OUR SPEAKERS FROM PAST PROGRAMS

Rabbi Motty Berger

 

Rabbi Motty Berger is a graduate of Loyola University and received his rabbinical ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore. Prior to moving to Israel he worked in anti-missionary activity and was the founder of Jews For Judaism. A world-renowned speaker, he is currently Senior Lecturer at Aish's Discovery, Essentials, Fellowships Programs and the Executive Learning Center.

Dini Coopersmith

 

Dini Coopersmith grew up in Israel, received her BA in Education from  Michlala College and her MA. in Jewish Studies at Touro college in Jerusalem

She has been working in education and outreach for the past 24 years and currently teaches at Midreshet Rachel, Shappel's college for women, Baer Miriam and Jewessence. She is the editor for the Hebrew website Aish.co.il.  She also writes articles for Aish.com. In addition she organizes and lectures on Aish women's missions and speaks on ELC, fellowships programs and to Aish Israel's Mothers With Meaning groups. She lives with her husband, Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith and their 5 children in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Eric Coopersmith

Rabbi Eric Coopersmith was the CEO of Aish International for many years. Originally from Toronto he received rabbinic ordination from Aish HaTorah and the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. In 1996 he became CEO, working closely with Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt"l to develop strategy and manpower for Aish International and the Jerusalem Yeshiva. He was formerly the North American director of the Discovery Seminars, and compiled Aish's kiruv primer, The Eye of a Needle. In addition to being a lecturer at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah, he  is currently running a Leadership program for young men who are being trained to do outreach. He has written, compiled and co-authored  several books replete with Rav Noach Weinberg's philoshophy and teachings.

Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith

Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith is the chief editor of Aish.com, one of the world''s largest Judaism websites. He is the author of Schmooze – A Guide to Thought Provoking Discussions on Essential Jewish Issues -- a must-have little book for anyone who loves a good question.

He has co-authored and compiled a number of books on Rav Noach's teachings. He teaches on the Gesher program at Aish, the intermediate and leadership development program and teaches philosophy on the Jerusalem fellowships at Aish.

Rabbi Coopersmith lives in Jerusalem with his wife Dini, and their 5 children.

 

Ilana Cowland

Mrs. Ilana Cowland, originally from London, England, received a BA in Jewish Studies from the University of London, as well as a diploma in counselling. Having spent 9 years working as a Rebbetzin in the London Aish HaTorah community, she and her family moved to Jerusalem in 2005 where she has been involved in teaching and education administration, including 3 years as the principal of a seminary for post high school graduates. She is the administrator and educational director of the Jewel program and also the educational director of Jewessence, a 4-month seminary program for women. Mrs. Cowland is an internationally sought after lecturer and educator specializing  in relationships and women's issues. In addition Mrs. Cowland is involved in teaching shalom bayit courses to young married women in Jerusalem. She lives with her family in Ramot Bet.

Shelley Dembe

 

 

Author and teacher Shelly Dembe inspires others toward optimum physical, nutritional and emotional health by restoring joyful purpose to everyday life. With over 30 years of life and professional experience and a passion for healthy living, Shelly inspires, entertains, and offers practical lessons from her life as a young mom, free spirit, empty-nester and nurse who eventually traded the ICU for a yoga studio.

Shelly travels worldwide to communities as a facilitator of YogaDance and leads retreats and workshops on physical and spiritual wellbeing. She also provides one-on-one personal training, weight loss coaching, yoga for anxiety and depression, and health counseling. She resides in Columbus, Ohio where she teaches classes and workshops in her home yoga studio. 

 

Elissa Felder

 

Elissa, originally from London, England  moved to the US in 1985. Her first child Sam died in surgery at the age of 5 months. This led to a life searching for meaning and purpose.

After raising her ensuing 5 children she returned to the workforce as a RN working in the field of women’s health.

Four years ago she led her first JWRP trip to Israel with 10 women from Providence, RI where she now lives. She regularly teaches and organizes follow up for the women who she takes to Israel on the JWRP trips. In addition she is active in the Providence Community Kollel teaching, organizing events and hosting Shabbat and Holiday meals in her home.

She is the co-leader of this mission.

