Rabbi Paysach Freedman
Rabbi Freedman has been involved in education, tzedakah and chessed activities for most of his 20-plus years as a Yerushalayim resident. His work on behalf of the English-speaking community has provided him with extensive knowledge of the Israeli system and vast experience in dealing with the most sensitive of cases. Rabbi Freedman’s awareness of the challenges facing English speakers convinced him of the need for a one-stop chessed organization to service them. In 2014, with the encouragement of rabbanim and askanim, he founded Chaim V’Chessed.
Rabbi Freedman studied at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, and at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he received rabbinical ordination. He graduated summa cum laude from Bellevue University of Nebraska with an MA in Educational Leadership.
Medical & Hospital Department
With his fluent Israeli Hebrew and vast experience in the medical field, Zevi provides on-the-spot assistance to Chaim V’Chessed clients in need of help in any Jerusalem-area hospital. His years of working with families of cancer patients through Chai Lifeline have made hospitals as familiar as a second home. He interfaces with hospital staff on English speakers’ behalf to secure earlier appointments, facilitate communication, and smooth out complications. Zevi is an invaluable guide to English-speaking hospital patients, and he is committed to making sure they feel neither helpless nor alone.
Arele is a constant fixture in Jerusalem hospitals. He has been involved in medical and chessed pursuits for over a decade, always looking to make life easier for patients and their families. Arele assists Chaim V’Chessed clients in whatever way he can: making their stay more comfortable, working things out behind the scenes, arranging transportation and more. With ingenious connections and logistical know-how, he is an indispensable advocate for English speakers in the hospital.
Mrs. Nechama Nulman
Medical Department Coordinator
Mrs. Nulman has been living in Eretz Yisrael for over 20 years. Her medical savvy is the result of years of experience navigating the Israeli healthcare system. Mrs. Nulman coordinates all aspects of medical services, from arranging hospital visits to researching kupat cholim issues and more. She is the liaison between on-site Chaim V’Chessed staffers, healthcare providers, and hospital staff, keeping callers in the loop and ensuring that their needs are met both during and beyond Chaim V’Chessed’s involvement.
Mrs. Shani Wahrsager
Mrs. Wahrsager, a born Israeli who is intimately familiar with the Anglo mindset and culture, has been immersed in the world of English-speaking non-profits for years. Mrs. Wahrsager acts as the in-office liaison for all medical cases, guiding callers through medical processes, involving kupat cholim staff and mobilizing on-site Chaim V’Chessed hospital representatives.
Mrs. Chanita Cassel
Mrs. Cassel, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker and marital and family therapist. After graduating from Wurzweiler School of Social Work in 2013, Mrs. Cassel received Israeli licensure and established a private practice in Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem. Her background in psychology, life coaching, narrative therapy and social work, along with the approaches of CBT, DBT, and IFS, enhance her empathetic yet progress-oriented approach. At Chaim V’Chessed, Mrs. Cassel offers English speakers referrals and guidance on navigating the field of mental health in Israel.
Mrs. Maidy Zakutinsky
Mrs. Zakutinksy holds a Masters in Aging Services Management and is familiar with many aspects of geriatric care in Israel. She is the founder of Dorot, a program in the Romema neighborhood that encourages inter-generational contact between English speakers in the community. Mrs. Zakutinsky is available to guide callers through the demands and complexities of geriatric care.
Special Education Department
Mrs. Faigie Gugenheim
Special Education and Women’s Health
Mrs. Gugenheim, B.Sc., is highly qualified and respected in the field of special education. With over a decade of experience in the Israeli system, she is extremely knowledgeable in the different treatment courses appropriate for autistic children. Along with Mrs. D’vora Grossbaum, Mrs. Gugenheim heads the Special Education department of Chaim V’Chessed. They use their expertise, research and connections to guide parents through what can often be a confusing and overwhelming process. Mrs. Gugenheim is also Chaim V’Chessed’s go-to staff member for cases concerning women’s health.
Mrs. D’vora Grossbaum
D’vora Grossbaum, M.A. CCC-SLP, is a Speech/Language Pathologist, Supervisor, and Early Childhood Special Educator. She has been working since 1974 as a speech and language pathologist for preschool children with developmental delays. Currently, Mrs. Grossbaum serves as supervisor at the Yerushalayim schools P’tachiya and Sulam, and at Ramat David-Perach Special Education in Betar Illit. She is also the speech and language therapist and supervisor at Kupat Cholim Clalit for the 0-5 year old population as well as a member of the diagnostic team. Additionally, she runs a private practice with special education preschool children. Chaim V’Chessed is privileged to have Mrs. Grossbaum on staff to serve English speakers in need of guidance in the field of special education.
Government Advocacy and Liaison
Mrs. Rachel Morgenstern
Governmental Advocate and Liaison
Mrs. Morgenstern joined the Chaim V’Chessed team in 2018 with a reputation built on years of assisting Jerusalem’s foreigners navigate Israeli life. Utilizing far reaching connections, Mrs. Morgenstern advocates for Chaim V’Chessed clients who have received ambiguous or unfair responses from National Insurance, their municipality, or the special education board on their health plan.
Mrs. Candice Brenner
Governmental Advocate and Liaison
Mrs. Gitty Garfinkel
Mrs. Garfinkel, B.A., joined the Chaim V’Chessed team after a 10-year career in the field of Israeli bureaucracy and politics. As a bureaucratic adviser on Chaim V’Chessed’s 072-CHESSED hotline, Mrs. Garfinkel specializes in the field of Bituach Leumi rights and disability benefits.
Mrs. Malka Weinman
Mrs. Weinman, a veteran Jerusalem-based Olah, provides hotline callers with comprehensive guidance on the technical details of government office encounters callers on Bituach Leumi, visa, Arnona, and citizenship-related issues.
Mrs. Chana Rothstein
Mrs. Rothstein, a decade-long Jerusalem resident, provides hotline callers with comprehensive guidance on the technical details of government office encounters callers on Bituach Leumi, visa, Arnona, and citizenship-related issues.
Mrs. Devorah Abrahamson
Mrs. Penina Morris
Mrs. Sarah Sacks
Mrs. Sacks, B.Sc., is the writer and editor for the Chaim V’Chessed information database, website, and other PR material. Previously, she served as a bureaucratic adviser on Chaim V’Chessed’s 072-CHESSED hotline.