The driving force behind the success of Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot is Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Dovid E. Fendel. A native of West Hempstead, Long Island, New York, Rabbi Fendel graduated from the Yeshiva D’Nassau – the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC). He later studied at several Yeshivot in Israel including Yeshivat Mercaz Harav, Yeshivat Mir and Yeshivat Shaalvim, where he spent 17 years and also served as a maggid shiur (Bekiyut). Rabbi Fendel has semicha (rabbinical ordination) from the Rabbinate of Israel, as well as personal ordinations from both Rav Simcha Kook and Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. He is also ordained as a Dayan (rabbinical court judge). Rabbi Fendel also served in the Israel Defense Forces. Living in Sderot, very near to the Yeshiva, affords many excellent opportunities for Rabbi Fendel and his wife to reach out and become close to the students. Rabbi Fendel delivers Shiurim to the Yeshiva and is personally involved in all aspects of life in the Yeshiva. His dynamic style, combined with his dedication to every student, makes a deep impression on the entire atmosphere in the Yeshiva.