Rav Gavriel Friedman

 

Originally from New York, Rabbi Gavriel Friedman has spent the last decade studying and teaching in various Yeshivas throughout Jerusalem. His lectures highlight the entire gamut of programs, including the Discovery Seminar, Jerusalem Fellowships, Executive Learning Center, Essentials Beginner’s Program and more.  A sought after speaker of the Jewish speaking circuit, Rabbi Friedman has lectured in dozens of locations around the globe, including South Africa, England, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, and across the United States. Rabbi Friedman’s charisma captivates audiences of all ages and inspires men, women and children across the Jewish spectrum.  His unique ability to present Torah concepts in an intriguing yet entertaining fashion leaves his audiences thirsting for more.  Rabbi Friedman currently resides in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem, with his wife and children.

Sarah Batya Friedman

Sarah Batya Friedman graduated from Mount Holyoke Collage with a degree in Women Studies/Pre-Med, and has worked in women's health care for over 30 years.  She has worked in a women's clinic, as a crisis counselor; as a child birth educator and doula; and as a counselor, specializing in women's intimate health issues.  She came to Israel in '89 and lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children.

Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser

Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser was born in Hollywood, California where he grew up at the foot of the mountains. He began surfing at a young age, and as the son of a surf-wear manufacturer, Yom Tov grew up traveling around the world on surf-travel expeditions A lover of music, Rabbi Glaser has been playing music professionally for over three decades.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California in Santa Barbara, he moved to Israel in 1991 to explore his Jewish origins studying at the Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies. After eight years of intense study, Rabbi Glaser received ordination.

Since 2000, Rabbi Glaser has a been a senior Rabbi at Aish Hatorah Jerusalem, a master orator who can be found lecturing and entertaining for organizations world wide. .In 1999, Rabbi Glaser concluded his training under a top psychologist, Efim Svirsky and since practices “spiritual therapy”, helping individuals to break through deep emotional/physiological blocks and to come closer to the G-d experience.

In 2002, Rabbi Glaser founded the internationally acclaimed Possible You self-transformation seminar, a company with an ever-growing world wide staff and alumni. Rabbi Glaser now resides in Jerusalem with his wife and children.  He studies, teaches, plays music and adventures in Jerusalem

Adrienne Gold

 

Mrs. Adrienne Gold was a fixture on Canadian television for almost two decades, both as host of her own daily fashion and beauty program, and as a regular contributor on scores of others.  After a visit to Israel, she was no longer interested in promoting issues of style, and turned her attention to matters of substance.  She is currently a popular lecturer across North America, and is a full time teacher for the JWRP.

 

Osnat Goldman

 

  • Marriage is the framework God gave us within which to enjoy intimacy

  • The quality of your intimacy affects every aspect of your daily life

Osnat is a yoga intimacy instructor and a certified yoga and yoga-therapy instructor, Tanakh / biblical grammar teacher, life coach, and mentor.  She studied at the Integrative School of Yoga, Refuah Institute and Michlalah in Jerusalem, and at Brooklyn College in New York City.  A wife, mother and grandmother, Osnat grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and lives in the Jerusalem area.  Among her many and varied interests, she and her husband are worldwide travelers and avid trekkers. 

As a yoga intimacy instructor, she works with women of all ages.  She works with clients individually or as part of  workshops on inner-fitness training, helping women build skills to enliven and enhance their intimacy experience.  

 

Rabbi Eitiel Goldwicht

Rabbi Eitiel Goldwicht is founding director of Aish Israel. He was born in Israel and moved with his family to the US when he was 11. He moved back here with his wife 10 years ago where he started Aish Israel. He runs many programs for Israelis on Chanukah and the High Holidays. In addition he runs the JWRP Israeli division and has opened an outreach Kollel for Israelis.

He does videos in his spare time for the Hebrew and English Aish websites. He and his wife live with their children in Rechavia.

Miriam Grosz

 


Born 50 years ago in Germany, Miriam's way to Judaism and to Israel was neither short nor simple.
Like so many others who did not grow up religious Miriam is trying to give back to the observant community by using her talents.
Since 2003 she teaches aerobics, spinning, Pilates and Zumba as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She also trains instructors at the National Sports Institute, Wingate.
"The workout's goal is not perfection, but connection" she points out. "Done right, a spin class or a Pilates, Zumba or yoga class can synchronize body, mind and soul. This connection creates love and strength and ultimately healthier and happier women.”

