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our team

Rabbi Chaim Sampson

Founding Director

Rabbi Sampson is the founding director of Project Inspire. He was formerly the educational director of Aish UK for 7 years, as well as the Executive Learning Director at the Aish Center on the Upper West Side of New York. He has authored much of the educational curriculum for Project Inspire, enabling thousands of people to more actively share the beauty, warmth and meaning of Judaism with their fellow Jews. Rabbi Sampson grew up in North London and still speaks with the Queen's English. He learned and taught at Aish HaTorah in the Old City of Jerusalem for 10 years, and was blessed to be a close talmid of Rav Noach Weinberg zt”l, the founder of Aish HaTorah, for 26 years. He also studied under the tutelage of Rav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore. Rav Chaim resides in Passaic, New Jersey, with his wife Yocheved and son Shmuel.

Yossie Friedman

Executive Director

Yossie joined the Project Inspire Team in 2008 as Managing Director. With his organizational skills and dynamic team-building abilities, Yossie manages the staff and day-to-day operations of Project Inspire. He has been instrumental in developing the numerous creative programs of Project Inspire, including the Tisha B’Av Films and the annual Project Inspire Convention. An alumnus of Yeshiva Yagdil Torah, RJJ, and Lakewood's BMG, Yossie lives with his family in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Mordechai Tropp

Executive Liaison

Rabbi Tropp joined Project Inspire with years of experience in kiruv and chinuch. As a member of Project Inspire's management team since its inception, Rabbi Tropp plays an integral role in every major initiative. Together with Rabbi Sampson, Rabbi Tropp oversees the development of financial resources for the future growth of Project Inspire. He lives with his wife and family in Edison, NJ.

Rabbi Simcha Barnett

Director of Education and Communities

Rabbi Barnett has over twenty years of experience in Jewish education, having opened branches of Aish Hatorah in Philadelphia and Livingston, NJ, while lecturing extensively for the Discovery Seminar across America. Currently, he is the Educational Director of Project Inspire and the Director of Communities. In addition to designing an array of inspiring programs that bring Jews together in a nonjudgmental environment, Rabbi Barnett manages an effort that brings hundreds of less affiliated moms and dads yearly to Israel on life-transforming trips. He also develops educational products that are used in the full array of our community outreach activities.

Rabbi Yaakov Giniger

Director of Programming

Bringing his years of experience in Kiruv with Aish New York and campus, Rabbi Giniger hits the ball out of the park every time with his innovative and inspirational programming. Since joining the Project Inspire Team in 2012, Rabbi Giniger has developed countless programming initiatives. Rabbi Giniger has transformed the level of programming at Project Inspire, and is always on the lookout for opportunities to give Jews of all backgrounds a phenomenal Jewish experience.

Lauren Levitt

Associate Director of Programming

Lauren joined the Project Inspire team in 2018 after working at several Jewish nonprofits in NYC. Involved in all programming and events, Lauren also plays a critical role in helping develop strategic plans for the organization and works closely with all members of the staff to ensure maximum operational efficiency. A real ‘people person,’ Lauren loves meeting and connecting with new people,and she feels privileged to work with the incredible staff, volunteers and participants of all backgrounds who are involved with Project Inspire.

Tova Cohen

Finance Manager

Tova Cohen is the Finance Manager at Project Inspire where she oversees all areas of finance and administration, including payroll, accounts payable and receivables, banking and reconciliations, and sales commission tracking. Tova has been contributing her skill and dedication to Project Inspire since earning her master’s in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2011. She currently lives in Lakewood with her husband and 5 children.

Daniel Cohen

Development Officer

Rabbi Cohen spent 15 years working at Aish HaTorah, working on various projects for the Yeshiva, Hasbara, Aish.com and others. He recently joined the team at Project Inspire helping to raise funds for ongoing programs and special projects. The goal to bring the entire Jewish people back to their Jewish roots has been a driving force for Rabbi Cohen throughout his career and he is excited to be helping with this mission at Project Inspire.

