Meet Our Allies

Meet Our Allies

<strong> Matt Abrams Gerber</strong>, Assistant Vice President, Mandel Center for Jewish Education

Matt Abrams Gerber, assistant vice-president of the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at JCC Association, works closely to enhance Jewish living and learning at JCCs and JCC camps. He has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and the Jewish community. Previously, Matt directed the National Young Leadership department at the Jewish Federations of North America, and he has used his training in social group work, conflict resolution, Jewish education, and leadership to develop programs in Federation, JCC, school, and camp settings. Matt lives in New York with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Halleli.

<strong>Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson</strong>, Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair, Vice President, American Jewish University

Rabbi Dr Bradley Shavit Artson ( holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is Vice President of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. A member of the Philosophy Department, he is particularly interested in theology, ethics, and the integration of science and religion. He supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is the author of 10 books and over 250 articles, most recently Passing Life’s Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, The Binding of Isaac (Jewish Lights). He is currently completing God of Becoming & Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology, also to be published by Jewish Lights.

<strong> Robert Bank</strong>, Executive Vice President, American Jewish World Service

Robert Bank is a lawyer and not-for-profit senior executive who has been advocating for human rights for vulnerable communities for over 25 years. Robert joined American Jewish World Service (AJWS) as Executive Vice President in March 2009 to optimize the organization’s position for growth and continued impact. Prior to joining AJWS, Robert was the Chief Operating Officer at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), a national AIDS advocacy, service, and education organization. Robert was part of the leadership team that worked with over 500 hundred organizations to create the nation’s first-ever comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy with measureable targets to be achieved by 2015. Robert has been the recipient of the Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship from Harvard Law School, the Lifetime Achievement Award from GMHC, and the Partners in Justice Award from AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.

<strong> Peter Beinart</strong>, Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science, City University of New York

Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book, The Crisis of Zionism, was published by Times Books in April 2012.

<strong> Aryeh Bernstein</strong>, Torah Educator in Chicago

Aryeh Bernstein is a 5th-generation Chicago South Sider, recently returned after 14 years in Israel. He coordinates the Mishkan community’s Back-to-Basics introduction to Judaism program, has been an Editor-Translator for the Koren-Steinsaltz English Talmud edition, and Director of Alumni Affairs and Recruitment for Mechon Hadar, and is a Senior Editor of He has studied at Columbia, JTS, YU, YCT, and Yeshivat Maale Gilboa, and taught Talmud, Halakhah, Tanakh, and Jewish Thought at Drisha, Yeshivat Talpiot, the Havurah Institute, the Hartman High School, the TAKUM social justice beit midrash, Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where he co-founded the Beit Midrash, and communities around the U.S. and Israel.  He has led High Holiday services at Kehilat Hadar since 2002 and is on the board of Jewish Public Media.

<strong>Rabbi Daniel Brenner</strong>, Chief of Education and Program, Moving Traditions

Rabbi Daniel Brenner serves as the Chief of Education and Program for Moving Traditions. Prior to joining Moving Traditions, Brenner was the founding Executive Director of Birthright Israel NEXT where he led outreach efforts in the U.S. that reached over 50,000 young Jewish adults. As an educator, he has directed graduate-level training programs at Auburn Theological Seminary and CLAL – the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Brenner recently served as the official rabbi for the Wall Street Journal’s Passover Wine tasting.

<strong> Scott Brown</strong>, Vice President for Talent, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

From 1997-2003, Scott led a major turnaround as Executive Director at the University of Maryland Hillel, transforming it into one of Hillel’s largest and most exemplary Jewish campus communities. Scott earned a Master’s degree in Management from Webster University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on Personnel from Ohio University. He completed the prestigious Executive Leadership Coaching Program at Georgetown University and received his International Coach Federation (ICF) Certification in May 2013. Under Scott’s Leadership, Hillel’s coaching program was one of only three finalists recognized for coaching excellence in the 2013 ICF Metro DC Prism Award. Scott continues to be an active community volunteer serving as an executive officer on the board of the Jewish Community Center for Northern Virginia, and received the President’s Award for Volunteer Service in 2012. He is the founding President of Hillel at George Mason University and has served on the Board for Bread in the City in Washington, D.C. Scott is married to Jane Schapiro Brown, a published author, poet and teacher. They live in Annandale, Virginia and are the proud parents of three daughters, Naomi, Tamara and Eliana.

