Shabbaton 2023 Faculty List
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Rabbi Manis Friedman
Rabbi Manis Friedman is a world-renowned author, lecturer, and philosopher. He is a noted Biblical scholar, recognized for his sagacious grasp of Jewish mysticism. Rabbi Friedman started an organization called “It’s Good To Know” which reaches thousands of people every month through his online classes and events.
He is the author of bestselling books Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?, which is in its eighth printing, and The Joy of Intimacy.
Rabbi Friedman was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1946 and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1950. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical College of Canada in 1969.
Dr. Simcha Leibovich
Dr. Leibovich is an international expert in leadership development.
He has spent his distinguished career building programming to develop Jewish leaders around
the world. He is the founder and director of the Outdoor Center for Leadership and Management at Neot Kedumim, the biblical landscape reserve in Israel.
Dr. Leibovich has worked in different capacities as an organizational advisor and personal
consultant to Government Ministries and private firms in Israel. He served as a program director for leadership courses for senior officers in the Israel Defense Force, police and security forces.
As a master in his field, Simcha was a co-editor of the Encyclopedia for Social Educational
He also was the Dean of Experiential Education at OROT – Academic College for Education.
While serving as the head of the World Zionist Organization in North America he created and
founded the Hebrew Language Council and National Association of Hebrew Teachers in North
After serving as the head of the World Zionist Organization in North America for four years, Simcha
founded the World Center for Leadership Training- Mt. Herzl and is now the head of the center.
David “Dudu” Fisher is a world-renowned singing sensation from Israel, best known for his Broadway performance as Jean Valjean in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. Fisher has released over 25 albums, including songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English, with many classics and cantorial pieces. He also dubbed the part of Moses in the Hebrew version of Steven Spielberg’s animated film, The Prince of Egypt. He will be performing on Saturday night with moving songs and stories.
Rebbetzin Esther Ofengenden
Rebbetzin Esther Ofengenden, is a renowned child and family psychologist. She is one of the foremost Russian-speaking lecturers on Jewish philosophy, relationships, communication, parenting, and family relations. She is the author of bestselling books, Grow and Life after the Wedding. Dr. Ofengenden practices family psychology in three clinics in Israel and one in Marina Roscha in Moscow and teaches in Machon Or Chaya in Jerusalem. She is attending from Israel.
Dr. Eduard Shifrin
Eduard Shifrin received a Ph.D. in metallurgy from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys and went on to found several businesses. He is the author of From Infinity to Man: The Fundamental Ideas of Kabbalah Within the Framework of Information Theory and Quantum Physics. He will be presenting selected topics from his book and will be signing copies.
Dani Dayan is the Consul General of Israel in New York. He previously served as chairman and chief foreign envoy of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.
Dayan holds a B.Sc. in Economics and Computer Sciences from Bar Ilan University and M.Sc. in Finance from Tel Aviv University. He is fluent in Hebrew, English, and Spanish.
Rabbi Eli Blokh
Rabbi Eli Blokh, originally from Moscow, is the executive director of the Chabad of Rego Park/Jewish Russian Community Center of Queens. Chabad of Rego Park serves the spiritual and material needs of a very diverse Jewish community. In addition to his rabbinic duties, rabbi Blokh is also the volunteer Jewish chaplain for the Forest Hills Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital and is on the ethics committee for Forest Hills Hospital.
Arsen Pereymer is a successful serial entrepreneur, technology visionary, influencer and philanthropist of Jewish causes. His track-record includes scaling many profitable and successful tech businesses, including releasing 400+ apps which amassed more than 100 million downloads and reached the top app store charts globally. Many of Mr. Pereymer’s apps, reached the #1 app in 100+ countries and have been prominently featured by Apple and Google. Mr. Pereymer frequently speaks at events and shares his tactics and strategies to help other aspiring entrepreneurs in growing their businesses on a large scale. He has been giving back to the tech community by mentoring 1000’s of entrepreneurs and helping them scale their businesses into multi-million dollar companies.
Nadia (Sara-Beyla) Lipes is a Jewish Genealogy Researcher, Guide, and Historian. She created a database called Lipesdatabaseto index Jewish Genealogy archival documents at www.lipesdatabase.com with over 1,000,000 entries.
she started a book-series called Genealogy for Dummies and is the author of several genealogical publications and a frequent speaker on Jewish Genealogy at conferences all over the world.
