all about mayanot
The experience is yours. The memories are on us.
Vision Statement of MAYANOT Israel
Thousands of people choose MAYANOT for their Birthright Israel trip each year for good reason. We spare no expense to give you an experience of a lifetime! We are all about creating memories.
From bright sunny days to dazzling starry nights; ancient traditions and modern innovations; climbing Masada or white-water rafting down the Jordan River. Only Mayanot Israel helps you appreciate Israel from all angles. With Mayanot, you experience the land in all its beauty, and the mix of people whose many cultures weave into a beautiful tapestry you can’t find anywhere else.
A high-quality Israel experience in ten activity-packed days, and meet young Israelis and participants from diverse backgrounds. Wherever you’re from, no matter what your background is, you’ll feel at home on a Mayanot Israel trip. Highlights of your Israel experience with Mayanot include: Hiking Masada, Floating in the Dead Sea, Shabbat at the Western Wall and much more!
“Mayanot” means wellsprings – a stream of water that you must dig deeper to discover. At Mayanot, we give you the tools you’ll need to dig a little deeper and discover something new about yourself, your family, your people and your history. We are built upon a love for Israel, the Jewish people, our common history and Jewish tradition. Mayanot draws inspiration from Chabad spirituality.
Each Mayanot trip has a great team of dedicated staff to help make your journey an A++ experience! Our staff are well trained to tailor this experience for you and facilitate discussions where everyone can contribute in their own unique way.
For our campus-based Birthright Israel trips, we partner with the Chabad on Campus International Foundation through their 100 + centers across the United States. Click the button below to find your campus trip.
Meet Our Team
Danny Sack, originally from South Africa and raised in Sydney, Australia, is the Director of Mayanot's Birthright Israel Division. Danny has been in Israel for 12 years and enjoys snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing and other outdoor activities. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.
Sam was born and raised in the suburbs of London, UK. After having spent a year or two on the Island of Cyprus learning to paint, he made his way over to Israel in early 2010. His journey over the past seven years has seen him working on a kibbutz, learning at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, serving in the IDF Infantry, and taking up painting again at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Sam joined the team in November 2017, and lives in Jerusalem with his wife Rachel and their son Elijah.
Rachel Gelfand, originally from New York, serves as Mayanot's Director of Education, always striving to bring our participants the very best Birthright Israel has to offer! She has called Israel home since late 2014. She is a certified yoga teacher, enjoys sharing a good laugh and exploring the world.
Carmen is originally from Colorado. She came to Israel on a Birthright trip and was hooked! She now lives in the Shuk- where she likes to sneak up on visiting groups to say hi. Carmen enjoys bringing participants to Israel to give them the chance to fall in love with the country just as she did.
Laurie Tamres made Aliyah from Boca Raton, FL. in 2010. She loves living out her dream in Jerusalem with all the history, culture and nightlife. She loves to laugh, live life to the fullest and you can usually find her out on Thursday night listening to live music with her husband, Avi. Laurie joined the Mayanot Team in August 2017 as a part-time staff and started in her current position in January 2018.
Esther Charnowitz, originally from New York, serves as Mayanot's eligibility coordinator. She works tirelessly on a daily basis to help bring as many people as possible to Israel. Esther made Aliyah in 2012 after falling in love with the land. She loves photography, music and all things in Israel, especially It's food =)
Shimon Deitsch grew up the third child of six in New Haven, CT. His favorite spots in Israel include the famed Machane Yehudah Market (especially at night) and the running track at Sacher Park. Shimon came to Israel in August 2016 to take up a leadership role in the fast-growing “Post High School Program” at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies. Four months later he joined our Birthright Israel program. He’s an avid New England Patriots fan and supports the scholars of Yale University on and off the field. As he says “watching scholars toss a ball around is pretty entertaining!”
Lottie Kestenbaum moved to Israel from New Jersey in 2012. Lottie is Mayanot's Recruitment Coordinator aka your go-to-gal for anything involving bringing your friends to Israel and ensuring you come back for your free trip! When Lottie is not hanging out with Birthright Israel groups and giving recruitment tips, she can be found watching Tasty videos, eating sushi or aimlessly wandering through Ikea for hours.
Jessica Miller IS Mayanot. Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Shuk and the Tel Aviv Beach are her fave' places and she absolutely loves anything orange. Especially Mayanot. She loves #Mayanot, #Birthright and trip participants more than she loves herself and really wants YOU to come to Israel for FREE!
Shmulik Israel, Mayanot's Logistics Coordinator, first tasted the Mayanot experience as a young "Madrich" (trip staff) 15 years ago and has been involved ever since! He loves his twice weekly runs through the streets of Jerusalem, and makes sure never to miss his annual ski trip to the Swiss Alps! Shmulik is THE man at Mayanot, making sure your trip runs smoothly, from touchdown to takeoff!
Yes YOU! You can be a part of the Mayanot team! Like Social Media? Graphic Design? Creativity and content creation? Let us know! We are always looking for new people to become be Mayanot Interns! Join the family you know you love! #MyInternship for the win!
Rikki grew up in Chicago and stayed in Israel after staffing a few Birthright Israel; Mayanot trips. She joined the team in August 2017 and is managing Mayanot's website as well as Graphics and Social Media.
Yosef Esshaghian, originally from Los Angeles, serves in Mayanot's marketing and recruiting departments. He's been involved with Mayanot for over fifteen years and loves to share his passion for everything Birthright Israel related. He made Aliyah with his family in 2016. Yosef is a retired ninja.