Rabbi Yisroel Ziskin grew up in a “traditional” (pepperoni pizza in the driveway and vegetarian in the house) Jewish home, on the northeast coast of the USA.
He studied Psychology and Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and after receiving degrees in both, accumulated three years of experience in Psychology by counseling teenagers in a private psychiatric hospital. Disappointed by the lack of intellectual honesty at university and surprised by the lack of moral integrity in the field of mental health, he undertook a quest for a more satisfying approach to life. After engaging people on trains and in youth hostels throughout Europe he used his last dollars to jump on a boat sailing from Athens to Israel.
This culminated an eye-opening encounter with Jewish teachings at Aish Hatorah in Jerusalem and 13 years later, a fantastic wife, four children (at the time, now five), a rabbinical degree, great clarity and exciting ideas about life. In 1998, Rabbi Ziskin chose to leave his teaching/counseling position at Aish in Jerusalem to share his knowledge and experience with the youth of South Africa.
Interesting fact about Rabbi Ziskin: He likes junk food and gym.
Alternative career choice: Pro-basketball player or psychotherapist.