Born and raised in New York City, David Sacks attended Harvard College, graduating with a degree in Government. While there he began his comedy writing career as an editor of the school’s humor magazine, The Harvard Lampoon. Upon graduating, David moved to Los Angeles and began writing for television. Among the shows he’s worked for are “The Simpsons”, where he won an Emmy Award, and “Third Rock from the Sun” for which he won a Golden Globe Award, “Malcolm in the Middle”. He is currently Executive Producing “Final Space” an animated sci-fi comedy for Adult Swim. David is the co-founder and Senior Lecturer of The Happy Minyan of Los Angeles. David is married and raises his family in Beverly Hills, CA.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson (YY) is one of America’s premier Jewish scholars in Torah and mysticism, and one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world.
He is recognized as one of the most passionate and mesmerizing communicators of Judaism today, gathering his knowledge from the entire spectrum of Jewish thought and making them relevant to contemporary audiences.
Over the last twenty years, he has lectured to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on six continents and in forty states. As founder and Dean of TheYeshiva.net, he is teacher and mentor to thousands across the globe via the web, one of the largest Torah classes in the world today.
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 1,000 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.
Rabbi Aaron Reichel
Aaron Reichel is a rabbi, an attorney, an author, an editor, and an administrator. He wrote, edited, and/or supplemented various books, and wrote many articles on Jewish and secular subjects, some of which were republished by a U.S. Senate Subcommittee. He is most noted for having authored The Maverick Rabbi, about Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein (the R’chash) and 3 monographs on the influential West Side Institutional Synagogue. He was not the author of the biography of Chief Rabbi Cohen (by Frisch & HaCohen) or the book on Judaism and baseball (Rabbi Yisroel Roll), but he edited the translation of the biography of Rabbi Cohen and wrote a chapter which was included in the English translation of the biography of Rabbi Cohen and 2 chapters in the second edition of the book on Judaism and baseball.
German Nudelman was born in Leningrad and moved to Israel after finishing high school. Following demobilization from Israeli Defense Forces, he began his studies at Bar-Ilan University, graduating with the Ph.D. degree in Molecular Immunology. Since accepting an invitation to join the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan as a scientist in the field of Immunology, German had contributed to more than twenty peer-reviewed scientific publications, helping to elucidate the role of genetics in response to the influenza virus infection.
Dr. Marika D. Cherfas
Dr. Marika D. Cherfas specializes in Holistic Medicine as well as conventional Internal Medicine, and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Latvian Medical Academy in Riga, Latvia, in 1986. Dr. Cherfas is affiliated with Coney Island Hospital and New York Methodist Hospital.
Polina Dorosinskaya is a licensed mental health counselor and art therapist. Her clinical interests include treatment of addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and mood disorders. Polina works at the inpatient and outpatient levels of care bringing expressive therapies to help facilitate therapeutic change.
Rabbi Aryeh Katzin
Rabbi Aryeh Katzin is Dean of Sinai Academy, a High School for Russian immigrants in Brooklyn, NY. Rabbi Katzin produces a weekly radio program for Davidzon Radio called Jewish Life, reaching out to millions of listeners in the former USSR. He was a Jewish activist in Moscow from 1977 thru 1981, and studied Torah in the underground movement, and then taught Torah and Hebrew language under the watchful eyes of the KGB. His group included Yuli Edelstein and Yosef Begun. He immigrated to Israel in 1981, and continued his Torah Studies in Jerusalem, while being actively involved in educational projects for new immigrants. In 1992 he launched Yevreiski Mir, a Russian language Jewish weekly newspaper. Rabbi Katzin is the CEO of RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience).
Rabbi Benzion Laskin
Rabbi Benzion Laskin is the Program Director of Chamah International, Director of the Russian National Shabbaton, and Rabbi of Oceanview Jewish Center in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He is a sought-after lecturer and has been featured on lecture tours in the U.S, Israel, and Europe. Rabbi Laskin writes a weekly column called “The Jewish Home” in the national Russian newspaper Forum. He also hosts a radio program on Davidzon Radio, the largest Russian-language radio station in America with over half-a-million daily listeners, called Be Jewish. He is a frequent guest on Russian-American TV programs geared toward the Russian Jewish communities, with great success.
