is on the full time faculty of Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University. His very popular credited courses include courses on Jewish Philosophy, Mashiach, Jewish holidays, Shabbat and many others. He received the “Professor of the Year” award in Judaic Studies from the senior year students at Stern.

In 2016 Rabbi Hajioff created the Interactive Jewish Community. An organization that runs programming, events and trips for Jewish high school students, college students and young professionals all over NY and NJ.

His very popular books, Jew Got Questions and Will Jew Marry Me? were best sellers. His latest book “The Future – The Jewish Messiah, Israel and the End of Days” is available online at and in stores now.

Rabbi Hajioff lives in Wesley Hills with his wife Anita and their five children.


Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter

Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University. From 2000-2005 he served as Dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Boston. He was the first Rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, from 1977-1981, creating a new, vibrant and committed community. From 1981-2000, he served as the Rabbi of The Jewish Center in New York City, moving the congregation from 180 to over 600 members over the course of his tenure, and also served as Rabbi of the Maimonides Minyan in Brookline, MA from 2000-2005.

Dr. Schacter holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1973, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with the Abraham S. Goodhartz Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies. Dr. Schacter was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard from 1978-1980, Director of Yeshiva University’s Torah u-Madda Project from 1986-1997, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University from 1993-1999. In 1995, he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University and in 2014 he was awarded the Chelst Grant for Publication Assistance from Yeshiva University. He also presently serves as a member of the faculty of The Wexner Foundation.

Dr. Schacter is co-author of the award winning A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism published by Columbia University Press in 1996, author of The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways: Reflections on the Tish‘ah be-Av Kinot by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (2006) and close to one hundred articles and reviews in Hebrew and English. He is also the editor of Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung (1992), Jewish Tradition and The Nontraditional Jew (1992), and the award winning Judaism’s Encounter with other Cultures: Rejection or Integration? (1997), and co-editor of The Complete Service for the Period of Bereavement (1995) and New Perspectives on Jewish-Christian Relations: In Honor of David Berger (Brill, 2012). He is the Founding Editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, a prestigious academic publication which has gained international acclaim.

Rabbi Schacter holds a number of prominent Jewish communal positions. He served as Founding President of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations (COJO) of the Upper West Side from 1994-2000, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Orthodox Union and is on the Editorial Boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, BDD (Bechal Derachecha Da’ehu) and Jewish Educational Leadership. He was awarded several fellowships and grants to further his scholarly research. In November, 2007, Rabbi Schacter was the Scholar-in-Residence at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities in Nashville, TN and in March, 2016, was invited to address the opening plenary of the Jewish Funder’s Network Conference in La Jolla, CA.

Dr. Schacter is presently completing a new Hebrew edition of the autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden, an eighteenth century Jewish figure.


Rabbi M. Mendel Jacob Polichenco

Before Yom Kippur in the year 1993, Mendel received the blessing and consent of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to accept the position of Rabbi for the Jewish Community of Tijuana, making him the first official Shliach (representative) of the Chabad movement, in Mexico.A few months later he received a second blessing, to marry Nechama Dina, daughter of Rabbi Shmuel Hakohen Rodal, one of the most prominent Rabbis in Italy. To date they have five beautiful children.Rabbi Polichenco’s dedication to the Community has given a lift up to Judaism in Tijuana. Since his arrival the installations have gone through a total makeover. He founded the first and only Jewish Day School in the state, opened a Mikve, a Kosher restaurant, bakery and catering service.His stamina, upright personality and oratory skills have taken him across Latin America, U.S.A. and Europe.Back home, he leads the Adult Education Program, Daily Services, Special Holiday Programs, Overnight Summer Camp, Bar and Bat Mitzva Group, Bikur Cholim Society and Chevra Kadisha, Youth Group and Welcome Committee for Immigrants from South America. He volunteers as a counselor in a Rehabilitation Clinic for addictions.Currently Rabbi Polichenco is the director and founder of Chabad Without Borders, based in Carmel Valley, CA where he serves as Rabbi and Educational Director and overseeing the branches that he opened in Mexico and California. He is also the only representative of the Jewish Agency for northwest Mexico. He is a certified Birthright guide, one of his passions is taking groups to Israel.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 3rd of January (16th of Tevet) in 1972.

His parents, Rabbi Engineer Abraham Yosef and Professor Yehudit Polichenco, also Argentinean, had only one daughter, Naomi. 13 years later they received a unexpected blessing from Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and a son was born whom they called Menachem Mendel Yakov.


Mendel’s formal Jewish education began in 1975. His father, unsatisfied with the existing standards of the other Jewish schools, founded Oholei Chinuch.
1985 – Yeshiva Ghedola – Buenos Aires.
1988 – Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim – Kiryat Gat, Israel.
1990 – Rabbinical College of America – Morristown, New Jersey
1992 – Graduates as a Bachelor on Rabbinics – RCA.
1993 – Receives Rabbinical ordination – Kfar Chabad, Israel.
2001 – Masters in Organizational Development, Ibero Americana University – México.

