Ohr Naava is comprised of a team of professional educators and caring individuals who serve as role models and mentors. Private appointments can be made with each staff member to discuss personal matters. Traveling from New Jersey, Monsey, Long Island, and Brooklyn, our faculty is dedicated to giving their audience an enriched learning experience. Our staff is trained to discuss matters on all levels, and they make themselves available on a daily basis. In addition, well-known guest lecturers from both America and abroad are invited to speak in Ohr Naava regularly.
Wallerstein
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein
Founder and Director of Ohr Naava
Phone
718.647.6228 ext 15
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director, has become an icon in the Jewish world of fearless vision, deep conviction, and unfailing warmth. Now celebrating an over-three-decades career in chinuch, the dynamic educator-with his trademark passion, clarity, and love-has touched the hearts and souls of thousands of students from all shades of the religious spectrum.

Twelve years ago, upon grasping a profound paucity in the spiritual and social resources available to today's Jewish women, Rabbi Wallerstein dared to step out of the box-and founded Ohr Naava, at a time when no comparable center existed.
With his legendary foresight and gumption, the center has since mushroomed into a panoptic umbrella organization, composed of numerous programs addressing the gamut of Jewish women's needs, including Ateres Naava Seminary, Tiferes Bnos Yisroel Seminary, Ateres Miriam Seminary, Bnot Chaya Academy, Hakaras Hatov Initiative, Ohr Naava Shidduch Initiative, The Yutta Zicherman Crisis Center for Intervention, and the groundbreaking, therapeutic Ranch at Bethel. Today, Rabbi Wallerstein has become an internationally sought-after speaker, traveling the world and inspiring men and women from all walks of life. Dubbed a "holistic doctor" thanks to his multifaceted approach to growth, struggle and spiritual healing, on a typical day he can be found in schools, shuls, community centers and even mental institutions worldwide, lighting up lives-one neshamah at a time. Rabbi Wallerstein and his wife Estee, who is a partner in all his endeavors, reside in Brooklyn, NY surrounded by their daughters and grandchildren.

Ohr Naava

elefant
Yanky Elefant
Executive Director
Phone
718.647.6228 ext: 16
Mr. Yanky Elefant is the Executive Director of Ohr Naava. Born and bred in Boro Park, Yanky attended Mir Yeshiva and studied accounting at Touro College. He is currently CEO of MT Packaging, a full-service packaging firm catering to manufacturers. Astoundingly, he still finds extensive time to serve as the beloved Executive Director of Ohr Naava, and his impressive business acumen, resourcefulness and generosity have proved critical in ensuring the continued success of Ohr Naava's operations. He and his wonderful wife Lisa play a fundamental role in Ohr Naava shidduchim and have been the driving force behind countless beautiful marriages. The Elefants reside in Brooklyn, NY, where they enjoy their children and grandson.
hanson
Daphne Hanson
Director of Programming
Phone
347.374.2982
Mrs. Daphne Hanson, LMSW, is the administrator, mechaneches and kallah teacher in Ateres Naava and TBY seminaries. She teaches Torah and Psychology, Michtav M'Eliyahu and The Sanctity of a Jewish Marriage. Daphne is also the co-founder and Program Director at Ohr Naava. After studying in Eretz Yisroel, Daphne returned to the U.S. to complete her Master's Degree in Social Work, which she has utilized in various Jewish institutions in the greater NY area. Daphne and her family live in Brooklyn, NY.
Mrs. Sharona BenHaim
Mrs. Sharona BenHaim
Director of Operations
Phone
718.647.6228 ext: 202
Mrs. Sharona BenHaim is the Director of Operations at Ohr Naava. Growing up in a family affiliated with organizations like Arachim and Gateways, with a strong involvement in kiruv, she has hands-on experience with drawing people closer to Judaism. Professionally, aside from working in a non profit organization as the executive director for a number of years, Sharona has spent many years working in sales and administration in the corporate business world. Before joining Ohr Naava, she held a lucrative position in a prestigious diamond company. She currently resides in Cedarhurst with her husband and children.
Schwartz
Mrs. Rotzy Schwartz
Administrative Coordinator
Phone
718-647-6228
Mrs. Rotzy Schwartz, Administrative Coordinator at Ohr Naava, coordinates all logistical and technical aspects of Ohr Naava undertakings. Utilizing her experience as the shul administrator for Congregation Knesses Israel of Sea Gate, colloquially known as the Big Shul, and her association with numerous volunteer crisis response entities, Rotzy is a perfect asset for Ohr Naava. Rotzy Schwartz, a dedicated community member proudly lives in Sea Gate, NY with her husband, three sons and one daughter.
Sherr
Mrs. Pam Sherr
Program Coordinator
Phone
718-647-6228
Mrs. Pam Sherr, Program Coordinator may be new to Ohr Naava, but has been busy "making things happen" for quite a while. After earning a degree from Syracuse University in communications, she began her career in the secular advertising arena. Shortly thereafter, Pam became frum and rooted and raised her family in Monsey, NY. In 2006 she helped initiate Binah magazine and served as Executive Editor for 7 years. She has since dabbled in a variety of projects both large and small, including helping to launch both Evergreen Supermarket and 2020 Siyum HaShas. A creative problem solver, Pam energetically pursues projects until fruition.
Mrs. Rachelle Myers
Mrs. Rachelle Myers
Director of Development
Phone
718.647.6228 ext: 202
Mrs. Rachelle Myers, Director of Development, is our newest edition to Ohr Naava. She joins our staff as Director of Development. She has been involved in the field of Jewish Education both as a teacher and Director of schools for over 20 years. She has also been involved in fundraising for approximately 6 years. She feels it is an honor and a privilege to work for Ohr Naava and sees this new position as an amazing melding of all her previous work experiences and talents. She welcomes the opportunity to help Ohr Naava continue and expand its innovative and vital programming to help Klal Yisrael. Rachelle resides in Maryland with her husband and children.
Zicherman
Esther Zicherman
Chief Operating Officer
Phone
718-647-6228
Esther (Esti) Zicherman, Chief Operating Officer, started her career as a teacher then assistant principal at Be'er Hagolah High School & Manhattan High School for Girls. Fusing her degrees in Business Marketing & Management and in School Administration & Supervision, Esti's favorite focus is on worldwide initiatives and events that highlight education. Day to Disconnect, Hakaras Hatov Let There Be Rain, Sefer Hazichronos, The Book of Remembrances are a few of Esti's recent contributions to Ohr Naava. Esther Zicherman is currently collaborating with Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, Yoshi Wolhendler and Yanky Elefant on opening the Ranch at Bethel, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls.

