Each student receives individual attention he needs.

Personal Growth

We’re focused on each individual’s personal growth.


Learn and remember the topics that interest you.


Become part of a family focused on growth & spirituality.


Ahavas Chaim is a program that treats each talmud with the individual attention he needs; where one-on-one learning and shmoozing is the method in helping each boy get to know himself; and where the atmosphere is relaxed, self contained, and personal. A place that will guide one in his search to find his special place in life.


First Year of Ahavas Chaim

Inspired Ahavas Chaim Students Through the Years

    Ahavas Chaim was started in the summer of 2009 by a small group of dedicated educators in Jerusalem, Israel.This relatively small program is an all encompassing program: Torah study, personal growth, love of the land of Israel, and the Jewish people. It is geared to young American men, with personal one on one methods of teaching and mentoring.

   The goal of the program is to help these young men tap in and utilize their inner strengths to find themselves, work through personal challenges and prepare them for taking on roles as respectful members of the Jewish community.

    The very name of the program AHAVAS CHAIM means TO LOVE LIFEIt is the secret ingredient of the founders and essential for these young men to learn and feel.  Once they are happy with themselves, then the success will breed additional successes.  By seeing themselves as important, productive and inspired individuals who have much to give back to their respective communities and families, we will have accomplished our task.


Just wanted to send you a little note to tell you how impressed we are with Ahavas Chaim and the rabbeim. To say that we were very nervous about sending our son to Israel is an understatement, but after seeing him and spending time with him, we realize that it is the best place for him. The rabbeim are incredible.  The warmth and caring and understanding that you show to each kid is amazing. Our son has connected to the yeshiva, rabbeim and boys in a very nice way. For that we are very grateful.

All I can say is THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  We just got an amazing call from our son and if what he said is any indication, things must be going very well there. Thank you to all the rabbeim again for giving so much of yourselves to the boys and for creating such a special and sorely-needed environment for these boys. May you have continued hatzlachah in your avodas hakodesh.

The boy we sent to your program was shattered, he returned whole. There are no words that can relate the emotions of gratitude we have for your program. You not only saved his neshama you’ve saved his life. Thank you for taking such good care of our sons. May Hashem give you the koach to continue this precious mission.

From opening your warm home to lending a tentative ear. From imparting words of wisdom to dishing out thoughts of Torah. From offering support to making time for the ‘small stuff’.  From showing what a true Yiddishe home looks like to participating in trips on the go.  For taking risks on earthly matters to showing ‘the sky is the limit’ on others. The lists go on… Above all and most importantly, showing what it means to love another human being.


  • 8:45 Shachris
  • 10:00 Morning Seder
  • 1 pm Mincha
  • Lunch/Break
  • 3:15 Afternoon Seder
  • 6:00 Break/Dinner
  • 8:30 Maariv
  • Night Seder
morning The morning starts off with the enjoyable Ahavas Chaim shacharis minyan at 8:45 am, followed by a delicious breakfast made by our very own cook. Each student is assigned to classes of his level that consist of a variety of topics throughout the morning hours. The students are broken up into 4 groups, as well as some one-on-one pairings, with the learning focusing on more in-depth topics such as Gemara, Halacha, & in-depth Hashkafa.  

afternoon sun

At 1 pm the Yeshiva serves lunch, followed by a 2 hour break where the students can relax, workout in our weight room, jam in the music room, or play video games in the lounge area.

At 3:15 pm each student chooses attends his class electives, which was chosen from a wide variety of topics.

Classes such as Navi, Chumash, Vistas in Judaism, and more are hand-picked by each student, giving them the opportunity to learn topics they are personally interested in.


After a short break, dinner is served at 7 pm, followed by some time to relax.

At 8:30 pm night seder begins and consists of small, round-table, classes with young, dynamic Rabbeim to keep the learning strong till the end of the day.

The classes during this period vary and the Yeshiva offers many incentives to round out a full day of learning.