Before Yom Kippur in the year 1993, Mendel received the blessing and consent of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to accept the position of Rabbi for the Jewish Community of Tijuana, making him the first official Shliach (representative) of the Chabad movement, in Mexico.

A few months later he received a second blessing, to marry Nechama Dina, daughter of Rabbi Shmuel Hakohen Rodal, one of the most prominent Rabbis in Italy. To date they have five beautiful children.

Rabbi Polichenco’s dedication to the Community has given a lift up to Judaism in Tijuana. Since his arrival the installations have gone through a total makeover. He founded the first and only Jewish Day School in the state, opened a Mikve, a Kosher restaurant, bakery and catering service.

His stamina, upright personality and oratory skills have taken him across Latin America, U.S.A. and Europe.

Back home, he leads the Adult Education Program, Daily Services, Special Holiday Programs, Overnight Summer Camp, Bar and Bat Mitzva Group, Bikur Cholim Society and Chevra Kadisha, Youth Group and Welcome Committee for Immigrants from South America. He volunteers as a counselor in a Rehabilitation Clinic for addictions

Currently Rabbi Polichenco is the director and founder of Chabad Without Borders, based in Carmel Valley, CA where he serves as Rabbi and Educational Director and overseeing the branches that he opened in Mexico and California. He is also the only representative of the Jewish Agency for northwest Mexico. He is a certified Birthright guide, one of his passions is taking groups to Israel.

Mendel keeps healthy by following a daily routine of swimming in the ocean, working out and running in the beach, biking to Shul, the occasional spear gun fishing and practicing Krav Maga.

He is fluent in Spanish, English and Hebrew.


Dr. David Pelcovitz

Dr. Pelcovitz holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School where he also teaches pastoral psychology courses and is special assistant to the president of the university.
Before assuming his position on the faculty of Yeshiva University, Dr. Pelcovitz was a clinical professor of psychology in psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and director of psychology at North Shore University Hospital-NYU School of Medicine for over two decades. He has published and lectured extensively on a variety of topics including parenting, child abuse, trauma and loss.


Rabbi Chanan (Antony) Gordon

Rabbi Chanan (Antony) Gordon has become one of the most beloved and sought after speakers in the Jewish World. From his days as a stand-up comic in Johannesburg, South Africa, to organizing a major music concert while a student at Harvard Law School, to representing (as a wealth manager and business manager)some of the most prominent athletes and celebrities in the world, Rabbi Gordon’s life experiences are unique.

Rabbi Gordon has assumed several positions of national leadership in the Orthodox community including having been the Co-Chairman of the Agudath Israel Convention as well as the Chairman of the AJOP Convention in 2007. Rabbi Gordon has been the guest speaker at numerous seminars, retreats and conventions hosted by a broad range of organizations including the likes of Gateways, Aish Hatorah Partners Conference; Project Inspire, KMR, Upscale Getaways; Kosherluxus; Agudath Israel etc.

Rabbi Gordon is the co-author of the renowned article titled “Will Your Grandchild Be Jewish” (co-authored with Richard Horowitz, the President of Aish International), an analysis of the national Jewish population census carried out approximately every 10 years in America which has been translated into more than 10 languages and has been cited in some of the most prestigious publications in the world.

Rabbi Gordon’s unique ability to touch the hearts and souls of audiences on a broad range of topics with unique humor, real life stories and years of professional training has resulted in him becoming a regular contributor to several Jewish publications (such as Yated N’eman and The Jewish Journal) as well as hosting the acclaimed new podcast, The Antony Gordon Show (available on iTunes and Spotify) and weekly radio talk show, Straight Talk with Antony Gordon (broadcast on WSNT 620 AM in NY and WJPR 1640 AM in NJ)

Antony/Chanan is a Managing Director of MGO and is based in Los Angeles.

Never boring, always inspiring, nobody will leave their seat without some nuggets of wisdom for life.


Dr. Mendy Ganchrow

Mendy Ganchrow M.D served as President of the Orthodox Union (OU) from 1994 -2000. Previously he was the President of both the Community Synagogue and Day School (ASHAR) in Monsey N.Y.
A graduate of Yeshiva University, he is a retired Colo-rectal surgeon  and Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery, having authored 19 surgical papers.
In 1968 while serving as a combat surgeon in Vietnam, he volunteered to serve as a Jewish Chaplain. He was promoted to Major, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
In 1982, he formed the Hudson Valley Political Action Committee, and served as its President for 21 years. At the time it was the largest local pro-Israel PAC in the U.S.
During his career, he has served  actively on many Boards, including AIPAC, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Jim Joseph Foundation as well as 8 years on the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency. He was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a Commissioner on the Commission for the Preservation of Americas Heritage Abroad.
He has published five books: His autobiography “Journey through the Minefields” in 2004 and 3 volumes of anthologies of Torah thoughts – “Sasson Vesimcha” (on sheva brachot), “Entering the Covenant” (on Brit Milah) and “Coming of Age” (on bar/bat mitzvah). All proceeds from the Torah anthologies  are dedicated to NCSY.
His latest book, a novel entitled “The Five Day War”, is based upon an actual invitation he received  from the Saudi Arabian Government to serve as Chief of Colon Surgery at the Air Force Hospital in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. It is an international thriller, whose hero is an Orthodox surgeon.
Dr Ganchrow and his wife Sheila have 3 children and 11 grandchildren , and reside in Boynton Beach, FL and Fort Lee, NJ.


Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman

Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman is Rosh HaMesivta of Rambam Mesivta of Lawrence and its sister school Midreshet Shalhevet High School for Girls in North Woodmere. He is noted for his leadership and activism on behalf of Jewish causes, leading demonstrations against former Nazis residing in the US, French acquiescence to anti-Semitism, Saudi support of terror, and supports a myriad of causes on behalf of Medinat Yisrael.

His continued efforts and protesting against Jakiw Palij, the last Nazi war criminal in the United States resulted in Palij’s deportation to Germany.

These efforts were recognized By the Department of Justice in a ceremony at the White House where they declared,“Deserving of special mention are several generations of high school students at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, Long Island, under the leadership of their revered  teacher, Rabbi Zev Friedman, himself a child of Holocaust virus, never stopped crying out publicly for justice in this case.” Rabbi Friedman is a noted lecturer and Maggid Shiur in the Five Towns and has served as a scholar in residence across the United States, Europe and Israel.

 Rabbi Friedman received his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva Bnei Torah and his D.P.M. (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, after graduating Brooklyn College.


Dean Henry Abramson

Henry Abramson is a specialist in Jewish History and Thought, serving as a Dean of Touro College in Brooklyn, New York. A native of northern Ontario, Canada, he earned his PhD at the University of Toronto with a dissertation on the Jews of Ukraine, which was published by Harvard University in 1999. Before joining Touro College, he held various post-doctoral and visiting positions at Cornell, Oxford, Harvard and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research has been recognized with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and he received the Excellence in the Academy Award from the National Education Association. His most recent book is Torah from the Years of Wrath 1939-1943: The Historical Context of the Aish Kodesh. His online lectures in Jewish history and thought are viewed by 4,000 people daily.


Dr. Barbara Lauer-Listhaus

Dr. Barbara Lauer-Listhaus completed a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and post-doctoral training in Adolescent and Adult Neuropsychology at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City. She works with children, adolescents and adults facing a wide range of mental health issues in her private practice in Hackensack and Livingston, New Jersey.

In 2001, Dr. Lauer-Listhaus was instrumental in developing an inclusive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She currently serves as a consultant for several organizations, and is on the Board of Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and LifeTown New Jersey.

Her book, Flavors for Everyone: A Guide to Raising Siblings in a Special Needs Family provides an insider’s view—by a neuropsychologist who is also the mother of a special needs son—into the complex problems that families face when raising children with different abilities and personalities. She lectures internationally on parenting and grandparenting, marital and sibling issues, and the impact of divorce on families. Her book and lectures offer practical solutions for families to implement.

Dr. Lauer-Listhaus is the mother of four adult children and has four grandchildren.


Rabbi Shimon Isaacson

Rabbi Isaacson currently serves as the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Tzion, where he has been giving shiurim in Talmud, Halacha, Chumash and Jewish Philosophy for over 25 years.  He also has lectured extensively in different venues on Jewish Education.  Rabbi Isaacson brings a unique background and perspective to his classes.  Before embarking on his career in Jewish Education, Rabbi Isaacson was a Tax Attorney at a leading, New York City law firm.  Rabbi Isaacson also clerked for Justice Menachem Elon on the Israeli Supreme Court, where he developed his love for the interplay between Jewish and secular law.  Rabbi Isaacson, an inspirational speaker and personality, has been a leading educator in Israel, and is well-known for his warmth, charisma and the clarity and lucidity of his shiurim.  Rav Isaacson earned a Masters of Law, L.L.M. (Taxation) and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and has Semicha from the Israeli Rabbinate and the Meretz Kollel in Mevaseret Tzion.  His shiurim can be heard online at Naaleh.Com, YU Torah, the Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Tzion website and on You Tube.  Rabbi Isaacson points to his Aliyah with his family in 1995 as a major turning point in his life.  He currently lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh with his wife Sharon, and their seven wonderful children, and their six beautiful grandchildren.


Sharon Isaacson

Mrs. Sharon Isaacson is the Assistant Director of Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY), where she has been teaching Parshanut, Tanach and Jewish Thought for the past 24 years.  Before making Aliyah in 1995, Mrs. Isaacson was an Adjunct Professor in the Bible Department at Stern College, and she wrote her Masters Thesis on the Parshanut of the Ramban and his use of Midrash, at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University.  Mrs. Isaacson is a beloved and inspirational teacher at MMY, and is a role model to her students and alumni.  She lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh with her husband Shimon, their seven wonderful children, and their six beautiful grandchildren.


