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We are currently finalizing our 2024 program. Please check back for updates. 

Scholars In Residence

As the United States Ambassador to Israel from March 2017 until January 2021, Ambassador David Friedman successfully guided unprecedented diplomatic advancements in the US – Israel relationship, including moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He also is among a small group of American officials responsible for the “Abraham Accords” — peace and normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco — for which he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. 

Ambassador Friedman was recognized in each of the past five years by the Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world, coming in first in 2020. He also was named one of the 20 Most Impactful Persons of the Past Decade by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Ambassador Friedman was honored by President Trump with the National Security Medal in September 2020 – less than 100 Americans have received that award in its history — and by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff with the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in April 2019. He has received numerous other honors, recognitions and awards including honorary doctorates from Yeshiva University in New York and Ariel University in the Shomron.

Ambassador Friedman is the Founder of The Friedman Center for Peace through Strength which works to build upon the Ambassador’s achievements in strengthening the US-Israel relationship. On February 8, 2022, HarperCollins published Ambassador Friedman’s memoir, Sledgehammer: How Breaking with the Past Brought Peace to the Middle East. In its first week, Sledgehammer broke sales records for a book on the State of Israel.

Hain

Shmuel Hain is a pulpit rabbi and educator. Under his leadership, YIOZ of North Riverdale/ Yonkers has transformed into a vibrant community synagogue. He also serves as Rosh Beit Midrash at SAR High School, where he directs the Beit Midrash Fellowship, teaches advanced Judaic Studies classes, and co-directs Machon Siach- a research insititute for Jewish educators. During the summer he is Rav Machaneh (Camp Rabbi) of Camp Moshava- Indian Orchard.

 

Rabbi Hain was awarded the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) for the 2020-2021 academic year and continued as a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at the CJS in 2021-2022. He has authored and edited several volumes of Torah and academic scholarship, including two volumes in The Orthodox Forum series. Rabbi Hain was an inaugural fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon at RIETS, where he was ordained in 2001 and where he taught advanced Talmud classes to semikha and undergraduate students from 2000-2012.

Dr. Steven Dyckman obtained his under-graduate degree from Yeshiva University. He then attended George Washington University Medical School, Washington, DC, where he received his Doctor of Medicine. He completed a residency and fellowship in Adult and Child Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has been serving as a School Psychiatrist for more than 15 school systems in Central NJ. 

 

Dr. Dyckman is also an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry at Seton Hall University. He is on staff and works as a consultant in child psychiatry at the Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center, where he helps train pediatric neurology residents. Dr. Dyckman is a nationally recognized speaker on topics such as ADHD in children and adults and Major Depression and Sleep Disorders. He has delivered more than 100 talks on these topics throughout the United States and has been interviewed numerous times on television and radio. He is a member of and a speaker for the Medical Board of New Jersey Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. Dr. Dyckman is currently in private practice in East Brunswick and Shrewsbury, NJ. He lives in East Brunswick, NJ with his wife, who is an occupational therapist, their 3 sons and Teddy, their Standard Poodle.

Dr. Noam Weissman is the Executive Vice President of OpenDor Media (Unpacked), where he spearheads the organization’s educational vision and leads content creation across all platforms, from YouTube to TikTok. Noam also hosts the most popular Jewish podcast on Apple called “Unpacking Israeli History,” where their podcast has been downloaded over a million times. He leads a team of producers, content creators and writers for the Unpacked brand which reaches more than ten million people each year, with articles, videos, podcasts and social media content. The Unpacked YouTube channel now has over 220,000 subscribers. Additionally, Noam leads a team of educators for the Unpacked For Educators brand, which provides lesson plans, curricula, and professional development to over 2,000 educational institutions across the globe.

Noam completed his doctoral dissertation in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, with a focus on curriculum design. His dissertation, entitled “Approaching Israel Education,” argues for a new vision in learning about the modern State of Israel, focusing on Zionist identity development, narrative formation and the ability to have a mature and loving relationship with Israel without sacrificing empathy. Prior to joining OpenDor Media, Noam served as the Principal of Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles where he also developed curricula on a range of subjects, including Talmud, Tanakh, Jewish philosophy and Israel Education. Noam is a Civil Society Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. 

Most importantly (by far), Noam is married to Raizie Erreich and they are the proud parents of four incredible children, Eyal, Liana, Nissa, and Sarit.

Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph is the Orthodox Union’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since September of 2020.  He is the senior professional leader, responsible for all aspects of OU programs and operations, other than OU Kosher.  He joined the OU from Yeshiva University where he served in a variety of roles over 16 years, ultimately rising to senior vice president. In that role, he established and implemented strategic plans, managed the university’s operations, and played key roles on major initiatives such as the university’s response to the coronavirus. A native of Montreal, Josh received both his Ed.D. and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, as well as a Master of Arts in Jewish philosophy from their Bernard Revel Graduate School. He also completed fellowships and certificates at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Administration, as well as Harvard’s Institute of Higher Education. Josh previously worked at a hedge fund, as a community rabbi, served as the executive director of the Orthodox Caucus, and director of social entrepreneurialism at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. He and his wife, Julie, live in Lawrence, New York and are the proud parents of Zach, Ozzie, and Marsha.

