Avnei Chein Our Team

Meet Avnei Chein

PRECIOUS people helping PRECIOUS people.

Supporting  patients, and their families, in  Mental Health Crisis

Advocating, guiding, and escorting people through the maze of mental health services to the point where they can survive, thrive  and flourish independently, Avnei Chein was created to fill the huge gap in mental health support in our community. This comprehensive advocacy organization provides a dedicated Crisis Support Manager to individuals, and their families, to walk hand in hand through the complex social welfare, police, justice, medical and mental health systems, to ensure they receive individualized care based on their unique set of needs.

Avnei Chein was created by a group of deeply concerned and motivated individuals who recognized a clear pattern of destructive and harmful interactions for people suffering in mental health crises due to the lack of patient advocacy, awareness of programs, lack of resources and  other causes. Along with a team of advisors to guide them (Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Therapists, Community Activists and the community Rabbis), these individuals established Avnei Chein, in the hopes of creating a completely unique program. Since its founding, it has become  drastically apparent how needed this project is. Due to the nature of mental illness, many families are suffering alone, without knowing where to turn.

Our team are passionate “ambassadors” for families and individuals affected by mental illness. We stand by their sides and advocate for them while they go through counseling and therapy. We will ensure home support in their time of crisis until the entire family is rehabilitated and able to navigate the various mental health systems on their own.

The Avnei Chein Team

Our Board

Rabbi David Green

Avnei Chein President


Rabbi David Green is the author of "A Book About You” and “Pictures of Your Soul”. David received smichah (Rabbinic Ordination) at the Mir Yeshiva and has been teaching and counselling in various yeshivas, seminaries, teens at risk and rehab programs and a number of educational programs for over twenty years.  He has taught at Sofia and Retorno  (an addiction prevention and rehabilitation program). 

He is a renowned international teacher, speaker, and performer.

Nosson Westreich M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto


Dr. Westreich, a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Medical School and Head of Neuropsychiatry at Sunnybrook & Women's Health Sciences Centre. He previously co-directed the Inpatient Adolescent Regional Unit. Dr. Westreich also serves as a Medical Consultant with Sun Life insurance company. He teaches medical students and residents and is renowned for his professional articles, radio interviews, and speaking engagements for medical, civic, and Jewish organizations worldwide. He holds a Master's degree in Education from Loyola and Rabbinical Ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College of Baltimore.

Lorie Goldfinger

President at Alegious Innovative Partners


Lorie is an experienced Corporate President and CEO with a long and successful history of working in an number of industries, skilled in Negotiation, Investor Relations, Business Planning, Sales, Renewable Energy and accelerating start-ups.

Lorie is a strong business development professional with over 40 years of owning, operating a number of businesses in the fashion, renewable energy as tech-space as well building and consulting on Solar Energy projects, investing in startups in the technology space. 

Devorah Rich

Principle Owner at DER Associates LLC


Devorah has over 35 years of experience in healthcare, designing and evaluating a wide array of pilot initiatives. Devorah oversaw both quantitative and qualitative research, merging attitudinal research findings with clinical outcomes to identify strategic improvement opportunities.

Prior to moving to Israel, Devorah worked at the United Auto Workers (UAW) Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, helping retirees better manage chronic healthcare conditions.

Devorah served as Vice President of Cost and Quality at the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, Evaluation Director at the Jewish Fund, and Research Investigator and Manager of Customer Satisfaction and Data Management at the University of Michigan Health System.

 

Avraham Gundle DO.ND

Founder & Director of the Centre for Integrated Medicine


Avraham is the Founder and Director of The Centre for Integrated Medicine in Ramat Bet Shemesh Israel, where he lives with his wife and five children. He has been practicing in Israel since 1995 and has been in private practice for over 30 years. 

Avraham lectures and teaches throughout Israel and internationally. 

Avraham has a semicha (Rabbinical ordination) in Issur v’Heter from Rabbi Daniel Channan in Israel.

Shoshana Schaeffer

Operations Manager, Sunhouse Digital Marketing


Shoshana Schaeffer earned her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science over 25 years ago. She has worked and managed libraries and information data in a variety of settings. Shoshana’s main role at SunHouse Marketing is that of Project Management Officer. She oversees the running of the organization with tasks that include billing, payroll and beyond. Shoshana uses her organizational skills to tackle the numerous tasks and activities in the busy buzzing lifecycle of SunHouse Marketing.

Our Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Uri Wolf M.D.

Medical Director


Dr. Uri Wolf, certified Psychiatrist in Canada and Israel, specializes in Geriatric Psychiatry with additional certifications in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. Formerly an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, he's published extensively on dementia and neuropsychiatric conditions. At Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care, he developed a virtual model for dementia treatment. Dr. Wolf has a private practice and has been Medical Director of Relief Resources-Canada since 2010, focusing on general adult and occupational psychiatry. Currently, he serves as Medical Director at Avnei Chein, consulting on cases and supporting clinical activities in both Israel and Canada.

