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Meet our staff

meet our staff

Here at Midreshet Yeud we believe that each staff member has a meaningful part in the students experience. With this in mind, we carefully picked staff members who share both seriousness and love for there job whether its the head of the program or the maintenance supervisor.

Please click on the staff member you would like to learn more about

 

 

Rav Yaacov Shapira

Rav Yaacov Shapira

y@yeud.org.il

Founder and Head of Midreshet Yeud

"על מנת לקרב את עם ישראל לאביהם שבשמים, צריך קודם לרדת אליהם אל הארץ"

"In order to bring Am Israel closer to their father in heavens, you must first come be with them on earth"

Rabbi Shapira is a graduate of the Har Etzion and Merkaz Harav Kook yeshivot.
He holds an MA in Jewish History from Beit Morahsa in Jerusalem and from Touro College.
In 1994, Rabbi Shapira founded Midreshet Yeud, and he serves as Head of the Midrasha ever since.
He lives in Ofrah, a proud father of seven and grandfather.

Rav Hillel Van-Leeuwen

Rav Hillel Van-Leeuwen

ravhillel@midreshet-yeud.org.il 

Head of Midreshet Yeud Overseas Program

"At Midreshet Yeud we don’t teach leadership. We practice it."

Born in Chicago and raised in Israel, Rav Van-Leeuwen is an insightful and dedicated educator, who believes in personal growth through discussion and thought. A former paratrooper in the I.D.F, he perceives problems as a challenge and an opportunity to grow, and is always open to new ideas. Rav Van-Leeuwen encourages his students to question everything, inspiring them to pursue the answers they need in order to be "Jews by choice".

Rav Van-Leeuwen has spent 3 years as a shaliach in Toronto, Canada, where he taught at the Community Hebrew Academy [CHAT] while being actively involved in several Jewish Education projects and summer camps in North America.
He lives in Ofra with his wife, Odeya, and their six children.

[Rabbinical degree - Israel's Chief Rabbinate; B.Ed in Tanach and Oral Law; B.Ed in Educational Counseling – Herzog College, Alon Shvut; M.A. equiv. – Oral Law].

Mrs. Ilana Azulai

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Ilana Azulai

ilana@yeud.org.il

Em Bayit - Dorm Mother 

"Looking forward to helping the girls acclimate to life in Israel and to flourish as young independent Jewish women!"

Ilana grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but has lived in several continents around the world before making Aliyah in 2007.

Influenced by her Zionistic upbringing, she volunteered for the IDF by serving in the Spokesperson's Unit, Foreign Press Media Monitoring Division.

She attended Machon Ora Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and obtained her BA summa cum laude at California State University Long Beach in Japanese and Russian.

She lives with her husband Eliaou, originally from the UK, and their baby Yoel.

Rav Shaul Cohen

Assistant to Head of the Midrasha

Shmil Atlas

 

Shmil Atlas

 

shmil@yeud.org.il

Executive Director

Born in Israel in 1969 and learned in the prestigious Yeshiva of “Har Etzion” in Gush Etzion for 6 years.
After graduating with a BA in Political Science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he was the director of a community day school’s program in the ‘Israeli Experience’, of the Jewish Agency. In this capacity, he was in-charge of many community day schools coming from around the world on an educational trip to Israel.
Prior to his role at Midreshet Yeud, Shmil served as the Jewish Agency's Shaliach in Kehilat “Orach Chayim”, Sydney, Australia for four and a half years as a Director of education and as the Rabbi's associate.
Shmil
is married to Osnat and has three kids.

 

Rav Dovid Abrahamovitz

 

 

 

 

 

Rav Dovid Abrahamovitz

dabrahamovitz@gmail.com

 

Mashgi'ach Ruchani

Rav Dovid is a native of Toronto, Canada. He spent two years studying at Yeshivat Shilo in Israel after high school and continued with his education at Yeshiva University in New York where he received his B.Sc.
R’ Dovid worked for NCSY for a number of years as the Director of Informal Education and the Director of Outreach in Toronto. R’ Dovid is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Jewish studies, majoring in Tanach. R’ Dovid’s passion lies in the realm of halacha. He currently teaches a number of classes at Midreshet Yeud.

 

Mrs. Esther Hammer

Mrs. Ester Hammer

estherhammer1@gmail.com

 

Social Worker and Sherut Leumi Coordinator.

Esther Hammer has a BA in psychology from Yeshiva University and an MA in counseling from Montclair University. She made aliya in 2000 and lives in Chashmonaim. Prior to making aliya she worked as a guidance counselor at Frisch High School in New Jersey.She also spent four years during that time as a guidance counselor at New Jersey's Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School. In Israel, Esther also worked for the Israeli education system in Bet Shemesh. Esther has spent the past 19 summers in Camp Moshava, where she works as a camp mother.
She now lives in Hashmonaim, mother to three boys and proud grandmother.