<strong> David Bryfman</strong>, Chief Learning Officer, The Jewish Education Project

David is the Chief Learning Officer at The Jewish Education Project. David completed his Ph.D. Education and Jewish Studies at NYU focusing on the development of Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish Education. He is also a n alumn of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. Prior to moving to New York, David worked in formal and informal Jewish educational institutions in Australia, Israel, and North America. David lives in Brooklyn with his wife and 2 children, Jonah and Abby.

<strong> Jeremy Burton</strong>, Executive Director, The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

Jeremy Burton is the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC), promoting a society that reflects the best of American and Jewish values; in Greater Boston, Israel and around the world. Through advocacy, organizing, service and partnerships, JCRC pursues social justice, ensures a vibrant Jewish community, and builds a network of support for Israel. He tweets avidly at @BurtonJM.

<strong>Rabbi Adam Chalom</strong>, Dean – North America, International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism

Rabbi Adam Chalom is the Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ). He also serves as the Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in north suburban Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies (Hebrew and Jewish Studies concentration) from the University of Michigan and rabbinic ordination from the IISHJ.

<strong> Alan Cohen</strong>, Assistant Executive Vice President of Global Operations, Joint Distribution Committee

Alan Cohen is the Assistant Executive Vice President, Global Operations of the Joint Distribution Committee. In the past, Alan served as the Director of Global Corporate Social Responsibility at Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 500® company; the Senior Director for Strategic Planning at UJA-Federation of New York; and with the JDC-FSU Team. Alan is the past Chair and a current Board member of Joshua Venture Group. Alan graduated from Brandeis University Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, was awarded the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, and received a MPA from Columbia University. Alan participated in the Selah Leadership Program and received AVODAH’s Partner in Justice Award with his partner, Robert Bank.

<strong> Josh Feigelson</strong>, Founder and Director, Ask Big Questions

In 2005, when he was Campus Rabbi at Northwestern University Hillel, Josh founded Ask Big Questions along with students Allie Gross and Lexie Komisar. In 2011, Ask Big Questions became a national initiative of Hillel, and Josh became its Educational Director, working with Sheila Katz to launch and scale the program. Since that time, he has guided the development of the program’s educational theory, approach to training, educational resources, and overall strategy. A leading thinker and writer in both the Jewish and higher education communities, Josh holds a PhD from Northwestern in Religious Studies, as well as ordination from YCT Rabbinical School, and a BA from Yale University in music (he played the tuba and conducted an orchestra). Josh is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and currently serves as the co-chair of the Wexner Fellowship Alumni Committee. He lives in Skokie, IL with his wife Natalie Blitt and sons Jonah, Micah and Toby.

<strong> Eric Fingerhut</strong>, President and CEO, Hillel International

Eric D. Fingerhut is the President and CEO of Hillel International. Fingerhut was appointed president on July 14, 2013 as the organization began its 90th year serving as the home for Jewish students on campuses and communities around the world. Fingerhut has devoted his professional life to public service and higher education. Now he is devoting his energies to helping ensure the future of the Jewish people.

Fingerhut came to Hillel after a distinguished career in higher education and politics. As Chancellor of the University System of Ohio (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) from 2007 to 2011, Fingerhut led Ohio’s large system of public universities and colleges. In that role, Chancellor Fingerhut earned a reputation as an innovative leader and ardent advocate for transforming higher education in his native state. Working in close collaboration with the Ohio business community and elected officials of both major political parties, Fingerhut developed a strategic plan to prepare students for 21st century jobs.

Before joining Hillel, Fingerhut was Corporate Vice President of Education and STEM Learning business at Battelle. Based in Columbus, where it was founded in 1929, Battelle is the world’s largest independent research and development organization. With specialties that include an array of scientific and medical research, Battelle generates approximately $6.5 billion in research and development activity annually and is responsible for more than 22,000 employees worldwide.

From 1997 to 2006, Fingerhut served as an Ohio state senator, where he worked on initiatives ranging from higher education to human services and economic development. He served in the U.S. Congress in the early 1990s representing Ohio’s 19th Congressional District. In 2004, he was the state Democratic Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate. Fingerhut received a juris doctorate from the Stanford University Law School, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. While still an active member of Ohio’s Jewish and pro-Israel community, Fingerhut lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Amy, their two sons, Sam and Charlie, and two the family’s two beagles, Pedro and Lulu.

