EVENT SPEAKERS

We are excited to have a wide array of presenters joining us throughout the weekend.

Check back regularly to see the updated list.

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Rabbi Sam Intrator

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GetKAVANAHLIFE.com is the brainchild of Rabbi Sam Intrator, or Rabbi Sam as he is known among those who come from all over to attend his teachings, Jewish holiday events, weddings and Shabbat programs. The son of Holocaust survivors, and a modern orthodox rabbi, he is a firm believer in Jewish unity : uniting the heart, mind, and soul of Judaism together with Jews from all levels of observance or no observance at all and infusing it with kavanah for it to touch the soul. While understanding the vast differences found in Judaism today, Rabbi Sam aims to focus on our unifying Jewish roots, the commonality which unites us as a people. He also leads an organization in South Beach called Kavanah Life Singles where he helps build strong relationships. His organization has helped people meet and get married through special events and exciting weekends.

 

David Yarus

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@DavidYarus is the founder of mllnnl, a social and creative agency that helps global brands and Jewish non-profits like Taglit-Birthright Israel, Hillel International, Schusterman Foundation, and The Israeli Consulate understand and engage the millennial audience. David is also the founder of JSwipe, the world’s largest and fastest-growing Jewish dating app, with more than 1 million users across 70 countries - acquired by Spark Networks in 2015. Previously, David was the general manager of Mr Youth, where he ran the youth marketing for brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Spotify. David is passionate about human connection, millennial empowerment, and all things #future. He spends his free time thinking about Facebook ad-strategy, studying consumer behavior, and exploring the interplay of presence and hustle. He dreams of #vanlife and hopes to one day live in a hut by the beach. You can follow David on Insta at instagram.com/davidyarus.

 

Michele Czopp

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Michele Czopp lived the majority of her life in Haifa, Israel, before getting married and moving to Scottsdale, almost 30 years ago. In January 2019, she launched The Mitzvah Matchmaker, a discreet and free Jewish matchmaking venture, which is available to the Jewish single community locally and internationally. By meeting in person or via Facetime, Michele spends quality time getting to know individuals, and she works with them in order to help find a compatible match. Michele was inspired to create The Mitzvah Matchmaker while looking for a way to give back to the community, and since its official launch, she has built an extensive database of singles and has made some exciting matches.

 

Mariel Wilk

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Mariel has always had a passion for mindfulness and yoga. She has used this passion in her own self discovery/growth and shares this gift with others in her community, Jewish community programming, and as an elementary school teacher. In her community she teaches a wide variety of classes and is always looking for new opportunities to grow with her practice. Mariel not only has a love for teaching the kiddos in school, but a passion for teaching yoga on the mat. Let us say Shal-ommm to a beautiful weekend together and realign into a good time, connecting through movement and breath!

 

Rabbi Pinchas G. Allouche

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Rabbi Pinchas Allouche is the founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Tefillah in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he resides with his wife, Esther, and nine children. He is a respected rabbinic figure, a renowned lecturer, and a prominent author of many essays on the Jewish faith, mysticism, and social-criticism. Rabbi Allouche's wise, profound, and sensitive perspective on the world and its people, on life and living, is highly regarded and sought-after by communities and individuals of all backgrounds. Rabbi Allouche is also a blogger for the Huffington Post, Times of Israel and other large online publications, and he was listed in the Jewish Daily Forward as one of America's 36 Most Inspiring Rabbis, who are "shaping 21st Century Judaism."

 

Rachel Freidus

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Rachel is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, who cares deeply about helping people improve their relationships and be their best selves. Rachel discovered her passion for helping people while earning her doctorate in social psychology, and learning about the influence that social interactions and relationships have on people’s lives. After working as an instructor and researcher, she then returned to school to study Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech. At Virginia Tech’s Center for Family Services, Rachel worked with individuals, couples, and families from a diverse population. Rachel also interned at Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic. Rachel currently works at Therapy With Heart, and specializes in dating and relationship difficulties, singles therapy, couples therapy, relational trauma, self-confidence issues and anxiety. Rachel has completed advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Level 1 training in Internal Family Systems (IFS), and is EMDR trained as well.

 

Bill Cartiff

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After working as a teacher for several years, Bill was hired by the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center in 1990 to cultivate a quality social and recreational adult Jewish singles program. Before online dating became a phenomenon, Bill developed “Introductions”, a hands-on personal dating service. This dating service, with its confidential profile-viewing, was a prototype for future services. In 2001, the singles travel facets of this program turned into a full-on business and his career took on a new direction. For the past 25 years, Bill has been leading Jewish singles tours to destinations around the globe, establishing himself as an international host and tour leader for thousands of like-minded travelers. Earlier in his career, Bill created a program that would eventually be implemented in dozens of other cities across the US – Dinner For 8, where thousands of individuals participated. Bill is known nationally for his creative programming, international tour leading, presentations and ultimately for providing single Jewish individuals with opportunities to meet, travel and connect in meaningful ways. He is currently a Tour Leader and Travel Consultant for Best-Day Adventures/Ayelet Tours.

 

Rabbi Bonnie Koppell

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Rabbi Bonnie Koppell is the Associate Rabbi of Temple Chai in Phoenix, AZ, where she also directs the Deutsch Family Shalom Center. Rabbi Koppell was one of the first female Rabbis in the United States and holds the distinct honor of having been the first female Rabbi in the U.S. Military. She served in the US Army Reserve for 38 years and retired in 2016 with the rank of Colonel. Rabbi Koppell’s writings have been published in numerous books and journals. She is a frequent newspaper columnist and a much sought after speaker.

 

Emily Kaye

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Emily has an intense passion for music and the arts. Her love of Jewish music began at an early age, and she knew at her Bat Mitzvah that Jewish music was a path she wanted to pursue. Currently, Emily is the full time Cantorial Soloist at Temple Kol Ami in Scottsdale. She enjoys leading Shabbat services alongside Rabbi Jeremy Schneider, directing the band, tutoring b’nei mitzvah students, teaching Hebrew, and performing life cycle events. When Emily is not on the bimah, she enjoys being on different stages across the Valley, including at Ocean Prime on High Street on Thursdays where she performs with an accomplished piano player. Emily’s newest accomplishment has been becoming a voice over actor. You can hear her voice on commercials and short films for national and local companies. This summer, Emily has the honor of being invited to perform in an international music festival in Chengdu, China. Emily received her BA with honors in Music Education with an emphasis in Voice from Ottawa University. She owns and operates Emily Kaye Music Studio, where she teaches private voice and piano. Emily is engaged to Zachary Wiss, and the two look forward to their marriage in January.