RABBI JARRED BLOCH
Rabbi Bloch is a dynamic and charismatic speaker who relates the esoteric areas of Torah to practical living. A sought-after lecturer,Rabbi Bloch is regularly invited to speak in shuls, seminars, and group excursions (retreats, shabbatons, etc). He has inspired the young inquiring minds of South Africa with his thought-provoking material and by so doing, has helped encourage religious growth and sustained Jewish identity among young Jews in Joburg. He studied Torah in Jerusalem for a number of years and has devoted countless hours to assimilating the teachings of Rav Moshe Shapiro, one of the foremost leaders and kabbalists of this generation. He is also widely read in psychology and law (having studied it through the University of South Africa), and his lectures are infused with psychological insights. Rabbi Bloch is co-Director of Ohrsom Student, and in that capacity, he oversees global fundraising initiatives as well as running all local educational programing and closely advises the Cape Town and Melbourne branches. He previously served as the Rabbi of the DIJE (the Division of Informal Jewish Education) and as the Head Senior Rabbi of Ohr Somayach Cape Town community. He is also an ultra-marathon runner.
RABBI MENACHEM SOSNOVIK
A graduate of King David, Rabbi Sosnovik - affectionately known as Rav Sos - became observant at the age of 21 and spent the next 7 years studying at yeshiva in Israel. Before returning to South Africa, he received his Rabbinic ordination in Jerusalem. He then spent a year working with students in Ohr Somayach Cape Town. For the last 10 years, Rav Sos has worked with students of Ohr Somayach Johannesburg under the leadership of Rabbi Moffson. Currently, Rav Sos serves as co-Director of Ohrsom Student, where he oversees all recruiting initiatives and events, manages the Ohrsom Student Gap Year and Ohrsom Student tours, all while teaching in the weekly learning programmes. He has also taught formally and informally at King David for the last 10 years and is pivotal to the annual King David Encounter programme for grade 11s; through his involvement in Encounter, he brings in a new, dynamic group of matrics each year to learn at Ohrsom. As a strategic recruiting tool (or just because he really loves sushi), Rav Sos brought to Joburg the finest kosher sushi this town has ever seen by opening SoSushi! In that manner, he is solely responsible for providing Ohrsom with its weekly kiddish, for which it has become famous and wildly popular. A new approach to kiruv... Keeping Jews interested in Judaism through Japanese epicurean delights!
RABBI GAVRIEL ABRAMSON
Rabbi Gavriel Abramson is a dynamic leader and a charismatic speaker who naturally connects to people from a wide range of different backgrounds. People who spend time with him are invariably infected by his warmth, energy and enthusiasm. He is especially interested in giving classes on individual growth and interpersonal relationships. Rabbi Abramson displayed his leadership qualities from a young age, serving as head boy of Sandringham High School, junior mayor of Johannesburg and captain of various rugby teams. Later on, after nine years of intensive and high-level Torah study in New York and Jerusalem, he became Senior Rabbi of Ohr Somayach in Cape Town, a flourishing community whose growth he directed for seven years. In 2005, Rabbi Abramson then returned to his native Johannesburg to becomeDirector of Ohr Somayach, the leading learning centre and one of the largest and most vibrant shuls in South
Africa. His current involvement in Ohrsom Student includes teaching and counselling the next generation of inspired Jews facilitating a heightened sensitivity of Jewish Identity with passion and integrity.
A graduate of King David Victory Park, Daniel is both relatable and a role model. One of the most dynamic speakers in Ohrsom's weekly learning line-up, he engages students on a deep and inspiring level, incorporating stories and drawing them in with his bold and booming voice. Daniel spent three years learning in yeshiva in Israel and two years in yeshiva locally learning under Rav Eichenstein here in South Africa. Daniel has been involved in education for the better part of ten years now; he has been working both formally and informally with Jewish students. Daniel is an admitted attorney and practised as a commercial attorney for three years before recently committing to oversee the management of Ohrsom Student. Daniel is married to Tina and they are blessed with two adorable daughters, Malka and Noami.
An American who came to Joburg via Israel to marry a South African...and (really) so she could join our team! After working for the Chief Rabbi on Sinai Indaba & the Shabbos Project, Danielle joined Ohrsom Student a few years ago in an effort to oversee follow-up of our female students and to aid in educational programming. Since that time, she also helped create and launch the Ohrsom Student Gap Year programme, now in its inaugural year with 8 KDL matrics spending the year in Israel and abroad. A truly spectacular achievement! Danielle joins our annual student trips to both Israel and the United States, and the legendary America Tour is truly her baby (aside from her real-life baby, Neima, better known as the Ohrsom mascot). Danielle's involvement with students - on tours, in her home, and in the classroom - has made a significant impact on all the girls. Her contribution to Ohrsom is most obvious in her presence as an approachable and inspiring role model for our female students, ensuring they feel they have someone to engage and learn from. Apart from being involved in the night programmes, Danielle attends shul each shabbos, and regularly hosts students with her husband Lawrence for epic shabbos meals. She learns with the girls one-on-one and in small groups during the week and gives shiurim in both Joburg and Cape Town.