Dr. Julie Stern Joseph is a master teacher, having taught Judaic studies to high school and college students, as well as adults over the past 15 years. She holds a MA from NYU in Medieval Jewish History. She is also the author of two books including her own memoir, “Am I My Mother’s Daughter: A Search for an Identity,“ describing one of her struggles surviving malignant melanoma. Just recently, Dr. Joseph received her doctorate from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of Yeshiva University, researching how bullying may affect the self-esteem of middle school victims in Modern Orthodox Day Schools. She is a voracious reader and her areas of interest range from popular fiction, memoirs, Israel, and the Holocaust. She and Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph live in Lawrence, NY and are proud parents of Zach, Ozzie, and Marsha.

Daniel Kraus is the Associate Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Birthright Israel Foundation. In his role at the Foundation, he manages major partnerships and alliances for the Foundation across North America as well as oversees the implementation of strategic projects and initiatives.   Prior to the Birthright Israel Foundation, Daniel served as the inaugural Director of the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) Downtown location where he spearheaded the creation of a community of young Jewish professionals and created a hub of Jewish engagement in Midtown Manhattan. Daniel also served as MJE’s Chief Operating Officer.

Daniel also serves as a Rabbi and the Director of Community Education at Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan where he leads community outreach, teaches and is part of the clergy team. Daniel was born and raised in Melbourne Australia, he graduated Yeshiva University completing a BA in Management & Marketing and is also a graduate of the Ner LeElef Fellowship at RIETS.  Daniel received his ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem and completed his MBA at Yeshiva University. He serves on numerous communal boards and writes regularly on a wide range of publications.

Rachel Kraus is the Managing Director/Partner at DoAble, a brand strategy and marketing collective. Rachel spent fifteen years in retail and real estate development at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) where she served as head of marketing for the World Trade Center retail development.  

Prior to leading World Trade Center, she headed national partnership marketing for URW’s US portfolio forging partnerships with major global brands including PepsiCo, American Express, Ford Motor Company and Samsung. She also led special global projects including the 2012 London Olympic Games. Rachel served as interim Chief Marketing Officer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and has consulted across different industry sectors in brand, partnerships and strategy. Rachel graduated from the Sy Syms School of Business with a dual degree in marketing and music including coursework and study at The Juilliard School. She completed her MBA at NYU with a concentration in finance, entertainment, media and technology. Rachel is an Executive-In-Residence at LionTree LLC a global merchant bank, advising on purpose driven initiatives and is also the Director of Community Education at Kehilath Jeshurun where she serves as part of the clergy and lectures, delivers sermons, teaches and facilitates educational programming.

Rachel and Daniel were featured among the 2017 Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 list of emerging Jewish leaders. Rachel and Daniel live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with their four adorable children.

Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb is the Managing Director of Tzalash (www.tzalash.org), a leading organization dedicated to helping soldiers maintain their religious commitment and
emotional well-being during their IDF service. He is also the rabbi of Kehillat HaEla, a growing community in the suburbs of Ramat Beit Shemesh. Additionally, Rabbi Gottlieb
is a Ra”m at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush). Prior to his aliyah to Israel in August, 2010, Rabbi Gottlieb served as rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah, in Baltimore, MD.

Rabbi Gottlieb received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, where he was also a member of their prestigious Wexner Kollel Elyon. In addition to other scholarly publications, he is most recently the author of Ve-Ha’Er Einenu, a three-volume collection (out of a planned five-volume series) of inspiring and thought-provoking
essays on the weekly Torah portion which is distributed to soldiers throughout the IDF.

A highly regarded speaker and teacher, Rabbi Gottlieb has served as a Scholar in Residence for numerous communities in the United States, Canada, England, South Africa, and Israel. Additionally, he has been interviewed and profiled by some of the leading Podcasts in the Jewish world, such as Inspiration for the Nation and Halacha
Headlines.

Rabbi Gottlieb is married to Ilana, the director of Midreshet AMIT, and they are blessed with four children and one grandchild.

A natural and highly regarded educator, Ilana Gottlieb has served as director of Midreshet AMIT since 2009. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Mrs. Gottlieb’s warm and engaging personality enables her to develop close personal relationships with each of the students at AMIT. She earned a BA in Education summa cum laude from Stern College, as well as a Masters degree in Education and Administration from Azrieli Graduate School, where she was co-valedictorian. With her special combination of personal warmth and professional excellence, Mrs. Gottlieb is an inspiring leader and ideal role model for her students.

Entertainment

Dov Katz has been in the Music and Entertainment industry for over 25 years. He became “Digital Dov” by accident during the pandemic, when he ended up virtually entertaining over 60,000 around the world, while never leaving his basement. Dov now brings his unique sense of fun and excitement to each LIVE AND IN-PERSON event that he hosts!

Join Digital Dov at the pool and late night in the Tea Room.