Support. Therapy. Education.
Keshev empowers teens, young adults, and those that work with them to strengthen their wellbeing and mental health.
With an interdisciplinary methodology and holistic approach, we offer multiple services to support healthy social-emotional development, including mental health certification, individual counseling, group workshops, and organizational consulting.
We aim to create a positive culture and environment through every program where staff and participants feel supported and cared for.
Every year, tens of thousands of teens and young adults participate in immersive and educational experiences in Israel. These programs often strive to facilitate the participants’ connections to Judaism, Israel, and one another while developing a healthier sense of self. Exploring one’s identity coupled with the sensitivities of this formative stage of development in a foreign context provides a greater susceptibility to mental health concerns. In this context, Keshev helps students and staff to thrive through these services:
Mental Health Certification
We train educators to recognize, evaluate and react to symptoms of mental health illnesses including depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and challenges relating to group dynamics. This unique course provides a general framework for mental health and wellbeing within the context of experiential and immersive programs. Based on evidence-based research and best practices, we encourage early detection of specific illnesses and conditions and teach concrete skills regarding appropriate responses. Through scenarios, group discussions, and frontal teaching, we help participants assess a mental health crisis and offer tools for an immediate response, as well as teaching staff how to promote positive wellbeing in individual and group settings. All materials are provided and certification is dependent on passing the course requirements and final examination.
We have a range of professionals, including psychologists and social workers, who are clinically trained to deal with anxiety, relationships, bullying, eating disorders, grief, and other social and emotional challenges. Assessing each individual’s needs, we find the right practitioner for them. We also offer check-in programs whereby an organization, family, or participant can elect to ‘check-in’ with one of our professionals at key junctures to help monitor and guide healthy growth.
Group Workshops and Programming
Through professionally guided sessions, we facilitate the growth and development of groups. Whether to the entire cohort or specific groups, we offer supported processes to explore and educate on key issues that arise throughout the program and the lives of the participants. The workshops range from developing and sustaining general group dynamics to dealing with topics such as sexuality, bullying, religious growth, substance use, goal setting, and gaining the most from one’s experience. Programs are tailor-made for the needs of the group and are given over a sustained period of time or as individual sessions. We help participants to work through emotional issues in a safe and comfortable environment, offering proactive opportunities to process and reflect.
Consultancy and Support
The environment in which participants operate can greatly contribute to or detract from overall mental health and wellbeing. We partner with leaders of programs and institutions to audit, evaluate, and develop strategies, structures, protocols, and guidelines, accompanied by professional follow-up and guidance. In addition, we offer a number of specific services including the support of a licensed and experienced mental health professional to be on call for the duration of a program and offer professional guidance for staff, participants, and family members.
Our team brings together vast experience, diverse skills, and areas of knowledge around mental health, wellbeing, and education. Over many years, we have worked together managing programs for young adults and teens in both Israel and abroad.
Renana is a social worker with over a decade of experience leading youth in educational settings in Israel and abroad. She currently serves as a counselor for women with infertility and delivers workshops to gap year students on topics pertaining to mental health and wellbeing. Previously she was the Social Worker in Moriah College, one of the largest Jewish Schools in the world, and the Dean of Students in Migdal Oz’s women’s overseas program. Renana has a BA in Psychology, Masters in Social Work and is currently completing post-graduate studies in the Rotem Health Center at Hebrew University. She resides in Jerusalem with her husband and four children.
Yonatan has over a decade of experience in leading programs for teens and young adults in Israel and abroad. He was the Director of all Israel programs for Bnei Akiva where he oversaw the management of thousands of students from tens of countries. Prior to that, he was the Emissary of Bnei Akiva and the Jewish Agency to Australia, overseeing the national movement. Yonatan has a BA, Dip Ed, MA in Educational Counselling, and is currently completing post-graduate studies in the Rotem Health Center at Hebrew University. He resides in Efrat with his wife and four children.
Rabbi Dr. Benji Levy
Rabbi Benji is a co-founder of Israel Impact Partners, which works with philanthropists to accelerate the growth of non-profits. Previously, he served as CEO of Mosaic United, a historic joint venture partnership between Israel and global Jewry to strengthen Jewish identity and connections to Israel for youth around the world, and as Dean of Moriah College in Sydney, Australia, with over 1,800 students and 300 staff. He has a BA, honors, and PhD from the University of Sydney, an education degree from Herzog College, and completed his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Har Ezion. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children.
Keren is the team leader of the Counterpoint Seminars and has significant experience in youth education and empowerment. She was the High School Coordinator of Experiential Education at Moriah College, one of the largest Jewish schools in the world, Vice President of Bnei Akiva Sydney, Representative of Ohrsom Student, and Youth Director at Dover Heights Synagogue. She has a Bachelor of Arts and resides in Jerusalem.
Dr. Shmuel Harris
Dr. Shmuel Harris is a board-certified adult psychiatrist and the Founder of Machon Dvir. Until 2018 he served as Director of Psychiatric Clinical Services at Hadassah University Hospital where he also taught psychiatry and psychopharmacology courses to medical, pharmacology, and nursing students at Hadassah’s medical school. He is a member of the Israel Medical Association (IMA), the Israel Psychiatric Association, a registered medical practitioner with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and co-author of “Nafshi B’Sheelati,” that deals with the interface between Mental Health and Jewish Law.
Jessica is an Educational Psychologist who has been actively working with teenagers and young adults for the past decade. Additionally to her formal work as a psychologist in a Jewish children's home, she spent several years volunteering as a crisis responder for Hatzolah South Africa. She has extensive experience working within the field of informal and formal Jewish education and in various leadership roles for organisations such as Bnei Akiva, the King David Schools, the South African Union of Jewish Students and the Young Jewish Professionals group. Jessica has a BA, Post Graduate in Education, Honors and Masters in Educational Psychology and currently resides in New York.
Tova is a Clinical Dietician who specializes in working with a range of eating disorders and helps clients develop trust between their food and bodies while nurturing good habits and a healthy sense of self. She has worked at Hadassah Hospital (Ein Karem), in the "Female Centre" - a day program center for the religious population suffering from eating disorders, The Eating Disorder Rehabilitation home in Jerusalem for women and Leket Israel. She has a B. Sc in Clinical Nutrition from Hebrew University and resides with her husband and 5 children in Jerusalem.
Penina Shtauber is a communications and design specialist with experience in research and writing. During her National Service, she coordinated educational activities for students at Shimon Peres High Tech and Arts High School in Tel Aviv. Penina recently published her second collection of short stories. A member of the Israeli Artist Association, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Our Strategic Partners
We were very impressed both with the Keshev sessions we experienced at our staff training. Keshev has vast experience in our field of informal Jewish education, and they know how to utilize this experience to bring up very relevant and critical issues which must be addressed these days. It is rare to find such a combination of communication, experience and competence, with presenters able to deliver top-quality content to our educators. We are very grateful for this experience and highly recommend Keshev’s training to any organization seeking to professionalize in this important space.