Rabbi Elie and Miriam Schwartz
OU-JLIC educators at the university of maryland
Miriam Schwartz is originally from Great Neck, NY. Miriam spent a year studying at Migdal Oz and attended Stern College for Women. She was a fellow at the Legacy Heritage Jewish Educators Project, a program that trains Jewish educators through courses in education, psychology and Judaic studies, as well as intensive fieldwork in classroom settings. Miriam was an OU-JLIC Fellow at Queens College, and has taught Judaic Studies at the The Yeshivah of Flatbush High School and the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, where she was also the co-director of Student Activities. She completed her Masters in Jewish Education from the Azrieli School of Jewish Education and is still pursuing a masters in Bible at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.
Miriam loves watching the West Wing and Shark Tank, reading, and cooking different ethnic cuisines. She also does Tai Chi and Yoga (and can sometimes convince Rabbi Schwartz to join her). Although she has Celiac disease, Miriam enjoys selflessly baking delicious glutenous desserts. It should also be known that she makes some of the world’s greatest ghormeh sabzi, a special feat since although she grew up in Great Neck, Miriam isn’t even Persian.
Rabbi Elie Schwartz is originally from Cleveland, OH, and a die-hard Cavs fan. Rabbi Schwartz spent two years studying at Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion and a third year at Yeshivat Keren B’Yavneh. After Israel, he attended Yeshiva University where he graduated cum laude with a BA in Philosophy. He then completed semikha at RIETS and completed his masters in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He has served as the interim assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohab Zedek on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and as an OU-JLIC Fellow at Queens College. For the past two years, he has been a Fellow of the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel in Chicago, where he has had the privilege to spend time furthering his learning while also creating innovative educational programming for the entire Jewish community, from running Thanksgiving programs for kindergarteners to giving shiurim to senior citizens.
Rabbi Schwartz has many interests ranging from quantum physics to politics. In his spare time he enjoys reading and listening to podcasts at 2x speed, and is always looking to learn something new. He has a special place in his heart for Marvel movies, a good tisch, and the Dave Matthews Band (and hopes to continue his 11 year streak of going to a Dave concert at least once a year). He also loves basketball, and has played alongside friends who have gone on to play college ball.
Rav David Aaron
Isralight Founder and Dean, Rosh Yeshiva Orayta
Rabbi Aaron founded Isralight in 1986, is a visionary educator and author. His books have been published by major publishing houses including Random House and Putnam. He has taught thousands of students and reached millions through appearances on programs including Larry King Live and E! Entertainment.
Rabbi Aaron received Semicha from the Israel Torah Research Institute, Yeshivat Itri, and is a disciple of the distinguished Dayan Rav Shlomo Fischer, Shlita. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Chana, and their seven children.
Rav Binny Friedman
Rosh Yeshiva, Orayta
Rabbi Binny Freedman is a highly engaging and inspirational educator who has a gift for synthesizing difficult, sophisticated material in a way that inspires both the novice and the scholar. His proficiency in applying classic Jewish concepts to contemporary life in a personal and meaningful way has made him a sought after speaker throughout North America and around the world.
Rav Binny received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel while studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion under the tutelage of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, and pursued his BA and MA studies in Education at the Herzog Teacher's College in Israel.
Rav Doron Perez
Director, World Mizrachi
Rav Doron Perez is the newly elected Director of the World Mizrachi Movement. He previously served the South African Jewish community for 15 years as the Rabbi of the Mizrachi Movement, Senior Rabbi of the Mizrachi Shul and the Head of Yeshiva College schools. Rav Perez is the author of the book “Leading the Way”.
Rav Hillel Van-Leeuwen
EDUCATIONAL DIRECTOR, World mizrachi
Born in Chicago and raised in Israel, Rav Hillel spent 3 years as a shaliach in Toronto, Canada, where he taught at CHAT while being involved in several educational projects and summer camps. For the past 11 years, Rav Hillel served as the Head of the English-speaking Program at Midreshet Yeud. He joined World Mizrachi as Educational Director in the summer of 2015.
Rav David Milston
Director of the Overseas Program, Midreshet HaRova
Rabbi David Milston has been the Director of the Overseas Program at Midreshet HaRova for the last twenty-one years. Born and raised in London, Rabbi Milston earned a B.A. in Jewish Studies at Jews' College where he became a talmid "muvhak" of Rabbi Isaac Bernstein zt'l. He studied for several years at Yeshivat Har Etzion under the guidance of Rav Yehuda Amital, zt”l and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, shlitah, and received semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
In addition to his role at Midreshet HaRova, Rabbi Milston lectures and delivers shiurim to youngsters and adults, including in his home community of Alon Shevut where he lives with his wife and their six children. He also performs weddings for couples, both religious and secular, all across Israel, through the Tzohar organization.
Rabbi Milston is currently working on his book, Ki Va Moed, a two-series book on the Jewish calendar, which follows his series, The Three Pillars, on the subject of Parshat Hashavua.
Yavneh campus Coordinator
Jeremy Tibbetts grew up in the Boston area, attending South Area Solomon Schechter Day School, Gann Academy, and Newton North High School. He spent his gap year at Hebrew University and Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa. He left Israel with two commitments: spending his life cultivating his connection to Judaism and Israel, and finally finishing the last season of Breaking Bad (still his favorite show!). Even before he was registered for college courses he was a board member of UMass' Student Alliance For Israel, and soon became involved with UMass' Orthodox Jewish group KHH as well as working with his local Hillel board and Hillel International's Student Cabinet. Jeremy was also active in UMass Amherst's Student Government Association, worked on local and national interfaith initiatives through InterFaith Youth Core, joined Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and finally learned how to ride a bicycle. In the summers you would usually have caught him at Camp Yavneh where he was a camper and staff member for over 10 years. One of his proudest achievements is having a Youtube playlist of niggunim with over 1,500 views. Jeremy firmly believes that building up our communities is the strongest way to build up ourselves.
In addition, the LEARNING PROGRAM will feature a rotation of outstanding Torah scholars teaching a variety of topics.