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The Wexner Foundation is a nonpartisan, interdenominational, pluralistic organization.
Leaders need to know what kind of leader they are. I would describe my leadership style as an “insurgent.” My mentality is “let’s go take that hill!”
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Leadership development for Jewish Communal Professionals in the field
Adam Eilath is the Head of School at the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City California. Adam's educational leadership style is inspired by his Sephardic identity. His approach to community building, education and pluralism all come from a deep awareness and association with Sephardic history and Rabbinic thought.He previously served as the Dean of Jewish Studies and Hebrew and Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco. Adam also taught at Kehillah High School in Palo Alto, Mimizrach Shemesh a Sephardic Beit Midrash and the Nesiya Institute in Israel. Outside of his professional life Adam is an advocate for Sephardic and Mizrahi institutions in North America and is at the forefront of conceptualizing how the future North American Jewish Community will be impacted by a robust and active Sephardic presence. Adam lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters. He is also a former collegiate swimmer and actively competes in open water competitions in the San Francisco Bay. He holds numerous records at the historic "Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club" and set a team World Record in 2015 for the longest open water relay.
David Halperin is the Executive Director of Israel Policy Forum, an organization committed to educating community leaders and mobilizing policy makers in support of pragmatic proposals to advance the goal of a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consistent with Israel's security. He was instrumental in the rebirth of Israel Policy Forum's work in 2012, expanding the organization's work by creating innovative partnerships with an array of policy and communal organizations nationwide. He has previously worked as a Middle East Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and as a reporter for Ha'aretz English Edition in Israel. He has an MPA with a focus on International Relations from Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he was a member of the International Fellows Program (IFP). He is a founding board member of the Salla Treatment and Research Foundation. He has a BA in Political Science and Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona. Originally from Phoenix, AZ, he now lives with his wife and two kids in Riverdale, NY.
Solly Kane is the Director of Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). OSRUI is the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) camp in Wisconsin, serving over 1,000 campers in the summer and operating as a year-round retreat center for the broader Jewish community. He leads a 300+ person staff team and represents the Reform Movement across the Upper Midwest. Prior to becoming OSRUI’s Director, Solly worked as a management consultant advising companies on business strategy. He previously worked for the URJ in multiple roles, including in Washington D.C. at the Religious Action Center, and in New York City where he led the planning and implementation of the URJ’s largest events and programs for adults and youth. A native of St. Louis Park, MN, Solly holds an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business, and a BA with Honors from the University of Wisconsin. He was named to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s list of “36 under 36” in 2018. A frequent traveler to Israel, Solly has experience leading high-level board missions as well as trips for young adults. At camp, Solly can often be found encouraging a camper, playing basketball with a group of kids, or leading a song session with his guitar.
Amanda Pogany is Head of School at Luria Academy of Brooklyn. Under her leadership, the school transformed from an exciting idea to a thriving institution that models progressive education, inclusive classrooms, and Hebrew immersion, for the day school world. She has worked in the field of Jewish Education as a teacher, consultant, mentor and coach. Prior to joining Luria, Amanda spent two years working with new teachers across the country, working with them on best practices in building community, classroom management, and curriculum development. She taught elementary and middle school Judaic Studies for 7 years. A trained mentor through the Jewish New Teacher Project, Amanda mentored teachers for the Davidson School at JTS, the Pardes Educators Program and the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan. In her role as consultant, Amanda has worked with The Covenant Foundation, Mechon Hadar, and a number of Jewish Federations. She co-founded Altshul, an independent egalitarian minyan in Brooklyn, in 2005. Amanda is a graduate of the Pardes Educators Program, has a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and a BA from Barnard College. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Aaron Bisman and their three children.
Erica Frankel is the Director of the Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience, the think and do tank of Jewish education of Hillel International. In this role she steers the Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF), the largest Jewish educational program on North American college campuses. Erica previously spent seven years working at NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, where she was recipient of the Give-A-Violet Award, the university’s most prestigious professional recognition. Erica holds a BFA in Dance and an MA in Dance and Sacred Texts from NYU and completed a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Yeshiva University. She has been a PARADIGM Fellow at Paidea: The Institute for European Jewish Studies in Sweden, a Ruskay Fellow at UJA-Federation of New York, and a Harrison LAPID Fellow at Hillel. Erica and her husband Dimitry live in Harlem, where they are Co-Founders of Kehillat Harlem, an exceedingly diverse Jewish community and “maker-minyan" in their neighborhood. They also founded and direct Based in Harlem, a new community for Jewish young adults based in their home which mobilizes more than 500 people each year.
