Professional Staff

  • Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal

    Executive Director

    Prior to his Aliyah in 2005, Rabbi Leventhal was a senior instructor at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and a director of the Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund. Since making Aliyah, Rabbi Leventhal has been involved in many aspects of communal affairs including rabbinic leadership, municipal politics and national initiatives against poverty. As the developer and senior mentor of Smart Chesed, Rabbi Leventhal is sought out internationally for his innovative and incisive approach for poverty interventions. Having presented throughout North America and Europe, Rabbi Leventhal is considered the leading figure on implementing the Smart Chesed philosophy. The Rabbi and his family reside in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

  • Tanya Schwartz

    Chief Financial Officer

    Tanya has over 17 years experience working as a financial manager. She is honored to be part of the Lema’an Achai family and have the opportunity to share her extensive knowledge and experience for the benefit of our organization. Tanya made Aliyah from Cape Town 30 years ago and has been living in Bet Shemesh since 1996.  She is married to Raphael and they are the proud parents of six children.

  • Ze'ev Frankel, Ph.D.

    Director of Social and Family Services

    Dr. Ze'ev Frankel is a licensed clinical psychologist who made Aliya in 2008. He joined Lema'an Achai as Director of Social and Family Services in 2013. Previously he headed the student counseling center at Ariel University of Samaria.  He has further experience working as a psychologist at Tel Aviv University, at Shalvata Mental Health Center, at Herzliya Mental Health Clinic, and at his private practice in Tel Aviv. Ze'ev earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis focusing on psychotherapy processes and outcome, and completed his internship and post-doctoral training at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center with ... Show More

  • Stuart Schrader

    Expansion Director and Building Development

    Stuart Schrader attended Brandeis University, graduating in May 1990 with a BA in European Cultural Studies, and in September 1990 found his way to Israel. He has been here ever since. He began his life in Israel volunteering in the beautiful coastal city of Ashkelon, and after experiencing the first Gulf War, he eventually enlisted in the IDF where he served as a tank commander for nearly 25 years in the reserves. He began working at The Jewish Agency for Israel in 1999 and after 16 years there, began working at the United Israel Appeal of the Jewish Federations of North ... Show More

  • Ron Allswang

    Director of PR and Marketing

    After years of admiring and contributing to Lema'an Achai 'from the side', Ron joined the staff in January 2014. Intrigued by The Smart Chesed philosophy, Ron was excited to apply his experience and knowledge of the philanthropic world to Lema'an Achai. With years of experience developing and administering non-profits both inside Israel and abroad, Ron brought his acumen for marketing, public relations and start-up ingenuity to the Lema’an Achai team.

    Ron and his family made Aliya in 1994, and have been living in Bet Shemesh since 1995.

  • Meir Crandall

    Head of Rehabilitation Services

    Meir Crandall earned his B.A in 1990 from Yeshiva University and an M.S.W from The Fordham School of Social Work in 1995 with a clinical concentration. In 2012 he completed studies in Individual (Jewish) Life Coaching from Benny Gal. He has worked in a variety of social service settings with numerous populations including children, adolescents and adults. He is currently a staff Social Worker at Lema'an Achai providing case management services as well as parent education and emotional ... Show More

  • Debbie Dissen

    Social Worker

    Debbie and her family made aliyah to Ramat Beit Shemesh in 1999 and has been a part of Lema'an Achai since its inception in 2000. Debbie Dissen earned an M.S.W. from Columbia University's School of Social Work in its clinical track, completed a two year post-graduate training at Loyola University of Chicago, and trained in psychodidactic testing and evaluation of adults and children at The David Yellin Teacher's College in Jerusalem.  She has been supervising master's level students ... Show More

  • Motti Wiesner

    Financial Counselor

    Motti Wiesner was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He made aliya to Ramat Beit Shemesh with his wife and four boys in 2005. Motti graduated from Touro College with a major in corporate finance. From 1995-2005 Motti was employed by Gemcare Heath Services, a start-up company focusing on acquisitions of long-term care nursing facilities and independent living projects. He oversaw the financial office and created operating budgets and proformas, in 2002 Gemcare Health Services owned and operated five properties. Motti became the CEO of the company in 2003. After making aliya Motti ... Show More

