Rabbi Dovid Wachs
Executive Director & Founder
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 also attended Denison University and Hebrew University and received his Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. 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 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. Despite his full-time responsibilities to his firm, Rabbi Ungar dedicates himself to a tireless teaching schedule at Etz 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.
Rabbi Reuven Goldstein
Director, Old York Community Kollel
Originally from Smithtown, Long Island, Rabbi Reuven Goldstein is a gifted Talmud scholar and teacher. Rabbi Goldstein received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens, New York where he studied for twelve years. He then continued post-rabbinic studies in Talmud at Yeshivas Novordik in Brooklyn, New York and advanced Jewish law under the guidance of the world-renowned Rabbi Binyomin Forst. Rabbi Goldstein also holds a bachelors degree in psychology and is currently working towards his masters degree in marriage and family therapy. His ability to analyze and convey complex areas of Jewish thought and law, coupled with his personal warmth and passion, make Rabbi Goldstein a sought after teacher on a wide range of topics. Rabbi Goldstein lives with his wife Miriam and their four boys in Elkins Park.
Mrs. Miriam Goldstein
Faculty, Etz Chaim Women’s Division
Mrs. Miriam Goldstein (nee Froimowitz) grew up in Queens, NY. After graduating the acclaimed Yavne seminary in Cleveland, Ohio, she began her career as a phenomenal special education teacher. Mrs. Goldstein’s immense love for people and Judaism are contagious. She serves as an outstanding role model for community women, balancing career, family and personal growth.
Mrs. Ettie Wachs
Faculty, Etz Chaim Women’s Division
Mrs. Ettie Wachs is the guidance counselor at Torah Academy Girls High School and is a psychotherapist with SRI Psychological Services, P.C. She also maintains an active private counseling 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 did a year of post-graduate work at the Child Guidance Clinic and is completing another post-graduate program in Contextual Therapy.
Rabbi Yehoshua Duskis
Youth & Family Programming
Rabbi Yehoshua Duskis was born in Israel 1979 and at the age of 8, moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He married his wife, Rochel in 2003, and then moved to Lakewood NJ where he studied at the largest yeshiva in America, Beth Medrash Gavoha for 10 years and received his ordination. Rabbi Duskis is a Professional guitar player and has produced two CD’s. He also has a double black belt in Karate. The Duskis family has four lovely children ranging from ages 3 to 9. His exuberance and love for the Torah radiates from him and he wants everyone on all spectrums of Judaism to share the wondrous and meaningful life that the Torah has to offer.
Mrs. Sarah Moody
Director of Marketing & Etz Chaim Women's Division
Sarah Moody (Bassman) grew up in the Elkins Park area, as one of the fortunate beneficiaries of what Jewish life in the Old York Road corridor has to offer. During her college years at Temple University, Sarah developed a social awareness campaign aimed at Israel advocacy called “Give Peace a Shot” which became contagious among many universities. She was flown to give seminars about campus activism to large organizations focusing on engaging college students. After graduation, Sarah went to study at Neve Yerushalyim’s Shalhevet Honor’s Program in Israel. During her time there she married Benjamin Moody, another Philadelphian. Together they remained in Israel, most recently running the Jeff Seidel Student Center at Hebrew University in Mt. Scopus. Sarah and her husband and children have recently returned and are residing in Elkins Park.
Learn more by calling or by emailing us. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you attain Joy Through Judaism!