Staff

RABBI MAURY KELMAN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN

Maury Kelman is a rabbi and attorney, chairman of Kedma, and also oversees Route 613, a halakhic conversion program. Rabbi Kelman started Kedma in September 1996 in order to enable gap year students to give back within Israeli society, and has overseen the organization’s growth ever since. He resides in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.

ORIT BARNEA SEIF, DIRECTOR

Orit Seif has been working in the Jewish community for nearly twenty years. Following her graduation from Columbia University, Orit, along with her husband, Yehuda, started the OU’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught and ran innovative programs for University students for four years. Following her work at Penn, Orit practiced law at a tax litigation firm representing Fortune 500 companies. Orit’s true passion for working in the Jewish community beckoned, and in 2012, Orit joined a Philadelphia-based Foundation where she started and managed a project geared at enhancing the Jewish Day Schools in the Philadelphia region. Orit resides in Efrat with her husband Yehuda and their six children. She joined Kedma as its Director in 2018.

LAUREN KIRSCHENBAUM, SPECIAL PROGRAMS MANAGER

Lauren Kirschenbaum made Aliyah three years ago from Fair Lawn, NJ. Lauren has a masters in Jewish education and a masters in social work, and works as a therapist in Jerusalem in addition to the work she does for Kedma.

GABRIELLA FELDMAN, PROGRAMS COORDINATOR

Gabriella Feldman grew up in New York and made Aliyah in 2017. She served for a year in Sherut Leumi at an elementary school in Jerusalem. She just finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Logistics Management and Economics in Bar Ilan University and is currently working as a Madricha in Midreshet Lindenbaum. This is her first year working for Kedma, and loves getting to know all the volunteers!

SHIRA LEVITT, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Shira Levitt lived in Florida, Texas, and Maryland before attending MMY in 2017 for her gap year. In 2021, she graduated from Yeshiva University with a Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art with a focus in Graphic Design before making Aliyah. She is now a Madricha at Midreshet Lindenbaum in addition to the work she does for Kedma.

TALIA KRIEF, SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT

Talia Krief grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and made Aliyah in 2017. She served for a year of Sheirut Leumi (national service) in Bet Elzraki Childrens’ home and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Bar Ilan University. Talia has worked for Kedma for 4 years and loves giving back to Israeli society!