As part of our effort to enrich the experiences of Cleveland’s teens (after Bar Mitzvah – 12 Grade), @akiva is providing the “” initiative. Each year, @akiva brings different scholars to our teen community for up to a week’s residency.

During their visits the teens’ scholars will work with various teen groups in the community: youth groups, youth group leadership, Madrichim, supplementary schools, day schools, community programs and teen educators.


Zeev Ben-Shachar  October 30 – November 3zeev_ben-shachar

Zeev Ben-Shachar is Jerusalem U’s Director of Israel Education. He oversees curriculum development and is Senior Educator for the JU Israel Gap Year Program. Zeev lectures widely at synagogues, youth movements, Jewish federations, college campuses and national and international conferences, in Israel and abroad, in English and Hebrew. He has a BA in Psychology from Harvard and a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University. He was a soldier and commander in the IDF’s Sayeret Givati Brigade.

Matt Bar and the Bible Raps January 5 – 12Bible raps

Matt Bar is founder and Executive Director of Bible Raps, a non-profit born from Matt’s desire to engage his Hebrew School classes on a deeper and more contemporary level than the way they were being taught at the time. After being turned on to Torah learning while on a Livnot trip to Israel in 2006, Bar launched Bible Raps via his participation in the PresenTense Institute during the summer of 2007. He continued to further his Jewish education during his 2008 year of study at The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Their teaching materials are being used in countless classrooms and teachers are currently being trained to be certified “Bible Raps educators.”


Vadim Blumin February 2 – 10 (as part of 2017 Hagigat Ivrit)

Vadim small pVadim Blumin is the Content and Training Specialist for Makom and an historian and activist in the fields of Jewish Education and Civil Society in Israel. Formerly, Vadim headed JAFI’s Education Department in St. Petersburg, Russia, and served as Executive Director to the nonprofit “1+1: Association of Immigrant Youth.” Vadim has also participated in the GVANIM program for pluralism and leadership, as well as the JDC-ELKA Mashmaut training program for Directors-General of Voluntary Organizations. He is a Board Member of ‘Be Free Israel’ (‘IsraelHofsheet’), a member of the Content Committee, Limmud-FSU, and one of the founders of the ‘1.5 Generation – Russian-speaking Israelis’. He lives in Ramat-Gan with Roman and their daughter, Danielle.



Below links are for information regarding the 2015-16 scholars:

Testimony Theater Israel 

(November 1-3 2015)

DagansThe Testimony Theater Israel Team (Irit, Ezra and their son Omri) will present a Teens’ leadership workshop which will be an introduction to the Testimony Theater program and its method. The workshop will combine teens and first or second-generation holocaust survivors working together to reveal the survivors story in a dramatic way. The workshop will begin and end with pre-and post-reflections, which will focus on how teen leaders can continue this experience of keeping the Holocaust memory alive with their peers.

Irit Dagan: Bio

Irit is an Expressive and Creative Therapist with an M.A in Drama Therapy. She is an actor, a teacher of acting, theater director, and a graduate of “Bet Zvi”- acting school, and literature at the Hebrew University. Played at Habima Theater, and the theater for children and youth. She is director of a theater teaching program in the “karev”- a program for intervention in education in Israel. Irit is second generation of two parents who survived Auschwitz and the “Escaping Underground” in Hungary and Transylvania.

Ezra Dagan :Bio

Ezra is an actor in the “Cameri Theater” of Tel Aviv, and a director and teacher for styled acting and mime at Haifa University. He is a graduate of the theater class of “Renanim School”, the studio of Nula Chelton, mime in the studio of Claude Kipins, and acted in “Abima Theater” for 15 years. Ezra played the role of Rabbi Menasha Levertov, in Steven Spielberg’s movie-” Schindler’s List”. Part of his family, six members of the Pinto family that lived in Paris, perished in Auschwitz.

Omri Dagan :Bio

Composer, pianist, musical director, director and electronic presentation designer for the “Testimony Theater – To Tell in Order to Live” project. Musical mentor and composer in the “Ami Assaf “ high school’s theater troupe, Beit Berl. Composer and pianist for “Habima” National theater. Founder, soloist and song writer with the folk music group The Wild Willows.

Testimony Theatre Logo English


Sarit Zehavi – Israel Advocacy Scholar in Residence

(January 10-13 2016) 

Sarit ZSarit Zehavi –  Major (Res.) Zehavi served for over 14 years in the Israeli Defense Forces, specializing in Military Intelligence  Corps. Major Zehavi’s presentations focus on Lebanon, Turkey and national security issues along Israel’s volatile border. 






Hadar Glick – Artist in Residence 

(February 21-28 2016)

SpireColor200_1S001עותקHadar Glick  –  Hadar Glick is an industrial designer who graduated from Holon Institute of Technology. She is an M.A student in the cultural studies program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the past she was the Israeli Shlicha in Cleveland.


Contact Us

@Akiva is located at 26500 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood, OH
For more information, contact @Akiva at 216.367.1388 or email Tina Keller at
[contact-form-7 id=”7″ title=”Contact form 1″]