Rabbi Moshe Benovitz is the Managing Director of NCSY and the longtime director of the NCSY Summer Kollel. He is a Rebbe in Yeshivat Reishit in Beit Shemesh, Israel, and resides in Ramat Beit Shemesh with his wife, Serena, and children.
Rabbi Benovitz has taught hundreds of students through his involvement with NCSY and while working at Reishit. Prior to moving to Israel he was a Rebbe at DRS, MTA and Bruriah High School for Girls.
His involvement with NCSY has spanned over 3 decades. He has served in many capacities on the regional and national levels of the organization.
His passion for the NCSY mission emerges from his experience in bringing the depth and beauty of Torah and Jewish Life to as wide an audience as possible. He makes Torah ideas relevant to a modern audience, and inspires through clear teaching and innovative programming.
Serena (nee Goldstein) is an accomplished Physical Therapist, specializing in geriatric care. She grew up in Staten Island and attended Michlalah and continued her studies at Stern College and Hunter University.
Julia and Joseph Macy Z"L were the founders of an NCSY family the likes of which was unprecedented in the organization's history. Julia escaped from Europe in 1939 before most of her family was murdered; Joseph endured the horrors of the concentration camps, emigrating to America after the war. Settling in Connecticut, where they raised daughters Toby and Barbara, the Macys became successful in the restaurant and hotel business - a true American success story!
After the girls became active in NCSY, Joseph followed in their footsteps by becoming the OU's Vice President for New England, a position he held for over two decades before becoming National Honorary Vice President. The Macys were backbones of New England NCSY, with no task too great or too small for their attention. They founded an NCSY dynasty that extended to the third generation, with their granddaughter serving as New England Regional President. Their hard work and dedication on behalf of Jewish teens has rarely been matched and never exceeded.
Sharona and Jeffrey Weinberg have been residents of Woodmere, NY, for nearly a quarter of a century. They are both alumni of Yeshiva University and Jeff is Executive Vice President at Meridian Capital Group. The Weinbergs are members of Aish Kodesh, which benefits greatly from their active involvement. Other organizations enjoying Jeff and Sharona's participation and leadership include Yeshiva of the South Shore, YU Connects and Chabad of the Five Towns. As a dedicated NCSY family, the Weinbergs have opened their home many times to host events and guests. Weinberg children have participated as campers on the JOLT, GIVE and Michlelet Summer Programs, and as staff members on Michlelet and GIVE.
Esti and Benyamin Kaminetzky reside in Teaneck, New Jersey and are the proud parents of six children (Rivka, Shai, Zvi, Malka, Ari and Yis), and a son in law (Shalom), the vast majority of whom are multi-year veterans of NCSY and it's summer programs.
Benyamin grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey. He spent a year and a half learning in Kerem B'Yavneh before graduating from Yeshiva University and New York University School of Law. Benyamin is a partner of Davis Polk & Wardwell in Manhattan where he specializes in commercial litigation. Benyamin is the president of the Beth Din of America, is on the Board of Trustees of RIETS and the Board of Directors of Yeshiva College.
Esti originally hails from Long Beach, New York. She spent a year in Michlalah in Israel, received a B.A. from Stern College and completed an M.A. in special education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Esti has served on the education advisory boards of both RYNJ and Ma'ayanot, and is currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ma'ayanot, Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, and Yachad. She is a pioneer in Jewish special education having founded learning disability programs at both the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA) and The Frisch School.
The Ben Zakkai Honor Society raises critical funds to provide direct scholarships for NCSYers to continue their Jewish education after high school, or to participate in various NCSY programs, such as National Yarchei Kallah, Camp Sports for Boys, and the Summer Experience for Girls.
Freda Greenbaum was raised in Forest Hills, NY, and graduated Queens College with a degree in Fine Arts and Education. She moved to Florida in 1972 where she pursued graduate studies in Art Education at FIU. Together with her brother Joe Falowitz and Michael Greenbaum, Freda opened the women’s specialty store A Nose for Clothes in 1975. For the next 34 years, she acted as the fashion director, buyer and merchandise manager, as well as the PR, marketing and advertising coordinator. By the time the business was sold in 2009, it had grown to 9 southeast locations and an internet operation as well. She is most proud of creating the A Nose For Clothes Philanthropic Fund, which supported a variety of local charities for 10 years.
After brief retirement Freda started WEARS.FREDA, LLC., a consulting firm working with clients to identify Hot Fashion trends that are best sellers in the women’s ready to wear industry. Her international clients include media and designers/manufacturers of women’s better fashions.
