Jewish Community

Lecture: What does Jerusalem mean to me?

The talk was given with enthusiasm, clarity, by an obvious master of the subject. He was able to demonstrate the connection between archeological finds and Biblical verses, such that it felt as if we were discussing current events. The discussion left me craving to learn more about the Prophets and their history.
Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman
 Congregation Beth Jacob, Atlanta GA

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Nachaliel gave a great presentation at Congregation Etz Ahaim over Shabbat without any slide shows. His fluency, enthusiasm and obvious expertise on the subject synchronized the biblical account with the archaeological artifacts and brought the past alive with very important moral messages for us in the present. Highly recommended.
Rabbi David Bassous
Congregation Etz Ahaim, Highland Park NJ
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We had Nachaliel come to our campus and teach two groups of 30 + Rutgers students, most with limited Jewish background. The presentation was very well received and got great reviews from our students.
Nachaliel really brought Tanach to life and made the students feel a powerful connection to Yerushalayim.
I recommend that you bring Nachaliel down to your shul, school or campus and have him inspire your students.
Rabbi Meir Goldberg
Meor Rutgers Jewish Xperience
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My family had the honor of hosting Nachliel as a Shabbat lunch guest, and I asked him if he would be willing to speak later that evening at our Shul’s seudah shelishit.  Nachliel graciously accepted the invitation and with virtually no notice spoke passionately and compellingly on archeology as it relates to TaNaKh and Jewish history.  I hope we have future opportunities to learn from this unique teacher of Torah.

Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels 
Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton MA
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Great speaker. Loved the guy! Everyone has been great so far but he was special as well.
 Student

Lecture: The Power of The Place

To Whom I May Concern,
As the Chairperson of the Cultural Committee of Vacation Village, I had the pleasure of inviting Nachliel Selavan to be the featured speaker on a Shabbat afternoon during the summer of 2015 before a large and diversified crowd. He spoke about the connection between Tanach and the Geography of the land, a subject that he knows well. He described the topic in both an educated and interesting manner allowing his audience to gain much insight from the Biblical text as our guide. Because of his topic there were more young people than usual who followed closely both his narrative and the varied visual materials employed during the talk. Mr. Selavan’s presentation was engaging and entertaining, involving a large span of ages for a memorable experience.
It was a rather novel experience to see issues in Tanach, and about Israel and Geography brought to life under Nachliel’s  well-prepared, unique and capable instruction.
Sincerely,
Susan Eckman 
Chairperson, Vacation Village Cultural Committee
Loch Sheldrake, NY, 2015 

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I have been running Jewish outreach programs in Miami for over a decade. Nachliel Selavan gave our students a passionate, articulate, and content packed presentation. His ability to bring the ancient world of the Jewish people to life is truly impressive. His classes were very effective at engaging our students, and giving them a thirst for more Jewish learning. Of the many Jewish educators I have met, I found Mr. Selavan’s material uniquely  content rich and yet simultaneously accessible.

Rabbi Saj Freiberg
Outreach Director, YEHUDI
Miami, FL, 2016 
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We recently had the opportunity to have Rav Nachliel lecture at our institution about the Biblical perspective of the geography of Israel. In his brief but powerful presentation, he actively engaged the students in a participative exercise sketching the pathways of our forefathers through Israel on their journeys. He displayed mastery in both Jewish History and geography while offering a startling new perspective of the layout of Israel and the importance of visual learning. The students walked away with renewed excitement and a fresh interest in our holy sites!

Rabbi Chaim Davies 
Talmudic University of Florida
Miami Beach, FL, 2016
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Truly incredible.
Even time I think about my previous experiences with Mr. Selavan, I am blown away. He is an incredible orator, with a breath of knowledge that flows and comes together for the most articulate approach weaving together a myriad of sources, research, and a lifetime of experience to his audiences. He will captivate you with every word, and guide you through the Tales of History. A True expert in every sense of the word! Coming back every time!

Shlomo Rafaelov 
Dallas, TX

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Community Shavuot and Tisha b’Av Lectures

Nachliel brings a passion for teaching about Torah and Judaism that is truly infectious. His excitement with the material gets his students interested. His knowledge and engaging teaching style makes him one of the best Jewish teachers you can find.

Asher Weinstein

Highland Park, NJ, 2016 

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Jewish Holiday Program at Rutgers Hillel

I really enjoyed the Rosh Hashanah program. I thought it was incredibly engaging and well done. Nachliel was able to relate everything back to us to make it easy to comprehend.