Shabbos_Candles4The Yeshiva rotates in-Shabbosim, out-Shabbosim, & optional in-Shabbosim. Every Shabbos in Yeshiva includes delicious meals with the Rabbeim, as well as an inspiring & enjoyable Shabbos night Oneg. The students are also encouraged to explore the country and enjoy Shabbos in some of the most beautiful cities in Israel. The Yeshiva also has Shabbatonim throughout the year, traveling to cities like Tzfas & the Old City for unique Shabbos experience
yom tov The Yeshiva is open during Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, & Sukkos at the beginning of the year, and even hosts a beautiful & inspiring davening catered to the Ahavas Chaim students. Chanukah & Purim are two of the most exciting times in Ahavas Chaim, with the students spending time first learning about these special days and then living it in Yeshiva and at the houses of our dedicated Rabbeim. Shavuos is the climax of year, with the Ahavas Chaim students & Rabbeim learning strong throughout the night, followed by an exhilarating walk to the Kotel for Shacharis.
IMG_0311 One of the big highlights of the year are the famous Ahavas Chaim excursions. Once a month the Yeshiva goes on a big, full day or overnight trip. From the North all the way down to the South, Ahavas Chaim covers every area a student should see during his year in Israel. Twice a month the Yeshiva goes on a partial day trip or chessed experience to supplement the boys learning.
Rabbi Moshe Ginian, Rosh Yeshiva

moishRabbi Moshe Ginian

Rosh Yeshiva

Rabbi Ginian is the heart and soul of Ahavas Chaim. His love for each and every talmid is incredible. The devotion and selflessness that Rabbi Ginian puts in on a daily basis can be seen through the success of everyone who is affiliated with him. He not only teaches the boys a way of life but shows them how to apply everything they learn. Rabbi Ginian believes in the unlimited potential of each boy and works on them individually to bring it out. Rabbi Ginian learned in Yeshiva Ner Yaakov, Yeshiva Beis Yisroel and the illustrious Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim.
Rabbi Uri Sondhelm, Menahel

sondhelmRabbi Uri Sondhelm


Rabbi Sondhelm graduated Phi Beta Kappa from City College of New York, and received semicha from Yeshivas Samson Raphael Hirsch. For ten years he was a successful businessman in Baltimore, and has been active in Jewish education, both in the U.S. and Israel, for many years. Rabbi Sondhelm made aliya in 1993 and has attracted many talmidim with his insights on Chumash, among other topics, and his famously humorous personality. Rabbi Sondhelm’s home, also known as “Hotel Sondhelm” is always open for his talmidim and his hospitality is legendary. He is famously referred to by the students as the Zeidy of Ahavas Chaim.
Rabbi Gedalya Berlin, Executive Director

berlin picRabbi Gedalya Berlin

Executive Director

Combining years of personal financial and business consulting, non-profit know-how and sensitivity to young adults struggling to find themselves, Rabbi Gedalya Berlin brings the right blend of experience and expertise to Ahavas Chaim. An alumni of Yeshivas Bais Yisroel and the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rabbi Berlin, as the executive director of Ahavas Chaim, proficiently identifies and taps into numerous resources and opportunities.

Rabbi Shalom Adelman, Rebbe

Rabbi-Shalom-AdelmenRabbi Shlomo Adelman


Rabbi Shalom Adelman grew up in Brooklyn New York under the watchful eye of Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l. R Shalom has studied in prestigious Yeshivos both in Israel and the U.S.A. He brings many years of experience starting with teaching in Lakewood East, heading the Yesod program of Ohr Sameach, as well as serving as Mashgiach in Yeshivas Shaarei Chayim. During the summer months R Shalom is the learning director in Camp Sdei Chemed. Over the years he has forged deep everlasting relationships while keeping a close connection with his many students.

