Our Staff

Rachie Karesh, LCSW

Executive Director

Rachel Karesh, LCSW, holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Rachie has worked and excelled in Social Work over the past 15 years. Her experience includes working as a social worker in a therapeutic post high school program for at-risk teens, providing mental health support and mentorship at Meor HaTorah Seminary in Israel, working as a school social worker at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School, and working as the camp social worker at Moshava Wild Rose.

For the past 10 years, Rachie has worked as the Clinical Director at Madraigos Midwest. She has developed a full-service organization that provides children, teens, and young adults with prevention, enrichment and intervention services. Rachie was instrumental in the building and opening of the Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center at Madraigos Midwest and was responsible for all assessments, counseling, and crisis intervention of the teens referred to the Counseling Center.

Rachie now serves as the Executive Director of Madraigos Midwest. In her new role, she is responsible for designing, developing and implementing strategic plans for the organization. As well, she manages the day-to-day operations of the organization including staff relationship management, collaboration with the Board of Directors of Madraigos, all in an effort to reach new heights and help even more families in more comprehensive ways.

Tsippy Kohen, LCPC

Interim Clinical Director

Tzippy Kohen, LCPC has been working with teens and young adults for over 20 years. Her background includes high school teaching, parent and teacher coaching, community lecturing and individual and family counseling. Her primary areas of focus are depression, anxiety, abuse, and family system issues. In her private practice work, Tzippy utilizes extensive specialized training to treat OCD and trauma. Tzippy is grateful for the opportunity to participate in her clients’ journeys toward goal achievement, satisfying relationships and a quality life.

Tzippy joined the Madraigos team in 2017 as a Clinician for our Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center. Tzippy will be stepping into the role of interim Clinical Director. Tzippy brings with her years of clinical experience, a profound understanding of the community, and a warm and non-judgmental demeanor.

Shira Berkowitz, LCSW

Director of School-Based Programming

Shira Berkowitz, LCSW, graduated from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at The University of Illinois and Chicago. While in school, Shira founded and directed a mentorship program in Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov, Chicago. She then moved to New York and worked at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services as a social worker in the Preventative Care Department.

In 2003, Shira joined The SAFE Foundation as a Prevention Skills teacher for their Project SAFE School Program, then became Director of the Program in 2010. While working with Project SAFE, Shira also served as the School Social Worker in Magen David High School for a number of years. In March of 2019 the Proejct SAFE School Program changed hands, and Shira became the Program Director of both Darcheinu and Our Path SEL under Amudim. In the summers Shira works at Camp Nageelah Midwest as the camp Social Worker. Shira also maintains a private practice for young adults.

Shira returned to Chicago in July 2015 where she lives with her husband and 6 children. She joined the Madraigos Midwest team as the Director of School-Based Programs, working to implement the Barry and Harriet Ray Steps to Healthy Living Curriculum in all the local participating Jewish day schools. In her position at Madraigos, Shira works with each school to tailor-make a curriculum that fits with their schedules and their unique needs as a school community. She is responsible for the training and consultation with all of the teachers/guidance staff and implementing the Madraigos prevention classes in the schools. She also sees adolescent clients as a clinician in our Counseling Center.

Aimee Shemano-Krupp

Manager of Operations

Aimee came to work for Madraigos in Sept of 2018. Before that for twelve years, Aimee owned and operated a children’s Designer Consignment store in Highland Park called Principessa. Aimee closed the doors of her own shop of 12 years and began working for Madraigos Midwest as their Manager of Operations. She has a Bachelor’s from Tulane University and majored in English and Jewish Studies. Aimee is married to her husband Andy for 26 years and has a freshman daughter Chloe at Michigan State University. In her free time she is active in Hadassah and currently sits on their National Young Leadership Council.

Menucha Brenner, LMSW


Menucha Brenner graduated from University of Maryland School of Social Work. Through her different internship and employment opportunities over the course of her education, she has had the experience of working therapeutically with a variety of different populations. She interned at Mishkon in Borough Bork working with individuals living with severe developmental disabilities. The following year she interned at Family and Children Services of Central Maryland reaching out to victims of domestic violence and educating victims about programs to aid them in moving forward from the trauma. She then worked as a school based social worker where she provided individual, family, and group counseling for students in an elementary school setting. Menucha joined Madraigos in 2019 and works as a Clinician for our Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center

Rabbi Yechiel Bresler – MMHC

Clinician and Steps to Healthy Living Facilitator

Yechiel Bresler is originally from St. Louis, MO. He spent two years in Yeshiva in Sha’alvim in Israel, after which he studied at Yeshiva University. He recently completed his Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. For the past 2 years, Yechiel has worked in 2 Modern Orthodox Boys High School’s Guidance Department’s on the east coast. He was also previously Rabbinic Intern at Rinat Yisrael, a Shul in Teaneck, NJ. Yechiel and his wife Davina served as the OU-JLIC Fellows at Rutgers for one year as well.

Yechiel is joining the Madraigos team, Septemeber 2019, as a Clinician and a facilitator for our Steps to Healthy Living curriculum. In addition to his work at Madraigos, Yechiel is the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation KINS in West Rogers Park. Yechiel moved to Chicago this summer with his wife Davina and their two sons; Tani and Tzachi.