Miriam has 7 children and lives in Jerusalem

 

Nilli Grutman

 

 

Born and raised in Los Angeles to Israeli parents Nilli attended the University of California, Davis and received a degree in Bio-Chemical Nutritional Science. She created a Holistic Nutrition Clinic (www.HealthyRootsNutrition.com) in Calabasas California 6 years ago, and then  started  www.JerusalemNutritionist.com  a  year ago after making Aliyah. Her clinics are designed to help people with the interplay of emotions, genetic dispositions, food, movement  and self-awareness which  all collectively contribute to our health.

She now lives, works  and learns in Jerusalem and has the privilege of helping her clients via

Facetime, skype and phone

 

 

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

 

 

Internationally known as an outstanding scholar of Jewish Studies as well as a gifted lecturer, she has been a full-time faculty member of Neve Yerushalayim College in Jerusalem since 1980. Her areas of expertise include textual analysis of Biblical literature and Jewish philosophy with an emphasis on the teachings of Maimonides and Maharal. She is also particularly well known for her courses devoted to the role of women in Judaism and analyses of the lives of women in the Bible.

She is distinguished by her unique teaching style. Based on classical sources, her insights on virtually any topic within Jewish studies flow in a seemingly effortless stream. While leading her listeners along creative new lines of thoughts, she resorts to a disarmingly keen sense of humor to provide practical examples that illustrate and draw personal relevance from even the most abstract concepts.

Rebbetzin Heller is also noteworthy as an example of a woman who has managed to balance her responsibilities as a mother of a large family with her role as a leading public figure throughout her career in Jewish education.

A sought-after speaker, her lecture tours throughout the United States, Canada, England and South Africa always draw enthusiastic crowds.

Popular worldwide as a weekly columnist in Hamodia, Rebbetzin Heller is the author of four books, "More Precious than Pearls," "This Way Up," "Our Bodies Our Souls," "Lets Face It." and the recently published 'Return - Your Path to Lasting Change'

Debbie Hirsch

 

 Debbie Hirsch, the facilitator of Laughter CPR, graduated from the School of the Performing Arts studying drama, music and dance. She has performed across the United States, Great Britain and Israel.  She has run Laughter CPR workshops for groups from ages 8 to 80.   Every group that has hosted a workshop has requested more.
The skills used in improvisation are the same skills needed for a happy, successful life: flexibility, spontaneity, risk taking, positive reinforcement, active listening, laughing at one’s mistakes, and more.

The games used help prepare participants for challenging situations such as those with children, husbands, friends, co-workers and other nut cases. 

 

Some commonly heard reviews:

 “I laughed so hard, my cheeks hurt.”

 “That was fun and much cheaper than therapy.”

Chaya Lester

Chaya is a Jerusalem-based spiritual teacher & guide, psychotherapist, and performance artist. She offers private therapy & spiritual counseling in person or via phone and Skype. She loves leading spiritual journeys in Israel for groups and families - and has had the honor of creating journeys for the likes of Alicia Keys and other luminaries.

As co-director of the  Shalev Center for Jewish Personal Growth, Chaya trains and facilitates ongoing women's groups and teaches regular classes in the Jerusalem area and world-wide. 

Chaya holds an Ivy League BA in Religious & Jewish Studies, and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She also did extensive doctoral work on the theme of “Experiential Torah Learning” at Oxford University in England. 

Throughout all of her work, Chaya reveals how ancient Jewish wisdom can be deeply relevant and readily applicable to our 21st-century lives. Synthesizing Jewish wisdom, psychology and the arts, Chaya has sculpted an innovative approach to personal transformation & healing. 

She feels blessed to live in Jerusalem with her husband Rabbi Hillel and their 4 beautiful children. Her motto is: Every mess is messianic!

Chana Levitan

Chana Levitan is a renowned educator, author, lecturer, and relationship coach. Through her extensive professional experience over the past 22 years, she has counseled literally thousands of women and men. Her first book "I Only Want  to get Married Once" has been a bestseller in the Jewish and secular world. She is soon coming out with a 2nd book called: "That's Why I Married You", about living, and loving with Personality Differences. Chana resides in Jerusalem with her husband and children. Her driving passion is to give people the tools they need to trust themselves and their abilities to create a successful marriage…the first time around

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. Her book, The Blessing of a Broken Heart, won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004. An American immigrant to Israel she offers this hauntingly beautiful memoir of a year of grief following the horrific murder of her 13-year-old son, Koby, found stoned to death along with a friend by Palestinian terrorists near his Tekoa home in 2001. This profoundly moving prose-poem laces together Jewish tradition, memory, love and faith as the writer-mother recounts her transformation from shock to grief and compassion. Singular in its honesty and depth of emotion, it will leave you forever changed.

