our Dedicated and loving staff
Tali Goldberg , Founding Director
Originally from Johannesburg Tali Goldberg lived and worked in Toronto and LA before coming to Israel "I'm a non profit junkie - I have been involved since my high school days. I like the colour orange and chocolate is the way to my heart
"My greatest strength and weakness is my ability to think critically and I saw a gap in Jewish women's education having been through it myself. Women need to learn to flourish and to succeed as individuals and whilst success is expected of us, the tools necessary to achieving it are not given to us or easy to come by. I wanted to build a program where every type of woman could realize her potential and give back to the Jewish people in her way"
RABBI MOSHE ZELDMAN, Educational Director
Moshe Zeldman comes from Toronto, Canada, but that's not his fault. His studied philosophy and artificial intelligence before falling in love with Judaism. He now lives in Israel with his wife and 6 kids (oh ya, and 2 grandchildren), where he teaches Jewish philosophy (i.e. real intelligence), values-based leadership, and likes to swim in the deep seas of Jewish social entrepreneurship. And he likes chocolate even more than Tali.
Rivka pesha alter, Extracurricular Activity Teacher
I grew up in Alabama - yes there are Jews there - and always had a thirst for adventure and depth. That dual desire has led me on interesting journeys to far away lands, both externally and internally, and eventually led me to Israel, where my soul soars and my passion for travel and experience is satisfied by an hours drive in almost any direction to a whole different climate. While I love to laugh and rarely turn down a good conversation, I am also quite the introvert - writing poetry and meditating in my down time, which you might not know by first glance and if given the choice, I would choose vanilla over chocolate (sorry Tali and Ilana). I love my life - even when it's hard it is still good - and I want you to love yours too! I deeply wish to facilitate the discovery (in each and every person including myself) that the lines that seemingly divide are actually ties that bind. Women's roles in Judaism are oftentimes misunderstood by the general public, as my personal journey can attest to. My hope is that this program will enlighten bright, young women as to the powerful role they play in their own culture, their own lives, and in truth, the whole world.
Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov, Deutsch, Core Teacher
Deutsch is an acclaimed speaker and author who inspires and motivates Jews of all backgrounds to take a fresh look at life by presenting thought provoking Kabbalah ideas in a manner that is inspirational and user friendly. With a plethora of parallels and explanatory precision, Rabbi Eli masterfully articulates abstract concepts into practical transformative teachings, communicating the deeper side of Judaism in a way that resonates with the well-read student as well as the newcomer. Eli is a fan of innovation, connecting with interesting people, driving on open roads, and five shekel coffee shops. He currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem, where he spends most of his time teaching, writing, counselling, learning, hosting, and with his family. Rabbi Eli speaks to thousands of Birthright participants each year, infusing their Israel experience with paradigm-shifting uplifting content.
Cheryl Soltz, Administrations Director
Mrs. Cheryl Soltz is originally from Cardiff, Wales (believe it or not! We do our best to mix in as many different accents as possible to confuse you completely!) and has a background in art, art history, business and design. She came to Israel 20 something years ago with an open ticket and open mind and never left! Working on every program she could fit into her schedule she has been the admissions director at Jewel for the past upteen years. "I was introduced to Tali Goldberg through a mutual friend and knew I wanted to work with her right away" ' I love to help potential students on their journey getting them from A (wherever you live now) to B (Jewessence).' Cheryl now lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh with her husband and kids.
Shalva Schneider, LCSW, Director of Mental Health
Shalva Schneider, LCSW is our Director of Mental Health Services. Prior to making Aliya Shalva served as the school social worker at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County Middle and High School as well as a staff social worker at South Nassau Communities Hospital Mental Health Center.Since moving to Israel in 2006, Shalva has worked in various educational institutions in Jerusalem. She currently has a private practice where she specializes in working with young adult women as well as couples. Shalva also provides clinical supervision for students and new therapists. At Jewessence, Shalva developed our small group workshop curriculum (Chabura) which she continues to teach and tweak. She meets one on one with students and acts as a case manager for our students' mental health needs. Shalva has a BA in psychology from Stern College for Women, a MSW from Adelphi University and has completed her coursework towards a doctorate in education administration at Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration. She has further training in treating complex trauma, Internal Family Systems therapy and Gottman Couples Therapy. She is a licensed clinical social worker in New York and Israel. Shalva lives in Jerusalem with her husband Brian and her four children, who consider the Jewessence students and alumnae their "big sisters"
Rachel Powers, Logistics Secretary Manager
Rachel Powers hails from Winnipeg, Canada, and still misses the snow even after being in Israel for 10 years.
She studied Medical Laboratory Sciences at a program in Jerusalem, where she became fluent in Hebrew, only to find out that science is universally in English. Now married, with two children, she works hard behind the scenes at Jewessence to make sure Shabbos placements, teachers, guest speakers, catered food and groceries are all coordinated and running smoothly. In her spare time she reads, eats chocolate, and runs her own household.
DAHLIA KRISCHER LCSW, CORE TEACHER
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Dahlia Krischer brings that chilled but sunny L.A. vibe to her class in Jewessence. Dahlia graduated from Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles High School and attended Bnos Chava Seminary where she earned a certificate in teaching. Dahlia then went on to study at Wurzweiler School of Social Work and is currently certified as a Licensed Master of Social Work. Dahlia has experience teaching at Bnot Torah Institute Valley Torah Girls School, and Ohr Haemet Institute and has tutored and hosted events for the Jewish Awareness Movement. As a social worker, Dahlia has experience working with Domestic Volence, Post-partum Depression and other mental health issues. Dahlia now lives in Yerushalayim with her husband and two adorable children. Her home is within walking distance of Jewessence and is open to her students both on Shabbos and during the week for meals or simply to connect and relax.