<strong>Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox</strong>, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat Maharat

Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat, was the first graduate of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.  Upon graduation he served as the Rabbi of Kehilat Kesher: The Community Synagogue of Tenafly and Englewood for seven years.  In Rabbi Fox’s tenure at Kesher, the community grew three-fold from thirty families to nearly one hundred.  During that time Rabbi Fox also taught at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah as well as the Florence Melton Adult Education School in Bergen County.  He also served on the board of the Synagogue Leadership Initiative of the UJA of NNJ.  Rabbi Fox is also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.  He has also been a member of the faculty of the Drisha Institute, the Florence Melton Adult Education School in Westchester County as well as Yeshivat Hadar.

<strong> Adam Gaynor</strong>, Founding Partner, Plan A Advisors

Adam Gaynor is a founding partner at Plan A Advisors. Formerly a consultant at The Whelan Group, Adam has conducted multiple consulting assignments for organizations including Pratt Institute, Westover School, UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Education Project, and the YM-YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood. Adam was previously Executive Director of The Curriculum Initiative, a national Jewish program that worked with over 240 independent schools. He has served in a range of non-profit leadership positions including Assistant Director of the Bronfman Center at NYU, social work consultant with The Educational Alliance, Program Director at the Jewish Agency’s Department of Education in Jerusalem, and Director of Multicultural Affairs at Bates College. Adam is completing a Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU, holds an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Bates College.

<strong> Paul Golin</strong>, Associate Executive Director, Big Tent Judaism

Paul Golin is associate executive director of Big Tent Judaism (formerly Jewish Outreach Institute), a national, independent, transdenominational organization reaching out to unaffiliated Jewish families with an emphasis on engaging intermarried households and helping the organized Jewish community better welcome them in. He previously served as BTJ’s director of communications and strategic planning. Paul consults with synagogues and other Jewish organizations on engagement and marketing, and is a frequent writer and speaker on Jewish inclusion. He co-authored two books with Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, How to Raise Jewish Children Even When You’re Not Jewish Yourself (2010) and Twenty Things for Grandparents of Interfaith Grandchildren To Do (And Not Do) To Nurture Jewish Identity In Their Grandchildren (2007). Paul is the white Ashkenazi half of a “Jewpanese” (Jewish/Japanese) Jewish multiracial household. He maintains the Jewpanese page on Facebook and tweets at @paulgolin.

<strong>Rabbi Jeremy Gordon</strong>, Rabbi, New London Synagogue

Jeremy is Rabbi of New London Synagogue and is a graduate of Cambridge University, the Conservative Yeshivah and JTS. He’s the author of several Teshuvot (responsa) on the role of women in public Jewish liturgy and led St Albans Masorti Synagogue as they became the first British Masorti community to make the move to become fully egalitarian.

<strong> Robbie Gringas</strong>, Artist-in-Residence, Makom

Robbie is a British-born Israeli living in the Galilee, working as Artist-in-Residence for MAKOM and creating theater. He has performed on London’s West End and throughout the world with his own original plays.  Since emigrating to Israel he has taught at Israel’s main theater schools, directed several plays, and his solo shows have performed throughout Israel, UK, Australia, USA, Canada, and Mexico in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. With MAKOM he works with Israeli arts and with Diaspora Jewish leaders on weaving honest complex connections to Israel through the arts, as well as blogging on and running the MAKOM website . He’s married to Dorit, a magical stained-glass artist, and they have two kids.

<strong>Rabbi Steve Gutow</strong>, President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Steve Gutow served the American Jewish Congress, Texas Civil Liberties Union, numerous leadership roles, and founded the National Jewish Democratic Council.  Steve was Rabbi of the Reconstructionist Minyan of St. Louis and served as Adjunct Law Professor at St. Louis University.  He has written and spoken extensively on social justice. As President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Steve has advocated with the Jewish community and government for Darfur, immigration reform, Israel, poverty programs, and the environment.  Steve has been named to the Forward 50 most influential Jews in America and, to Newsweek’s list of the most influential rabbis in the US.