Lecturers

Mrs. Jackie Bitton
Mrs. Jackie Bitton
Phone
917.734.0553
Mrs. Jackie (Tzipporah) Bitton began her kiruv work, together with her husband, on the west coast and now resides with her husband and children in Brooklyn, NY. After years of teaching in Bnot Chaya Academy, Shaare Torah High School, Shaare Bina Seminary, and BYA Maalot Seminary, Jackie is now the Dean of students in YDE girls yeshivah. She is also a frequent speaker at Ohr Naava and Sheefa Women's Seminary.
Mrs. Judy Bodner
Mrs. Judy Bodner
Phone
845.323.6791
Mrs. Judy Bodner, originally from Columbus, Ohio, is a certified life coach specializing in dating, relationships and building self-esteem. Judy is on staff at Ohr Naava, Ateres Naava where she offers engaging, highly relevant classes and one-on-one student counseling and happily works with Bnot Chaya Academy alumni. A shadchan for the past 20 years, Judy resides in Monsey with her husband Pinny, where they enjoy much nachas from their children and grandchildren.
Rabbi Reuven Epstein
Rabbi Reuven Epstein
Rabbi Reuven Epstein is a graduate of The Jerusalem Kollel and a Musmach of Rabbi Yitzchok Berkovits. After three years as Assistant Rabbi in Staten Island, he moved to Brooklyn, and as a Chosson Rebbe, he is involved with marriage related shailas, rabbinic counseling and guidance. Rabbi Epstein is also the founder of The Marriage Project which offers online and in-person seminars and other marriage resources to those who are dating, engaged and married.
Rabbi Gil Freiman
Rabbi Gil Freiman
Phone
718-647-6228
Rabbi Gil Freiman is the Rav of Jewish Center Nachlath Zion. He has given lectures throughout the United States, Canada and Eretz Yisroel. In addition to his daily Daf Yomi shiur, Rabbi Frieman has been involved in chinuch habanos for more than two decades. Rabbi Frieman currently teaches in Ateres Naava, Tiferes Bnos Yisroel, and V'At Alis seminaries and in Camp Tubby during the summer. He resides with his wife and family in Brooklyn, NY.
Miss Chevi Garfinkel
Miss Chevi Garfinkel
Educator
Phone
718.724.9289
Miss Chevi Garfinkel, An acclaimed educator with over 20 years of experience, Miss Chevi Garfinkel lectures throughout the United States, Canada and Eretz Yisroel, and is a regular teacher in Lev Bais Yaakov and Bruriah High Schools. During the summer, Miss Garfinkel directs Camp Frontier, an innovative teenage hiking camp that merges wholesome fun with transformative learning. At Ohr Naava, Chevi has taught tefilla and moadim on a bi-monthly basis since the organization's inception, and her humorous yet hard-hitting style keeps attendees coming back for more. You'll know a girl has been at Miss Garfinkel's shiur if there is a thoughtful look in her eyes and a smile on her face.
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg
Phone
718-647-6228
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, hails from both Telshe Cleveland, and the Slonimer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, and then earned his Masters from the University of Minnesota. Rabbi Ginsburg was a rebbi and principal and is currently teaching at Ateres Naava and TBY seminaries while traveling extensively and conducting workshops for teachers, principals and parents on various educational and parenting topics. An author of several books, Rabbi Ginsberg is a sought-after presenter and serves as a child advocate for many children.
hanson
Rabbi Chaim Tuvia Hanson
Phone
347.993.5616
Rabbi Chaim Tuvia Hanson is a former native of Queens (you know, the place next door where you don't want to go using the Belt Parkway). He is a member of Kollel Gur Aryeh and a proud Ohr Naava shadchan and dating coach, working to represent Ohr Naava girls in particular and facilitate their dating experience. Rabbi Hanson is a kiruv morning rebbi, and is involved in the kashrus field as well. Rabbi Hanson resides in Flatbush with his wife Daphne and family.