  • Shlomo Faivelovitz

    Financial and Business Counselor

    Shlomo Faivelovitz has been a financial and business advisor at Lema'an Achai since 2011. He was born in 1947 in Cyprus to two Holocaust survivors. His parents made aliya when he was two-months-old on 29 November 1947. He grew up in Haifa where he completed his schooling and then joined the military where he served in the combat communications intelligence unit. The unit was clandestine and fought in many secret missions. Shlomo began his studies in economics at Haifa University and graduated from ... Show More

  • Heidi Bergenfeld

    Director of Volunteers and Programming

    Heidi is our Director of Volunteers and Programming, leading an "army" of over 400 volunteers. Heidi is a high-energy, very talented person with a BA in International Relations and Photography and an MBA,  specializing in non-profit. Her vast experience in management tremendously helps as she juggles many responsibilities, from program oversight to volunteer coordination...and everything in between. Heidi made aliyah in 2005 with husband and 4 children and currently lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

  • Shmuel Katz, DDS.

    Director of Dental Clinics

    Dr. Shmuel Katz is a NY trained Dental Surgeon, with over 25 years of experience in the surgical extraction of wisdom teeth. He founded the first Lema'an Achai Free Dental Clinic 20 years ago, as dentistry is relatively expensive in Israel. Together with over 15 other dentists of all dental specialties, including oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, root canals, they make a great team. While the main objective is to take people out of pain, healthy dental hygiene also helps people with their self confidence, so they can smile. Dr. Katz has reported that patients are more successful in school, in securing employment, and even in finding their spouse.

    Our clinics have changed people's lives forever. Taking the bite out of poverty, one tooth at a time.

  • Vardit Spiegelman

    Social Worker

    Vardit Spiegelman, MSW has over 30 years of experience as a social worker with expertise in child and adolescent therapy. Prior to joining Lema’an Achai Vardit worked for more than 13 years at the Rakefet Center for Children’s Development as well as several other social welfare positions in Beit Shemesh and the vicinity as well as in the USA. Vardit also has extensive experience with parent training, working with families coping with physical and mental health issues and golden agers.

  • Avivit Levy

    Citizen's Rights Advocate and Social & Family Services Coordinator

    Avivit has been working with Lema'an Achai since 2004 and is the administrative manager of the social services department. Previous positions include office manager for the chief psychologist of the Ministry of Education, and administrator in the bureau of the CEO of Bezeq. Avivit's married with six children and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph. 

  • Ashira Ofier

    Social Worker

    Ashira Ofier, MSW retrained as a social worker after completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has experience working with children and adolescents and their parents at Yad Rachel and Hakshiva, and has also completed training courses in addictions and at-risk youth. Ashira has a special interest in mental health and helping even the most difficult clients fulfill their full potential.

  • Nirit Goren

    Social Worker

    Nirit Goren, born in Israel, is married and has seven children and lives in Mevo Horon. Nirit holds a BA in Social Work from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has worked as a social worker for nearly 20 years in a variety of areas: the elderly, welfare, girls at risk, as well as mental health rehabilitation. Nirit joined Lema’an Achai in the summer of 2018 and feels honored to play a part in Smart Chesed.

  • Ella Firbank

    Public Relations Coordinator

    Ella, originally from Holland has been at Lema'an Achai since 2014. In August 2019, after 6 years of serving as our secretary and office manager, Ella was promoted to Coordinator of the PR Department. Her positive energy, warm personality and creative thinking made her a natural choice. Ella, the proud mother of five children, speaks seven languages, and uses them all in our office!

  • Shayna Enkin

    Dental Clinic Manager

    Shayna Enkin made aliyah from Canada fifteen years ago and has been running our dental office for almost eight years serving as both the office manager and dental assistant. She is married to Rabbi Ari Enkin and is the mother of four children.

  • Eliana Rose

    Office Manager

    Eliana was born in Israel to Anglo Olim and has always lived in Beit Shemesh with her family. After graduating Talya High School, she completed two years of National Service. During her first year she worked in a special needs preschool and for her second year she was an administrative assistant at AACI.
    Eliana is very excited to be joining the Lema'an Achai team as the new office manager.

  • Shaina Be

    Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator

    Shaina Be made aliyah in 2005 and attended Hadassah College. With a varied background in marketing, she's had experience working in almost every field from high-tech to medicine to non-profit. She uses these skills to let everyone know about the great work happening at Lema'an Achai. She is also organizing Team Lema'an Achai at the Jerusalem Marathon.Shaina currently lives in Jerusalem with her two lovely daughters, and thinks that Lema'an Achai is so special it's worth the commute. 

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