<strong> Jonathan Horowitz</strong>, Program Officer, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Jonathan Horowitz serves as a Program Officer at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Jonathan’s role includes the management of grant making programs for foundations working across a diverse range of areas, including arts, disability issues, combating poverty, workforce development and nonprofit capacity building. Jonathan previously worked for the Jewish Funders Network, where he facilitated networking and funding collaborations, and as the Meyerhoff Fellow for Hillel’s International Center. Jonathan serves on the boards of Hillel at Brandeis, Joshua Venture Group and the NYC Workforce Funders. Jonathan has an MPA from New York University and a B.A. in Politics and English from Brandeis University.

<strong> Josh Kanter</strong>, Planning Executive, UJA-Federation of New York

Josh Kanter serves as a Planning Executive with the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal at UJA-Federation of New York, where he is working across communities and organizations to transform Jewish life in New York, Israel and the Former Soviet Union. Prior to his role with UJA-Federation of New York, he has worked with American Jewish World Service and NEXTGen Detroit at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Josh is as a board member for Advancing Jewish Professionals of New York City, a local group under the JPRO Network umbrella. Josh holds an MSW in Jewish Communal Leadership from the University of Michigan School of Social Work and has also earned an advanced certificate in Jewish philanthropy from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University.

<strong>Rabbi Elie Kaunfer</strong>, Executive Director, Mechon Hadar

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is the co-founder and executive director of Mechon Hadar ( A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights). He has been named multiple times to the Forward 50 and to the Newsweek list of “Top 50 Rabbis in America.” He has served as Scholar-in-Residence at the Federation’s General Assembly and at the annual Jewish Funders Network conference, and has lectured widely on building grassroots Jewish communities.

<strong>Dr. Ari Kelman</strong>, Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies, Stanford University

Ari Y Kelman is the inaugural holder of the Jim Joseph Professorship in Education and Jewish Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.  He is the author of a book about Yiddish radio, the editor of a book about a Jewish comic artist, and the co-author of an award winning book about American synagogues.  He is the author and co-author of a number of studies of contemporary Jewish life, covering topics ranging from Israel to the internet.  His primary research interests focus on the question of how people learn to be Jewish, both in and out of school.


<strong>Dr. Shaul Kelner</strong>, Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies & Director of Jewish Studies Program, Vanderbilt University

Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University and Director of Vanderbilt’s Program in Jewish Studies. He studies the cultural politics of American Jewish identity. Shaul has been a Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and a visiting scholar at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010), which won awards from the Association for Jewish Studies and American Sociological Association. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, Pam, who is the Director of Jewish Family Service of Nashville, and with their two teenage children.

<strong> Simon Klarfeld</strong>, Executive Director, Young Judaea

Simon Klarfeld is the executive director of Young Judaea, the oldest Zionist youth movement in America. Since receiving his BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University, he worked for Student and Academic Campaign for Soviet Jews and did ‘hard time’ in Leningrad, Russia. Following his Masters degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, he became director of California’s Soviet Jewry movement. Simon was the founding director of Genesis at Brandeis University – a summer program for high school students. He then served as Vice President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies after which he was executive director of the Hillel at Columbia University and Barnard College. As a consultant, he has assisted organizations ranging from the Jewish Agency, Joint Distribution Committee, Birthright Israel, and communities from Australia to Ukraine. He is married to Dara and is the very proud father of four children – Harry, Isaac, Sophie and Charlie.

<strong>Dr. Aaron Koller</strong>, Associate Professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University

Aaron is an associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he studies the ancient world of the Bible and rabbinic literature, especially material culture, language, and intellectual history.  He also serves as Assistant Dean of Yeshiva College.  His most recent book is Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge UP, 2014).  Aaron also as a long-standing involvement in the Drisha Institute, where he teaches talmud and biblical interpretation.  He lives in Queens with his wife, Shira Hecht-Koller, and their children.

<strong>Dr. Marc N. Kramer</strong>, Executive Director, RAVSAK: The Jewish Community Day School Network

Dr. Marc N. Kramer is the Executive Director of RAVSAK, the network of pluralistic Jewish schools devoted to serving children and families from across the spectrum of religious practice.  RAVSAK encompasses more than 130 schools and over 25,000 students. Marc earned a bachelors degree in Near East and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, a masters degree in social work from Columbia University, a masters degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and both a masters and doctorate in education from Columbia University- Teachers College.  Marc was the recipient of the Sachar Award for academic research, the Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and the 2007 Covenant Award.