Jory Hanselman is the founding director of BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, the nation's first Jewish wilderness therapy program. Jory has experienced wilderness programs from the client and staff perspective, from field and office formats, in Jewish and secular settings, and in the private industry and the nonprofit sectors. She has over 500 professional backcountry “field days” managing youth from 13-26 through organizations focused on education, recreation, therapy, and workforce development. At BaMidbar, Jory is able to merge two of her greatest passions: Jewish education and wilderness-based therapeutic experiences. Before joining the BaMidbar team, Jory pursued diverse and unique work environments. She worked with Ramah in the Rockies during its inaugural season, served as a research coordinator for a Ugandan NGO, worked as a wilderness therapy field guide, and served as a crew supervisor, program coordinator, and regional manager for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, a New Mexico-based AmeriCorps program. Jory holds a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Studies and Philosophy from Tufts University and is a Master of Public Administration degree candidate at University of Colorado’s School of Public Affairs.
Igor Khokhlov serves as the Executive Director at the University of Miami Hillel: The Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life. Known for his entrepreneurial spirit, and unapologetic refusal to submit to the status-quo, Igor has transformed organizations, which he has been a part in the past years. Since he took over UM Hillel, Igor was the lead staff to work with lay leaders in the effort to successfully finish a multi-million dollar capital campaign for the new, state-of-art building. He positioned it as a desirable venue, that hosted dignitaries, world-class seminars, and distinguished speakers. Igor has dramatically increased student engagement on and off campus, and was the second Hillel in the US to launch Base Hillel - a young adult engagement initiative in Miami. A graduate of Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Igor attributes his educational vision to his Masters in Religious Education, and his management skills to the Zeldin School of Nonprofit Management. Igor is a member of a prestigious Schusterman ROI Community, and a MASA graduate. Igor is originally from Russia, lived in Israel, and now resides in Florida, with his wife and two children.
Adina Poupko is the Director of Grants and Programs at the Natan Fund, where she oversees Natan’s grantmaking, which focuses on Jewish and Israeli social innovation. Before coming to Natan, Adina oversaw student leadership programs and student programming at Yeshiva University, and was the Director of National Partnerships at Masa Israel. Previously, Adina was a fellow at the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership at UJA Federation of NY, received a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education, and received a Masters in Non-Profit Management and Public Policy from NYU Wagner. Adina was raised in both Montreal and Cincinnati, and found her love for Jewish communal work at Camp Stone, where she worked for many summers. Adina currently resides on the Upper West Side.
Rabbi Nicki Greninger is Director of Education at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA, where she has pioneered new models of synagogue-based Jewish education. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Rabbi Greninger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Teaching. She was ordained as a Rabbi in 2008 from the New York campus of HUC-JIR, where she also earned a Masters of Arts in Religious Education. Rabbi Greninger published the widely-used article “Believing, Behaving, Belonging: Tefillah Education in the 21st Century” in the Journal of Jewish Education and authored an article on Hebrew education in the forthcoming book, Portraits of Jewish Education. She is a recipient of the Pomegranate Prize for Jewish Education from the Covenant Foundation, and she is one of the co-founders of #OnwardHebrew. Rabbi Greninger is a member of the Presidents Rabbinic Council of HUC-JIR, serves as the Northern California coordinator of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, and has served as a Co-Team Leader of Professional Learning for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators. Rabbi Greninger is married to Dr. Daniel Greninger, and they have three children - Oren, Lila, and Gavi.
Deb Leipzig is the Vice President of Leadership for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In this role she provides strategic direction and oversight of ADL’s governance structure, its national volunteer engagement bodies and young leadership development. Prior to ADL, she ran her own strategic development and philanthropic consulting practice with clients including OneTable, Reboot, UpStart and BlueStar Indexes. Deb also served as the Senior Director of the General Assembly for the Jewish Federations of North America. She previously held full time roles at JDub, a digital music and media non-profit organization where she was the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development; and was the first Director of Development for Reboot, an organization dedicated to reinventing Jewish tradition and ritual for a new generation. She began her career in the entertainment industry, notably spending years as a Casting Associate for Twentieth Century Fox Feature Films and as a Talent Executive at MTVNetworks. In her free time, Deb volunteers with Sharsheret, a Jewish breast cancer organization and was awarded the Lisa Altman Volunteer Tribute Award in 2016.
Karen is the Development Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and is responsible for creating and implementing the Federation's long-term financial resource development strategy. She has a long history of working in the Jewish community. Prior to working at the Federation she was the Director of Education for one of the largest synagogues in San Diego, California and was part of the Union of Reform Judaism's Community of Practice in Congregational Education. Additionally, Karen previously expanded the teen engagement program at the JCC in San Diego exponentially and helped secure a $6 million dollar matching grant from Jim Joseph Foundation for a community-wide teen initiative. She was a Merrin Professionals Fellow and was honored as a Woman of Valor at the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. Karen received her BA in Political Science and Theatre from the University of California, San Diego and her MA in Educational Theatre and Social Studies from NYU. When not inspiring philanthropic action within the Jewish community, Karen enjoys all things musical theatre and exploring Seattle with her husband, their baby daughter, and beagle!