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The Wexner Foundation is a nonpartisan, interdenominational, pluralistic organization.
"To go from notion to motion is very difficult."
Wexner Foundation Programs strive for excellence in Jewish Learning and Leadership
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Leadership development for Jewish Communal Professionals in the field
Laura is Head of School at Rockwern Academy in Cincinnati. Previously, she served as the Associate Vice President of Learning & Engagement at Boston’s Federation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies. There, she led the largest division of the planning department, which seeks to connect people to Jewish life, learning, and community. Prior to that, Laura spent seven years as a congregational rabbi at Beth Adam, an independent synagogue in Cincinnati, and as the co-founder, rabbi, and COO of OurJewishCommunity.org, an online synagogue that reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Laura and her work have been recognized on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, in the New York Times, on NPR, and in hundreds of other publications. She enjoys speaking at conferences, such as SXSW Interactive in Austin, the ROI Summit in Jerusalem, and the Jewish Futures Conference in New York. She serves as Vice President, Member Services of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Laura graduated from Yale with a degree in psychology and then pursued a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, rabbinic ordination, and an MBA. In addition to brainstorming models of Jewish engagement, she enjoys doing Pilates, playing tennis, spending time with her family, and eating ice cream.
Meredith Lewis currently serves as the Director of Content and Engagement for PJ Library in North America. In that role she manages the subscriber experience, which includes book selection, digital content creation, community programming, and new initiatives for parents. Previously she worked at 70 Faces Media (MyJewishLearning.com and Kveller.com). There she served in a variety of roles including managing editor, interim executive director, and chief operating officer and helped lead My Jewish Learning into a merger with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Meredith has also worked as a writer, youth group director, and teacher. She holds an MPA and a MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University, and a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is currently pursuing a certificate in Early Childhood Technology at Tufts University. Meredith and her husband Ben live in Northampton, MA with their two children, Ari and Micah.
In 2010, after ten years professional experience as photographer, filmmaker, writer and educator in the nonprofit sector, Yocheved founded Lamplighters Yeshivah in Brooklyn, NY, where she serves as Executive Director. Under her leadership, Lamplighters grew from a hopeful endeavour inspired by a troubled school system to a fast-growing movement in education reform - a lab school that combines Judaics, Montessori methodology, and behavioral science to fully customize the environment for each child. Yocheved and her team are sought-out to train, consult, and provide curricula and professional development for schools across the spectrum of Jewish community. Additionally, Yocheved, married with four children, is a featured writer for Hevria.com on issues silenced in the Orthodox world. She is a sought-after speaker and workshop facilitator in diverse communities on many topics. Her Iranian background, Hasidic upbringing, and world travels have allowed her to collaborate across many different communities. She graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. in Psychology from Stern College and has studied at Neve Yerushalayim, a women’s college in Jerusalem. MOst recently, she was awarded teh Perkins Award for completing the most exceptional body of work at Seth Godin's altMBA. Yocheved was one of The Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 of 2014 for her pioneering work.
Shira is Founder and Executive Director of Sacred Spaces, a cross-denominational initiative to create systemic solutions to abuse in Jewish institutions. In this role she has worked with Jewish communities across five continents to prevent, handle and heal from institutional abuse. Her policy book, Preventing and Responding to Institutional Child Abuse, (2017), will include both a Christian and Jewish edition. Shira holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY and a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law. She has completed postdoctoral psychology fellowships in child trauma and rehabilitative alternatives to incarceration. Prior to founding Sacred Spaces, Shira worked in criminal justice reform, youth advocacy, and child protection, including at such nationally acclaimed organizations as the Innocence Project, Center for Court Innovation, and the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center. In her work, she has represented battered women and adolescent defendants, mediated legal disputes, and co-authored Rethinking Rikers for the NYC Board of Corrections, which contributed to the end of juvenile solitary confinement at Rikers. Named to the Jewish Week's 36 Under 36, Shira has been involved in Jewish communal work for over a decade, serving as youth director at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, youth consultant to the Orthodox Union, Paideia Paradigm participant and AJWS Global Justice Fellow.
Josh Levine is Executive Director of Camp Alonim, a non-denominational Jewish sleepaway camp and day camp in Southern California serving over 1,100 campers each year. During his tenure, Josh has overseen the largest sessions in Alonim's history, significant increases in fundraising for scholarships and major capital improvements, and innovations in the camp's teen experiences, arts programs, and year-round offerings. Josh is a graduate of the Foundation for Jewish Camp's Executive Leadership Institute and was selected by the FJC and the JCC Association to be a Lekhu Lakhem Fellow. Josh attended Brown University, where he delivered a commencement speech that was broadcast on C-SPAN. He was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in New York and was an American Jewish Committee Goldman Fellow. Josh holds a law degree from UC Berkeley, where he edited the law review, and previously worked as an attorney and federal law clerk.
As Managing Director of the Leadership Commons at The Davidson School of JTS, Mark both builds relationships across the continent and oversees its leadership training institutes, research, publications, and dialogues, so the “thinkers, doers, and visionaries” from all corners of Jewish education can come together to learn, create, and collaborate for the common good of a strong Jewish future. Mark also supports students and alumni in navigating their career trajectories, helping them fulfill their full potential impacting the Jewish world.
Mark previously served as Davidson’s Director of Alumni Engagement and Program Coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative, launching the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI) and spearheading its MA in Jewish Experiential Education. Mark has also served in human resources management and programming roles for Episcopal Social Services of NY and the 92nd Street Y, and as program director, song leader, and Jewish educator the Mandel JCC of Cleveland’s Camp Wise.
Mark serves on many boards including JPRO Network, and frequently publishes on best practices to retain our Jewish professionals, including his $54,000 Strategy series and ELI Talk: Mah Tovu. Mark is a graduate of the MPA/MA dual-degree program in Non-Profit Management and Judaic Studies from NYU, along with a BSc. from McGill University. Mark is an avid runner (running the NYC Marathon in 2017!), and songwriter, and loves journeying through life with wife Rabbi Mara Young, daughter Noah (4 1/2) and son Asher (16 mos.)