Aliza Frankel

Marketing and Communications Associate

Aliza is responsible for Project Inspire's marketing and public relations for events and programs, and manages the creative vision and content for our website and social media. She is constantly looking for the newest ideas and campaigns to spread the reach of Project Inspire to even more people around the world. Originally from the kiruv center of Dallas, she is passionate about Jewish outreach and unity. Aliza has a bachelor's in Marketing from Touro College and ten years of experience in promoting and innovating for Jewish causes.

Rabbi Yoni Zakutinsky

Director, Project Inspire Brooklyn

Rabbi Zakutinksy plays a leading role in bringing Project Inspire's initiatives and efforts to the Brooklyn community. Through exciting programming, one-on-one learning, and dynamic shabbatons, Rabbi Zakutinsky has brought inspiration to thousands of Torah observant Jews, encouraging them to reach out to their Jewish friends and neighbors of all backgrounds. Working with his wife Shulamis, Rabbi Zakutinsky has brought a myriad of less affiliated men and women on highly subsidized trips to Israel. Rabbi Zakutinsky lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.

Miriam Leibowitz

Director, Project Inspire Toronto

Miriam Leibowitz joined the Project Inspire team in 2018. A dietitian by training, Miriam has a part time nutrition practice in Toronto and has been involved with Team Lifeline Canada for 5 years, actively recruiting and providing nutrition coaching for all runners running for Chai Lifeline. Miriam, along with her husband Eli, has led several Project Inspire Israel trips in partnership with Momentum as well as participated in a Project Inspire Israel couples trip and AISH Living Legacy Experience to Poland. In 2020, Miriam was the Trip Director for Aish Destiny bringing 120 women from all over the world to Israel.

Marcelo Melnick

Director, Project Inspire Latin America

Rabbi Melnick has been part of the Aish family since the late 1990’s. He was actively involved in establishing the Aish branches in Chile and Argentina, leading dozens of different kiruv projects in Latin-America for over 20 years. He officially joined the Project Inspire Team as Latin America Regional Director in 2019, with the aim of inspiring and activating the Spanish-speaking frum community in Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Miami.

Danielle Haas

1on1 Program Director

Danielle has been running and developing the Project Inspire Learning program since 2012. Danielle enjoys forming relationships with 1on1 learning participants and hearing their amazing feedback. She loves providing support wherever possible, whether it be connecting them with hosts for Shabbat meals, enrolling them in yeshiva/seminary programs, or informing them about opportunities for trips to Israel. She is also on the production team for the annual Project Inspire Tisha B'Av film. She has a degree from Temple University in Journalism/Communications and lives in Jerusalem.

David Danzig

Database Administrator

David Danzig assists in Project Inspire's efforts by managing our technological platforms and implementing integrations, including our Salesforce database, website, communications, and social media, in support of planning, programming, business analysis, and development. David lives with his family in Teaneck, NJ.

Aliza Sakowitz

Liaison to the Communities

Aliza works closely with Project Inspire’s community leaders and participants, helping coordinate programming in various communities and assisting thousands of men and women who go on highly subsidized trips to Israel through Project Inspire. She lives with her husband and daughter in North Miami Beach, Florida.

Gila Block

Relationship Manager

Gila has been a relationship manager for the 1on1 program for six years. Jewish outreach not only comes naturally for her, but is a passion of hers as well. The best part of her job is hearing about the long term relationships that evolve from learning partnerships, and hearing how the program has changed participants’ lives for the better. She lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh with her husband and children.

Shaina Newman

Relationship Manager

Shaina is entering her 8th year as a relationship manager for the 1on1 learning program at Project Inspire. Having graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lander’s College for Women with a major in Judaic Studies, Shaina has a strong interest in textual studies and showing others the unbelievable depth of the Torah. She is passionate about finding perfect learning partnerships and seeing their progression. She lives with her husband and sons in Maalot Dafna, Yerushalayim.

Hindy Snyder

Relationship Manager

Hindy Snyder has been a relationship manager for the 1on1 learning program for the last four years. Hindy adds a lot of spunk and positive energy to the program! She gets lots of satisfaction when the match clicks and the partners take their relationship to the next level. She lives in Israel with her family.

Chana Stengel

Office Manager

Chana oversees maintenance of the office and manages administrative duties for the organization. Joining the organization in 2019, Chana loves being part of the team at Project Inspire and feels privileged to be a part of such an important mission. She was born and bred in Passaic, NJ.