Meet The Team

Our warm, caring and confidential staff are available 24/7




Raised in Manchester, Mendel has had 10 years' experience in this field, running programmes and events in Israel, Canada and the USA. Mendel has spent the last 3 years working with Aliya in Australia.

P: 0161 501 6770 #1


Sheina Jaffe.jpg



Born in Melbourne - qualified Occupational Therapist , Sheina witnessed first hand the challenges that a Jewish community has to deal with in the youth sector, and has spent the last three years co directing and building  Aliya's centre and sister branch in Australia.

P: 0161 501 6770 #1





Francesca has been active in the charity sector her whole life and has been working with this charity for four years. “Bringing smiles to people are what brings a smile to my face”. Always putting others before herself is how Francesca lives her life and bringing out the best in people.

P: 0161 501 6770 #3


Cassie Horwich


Working as 42nd streets Jewish community research lead Cassie has the experience and insight into exactly what support and education is needed at every level. As a qualified counsellor in her own capacity Cassie has the ability to provide advise and give support to many areas of the organization from top to bottom (she also happens to know how to bake marvelous cakes)


Sivanne Lachs

Girls Programs lead 

In the small amount of time Sivanne has been with us she has taken Chabad Community Cares elderly programs to the next level. It did not take long for her to naturally slip into the role of the girls program lead at Aliya. Her dedication to the girls along with her creativity, has very quickly drawn many more girls to the wide array of exciting activities and programs hosted on the various nights. Her highly dedicated and passionate need to constantly ensure the smooth running of all  areas of the project, along with logistics has effectively put Sivanne at the top of the list of people who simultaneously took all elements of this charity to the "next" level. 

Screenshot 2021-03-26 at 18.06.27.png

Esther Durba

Girls recovery program

Esther voluntarily takes valuable time out of her busy schedule to run the girls recovery program. Her vast experience in this field along with her networking skills will forever have a long lasting impact on the foundation she has helped build, shaping this vital source of support in the community. Her passion, genuine care and love of the girls only adds to the incredible value Esther brings to the team. Her endless supply and sourcing of of the many individuals coming in to guide , mentor, support and coach is the reason why a whole new wave of young woman and girls in the community now have the tools to get overcome challenges in a healthy, productive and most importantly  SAFE way.

P: 07882146240


Chumi Lopian

Girls Youth support 

Chumi is currently finishing off her BA in Child Psychology. She has spent time abroad studying in Switzerland and Israel where she has also been actively involved with youth work.

After volunteering for a while, Chumi agreed to commit to the girls of Aliya in a formal capacity.

Her professional approach, her education and experience overseas, combined with her love and care for the girls, has had a tremendous effect on many girls, as well as her ongoing contribution to the team, and planning of Aliya programs.

Rochelle Jaffe.jpeg



Shlucha and co director of Chabad Lubavitch. Rochel is an international speaker of renown, she has an open heart, an open house, and is the proud mother of 13 children ‘KNH’. She has co-founded several charities supporting children, youth and people facing life challenges. Rochel’s cool head, sensitivity and attention to detail are a great asset to the team at Aliya, especially when facing complicated and delicate situations.

Micheal Sharp.png


Safeguarding and compliance officer & Trustee

In a career in engineering consultancy, Michael gained considerable experience in project management and in the development of procedures to meet stringent regulatory requirements. His pragmatism, attention to detail and ability to envision potential pitfalls make him a natural for his role as policy enforcer and safeguarding lead, helping to ensure that we are compliant with all statutory requirements. Much of the rest of his time is spent supporting Holocaust education and memorial, and he is an active member of South Manchester Synagogue.

Dovid Jaffe.jpeg



Shliach and director of Chabad Lubavitch. With 40 years’ experience in youth provision, with a special emphasis on 'kids in crisis' the Aliya project is close to the Rabbis heart. Working with under privileged and people facing daunting challenges has been a central aspect of the Rabbis work, and the Aliya Project is a natural extension of this.

Raymond Donn.jpg


Chairman & Trustee

Married to Dianne, Raymond built one of the leading law firms in Manchester over nearly 30 years. We have convinced him to come out of retirement to chair the organisation. His experience managing people, legal knowledge, strong diplomacy, and leadership qualities, together with a relaxed down to earth approach, makes him a natural fit as chairman. His vision for this project has been the driving force for Aliya from its inception.

unnamed (1).jpeg

Shelley Blackston

Fundraising Lead 

Shelley has worked  in the community for over 40 years , mainly in the charity sector raising funds  for various charities. Through face to face fundraising and arranging events.

From  Leukemia, to the visually impaired and elderly , Chai Cancer, Care , North West Ladies Jewish Drama Group and the Jewish Theatre Co of which she is an active board member. Having had the privilege of going to Buckingham Palace through her work and also meeting various  Royals;
Anne, Princess Royal,    Diana, Princess of Wales,   and various celebrities.

When she’s not working , her hobbies include ; Travelling, Theatre, acting, singing, walking , reading.

Married to Leslie, with 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.

Shelley  hopes to make a difference working for Aliya Youth, her Moto is “Anything is possible “.

Aliya Youth Logo.png

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Charity registration # 1182807


P: 0161 501 6770


© 2020 Aliya Youth Project