Mrs. Ivy Kalazan
Mrs. Ivy Kalazan
Phone
347.622.6151
Mrs. Chaya (Ivy) Kalazan Mrs. Ivy Kalazan is a dynamic lecturer who brilliantly uncovers the depth and meaning behind mitzvot that are often kept by rote. After graduating summa cum laude from Touro College with a B.S. in mathematics, Ivy spent over 25 years teaching Jewish philosophy from a logical perspective. Drawing from the teachings of Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, Rav Noach Orlowek and Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, her analytical style appeals to both the mind and heart, and her classes have been solicited by educational institutions worldwide, including Yeshiva University of Los Angeles and Neve Yerushalayim in Israel. She presently teaches in Ohr Naava, The New Seminary, The Jewish Renaissance Center, TBY and Ateres Naava seminaries in Brooklyn.
Rabbi Label Lam
Rabbi Label Lam
Phone
845.222.4112
Rabbi Label Lam, principal of Yeshiva Sha'arei Zion in Forest Hills, NY, launched his successful teaching career as a day school Rebbe and spent many years learning with business people, college students and prisoners. Rabbi Lam's rich life experience, profound wit and infectious love for Jewish people has been enthralling audiences across the globe through Arachim seminars and weekly parsha emails, also found at Torah.org. Rabbi Lam currently lectures each month at Ohr Naava and lives in Spring Valley, New York with his wife Chaya and their flock of Lams.
Rabbi Ezra Max
Rabbi Ezra Max
Phone
718-647-6228
Rabbi Ezra Max, CTS, MHMP, recognized the growing divide between parents and teens in today's generation of Orthodox Jews and now serves as an international expert for families, educators, social workers, and community and Rabbinical leaders. Rabbi Max is also the creator of "THE MAX METHOD", a customizable personal growth program, which is now being adapted to improve business relationships. Rabbi Max lives in New York with his wife and 5 children.
Rabbi Tsvi Selengut
Rabbi Tsvi Selengut
Phone
718-647-6228
Rabbi Tsvi Selengut, is the Rabbi of Congregation Ohab Zedek in Belle Harbor, NY as well as a Rebbe at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County. He leads dynamic adult education programming at his shul and has lectured and taught in many shuls, schools, and work-places. His classes are known to be accessible to a wide range of audiences and incorporate an array of Torah sources, stories, and modern psychology. Rabbi Selengut is known for the inspiration he gives his students and his ability to use learning to cultivate happiness. Many of his shiurim, articles, and divrei torah can be found online.
Rabbi Mordecai B. Twerski
Rabbi Mordecai B. Twerski
Phone
718-647-6228
Rabbi Mordecai B. Twerski, The Hornosteipler Rebbe, continued the leadership of his father's Chassidic community in Denver for over twenty years, and is currently the Rabbi of Congregation Ateres Shloime in Brooklyn, New York. Renowned for his tireless efforts in outreach to the western region of the US, Rabbi Twerski now has an active counseling practice in family therapy reaching across all lines of the Jewish community. Rabbi Twerski inspires the Ateres Naava and TBY seminary students weekly with his enlightening and unique style of education.
Mrs. Malkey Wallerstein
Mrs. Malkey Wallerstein
Phone
917.533.4600
Mrs. Malkey Wallerstein attended BYA High School, BJJ Seminary, and NYU University. An outstanding speaker, she has been involved in adult and young adult education for over three decades. Her classes in TBY and Ateres Naava seminaries, which include Igeres HaRamban, Mesilas Yesharim, and Neviim/Kesuvim, encourage questions, discussion and exploration of ideas. She is the wife of Rabbi Eliezer Wallerstein, and lives in Flatbush with her husband and children.