About us

Olami is a global community of organizations committed to inspiring young adults to achieve their Jewish greatness. Olami is made up of 320 organizations from 28 countries around the world.

We are a community of believers.

We believe in Jewish greatness. We believe that Jewish teachings and values enable each Jew to reach their inner potential, to achieve their greatness. We call it our “Jewish greatness”, because we are achieving it through Judaism.

We believe in the power of community. We are not in this alone. We are a part of something bigger, something greater, something global. And something powerful. A global community focused on reaching our own personal greatness and inspiring others to reach theirs. Because as Jews, we believe that we are in this together, side by side. We are one family, one nation, one people. We are responsible for each other. Always have been, always will be.

We believe that the power of our community is the passion of our people. We are enthusiastic students and young professionals who want to be our best and make a difference in the world. We bring a vast and vibrant peer-to-peer network and social connections that span the globe. We are wise and passionate mentors and educators who are grounded in education, wisdom and knowledge and who role model a path of excellence. We are community members who believe in the vision and want to come on board to provide the guidance and resources so that we can all achieve it.

While every Olami member organization is independent, we all share a common vision, and work together through sharing of resources, ideas, programs, training and more in order to get us closer to that vision. Find an organization close to you here.

To date, over 100,000 students’ lives worldwide have been impacted by Olami.

 

Our story

Over a decade ago, in response to the alarming rate of assimilation in the Jewish college communities across the globe, a number of benefactors joined together to launch a worldwide campus and young professional effort to reconnect Jews to their heritage, their faith and their land and to inspire Jewish greatness within each of them.
Now, over ten years later, Olami is a global community representing a united effort of organizations in over 300 locations around the world to secure an inspired, engaged and knowledgeable Jewish tomorrow. With the Olami Foundation providing manpower, program development and management, students all over the world are experiencing the exhilaration of Jewish living through textual study, Shabbat, seminars and trips, and most critically, through the eternal bond between the Diaspora Jew and the State of Israel.

MEET THE TEAM

Meet the awesome Olami family. They work day in and day out to make Olami the most inspiring young Jewish community.

Rabbi Menachem Deutsch

CEO

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Rabbi Deutsch was raised in Dallas, Texas. He attended Yeshivot in Denver, New York and Jerusalem. He then joined the Kollel division of Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore from which he received his ordination in 1985. Rabbi Deutsch then helped founding the Atlanta Scholars College and worked as its Director.

David Markowitz

COO

Rabbi David Markowitz has been focused on Jewish Outreach for the past 15 years. Rabbi Markowitz has worked in numerous outreach capacities including: educational development, programming, Kiruv training, camp programming, campus outreach and management. Prior to his role with Olami, he worked at the COO of Aish NY and a campus Rabbi in UCLA and managed 10 college campuses for JAM in LA.

Yisrael Schwebel

CFO

Yisrael was born in Israel to American parents. He is a former CPA at Ernst & Young and Economist in the Credit Department of Mercantile Discount Bank. Yisrael was the Director of the Education Budget Department of the Jerusalem Municipality and Treasurer of Betar Illit before joining Olami.

Michal Nordmann

Director of Marketing

Michal started out in a UK marketing agency, implementing award-winning campaigns for clients such as Virgin, Heinz and more. After a few years she turned her focus to nonprofits, becoming a senior strategist for many of the U.K.’s largest charities. In 2009 she took her experience in-house to Jewish outreach with Aish NY. Upon moving to Israel, Michal became a consultant to a range of nonprofits until her current position at Olami.

Jackie Engel

Director of Leadership

Jackie had a private practice in Sydney Australia and worked as the resident “Psychologist” on the national “Today Show”. Her background includes working with youth off the streets, consulting to private and public hospitals and facilitating therapeutic groups. Jackie also consulted and did organizational work for the police, media personalities and other non-profit organizations. She was a keynote speaker for 3 consecutive years for the National Young Leaders Foundation in Australia. Jackie Engel is now the Director of Leadership Development of Olami, Director of the Jewish Leaders Foundation, Director of Souled - a Jewish women’s empowerment program in Manhattan - and a regular teacher for Meor Manhattan.

Rabbi Avi Cassel

Regional Director North America

Rabbi Avi Cassel, a dedicated educator and manager, directs over 110 Olami programs, servicing more than 20,000 students around North America. Rabbi Cassel travels throughout North America and also around Europe and Russia, where he oversees STARS, a multi-organization partnership project in the former Soviet Union. Rabbi Cassel is a graduate of the world's top yeshivot including Mir, Lakewood, and Ner Israel, and has more than 15 years of management, education and innovation experience for Olami and its subsidiary projects.

