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Meet our Staff

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Etan Zivan

Rosh Mechina/Executive Director

After making Aliya in High School with his family, Etan learned in Yeshivat Shavei Chevron. Following his time in yeshiva, Etan served for 4 years in Elite Operational Intelligence Units serving as a Non-Commissioned officer. After being discharged from the IDF, Etan and his wife, Nili, flew to Canada as the Bnei Akiva Shlichim in Toronto. Serving the community as teachers, camp directors, youth leaders and much more, the Zivan family built long-lasting relationships, and educated and inspired hundreds of students and families. Upon his return to Israel, Etan became the director of Tochnit Amishav, an integration program for Olim in Bnei Akiva.


Rav Jon Singer
Educational Director

Rav Jon was born and raised in Toronto and like any good Canadian, he grew up playing hockey, loving maple syrup and praying for the winter to end. After high school, he attended Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah for two years, where his love of Israel and Torah grew such that he decided to make Aliyah and continue learning. He then joined the Hesder program at Yeshivat Har Etzion. He would go on to serve in the Nachal Brigade in the Israeli army and upon his return to Har Etzion he joined the halacha kollel and became a madrich for overseas students. Rav Jon received Semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg zt”l and holds a degree in Economics and Biotechnology from Hebrew University. Along with his wife and two boys, Rav Jon recently returned home after an amazing three years of serving as the OU-JLIC family at The University of Chicago, where they helped the small but growing Jewish community develop and flourish.

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Shai Kestenbaum

Administrative Director

Shai brings to Ruach HaNegev, over 20 years of experience in managing educational organizations. Shai served as the Regional Logistics Director for Bnei Akiva, and as the Executive Director of Midreshet Maon. Shai most recently was the Director of Mechinat Yatir in South Hebron, as well as the Director of Rosh Yehudi, Arutz Orot and Beit Karov. Shai recently returned from a 2-year stint in Toronto, during which he was the Program Coordinator for Mizrachi Canada.

Rav Benjamin (Benji) Berger

Rav Benji was born and raised in New York. He made Aliyah with his family in 2004. Today he lives in the Yishuv Yatir with his wife, Nechama,  and three children. Rav Benji graduated with a B.ed and M.A in Education Administration at Bar-Ilan University and finds educating the next generation as a priceless "zchut" and mission.

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Rav Yochanan Schrader

Rabbi Yochanan Shreider is an alum of the Yeshivat Hesder in Yerucham. Rav Yochanan has smicha from the Rabbinate of Israel, a Bachelors degree from Herzog College and a Masters in Education from Ben Gurion University. In addition to Ruach HaNegev, Rav Yochanan is also a teacher at the Yeshiva day high school in Yerucham where he lives with his wife Michal and their 7 children. Rav Yochanan was on Shlichut as the Rosh Beit Midrash at the Akiva Yeshiva in Detroit, Michigan. Rav Yochanan is a commander in the reserves, loves to bake and travel through Israel.

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Board of Advisors

Marc Fein

Steve Tover

Eitan Felzenstein​

Rabbi Dr. Benny Gezundheit

Jared White

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