Yakov Danishevsky, MSW


Yakov works as a clinical therapist in Chicago and Evanston and a teacher at Ida Crown Jewish Academy. In teaching and therapy, Yakov brings a blend of mind and heart through his warm, relatable, and sincere presence. As a therapist, he focuses in treating sexual addictions, trauma, obsessive thinking and couples’ counseling. Yakov also teaches a course on Torah and Psychotherapy for the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. He earned Semicha and a Masters in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University, completed his Masters in Social Work from Walden University, and was a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Yakov lives in Chicago with his wife Dana, and three children, Baruch, Shalom, and Leah. He hopes to one day be an offensive coordinator in the NFL. Yakov joined Madraigos in 2019 and works as a Clinician for our Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center.

Aron Moore, MSW

Family Therapist

Aron Moore is originally from Gateshead, England and currently resides in Chicago with his wife and 4 children. After spending nine years in kollel, Aron earned his MSW from Loyola University of Chicago and will specialize in Family and Individual Therapy. Aron is currently in advanced training for Family Therapy at the Center for Family Consultation. Aron worked at Madraigos Midwest as our intern in 2017. We are very excited to have Aron back on the Madraigos Midwest Team as of 2019 and to offer the ability for current and new clients to participate in Family Therapy sessions.

Aron also enjoys playing and singing music, hiking and most of all, people.

Yechiel Silber, LCSW


Yechiel Silber, LCSW joined the Madraigos clinical team in April of 2018. Yechiel has worked as both a teacher and a clinician to help youth with academic, social and emotional challenges. Yechiel looks to help young adults find their inner potential and build on that potential to thrive as happy and productive individuals. He combines the use of discovering one’s values together with building a positive behavioral repertoire in order to help youth reach their goals. Yechiel earned his Master of Science in Education at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He earned his Master of Social Work at Loyola University in Chicago. Yechiel enjoys spending time with his wife Mushki and their three children.

Tzorti Steimetz, LMSW


Tzorti Steinmetz, has a masters in Social Work from Long Island University. Her initial internship as the social worker in a dorm for teens at risk gave her the clarity she needed to know that she loves working with teens. When she moved to Chicago, she taught in a local high school and served as grade advisor which provided further insight into the exciting and ever changing world of young adolescents. Tzorti joined Madraigos’s team of clinicians in 2017 and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Madraigos mission and connecting with each of her clients. She uses modalities such as CBT, DBT as well as art and drama to aid in the therapeutic process. She also works as the junior high social worker in Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov which further expands her perspective into the life of a teenage girl.

Yael Tobin, MACP


Yael Tobin, MACP, received her master’s degree in counseling psychology from North Park University. Originally, from St. Louis, MO, Yael held the position of Dorm Counselor at Blitstein Institute in Chicago for two years. There she lent students a listening ear, and guided them on how to properly advocate for themselves and communicate effectively with others. Yael spent her internship at Madraigos Midwest, and under their guidance was placed as a clinician in Arie Crown Hebrew Day School. At Arie Crown, Yael offered students individual counseling, interpersonal skills groups, and educational programming. Currently, Yael continues to see adolescen clients in our Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center.

Shuli Tsadok, LMSW


Shuli Tsadok, LMSW, received her master’s in social work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Shuli completed her first year of her internship training in Israel where she worked in Darkaynu, a seminary for girls with special needs. Shuli spent her second year as an intern at Madraigos Midwest. Under the guidance of Madraigos Midwest, she worked as a clinician in Arie Crown Hebrew Day School and Ida Crown Jewish Academy where she with provided individual counseling and educational programming for students. After finishing her Master’s degree, Shuli continued working in Ida Crown Jewish Academy as the school social worker, a position she has had for the past 6 years. Shuli sees students on an individual basis and also teaches the Barry and Harriet Ray Steps to Healthy Living Curriculum. Shuli currently sees adolescent clients in our Mozes and Helen Stern Counseling Center.

Rivkah Efron

High School Girls Lounge

Rivkah Efron was born and raised in Skokie and now lives in Chicago with her husband and 5 children. Rivkah has worked in her family’s Optometry business in serval capacities and roles since she was a child. This experience in her family’s business allowed her to develop a strong sense of commitment and pride in all her endeavors along with the versatility to work in any setting and modality. Rivkah’s love for people is apparent and magnetic which made her the perfect fit for the many roles she played in the early Madraigos girls programming. After several years of the raving successes of Rivkah’s volunteer work, measured by the increases in attendance and additional programs, Madraigos had no other choice, but to add her to the growing wonderful staff.

Adam McKenna

High School Boys Lounge

Adam McKenna is an ER Nurse turned Software Engineer currently working at Ticketmaster in Rolling Meadows. Before getting married, he worked at various hospitals around the UK, and spent two years learning at Machon Yaakov Yeshiva in Har Nof.

Adam grew up both in Israel and England. He and his wife have been in West Rogers Park for just under two years where he is a member of Ohel Shalom Torah Center.

Adam is enjoying his new role running the boys lounge and contribute his efforts to provide a space where everyone feels welcome.

Madraigos Interns


Madraigos Midwest is proud to offer an internship program for those pursuing a master’s degree in social work or mental health services. Our interns are placed in a variety of local schools to help the guidance staff and be an extra resource for the students. In the past interns have joined us from schools such as Loyola, Wurzweiler, University of Illinois and more. The interns facilitate workshops and see children individually in the schools, as well as receive high quality training and supervision at the Madraigos Midwest office. Please contact us to apply.