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AM YISRAEL FOUNDATION
Rabbi Shlomo Chayen
Rabbi Shlomo Chayen is our Educational Director. He was born in 1984 in the United States and made Aliyah with his family at the age of two. Shlomo was raised in Petah Tiqva and continued his religious education at the hesder Yeshivat Ma’alot in northern Israel. While learning at yeshiva he was in charge of community outreach. Shlomo entered the IDF in 2004, and during his service he became a commander in the Paratroopers Unit, and went on to create a new unit in the reserves called Yassar. This unit is unique in that its mission is to enter enemy territory to retrieve casualties and their body parts, as Zaka would within Israel. As the Yassar commander, Shlomo brought together top-line combat soldiers, who are skilled in navigation, parachuting, helicopter flying, urban warfare, etc. as well as those who are especially sensitive to and understanding of the importance of this holy service. During the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, Shlomo also created Am HaNetzach, a nonprofit organization to assist the affected families where he managed over 2000 volunteers.
After his army service in 2007, Shlomo entered the Meretz Kollel in Mevatzeret Tzion. Shlomo become the Chief Operations Officer of the Sharei Mevatzeret Tzion Yeshiva for both the boys’ and girls’ international programs and COO of the Torah Betzion Institute. At this time, Shlomo completed a professional course in nonprofit management, and studied both life and couples coaching. Shlomo began his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Rehovot College in 2010 and in 2012, he received rabbinical smicha from Rabbi Weitzman of Ma’alot.
Shlomo moved to Tel Aviv and became the educational director of a Tel Aviv outreach program working with young Israeli business leaders. In 2015, Shlomo also was inaugurated as the official community rabbi of the North Central Synagogue at 126 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, which he tremendously helped to revive, making him the beit knesset’s first rabbi in over thirty years. Most recently, Shlomo has been the main rabbi of young & vibrant Jewish community in Tel Aviv as the Educational Director of the Am Yisrael Foundation and co-founder of our Torah Tech program. Shlomo is approved to perform weddings under the Tel Aviv Rabbanut (www.TLVRabbi.com), having married off many dozens of happy couples, accompanying them throughout the entire process. He has a black belt in Krav Maga, plays guitar, sings, plays basketball, and is a trained and active volunteer emergency first-responder medic with Hatzalah. Currently, Shlomo is also enrolled at the Open University working on another degree in Sociology. Shlomo and his wife Chemda, an MD in pharmacology, live in Tel Aviv with their five adorable children – Neriya, Eitan, Talya, Amichai & Nili.
Rabbi Jonathan Feldman
Rabbi Jonathan Feldman is the director of Tribe Tel Aviv and a community educator for the Am Yisrael Foundation. After attending Cornell University, he received his Rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from New York University. He worked for many years in Jewish outreach with the Manhattan Jewish Experience on the Upper East Side of New York and has lectured widely as a guest speaker on Jewish topics. Recently he made Aliyah with his family. You can find his blog, Living in Israel and his Podcast, Jewish Matters, at rabbijonathanfeldman.com
Rabbi Gary Sheva
Rabbi Gary Sheva started his creative career working for Disney, then ABC in their digital division. He has help developed startup companies in the profit and non-profit space, and is sought after for his knowledge in the world of branding and design.
Gary has been involved in the field of Jewish education for over 20 years. His background in art, technology and Jewish education make him uniquely skilled in bringing these worlds together to produce world-class projects that have a profound impact.
Gary is the founder of the Jewish Life Series, devoted to making Jewish knowledge and practice accessible through the combination of high-end art and design with outstanding educational content.
He is world renown for the clarity he brings in making Jewish ideas accessible to audiences in America and abroad.
Yehuda Goldberg is deeply engrossed in the Torah world and high-tech sector, specializing in media start-ups. Yehuda made Aliyah from Passaic New Jersey and served in Nachal 931 as an IDF infantry soldier. Upon release, Yehuda quickly found his place in Tel Aviv, the Jewish start-up capital of the world. Climbing the ranks to positions such as Senior Marketing Manager at Matomy Media and Director of Marketing at start-up Adorika Media where he managed their seats on the largest ad exchanges in the world. Most recently, Yehuda founded Torah Tech Tel Aviv gap year program and PPI Media, where he executes big budget campaigns for notable brands such as Microsoft, Cisco, Verizon, and Toyota. Yehuda lives in Tel Aviv with his wife Riki and their four amazing children.
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