About Us

What?

Our Mission: Kochvei HaShamayim champions the values of family, community, and education by supporting young Jewish couples, allowing them to minimize difficult compromises and to excel in both their family life and their early career or continued education.

Why?

In his code of Jewish Law, Maimonides explains that a man should first learn a craft that could sustain himself, then secure a home, and only then get married (1).On the other hand, Yehuda ben Tema, a Mishnaic scholar, suggests(2) that a man could get married as early as eighteen years of age! These ideas are reconciled once we consider that, as recently as a few hundred years ago, one could complete one’s education or training by the age of eighteen. Today, however, the required training for most jobs, especially in technical or professional fields, takes young adults into their late twenties or early thirties.

Unfortunately, it seems the Jewish Community has not yet responded to the challenge posed by this societal change, as many young couples either push off getting married or having kids until much later, or, conversely, forgo educational or career opportunities in order to focus on family life.

Kochvei HaShamyim was conceived to specifically address this issue by running initiatives to support young couples, allowing them to responsibly build their families while pursuing their educational goals.
(1)  Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Sefer HaMada, Hil. Deot 5, 11
(2)  Pirkei Avot 5, 21

How?

We currently accomplish these goals mainly through our Community Building Initiative, which seeks to establish a symbiotic relationship between a couple and the Jewish community in the city in which they are pursuing their education. We also run educational events on college campuses that promote our mission, such as our Panel Event at Yeshiva University. To learn more about these initiatives, you can visit our Initiatives page, or contact daniel@kochvei.org for more information or to schedule a meeting.

Our Name

“Kochvei HaShamayim,” which literally translates as “stars of the sky” is an allusion to those same words used in God’s promise to the Patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, that their descendents would be plentiful like the stars (3).It also alludes to our mission of enabling Jewish students to continue their professional and graduate education to become tomorrow’s “rising stars.” Our name thus encapsulates our three key values—family, community, and education.
(3)  Bereshit 26, 4

Meet Our Team

Daniel Lazarev, CEO & Founder

Daniel got his BA in mathematics and physics at Yeshiva University. During his time at YU, he was in Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Haim's shiur. After graduating, he spent two years teaching physics, math, and chemistry at two high schools and at YU’s Physics Department. He started medical school at Stony Brook University, taking a leave of absence after finishing the pre-clinical coursework to focus on research and to pursue a PhD. He spent a year working as a computational biologist at the Broad Institute, and is currently a PhD student in mathematics at MIT. For more information, check out his website.

Daniel is excited about how Kochvei can help young couples balance their personal and career goals, without needing to compromise one for the other.

Mor Gedalia, COO

Mor brings her knowledge of development and organizational psychology to Kochvei. She completed her BA in Economics and Psychology at Bucknell University followed by her Master’s at Harvard University. After spending extensive time researching the integral relationship between Law, Ethics and Religion, Mor decided to dedicate herself to non-profit management.

Mor currently resides in southern California and is excited to be a part of Kochvei as an organization that is committed to improving the social mobility and quality of life of young Jewish couples and upcoming Jewish communities worldwide.

Solomon Barayev, CTO

Solomon comes from an extensive background of Tech and Consumer Psychology. He completed his BS in Business with a concentration in Business Intelligence and Marketing Analytics at Yeshiva University. His specialties include Data Analysis, UI Design, Web Development, and Optimization. He has built up several successful businesses in the eCommerce space as well as his active Web Design Agency, 1Bar Design. Solomon made Aliya in 2019 with his family, and currently lives in Be'er Sheva.

Solomon has always felt strongly that with a little bit of human help, and some divine intervention, the sky's the limit for young Jewish couples. As part of the Kochvei team he looks forward to helping provide that initial boost for many young professionals.

Esther Perez, Kochvei Ambassador at Stern College

Esther is a current student at Stern College for Women, pursuing a BA in Psychology. She has had experience volunteering and interning at some wonderful diverse nonprofit organizations. It is Esther’s professional goal to get a MA in social work and focus specifically in nonprofit leadership and community outreach and development. Esther also hopes to get her MS in Jewish Education and Administration in order to one day enter the world of teaching.

Esther has always loved resolving challenges within our larger communities and is greatly inspired and excited by Kochvei’s drive to make a difference for generations to come.

With your help we can make a difference

Help us strengthen the future of the Jewish up and coming.
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