Jonny is a connoisseur of experiential education. He founded and led Makom: the Israel Education Lab’s pioneering efforts of “hugging and wrestling” with Israel and the Jewish People for 12 years. He has researched, designed and delivered educational experiences for 35 years in public school, university and in adult and travel settings and held senior positions at the Jewish Agency, the Mandel Leadership Institute, the United Jewish Israel Appeal and Melitz. He’s currently writing a book on educating people to become cosmopolitan patriots. He teaches experiential education at the Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education. Born in the UK, he lives in Israel with his family.
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.
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 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.
Selina is an LA-based actor and writer. Original work includes FACELESS, THE ARMOR PLAYS: CINCHED/STRAPPED, SOMETHING CLEAN, and POTUS. Her plays have been developed at Roundabout Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Alley Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, and Northlight Theatre; she’s currently commissioned at South Coast Repertory Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. She was a Hawthornden Fellow, a resident of the Sallie B. Goodman Artist’s Retreat, and the 2019 recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award. Selina is a Northwestern graduate (’16), where she studied playwriting under Laura Schellhardt.
Rabbi 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 Professor at the School of Education of Bar-Ilan University, where he holds the R. Dr. Ochs Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies. He received rabbinical ordination and earned a PhD in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Bar-Ilan University, a B.Ed. in Jewish education from the Herzog College. He is married to Suzi, father of three daughters, grandfather of two grandchildren, and lives in Jerusalem.
Steven Jacobson is Vice President for Strategy at the Dorot Foundation and Director of the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. Previously, he was Executive Director of the University of Kansas Hillel Foundation, Director of the Curricular Project for International Jewish Communal Service and an Instructor of the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University. Steven has degrees from the University of Kansas and Brandeis University and was a Selah Fellow and a Senior Fellow at the Melton Center for Diaspora Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Steve is excited to serve as an M² mentor. He lives in Providence, RI with his family.
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.
Rabbi Andy Kastner is Development and Impact Officer at the Jewish Community Federation, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this role he serves as a narrator and advocate for communal needs and social impact opportunities. Andy is a graduate of Indiana University and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Andy lives in Berkeley with his family and loves fermenting and running the endless Bay Area trails. Andy is a graduate of M² Relational Engagement Circle.
Rabba Rachel Kohl Finegold is the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. Rachel has been the driving force behind many new initiatives to engage young families and young professionals in synagogue life. The first Orthodox woman to serve as synagogue clergy in Canada, she previously served as a member of the clergy of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago, though her first professional love is Jewish summer camp. Rachel received her B.A. in Religion from Boston University, is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle in New York and was ordained as part of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat. Rachel lives in Montreal with her husband, Rabbi Avi Finegold, and their three daughters.
Rabbi Bethie Miller is a native of Newton, MA, a graduate of Williams College, and a community-builder at her core. During her studies at HUC-JIR (NY ‘14), Rabbi Miller had the fortune to participate in the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Daniel and Bonnie Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship. For five years after ordination, she served as a rabbi at Larchmont Temple with a focus on supporting small groups, connecting young families, and launching a social justice initiative. In 2019, Rabbi Miller founded Sanctuary to weave Jewish community one circle of souls at a time. Bethie is a graduate of M² Relational Engagement Circle.
Elyssa is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kol HaOt: Illuminating Jewish Life through the Arts. At Kol HaOt, she constructs worlds of Jewish meaning and beauty. She draws on all media to create interactive, participatory events and programs of Jewish content, through her “Day Away” programs, weaving together Jewish texts, music, food, art and drama to create all-encompassing experiences that are authentic, educational, inspirational and fun. She created and runs the “Zer Mitzvot” year-long group study/experience for Bat Mitzvah-aged girls and their mothers, and has worked on creative content for television programming, as well as acted and produced in live theater. Elyssa is a graduate of M² Senior Educators Cohort and serves as adjunct faculty. She lives in Jerusalem.
