Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director of Ohr Naava, has become an icon in the Jewish world with his fearless vision, deep conviction and unfailing warmth. Rabbi Wallerstein, now celebrating an over-three-decades career in chinuch, the dynamic educator— with his trademark passion, clarity, and love—has touched the hearts and souls of thousands of students from all shades of the religious spectrum.
Seventeen years ago, upon grasping a profound paucity in the spiritual and social resources available to today’s Jewish women, Rabbi Wallerstein dared to step out of the box—and founded Ohr Naava, at a time when no comparable center existed.
With his legendary foresight and gumption, the center has since mushroomed into a panoptic umbrella organization, composed of numerous programs addressing the gamut of Jewish women’s needs, including Ateres Naava Seminary, Bnos Binah, Ateres Miriam Seminary, Bnot Chaya Academy, Hakaras Hatov Initiative, Ohr Naava Shidduch Initiative, The Yutta Zicherman Crisis Center for Intervention, and the groundbreaking, therapeutic Ranch at Bethel. Today, Rabbi Wallerstein has become an internationally sought-after speaker, traveling the world and inspiring men and women from all walks of life. Dubbed a “holistic doctor” thanks to his multifaceted approach to growth, struggle and spiritual healing, on a typical day he can be found in schools, shuls, community centers and even mental institutions worldwide, lighting up lives—one neshamah at a time. Rabbi Wallerstein and his wife Estee, who is a partner in all his endeavors, reside in Brooklyn, NY surrounded by their daughters and grandchildren.