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Family Education @ B’nai Mitzvah: Convening Participants

On June 10, 2021, Moving Traditions virtually convened 50 leaders with expertise in Jewish education, practice, and community. Together, we considered how the Jewish community—collectively and within our areas of expertise—could best support preteens and their parents at this life stage, while they are open to engaging in Jewish practice. We greatly appreciate the participation and contributions of the participants.

Rabbi Noah Arnow, Kol Rinah, Convening Partner Panel

Rabbi Noah Arnow serves as a rabbi of Kol Rinah, a Conservative in St. Louis, Missouri. He previously served as Associate Rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Voorhees, NJ. He and his wife, Tammy, are the parents of Caleb (13), Hallel (11) and Avra (8).

Pamela Barkley, Moving Traditions, Director of Strategic Implementation

Pam Barkley oversees Moving Traditions’ trainings from application through post training follow-up and consultation, and she directs all aspects of the Moving Traditions B’nai Mitzvah Family Education Program for partners across the country. Pam has worked as a trainer in Jewish and secular settings, running her own facilitation and training business. She also served as the Director of Education at Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY as well as an Education Consultant at The Jewish Education Project. Pam holds a Masters in Social Work from NYU and is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Hayley Berlent, The Additive Agency, Founder/CEO

Hayley Berlent is the founder and CEO of the Additive Agency, a purpose-driven consultancy that transforms causes, conversations and communities for good. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University, where she teaches a graduate course on purpose-driven communications.

Joni Blinderman, The Covenant Foundation, Associate Director

Joni Blinderman has been the Associate Director of the Covenant Foundation since 2006. Prior to joining the staff of the Foundation, Joni held the position of Director of Program Planning and Development at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Among her areas of interest are family engagement, early childhood development, and arts in education.

Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Moving Traditions, Chief of Education

Rabbi Daniel Brenner helps Jewish communities address the spiritual and developmental needs of pre-teens and teens through his work at Moving Traditions. Prior to Moving Traditions, Daniel served in leadership positions at CLAL-The National Jewish Center of Learning and Leadership, Auburn Seminary, and the Birthright Israel Foundation. Daniel holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, studied Talmud at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinic title from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey and he and his beloved are the parents of three young adults—Noam, Jonah and Adira.

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, Keshet, Director of Education & Training, Convening Facilitator

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael (he/him or they/them) serves as Keshet’s Director of Education and Training. Before Keshet, Micah served as the Coordinator of Community Chaplaincy with Jewish Family Services of St Louis, providing spiritual care for individuals throughout the St. Louis community. Micah has a BA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St Louis and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Micah enjoys cooking and baking, and lives in St. Louis with his wife Aviva, four children, and assorted pets.

Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Moving Traditions, VP and Chief of Program Strategy

Rabbi Tamara Cohen’s work at Moving Traditions is to harness and guide the incredible people power of Moving Traditions’ educational design, training, and field staff and to build strategic partnerships in service of expanding the reach and impact of its programs and initiatives. Prior to Moving Traditions, Tamara worked as a spiritual leader and as an educator in Jewish community and higher education settings, with a focus on Jewish feminist, LGBT, and multicultural community building. A published writer and liturgist, Tamara holds a rabbinical degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BA summa cum laude from Barnard College. Tamara lives in Philadelphia with her partner and two children.

Rabbi Darcie Crystal, Moving Traditions, Board Chair, Convening Facilitator

Rabbi Darcie Crystal teaches Exploring Judaism and Melton Adult Education classes at Central Synagogue. She is a member of the CCAR Ethics Committee. For 13 years, she taught leadership to rabbinical students at HUC-JIR. Darcie is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow and she served for a decade on the Board of the Princeton University Center for Jewish Life/Hillel, including as its chair. Darcie graduated from Princeton University and was ordained by HUC-JIR. Her son and daughter participate in the Moving Traditions groups, Shevet and Rosh Hodesh, respectively.

KM DiColandrea, Congregation Beth Elohim, Assistant Director of Yachad

KM DiColandrea (he/him) is an Irish-Italian, queer, trans Jew by choice who has been teaching since 2007. Twelve of those years were in NYC public schools and the last two at Congregation Beth Elohim. DiCo is looking forward to matriculating at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College this August.

