Executive Vice President

Rabbi David Israel

Rabbi David Israel is Executive Vice President of Religious Zionists of America (RZA) – Mizrachi and serves as its chief executive in the United States.

Rabbi Israel joined RZA-Mizrachi in 2018 after many years of service in the Jewish Community in administrative, educational and rabbinic capacities. He served as Rabbinic Dean of the Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy in Stamford, Connecticut for 10 years. Prior to that, he was Director of the Max Stern Division of Communal Services at Yeshiva University where he oversaw Yeshiva University’s professional rabbinics training, outreach programs, placement of rabbis in pulpits and schools, and a day school association. During the first few years of his service at YU, he also served as rabbi of the Young Israel of Stamford.

Rabbi Israel received Semicha from RIETS, Yeshiva University. While on sabbatical in 2006-2007, he was a fellow at the Senior Educators Program, Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Israel was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He continues to live - now as a congregant - in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife, Dr. Shara Israel, and their four children.



Educational Director

Rabbi Reuven Taragin

Rav Reuven Taragin is the Dean of Overseas Students at Yeshivat Hakotel and the Educational Director of The World Mizrachi Movement. 

Rav Taragin is a Wexner Fellow and Musmach of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and has completed a B.A. in Science and Philosophy at Yeshiva University and an M.A. in Jewish History and Education at Touro College (Israel). 

Rav Taragin has also been deeply involved in informal education programming including NCSY shabbatonim and the creation of the YUSSR summer program.

Rav Taragin is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Camp Moshava (I.O.), and Rav of Kehillat Eretz Chemdah in Katamon.

Rav Taragin is also the founder and director of the Yeshivat Hakotel Community (Five Towns, Teaneck…) Education Conferences which bring together tens of community educators who work with thousands of parents to help them best educate their children and of the Seventy for Seventy Yom Ha’atzma’ut Program that is bringing 70 of Israel’s top speakers to speak in the 70 largest US shuls.

Rav Taragin lives with his wife Shani and their six children in Alon Shvut, Israel.

Advisory Committee, Shalhevet program

Rabbanit Shani Taragin

Shani Taragin received her B.A. and M.A. in Tanakh and Talmud from Bar-Ilan University and is a graduate of Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Program for certification as a halachic advisor (yoetzet halacha) in issues of family purity law. She is the educational director of Matan Eshkolot – Tanakh teachers’ education program and of the Morot l’Halacha program in Matan Renana. Shani serves on the advisory committee for the Mizrachi Olami Shalhevet program for shlichim and lectures throughout Israel and North America on topics of Tanakh, Jewish Education, and Jewish Law. She is a senior lecturer in Matan and is the curriculum coordinator for the Matan – Bnei Akiva program (MTVA). In addition, Shani is a Ra’mit Tanakh in Midreshet Lindenbaum and teaches at Migdal Oz, the Women’s Beit Medrash of Efrat and Gush Etzion and in Matan Ramat Shiloh. Together with her husband, Reuven, she serves as Rosh Beit Medrash for the Beit Medrash Program in Machaneh Moshava Pennsylvania during the summer and as Educational Director of Mizrachi Olami-RZA. Shani lives with her family in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion-Israel.