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  • info@lemaanachai.org

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rabbi Ari Shames

    Chief Operations Officer

    Chief Operations Officer

    Rav Ari, a resident of Neve Daniel, is married to Haya and they enjoy their six children. He made aliyah in 1986, completed his academic studies in Bar Ilan University and Rabbinic Semicha at Yeshivat Har EtzionRav Ari comes to Lema'an Achai after decades of experience in education, administration and team building in Midreshet HaRova.

    He is responsible for the overall operations of all of the organizationRav Ari is passionate about the opportunity to be part of Lema'an Achai's smart chesed mission.

  • Menachem Porat

    Director of Social Services

    Menachem is a resident of Bat Ein in Gush Etzion, is 41 years old, married to Nechama, and the father of five children. He has been a social worker for 14 years and has an MSW. Previously, he worked as a social worker and therapist in the therapeutic community for the treatment of addictions "Retorno". He also managed the therapeutic service at the "Zohar" youth village. Menachem is very happy to join the Lema'an Achai family as the Director of Social Services.

  • 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 ... 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 left the corporate arena to ... 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 ... Show More

  • Rubi Tal

    Financial Counselor

    Rubi is a native Jerusalemite and lives there to this day. He is married to Bella and is the father of three girls. He has a BA in Business Administration with a concentration on management and has professional training in financial consulting. Rubi's work is characterized by a holistic approach that combines the ability to integrate access to the world of financial concepts and real-life experience in order to give every client and their family the opportunity to acquire tools for financial independence. The belief that drives Rubi's work is the principle that ... Show More

  • Heidi Bergenfeld

    Special Projects Coordinator

    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 staff coordination. Heidi made aliyah in 2005 with husband and 4 children and currently lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dvora Marcus

    Social Worker

    Dvora is a compassionate and experienced MSW with over 20 years in the field. Specializing in elder care, family intervention and supervision of Master level graduate students, she is honoured and privileged to utilize  her empathetic and insightful approach in Lema'an Achai. Dvora and her family have been living in Beit Shemesh for over 25 years.

     

  • Ella Firbank

    Office Manager

    Ella, originally from Holland has been at Lema'an Achai since 2014. She is happy to help anyone who comes through Lema’an Achai’s door. Her positive energy, warm personality and creative thinking make her a perfect fit. 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.

  • Elana Dvinsky

    Social Worker

    Elana received her MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work over 15 years ago. She has a clinical background and worked with children and families in the US as well as in her private practice in Ramat Bet Shemesh. Over the past several years, Elana has been a Lema’an Achai volunteer and helped direct the mentoring program. She was so impressed with the organization from the inside that she was honored to formally join the team and directly assist clients and their families using the smart chesed approach.

     

  • Gitty Yakobian

    Citizen's Rights Advocate and Social & Family Services Coordinator

    Gitty Yakobian Gitty was born in Israel to American parents who made aliya in 1972 and grew up in the Sanhedria Murchevet neighborhood of Jerusalem, Maale Amos, Har Nof & Beitar. Gitty learned bookkeeping and office administration at the Ateret Rachel school in Jerusalem and has worked in different types of fields. In addition, she is a certified Kallah teacher. She has been living in Ramat Bet Shemesh since 2001 with her husband Sinai Yakobian and family. She is happy to join Lema'an Achai, ... Show More

  • Ilan Roth

    Director of External Relations

     Born on Tu' B'Shvat in 1970 in Jerusalem. Son of Olim from South Africa and England. He is married to Shani Falik-Roth, the amazing event planner, and father to the lovely Tali, Ami, Yoni and Lieli. He served full-time in the IDF and holds a bachelor's degree in humanities with a focus on Judaism from the Open University. In recent decades, Ilan has served in a variety of senior positions in World Bnei Akiva, In the World Zionist Organization and the World Mizrahi ... Show More

  • Yisroel Glass

    Director of Capital Campaigns

    Yisroel is a seasoned professional with a deep commitment to community development. Following his Aliyah journey from South Africa seven years ago, Yisroel, alongside his beloved wife and children, now calls Beit Shemesh home. With a background in Psychology, he harnessed his expertise working on projects of the Chief Rabbi of South Africa before dedicating the past five years to the realm of development and donor relations. Yisroel's dedication and experience have led him to an important role at Lema'an Achai, where he's excited to contribute his skills and passion to the organization's noble mission.

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