Deborah Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, has years of experience building non-profits, primarily women’s and Jewish organizations. In addition, for four years Meyer helped manage a private Jewish Montessori pre-school. Prior to founding Moving Traditions with Chair Sally Gottesman, Meyer co-directed Kolot, where she helped launch Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! and began research that led to the development of Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood, Moving Traditions’ signature programs. Meyer holds an M.A. in Communication from Emerson College.
Lisa Alter Krule, Chicago Director, comes to Moving Traditions with 30 years of experience working with Jewish adolescents in youth group and camp settings, in Chicago and across North America. Lisa has served in a variety of roles in the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), including as national director of regional engagement, director of the International USY Convention, national director of young adult outreach, director of the Midwest Region USCJ, and, for 14 years, regional youth director of the Chicago region. Lisa is a past president of the Jewish Youth Directors Association and has served as a mentor for M.A. students in the Jewish Professional Studies program at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. She holds a degree from Oakton Community College and a Certification in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University.
Jennifer Anolik, Curriculum Manager, has an M.S.Ed. in digital and informal learning from the University of Pennsylvania (2014), where she focused her studies on the effects of online and after-school programs on adolescent girls’ identity development. She has taught and developed curricula for after-school and special programs focusing on poetry, environmental art, and mindfulness.
Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Chief of Education and Program, helps Jewish communities address the spiritual and developmental needs of tweens and teens by developing educational programs and training mentors. Brenner spearheaded the creation of Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood in 2011. Previously, Brenner was the founding Executive Director of Birthright Israel NEXT and he directed graduate-level training programs at Auburn Theological Seminary and at CLAL- the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, both in New York City. Brenner has been named by Newsweek Magazine as one of America’s most influential rabbis, and is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Robin Cohen, Chief of Finance and Operations, is charged with overseeing the Finance, Human Resources, IT and Risk Management for the Organization. Cohen has 25 years experience in finance, operations, new business development and administration in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, including working at SEI Investments, Brown Brothers Harriman and Co. and managing her family’s retail and online business. Cohen has a BS in Finance from the University of Massachusetts and a MS in Finance from Boston College.
Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief of Innovation, has worked as a Jewish feminist and social justice educator for over twenty years in varied contexts including as Program Director of Ma’yan and as Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at the University of Florida where she co-led an annual leadership retreat and taught a course on Leadership for Social Justice. She holds rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College.
Jillian Finkelstein, Development and Communications Specialist, is responsible for managing Moving Traditions’ annual giving program and supports the organization’s communications and marketing work. Jill has worked as a marketing professional for several Jewish organizations, including Lilith Magazine, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, and Nextbook, and also served as a religious school teacher. She has a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies, with a concentration in Women in the Global Perspective, and a minor in Jewish Studies from the University of Delaware.
Sarah Fox, National Program Manager, promotes program work in Philadelphia and nationally, manages logistics for Training Conferences, and manages curriculum design work. Fox has worked in the Jewish community in Canada and the US for 20 years, as a chaplain and Hillel Director, and then as a synagogue Executive Director. In addition to her work with Moving Traditions, Fox is a Hebrew School teacher and B’nai Mitzvah tutor. She has a BA Honours in Religious Studies from the University of Saskatchewan.
Stephanie Freedman, Manager of Recruitment and Mentoring, manages the experience of our adult mentors and ensures they have the resources necessary to meet Moving Traditions’ educational goals. Previously, Stephanie managed the development and implementation of training for a mission-driven technology company that helps people access income supports and financial wellness services, as well as for a broad-based media company serving business and education professionals. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh.
Lisa Gersten, Chief of External Relations, is responsible for managing and developing key stakeholder relationships including Moving Traditions’ Board of Directors and major individual and institutional funders. An attorney who began her career as an Assistant District Attorney focused on juvenile justice and domestic violence cases, she spent 11 years as a Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning in the legal services industry. Gersten received her B.A. from Barnard College and holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Laura Hyman, Boston Director, oversaw Moving Traditions programming for seven years as Director of Havayah: The Teen Community at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA. She served as the Religious School Principal at Temple Israel of Hollywood, Los Angeles for 10 years before returning to Boston in 2008. Laura was raised in the Boston area and holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Joint Masters Degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from HUC-JIR.