Rabbi Yitz Novak

Rabbi Yitz Novak has been involved with AIPAC for more than ten years, initially as a lay activist, and currently, as AIPAC Northeast Synagogue Initiative Director working with leading pulpit rabbis and synagogues to grow, engage, and mobilize pro-Israel activism in the American Jewish community. In this role, Yitz has engaged with Senior Administration officials, members of Congress, decision-makers, and thought-leaders impacting the U.S.-Israel relationship. He has tremendous expertise on current affairs in the Middle East, the composition of Congress, and the relationship between American and Israeli Jewry. Yitz resides in Bergenfield, New Jersey with his family.


Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman

Rabbi Daniel Wolnerman is the Mashgiach Ruchani and Director of Institutional Advancement at Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy for Girls in Hollywood, Florida. After receiving rabbinic ordination from Aish HaTorah and the Chief Justice of the Rabbinical High Court in Jerusalem, Rabbi Wolnerman worked in Jewish outreach for nearly a decade. During this time he interacted with thousands of university students and young professionals, serving as the Hillel Rabbi at the University of Florida, University of Miami, and serving as the Director of the Jewish Professional Networks and Rabbi with Aish HaTorah Toronto. Rabbi Wolnerman is a former National Collegiate Debate champion, which not only helps him understand the argumentation of the Talmud, but does not help him win arguments with his wife. He is passionate about teaching Torah and does so in a way which is relatable across a wide spectrum of audiences, conveying deep and meaningful ideas using stories, humor, and personal experience.


Ethan Dubin

Dr. Ethan Dubin is a native of Dallas, Texas. He attended Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Denver, Colorado and Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens, New York. Dr. Dubin received his B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Rice University magna cum laude. He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins/Bayview Hospital and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Maryland. He has been practicing gastroenterology in Baltimore for the last 27 years. He has been an attending and lecturer at Sinai Hospital and has authored numerous articles on many different topics. He has given Grand Rounds at various institutions on hepatitis and other common GI issues. He has an interest in developing new GI equipment, which he has patented and is the lead investigator in a current research project. Dr. Dubin is also an inventor of biomedical devices.


Hinda Dubin

Dr. Hinda Dubin is a native of Edmonton, Alberta Canada. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her B.A from the Johns Hopkins University in Humanistic Studies with Honors. Dr. Dubin completed her medical training and residency in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she served as faculty for many years and as the Coordinator of Brief Psychosocial Therapies Training at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Training Program. Currently she is the Director of Psychiatry Education and Training for the State of Maryland. Dr. Dubin is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and a distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Dubin is the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the Clinician Teacher of the Year Award, the Walter Weintraub Award for Teaching Excellence and has received annual teaching commendations from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Dubin has lectured internationally on cognitive behavioral therapy and women’s mental health issues. She also has a private practice in Baltimore. Her areas of expertise include cognitive behavioral therapy, mood and anxiety disorders and women’s mental health issues throughout the lifecycle.


Rabbi Eli Slomnicki

Rabbi Eli Slomnicki is known for his passion for student growth and development. Rabbi Slomnicki aspires to embody the Biblical maxim of “חנוך לנער על פי דרכו – educate a child according to their way.” He is a beloved teacher who develops meaningful relationships with his students.

Rabbi Slomnicki currently serves as a senior administrator at the Ramaz upper School. Rabbi Slomnicki has also served as the Assistant Principal of Yeshiva University High School for Girls. Additionally, Rabbi Slomnicki was the Assistant Rabbi of Youth at Young Israel of Great Neck and was recently the camp rabbi at Camp Lavi.

Rabbi Slomnicki earned his BA in Philosophy from Yeshiva College, his MA in Jewish Secondary Education from Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and administration and his Rabbinic ordination from Beit Medrash L’Talmud in Queens, NY. He resides in Great Neck, NY with his wife Elissa and their 5 children.


Rabbi Menachem Leibtag

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, founder of the Tanach Study Center, is an internationally acclaimed bible scholar and pioneer of Jewish Education on the internet. His essays on Parshat ha’Shavua reflect his vibrant thematic-analytical approach, blending the methods of modern scholarship with traditional approaches.  As a rebbe at Yeshivat Har Etzion, he is best known for his ability to teach students how to study Tanach.   Rabbi Leibtag also teaches at Yeshivat Shaalavim,  Midreshet Lindenbaum,  & Matan; and routinely lectures around the globe, primarily as a Scholar in Residence in communities in North America.


Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson

One of America’s premier Jewish scholars in Torah and Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (YY) Jacobson is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world today, lecturing to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on six continents and in forty states, and serving as teacher and mentor to thousands across the globe. He is considered to be one of the most successful, passionate and mesmerizing communicators of Judaism today, culling his ideas from the entire spectrum of Jewish thought and making them relevant to contemporary audiences.

Rabbi YY Jacobson was the first rabbi ever to be invited by the Pentagon to deliver the religious keynote to the US military Chief of Chaplains and to the National Security Agency. At the conference he was hailed “The Jewish Billy Graham.”