Dr. Eugenia Steingold
Dr. Steingold is a licensed psychologist. She has more than 12 years of experience working with children, teenagers, and families.
She graduated with a doctoral degree from Princeton University and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University.
She will discuss successful ways to communicate with spirited and stubborn teenagers.
Rabbi Kasriel Kastel
Rabbi Kasriel Kastel is the Program Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization (LYO). Since 1968, he has organized Shabbatons, provided counseling and headed the Speakers Bureau of LYO. Following the Six-Day War in 1967, he coordinated the Tefillin Campaign initiated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and encouraged thousands of Jews to begin laying tefillin. He organized the Jewish Free University with classes for novice Jewish learners on Sunday mornings and has been in operation for over ten years. He is the publisher of the Wellsprings magazine, and founding trustee of AJCP. He received his Rabbinical ordination from the United Lubavitcher Yeshivos in Brooklyn, NY.
Rabbi Yehoram Ulman
Rabbi Ulman is the head of the Rabbinical Court of Sydney, Australia. He is a halachic expert on a broad range of contemporary issues including IVF treatment, stem cell research, divorce, conversion, and other pressing issues.
He was born in Leningrad, USSR.
Myron Sugerman was born in Newark, New Jersey. For well over half a century, Myron did business with some of the most dangerous characters known to the public, including top-ranking members of the Genovese and Gambino crime families, La Corporacion, the Yakuza, and the Cali Cartel, among others. He is sought after for his counsel by the up-and-coming generation of the gambling machine business, to whom he is known as the “chief rabbi.” Myron Sugerman’s memoir, The Last Jewish Gangster: From Meyer to Myron follows the author from 1959 to the present day as he traveled the globe rubbing shoulders with dangerous men and legendary mob figures like Longie Zwillman, Meyer Lansky, Joe “Doc” Stacher, Gerry Catena, Tony Bananas Caponigro, Tommy Ryan Eboli, and others. The story covers everything from his dealings with the fearsome Cali Cartel to his attempt to help famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal track down the Angel of Death, Josef Mengele in Paraguay.
Ari Kagan is Brooklyn District Leader, and a much acclaimed TV and Radio journalist; he hosts popular programs on Russian Television Network of America and on Davidzon Radio (620 AM). He was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1967, and graduated from the Journalism Department of the Lvov Military Political College in 1988. Ari immigrated to America with his family in 1993. He graduated with honors from Baruch College in 1999 with a degree in business administration. Ari is a prominent leader and advocate on behalf of the Russian-American Jewish Community, and has received many awards for his outstanding service.
Dr. Aleksandr Ilyayev
Dr. Ilyayev is an internist and primary care doctor in New York with over 20 years of experience. As a professional, he demonstrates not only proficiency as a doctor, but an extremely caring attitude, and is very meticulous in providing top-quality care.
Dr. Ilyayev provides natural and traditional medicine by using Torah knowledge. He also provides urgent care services for his patients.
Mrs. Elana Ilyayev resides in Brooklyn with her husband, Dr. Ilyayev and children. As an accountant, she is her husband’s office manager. Aside from her professional responsibilities, Mrs. Ilyayev has had the privilege of speaking on many occasions, including hashafat hala events, schools, and Pesach hotel events. As a partner in a very effective Kiruv organization in Queens, together with her sister, she has seen great success in bringing women closer to Hash-m. Many women have made great strides in positive transformations in their lives as a direct result of Mrs. Ilyayev’s speeches. Women have taken on covering their hair, dressing modestly, lighting Shabbos candles and Yom Tov and most of all, developing a very close connection to Hash-m. Mrs. Ilyayev has demonstrated herself as a shining example to all who come in contact with her.
Rabbi Baruch Babaev
Rabbi Baruch Babaev has served as Chief Rabbi of the Bukharian Jewish Community from 2012 to the present. He is known as a powerful lecturer, and for his caring and positive impact on young and old alike. Among his many projects was the distribution of more than 50,000 Torah based CD discs in the Bukharian language.
Harav Babaev moved with his family from Samarkand to Israel in 1995. He received his Rabbinical ordination in 2002 from the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel. After further intense examination by Torah leaders Harav Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Abarzel and the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel, Rav Babaev became a Dayan (rabbinic judge).
As a reflection of his involvement and dedication to Bukharian youth, Rabbi Babayev was honored with the JIQ Elementary School Award.