 Sami Brandspiegal
President of Rutgers Hillel Student Board, 2016

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I liked seeing the visual of all of the holidays spread out in order. I had never heard of some of them so I was interested to learn more about their significance. And of course Lion King is never a bad thing!

It was a relaxed environment which I enjoyed, and I thought he taught well. A little awkward sometimes with all of the papers and things, but they were a useful prop too.

 NJ Leila Gordon
Holiday Co-chair of Rutgers Hillel Student Board, 2016

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Chinuch Director in Summer Camp

I am writing with regard to Nachliel Selavan, whom I had the distinct pleasure of working with in the summer of 2015. During said summer, I was the director of Vacation Village Day Camp, in the Catskill Mountains, and Nachliel was the Chinuch Director. I could not have been more pleased with his performance. Nachliel’s duties included planning and curriculum building.

This was no easy task, he had to address the needs of children of various ages and from varied Jewish educational backgrounds. Additionally, Nachliel had to compete with sports, drama, and the like, for the children’s interest. His creativity, organization, and preparation yielded unbelievable success. Campers truly enjoyed the project-based learning and went home talking about what they’d learned. Be reminded, this was summer camp!

Nachliel had a great chemistry not only with the campers, but with the counselors as well. He gave them guidance with regard to everything from spirituality to behavior management. He readily shared such hobbies as caricature drawing and Capoeira. He assisted with Color War and participated in the camp play. Nachliel was generally available to assist with all aspects of camp.

Robin Loewenstein 
Director of Vacation Village Day Camp, Loch Sheldrake, NY, 2015

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Community Service in Porto, Portugal

Nachliel HaCohen Selavan’s leadership and contributions to the Jewish Community of Porto – Pesach 2011
In this note I want to highlight character traits for which Nachliel Selavan provided evidence. Brief background. Nachliel HaCohen Selavan resides in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. Nachliel motivated his Israeli Capoeira students and colleagues to attend the European Championship in Guimaraes, Portugal, which fell during the Pesach holiday. He organized that they observe Pesach in Porto’s Jewish Community. His group prepared the kitchen properly for the community, and, he led the Pesach Sedarim of the community in several languages.

The community was very moved by the event, attended by dozens of people each night, and it made a tremendous impact on their Jewish identity. The group represented Israeli culture to the community as well.

Nachliel Selavan’s openness, engaging manner, intellectual stimulation, and passion for the learning and the mitzvot came through during the sedarim and struck a deep chord. People stayed late, sang with energy, and left on a spiritual high they had rarely experienced. He showed great wisdom as a teacher, and as a rabbinical figure, a representative of Torah.

Some particular notes:
Creativity out of chaos. Nachliel was quite unfamiliar with the overall context in Portugal as well as the Jewish community of Porto. In his preparations prior to the trip he invested the time and effort to put a picture together of this unknown context and thus be more effective, and, be better prepared for the responsibility of handling young people in a foreign country.

Managerial and Organizational skills two examples. First, he took care of all the details of the group’s activities for the three weeks they were in Portugal and Spain. Second, he organized all the Kosher preparations for Pesach observance in the Porto community.

Leadership qualities. Nachliel very effectively led a Capoeira group from the preparatory time period in Israel until after the championship events in Guemaraes in northern Portugal. Nachliel led the two Sedarim, and led them in Portuguese, in the community of Porto. The group included people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and knowledge, and Nachliel balanced his presentations with the same acrobatic skill he demonstrates physically.

Dedicated to communicating and transmitting Jewish way of life. As Judaism involves all aspects of life, and not just ritual observance, Nachliel and his group communicated and transmitted the Jewish way of life to the community of Porto and at large. He communicated that you can be an observant Jew and fully enjoy sports competition at an international event. This means Jews can be integrated in the world without sacrificing their Judaism. That message is very important for my community.
We of the Porto community are deeply grateful that we had the pleasure and honor of having the benefit of Nachliel HaCohen Selavan’s assistance during the Pesach period. Undoubtedly the qualities exhibited here in Porto, Portugal, in extraordinary condition, bode well for his future as a teacher and leader in the Jewish community, and for anyone who engages him in such capacities. We wish him well in all his endeavors.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Daniel Litvak 
Comunidade Israelita  do Porto – Congregation Mekor Haim, Porto, Portugal, 2011