<strong>Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer</strong>, President, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is President of The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, overseeing the Institute’s many educational initiatives for the leadership of the North American Jewish Community. He previously served as the inaugural Bronfman Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation at Brandeis University, where he taught as a member of the faculty and wrote his acclaimed recent book Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past (Brandeis, 2012). Yehuda received his doctorate in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and is an alumnus of both the Wexner Graduate and Bronfman Youth Fellowships. He lives in New York with his wife, Stephanie Ives, and their three children.

<strong> Jacob Ari Labendz</strong>, Doctoral Candidate Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis

Jacob Labendz is a doctoral student in the History Department of Washington University in St. Louis. In Fall 2013 he will be in residence the university’s Center for the Humanities. Jacob works on the intersection of Jewish and modern European history, with a focus on the Cold War in Czechoslovakia and Central Europe. In his dissertation, “Jews and the State in Communist Central Europe: the Czech Lands, 1945-1989,” Jacob will explore the re-integration of Jews into Czech (socialist) society after the Second World War. His interests include questions of ethnicity, nationalism, political culture, and memory.

<strong> Shawn Landres</strong>, Co-founder & CEO, Jewish Jumpstart, Jumpstart Labs

Shawn Landres is co-founder and CEO of Jewish Jumpstart / Jumpstart Labs, which helps philanthropic and community leaders expand what they know, adapt how they think, redefine what is possible, and advance the common good. Shawn’s faith-based social innovation work has earned international media coverage and the attention of the White House. He co-chairs the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network Leadership Council, serves on the Sh’ma and Liberty Hill Foundation advisory boards, and advises a range of social enterprises, including The HUB LA, The Mother Company and InVenture (all three women-led). Shawn lives in Santa Monica, where he and his wife are being raised by their two young daughters.

<strong>Rabbi Joshua Lesser</strong>, Rabbi, Congregation Bet Haverim

Rabbi Joshua Lesser leads the dynamic Congregation Bet Haverim as a place dedicated to celebrating all aspects of Jewish life and creating a spiritual home that balances the needs of a diverse community. He served in the first Teach for America Corps in New Orleans, founded the Rainbow Center, a Jewish response to LGBTQ people and their families. He is the co-editor of the groundbreaking book Torah Queeries: A Weekly Commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Recently, he has completed the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbinic training program.

<strong>Dr. Jon A. Levisohn</strong>, Associate Director, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Brandeis University

Jon A. Levisohn is associate professor of Jewish education at Brandeis University, where he also serves as associate director of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education.  He holds degrees from Harvard and Stanford, and is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program.  His publications include Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Classical Jewish Texts (with Susan P. Fendrick, 2013) and The Interpretive Virtues: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Teaching and Learning of Historical Narratives (forthcoming).  He lives in Newton, MA with his spouse Emily Beck and their three children.

<strong>Rabbi Mordechai Liebling</strong>, Founder & Director, Social Justice Organizing Program, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling is the founder and director of the Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College of which he is a graduate.  Prior to this he was the Executive Vice-President of Jewish Funds for Justice. Earlier he was the Executive Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.  He is the President Emeritus of the Shalom Center and serves on the boards of T’ruah: A Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and of the Faith and Politics Institute.  He was the founding chairperson of Shomrei Adamah: Guardians of the Earth.  He is married to Lynne Iser and together they have five children.

<strong> Or Mars</strong>, Director, Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Davidson Scholars Program, The Wexner Foundation

Or Mars is the Director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program, a program of The Wexner Foundation to promote excellence in Jewish Professional Leadership. He also serves as a volunteer leader in the Columbus Jewish Community as the Board Member for the Columbus Jewish Day School, as a founder and organizer of Minyan Nedava, and with the Columbus Jewish Federation. Or served as the Executive Director of North Carolina Hillel. In 2004 he was awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award.

<strong>Rabbi Nathan Martin</strong>, Director of Student Life, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Nathan Martin currently serve as the Director of Student Life at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where, among his other focuses, seeks to help create a community that is open and welcoming of the many types of diversity within the emerging rabbinate (gender, sex, race, age, religious practice, and more). Before coming to RRC he served as the Assistant Director at the University of Michigan Hillel. Nathan also has strong interests in Jewish spiritual practice and environmental sustainability.

