Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz, Dean
Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz has been an innovative Jewish educator in Israel for over two decades. He began as a Program Director at Gesher. After three years as an Educational Officer in the IDF, he received his ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate, from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Chaim Brovender. He then built a successful business in Experiential Education and Corporate Training, and helped found Yeshivat Derech Etz Chaim. Rav Aaron spent six years as the Rabbi of Kol Rina, the famous Miklat (Bomb Shelter) minyan, bringing a special blend of celebratory joy and profound insight to thousands every year.
It is Rav Aaron’s belief that Torah must be both transcendent and grounded that led him to found Sulam Yaakov, a leadership training Beit Midrash which has ordained over twenty rabbis to date. This unique institution, which gives special attention to the individual’s spiritual process and inner world, expects students to work to support themselves and their families while learning. In 2010, Rav Aaron launched Shirat Devorah a beginners programs for women. These programs are designed for the whole person – they are intellectually and spiritually challenging; promoting an integrated growth process through which the student is empowered to chart his/her own path in Jewish life. 2011 saw the launch of Threshold, an accelerator for Jewish Educational Entrepreneurship. All programs are operated by HaOhel Institutions, the Jerusalem branch of Yad Yaakov, promoting “Open-Tent Judaism” in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Yehoshua Looks, Managing Director
After twenty years of senior management business experience in the United States, Yehoshua and his family made aliya in 1996. In Israel, using the acumen learned at Harvard Business School and in the for profit sector, he has devoted his energies to working with non-profit organizations such as Aish HaTorah, Machon Lev, Darche Noam Insitutions, and the Bat Ayin Yeshiva. After a three year hiatus in Boca Raton, FL where he was Executive Director for the Community Kollel and then Ohr Torah Stone Institutions, North America, Yehoshua and his family returned home to Jerusalem.