Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Seif
Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Seif is a scholar and community builder whose dream it has been to open an integrated yeshiva/midrasha program.
He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and received his ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. He received his BA from Columbia College, his MA in Religion and Education from Columbia’s Teacher’s College, and Israeli Teacher Certification from Herzog College. He was a fellow at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at the Cardozo School of Law, and he completed his PhD in Religious Studies at University of Pennsylvania. Rabbi Seif has extensive formal and informal educational experience teaching and leading programs for high school and college students. He served as a Senior Program Officer at the Tikvah Fund, a foundation devoted to Jewish excellence and promoting serious Jewish thought about the enduring questions of human life and the pressing challenges that confront the Jewish people. After initiating a high school scholars program at the foundation, R’ Seif taught Tikvah Scholars classes at Kohelet Yeshiva High School, focusing on the intersection between Jewish law, thought and Western Humanities. He served as the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus educator at the University of Pennsylvania from 2002-2006.
He, along with his wife Orit and their five sons currently live in Efrat.
Rav Yair HaLevi (Eisenstock)
Rav Yair HaLevi (Eisenstock) received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinate of Israel and Yeshivat Hamivtar as well as a B.Ed and M.Ed Degree in Talmud and Tanach from the Herzog College. Rav Yair taught Gemara at Orot Yehuda (3 years), an Israeli high school and was the Ram of grade 11. Rav Yair served as the Director of the Overseas Program at Yeshivat Hesder Otniel. In addition to directing the program, Rav Yair served as a Ram to both Israeli and Overseas first year students and taught Gemara, Tanach and Chasidut. Rav Yair then continued to Yeshivat Orayta (4 years), where he served as Director of Informal Education, a Ram and Rosh Kollel in the yeshiva. During the summers Rav Yair has been involved in Bnei Akiva programs and worked with the Kol HaNearim program, which brings volunteers to Israel to organize summer camps for children at risk. He also served in the Infantry Corps in the IDF. Rav Yair and his wife, Tanya, have three children, Ohr-Eitan, Adiel, and Roni Shirat Yocheved.
Rav Shaul Feldman
Rav Shaul Feldman is the Executive Director of Bnei Akiva of the US and Canada and just recently served as the campaign manager for the Religious Zionist Party in the World Zionist Congress elections. He received smicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and a law degree from Bar Ilan Law School.
Today, Rabbi Feldman is a highly admired Rav both in Israel and North America and mixes a keen mind with humor and a down to earth nature. After serving as a paratrooper in the IDF, he went on to teach in the Kerem B’Yavneh overseas program, Stern College and Torah Mi’Zion Kollel. In the past six years, Rabbi Feldman built a network of Bnei Akiva Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) sent to North America, consisting of 11 families and over 20 young shlichim. He also founded the new Moshava Ba’ir day camp network that serves close to 1,000 campers in several states. Most recently, he founded Yeshivat and Midreshet Torah v’Avodah.
Rabbi Feldman is married to Libby and has 5 children.
Rav Dan Katz
Dan Katz has been serving as the Director of Bnei Akiva’s Mach Hach BaAretz touring program for the past eight years, and as a Rebbe and Alumni Coordinator at Yeshivat HaKotel for the past fourteen years. He has spent many summers as part of the leadership team at Camp Moshava, Indian Orchard, and was an active member of Bnei Akiva of New York before coming on Aliyah fourteen years ago. Rav Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, a masters in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Semicha from Yeshiva University.
Rav Dan has worked with thousands of teens, young adults and parents over the course of his career. He is consistently recognized as an extremely talented educator, always respectful of each and every person with whom he deals and perpetually calm and level-headed. The YTVA/Chovat administration is confident that his unique talents will bring a fantastic new vibe to the beit-midrash, and that his professionalism and dynamic personality will add immeasurably to the YTVA/Chovat experience.
Rav Albert Katz
Rav Albert is originally from Houston, Tx. After graduating high school from Robert M. Beren Academy, he learned in Yeshivat Orayta for 2 years. Following Orayta, he officially made Aliyah and joined hesder (a program that is a joint service of army and Yeshiva) in Yeshivat Otniel. He has a B. Ed from Herzog college and an MSW from Yeshiva University. He worked in Yeshivat Torah V’Avodah as a Rebbe for 3 years and is now a key member of the Kollel. He is married to his wife Gabi, also originally from Houston. They have 2 beautiful children, Tzofia Techelet and Lev Daveed.
Rav Yishai Abrams
Rav Yishai Abrams hails from Johannesburg, South Africa and learnt for seven years at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Ramat Gan. He served as part of the Handassah Kravit (Combat Engineering) unit in the IDF and is currently pursuing a B.A. in History and Education at Israel’s Open University. Rav Yishai has vast experience working with Bnei Akiva around the world and is passionate about developing the youth into the hopeful leaders of the future. He loves music and baking and lives with his wife Rachel (a nutritionist) in Jerusalem where she is an Eim Bayit for MTVA.
Rav Eli Weinstein
Eli Weinstein grew up in Teaneck New Jersey and moved to Yerushalayim just three years ago with his wife Arianne (Pinchot) and their three children, Miri, Ari Shalom, and Shoni. After going MTA for high school, he spent two years adventuring into the self and the Torah in Yeshivat Sha’alvim. From there he went to Yeshiva University’s business school, focusing on Business Management, Marketing, and the dialogue between Torah and Western Thought. Following university/Yeshiva, Eli continued learning for semicha which began in YU in Manhattan, and continued for the past two years in YU’s Yerushalayim campus (Gruss). Eli loves learning, spiritual adventures, touring, and making life as colorful as possible. Living only a few hundred feet from the yeshiva’s campus, the chevra is part of the Weinstein family!