Rabbi Jacobson founded and serves as dean of, teaching, via the web, one of the largest Torah classes in the world today, with thousands of students globally. Formerly, he served as editor-in-chief of the largest Yiddish English newspaper existing today, The Algemeiner Journal, and as spiritual leader of Congregation Bais Shmuel in New York.

Born in 1972 in Brooklyn, NY, Rabbi Jacobson grew up at the feet of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, absorbing his teachings and writings. In 1988, at the age of 15, a young Jacobson began serving on a small team of “oral scribes” and human tape recorders. They were charged with memorizing and transcribing three to seven hours of talks by the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory, which were presented on the Shabbat and Jewish holidays, when recording devices are not used.

Rabbi Jacobson is the author of “A Tale of Two Souls”—a 150 audio series on the teachings of the Chassidic classic, the Tanya. He has written more than 1000 articles on diverse themes of Jewish thought, including: Biblical and Talmudic studies, Jewish law, Kabbalah and Chassidism, Jewish history, psychology, philosophy, education, relationships, Israel, and current events.

Over the last fifteen years, Rabbi Jacobson traveled to hundreds of communities, schools, and universities across the globe, educating and inspiring people of all backgrounds with the majestic depth of Torah and Judaism.



A board certified physician in Internal Medicine & Geriatrics, Rabbi Dr. Glassman taught clinical geriatrics at both Harvard and Tufts Medical Schools in Boston after his fellowship in geriatrics in Boston.  

Prior to medical specialization, he studied at Yeshiva Shalom Rav in Tzfat, he served in the IDF medical corps as a lieutenant deep in the Negev. and  served as the chief house physician in a continuous care retirement community in Hod HaSharon, Israel.

This was followed by a directorship in clinical diabetes research at  Hadassah Ein Kerem University Medical Center in Jerusalem.    And, while in Jerusalem, he trained as a certified mohel by Rabbi Yehuda Giat of Mercaz HaRav

He received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Dovid Shochet of Toronto, after having been taught by Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm at Yeshivas Hilchos Olam.

Rabbi Dr. Glassman writes for, and has appeared in several features in OUHidabrootBaltimore Jewish TimesJewish Advocate, the NJ Jewish Link, and The Jewish Journal, among others for his work in integrative and preventive geriatrics.  Additionally, he was recently featured  on USA Today, the cover of Ami Magazine and on i24 News for his work fighting for the rights of older and frail patients in the state of New Jersey.


Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt

Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD, MACP, FIDSA, FSHEA is the Associate Rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere. He has been giving a Daf Yomi shiur for 30 years and gives a weekly gemara be’iyun shiur, daily halacha shiurim, and many other classes including a daily on-line Dirshu Mishnah Brurah yomi shiur on OU Torah (all of first 5 volumes available online with the 6th volume in progress). An international lecturer on medical and halachic issues, Rabbi Dr. Glatt has authored two seforim through ArtScroll: Visiting the Sick and Women in the Talmud.

Board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Rabbi Dr. Glatt is Chairman of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases / Hospital Epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau, and a full Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, he previously, was the President & CEO of St. Joseph Hospital; Executive Vice President at Mercy Medical Center; and Associate Dean at NY Medical College. He recently received the 2020 NY American College of Physicians Laureate Award and was named a Master of the American College of Physicians.

A graduate of  Yeshiva University (class valedictorian), he received his MD from Columbia University and did an internal medicine residency/chief residency at Brookdale University Medical Center, and a fellowship in infectious diseases at SUNY Health Sciences Center (Brooklyn). The author of several hundred scientific journal articles, book chapters and presentations, he has served on editorial boards and as a reviewer for many prestigious journals, has worked on many government, hospital, medical school and public health committees, and has been frequently interviewed by print, television and on-line media.


Binyamin Davidson

Binyamin Davidson is known as and sought after for being a Baal Koreh with a particular focus on reading the Torah with both grammatical and cantorial precision. Since age thirteen, Binyamin has devoted himself to studying the rules and phenomena that govern Classical Hebrew dikduk, giving him a reputation as not only a professional Baal Koreh, but a perfectionist as well. 2019 will be Binyamin’s tenth year as a Baal Koreh on Pesach programs, and his second consecutive Pesach with Kosherica. After graduating from high school, Binyamin spent two years studying at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel, before eventually returning to New York to pursue a career in engineering. Binyamin is currently studying mathematics and computer and informational sciences at Fordham University in Manhattan. Binyamin is also proud to have spent seven summers as a part of the NCSY Summer Kollel, attending as a camper, as a staff member, and in an administrative capacity.


Dikla Weitzner

Dikla Weitzner lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and four kids. She worked as the Director of a summer day camp called Moshava Ba’ir Toronto from 2011-2018 – where camp had over 400 camp- ers aged 3-11, as well as over 170 staff members who she oversees. Dikla is currently the Director of Moshava of Wild Rose, a Bnei Akiva sleepover camp, located in Wisconsin. She chose this profession because she loves kids and planning programs for them. Her summer camp is centered on informal education – she believes kids can develop and learn so much in a camp setting. Her four children, aged 10-18, keep her in tune with what kids of all ages like to play and be active doing. Along with our team of counselors, Dikla promises to provide your children with a happy, stimulating, but most importantly, safe environment to spend their time in.