<strong>Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson</strong>, Director of Education, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Lev Meirowitz Nelson earned his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in 2013 and works as Director of Education at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Before coming to T’ruah, he was Campus Jewish Educator at MIT Hillel for one year and a fifth grade teacher at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan for three. Lev is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds an AB in geology from Brown University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Eliana Meirowitz Nelson, and their son Barzilai.

<strong>Rabbi Carl M. Perkins</strong>, Rabbi, Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA

Rabbi Carl M. Perkins is the spiritual leader of Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA. He studied at Haverford College, Harvard Law School and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Hartman Institute, Rabbi Perkins has taught and lectured widely in the Boston area and is currently an Adjunct Instructor in Rabbinics at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School and an Adjunct Instructor in Jewish law at Boston College Law School. He is the author of the revised edition of Embracing Judaism, an introduction to Judaism for prospective Jews by Choice.

<strong> Reuben Posner</strong>, Director of Youth Engagement, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Reuben Posner is the Director of Youth Engagement at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Before coming to CJP, Reuben was the Jewish Education Fellow and Associate at Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life in Washington, DC; spent a year living in Mumbai, India with his wife serving as Jewish Service Corps Volunteers with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; was the Development Associate and Project Manager at The Jewish Education Project in New York; and taught First grade at the Atrium School in Watertown, MA.  Reuben received his M.Ed. in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and holds a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Psychology from Brandeis University. Along with managing CJP’s Camping Initiative, Reuben will be responsible for and serve as lead professional in developing and implementing new youth engagement initiatives in concert with CJP’s local and national partners. Reuben lives with his wife Leila and daughter Aria in Somerville, MA.

<strong>Rabbi David Rosenn</strong>, Executive Vice President, New Israel Fund

Rabbi David Rosenn, is the Executive Vice President at the New Israel Fund. Prior to joining NIF, David served for 13 years as the founder and Executive Director at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. David believes social change is inspired and sustained when people feel themselves to be members of communities of moral courage and spiritual strength. His work is centered around efforts to build, encourage and sustain Jewish participation in such communities.

<strong> Benjamin Ross</strong>, Rabbinical Student, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Benjamin worked in the secular, Jewish and interfaith social change field for fifteen years before beginning rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He most recently served as the Chief of Field Operations for Jewish Funds for Justice. Benjamin volunteered as board co-chair of Interfaith Funders, was a founding member of B’nai Jeshurun’s synagogue organizing work, and served on the synagogue’s Board of Trustees, and is the founder of Project Zug. He is a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Tisch Fellow, and UJA Federation of New York Rabbi Seymour Siegel Scholar.

<strong>Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb</strong>, Rabbi, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation

Rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda MD since 1997, Fred Scherlinder Dobb has also served as President of the Washington Board of Rabbis; on the governance committee of the Coalition on the Environment Jewish Life; in numerous leadership positions within the Reconstructionist movement; and as Chairperson of Maryland and Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light. He has written and spoken widely on the intersection of Judaism and ecology, and helped Adat Shalom become a green spiritual center. Fred has also contributed regularly to Moment and other publications; served in interfaith leadership capacities; and has been active both within and beyond Adat Shalom on social and economic justice, LGBTQ and gender equality, and Israel education and advocacy. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Fred received a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2009, yet his proudest titles are ‘partner’ with Minna Scherlinder Morse, and ‘abba’ to Sara and Gilad.

<strong> Will Schneider</strong>, Executive Director, Slingshot

Will Schneider joined Slingshot in 2009 to help support the work of innovators in Jewish life. Slingshot uses philanthropic tools and Jewish innovation to engage people in Jewish life and support relevant Jewish organizations. Prior to Slingshot, he worked as a fundraising consultant for dozens of non-profit clients across several sectors — including the Apollo Theater, the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, and the National Urban League. While consulting, he also founded and developed a community and professional network for young professional fundraisers called “The Future Leaders in Philanthropy (FLiP).” Prior to consulting, Will worked on the major gifts team at Carnegie Hall, and before that in the Development Office at New York University.