Rav Avichai Berkovits
Rav Avichai Berkovits, born and raised in Jerusalem, represents a unique blend of religious scholarship and artistic passion. His educational journey in Jewish studies took him through the prestigious Yeshivot of Carmel and Shilo, followed by advanced Talmudic studies at Eretz Chemda Kollel. Simultaneously, he pursued his love for music composition, culminating in a Bachelor of Education from Herzog College.
His commitment to Israel and its people is evident from his service as a tank gunner in the IDF, a role that instilled in him values of discipline and duty. Following his military service, Rav Avichai focused on Jewish education, significantly influencing youth through his leadership in Australian Counterpoint and IST seminars.
Along with his wife Tifferet, Rav Avichai served as Rosh Kollel Torah Mi’Tzion at Moriah College in Sydney, Australia. There, they dedicated themselves to Jewish education, profoundly impacting the community with their deep knowledge and commitment to Torah values.
Rav Ezra Pachino
Rav Ezra Pachino is the esteemed Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva, deeply committed to Torah scholarship and community leadership. He is married to Tehila and they are the proud parents of four children. Rav Pachino’s educational journey began in the nurturing environment of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, and Yeshivat Beit El. In addition to his yeshiva studies, Rav Pachino is nearing the completion of a degree in Law.
At the prestigious Eretz Chemdah Kollel he achieved a distinguished level of scholarship, leading to his certification as a Rav Ir, a city rabbi. This certification is a testament to his deep understanding of Halacha and his ability to apply Jewish law to contemporary issues.
Rav Pachino’s dedication to Torah and community is further exemplified by his role as the Rabbi of Leshem. His leadership extends beyond the confines of the yeshiva, touching the lives of many in the community. In a significant contribution to Jewish life in the Diaspora, he established the community Beit Midrash in Cleveland, fostering a space for Torah study and communal growth. His work in Cleveland has made a lasting impact, creating a vibrant center of Jewish learning and engagement.
Rav Yaakov Faratci
Rabbi Yaakov Faratci grew up in Skokie, Illinois and after going to Yeshivat Orayta for two years, he spent the last few years living in Stamford, Connecticut. Rav Yaakov majored in psychology at Yeshiva University, completed his masters degree in Social Work at Wurzweiler, and received his Semicha from Rav Yerachmiel Fried SHLITA.
He has worked as the director of Stamford NCSY, Youth Director of Congregation Agudath Sholom, and as a Maschgiach Ruchani/teacher at Bicultural Hebrew Academy as well as the educational director for Northeast NCSY. In addition to his work at YTVA, he also works as the mental health coordinator for Mach Hach Ba’aretz.
After six years in Stamford, Rav Yaakov, his wife Yolly, and their children, decided to follow their dream and move to Israel where their family and love for Eretz Yisrael have both grown. Rav Yaakov loves being part of the YTVA family, and lives to connect to the Yeshiva students and help them navigate their challenges during their year and beyond. He is on a mission to help his students recognize their inner strength and spiritual gifts in all facets of their lives especially through Limmud HaTorah.
Rav Hillel Kahn
Hillel Kahn, originally from Plainview New York, has been living in Israel for the past 8 years. After Graduating HANC High School, Hillel attended Yeshivat Hakotel for two years where he deepened his relationship with Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael. He drafted to the IDF where he served as a Commander in Handassah Kravit (Combat Engineering Unit).
Following his army service, He studied psychology and business, while working in sales in Israel’s hi-tech market.
Hillel is now living on the YTVA Campus with his wife Liana, and their son Yehuda and serves as the Director of the YTVA Hesder Program as well as the Director of Operations for YTVA. In addition to his roles at YTVA, Hillel is also a Volunteer Medic with United Hatzalah’s Ambucycle Unit, and a Member of the Jerusalem Police Rapid Response Team.
Hillel and Liana are the student’s family on campus, and often open their home to welcome in the students and foster a healthy and warm environment on campus.
Rav Ari Zev Schwartz
Rabbi Ari Ze’ev Schwartz is the author of “The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook: Writings of a Jewish Mystic” published in 2018 through Gefen publishing house. In addition, he has written several other books on the meaning of Shabbat, Prayer and the Parasha.
Rabbi Schwartz is originally from Sydney, Australia, and studied at the University of New South Wales majoring in music and film before coming to Jerusalem, where he studied for eight years in several yeshivot in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Schwartz received his rabbinical ordination at the Shehebar Sephardic Center in Jerusalem under Rabbi Yaakov Peretz, and studied Talmud and Jewish Philosophy at Herzog Academic College.
Rabbi Schwartz served as the head rabbi of Bnei Akiva’s Hachshara program for three and a half years. From 2017-2020 he cofounded and was the dean of the Society of Independent Spirituality, an English-speaking learning center in Jerusalem that combined Jewish spirituality and Zionism. Currently, Rabbi Schwartz teaches at several yeshivot and midrashot in Jerusalem, and serves as the Shana Bet Ra”m at YTVA.
Rav Oshi Bloom
Rav Oshi is originally from New Rochelle, NY. After graduating from SAR High School, he spent 2 years learning in Yeshivat Hakotel. After Yeshivat Hakotel, he attended Yeshiva University where he majored in Psychology and then Wurzweiler School of Social Work where he received his Masters of Social Work. He has spent the last 13 summer in Camp Moshava I.O. and looks forward to spending the next 20 summers there! Rav Oshi and his wife Gila live right around the corner from the Yeshiva and love having the guys over for dinner throughout the week!