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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 Tzvi Wohlgelertner

Educational Director

Rav Tzvi grew up in Toronto, and then studied in Yeshivat Sha’alvim for two years. After that, he served in the Nachal Brigade of the IDF. Following his army service, he married Tali and went on to receive a BA in psychology from the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois. He has semicha from Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh, Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Rav Tzvi is also a certified psychotherapist from the Family Institute of Jerusalem. Rav Tzvi was the community Rabbi for the Ohel Ari Synagogue in Ra'anana for almost two years before going on Shlichut as the OU-JLIC Rabbi at Rutgers University. Rav Tzvi recently received his MA in Jewish History from Hebrew University.

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.

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Board of Advisors

Marc Fein

Steve Tover

Eitan Felzenstein​

Rabbi Dr. Benny Gezundheit

Jared White

Mosdot Chinuch Ruach Hanegev

Retamim, Israel


Friends of Ruach Hanegev

520 E 90th, NY, NY


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