Our People

As an organization dedicated to deepening connections, we take pride in our growing community and ability to support each others' learning.

Our Leadership

Rav Dov Singer

Rosh Yeshiva, Makor Chaim Institutions

Rav Dov Singer, a leader of the modern Israeli revival of Hassidut, heads the innovative Makor Chaim Yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. In addition to Rabbi Steinsaltz, he counts Rabbis Shagar (Shimon Gershon Rosenberg) and Menachem Fruman as his primary mentors and teachers. Influenced by the Zohar, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and other Hassidic thinkers, Rabbi Singer’s unique educational approach is predicated on the development of religious and emotional intelligence. He leads workshops on prayer throughout Israel and the United States, and has also established the Beit Midrash L'Hitchadshut Study Center for Renewal, an adult spiritual outreach program, and Lifnai VLifnim, an educators’ training program. He is the author of "Tikon Tefillati" - "Prepare My Prayer", a popular guide to developing personal prayer skills. Rabbi Singer lives in Tekoa with his wife and ten children.

Rav Yishai Singer

Director of Lifnai Vlifnim

Rav Yishai Singer has been the director of Makor Chaim’s Israel based Lifnai Vlifnim Educators Training Program since 2013. The program, affiliated with Herzog College, offers Bachelors and Masters degrees in Israel. In addition he has been involved in a wide range of hands-on educational instruction in various fields including emotional therapy, drama therapy, group facilitation, playback theater and more. He has taught high school as well as at-risk teenagers. He was awarded the 2017 President’s Outstanding Teacher Award for Special Education. He holds a B. ED. from Herzog College and an “Experienced Therapist” Masters from Tel Chai College. Yishai Singer lives in Tekoa with his wife Rachel and 6 children.

Rav Yehuda Chanales

Director of Lifnai Vlifnim Olami, overseeing programs outside Israel with Rav Yishai

Rav Yehuda developed the North American program during his tenure as Director of Educational Advancement at the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland. In addition to his Lifnai Vlifnim role, Rabbi Chanales also serves as Director of Yeshiva University's Chinuch Incubator and on the faculty of Maayanot High School. He is a proud graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University and completed a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from Harvard University. Rabbi Chanales was a Wexner Field Fellow and recipient of the Kohelet Prize in progressive Jewish Education. He lives in Teaneck, NJ with his wife and four children.

Our Partners

Funding for this program is being provided through a grant from the Mayberg Foundation. The grant is supported by a partnership with the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge, a Mayberg Foundation educational initiative, which works to catalyze radical improvement in Jewish  day schools.

UnitED is an initiative of the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to support the work of Jewish day schools throughout the world by helping to  deepen Jewish identity, attachment to Israel, and building one’s local Jewish community.

Current and Former Cohort School Leaders - Manchim:

Bailey Braun

Bailey Braun

Bailey Braun comes to Ma'ayanot with a wealth of experience as a school social worker and Torah educator. Prior to joining Ma'ayanot, Mrs. Braun created a guidance program at Netivot HaTorah, a 600-student elementary school in Toronto. She also worked as a social worker at a public high school for at-risk teens. Mrs. Braun conducts lectures and seminars at retreat centers, college campuses, and synagogues throughout the U.S. and Canada on topics including Women in Jewish History, Chumash, mysticism, meditation, and poetry. She has a Master's in Social Work from Ryerson University, a B.S.W. from Lakehead University, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from York University in Toronto.

Natan Brownstein

Natan Brownstein

Natan Brownstein  studied at Yeshivat Orayta and then attended Yeshiva University, earning a Bachelors in Psychology from Yeshiva College, a Masters in Jewish Education from Azrieli, and Semicha from RIETS. Prior to joining Hillel Torah, Rav Natan worked at Brauser Maimonides Academy in Hollywood, Florida where he was a Rebbi, Director of After-School Learning, and the Middle School Judaic Studies Chair. He is currently the Director of Judaic Studies for Hillel Torah in Skokie, IL.

Jay Goldmintz

Jay Goldmintz

Jay Goldmintz is in his ninth year teaching Tanakh and Jewish philosophy at Maayanot Yeshiva High School where he has recently been spearheading an effort to “personalize Torah” through a change in pedagogy that seeks to help students connect their rigorous learning with their inner lives. Previously he was a Jerusalem Fellow and also served in various capacities as teacher, department chair, Israel and college guidance counselor, and eventually as Headmaster at Ramaz School for over 30 years. He is the author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning Koren Ani Tefillah Siddur and its companion Ani Tefillah Shabbat Siddur and has also published widely on curriculum, tefillah education, adolescent religious development and religious parenting. He has a forthcoming article in Jewish Educational Leadership on the work at Maayanot with Lifnai veLifnim.