Nicolas Muzin

Nicolas Muzin, MD, JD, is the founder and Chairman of Stonington Global, where he focuses on strategic international advisory and private equity work and practices as an attorney.

Nick served at the highest levels of Republican politics, as Chief of Staff to two current U.S. Senators, Director of Coalitions for the House Republican Majority, and Senior Advisor to a presidential campaign. The New York Times has called him one of “Washington’s most influential deal-makers” and The Jerusalem Post has described his work as “jaw-dropping.”

A licensed physician, Nick’s first job in politics came when he took a semester off from his studies at Yale Law School to serve as Counsel for the Republican National Committee during the re-election of President George W. Bush. In 2008, Nick was Senior Medical Advisor to the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

In 2010, Nick managed the campaign of now-Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who was elected as the first black Republican from the South since Reconstruction. With Nick as Chief of Staff, Scott was elected leader of the tea party class of 87 freshmen members of Congress and was subsequently appointed to the Senate.

From 2013-2014, Nick served as Director of Coalitions for the House Republican Conference, under the leadership of Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). In this position, Nick coordinated strategy and outreach for all 234 Republican majority members of Congress.

In July 2014, Nick was named Senior Advisor & Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He also served as Senior Advisor on the Cruz presidential campaign, which The Washington Post called “the best run campaign of 2016.”

Nick has a law degree from Yale Law School, a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a B.A. from Yeshiva University.


Dr. Jeremy Berg

Dr. Jeremy Berg is a triple board certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology, and Critical Care. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children. Dr. Berg works in a Pulmonary/Critical Care group at St. Alexius Medical Center. In addition to his work as an Intensivist, Dr. Berg is the Pulmonary Medical Director of Alteas Health, a company that provides specialized, focused care for residents of senior care communities.

Prior to Dr. Berg’s initiation into the Torah Jewish community, he was a collegiate wrestler at a Big Ten University.

In his free time, Dr. Berg enjoys being with his family, swimming, and is involved in the Daf Yomi Shiur at his Shul. Dr. Berg has an ongoing association with Dr. Rabbi Akiva Tatz with whom he has a direct line available for any medical ethical issues that arise in his practice.


Rabbi Maimon Miller

Rabbi Maimon Miller’s uniqueness can best be described as the perfect blend of head Rabbi of a large community, spiritual leader and skilled counselor to his community, innovative “chazzan” leading prayer meditations at inspiring locales, holding a leadership role as an advisor to his family’s wellness business and most importantly a dedicated husband and father to his beautiful family.

He comes from a rich culture of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi backgrounds and has an impressive educational history. The groundwork for his Rabbinic role was paved in Manhattan’s Edmond J. Safra Synagogue and he has held the post of head Rabbi of Aish San Diego for 3 years, uniting and serving the large Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities.

Rabbi Miller ambition drives him to achieve great accomplishments for his community and the unique projects he is devoted to.


Nechama Davidson

Nikki Davidson has been working in digital marketing since 2009. After graduating with honors from New York University, she obtained a Masters of Science in Sport Business Management and began a career in the sports industry, combining her love for soccer with her professional expertise. Currently, Nikki is Manager of Content Marketing for the Coaches’ Voice, and prior to that, Digital Content Strategist at the Topps Company. She also consults for companies and non-profits across a range of industries, is a contributing author to various sports and non-sports publications and blogs, and speaks regularly to different audiences on a variety of topics in business, both in the US and abroad. Nikki is also highly invested in the advancement and empowerment of women in business, and in sports business in particular.

Building upon many years of Jewish education, including study in Israel, Nikki has researched, written and delivered lectures in multiple areas of Jewish thought, including tefilah, Pirkei Avot and Kiddush Hashem. She is especially passionate in showing how these concepts can be woven into everyday life.

When not watching/playing soccer, Nikki enjoys travel, theater and all things Winston Churchill. She currently resides in London.


Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post and Newsweek call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is for many the face of Judaism in the modern world and one of the world’s most respected values and spiritual voices. He is one of the leading defenders of Israel and appears as a regular guest in international media outlets. Rabbi Shmuley is also one of the world’s most respected and oft-quoted relationship experts. An international best-selling author of 31 books, Rabbi Shmuley’s works have been serialized in major international publications and translated into 20 languages.

Rabbi Shmuley first came to world attention through his founding of the Oxford University L’Chaim Society, an organization of Oxford students that within three years of its founding in 1988 had become the second largest student organization in Oxford’s history.

At the university, where Rabbi Shmuley served as rabbi to the students for eleven years, he played host to, and debated, some of the world’s leading thinkers, statesmen, and entertainers including Benjamin Netanyahu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Prof. Stephen Hawking, Shimon Peres, Deepak Chopra, Elie Wiesel, Yitzchak Shamir, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Javier Perez de Cuellar, Simon Wiesenthal, Michael Jackson, Boy George, Leonard Nimoy, and Prof. Colin Blakemore, to name but a few. The organization’s former presidents and members include New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti.