Eugene Lekakh is the Executive Director of the American Forum for Israel and the Director of the US office of the Department for Promotion of Aliyah, World Zionist Organization. He was born in Moscow and raised in Perm (Russia), where he graduated from Perm State University with a dual degree in Sociology and Public Relations. After immigrating to America, he graduated from Fordham University with a master’s in Educational Leadership. As a PR consultant, he participated in election campaigns in Russia, the Republic of Georgia and the USA. He hosted a radio show at the Russian Jewish Radio in New York and managed media and educational projects in USA and CIS. Eugene is a role model for his love and dedication to Israel and the Jewish Nation. In 2018 he was honored by Chamah International with the 2018 Guardian of Israel Award.
Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky
Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky was born in Russia and educated in an underground yeshiva. In 1970 he immigrated to Israel and was a student at the Chabad Yeshiva. He relocated to the United States in 1976, where he continued his higher education.
He founded Bris Avrohom in 1979 under the direction of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The organization is dedicated to fostering Jewish identity amongst Jews from the Former Soviet Union.
Bris Avrohom has arranged 6,500 brissim and conducted over 900 group weddings in accordance with Jewish tradition. It also provides education for adults and children, daily and holiday services, a summer camp for children, a school for orphans in Zhitomer and sponsors Bar Mitzvah programs in Israel for those in need. Bris Avrohom has contact with over 30,000 individuals worldwide.
Sofya Tamarkin Born in the Soviet Union, Sofya lives in Philadelphia, runs an orthopedic company, and holds an MBA degree. She teaches Torah, travels the world, and is involved with RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience) and other outreach organizations. Sofya speaks at many conferences about positivity bias and how to integrate a more positive approach to life in everyday activities.
Rabbi Velvel Belinsky
Rabbi Velvel Belinsky is the spiritual leader of The Ariel Jewish Center and Synagogue, serving the Russian Jewish Community in Baltimore, MD. He was born in Leningrad, Russia, to a family of mathematicians. At a young age he aspired to become a scientist, but he was already playing major roles in the theater and the movies; professionals were recommending an acting career. As he was deciding between two careers, he discovered the beauty of his Jewish heritage. Today, Rabbi Velvel Belinsky is an ordained rabbi and a shaliach—an official emissary of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.
Rabbi Baruch Lepkivker
Rabbi Baruch Lepkivker is the Program Director of Bris Avrohom, an organization that has met the needs of Russian Jewish Immigrants in New Jersey since 1979. Rabbi Lepkivker organizes classes in English (ESL) and Jewish history, counsels families and individuals, lectures and teaches Torah, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. He organizes Jewish holiday celebrations, seminars, and Shabbatons at various venues.
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Levin
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Levin is Rabbi of the Chabad Lubavitch of Kensington. He was among the first emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to the FSU. Together with his wife, Doba, they serve one of the largest Russian Jewish Communities in Brooklyn. He immigrated to America from Russia in 1971 and established the publishing department of F.R.E.E. His lectures on the teachings of Kabbalah and Chasidism in Russian are available on YouTube.
Rabbi Dovber Baitman
Rabbi Dovber Baitman is a prominent Rabbi and lecturer from Ukraine.
Bassie Chudaitov is a much beloved teacher and mentor, who was involved in the Jewish underground in the Soviet Union, secreting Yeshiva students in her home at great personal risk, and an avid supporter of all activities of Chamah since its founding, together with her husband, Rabbi Moshiach Chudaitov.
Mrs. Sara Lieberman is a mother, lecturer and educator, and a long-time teacher in Bais Rivka Teachers Seminary.
Rabbi Chaim Meyer Lieberman
Rabbi Chaim Meyer Lieberman is a teacher, lecturer, and board member at Lubavitch Youth Organization.
Avraham Shneor Zalman Petrosian
Avraham Shneor Zalman Petrosian is an IT specialist, software developer, and author.
He is known for such projects as: “Torah Codes”, “Seder ha Dorot” and “Universal dates converter” apps for mobile.
He gives lectures about Israel and international law as well as lectures about modern science and how it relates to Judaism and the Torah.
He is mostly known for his strong criticism of the Theory of Evolution as well as his criticism of the idea that the world is billions of years old.
Avraham speaks fluent English, Hebrew, and Russian.
