Jonny Ariel is a reflective practitioner and mentor in experiential education. He has researched, designed and delivered educational experiences for 35 years at the Mandel Leadership Institute, the United Jewish Israel Appeal and Melitz. He founded and led the pioneering innovations of Makom: The Israel Education Lab of the Jewish Agency to develop content and train people to both hug and wrestle with Israel. He’s currently figuring out how to ethically nurture people to become cosmopolitan patriots. He is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and an Adjunct Faculty at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education, Hebrew University. Born in the UK, he lives in Israel with his family.
Dr. Erica Brown
Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor of curriculum and pedagogy at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at The George Washington University. She is also the director of their Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage program for over twenty years and the author of twelve books.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Sharon Cohen Anisfeld was appointed President of Hebrew College in July 2018. She was Dean of the Rabbinical School from 2006-2017. Prior to assuming these positions, she served as an adjunct faculty member and then dean of students at the school. After graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, Cohen subsequently spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities. She has been a summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993 and is co-editor of two volumes of women’s writings on Passover, “The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and “The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002). In 2015, Anisfeld was named one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by The Jerusalem Post. From 2011 to 2013, she was named to Newsweek’s list of Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America.
Abi Dauber Sterne
Abi Dauber Sterne is Director of Makom — Israel Education Lab at the Jewish Agency For Israel. Previously, she was Vice President for Jewish Education at Hillel International. In that role, she launched the Center for Jewish and Israel Education of Hillel U, to provide training and continuing education to all 1000 Hillel professionals to enhance their Jewish fluency and educational skills. She has held positions as the Director of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, the founding director of Limmud NY, and program associate at UJA-Federation of NY. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she is trying to learn to play the guitar, and she likes to take on consulting projects to help spark her thinking about new ideas.
Havvah Deevon is a scriptwriter and a graduate of Ma’aleh Film School in Jerusalem, where she currently teaches and facilitates individual and group scriptwriting workshops. Havvah is the co-creator and writer of “Srugim”, an award-winning Israeli TV show, as well as several other films. She served as a member of Israel’s Ministry of Culture Film Council.
Rabbi Dr. Elie Holzer
R. Dr. Elie Holzer is a practice-oriented philosopher of Jewish education. His research and his educational activities integrate text-based Jewish studies, philosophical hermeneutics, pedagogy, and ethical-spiritual traditions. He serves as Assistant Professor at the School of Education of Bar Ilan University, where he holds the R. Dr. Ochs Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies. He has a growing international reputation as an authority on Havruta Text Study and as a spiritual teacher in the neo-Hasidic tradition.
Currently, Rae serves as a leadership mentor to senior educators and relationship-based professionals at M²; an advisor to The Conversation; mentor to the Bronfman Fellowship; and, founder of Leadership and Wellbeing Circles. Formerly, Executive director of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and American Pardes Foundation; senior advisor/coach to the Berrie Fellowship. Rae’s focus is on the flourishing self, and workplace, with an emphasis on character, authenticity, relationships and strengths as the foundation for purpose-driven leadership.
Dr. Tamara Mann Tweel
Dr. Tamara Mann Tweel currently serves as the Director of Strategic Development at Hillel International’s Office of Innovation where she developed Civic Spirit, a civic leadership program for Jewish and Catholic independent schools. She is seminar faculty at Columbia University’s Center for American Studies and a research fellow at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Tamara received her Ph.D. in history at Columbia University and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School.
Dr. Assael Romanelli
Dr. Assael Romanelli is a clinical social worker, licensed couple & family therapist, international trainer and Playback Theater conductor. He is the founder and director of The Potential State Institute For Enriching Relationships which integrates therapy, art and education to create safe spaces for people to connect to themselves and others. He is also the artistic director of the Or Chozer Playback Theater company in Jerusalem. He resides in Jerusalem with his wife and kids.
Hallie Shapiro Devir
Hallie Shapiro Devir is the Associate VP for Community Outreach and Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. In this role, Hallie oversees Federation’s youth initiatives department, which provides experiential Jewish programs for teens, supports informal Jewish educators, and incubates immersive school break experiences for high school students. She began her career at Federation in 2000 and was previously a preschool teacher, youth director and religious school teacher at multiple synagogues.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Smokler
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Smokler is the inaugural chief innovation officer of Hillel international. He holds a Ph.D. in education and Jewish Studies from NYU and was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Zechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem’s highest court. He lives in New York with his wife Erin and their two sons, Shalev and Nadiv.
Dr. Bernie Steinberg
Dr. Bernie Steinberg, Director Emeritus, Harvard Hillel, served as President of the Harvard Chaplains and lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government. Bernie was a founding Fellow of the Hartman Institute, among the founders of Pardes, where he taught for many years, and on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy (Hebrew University), received the Shevach Award for Distinguished Leadership in Jewish Education (Boston Hebrew College), and the Covenant Award in Jewish Education.
Rhoda Weisman has a 25+ year career in identifying, educating and coaching Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial talent to become excellent leaders. Rhoda is one of the original founders of the Jewish engagement model used today and believes that every person deserves a high-level connection to Jewish life and tradition. Rhoda now serves as the Dean of the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management at American Jewish University, helping develop and place top leaders throughout the nonprofit sector.
Rabbi Elyse Winick
Rabbi Elyse Winick is Director of Adult Learning at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. A graduate of Brandeis and JTS, her role at CJP includes relationship management and visioning. She served as Jewish Chaplain at Brandeis where she worked to deepen the sense of community among Jewish students and open doors to those whose identities are not defined by religious practice. Elyse spent 20 years with KOACH/USCJ, creating educational materials and a social justice agenda and currently continues to support a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for those with Asperger’s Syndrome, which she helped create. Elyse was a member of the inaugural M2 Senior Jewish Educators cohort and lives in Newton, MA.