Moshe and Ruth Harizy - Founders of Oneg Shabbat

Moshe and Ruth Harizy have dedicated their lives to bringing Jews closer to Judaism. For the last 7 years, Moshe, Ruth and their 4 children have hosted guests in their Upper West Side Manhattan home every Shabbat. The meals draw between 20-30 people -- singles and couples alike.

They had a dream of a place where Jews can go to experience the joy of Shabbat no matter where they are. This year, that dream became a reality with the launching of

Moshe's family came from Yemen to Israel in 1882 - bringing with them many Yeminite traditions. Moshe, born in Tel Aviv, served as a communications officer in the Israeli Army during the Lebanon war. He then headed Keren Chai Emes for 4 years (a non-profit organization which gave 60,000 children the opportunity to plant trees in the mountains of Israel).

In 1996 Moshe founded "The Yemenite Minyan" in New York City. Every Wednesday night he teaches a class titled 'The Mystical Torah" at Aish NY at 10:00 pm. Thursday nights he hosts - All Night Learning - where a group of dedicated students delve into the Parsha with mystical insights from 1:30 am to 6 am. Many of New York's Baal Teshuva community seek Moshe's spiritual guidance. He is the owner of Alibaba Restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue at 85th Street, serving delicious, affordable, Kosher cuisine.

Ruth was born in Israel and served in the Israeli Army before she and Moshe met at a Purim celebration. Ruth is a registered nurse working in the intensive care unit for pre-mature babies. Ruth loves to cook and has her own special recipes which have become favorites at her table. All the food she makes is healthy and filled with love. In her free time, Ruth matches singles in the community and many girls seek her advice on relationships and successful marriage.

10 volunteers are currently on our team, all dedicated to Shabbat and to Torah learning, each of whom is donating his or her time and expertise to build an organization that embodies Jewish values and spreads the meaning of Shabbat. Each brings his or her enthusiasm, experience, professionalism and full commitment to Jewish values to the success of


Program Director
David Birnbaum of
Globeopen Advisors, Inc.

David grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, having little Jewish education or affiliation. While backpacking through Europe one summer while in college, David took a detour to Israel and immediately became inspired by the land, people, Jewish culture and practices. Since then, David has traveled extensively for both work and leisure, and has had Shabbat experiences in numerous locations around the globe:  Namibia, Botswana, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Finland, Costa Rica and Brooklyn (perhaps the most exotic of them all!) to name a few.  David lived in Japan for over four years, and was an active part of Tokyo's Jewish community.  In addition to Oneg-Shabbat and related projects, David works as a strategic advisor to startups, assisting them with fundraising, operations and business development initiatives.  David lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and hosts guests for Shabbat meals regularly.

Web Developer
Joshua Jacobson

Joshua Jacobson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with a minimal Jewish background. Joshua became connected with the Jewish community in New York in 2000 after experiencing Shabbat with a family member who had begun to celebrate Shabbat. Since then he has volunteered his technical and organizational skills to several Jewish organizations, attended synagogue regularly, and studied Torah in Israel. He is currently working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science at Columbia University in New York City. Joshua has consulted to numerous organizations such as Toys 'R Us and Scholastic on web-based application initiatives since 1996, specializing in e-commerce. He enjoys learrning Torah, snowboarding, rollerblading, and bicycling.

Russell Reich of
RCR Creative

Russell is a free-lance creative director and writer in the corporate world. He writes speeches and scripts and develops training and exhibits. He served as Visiting-Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and has taught multimedia production technique and career opportunities at New York University. He was also Artistic Associate at Circle Repertory Company and a member of the Circle Rep Lab. He is also the coauthor of a new book, Notes on Directing, endorsed by Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Richard Eyre, Edward Albee, and Dame Judi Dench, who decribed the book as "compulsory reading." Russell holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. degree from Colgate University, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

Creative Director
Karen Finkel

Karen received her BFA in painting from Syracuse University and studied at St. Martin's School of Art in London. Her work has been displayed at Cambridge University in England and in NYC's Soho. After years of painting, photography, and window diplays (for HMV Record Stores, Macy's and Lord & Taylor,) Karen finally gave in to the computer era and bought a Mac. She has since done graphic design work for Cartoon Network, Comedy Centra, Random House, Austin Powers, Nickelodeon, Simon Malls, Imax Theaters, Mudd Jeans, Gameboy, Bic and Crayola. While she continues to do free-lance graphic design work, (advertising campaigns, promotions, premiums, branding, web sites, interactive flash projects, logos, books press kits and packaging,) she has not yet thrown away her paint brushes so look out for some original Judaica coming soon!

see our business plan - pdf 964k