Ora V'Simcha Lecturers and Presenters

At Ora V'Simcha, a cadre of exceptional presenters impart their message in a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere where all topics presented are open to analysis and challenge.  We list a sampling of our current roster of instructors.  Please refer to your program schedule for a precise listing of who will be teaching during your program.

Rabbi Naftali Reich

Director of Ora V’Simcha

Rabbi Reich joined Ohr Somayach 25 years ago as a the Director of the Russian student division. He then spearheaded the dynamic growth of Legacy Ohr Somayach’s highly successful outreach division. His counseling skills are sought out by many hundreds of Ohr Somayach’s students and alumni as they navigate the life contours and pitfalls of their personal and family growth.

Rabbi Reich’s aishes chayil Rivky serves as the supervisor of a local HASC Preschool and shares in all aspects of the exciting growth of Ora V’Simcha. Together they  serve as the personal hosts to all participants of each Ora V’Simcha event. Rabbi Reich’s weekly Torah Dispatch is avidly read by thousands of people around the world. Despite the demands of their beautiful family of 13 children and a growing tribe of grandchildren, the Reich's treat every participant as one of their own.

Ohr Somayach Staff Bio's​​

Rabbi Yisroel Rokowsky

Dean/ Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Somayach

Rabbi Yisroel Rokowsky has served as the founding Dean of Ohr Somayach, Monsey since ​​its inception. Rabbi Rokowsky is a world renowned Talmudic scholar  whose wildly popular shiurim are listened to across the globe on the Torah network and whose highly acclaimed Daf Yomi shiur is now in its fifth cycle. Rabbi Rokowsky’s in depth approach to Talmudic learning infuses his students​ with a unique appreciation of  Torah and Talmudic study. His counsel and guidance are sought out by his many students and admirers worldwide.

Rabbi Avrohom Braun

Director of Ohr Somayach

Rabbi Avraham Braun has overseen the growth and served as the Educational Director of Ohr Somayach for thirty years. His wealth of accumulated life experience has guided thousands of talmidim and families in making critical decisions that determine both their physical and emotional future.  His much sought after counsel is a testimony to his sincere commitment and involvement with each individual​’s and married couples gro​wth and personal progress. Besides serving as a keynote presenter at every retreat, Rabbi Braun  is accessible for one-on-one consultations during each weekend event.

Mrs. Shoshanna Kirshner

Registrar and Administrative Director

Shoshanna has a wealth of experience planning and organizing professional family events and brings her passion, excitement and almost magical dimension to each retreat she manages. Shoshanna adds a uniquely personal touch to each Ora V’Simcha event by ensuring that each participants' every personal need is provided in a professional and courteous manner. Her husband, Rabbi Mayer Kirshner, shares in the passion and excitement of each event. Rabbi Kirshner also serves as Ohr Somayach’s senior Kashrus Supervisor. The Kirshners  reside in the Forshay neighborhood of Monsey where they are also active in many local community initiatives and chesed undertakings.

Scholars in Residence and Presenters

Rabbi Mordechai and Miriam Shira Swiatycki

Associate Professor of Talmud and Philosophy

Rabbi Mordechai Swiatycki has been inspiring and lecturing to Jewish audiences for over thirty years. As a master educator and senior lecturer of both Talmud and Philosophy at Ohr Somayach, Monsey, Rabbi Swiatycki's thought provoking insights in philosophy continue to inspire students and are a main stay of the Introductory and Legacy Seminar Programs.

Rabbi Swiatycki’s aishes chayil, Miriam Shira, is an integral and beloved teacher whose infectious enthusiasm and broad life experience infuses and inspires the participants in each of her presentations. Constantly ranking the highest ratings in our exit surveys, Mrs Swiatycki is an indispensible and integral part of each retreat.

Mrs. Debbie Greenblatt

Founder, Women's Division of Gateway

Mrs. Greenblatt, a Senior Lecturer for Gateways, has been involved with teaching and counseling Jewish women for more than twenty-five years.  Her insightful and powerful presentations on topics such as practical applications of Jewish philosophy and personal relationships, has touched the minds and hearts of all those who attend her classes.  Mrs. Greenblatt lectures frequently within the Metropolitan area and across the country.

Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller

Internationally acclaimed author and lecturer Senior Faculty Member, Neve Yerushalayim

Since 1980 consummate educator and internationally acclaimed speaker Rebbetzin Tzippora Heller has been a full-time lecturer at Neve Yerushalayim College in Jerusalem, impacting the lives of thousands of women worldwide.  Rebbetzin Heller is distinguished by her unique teaching style. Her insights on virtually any topic within Jewish studies flow in a seemingly effortless stream while leading her audience along creative new lines of thought. 