Rabbi Shmuley is one of America’s most sought-after television and radio guests, having appeared on shows ranging from Oprah to The Today Show to The View to Dr. Phil to The O’Reilley Factor to Good Morning America, and nearly everything in-between, including regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. He was also the subject of a full-length BBC documentary, Moses of Oxford. He has been profiled in many of the world’s leading publications, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, The London Times, The L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, Politico, The New York Observer, and The Washington Post.


Rabbi Abraham Cohen

Rabbi Abraham Cohen was ordained from the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva, Brooklyn NY, in 1987. Since receiving his ordination Rabbi Cohen has worked as a Shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Following his Smicha, Rabbi Cohen married and settled in Montreal and  has laboured tirelessly with many members of the community to bring awareness and Jewish identity to their lives. Rabbi Cohen gives weekly lectures to members of the community as well as  counselling to individuals and families alike. Many families are in the path of Torah and Mitzvos thanks to his involvement and dedication with their day to day life.

In 1997, through the efforts of many dedicated members of the Jewish Community in Montreal, Rabbi Cohen led a campaign to erect the first and only edifice in the country which houses the Chabad Seminary of Canada – Ben Weider Educational Centre. The Seminary, named in memory of the Rebbe’s wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn ,  provides a post-secondary education of the highest caliber for hundreds of young Jewish women, coming from the world over, enabling them to contribute to the continuity, strength and growth of the Jewish people. The graduates are raising today proud Jewish families and assuming positions of Shlichus, emissaries of the Rebbe, as well as occupying Leadership roles in communities throughout the world. Hundreds of Alumni’s have opened new schools and Jewish centers around the globe. Rabbi Cohen is responsible for the Administration and Financial departments of the Centre.

In 2010 Rabbi Cohen was appointed spiritual leader of Congregation Zichron Kedoshim in Montreal. The synagogue, which was built in 1965 by survivors of the Holocaust, is dedicated to memory of the six million who perished during World War II. Over the years the synagogue merged as Chabad Zichron Kedoshim and Rabbi Cohen serves as Lecturer and Rabbi Emeritus.

In 2018 Rabbi Cohen was approached by community leaders and activists to serve as Chaplain and Spiritual leader for a department of the SPVM , the Police Force of the City of Montreal. Rabbi Cohen attends to the needs and requests of the Jewish officers with all matters related to their Jewish heritage.

He is a dynamic speaker who engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Speaking topics have included the Origins of Tefilla, Kabbalah Mysticism, and Judaism 101. He speaks fluently in English, French, Spanish, Hebrew and Yiddish.

Rabbi Cohen lives with his wife and children in Montreal.


Dr. Friedman

Dr. Friedman earned her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and is an award winning professor in the College of Education at Towson University. She has published and presented internationally on development within the K-12 setting against the backdrop of grit, growth mindset, and the gift of failure. She enjoys exploring topics within neuroeducation and social psychology. Dr. Friedman publishes a parenting blog and is a children’s book author; she’s presented professional development workshops in schools, has served as a manuscript reviewer for academic education journals and has served as a discussion panel editor for JHU – making her a valuable and relatable resource for both parents and teachers in the quest for thinking critically about the evolution of the parent/child and teacher/student relationship. Dr. Friedman is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. She has a black belt in martial arts, a pilot’s license, and enjoys competing in triathlons. Dr. Friedman is inspired daily by her husband and three children who she loves hiking with in her free time.


Rabbi Dr. Yosef Glassman

As a specialist in Jewish cannabinoid therapeutics, Rabbi Dr. Yosef Glassman is board certified physician in Internal Medicine & Geriatrics. After his fellowship in general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, he taught clinical geriatrics at both Tufts and Harvard Medical Schools. During this period, Dr. Glassman obtained s’micha from the President of the Toronto Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, after having studied both at Yeshivos Hilchos Olam and Shalom Rav in Tzfat. While living in Israel, Dr. Glassman served as a lieutenant in IDF medical corps near Dimona, and as a physician for members of the Israeli Knesset while directing a unit for clinical research at Hadassah Ein Kerem University Medical Center. While directing the department in Jerusalem, he was also certified as a mohel by Rabbi Yehuda Giat of Mercaz HaRav.

Rabbi Dr. Glassman writes for, and has appeared in several features in OU, Hidabroot, Baltimore Jewish Times, Jewish Advocate, the Huffington Post and the NJ Jewish Link for his work in integrative geriatrics and cannabinoid therapeutics.

As trustee for the, he has appeared on on ABC News, CBS News, FoxNews, the USA Today Network, the cover of Ami Magazine, the Jerusalem Post and interviewed on i24 News for his work fighting for the rights of older and frail patients in the US.

Dr. Glassman currently directs the hospitalist program at the community hospital in Lakewood, NJ as he and his family eagerly await the Moshiach and an imminent return to Israel to complete his final project,


Sid Weg

If you have ever stayed in one of the Catskills’ well known kosher hotels, been to a Pesach program, or on a Kosherica cruise you probably met Sid Weg. Sid’s many interests and talents have enabled him to develop programs that have captured his audiences’ interests.

