Zvi Ben Zion Sand, Chairman of the Steering Committee
Zvi Ben Zion Sand has a CLU (chartered life underwriter) degree in life insurance from the Insurance Academy of Tel Aviv. He pursued advanced religious studies at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh Theological Seminary, within the framework of the Hesder program, combining religious studies with military service. He is a retired officer of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
He is the manager and owner of the Ganey David, Ltd., Company Group, which develops commercial and residential real-estate throughout Israel, where he oversees building management and project development. He also worked as an inspector for Manulife Menora Life Insurance Company.
He moved to Israel forty-four years ago. Besides being a member of Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he works with a dozen organizations involved in Torah outreach, support for the needy, and religious education for youth. He lives in Moshav Beit Zayit, adjacent to Jerusalem, with his wife of over thirty years, Tamara (née Ben David). The couple has two daughters and three sons (and, so far, two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren). Their grown sons and sons-in-law all served in the IDF.
Howard Shapiro, Yeshivath Sharashim Webmaster-US and
Steering Committee member
Howard Shapiro has a BA in psychology and creative writing from Yeshiva University of New York and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He pursued advanced religious studies at the Yeshivat Hakotel Theological Seminary in Jerusalem and Yeshiva University.
He is the school psychologist of the Denver Academy of Torah in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches religious studies as well. He also worked for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, California, as the school psychologist of several Jewish high schools there.
Besides Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Orthodox Union (OU) and has been a Board member of the OU for four years. He also chaired two OU West Coast Torah Conventions. In addition, he serves on the executive board of his local synagogue, the DAT Minyan. He lives in Denver with his wife of eleven years, Mor (née Reis), and their two young sons.
Flip van der Poel, Yeshivath Sharashim Webmaster-NL and
Steering Committee member
Flip van der Poel, originally from Brugge, Belgium, completed his education at ’t Gilde in Gorinchem, in the Netherlands. Afterward, he began working as sailor on a barge in the Netherlands. After nearly two years, he started a career in the building sector in different places in the Netherlands.
Seven years ago, he and his wife Miriam (née de Jong), then newlyweds, visited Israel for the first time. That first visit led to a special love for Israel (and, so far, more than ten additional visits). He began to engage in volunteer work for Isreality, the youth movement of Christians for Israel. He has been an employee of Christians for Israel for the past four years, in charge of technical work.
Besides joining Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he continues to volunteer for Isreality. He and Miriam live in Gorinchem, in the Netherlands, with their young son.
Shmuel Buchwald, Steering Committee member
Shmuel Buchwald has a BA in psychology and sociology from Drew University of Madison, New Jersey, an MS in psychology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and an MA in Jewish communal service from Brandeis University of Waltham, Massachusetts. He pursued advanced religious studies at the Yeshivat Darché Noam / David Shapell College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
He has worked as a clinical psychologist for forty-one years. In Israel, he worked at the Department of Mental Health outpatient facilities in Rishon LeZion and at the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed. Prior to moving to Israel, he served as a staff psychologist at the River Region Community Mental Health Center in Louisville, Kentucky (where he worked as an outpatient psychotherapist and as associate director of the alcoholism program), and served as a supervising psychologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio (where he managed an outreach office, supervised staff, and provided psychotherapy for patients).
He moved to Israel twenty-nine years ago. Besides being a member of Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he has been operating a private clinic in Jerusalem for the past twenty-six years. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife of twenty-six years, Shaina (née Berman), and their two daughters and two sons (and, so far, one son-in-law and two grandchildren). Both their sons are presently serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
Eliahu Feen, Steering Committee member
Eliahu (“Eli”) Feen has a BA in philosophy from Harvard University and an MD from the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He pursued advanced religious studies at the Yeshivat Darché Noam / David Shapell College of Jewish Studies and the kolel of Yeshivas Medrash Shmuel, both in Jerusalem.
He is a neurologist on the faculty of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri. He also chairs committees on intensive care units at the Saint Louis University Hospital, on health care quality improvement within the clinical care of the Saint Louis University medical faculty, and on medical and professional ethics in the Neurocritical Care Society.
Besides Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he is a member of the Boards of Directors of the H. F. Epstein Hebrew Academy and of the Louis and Sarah Block Yeshiva High School, both of St. Louis. He is also a member of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. He lives in St. Louis with his wife of eighteen years, Adi (née Lissoos), and their five children.
Stuart Gherman, Steering Committee member
Stuart Gherman has a BA in psychology from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a DDS from the Temple University School of Dentistry, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He continues his Torah education through daily lectures at the Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center, the Yeshurun Central Synagogue, and other institutions in Jerusalem.
He currently maintains a private part-time dental practice in Jerusalem. Prior to moving to Israel, he operated a private dental practice in East Meadow, New York. He also served as the president of his local synagogue, the Young Israel of North Bellmore.
He and his wife of forty-five years, Arlene (née Levenson), moved to Israel five years ago. Besides being a member of Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee and pursuing advanced religious studies, he and Arlene are devoted grandparents. They live in Jerusalem, and three of their four children live in Israel as well, with their families. One son, who still lives in New York, hopes to move to Israel with his family one day.
Bartjan Reinder Repko, Steering Committee member
Bartjan Reinder (“Bart”) Repko, after completing his basic education in his native Hilversum, Holland, started an art studio, Repko Design. Later starting a television production company, Highway Vision, he specialized in producing TV documentaries for Dutch national public television, including documentaries in Argentina, Cambodia, Colombia, the Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Northern Ireland, Peru, and Rwanda. The Jewish Agency regarded his documentary on the Russian Aliyah, USSR Good-Bye, as “best documentary.”
Six years ago, he retired from his television production career, to respond to the divine pledge, “For Zion’s sake, I shall not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake, I shall not keep quiet.… Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all the day and all the night, they will never be silent” (Isaiah 62:1,6). He and his wife of thirty-nine years, Johanna Ida Catharina (“Yoki,” née Ansems), moved from the Netherlands to Jerusalem, and he founded NeverBeSilent. Since then, he challenges Christian believers to accompany him walking on the Old City walls daily (except on the Sabbath), proclaiming God’s eternal and irrevocable Biblical promises for Israel, fulfilling Isaiah’s words, “You, who mention God, take yourselves no rest. And give Him no rest, until He establishes and until He sets Jerusalem a praise of the earth” (ibid. 62:6-7). Many thousands have already heeded his call for Christian repentance toward, reconciliation with, and standing in the breach on behalf of Israel.
Over the years, his and Yoki’s love for Israel continues to grow stronger. Besides joining Yeshivath Sharashim’s Steering Committee, he is currently publishing his first book, Watchmen are Making a Difference, in Dutch. He hopes to publish his second book, Return, from Rome to Jerusalem, in the near future. The couple has four grown children (and, so far, seven grandchildren) in the Netherlands.