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Founder and Dean
Rabbi Brickman is a Yeshiva University Alumnus and has extensive experience working in Jewish outreach. He has worked in various positions in NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth) including running a camp in Russia. He was an educator at the Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, Connecticut, as well as at the Jewish Heritage Center in Queens, New York. Rabbi Brickman has been the Dean of the Derech Institute at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem for over 12 years and has served as Dean for the Chai Israel program since its inception.
Co-Founder and Director
Rabbi Zwick was born and raised in Queens, New York. As a teenager, he was an avid NCSYer who went to study in Israel after high school. After spending nearly 10 years in Yeshivot, Rabbi Zwick received his Semicha (Rabbinical ordination) while attending the famed Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He was a Rebbe in various schools such as Neveh Zion, Ohr Chadash, Ner Yaakov and has launched learning programs for the L’man Achai Organization. While studying towards his B.A. in psychology at Touro college, Rabbi Zwick was employed by Ohel Beis Ezra for two years as a program coordinator, working with disabled adults. Returning back to the world of NCSY, Rabbi Zwick served as Director of Informal Education for NCSY Canada in Toronto. During his 4 years working with NCSY Canada, much of his time was devoted to Jewish outreach for Torah High and JSU. In Toronto, he was also the in-house Rabbi for JUMP – The Jewish Urban Meeting Place, a center for Birthright Alumni students. Rabbi Zwick and his wife Malka along with their four children made Aliyah in 2008 in order to launch the long awaited Chai Israel Program. They currently reside in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Avraham Yaakov (Craig) Davidson is the managing director of Chai Israel. After several years of learning in Aish HaTorah, Ohr Avraham and the Mir Yeshiva, he received his Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva Torah Ohr.
Rabbi Davidson has had extensive leadership and educational training from the Ohr Lagolah Program of Ohr Somayach, the Ner Le'elef Outreach Program and was awarded a Teachers Training Diploma from the UK.
His work experience includes teaching in various Chadarim in the UK, Fellowships Programs, Derech, Ohr David and Yesod.
Rabbi Davidson graduated with honours in Business Management from Manchester University with accreditation from Macquarie University in Australia and he spend a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Director of Education
Rabbi Menashe Bleiweiss currently teaches Talmud, Jewish law, and Contempory Jewish issues at Chai Israel. He is also our program’s official tour guide. Rabbi Bleiweiss is director of Lander College’s Tour Guide Training Course. He is a licensed guide throughout the land of Israel and also maintains a private therapy practice. In the past, he coordinated Ner LeElef’s Campus Kiruv Program, edited the quarterly Jewish Spectator, was a member of the Domestic Violence Division at Neve Yerushalayim’s Family Therapy Institute, was director of Yeshivas Hamivtar in Efrat, and was both a Jerusalem Fellow and a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Heand his wife, both UC Berkeley graduates, made aliyah in 1994, and live in Telzstone with theirfour daughters and four sons.
His website is: www.menashebleiweiss.com
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