Freda has served in numerous leadership capacities at such organizations as CAJE of Miami, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, AIPAC, JESNA and others. As Founding Chair of Southern NCSY’s Steering Committee and a member of the OU Youth Commission, Freda harness her experience from over three decades of Jewish communal service to help empower the next generation of Jewish leaders.
Freda is the mother of Ari and Stacy and the proud grandmother of Taliah, Sasha, Mordechai, Yossi, Noah, Aliyah and Aaron (A.J.).
Rabbi Ethan Katz, Regional Director of New Jersey NCSY, is renowned as the “chesed rabbi” who has led or dispatched groups on more than two dozen trips to disaster sites, from New Orleans to Boulder, CO, and everywhere in between.
Moving to Israel following high school, Rabbi Katz attended The Technion and served in the Israel Defense Forces in the paratroopers service and as a first sergeant in an anti-tank reserve unit. Following his time in the military, he was engaged in retail business and marketing. Upon his return to New Jersey in 2005, Rabbi Katz got his NCSY start as a chapter advisor in Cherry Hill.
Rabbi Katz moved rapidly up the NCSY regional ladder, serving as Central Jersey district director in 2007-2008. He then moved to Fairlawn and was promoted to northern director. In 2009 he was promoted again to associate regional director, a position he held until he assumed that of Regional Director.
Working in disaster relief is seen by Rabbi Katz as a continuation of the work of the State of Israel, the number one responder worldwide to national disasters. These missions also serve as training programs by enabling teens to realize the power to make both an impact and a kiddush Hashem
Rabbi Katz resides in Fairlawn with his wife, Debbie. They have four children: Shani, Talia, Shmuel and Naama.
Allan Ira Jacob was born in Baltimore. He received his BA from Yeshiva University and his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completing his post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center and the Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami School of Medicine. After completing his training in nephrology, Dr. Jacob served as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Nephrology at the University and was awarded a grant by the NIH to research the effect of renal disease on mineral metabolism. In 1984, Dr. Jacob founded Home Intensive Care, Inc. to develop staff-assisted dialysis in patients’ homes. He is also a psychotherapist with Master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and in Marital and Family Therapy.
Dr. Jacob has been active in community and philanthropic affairs for many institutions, including Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes of Miami, the Torah Academy of Boca Raton and the Rabbinical Seminary of America. He has also taught Talmud, Jewish law and medieval Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva Toras Chaim of Miami.
In 2010, Dr. Jacob founded the Jewish Leadership Coalition and serves as its Chairman. The Coalition has fully coordinated its activities with the OU Teach Florida initiative to work with a broad range of Jewish organizations in Florida to promote and expand state funding for needy students through the Florida corporate income tax credit program known as Step Up For Students.
Dr. Jacob has been married to Sandra since 1973. They have three children, 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Dvorah and Ben Gasner are being honored by the Ben Zakkai Honor Society with the prestigious Rebbetzin Elaine and Rabbi Pinchas Stolper Alumni Service Award, named for NCSY's beloved first National Director. Dvorah hails from upstate New York, where she was a member of NCSY's Har Sinai Region, while Ben was raised in Baltimore. They married in 1969 and made aliyah a year later. Ben, a pioneer in Israeli graphic arts, has produced beautiful artwork that graces the covers of many fine seforim. Dvorah is deeply involved in communal activities. Together, they have not only raised children and grandchildren, they have lived, loved and nurtured NCSY. It is with great gratitude that the Ben Zakkai Honors Society bestows this well-deserved recognition.
Over 15 years ago, as a young 6th grader, Yaakov Borenstein first began his involvement with NCSY. Throughout high school Yaakov became more involved as a New York NCSY regional board member and director of education. Simultaneously, Yaakov spent his summers on EuroIce (2006) and Kollel (2007). Upon graduating from Rambam Mesivta and returning from Torat Shraga, Yaakov became a beloved advisor and then regional coordinator for New York NCSY while concurrently giving three summers as an advisor on EuroIce. The summer he married his wife Talia, they were the logistics coordinators on GIVE West (2015) and then spent the following summer returning to EuroIce (2016) with Yaakov being the Assistant Director.
As a graduate of Queens College focusing on studying psychology Yaakov’s expertise in being aware of the needs of each child, communicating in sensitive manners, and being someone who is easy to work with has made him admired in NCSY. Now, with his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and amidst his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the prestigious Columbia University, his career path further exemplifies why NCSY was and continues to gain from Yaakov as a staff member. We can’t thank him and his parents, Dr. Abraham and Silvia Borenstein, for sharing their only son (and four dynamic and respected sisters) to our organization and are honored to induct him to our Ben Zakkai society.