KossowskyRav Ira Kosowsky (Director) is a dynamic and inspirational educator who believes in personal growth through open discussions, in-depth Torah study, and community involvement. He established Student Leadership Programs in many countries – including England, South Africa and the United States – that are characterized by practical leadership training, which has empowered the graduates to get involved in many meaningful challenges in the Jewish world. He has rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University, and a Master's degree in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School.

 

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GoldfischerRav Ben Tzion Goldfischer (Mashgiach Ruchani) is a talented and popular educator both in the formal and non-formal realms. He has inspired and affected countless students at Midreshet Moriah, Birthright, Aish Hatorah, NCSY, Reishit Yerushalayim and Torat Shraga, among others. Rav Goldfischer founded and directs NCSY’s Jerusalem Journey and Ambassadors Programs (TJJ/TJJA), a month-long touring and learning program in Israel for public school students. He received his Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University and holds a BA in Biology and History. He is also a licensed tour guide through the Ministry of Tourism of Israel. Rav Goldfischer grew up in West Orange, NJ. He made Aliya in 1999 and lives in Modiin with his wife and five children.

 

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AvrahamMrs. Meryl-Lee Avraham (Assistant Director) has an ability to impart her passion for Torah and mitzvot in a manner that is truly unique. She is able to synthesize classroom curriculum into the terms of daily living, while building confidence and self-esteem in her students. Meryl-Lee was the director for many years of a vast network of outreach programs throughout New Jersey known as L.A.V.E. (Life And Values Education). She founded the Ari Kraut Friendship Circle, which provides community assistance to families with special needs children, by pairing the children with trained and eager teen volunteers.

 

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BlankMrs. Dina Blank (Executive Director) has been part of the Machon Maayan family since its inception. As a faculty member, Dina’s sense of humor and down-to-earth mannerisms have filled her classrooms and challenged our students. Over the years, Dina has also run Machon Maayan’s successful shana bet program and maintained close relationships with Machon Maayan alumni for years. In September 2012, Dina joined the Machon Maayan administration as Director of Finance, drawing on her vast experience managing educational institutions in Israel. Dina lives in Beit Shemesh with her husband and four children.

 

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shulyMrs. Shulamith Baruch is originally from Lawrence, NY. She is a talented fine artist, graphic designer and illustrator. She has been involved in outreach with Partners in Torah. She is one of the founders of Kulanu, an organization that was conceived around her kitchen table along with a small group of mothers of children with special needs. She is dedicated to developing relationships with her students, while inspiring and encouraging them to recognise their own unique talents and creative styles.

 

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BramsonRav Michael Bramson is a warm and engaging teacher, who caters to the needs of each individual student. The influence of his talents have been felt during the summers by the Ethiopian community of Natzrat Elit in Israel, during Shavuot & Simchat Torah in the city of Newport News, Virginia, on Shabbatonim throughout New Jersey, and as one of the most successful teachers at the Berman Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington. Rav Bramson has Rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva University and a BA in Psychology. His summer daily halacha is subscribed to by almost 60 of our alumni.

 

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EtigsonMrs. Dina Etigson's students thrive on her rare combination of intellect and spirituality. After receiving her BA from State University of New York at Albany and working at Morgan Stanley, Mrs. Etigson moved to Israel and joined the Matmidot Program at Matan. In addition, Mrs. Etigson participated in the Machon Gevoha Program at Nishmat.

 

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rav-zahtzRav David Zahtz grew up in Jamaica Estates, NY. After attending MTA for high school, he studied at Kerem B'Yavneh for two years. He then returned to Yeshiva University to learn under Rav Mayer Twersky and to finish a degree in Psychology. Immediately upon finishing his BA, Rav Zahz completed the semicha program at RIETS, learning first in New York and later on the Jerusalem campus. In addition to joining the Machon Maayan staff, he is the Overseas Program Mashgiach and Director of Programming for Kerem B'Yavneh Yeshivah.  