Ms. Mandell is a graduate of Cornell University and received an M.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado State University. She taught writing at the University of Maryland and at Penn State University. Her new book is entitled,” The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration.”

Rabbanit Yemima  Mizrachi

 

Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi recently was voted one of the most influential women in Israel and is one of the most in-demand speakers today. She attracts hundreds of women to her Shiurim, where she presents very deep messages with a sense of humor. She grew up in Jerusalem, where she became a lawyer, then married her husband and became a beloved teacher and guru for the masses, enchanting women of every background with her dramatic and charismatic delivery. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband

and children

 

Lori Palatnik

 

Lori Palatnik is a writer and Jewish educator, who has appeared on television and radio, and is the author of several books. Her latest, “Turn Your Husband Into Your Soul Mate” is available in bookstores now. She is a much sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Central America, South America, South Africa and Israel, including featured talks at Yale, Brown and Penn. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik; and is a regular speaker on Capitol Hill. Lori is the Founding Director of The Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, an international initiative that has brought thousands of women, and hundreds of men, to Israel each year from 19 different countries, on highly subsidized programs to inspire them with the beauty and wisdom of their heritage. She is the busy mother of five children; and her son, Zev, served as a sharpshooter in the IDF. Her weekly video blog, "Lori Almost Live" is a popular feature on the Internet, viewed by over 50,000 people each month. In 2014, Lori was named as one of the ten “Women to Watch” by Jewish Women International, in recognition of her contribution to Jewish women throughout the world; and Hadassah recently named Lori as one of the “Most Outstanding Jewish American Women of Our Time.”

On this trip we have Lori-live!

Sara Yocheved Rigler

 

Sara Yoheved Rigler’s path took her from India and Vedanta to Israel and Judaism. Her spiritual search first led her to India in 1968. There she studied with a guru who was both a mystic and an acclaimed Sanskrit scholar. A year later, she returned to the U.S. and finished her degree in psychology from Brandeis University. She spent the next fifteen years living in America’s oldest ashram, where she both practiced and taught Vedanta philosophy and meditation.

 

 

In 1985, she made a dramatic change of spiritual path. She moved to Jerusalem, began studying Torah, and became a highly committed observant Jew. In 1987, she married Leib Yaacov Rigler, a musician, composer, and arranger. At the age of forty, she gave birth to her first child, and at the age of forty-six, to her second child. The Riglers have lived inside the walled Old City of Jerusalem for twenty-five years.

 

Sara Yoheved Rigler is a highly acclaimed international lecturer, who galvanizes her audiences into making real improvements in their lives. She has spoken in Israel, England, Canada, South Africa, France, Mexico, and over 35 American cities.

Sara Yoheved is one of the most popular authors on www.aish.com, the world’s largest Judaism website.

Her bestselling book, Holy Woman: The road to greatness of Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer, has swept the Jewish world. In its 9th printing, Holy Woman is ArtScroll’s 2nd bestselling biography of the 62 biographies in its catalogue. Holy Woman has been translated into Hebrew and French. Her second book, Lights from Jerusalem, includes 53 chapters on Spiritual Growth, Great People, the Promised Land, Contemporary Issues, and Holy Days. Her third book, Battle Plans: How to Fight the Yetzer Hara includes 54 practical methods to combat every form of the negative inclination.
Her fourth book is called God Winked: Tales and Lessons from my Spiritual Adventures and her newest book is called “Heaven Prints”

She also presents a highly-acclaimed Marriage Workshop for women ( www.kesherwife.com) as well as the Ladder, a weekly teleconference workshop for single women.

Orit Esther Riter

 

Orit Esther Riter was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is a caterer by profession, holding a Culinary Arts degree from the Culinary Arts Institute in New Jersey.

However, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2006, Orit’s life direction took a different course. She was forced to close her off-premise catering company which served the Tri-State area for over fifteen years. Despite her incurable illness, she found healing through spiritual empowerment.