Jade Singer has been part of Ohrsom Student since its inception. She has a true instinct when it comes to organizing events and tours and thus fulfills the role of Logistical Manager with passion, commitment and love for what she does. Jade has organized and run numerous tours to Israel encompassing a fun filled,action packed Jewish trip. She is driven by ensuring each participant ends the tour knowing they have gained not just friends but extended family for life. She guarantees every event or tour embraces what it means to be Jewish by incorporating Ohrsom Students moto of Live it, Love it, Learn it. Jade holds a honours degree in specialized education and is the principal of a Jewish Nursery School. Her love for people and Judaism is encompassed in what she does on a daily basis. Jade is married to Yudi Singer who is the Medical Manager of Hatzolah and together they share a passion to uplift and strengthen the Jewish community.
A graduate of King David Linksfield, Gabi spent her Gap Year in Israel with Habonim Dror. She returned to Joburg far more interested in her Judaism and went back to Israel on the 2015 Ohrsom tour; she jokes that she felt more connected to the country in those two weeks with Ohrsom than she had over the entire year she had spent living there. Gabi returned to Jerusalem again in January 2016 to learn at Neve Yerushalayim, after which time she came back and started working at Ohrsom Student. Her role in Ohrsom is to organise the Sem and Yeshiva programing, as well as to assist with the Israel Tour and events such as the annual Purim Party and the Cape Town dinner. Gabi is involved in all the behind-the-scenes admin for the weekly learning programs and oversees the stock and buying needs for the organisation. As a third-year Psych student at Wits, she has her finger on the pulse of student life because she's still a student herself; that dual role allows her to shed valuable insight into students' unique needs and interests, allowing Ohrsom to appeal more broadly to our varsity demographic.
Was born and raised in Johannesburg. Matriculated at Beis Yaakov girls high school. She spent her seminary year at The Michlalah college (Machal programme) in Jerusalem. She is currently studying towards a degree in commerce and law
Gabriella has worked in outreach in the UK.
On her return from the UK she joined the Ohrsom student team and is now involved in all aspects of the organization her particular responsibility is the Gap year logistics and assisting in events coordination. She feels very passionate about promoting Jewish identity and opening educational channels so that every Jew should have the opportunity to know the beauty and depth of Judaism in order to fully appreciate the privilege of their birthright.
THE OHRSOM CAPE TOWN TEAM
RABBI SEAN CANNON (Cape Town)
Rav C’s motto: be an active player in your own life. He loves Torah – learning and teaching it – and is passionate about engaging and connecting with young Jews from all walks of like. Rav C grew up in Johannesburg and is a proud graduate of King David Linksfield High school. A former high-flier in the world of international finance, he spent a number of years climbing the corporate ladder in London. After some soul searching, he decided to travel, visiting many countries and enjoying many interesting experiences, before finding a new home connecting to Israel, himself and the Jewish people, in Jerusalem. He went on to study in various yeshivas for more than five years, obtaining Rabbinic ordination in 2014. Rav C now runs Ohrsom Student Cape Town as well as being Head of Jewish Life and Campus Rabbi of United Herzlia Schools. He has an honours degree in Business Strategy and Finance, and has always been connected to community life, having been an active volunteer and a director of the CSO in Johannesburg in his early years. Together, the Cannons – Rav C, his wife, Jodi, and their four beautiful girls (yes we are all involved!) – have dived into Cape Town life like a Lion’s Head paraglider into a solid south-westerly, and made the Mother City an even more nurturing place than it already was.
JODI CANNON (Cape Town)
Jodi Cannon is the ying and yang, the alpha and omega, or if you prefer more Jewish terms, the chesed and gevurah of Ohrsom Student Cape Town. A top-achieving CA (SA) with a head for numbers and a heart full of love, she is both the director of Ohrsom Student Cape Town and its care-giver-in-chief. With one steady hand on the tiller of the organisation, she oversees day-to-day operations, ensuring everything runs like clockwork; with the other she caters to the emotional needs of Cape Town’s Jewish students, offering both locals and native Joburgers alike a home-away-from-home, a hearty Shabbat meal, or simply some sage advice over a cup of coffee. Rebbetzin, supermommy, accomplished academic, Jodi’s gentle nature, listening ear and warm hospitality have helped many a student navigate the chaotic challenges of university life.