MEET THE TEAM
Rabbi Binyomin Davis
Rabbi Davis was the Executive Director of Etz Chaim since 2017 and continues that role with Aish Chaim. He and his family have lived in the Philadelphia area since 2015, and before that he was the Director of the Kansas City Kollel, where he originally began as a fellow in 2007 after he moved to America from Israel with his family. He grew up in Brighton, England, where both his love of music and Jewish community work began at a young age. He graduated from Manchester University, and subsequently learned in Israel for six years, where he met his wife, Gevura.
Director of Engagement
Gevura has been on the Etz Chaim staff since 2015, where she emboldened a strong women’s program that has included many trips to Israel and follow-up engagement. She has also taught at several college campuses during this time. For Aish Chaim, she is the Director of Engagement where she leads the organization’s outreach ideas and drive, while continuing to spearhead a vibrant women’s program, leading trips to Israel and other locations on spiritually fulfilling missions.
In Kansas City, Gevura led a vibrant women’s division and was the Head of a Hebrew School. Together, Binyomin and Gevura have 5 children.
Rabbi Eli Kopel
Rabbi Kopel served as the Executive Director of Aish Philadelphia from 2014 to 2018, and has worked for Aish Philadelphia since 2007, leading the organization’s outreach and engagement activities. With Aish Chaim, Rabbi Kopel will continue as a Rabbi within the organization, where he will teach and give spiritual guidance to community members.
Rebbetzen Estee Kopel
Rebbetzen Kopel has served as the Director of Women’s programs for Aish Philadelphia since 2014, and will continue in her role as a spiritual mentor, teacher and Rebbetzen for the community within Aish Chaim.
Rabbi Dovid Wachs
Rabbi Dovid Wachs grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he was an avid Steelers and Pirates fan. He attended Yeshivas Ner Israel in Baltimore and Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in New York and received his rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim in New York. He founded Etz Chaim in 1988 to introduce fellow Jews to the depth and relevance of classical Judaism. He spent a year in
postgraduate training at the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center and three years in postgraduate training at the Council for Relationships. He enjoys intertwining his background in psychotherapy with the wisdom of Judaism in order to help singles and couples achieve greater happiness and harmony. Rabbi Wachs lives with his wife, Ettie, and their family, in Northeast Philadelphia.
Rabbi Wachs served as the Executive Director of Etz Chaim for 27 years, stepping down from the position in early 2017. He now serves the role of Founding Director, continuing to work with Aish Chaim contacts past and present. He also teaches Talmud and Jewish Law nightly at Congregation Ahavas Torah.
Mrs. Ettie Wachs
Mrs. Ettie Wachs is the guidance counselor at Torah Academy Girls High School where she also teaches psychology. She maintains an active private therapy practice in pre-marital and marital conflict, individual and family therapy, and parenting and adolescent issues. Mrs. Wachs attended Stern College and received her MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She has extensive training in contextual family therapy, Emotional Focused Therapy, EMDR, and CBT.
She is an excellent teacher and communicator of Jewish wisdom and values.
Rabbi Moshe Ungar
Having earned his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivas Ner Israel in Baltimore, Rabbi Moshe Ungar went on to train as a CPA and is currently a Director in the accounting firm of EisnerAmper. He co-founded Etz Chaim in 1988 and served as the Associate Director for 30 years.
Despite his full-time responsibilities to his firm, Rabbi Ungar dedicates himself to a tireless teaching schedule at Aish Chaim, enrapturing his audiences with his highly popular class on the weekly Torah Portion. His unique ability to inspire and engage his audience has made his weekly class one of the longest running Torah classes in the Philadelphia area. Rabbi Ungar lives with his wife Dubbie and their family in Northeast Philadelphia.
Mrs. Dubbie Ungar
Faculty, Etz Chaim Women’s Division
Mrs. Ungar attended Beth Jacob of Philadelphia and Sara Schenirer Teachers’ Seminary in Brooklyn. Currently she teaches the Gan Simcha class for Federation Early Learning Services as well as for the Religious School at Beth Sholom in Elkins Park.
Stacey teaches Tanach at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia. She also gives adult education classes all over the Greater Philadelphia area including Aish Chaim, Lower Merion Synagogue, and Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the U.S. Yoetzet Halacha Program of Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center and currently serves as Yoetzet Halacha for the greater Philadelphia community and the Young Israel/Aish in Las Vegas. She has published reflective essays and articles on chabad.org— along with Aish Chaim’s own journal The Connection. Stacey’s weekly class for women ‘Fly in Torah’ is a beloved weekly staple for so many. You can find her audio classes on YUTorah.org. Stacey lives in Lower Merion with her husband and is the happy mother of five boys.
Reb Naphtali teaches for Aish Chaim in the monthly Shabbat rotation class, as well as his popular weekly Wednesday night parsha class Weekly Parsha Insights. If you’ve missed out on one his classes, you can always catch up (or listen again!) right here.