Rabbi Dr. Mike and Morah Zehava work together at GNS as Youth Rabbi and Youth Director respectively. Since 2012 they have fostered the religious, spiritual growth and education of our youth through myriad programs throughout the year.
Zehava, a native of Great Neck grew up attending Great Neck Synagogue and the North Shore Hebrew Academy. As a child, Zehava enjoyed both the social and spiritual aspects of the youth program at GNS and always felt a strong connection to it. Zehava attended SKA for High School, Midreshet Moriah in Israel and Stern College for Women. Afterward, Zehava earned her Master’s degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Zehava is a speech-language pathologist and works with children of all ages. Zehava is musical and artistic and enjoys developing creative strategies to engage children in the learning process.
Rabbi Dr. Mike hails from Edison, New Jersey, where he attended Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva. After graduating from the Jewish Educational Center, Rabbi Dr. Mike studied in Israel at Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim and Yeshiva University. He earned his semicha from Rabbi Chaim Jachter, respected educator and dayan. Rabbi Dr. Mike earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Argosy University in Washington D.C. where he specialized in therapy for children and adolescents. He is currently the Director of Student Support Services at Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC) where he supports struggling students in Judaic and general studies.
Together, Dr. Mike and Zehava have always been active members of their community. Prior to moving to Great Neck, while living in Silver Spring, Maryland for five years, Rabbi Dr. Mike taught in the local Hebrew School and served as a youth educator for Kadima the Conservative youth organization. Zehava started a monthly learning program for young women. Together they assisted in Aish HaTorah D.C.’s High Holiday minyan and program. They also participated in Project Inspire, which trains already observant individuals to bring others closer to Judaism.
Presently Rabbi Dr. Mike and Morah Zehava enjoy leading the youth minyan (prayer services) every Shabbat, overseeing exciting and enriching youth groups on Shabbat morning for preschool age children through 5th graders and running programming around the holidays and yomim tovim . Examples of some of the programs they have initiated at GNS include, March Madness, a trivia competition relating to a specific area of content (e.g, the siddur, haggadah, megila ,etc), Family Friday night, during the Festive month of Adar , where families can come together for a fun themed Shabbat meal, as well as an annual mother daughter shabbaton , where a guest speaker comes to great neck for Shabbat and addresses girls and women of all different ages.
Rabbi Dr. Mike and Morah Zehava’s goal is to continue offering the activities and programs for GNS youth that keep our synagogue an exciting and awesome place to be!