<strong>Rabbi David Segal</strong>, Rabbi, Aspen Jewish Congregation

Rabbi David Segal is the spiritual leader of the Aspen Jewish Congregation in Aspen, CO, together with his wife and clergy partner, Cantor Rollin Simmons. He was born and raised in Houston, TX, studied Classics and Jewish Studies at Princeton University, and worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC. He was ordained in May 2010 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. In March 2014, David was named by the Jewish Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis. He writes a Torah commentary for the URJ’s Ten Minutes of Torah and a monthly column for the Aspen Times, and he dabbles in stand-up with his comedy trio Three Rabbis Walk Into a Bar. David lives in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado with his wife and two children.

<strong> Daniel Sokatch</strong>, Chief Executive Officer, New Israel Fund

Daniel J. Sokatch is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund (NIF), the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. Before joining NIF, Sokatch served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Prior to his tenure at Federation, he served as the founding Executive Director of the Los Angeles based Progressive Jewish Alliance. In recognition of his leadership, Sokatch has been named to the Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50,” an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers and opinion-shapers, in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and 2010. Daniel has an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a BA from Brandeis University. He is married with two daughters and resides in San Francisco.

<strong>Rabbi Bradley Solmsen</strong>, North American Director of Youth Engagement, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)

Bradley serves as the North American Director of Youth Engagement for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). For eleven years Bradley served as Director of Brandeis University’s Office of High School Programs which includes BIMA, Genesis, and Impact: Boston. Rabbi Solmsen was ordained at The Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and received a masters degree in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Bradley is currently pursuing a doctorate in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Davidson School. He has extensive experience as a Jewish educator in Israel and North America working with teenagers and college students and training Jewish educators. Bradley is married to Aliza Kline and is the proud abba of Ela, Gila and Nomi.

<strong>Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon</strong>, President, The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is the President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. He previously served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UJAFederation of New York. An author of over 100 publications, he also wrote The Art of Giving: Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan and The Art of Doing Good: Where Passion Meets Action, coauthored with Charles Bronfman. He sits on numerous boards including, the Jewish Funders Network, Jewish Week and the New Israel Fund. He also served on the Board of the Council on Foundations. He is a founding trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue and has received a number of honors from professional associations and universities.

<strong> Brad Sugar</strong>, Executive Director, Jewish Student Connection

Prior to becoming National Executive Director for the Jewish Student Connection (JSC), Brad piloted JSC’s efforts to create public school outreach to Jewish teenagers in Chicago. Shortly thereafter he assisted in scaling this model to several other regions as JSC’s National Director of Operations. Before his work with teens, Brad worked for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) with students on college campuses in the realm of Israel advocacy and education. It was within this framework that he realized the need for Jewish teens to be meaningfully engaged in a larger Jewish conversation during high school and before college. He has a BA in Political Science and Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan, received his Masters in Jewish Professional Studies from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, and has a certificate in Jewish Leadership from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. He lives in Chicago with his wife Shaina and three boys, Ethan, Ami and Asher. He also currently serves as the President for Kol Sasson synagogue in Skokie, a partnership minyan.

<strong> Hadar Susskind</strong>, Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC

Hadar is the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and the Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. Previously, Hadar held positions as the Vice President of the Tides Foundation, Vice President at J Street and Vice President and Washington Director for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Hadar also held positions at COEJL, HIAS, and the Israel Policy Forum. Hadar has served on the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives Task Force on the Environment, as well as the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs and Ameinu. He holds the rank of Sergeant First Class in the Israel Defense Forces.

<strong>Rabbi David Teutsch</strong>, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization & Director, Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics at The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi David Teutsch serves as Director of the Center for Jewish Ethics and the Louis & Myra Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Before that he was the President of RRC. Editor-in-Chief for the groundbreaking six-volume Kol Haneshamah Reconstructionist prayerbook series, and he is currently working on A Guide to Jewish Practice that takes a values-based approach to both ethical and ritual matters; the first volume of the Guide won a National Jewish Book Award. An honors graduate of Harvard University ordained by HUC-JIR, he earned his Ph.D. at the Wharton School, where his dissertation dealt with organizational ethics. Rabbi Teutsch is a widely published author and a well-known organizational consultant and trainer.

<strong> Matthew Vogel</strong>, Executive Director, University of Vermont Hillel

Matt Vogel graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in business management and received a Master’s degree in nonprofit management from New York University.  He was a board member and treasurer of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and from 2007-2013 he developed the Baruch College Hillel into a global organization receiving the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award for “amplifying the global spirit at Baruch College and around the world” with his partners in Kiev, Ukraine and Herzliya, Israel.  Matt is married to fine arts photographer Raïssa Venables and they live in Vermont with their daughter.