Aliza Joel

Aliza Joel

Aliza Joel  has been teaching Tanach for over two decades. For the last 15 years she has taught Chumash and Navi in the Upper School of the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland, Ohio. Aliza is currently the JH Mashgicha Ruchanit and Tanach teacher in 6th-8th grades.  Aliza lives in Beachwood, OH with her husband and their five children.

tsvi-josephs

Tsvi Josephs

Tsvi Josephs is the Dean of Students at Oakland Hebrew Day School.  Joining the first cohort of North American Lifnai v'Lifnim educators during the covid 19 pandemic was a great opportunity for reframing and transforming his approach to teaching and what it means to be a part of a school community.  Tsvi's work with Laflaf is enriched by meditation and chi gong practices which support the work of opening up from the inside out.  Tsvi lives in Berkeley, California with his wonderful wife Naama.

Norma Mintz

Norma Mintz

Norma Mintz has been in the field of Jewish education for over 15 years, and she is passionate about both learning and sharing Torah. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University with a double major in English and education and an M.S. from Yeshiva University's Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration in secondary Jewish education. She also completed MaTaN's Joan and Shael Bellows Advanced Bible Program. She has taught both language arts and Judaic studies, and she currently serves as the co-director of Judaic studies at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School. Norma resides in Passaic, New Jersey, with her husband and family.

Yehuda Pearlman

Yehuda Pearlman

Yehuda Pearlman has been the Principal of BJPS since January 2013. He qualified for an MSc with distinction in Education Leadership and Management and a PG Cert with distinction in Jewish Education. He has recently completed with distinction a Post Graduate Foundation Course in Systemic Practice. He has presented numerous times at the National Conference for Jewish Studies Teachers, and as a Qualified Pikuach Inspector is a key member of the Pikuach working party currently developing criteria for Jewish Spiritual Development in Schools and rewriting the Pikuach Inspection framework to reflect those expectations.

Lisa Schlaff

Lisa Schlaff

Lisa Schlaff is the Director of Judaic Studies at SAR High School in Riverdale, New York where she teaches Gemara and Tanakh and supervises Israel Guidance. At SAR, Rabbanit Lisa has piloted an innovative Jewish sexual ethics curriculum and is currently co-leading a faculty research group on spirituality. She has an EdM in Curriculum Development from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and has completed coursework towards a doctorate in Talmud at New York University. Rabbanit Lisa has studied and taught at the Drisha Institute and is a graduate of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program.

Shira Schiowitz

Shira Schiowitz

Shira Schiowitz is a Tanach teacher at SAR High School where she also serves as Co-director of Professional Development. She previously taught Tanach and chaired the Tanach Department at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck, NJ.  Shira served as Assistant Dean at Lamdeinu of Teaneck during its first year, planning and implementing the opening of Lamdeinu, a full-time learning program initiative in Teaneck.  At the OU Women’s Initiative, Shira taught the first part of Yeshayahu to over 5,000 women worldwide as part of the Torat Imecha Nach Yomi Program and an interactive in-depth course examining the relationships between the melachim and Nevi’im in Tanach at the ALIT Summer Learning Program. Shira is the rebbetzin of the Shaare Tefillah community in Teaneck, NJ where she and her husband have served for the past 16 years. She received her master’s degree in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University.

Rick Schindelheim

Rick Schindelheim

Rick Schindelheim has taught upper school Judaic studies at the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland since 2013. His informal educational experience includes over a decade of work at Camp Stone in a variety of capacities. After studying in Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel for three years, Rick earned his B.A. in psychology from Yeshiva College and studied at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (REITS). He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and earned his Masters and Education Specialist degrees at John Carroll University in Cleveland. Rick lives in Cleveland with his wife, Louisa and their four children Mali, Rami, Etai and Ruthie.

Noah Sonenberg

Noah Sonenberg

Noah Sonenberg has been teaching at Bnei Akiva Schools since 2003 and has taught Torah, Halacha, Philosophy and Gemara. He developed a four year Gemara curriculum which works on developing the students’ ability to learn independently. Rabbi Sonenberg has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus on genetics, and studied in Yeshivat Bircas Hatorah in Israel after completing his university degree. Rabbi Sonenberg is passionate about learning and teaching Gemara, and also teaches adult Gemara classes in the community. Rabbi Sonenberg is married to Mrs. Rifka Sonenberg, who teaches at Ulpanat Orot, and together they have three children, Tamar, Boaz and Yishai.

Shmuli Soroka

Shmuli Soroka

Shmuli Soroka, M.S.Ed has been involved in Jewish Education for over twenty years, in both formal and informal settings.   In addition to his training as a Rabbi and educator, he has a background in marketing and once ran his own coffee company. His lock-down accomplishments include learning to play guitar and how to install a toilet. He currently teaches Judaic studies to Middle School students at Netivot HaTorah Day School in Toronto.  

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