Aliza Abrahamovitz

 

 

 

 

Aliza Abrahamovitz

 

aliza@yeud.org.il 

Director of Alumnae Relations

 

"I don't teach my students, I learn with them!" Aliza Abrahamovitz, a native of Toronto, Canada, spent one year studying at Michlelet Orot’s overseas program. She returned to Toronto where she received a B.A. and a B.Ed from York University. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Jewish Studies at Lander College. Aliza served as Midreshet Yeud’s Em Bayit for seven years. Aliza now lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, but continues to be involved in the lives and learning of her students.

 

 

Mrs. Sophie Goldstein

Mrs. Sophie Goldstein

Book Keeper

Born in Israel, lived in london and now lives in Beitar Ilit with her husband Aharon and her 10 beutiful children. worked in the Diaspora Yeshiva and Beit Orot.

Ruti Yud

Secretary

Rav Naftali Rothstein

 

Rav Naftali Rothstein

naftali.r@gmail.com

Rav Naftali made aliyah with his parents and siblings  from Los Angeles at the age of 13.  He attended the Hesder Yeshiva  in Shilo for seven years which included a year and four months of service in the IDF's Golani Brigade.   He  then continued on to study at the Meretz Kollel in Mevaseret Zion for three years, and he received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Uri Cohen  and Rabbi Sinai Adler.  He received his B.A. in Education and Teacher's diploma from Lifshitz College (Jerusalem).  Rav Naftali taught at Yeshivat Sha'arei Mevaseret Zion before heading to Champaign, Illinois with his family for four years of shlichut.  Rav Naftali served as the Orthodox Union's JLIC Rabbi at the University of Illinois and has recently returned to Israel where he now lives with his wife, Tali and their four children in Jerusalem. 


 
 
Yoel Chait

Maintenance

Mr. Zeev Orenstein

Mr. Zeev Orenstein

 zeev@jerusalemu.org

 

Ze’ev Orenstein is a Senior Educator & Manager of Israel Education Initiatives with Jerusalem U. Ze’ev has been involved in both formal & informal Israel education and activism for well over a decade.

In Israel, Ze’ev has led lectures and workshops for thousands of students, and develops cutting edge educational resources on Israel in Jewish identity and the Middle East conflict. A central theme in these presentations is the need for understanding, as well as effectively communicating the historic justice of Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and of the legal, moral and historic rights of the Jewish people to a sovereign Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

Prior to joining Jerusalem U, Ze’ev served as Educator & Program Manager with The David Project, where, apart from teaching thousands of students, he managed The David Project’s Israel gap year student initiatives. Ze’ev was also responsible for developing The David Project’s Israel in Jewish Identity curriculum, taught in over 70 institutions throughout North America and Israel. The goal of this curriculum was to provide students with an understanding of the foundations for the centrality of Israel to the Jewish people.

Having made Aliyah in 2003, Ze’ev lives with his family in Ma’aleh Adumim, Israel. Ze’ev completed his MA degree (cum laude) in Government with a specialization in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security Studies from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. 

Rav Eli Lewis

Rav Eli Lewis

lewis@puah.org.il

Born and bred in Yerushalayim, Rabbi Lewis studied at the Bet El Yeshivah and got his rabbinic ordination from the chief rabbinate. He has served as a rabbinic director of the OU Torah center in Kharkov, Ukraine, and as a community rabbi and Rosh Kollel in Perth, Australia. He has also taught at Yeshivat Benei Zvi and Ohr Torah Stone. Rabbi Lewis serves as part of the of the www.yeshiva.org.il ask-the-rabbi rabbinic responsa team and is a full time rabbinic counselor at the Puah Institute as the associate director of the English department with responsibility for the USA region.

Rav Ari Cutler
Rav Ari Cutler
 
ravcuts@gmail.com

Rav Ari Cutler received Semicha from Yeshiva University and has a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Rav Cutler was an NCSY director and ran the National Council of Young Israel Summer programs. He has also been the Rav and head of Chinuch at Camp Moshava Ennismore. He is currently the Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshivat HaKotel and teaches Tanach and Parsha at Midreshet Yeud.

Yehuda HaKohen

 

Yehuda HaKohen

yehudahakohen@gmail.com

Rav Yehuda HaKohen was born and raised on the east side of Manhattan before making aliyah to Israel at the age of 21. After studying in Jerusalem's Machon Meir institute and serving as a combat soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, Yehuda developed his unique approach to education at the Isralight Leadership Training Institute as part of LTI's Rabbinic Enrichment Fellowship program.

Through a deep understanding of Jewish philosophy and history, Yehuda's teachings focus on helping students to view themselves as active characters in the story of their people and providing them with outlets for participating in that story.

As a veteran political activist, Yehuda also prepares students for the challenges of campus life by working to transcend competing one-sided narratives in favor of a more holistic understanding of the Middle East conflict and a more scientific approach to successful campus advocacy.

  

Rav Eli Deutsch

 rav eli deutsch.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Rav Eli Deutsch

rey@getyourjewon.com

Rabbi Eli Deutsch is a world-renowned speaker and author who inspires people of all backgrounds to take a fresh look at their lives by presenting thought-provoking ideas through the lense of Kabbalah. By masterfully articulating abstract concepts into practical transformative teachings, Rabbi Eli communicates the deeper side of Judaism in a way that resonates with the well-read student as well as the newcomer.