Zlata Razdolina is a composer, arranger, author, and performer. She has composed over 600 musical pieces in various genres. She is spoken of as a unique and distinguished phenomenon in musical culture.
Zlata Razdolina was born in Leningrad where she was awarded the highest musical degree. She is a laureate of many national and international musical competitions. She was forced to flee to Israel in 1989 because of threats by the nationalist, anti-Semitic organization Pamyat. She continued to advance in her musical career in Israel and contributed to many theater and cinema productions. Her composition, “My Dear Esther” won the Sholom Aleichem prize. She has composed song-cycles of many of the best-known Israeli and Russian poets, and is perhaps most famous for her Holocaust-themed requiem, “Song about Murdered Jewish People”. The song was acknowledged by the BBC as the most distinguished musical piece dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims.
Rabbi Avrohom Hertz
Rabbi Avrohom Hertz is the Shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Bensonhurst, Brookyn and spiritual leader of Congregation Tifereth Torah of Bensonhurst. He lectures Talmud classes for graduate students in Yeshiva Oholei Torah, Brooklyn. He also serves as one of the Dayanim/ Rabbinical Judge in Vaad Rabanei Lubavitch.
Rabbi Dan Rodkin
Rabbi Dan Rodkin is the head of the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton, MA. Tapping into his educational experiences in different countries, Rabbi Rodkin created an engaging, challenging, and well-rounded academic program in both Judaic and secular subjects.
Rabbi Rodkin was born in Moscow into a family of educators. At the age of fifteen, he began studying Jewish thought and tradition. Having studied at the most prestigious seminaries in Russia, Israel, and the US, Rabbi Rodkin earned his Master of Arts degree in Theology from the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ, and his Rabbinical Ordination from Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NY. He has published several articles in Hebrew and English on Jewish thought and education.
Sara Rodkin is a co-director of Shaloh House, Russian Jewish Center of Greater Boston. She was born in Latvia and moved with her family to America at the age of 15. She is an educator by profession, having taught elementary and middle school for more than a decade. She organizes and runs women’s events, teaches brides, has a weekly challah class, and speaks on a variety of topics in Jewish thought and philosophy.
Dr. Dmitry Shiglik
Dr. Dmitry Shiglik is Chairman of the American Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry. He also serves as President of the media company ORA Publishing, publishers of the weekly newspaper Forum-Weekly, Evreyskiy Mir (Jewish World). He is one of the founders of RAJI (Russian American Jews for Israel), the American Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry and the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jewry. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the executive committee of the World Zionist Organization, and President of the American organization “Israel Our Home” (Israel Beiteinu). Dr. Shiglik was born in 1951 in Ruzhin, Ukraine and served in the Army in Siberia as a paratrooper. He is a graduate of the Moscow Medical Institute.
MOISH is a rising star on the Jewish music scene. Check out his latest single “Fire in My Veins.”
Rabbi Menachem Chuzhin
Rabbi Menachem Chuzhin is involved with outreach in the Russian American Jewish Community of New York. He is the director of the Chamah Mobile Jewish Center.
Rabbi Zushe Winner
Rabbi Zushe Winner is a renowned scholar who has lectured and published on all aspects of Jewish wisdom. He is the Shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and established the Chabad Neshama Centers and is the spiritual leader of the Sea Breeze Synagogue. He also serves as a Rosh Yeshiva in the Lubavitch Central Yeshiva and is a Rabbinic Judge at the Lubavitch Beis Din.
Rebbetzin Esther Winner
Mrs. Winner is the Rebbetzin of the Seabreeze Jewish Center and the Rebbe’s Shlucha in Brighton Beach. She produced the acclaimed video and associated seminar series “A Taste of Shabbos”. She is a well-known motivational speaker, lecturing on a wide variety of topics related to the Jewish woman.
Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman
Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman is the President of Chamah. He was one of the founders of Chamah while under the watchful eye of the KGB in Soviet Russia. Chamah has grown to an international organization, extending humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of needy Jews in Israel, Russia, and the United States.
Rabbi Zaltzman is the author of the best-selling book, Samarkand, depicting the life of Chassidim and the perils of learning Torah and spreading the light of Judaism under the oppressive Communist regime. The book has received high acclaim and has been published in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian. It is also available as an audiobook and e-book.
The conference begins in: