Dr. Erica Brown is an educator and author who consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-profits and currently serves as the community scholar for The Jewish Center in Manhattan. She previously served as the scholar-in-residence for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where she directed the Jewish Leadership Institute. She also held that position at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Erica was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, and is the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education and the 2012 Bernie Reisman Award (Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, Brandeis University). Erica has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University and Baltimore Hebrew University. She lectures and writes widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership and lives with her husband and four children in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Rabbi Rachel Cowan received her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989. From 1990-2003 she was Program Director for Jewish Life at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Rachel helped found the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, where she was the Executive Director from 2004-2011. In 2007 and 2012 she was selected as one of the 50 most influential rabbis by Newsweek magazine, and in 2010 was chosen as one of the 50 most influential women rabbis by the Forward.
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg is a Modern Orthodox rabbi, scholar, and author. In 1953 Greenberg was ordained at Yeshiva Beis Yosef. He earned a PhD. from Harvard University and served as the rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center, an associate professor of history at Yeshiva University, and as a founder, chairman, and professor in the department of Jewish studies of the City College of the City University of New York. He has also served as the President of CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He served as Founding President of the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation from 1995-2007 at a time when the Foundation initiated Taglit/Birthright Israel, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, and Makor (now the Steinhardt Makor Center at the 92nd Street Y) programs. He has written extensively about the Holocaust and about the historical and religious significance of the State of Israel. Rabbi Greenberg is married to Orthodox Jewish feminist writer Blu Greenberg.
The founder and director of a succession of innovative educational institutions, Avraham Infeld serves as President Emeritus of Hillel International. Infeld founded Melitz, a non-profit educational service institution that fosters Jewish identity rooted in a pluralistic understanding of Jewish life and the centrality of Israel. He also served as chairman of Arevim; director of the Birthright Israel planning process; founding chairman of San Francisco Federation’s Amutot in Israel; and chairman of the Board of Israel Experience. He was presented with the Brian Lurie Fund for Israel-Diaspora Relations Award on March 28, 2006. A native of South Africa, Infeld immigrated to Israel in 1959. He is married to Ellen, and they share four children and 10 grandchildren. He is a graduate of Hebrew University in Bible and Jewish history, and of Tel Aviv University’s Law School. In 2005, he was awarded Hebrew University’s prestigious Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education, the first specialist in informal Jewish education to be so honored.
Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement and the first to recognize the role of the spirit in health and the recovery from illness. She is Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Commonwealth Cancer Help Program, and has cared for people with cancer and their families for almost 30 years. Dr. Remen is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and director of the innovative UCSF course The Healer’s Art, which was recently featured in US News & World Report. She is Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, a ten-year-old professional development program for graduate physicians.
Rabbi Avi Weiss heads the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York. He is an author, teacher, lecturer, and activist. In addition he is founder and Dean of the “Open Orthodox” Yeshiva in New York – Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Weiss was twice selected as one of the “Fifty Jewish Leaders to Watch in the Year Ahead” by The Forward newspaper and was named Rabbi of the Year for 1993-94 by the New York Board of Rabbis. In 2007, he was selected as one of “America’s Top 50 Rabbis” by Newsweek. Weiss coined the term “Open Orthodox”, and founded Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, which operates under the same model, and aspires to foster intellectual openness, expanding the role of women in Judaism while adhering to Halakha, and cultivating spirituality. He seeks to embrace as many people as possible including the mentally challenged, elderly, poor, and those in need.
Tracy Mencher Jaffe is an independent marketing consultant and the COO of The Acceleration Group (TAP), a nonprofit providing consulting services to small businesses and local municipalities. A graduate of Brown University, Tracy has her MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University. She previously worked in different marketing capacities for American Express. Tracy currently lives in Scarsdale, NY with her husband and three children and is an active community volunteer, serving as a PTA leader as well as on the boards of the local League of Women Voters and Scarsdale Family Counseling Services.
Sheryl Fox Adler founded Adler Consulting Services in 2006 to provide strategic planning, collaboration coaching, and design and facilitation services to both private sector and non-profit organizations. Sheryl is an affiliate of the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC), a nonprofit consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. She previously served as the Director of Overseas Partnerships for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, overseeing work in Boston’s sister cities in Haifa, Israel and Dnepropretrovsk, Ukraine. She has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, start-ups, non-profits, and an international think tank in Washington, D.C. Sheryl received her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, BS from Northwestern University. Sheryl has lived and studied in Spain and Israel and currently lives in Brookline, MA with her husband Bill and daughter Rachel.
Mark Banschick, MD is a psychiatrist in Katonah, New York and an advocate for families in pain. His Intelligent Divorce book series and online course was designed to improve the lives of parents under stress – and their children. Dr. Banschick writes regularly for Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, and has appeared on both local and national television. From a Jewish point of view, Mark is intrigued by the overlap between psychology and spirituality – which is why he finds Ayeka so exciting.
Nina Bruder is the Director of the Jewish New Teacher Project, the Jewish day school division of the New Teacher Center, a national non-profit educational organization that accelerates the effectiveness of new teachers and school leaders. Nina served for almost a decade as the Executive Director of Bikkurim: An Incubator for New Jewish Ideas, and before that, at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Nina is also a periodic guest lecturer at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Nina lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband and two elementary-school age children.
Pam Ehrenkranz is CEO of UJA Federation of Greenwich and the JCC Greenwich. She founded and teaches at the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning in Greenwich, and has lectured and taught classes on Jewish text for the past 15 years. Pam serves on the board of UCONN Hillel and has traveled extensively in the Jewish world, helping to raise awareness of Jewish communities in need.
Michael S. Karlin, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Life University in the Positive Human Development and Social Change Department and the Associate Director of the Life University Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics. Karlin received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies from Emory University in 2014. Prior to graduate school Karlin was the founder and President of the Mythic Imagination Institute. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Alliance for a New Humanity. Karlin was also co-founder of Security First Network Bank, the world’s first Internet bank, and S1 Corporation, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONE), the world’s leading provider of financial portal solutions. He was president of Security First Network Bank at its inception. Prior to SFNB, Karlin co-founded VST Financial Services, an SBA lending subsidiary of Cardinal Bancshares, Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky.
Pearl Mattenson has recently joined Rosov Consulting as the Senior Program Leader after almost two decades as an independent consultant and systems coach in the service sector and non-profit world. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at CRR Global, an internationally accredited relationship systems coach training school. She is a co-author of Engineering Enduring Change: A study of the Bay Area Schools Israel Synergy Initiative. She is a contributor to Kaddish: Women’s Voices published by Urim Publications and is more recently known for her writing on leadership and communication.
Rae Ringel is a certified executive coach and founding President of The Ringel Group. She is a faculty member at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership and was recognized in 2013 by the International Coaching Federation for excellence in the field. Prior to starting the The Ringel Group, Rae was the Director of Professional and Volunteer Development at United Jewish Communities. Rae is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of the University of Rochester. She received her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and earned her Leadership Coaching certification from Georgetown University. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and now holds a faculty position with the Wexner Foundation. Rae lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and four children.
Deborah Shapira lives in Manhattan, where she is a full-time parent to three children. Deborah, formerly a teacher in a Jewish day school, is passionate about Jewish education and Jewish community, and currently works as a volunteer with several organizations that focus on these topics. She is also currently the President of the Pardes Institute Board of Directors. She is an alumna of Livnot U’Lehibanot and the Pardes Institute, both life-changing experiences in which she was fortunate to have studied with Aryeh Ben David.
David immigrated to Israel in 1989 and lives in Efrat. For the past dozen years, he’s been a communications consultant to several Israel-based multi-national companies, helping them to clarify their messages to their stakeholders. Before that, he was a lawyer and a business development executive for several Israeli companies. David, who lives in Efrat, received a BA in Political Science from Yeshiva University and a JD from Cardozo Law School in NYC. Ayeka is among a number of Israeli non-profits in which David enjoys playing an active part.
Corey Beinhaker is the fortunate
husband to Aliza and proud father of Yosepha, Ariella, Shmuel, Gavriel, Michael and Elisha. Corey resides in Efrat.
Lois made aliyah with her husband and 2 young daughters from New York City to Jerusalem in 2010. Prior to aliyah, Lois worked for various technology corporations in New York in positions in marketing, strategic planning, and sales management. Most recently Lois was Senior Vice President of Marketing for Intralinks, a global cloud-based software provider. She has her MBA in Marketing and Finance from NYU and her BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Lois is a little bit Jerusalem and a little bit New York City–and loves walking the streets and neighborhoods of both cities.
Mick is VP Marketing at BillGuard, a personal finance security company based in Tel Aviv. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and 5 kids.
Natalie made aliyah in 1984 with her husband, Daniel, and raised three boys in Ramat Efal. She has worked in the field of Jewish education throughout her life – teaching in afternoon Hebrew and Sunday schools in the States, at the Melton Centre at Hebrew University, serving as a guide at Neot Kedumim, the biblical nature reserve, and founded and coordinated activities for the United Hebrew Congregation of Singapore. Natalie has been an active member of Hod VeHadar congregation in Kfar Saba for 25 years. In addition to serving on the Ayeka board, she is on the board of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, and serves on the grants committee of the Tmura Social Venture Fund.