Our Leaders

Head Leadership

Elad Nehorai

Elad Nehorai

Co-Founder and Leader of Hevria Brooklyn

Elad Nehorai is the co-founder of Hevria and the leader of Brooklyn Hevria. He has spent most of his adult life creating and nurturing communities. From the time he started a small online arts magazine in college, to his efforts as an online marketer for startups, to his viral campaign “I Have A Therapist,” to his present-day work with Hevria and Torah Trumps Hate, a community for progressive orthodox Jews, Elad cares about nothing more than connecting people who are desperately looking for a community that doesn’t exist in the physical world.

Elad is also a prolific writer. He has written for places like the Guardian, the Forward, and Haaretz.

Elad’s work has been viewed by over 10 million people, and has been discussed in places like ABC World News, BBC Radio, Mashable, the New York Daily News, Tablet, and more.

Rivka Nehorai

Rivka Nehorai

Program Leader

Rivka is an outspoken activist for artists and creative spirits, insisting that raw, redemptive art-making is the means for mental and spiritual health. She is a professional artist whose daily chicken dance between mothering three little ladies and navigating her way throughout the greater art world never gets boring. Her current work can be viewed at rivka.gallery. Rivka teaches artistic approaches to high school students as well as figure drawing for adults.

Rivka helps facilitates Hevria programming from input at the conception stage to coordinating logistics , and financial management. Rivka works as a “guardian” or “gatekeeper” at creative farbrengens and other communal gatherings, to ensure that the flow and emotional safety of the evening benefits all participants.

Matthue Roth

Matthue Roth

Co-Founder And Lead Editor

Matthue Roth created Hevria’s online publication with Elad Nehorai, and has since overseen and developed the site’s vision as well as being the head editor for all guest writing.

Matthue’s new picture book is The Gobblings. He also wrote Never Mind the Goldbergs and a bunch of other books without pictures. By day, he writes games for Google. He lives in Brooklyn and keeps a secret diary at matthue.com.

The Online Leaders

Lela Casey

Lela Casey

Assistant Editor at Hevria and Lead Editor of Neshamas

Lela is the one we all depend on at Hevria. She runs Neshamas, does all the work to get guest posts live after they’re accepted, runs our Facebook page, and so much more.

Lela Casey is also the assistant editor at The Wisdom Daily. Her writing has been featured in many websites including kveller.combrainchildmag.com, and femininecollective.com. She is a seeker of wisdom, adventure, and kindred spirits.

Ayala Tiefenbrunn

Ayala Tiefenbrunn

Social Media Manager

Ayala Tiefenbrunn is an aspiring UX designer and writer. She enjoys bullet journaling, happy dancing, and making herself uncomfortable for the sake of compassion. She collects rubber ducks. You can find more of her creative work at crazyduckwoman.com.

Ayala runs Hevria’s social media accounts, as well as thinking through the strategy for this ever-changing medium.

David Karpel

David Karpel

Chief Mentor of Creative Souls

David Karpel is forever struggling. And when he is not struggling, he helps envision the future of Hevria or works to mentor those who reach out to our site for guidance.

He thanks G-d he is married to the funniest woman in the world and that they have two freakishly well-behaved children.

Yocheved Sidof

Yocheved Sidof

Growth Adviser

Besides for her always-viral articles on Hevria, Yocheved Sidof manages to find time in her day to advise Hevria in its growth. Her voice has been vital to the website as it exists today, and where we’ll be going in the future.

Yocheved is also a photographer, filmmaker, writer, educator and – most importantly! – mother of four. She is also the Executive Director of Lamplighters Yeshivah, a Chassidic Montessori school she co-founded in 2010, whose mission is to revolutionize Jewish education and reach every child.

The Brooklyn Leaders

Laura Melnicoff

Laura Melnicoff

Head of Women's Programming

Laura Melnicoff is a professional cellist, active in the classical, klezmer, and Jewish rock music communities. She currently plays offBroadway in the orchestra for the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. Laura also plays with the jazz eclectica band The New Moon All Stars Party Band; and the Jewish rock band Zayah. Laura received her BA in Music from Mannes the New School for Music and MA in Music from Tel Aviv University.

Laura is passionate about fostering and facilitating creative expression, and is the Director of Women’s programming for the Jewish creative community Hevria. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with her husband and two little boys.

Eliyahu Benhiyoun

Eliyahu Benhiyoun

Volunteer Leader

Raised in a home that doubled as the only Chabad House in downtown Chicago, Elie got an early start in alternative community building. Harnessing a still unquenched thirst to explore, Elie left home when he was fifteen years old to study at Yeshivahs in France, Argentina, LA, Brooklyn and earned his rabbinical degree in Singapore while working for the local Jewish community. Soon after, he started his own Chabad House in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and at DePaul University. Once a viable community was built, Elie ventured onward to pursue a journey of self discovery and now lives in Brooklyn as a writer and aspiring musician.

Today, Elie uses his community-building experience to help build Hevria in ways it never could before. Elie built the volunteer base for Hevria from scratch and now manages a team of volunteers while also leading events, visioning growth, and so much more.

Jeremy Borovitz

Jeremy Borovitz

Head of Growth

Jeremy Borovitz grew up in New Jersey the son of a Reform Rabbi. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2010-2013, and later worked for the JDC in Kiev as a Jewish Service Corps Fellow. From 2014-2015 Jeremy worked for Moishe House as its European Director of Jewish Education. Jeremy is the co-founder of Brooklyn Beit Midrash as well as Base Berlin. He is the proud father of Hindi and the grateful husband of Rebecca.

Jeremy provides invaluable advice as to the direction of Hevria’s evolution and its ever-growing philosophy and approach to the Jewish communal world.

Emily Zimmer

Emily Zimmer

Event Manager

Originally from small town Ontario, Emily is a flourishing Jewish creative with a passion for music, the Torah, and Irish literature. For the past year and a half Hevria has been a home for Emily’s thought pieces, journalism, poetry, and musical ambitions.

Emily is also a singer/song writing who released her first EP, “Youth and So On” this past year. She enjoys convening others for the purpose of creative growth, and finds great value in community building and intentional gatherings.

Isaiah Rothstein

Isaiah Rothstein

Partnership Manager

Isaiah serves as the Rabbi-in-residence for Hazon. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah is pulled towards building platforms for Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate their identities and affinities – together – with the rest of community. Isaiah received rabbinic ordination and master of social work from Yeshiva University’s RIETS and Wurzweiler School of Social Work. During his spare time, Isaiah enjoys bringing movement to strings, things, and people in the greater NYC area. At the Union Street Sanctuary, a community magnet for spiritual innovation, or with his band Zayah.

As the Partner Manager for Hevria, it is his mission to bring the strong ethos of Jewish Creativity to every pulpit and Jewish institution, nationwide. Isaiah currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.