Rabbi Eli currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem and spends most of his time lecturing, writing, coaching, learning, hosting, and with his family. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Best Sellers Jewish By Choice: A Kabbalistic Take on Life & Judaism andThe Case for Judaism, as well as numerous other works.

A taste of what Rabbi Eli has to offer is available at his website www.getyourjewon.com, as well as his You Tube channel www.youtube.com/RabbiEliyahuYaakov

Mrs. Tali Kagan

Mrs. Tali Kagan

"In my class called "Core Transformation" we will transform our selves through exploring our middot and gain a deeper understanding of how to cope with life. Lets delve into Torah concepts together with Life Coaching Skills"

Born and Raised in Joannesburg South Africa, Made Aliyah in 2006 and now lives in the Yeshiva University Israel campus in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem, with her Husband Shmuli and their babby boy Yedidya. Studied 2 years in Michlelet Hertzog followed by a life coaching course

Teaches Life Coaching

Rav Yaacov Don

 don.jpg

Rav Yaacov Don

Of Alon Shvut is a thought-provoking teacher and an inspiring mentor. A graduate of the Har-Etzion Yeshiva [Gush], Rav Don has been teaching in various programs, formal and informal – including programs with overseas students - since 1990. He also spent 4 successful years as a shaliach at CHAT - the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. Upon returning to Israel he taught at Midreshet HaRova in the Old City of Jerusalem. He also served as principal of NOAM – a veteran elementary day school in Jerusalem. Rav Don received his smicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and earned an M.A. at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. At present, he teaches at the Ohr Torah High School in Efrat.

Rav Don has 4 children.

Rav Pinchas Langer

dscf2955.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rav Pinchas Langer

pclanger@gmail.com 

Born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, Rav Langer made aliya in 1973. He lives in Neve-Daniel, and is a proud father of 6 and new grandfather of one. Rav Langer received his Smicha from the Itri yeshiva in Jerusalem.  Over the course of the years, Rav Langer has taught at OJ, Machon Gold, Midreshet Moriya, Netiv Aryeh, Orot and more. He served in the IDF with the artillery corps. Rav Langer also holds a B.A. [History and Literature] and an M.A. [Jewish Philosophy] from Touro College. Rav Langer teaches Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Law at Yeud.

Ahuva Balofsky

Ahuva

 

 

 

 

Ahuva Balofsky

 

ahuva.balofsky@gmail.com

 

Ahuva Balofsky grew up in Toronto, Canada and obtained her B.A. Hons. and B.Ed. at York University. She taught Tanach, Rabbinics and English at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. After making Aliyah in 2004 with her family, she has since completed a Master's degree in Tanach at Bar Ilan University and currently teaches Tanach.


 

 

 

Chana Deutsch

 Chana Deutsch

  

With years of Tanach study under the tutelage of world-renown teachers, and as a practicing Kallah teacher certified by the Israeli Rabbinate, Rabbanit Chana Deutsch brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to Tanach and women’s issues.  Chana’s educational approach is to make learning practical, always with a focus on how one can incorporate the lessons of the classroom into one’s daily life.  Over the years, Chana has inspired Jews of all backgrounds to a new-found love of learning, and has helped many women find their place in Judaism and Jewish family life.

 

Chana made aliyah to Israel from Toronto in 2000 and currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem where she serves as a Temple Institute scholar, and opens her home to host inspirational Shabbat meals for hundreds of students and travelers each year.

 

 

Chana can be contacted at imachana@gmail.com

 

 

Rabbi Eli Ozarowski

 Rabbi Eli Ozarowski

Rav Eli Ozarowski teaches a number of halacha shiurim at Yeud.  He also teaches at a number of other yeshivot & seminaries in Israel, including Shaarei Mevaseret, HaKotel, & Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY).  Rav Ozarowski received his smicha from RIETS (Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary) and Masters in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School, & subsequently studied in Yeshiva University's Kollel Elyon. Rabbi Ozarowski has served as scholar in residence and guest lecturer in numerous communities in the U.S. as well as in Israel, often lecturing on contemporary halachic topics, such as medical & business ethics.  He also served as Assistant Rabbi at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.  Rav Eli lives with his wife and children in Yad Binyamin, where he also gives frequent shiurim.

Yehuda HaKohen

 

Yehuda HaKohen

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Rav Yehuda HaKohen was born and raised on the east side of Manhattan before making aliyah to Israel at the age of 21. After studying in Jerusalem's Machon Meir institute and serving as a combat soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, Yehuda developed his unique approach to education at the Isralight Leadership Training Institute as part of LTI's Rabbinic Enrichment Fellowship program.

Through a deep understanding of Jewish philosophy and history, Yehuda's teachings focus on helping students to view themselves as active characters in the story of their people and providing them with outlets for participating in that story.

As a veteran political activist, Yehuda also prepares students for the challenges of campus life by working to transcend competing one-sided narratives in favor of a more holistic understanding of the Middle East conflict and a more scientific approach to successful campus advocacy.

  

 
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