Tamara is the Founder & Chief Experience Officer of Coriphery Holistic Consulting Solutions. A strategic thought-partner and facilitator to Jewish organizations, she advises senior leadership on project optimization, reimagining priorities and designing transformative experiences. Tamara is most passionate about developing strategic learning spaces, bringing them to life and assessing their impact for scale. Engaging thousands in exploring Jewish identity, Tamara trains leaders to be peer-educators and consults on strategy and engagement. Serving in formal, experiential and informal settings for over 20 years, Tamara has worked closely with Jewish day and supplemental schools, youth movements, synagogues, summer camps, Hillels, federations and foundations.
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 incorporates and 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 Ensemble in Jerusalem. Assael’s Doctoral research is in training therapists in improvisation skills, and has since trained a range of helping professionals to be more spontaneous, playful and effective in their service. He resides in Jerusalem with his dynamic wife and two lively kids.
Ilana Schachter serves as Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai of Roslyn. She was ordained as a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also received an MA in Hebrew Letters, and received her AB With Honors in Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies from Brown University. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty for various M² programs, Ilana is a graduate of M² Senior Educators Cohort and M² Relational Engagement Circle. Ilana lives with her husband, John, and their two children, Jacob and Aviva.
Hallie Shapiro Devir is Senior Associate Vice President, Family and Teen Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. She oversees Federation’s initiatives for youth and young families, bringing more people to Jewish life through meaningful, enriching Jewish experiences. A member of the advisory boards for Jewish Teen Funders Network and Diller Teen Fellows, and of the Teen Education and Engagement and Funder Collaborative, Hallie is passionate about philanthropy, service, and experiential Jewish education and works to grow the number and status of community programs centered on Jewish values. Hallie is an alumna of M² Senior Educators Cohort and has previously served as a mentor for various M² programs. A graduate of Brandeis University, she lives in Chicago with her husband Eric and their three children.
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 is the founder and chief creative officer of Rhoda+CO. She previously served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management at American Jewish University. She 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. In her position at AJU, she helps develop and place top leaders throughout the nonprofit sector.
Rabbi Yehudit Werchow is an educational consultant working with a variety of Jewish institutions on professional learning and growth, change management, Jewish and Israel Education. Yehudit was born in Argentina and grew up in Israel. She holds a BA in Political Science and Literature from The Hebrew University and an MA in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR NY. She was ordained at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. Yehudit is the former Director of Education for Masa and has served in the position of the Jewish Agency’s Senior Shlicha for the Reform Movement in North America and the UK. Prior to her Shlichut to the URJ Yehudit worked in Merkaz Maase, a leading Israeli social change organization.
Rabbi Elyse Winick serves as the Senior Director for Learning and Education at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. She was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary and earned her undergraduate degree at Brandeis University. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty and mentor for various M² programs, Elyse is a graduate of the M² Senior Educators Cohort. Elyse was a mentor for the JFNA Next Gen Fellowship Cohort 1, and she is excited to be a mentor again for Cohort 2. Prior to her work at CJP, Elyse worked in campus Jewish life for upwards of 30 years.
Dr. Tanya Zion-Waldoks is a gender scholar, feminist activist and mother of four – intertwined callings. Her research interests include the intersection of religion, gender, and politics, with a focus on diverse religious women’s social movements in Israel. She is a lecturer at Hebrew University’s School of Education and visiting postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion. Beyond academia, she edited an anthology on human questions in Genesis as well as initiating and directing national Israeli campaigns on religious LGBTQ, human trafficking, Agunot, and community-based social justice. Active in partnership-minyanim (Shira-Hadasha Jerusalem, Be’erot Beer-Sheva) and innovator of Jewish life-cycle rituals, she is a Jerusalem native who is now a proud resident of the Negev.
Heather Wolfson is the CEO and Lead Strategist of Maven Coaching and Consulting. She believes that organizations have the power to build a healthier, more resilient ecosystem through intentional intervention at all levels. Her work is accomplished through scalable training, 1:1 coaching, strategic consulting and customized resources that identify and leverage emerging leaders and teams. Heather brings nearly 20 years of senior-level leadership, strategy development and coaching experience to her work. She has served a number of nonprofit organizations including being the Chief Operating Officer for M² when it first launched. Heather lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and two sons.