In 2009, Orit made aliyah with her family from Monsey, New York. She began teaching emuna to others. Essentially she went from feeding the body at simchas to feeding the soul b’simcha. She nurtures herself and others by emphasizing the importance of establishing a close knit relationship with Gd. She focuses on learning and teaching the essential value of living a meaningful life with simcha

Dina Schoonmaker


Dina is a teacher, popular lecturer and relationship counselor

A staff member of Michlalah Jerusalem College for over 20 years, Dina teaches a number of courses and runs a counseling hotline for alumni where she deals with issues such as dating and shalom bayit.
In addition, Dina lectures extensively throughout the seminary circuit on topics of personal development through the eyes of the Torah. 

Dina is a regular respondent in Mishpacha Magazine's "Advice Line" and has written for "The Klal Perspectives Journal", a forum for discussion of challenges facing the Torah community.

Most recently, Dina began a series of live mussar  vaadim for women throughout Israel. What started as a single small group mushroomed into 10 separate groups as the need for such a forum became obvious. In response to many requests to offer her Vaad internationally, she decided to launch a Vaad by teleconference so that anyone, anywhere, has the opportunity to participate. 

Dina lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Dovid, a Rebbe in Aish Hatorah, and their 7 children.

 

David Sussman

 

David Sussman is well known for his mastery of story-telling, charisma and colorful personality. David came to Israel on a visit in 2001 and never left. Since then he has immersed himself in the land and culture.  David served in the Israeli army in a combat unit as a lone soldier and after his near death experience in the Second Lebanon War, David realized the importance of educating people about Israel. He graduated from the Archeological Seminar's two year course in 2009 and become a licensed tour guide from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

David appears on cable network during a weekly show called Israel News Now as the in house tour guide for the segment called "Land of the Bible". David now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two kids.

 

 

Meira Svirsky

 

 

Meira Svirsky is the author of A Woman's Mitzvah, a fully sourced guide to the laws of Family Purity. In addition to many years experience teaching on this subject, Rebbetzin Svirsky also teaches and counsels on women and Judaism, shalom bayis, intimacy and parenting teenagers

In addition she is a journalist and works for Rabbi Raphael Shore's Clarion Project as the content manager of the organization's flagship website which creates awareness about and political activism against the worldwide threat of radical Islam. The site garners over 100,000 visits per month

Rebbetzin Svirsky is the mother of five children and lives with her husband, Rabbi Efim Svirsky in the Old City of Jerusalem

 

Susan Zehavi

 

 

Susan Zehavi, D.Ac, has been a Healing Practitioner for over 25 years. Sparked by a need to heal herself, Susan studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Nutritional Counseling, Lymph Drainage Massage, Iridology, TuiNa Massage, PsychoSpiritual Healing from a Torah perspective and Principled Living, a method of finding your own health from the inside out. Her integrative techniques help people who need to blend conventional and alternative medicines, with a goal to help everyone live life to their fullest potential.

Moshe Zeldman

 

Rabbi Moshe Zeldman was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. While doing his undergraduate work at University of Toronto in the 1980s, in the field of Artificial Intelligence, he was sparked into Jewish advocacy efforts. His community activism began when he was elected head of Jewish Students' Network, an independent national activist movement which represented students across Canada. During his tenure, Rabbi Zeldman led one of the first Jewish student delegations to visit the concentration camps in Poland, and was involved in Jewish lobby efforts in Ottowa with Canada's Prime Minister on a variety of Jewish issues. He also served on the executive board of the World Union of Jewish Students.

Rabbi Zeldman married his wife Malka and made Aliya to Israel in 1991, to study in Aish HaTorah's kollel in Jerusalem. He recieved Rabbinical ordination in 1996. He is a lecturer on a host of Aish programs- Jerusalem Fellowships, the Executive Learning Center, Jewel, and Discovery, where he has been at the forefront of Torah Codes research. He has a daily class in Jewish Philosophy in the Gesher program. He is also the educational director of Jerusalemonlineuniversity.com, where he has developed an online course in Judaism and Positive Psychology with Harvard University's noted scholar Tal Ben Shahar. Moshe frequently travels around the world lecturing to Jewish communities, and was instrumental in establishing Aish branches in Mexico and Chile.

Upcoming trip:
Nov. 5th -11th, 2019
  • womensreconnectiontrip