Gail Gundle

Case Management Team Advisor


Gail Gundle, M.A. in Family Therapy, has 25 years of experience in mental health in Israel. Gail has worked at Tzofia and founded the adolescent unit at the Family Institute. For the past 10 years, she has been an independent practitioner, clinical supervisor, and completed advanced training in DBT, IFS, and EMDR. As a parent of a child with special needs, she appreciates the complexity of dealing with chronic ongoing challenges and values the crucial role that community organizations can fulfill in supporting families in crisis.

Our Executive Team

Sol Jakubowicz

Executive Director


Sol is co-founder and manager of Sunhouse Marketing, a digital marketing agency.  After many years in business consulting, Sol has returned to his roots (on a voluntary level) in social services on behalf of the community.  Sol has a BA, with a major in sociology and social
psychology, along with a Certificate in ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), Conflict Resolution, Conflict System Design, and Mediation.  Sol is taking his business and social service backgrounds and using both  to direct Avnei Chein. 

Judy Green

Director of Volunteers


For many years, Rebbetzin Judy Green has been involved in Jewish Education and community chesed projects. After settling in Israel, she became a life coach and focused her practice largely on issues of Shalom Bayit. Between her volunteer activities and coaching, she noticed a great lack in the mental health world. Frequently people could not afford appropriate therapy and, at times they just had no clue to whom to turn. Judy felt she must try to fill this gap and therefore joined the forces of Avnei Chein.

Fran Jakubowicz

Director of Marketing


Fran is the founder and CEO of Sunhouse Marketing, and an advocate in promoting mental health in our community.  Fran is now lending her  skills to help grow Avnei Chein, so that it can meet the financial demands of the community for this vital service. 

Our Case Management Team

Jenny Krainess

Crisis Support Manager


Jenny, a parent coach and consultant, has worked for over fifteen years with families facing mental health challenges, disabilities, and have intense or challenging children, teens, and young adults. Her extensive experience as a Nurtured Heart Approach Advanced Trainer provides personal and effective support for the people that she works with. Jenny’s passion to help families become knowledgeable and empowered helps pave the way for them to find strength and hope.

Yossi Wachtel

Crisis Support Manager


Yossi is an experienced Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the individual and family services industry. He is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Planning, and Youth Work. Yossi is a strong program and project management professional with a Bachelor of Education (BEd) focused on Special Education and Teaching from Michlala.

Adina Brodsky

Crisis Support Manager


Adina holds a BSW through Bar Ilan University and an MSW in clinical social work from Haifa University, specializing in clinical social work. She worked for four years as a social worker at Children’s Town, providing group and individual therapy for troubled adolescents and their parents. Her comprehensive understanding of the Israeli mental health system and her therapy background enable her not only to provide emotional support to families and individuals in times of crisis, but also to help advocate for them to ensure they receive the assistance they need.

Our Administrative Support Team

Elkie Walfish

Crisis Intake Coordinator


Elkie, an educator from New York, moved to Israel 15 years ago with her husband and four children. With a Master's degree in Elementary Education from Queen's College, she taught in New York for five years before shifting focus to private, English-speaking gan environments in Israel.

Since her move, Elkie has volunteered with Avnei Chein, coordinating meals for struggling families. Beyond Avnei Chein, she engages in various chesed opportunities, using her love for cooking to bring care and compassion to those in need.

Elkie strongly believes in chessed and making a tangible impact within the community.

Raphael Kirzner

Fundraising Manager


Raphael is a fundraising professional with a track record of success in connecting donors with meaningful causes. With a focus on forming and maintaining genuine relationships, he excels in showcasing the impact of the non-profit organization and leveraging diverse marketing strategies to amplify their mission.

Hailing from Canada and currently residing in Israel, Raphael brings a global perspective to everything he does. His commitment to integrity and transparency ensures that charitable funds are directed precisely where they are needed most. Raphael thrives on authentic connections and meaningful work, never compromising on honesty or values.

Dvora Soffer

Office Manager


Dvora holds a BCom in Financial Accounting. With a career in office administration and trust taxation, and experience in online campaigns and financial management, she ensures the organization's smooth running.

Originally from South Africa, Dvora has been living in Israel for the last 10 years with her husband and children. She strives to ensure the efficiency and continued positive impact of the organization by assisting in all the administrative and technical needs of Avnei Chein.

Mental Health and Free Will event
Date: Sunday February 21
Time: 7:15 pm – Israel
12:15 pm – EST  
5:15 pm – UK
 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81077118484