Jillian Ivey, Chief of Communications and Development, oversees Moving Traditions’ outreach and marketing, including foundation and annual giving. Previously, Jill worked as a communications strategist, ghostwriter, and media relations consultant for clients ranging from mobile advertising networks to educational museums. An experienced writer and editor with multiple publishing credits, Jill has an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers University (Camden campus) and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Liz Kaufman-Taylor, Database Administrator, has been working at Moving Traditions with both the program and development teams since 2006. She has worked in the Jewish community for more two decades in both Israel and North America in various arenas including Jewish camping, Israel programming, and Family Education. Kaufman-Taylor received a B.A from Rutgers University and Masters degrees from the Hornstein Program of Jewish Communal Service and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, both at Brandeis University.
Jennifer Kraft, Colorado Director, comes to Moving Traditions with 20 years of experience developing Jewish educational and welfare programs overseas with the JDC, where she also led fundraising efforts throughout North America. She has served as an advisor to non-profit organizations, philanthropists and businesses in management, fundraising and Legacy Design. In Colorado, Kraft established and leads West Side Jews, a volunteer-led social and cultural network serving more than 75 individuals and families in Northwest Denver. Kraft has a B.A. from Tufts University, a MSW from Columbia and a M.A. in Judaic Studies from JTS.
Miriam (Mimi) Levine, Assistant to the CEO, just graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Global & International Studies. Levine was part of a Rosh Hodesh group at Congregation Beth Evergreen in Evergreen, Colorado for five years and as a high school junior and senior was a mentor for a Rosh Hodesh group of younger girls. For KU Hillel, Mimi worked as an intern in Campus Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship and provided administrative assistance.
Robyn Levitan, Director of Program Development, National Counsel, manages Moving Traditions’ new strategic initiatives, programs, and training, and drafts grant applications. Previously, Levitan spent 13 years in business litigation, having been named by Philadelphia Magazine as a Super Lawyer. Prior to becoming an attorney, Levitan worked for Philadelphia Region BBYO. Levitan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a merit scholarship to Temple University Law School, where she served as the Law Review’s managing editor.
Lyn Manus, Finance and Development Specialist, is the Moving Traditions Office Manager, and assists with both finance and development campaigns. Previously, Manus held administrative positions at Jewish communal institutions for more than 20 years, including for 10 years at the religious school of Temple Sinai in Dresher, PA. Manus has also co-taught preschool at various synagogues in the Philadelphia area.
Nicole Nevarez, New York Director, manages Moving Traditions groups and development in New York and northern New Jersey. Nicole is also a supervisor and group leader of four local groups. Previously, Nevarez was the Jewish Education Director at the Rosenthal JCC in Pleasantville, NY. Nevarez received a B.A. from American University, DC and has spent time spent learning formally in Israel.
Adam Oded, Development and Communications Manager, coordinates Moving Traditions’ grants, manages social media and oversees web design and content. Oded has worked in the Jewish community for over 20 years, teaching in Hebrew schools, programming for Hillel, leading trips for Birthright Israel and March of the Living, and founding the Philadelphia chapter of Birthright Israel NEXT. Oded served in the Israeli Army and is a graduate of New York University where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
Gila Robinson, Chicago Consultant, has been involved with Moving Traditions for many years as a volunteer as well as Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! group leader. She has a background in Jewish youth programming as a former Youth Director of the Leo Yassenoff JCC in Columbus, Ohio. Robinson earned an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from Gratz College.
Ben Schindler, Chief of Field Operations, has extensive experience leading large and complex projects and operations in PricewaterhouseCooper’s consulting practices and in managing a citywide political campaign. In addition, Schindler has led engagement efforts for his local school, for his neighborhood as a Board Member and the Treasurer of Queen Village Neighbors Association, and as a part of the citywide strategic effort to support all of Philadelphia’s schools. Schindler is a graduate of Northwestern University and of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Beth Tigay, California Director, California Director, manages Moving Traditions groups and development in the Los Angeles area, and across California. Previously, Tigay served as Head of Middle School in a top-ranking, innovative charter school, and as the Humanities Department Chair and Middle School Dean at Milken Community High School. Tigay’s adolescent social-emotional development work and curriculum have been used in several Los Angeles schools. Prior to becoming an educator, Tigay ran a division at an advertising agency. Tigay has a degree in English from UCLA.