Professionally, he holds graduate degrees in science, guidance and administration. He has been a faculty member at several colleges over many years and is currently a senior instructor at a college of CUNY (The City University of New York).


Sarah Pachter

Sarah Pachter is a dynamic, motivational speaker who has lectured throughout the US and Israel. For the past thirteen years Sarah has passionately taught women of all ages and levels of Jewish observance, drawing in large crowds with her innovative and personal touch. In addition to lecturing for many organizations, schools, and synagogues, she is a Kallah teacher, dating coach, and mentor. Sarah runs growth groups in private homes and meets with individuals for one-on-one private sessions.

Sarah has been featured on the Radio, is a regular columnist, and a freelance writer for the Jewish Press, and the Jewish Home as well as many other publications. She has authored Small Choices Big Changes published by Targum Press. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and five children.

Her new book Is it Ever Enough? by Feldheim will be released soon. Here is what people are saying:

Is It Ever Enough? is an extraordinary work of surpassing enthusiasm and intelligence — infused with psychological sensitivity and personal warmth — by one of the most aspiring writers of our time. There is nothing theoretical in Sarah’s delightfully written insights; every page is a call to arms that will change your mind and touch your heart.Just like her previous Small Choices, Big Changes, here is an engaging beacon of light for the dignity of man. Without instruction or moralization, the author entices and invites the reader to participate with pleasure and responsibility upon a rethink of one’s conduct. Do yourself a favor and read this enchanting book. ~ Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Sarah Pachter is a person who “walks her talk.” Her sincerity and credible experience combine with a readable style to make a book that can potentially guide you on your journey towards becoming the person you want to be. ~ Rebbetzin Tziporah (Heller) Gottlieb 

Sarah Pachter helps all readers with practical methods toward positive change. The author uses Torah concepts to help the reader through today’s complicated modern world, helping every one of us find our own way to look within and feel that indeed, we are enough. ~ Rabbi M. Gary Neuman, psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author


Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He has been a congregational Rabbi for over 30 years, and previously
served pulpits in Montreal, Quebec and Mount Vernon, New York. He has always been deeply engaged in community affairs, and currently serves on the board of directors of the UJA-Federation of New York and the American Jewish Committee-NY. When he lived in Montreal, Rabbi Steinmetz served as a Vice President of the Montreal Federation, and held executive positions in the Montreal Hillel and the Canadian Jewish Congress. He has written for many publications including The Washington Post, The Daily News, The Globe and Mail, La Presse,
The Jewish Journal, Haaretz, and The Jerusalem Post.
Rabbi Steinmetz received his ordination from Yeshiva University, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon and has an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and an M.A. in Education from Adelphi University. He is married to Lisa Schwartz, and they have four children.


Rabbi Mark Wildes

Rabbi Mark Wildes is the Founder of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), a highly successful Jewish outreach and educational program that engages young unaffiliated Jewish men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community. He is also the author of Beyond the Instant: Jewish Wisdom for Lasting Happiness in a Fast-Paced Social Media World (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) and The 40 Second Challenge: Daily Jewish Insights To Prepare For The High Holidays (Kodesh Press, 2021)

Rabbi Wildes earned a BA in Psychology from Yeshiva University, a Law Degree from the Cardozo School of Law, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Yeshiva University). After serving in rabbinic positions at Ohab Zedek, Kehilath Jeshurun and teaching at Ramaz and Stern College, Rabbi Wildes established MJE – dedicated to engaging NYC’s unaffiliated Jewish professionals. In its 23 years of existence, MJE has reconnected thousands of previously unaffiliated Jewish men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community, hundreds of whom are today living committed Jewish lives and sending their children to Jewish Day Schools. Operating from its three locations in the city, with a talented staff of 15 professionals, MJE’s inspirational Shabbat dinners, beginners services, retreats, educational classes, holiday events, and trips to Israel have touched the lives of thousands of young Jews and provided a venue through which 346 Jewish couples have married.

Rabbi Mark also teaches an outreach training seminar at RIETS, Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, training new leaders for the future. He and his wife Jill and their 4 children live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where they maintain an open home for newcomers and friends.


Dr. Payam Benson

Dr. Payam Benson is board certified physician in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He is the Regional Medical Director for St Barnabas Health System as well as the Designated Institutional Official and Director of Medical Education of Prime Healthcare at St. Clare Hospital, St. Mary General Hospital. He is interested in all aspects of patient care. After graduating from Yeshiva University as an undergraduate Magna Cum Laude, he then went on to Albert Einstein University and subsequently completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his fellowship in Nephrology at the University Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Benson is currently on staff at Community Medical Center in New Jersey. While still being interested in academic medicine, he is the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education at Touro Medical School and Clinical Professor at St George Medical School. He looks forward to discussing enthralling medical issues facing society currently. Dr. Benson resides in Teaneck with his wife and three children and enjoys physical fitness in his free time.

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