Gabriel Falestchi

Regional Director Latin America

Gabriel Falestchi lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he studied acting, clown, pantomime, and spent many years travelling world-wide as a backpacker; after his degree in Management for Non Profit Organizations he specialized in Management of Jewish Community Organizations. While working for a Special-Education school in Buenos Aires, Gabriel turned to the Torah world as a proud Baal Teshuva willing to give his life and knowledge to Am Israel.

Rabbi Arieh Marciano

Regional Director France

After learning in the best yeshivot including Jerusalem's Yeshiva Hazon Baroukh and Yeshiva Heikhal Hatorah, Rabbi Marciano spent 10 years learning in a kollel. Rabbi Marciano has been leading Olami France for since 2008.

Rabbi Yaakov Tipograf

Regional Director FSU

Rabbi Yakov Tipograf has been focused on Jewish community work for the past 18 years, having worked in numerous capacities including: project management, educational development, programming and training. Prior to his role with Olami, he worked as substitute director of St. Peterburg Migdal Ohr Jewish school, and as inspector of FSU Jewish school network. Rabbi Tipograf has an MA in Computer Science and worked for a few years in micro-processing.

Rabbi Jeremy Posen

Regional Director Europe, South Africa and Australia

Jeremy was born and raised in the UK, prior to making aliyah in 1985. After studying Financial Asset Management at Bar Ilan University and obtaining a Nasdaq Level III Brokers License, he worked for twelve years for a private Investment Fund, primarily specializing in Private Placements and Convertible Debentures. After studying for his Semicha, since 2002, he has worked for Olami, initially in the USA for three years and then back in Israel, where he lives with his wife and children.

Rabbi Eli Ilani

Regional Director Israel

Andrew Stern

Director, Olami Business Network

Andrew Stern, a dynamic and thoughtful leader, is Director of the Olami Business Network. The Olami Business Network is an initiative to create a community of Jews committed to living Torah values in the professional world. From New Jersey, Andrew graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business in Finance and Economics. In the past, he worked for IBM as a Strategy Consultant working with some of the largest companies in North America as well as a project leader for SMITH where he developed breakthroughs for teams of people at large organizations. He is a graduate of Machon Shlomo Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Andrew is especially passionate about personal transformation and Torah.

Rabbi Ari Gruen

Olami Director of Israel Trips

Rabbi Ari Gruen, Olami’s Israel based Director of Israel Trips has extensive experience in the area of trips, both as a certified tour guide, and in his previous position as Masa Yehudi’s project manager, where he was responsible for NCSY’s summer programs in Israel. He also has fourteen years of experience in the business world and served as the Director of Yeshivat Ashreinu, focusing his skills on both the educational, and extra-curricular aspects of programming.

Rabbi Gideon Shoshan

Senior Manager, North American Region

Rabbi Gidon Shoshan assists the North American Regional Director in overseeing Olami’s vast community of students and organizations in the US and Canada. Rabbi Shoshan’s keen eye for maximizing things helped earn him Harvard University’s Leadership in Education Award in 2012, and he integrates his professional education, his studies at the world’s top yeshivot, and his big heart to help make Olami better and better.

Rabbi Meir Rosenberg

CEO of Latin America

Rabbi Meir Rosenberg was born in Costa Rica and grew up in Chile. While studying a B.A. in Industrial Engineering, he volunteered to direct the building of houses for underprivileged families, and spent his summers in Israel, bringing groups of Jewish college students for educational programs. After moving to Israel, Meir studied in Aish HaTorah and at the Mir Yeshiva. Besides his role with Olami, he is the chief editor of AishLatino.com, the largest Jewish website in Spanish, and also serves as COO of Latin America for Aish HaTorah.

320
MEMBER-ORGANIZATIONS
40
STUDENT-LED INNOVATION PROJECTS launched in 2017
28
COUNTRIES around the world
6,000+
DELEGATES ATTEND TRIPS to Israel and Poland each year
2,000+
DEDICATED AND PROFESSIONAL STAFF
2,000
EVENTS EACH WEEK either on campus or within the local community
45,000
YOUNG ADULTS engaged each year
$100 mln
operating budget
Leading innovation projects include
JLF, JU Max, Student Innovation Incubator, JInternship.