 

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FischerMrs. Pesha Fischer has worked as the Campus Torah Educator at the University of Maryland. Previously she was the Judaic Studies Coordinator at Yavneh Academy in Dallas. Mrs. Fischer has studied in the Bruriah Scholars program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan. She holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. She has taught at MMY and Michlelet Neve Daniel and is also currently teaching at Tiferet.

 

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Melanie Mernick Melanie Mernick’s teaching experience is both broad in nature, and international in scope. In addition to teaching and mentoring students in Toronto, Vancouver, Dallas and Minsk, Melanie was the Women’s Campus Em Bayit (Dorm Mother) for the Israel Experience @ Bar Ilan University for the past two years. Each year, she mentored around 50 girls, stemming from a wide range of backgrounds. The students were regular guests at her Shabbos table and appreciated a warm home-away-from-home. Prior to that, Melanie and her husband worked for NCSY in Canada.

Melanie’s experience outside of the classroom includes directing a girls overnight camp, producing a fashion show, and teaching girls how to water-ski. Currently, Melanie is also running extra-curricular programming at Yerushalayim Torah Academy, a girls high school in Jerusalem.

Melanie is originally from Toronto, Canada, and proud to be in Israel, with her husband and three children.

 

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SimchaRav Simcha Hochbaum is a resident of Chevron's Avraham Avinu neighborhood. His song-filled and soul-stirring shiurim in Chassidut, Tefila, and other various topics have inspired thousands of students. A long time student and musmach of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt"l,  Rav Simcha graduated Yeshiva University with a B.S. in accounting and studied at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He was the Rabbi of The Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City, a Judaic studies instructor at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford CT, and has taught at a number of Israeli yeshivot and midrashot. In addition, Rav Simcha has founded a number of "Carlebach Minyanim" throughout Israel. He is the Director of Tourism in the Holy City of Chevron and delivers tours of Chevron, The Old City of Jerusalem, Kotel Tunnels as well as neighborhoods throughout Yehuda and Shomron.

 

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TobinDr. Dodi Tobin holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College, and an M.A. in Tanach from Bar Ilan University. She is also a graduate of the Matan Masters Program in Bible and Biblical Education.  In addition to teaching at Machon Ma’ayan, she is the Director of Matan Bet Shemesh, and lectures at Matan branches throughout Israel. Dr. Tobin's inspirational lectures combine literary analysis, classical commentary, modern scholarship and psychological expertise to facilitate a rich understanding of biblical texts while underscoring their message for contemporary society. Dr. Tobin has worked as a psychologist and researcher, and has published studies on the post-high school Israel experience and aliya absorption issues. She is the former Director of Social Services for Nefesh B'Nefesh and has served on the administrations of Nishmat and Pardes. Dr. Tobin made aliya in 1998, and resides in Beit Shemesh with her husband Marc and four children.

 

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WexlerRav Aharon Wexler made aliya after high school and studied in Yeshivat HaKotel. After Yeshiva, he studied for his BA in Archeology and then went back to Yeshivat HaKotel for his Rabbinic Ordination. Rav Wexler went on to earn an MA in Jewish History and is now a Doctoral Candidate. Rav Wexler teaches in many post-high school Yeshiva programs and during the summers leads Birthright-Israel tours, and other educational touring programs.

 

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ravjohnnyRav Johnny Solomon is a passionate Torah learner, a reflective Torah thinker and an energetic Torah teacher. He is a graduate of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, has a BSc (Hons) in Math and Religious Studies and was a major scholar at the Montefiore Kollel in London from where he received Semicha. Until making Aliyah in 2012, Rav Johnny lived and taught in London and was the Head of Judaic Studies at Hasmonean Girls’ School. In addition to teaching at Machon Ma’ayan, Rav Johnny is a Jewish education consultant and writes classes, shiurim and courses for Rabbis and teachers. Rav Johnny lives in Yad Binyamin with his wife Donna and his five daughters.

 

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SHS 0256Yonit Mehatzri joins us for a second year as Em Bayit at Machon Maayan, after returning from two years on shlichut in Chicago. Luckily for us, she is also a certified tour guide. She lives on the Givat Washington Campus with the students, who all are made to feel like a part of her family! 

 

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