Organizational Leaders Cohort
Executive Vice President, Repair the World
Ilana Aisen serves as Executive Vice President at Repair the World where she is leading a pilot of Repair Communities, an initiative that will make service a defining feature of Jewish life within individual cities by enabling/encouraging more Jews to volunteer more frequently and more meaningfully and expanding the capacity of our partners to meet a greater share of local needs through volunteering. From 2002-2009, Ilana worked at American Jewish World Service, where she developed and coordinated service programs, trained educators, wrote service-learning curricula and led many service programs. As a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar, Ilana earned an MPA in management and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic studies at NYU. Originally from Toronto, Ilana studied English and secondary education at York University.
CEO, Youth Renewal Fund
Karen Berman is the CEO of Youth Renewal Fund, an organization that creates social mobility through education for Israeli children. She has over twenty years of experience growing and leading for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Karen serves as President of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a large Reform synagogue in Manhattan. She is a member of the Board of the URJ Eisner and Crane Lake Camps, and of the Rodeph Sholom School, a prestigious independent school that combines competitive academics with a liberal Jewish education. Karen graduated Harvard College cum laude and received an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Operating Officer, Hazon
Cheryl Cook is Chief Operating Officer of Hazon. She joined Hazon in 2006 and helped it grow from a small organization to what it is today. Cheryl has worked in the Jewish community since 1991 in an array of incredible organizations. She credits the amazing influences of Habonim Dror, Hillel Day School and her family in giving her an early grounding in Jewish life and a passion for creating a vibrant and just Jewish community. Cheryl earned a M.A. from Jewish Theological Seminary, a M.S. from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a B.A. from University of Wisconsin.
Regional Director, Community Engagement, BBYO
Sara Rose Gorfinkel is the Regional Director of Community Engagement at BBYO, the leading Jewish, pluralistic, teen movement. Prior to joining BBYO, Sara was the Director of the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation of Greater Washington, a Jewish women’s foundation dedicated to creating social change for women and girls. Prior to joining the foundation in 2010, Sara coordinated member services for family philanthropy and corporate grantmakers at The Council on Foundations, a DC-area-based nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations. Sara has been closely involved with The Samuel Jared Kushnick Foundation for Pediatric AIDS Research, a family foundation established in memory of her twin brother. An American Jewish Committee Goldman Fellow Alumnae, Sara has served as VP of Religious Life and as an active trustee of the Board of Directors of Shaare Torah, a conservative synagogue in Gaithersburg, MD, where she lives with her husband and her two young daughters. Sara, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Gettysburg College, holds a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies, Religious Studies Concentration, from Georgetown University.
Vice President of Human Resources, Curaspan Health Group
Rabbi Amber Powers
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Rabbinic Formation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Rabbi Amber Powers serves as the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Rabbinic Formation and a member of the faculty at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She previously served as RRC’s Dean of Admissions and Recruitment, as rabbi of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Philadelphia, and as the mid-atlantic regional director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. She is a graduate of Emory University and was ordained by RRC in 2002. She is an alumna of the Wexner Fellowship. She enjoys writing, speaking, and teaching on a wide range of topics in contemporary Jewish life.
Stefanie Rhodes is the Director of Annual Giving at the JCC in Manhattan where she oversees the Annual Campaign. Prior to joining the JCC, Stefanie spent 9 years at the Jewish Funders Network where she was the founding Director of the Foundation Professionals program and served as Director of Member Services. In her role at JFN, Stefanie served as a network weaver and philanthropic advisor to individuals, private and family foundations. She also worked closely with younger funders embracing their philanthropic identities. Prior to JFN Stefanie ran programs at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, her first job in the non profit world following many years in advertising and technology in San Francisco. Stefanie has a BA in Journalism and a Certificate in Jewish Studies from Indiana University. She also participated in the William Alanson White Institute Organization Dynamics program. She will begin work this fall on a Certificate in Jewish Philanthropy.
Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu
Director, Rabbis Without Borders, Clal
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, is the Director of Rabbis Without Borders at Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Named as one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in America by the Slingshot Guide, Rabbis Without Borders stimulates and supports creativity in the rabbinate. In 2013, Rabbi Sirbu was named as one of the most inspirational rabbis in America by The Forward Newspaper. She speaks and writes about Jewish life, health, healing and spirituality. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, she holds a master’s degree and ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She tweets at @rabbirebecca and @rwbclal.
Executive Director, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Marilyn Sneiderman serves as Executive Director of AVODAH, an innovative program developing the next generation of Jewish social justice leaders. AVODAH’s transformative curriculum and experiential training give young leaders the tools to create a more just world. Her history as a community/union organizer includes National AFL-CIO Field Director, Teamsters Education Director and Community Organizer for AFSCME. She taught at Georgetown Law School and serves on the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund. Working Mother Magazine named Marilyn one of the 25 most influential working mothers in the US. Marilyn also served as Deputy Director of BBYO.