Rabbi Akiva Fox, Rebbe

fox bio picRabbi Akiva Fox


Rabbi Fox, originally from Los Angeles, studied in  RJJ of Edison New jersey and then continued his studies in Israel in  Yeshivas Pachad Yitzchok for almost a decade, as a talmid of the renowned Harav Yonason David shlita. He has been teaching in American Yeshivos in Israel (OJ, Yishrei and Lev Aharon) for many years. With lots of warmth and extra doses of humor, Rabbi Fox  strives to develop a close relationship with his talmidim. His shiurim and Mussar, coupled with wit and fun, infuse the boys with a desire to grow in their understanding of the Torah as well as understanding themselves. Rabbi Fox has also merited studying under some of Yerushalayim’s great tzaddikim and offers the boys the opportunity to get a close glimpse of these special individuals.

Rabbi Dani Kunstler, Director of Marketing

kunstler_1 copyRabbi Dani Kunstler

Director of Marketing

Rabbi Dani Kunstler has been in Torah education for over a decade, starting in Yeshiva Ner Yaakov, then moving on to Yeshivas Sha’arei Torah and Aderes HaTorah, before serving as Mashgiach Ruchani at Ahavas Chaim. He is very tech savvy and besides for building and overseeing the Ahavas Chaim website, he is also in charge of all areas of marketing in the Yeshiva. Rabbi Kunstler has authored books on Chumash & Pirkei Avos, as well as producing the V’Havienu music series.

Ahavas Chaim Application Form

Click here to apply to Ahavas Chaim
Is Ahavas Chaim the right place for me?
Ahavas Chaim is for post High School students who wish to spend the year in Israel while experiencing a Torah learning, country seeing, and overall uplifting experience while there.

What's the process to get accepted into Ahavas Chaim?
To get into Ahavas Chaim you must first fill out the application form on this website. After you are contacted from the administartor’s office, we will set up a meeting to get to know you.

What is the annual tuition? Is there financial aid available?
The annual tuition for the upcoming year is $21,000. This includes all costs except for flight travel, phone, and medical insurance. To find out about financial aid please be in touch with the office.

Do you have a list of what I should bring?
Due to the fact that airlines generally only allow one piece of luggage, please think carefully about what to pack. Keep in mind that almost anything one would like to bring from abroad can be acquired in Israel as well. There are also companies ( based in Israel where you can order pillows, linen, blankets, and fans for the year.

Besides for the Yeshiva, what else is there to do in Israel?
Israel is loaded with things to do. If you want to stay in Jerusalem, there’s an entire list of activities and spiritual sights the Yeshiva recommends to their students. If you wish to travel a bit further, all the Rabbis in the Yeshiva can suggest dozens of fun, meaningful, and relaxing activities for the students to do. Besides for traveling and seeing the Land of Israel, the Yeshiva encourages participation in all of the following activities:

  1. Become a certified Magen David Edom EMT.
  2. Become a certified member of Hatzala.
  3. Play American football in Israel in the organized IFL league.
  4. Volunteer as a big brother in the Yad Eliezer big brother program.
  5. Volunteer at Yad Eliezer to package food for poor people.
  6. Earn your B.A degree in Israel through Excelsior College or MJI.

Our Partners

The Ahavas Chaim family keeps growing!

Moshe Dovid Artman (Dorm Counselor 2009), Shmuel Artman (AC 2009-10), & Joseph Ely (AC 2009-10) with their kids

Here is where you can read about Ahavas Chaim News & Events. All Ahavas Chaim alumni are welcome to share good news with us. Whether it’s a Mazal Tov on an engagement, a new baby, or anything going on in your lives that is worth celebrating, we want to share it with the Ahavas Chaim family. We will also be posting important dates, Ahavas Chaim events, and happenings.


Daniel Stein (AC 2010) on his marriage! (Sept. 2015)

R’ Kunstler on the birth of a baby boy! (Sept. 2015)


Email us your pics from the past


USA: 718-576-1179

ISRAEL: 054-840-0666

FAX: 516-537-9670


Ahavas Chaim

c/o Toby Shwartz

15 Rupert Ave.

Staten Island, NY 10314