As a woman who has managed to balance her responsibilities as a mother of a large family with her role as a leading public figure throughout her career in Jewish education, she is able to demonstrate and provide the rolls for real life application of the teachings she imparts at Ora V’Simcha.

Mrs. Chani Juravel

Founder and Director of Lev V'Nefesh Institute

Chani has been teaching and counseling since 1983 and is the founding principal of Ateres Bais Yaakov School in Rockland County. She lectures in communities across America, focusing on relating lessons from Torah and prayer to parenting and self-growth. She received her BA in Psychology from Brooklyn College and her MSW from Fordham University.  In 2010 she founded the Lev V’Nefesh institute where she teaches on a daily basis providing invaluable  guidance  on ways to improve our spiritual and emotional health to an enthusiastic ever growing circle of  admirers and followers .

Despite her overwhelming daily schedule at Lev V’Nefesh and in her busy private practice, Mrs Juravel is a key presenter at almost every Ora V’Simcha retreat and seminar and she readily  makes herself available to speak to all of Ora V’Simcha’s enrollees who seek her advice. Chani lives in New Hempstead, NY with her husband Zev and their five delightful children.

Rabbi Label Lam

Co-Founder of Foundations for Jewish Learning, Inc.
Principal,  Queens

Rabbi Label Lam is the co-founder of Foundations for Jewish Learning with outreach projects in the United States and abroad and serves as the Principal of Yeshiva Sha'arei Zion in Queens NY. Rabbi Lam launched his highly successful teaching career at Ohr Somayach’s Jewish Exchange in NY and has since enthralled audiences across the globe with his deep insights, rich life experience, his profound wit and his infectious love for Jewish People. Rabbi Lam’s most popular topics are his parenting workshop ‘how to be a hero to your kids’ and his marriage shalom bayis mini series presentation. His insights on the weekly Parsha are received by more than 15,000 subscribers weekly and can be found at Rabbi Lam lives in Spring Valley, New York with his wife Chaya and their ten children.

Mrs. Lori Palatnik

Founding Director of the Jewish Women's Renaissance Program

Lori Palatnik is an internationally acclaimed writer and much sought after Jewish educator who is the author of many popular Jewish self help books.  Lori is the Founder of The Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, an international initiative that brings over 1,000 women to Israel each year from ten different countries on highly subsidized programs to inspire them with the beauty and wisdom of their heritage. Her weekly video blog, "Lori Almost Live" is a popular feature on, viewed by over 50,000 people each month. She lives in the Washington D.C. area, with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik and their five precious children.

Rabbi Jonathan Rietti

International Author and Lecturer, Gateways Organization

Rabbi Rietti, a descendant of the Sephardic leader the Ben Ish Chai  is a Senior Lecturer for Gateways and works as a Director at the  Mishkan Yecheskel Teacher Training Center where he trains teachers nationwide in effective communication methodology.  With a Masters in Education, he has practiced for twenty-four years as an educational consultant to parents of gifted children and those with ADD, and has authored over twenty-nine albums on topics including inner growth, health, parenting and Jewish identity.

Rabbi Rietti’s presentations at Ora V’Simcha focus on providing the ‘hands on tools’ to assist parents in imparting the beauty and richness of Torah observance to their children and infusing the home atmosphere with joy and warmth.

Rabbi Doniel and Shira Frank

Directors, MAP Seminars

One of the highlights of each Ora V’Simcha retreat is the engaging and masterfully delivered family workshop presented by Rabbi Doniel Frank.  Rabbi Frank is the Director of M.A.P. Seminars.  His unique approach includes a blend of theory and strategy that empower audiences with the knowledge and skills necessary to effect meaningful changes in their lives. (Motivation and Performance) Seminars, Inc.,  in Monsey NY. Rabbi Frank received his Smichah from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Maryland, a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University, and advanced training in Imago Relationship Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Rabbi Frank has authored two books, “How Can I Change, for Heaven’s Sake?” (Feldheim, 2011) and “Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg Talks About Chinuch” (Feldheim, 2006.)
Rabbi Frank lives with his wife Shevy  in Spring Valley, NY, where he maintains a busy private practice in marriage and family therapy .

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

International Author and Lecturer

Rabbi Rubinstein is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish World.  He regularly speaks in the UK, United States, France, Belgium, Gibraltar, South Africa and Israel.  The Independent newspaper has cited him, along with Tony Blair's mentor, as being among five people in Britain to turn to for advice.  Rabbi YY is a regular broadcaster on National UK TV & BBC Radio, and often contributes highly popular columns on contemporary challenges facing the Jewish community to numerous newspapers, popular blogs and weekly Jewish magazines.

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