<strong> Aaron Weil</strong>, Executive Director and CEO, Central Florida Hillel

Aaron Weil is the Executive Director and CEO of Central Florida Hillel (CFH) since 2013. Prior to coming to Orlando, Aaron was the Executive Director and CEO of the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh. During Aaron’s tenure there, he was the recipient of the Pittsburgh Jewish community’s highest award for Jewish professionals, The Doris and Leonard Rudolph Jewish Communal Professional Award. Other awards include, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ranking of The Hillel JUC as one of “Pittsburgh’s Great Places to Work” and Hillel International’s highest honor in 2011: the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award which was conferred upon both the Hillel JUC and Aaron. He is twice the recipient of AIPAC’s Ally of The Year award (at each Hillel).

Prior to Hillel, Aaron lived in Israel where he was the CEO of Coast 2 Coast Communications, a PR and Marketing firm for High Tech start ups and governmental consulting. Also while in Israel, Aaron served in the IDF as a Captain (Hon) in the Army Spokesman’s Office.

Aaron lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Sharon, daughter Roni and son Nadav. Their eldest daughter Noa is currently serving in the IDF. Aaron has a Masters in Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Spertus Institute in Chicago and a BA in Global Policy Studies from the University of Georgia.

<strong> Aaron Weinberg</strong>, M.A. Student, Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University

Aaron Weinberg, originally from the Chicagoland area, received his M.A. from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program of Brandeis University with a concentration in Israel education through the iCenter. Aaron also received his B.A. from Brandeis, studying Sociology, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Hebrew, and Social Justice and Social Policy. He completed his fieldwork at Makom Israel, an initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Aaron has previously worked as an iEngage Intern and research assistant to Gil Troy at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He spent the spring 2013 semester studying Jewish education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, Aaron co-chaired Ta Shema, J Street U’s on-the-ground educational initiative, planning trips to parts of Israel and the West Bank. In fall 2012, Aaron worked as a D.C. Jewish Outreach Fellow on President Obama’s re-election campaign, while participating in American University’s Washington Semester, where he studied communal change and political speechwriting. Aaron has participated in Machon Kaplan at the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, and been a Counselor on the Eisendrath International Exchange. Before college, Aaron participated in Kivunim: New Directions—a Jerusalem-based program that studies and travels to Jewish communities around the world. Aaron was a student delegate to the first Conference on the Holocaust in the Arab World, has presented at Limmud conferences in the UK and Stockholm, and is an alumnus of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship.

<strong>Rabbi Jeremy Winaker</strong>, Head of School, Albert Einstein Academy

Rabbi Jeremy Winaker is the Head of School at Albert Einstein Academy Jewish Day School in Wilmington, DE. He came to Delaware as the Senior Jewish Educator at the Kristol Hillel Center at the University of Delaware. Passionate about all that the texts of our tradition can do—giving us purpose, connection, and ethical responsibility—he is known for engaging others in their Jewish stories. A Rabbis Without Borders fellow alumnus, he has worked in synagogues, camps, schools, and adult education offerings. Jeremy loves politics, Israel, cooking, and, most of all, his wife Ali and their children Sophie and Max.

<strong>Rabbi Seth Winberg</strong>, Executive Director, Metro Chicago Hillel

Rabbi Seth Winberg is the Executive Director of Metro Chicago Hillel.

<strong>Rabbi Eric Woodward</strong>, Assistant Rabbi, Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus, Ohio

Rabbi Eric Woodward is the assistant rabbi at Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus, Ohio. He grew up in Los Angeles, California, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts. He was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2013. He is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hadar. In 2015, he was named by the Jewish Daily Forward as “One of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.”

<strong>Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz</strong>, Executive Director, Valley Beit Midrash

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Executive Director of the Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, and the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Insitute. Rav Shmuly completed his Masters at Yeshiva University in Jewish Philosophy, a Masters at Harvard in Moral Psychology and a Doctorate at Columbia in Epistemology and Moral Development. Rav Shmuly is the author of Jewish Ethics and Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century and his second book was Epistemic Development in Talmud Study.