Meet Our Staff
RABBI ADAM JACOBS
Rabbi Adam Jacobs was born and raised in New York and has lived in Boston and Jerusalem, where he received his rabbinic ordination. He completed his B.A. in Music from Brandeis University and has a Masters of Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory. His writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, the Times of Israel, the Algemeiner Journal and in his own blog – Shaken Faithless. He has self-published three small books and was one of the teachers featured in the documentary film Kabbalah Me. His life’s work is to introduce the beauty, meaning and Joy of Judaism to all who are interested. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Penina and 5 children.
RABBI ELLIOT MATHIAS
Rabbi Elliot Mathias is originally from Chicago and is still a big Chicago sports fan. He graduated from Northwestern University and planned on being a lawyer. He decided to take some time off to travel before going to law school, and wound up going to Israel. Fast forward four years later, and he was still in Israel and hence, no law school. In 2001, Elliot founded Hasbara Fellowships while studying in Jerusalem at Aish HaTorah. Elliot led Hasbara Fellowships’ growth into becoming one of the premier campus Israel advocacy organizations in North America, training and supporting thousands of students to stand up for Israel on their campuses. While overseeing Hasbara Fellowships, Elliot also helped launch and expand Aish’s presence on University campuses across North America, hiring and placing young and inspiring Jewish educators on various campuses. In January 2019, Elliot joined Aish NY, becoming the organization’s Executive Director, where already in a short period of time he has helped double the organization’s staff and budget. He currently lives in NJ with his amazing wife and 6 kids.
RABBI SAJ FREIBERG
Saj Freiberg was raised in Manhattan. He worked as an actor from the age of 16 till 24, and then decided to pursue the truth wherever it would lead. Saj and his wife Hadassah have specialized in campus outreach for over a decade, co-founding YEHUDI on Campus with programs at FIU, FSU, UF, and UCF. In 2018 Saj returned to NY as the new Director of Aish Manhattan. He received his BA in English Literature from Oberlin College, and Rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Saj and Hadassah have three awesome children, Yakov, Nava, and Pinchas Chaim.
RABBI MARC TERRIS
Executive Learning Rabbi
Rabbi Marc Terris was born and raised in Vineland, New Jersey. He
completed his B.A. in Accounting with a minor in Finance from Montclair
State University. After graduating he worked in the private sector at Bankers Trust in their accounting department. After a few years in the field, he relocated to Jerusalem to study at Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies where he received his Rabbinical Ordination. Rabbi Terris has inspired business executives in the New York area for the last 15 years. He enjoys helping others answer their life’s questions and connecting all Jews to the beauty and meaning of our 3,400 year old Tradition. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Noa and their six children.
Ari grew up in Woodmere, New York and graduated from Queens College with a degree in Economics. After graduation, he spent time traveling the globe surfing waves in France, Spain, Costa Rica and Hawaii. Ari found his way to Israel and decided to hang there for a few years experiencing the beauty and history of the land while studying with Jerusalem’s finest minds. He returned to New York to pursue a career in the business world. Ari traded on Wall Street and invested in real estate with much success. It was during this time that he began to yearn for something more fulfilling as a career where he would be able to re-connect people to their Jewish roots and heritage. He decided it was time to take all that he had learned and pay it forward. For the past 10 years, Ari has been a Rabbi in the West Village of Manhattan, guiding and teaching young Jewish professionals for the JEC/Birthright Alumni Community. During that time he led over 30 trips to Israel. He is known as a gifted teacher and speaker who combines an expansive knowledge base with a dynamic and empathic personality. Ari is thrilled to now join the Aish family. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife Cookie and their 4 awesome children.
Lea grew up in Far Rockaway, NY and graduated from Queens College with a degree in Math Education. She and her husband made Norfolk Va their home for 23 years where they engaged in outreach and community building. Their eight children are all native born Virginians. Lea is passionate about Jewish communal work and is excited to be joining the Aish team! She lives in Woodmere NY with her husband and the kids who are still at home with a few married ones and grandchildren living nearby!