Alisa Doctoroff, Jim Joseph Foundation, Chair of the Board

Alisa Doctoroff currently serves as chair of the Board of the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Montefiore Board of Trustees. She is a past President and Board Chair of UJA Federation of New York. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. In addition, she has held leadership positions on the boards of a variety of institutions in the field of Jewish education, including The Jewish Theological Seminary and The Hadar Institute.

Dana Edell, SPARK Movement, Co-Director, Convening Facilitator

Dana Edell, MFA, PhD (she/her), an activist-scholar-artist-educator, is the co-director of SPARK Movement, an intergenerational, antiracist, arts-driven girls’ activist organization where she trains and supports girls to design and run arts-based activist campaigns, write/ perform activist theater, and take action in their communities. She consults with organizations and schools throughout the US and abroad about gender justice, civic engagement, youth activism, feminist Jewish education and arts integration and will begin a new job as Assistant Professor of Applied Theatre and Social Justice at Emerson College in the fall, 2021.

Lisa Ellison, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, VP of Wellness Initiatives & Teen Engagement

Lisa Ellison has worked with children and families in a variety of roles and settings for the past 20 years—from early childhood classroom teacher, to overseeing a family literacy program in the Bronx, to her current role as Vice President of Wellness Initiatives and Teen Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. She oversees the multi-pronged LA Jewish Teen Initiative as well as spearheads emergent work with grandparents and wellness programming for families with young children.

Rabbi Janice Elster, Romemu, Director of Youth & Family Education, Convening Partner Panel

Rabbi Janice Elster is the Director of Youth & Family Learning at Romemu in Manhattan. She is passionate about making Jewish texts and tradition come alive. Before joining Romemu, Rabbi Elster served in synagogues, in a Jewish Federation, and a Hillel and has dedicated her life to making Judaism and Jewish life rich, accessible, and meaningful to adults, kids and families.

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Director, Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life Program

Rabbi Sam Feinsmith directs the IJS Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life and Prayer Project programs and co-directs the IJS Clergy Leadership Program. He has been immersed in the world of Jewish contemplative living, learning, and teaching for twenty years, conducting Jewish meditation, prayer, and nature workshops and retreats for young children, teens, and Jewish educators and community leaders. Sam lives outside of Chicago with his wife and daughter, where he delights in the daily miracles of early childhood.

Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife, Kesher Pittsburgh, Keshira haLev LLC, Founder and Kohenet, Convening Facilitator

Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife (she/they pronouns) is a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess) and a queer Jewish woman of Colour who delights in serving as community weaver, davennatrix (shlichat tzibbur), lifespiral ceremony/ritual creatrix, liturgist, songstress, teacher and public speaker. She is Oreget Kehilah (Executive Director) of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, founder/co-leader of Kesher Pittsburgh, Program Director of the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship, and Lead Facilitator for Keshet’s GLBTQ+ Jewish Youth of Colour programming. Keshira received smicha from the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute in 2017 and earned her BS 2000 and MS 2001 at Carnegie Mellon University. After many years of traveling, she and her beloved make their home on Osage and Haudenosaunee land, also called Pittsburgh, PA.

Stacie Garnett-Cook, 18Doors, Chief Program Officer, Convening Facilitator

Stacie Garnett-Cook is the Chief Program Officer at 18Doors, the national organization supporting interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life, and is in an interfaith family herself. She has been working on interfaith issues for 8 years and diversity and inclusion for 20. She has a passion for bringing people together around issues they care about.

Rabbi Zelig Golden, Wilderness Torah, Executive Director

Rabbi Zelig Golden’s vision for a thriving, earth-based Jewish tradition developed out of a lifetime of nature connection, Jewish leadership, and commitment to environmental advocacy. Zelig invokes mentorship, facilitation, and ceremonial tools to guide an annual cycle of land-based festivals and nature-based rites of passage, in particular B’naiture, Wilderness Torah’s nature-based, 2-year rite of passage journey. Zelig received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH, Alliance for Jewish Renewal, supported by the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union.

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, Malkhut, Rabbi/Founder

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg is the founder of Malkhut, a new progressive Jewish spiritual community in Western Queens, NY. She finds spiritual nourishment in creating safe and open spaces to connect to the Divine, to each other, and to the world through singing, mindfulness practice, study, and social justice work. Ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003, Rachel brings more than a decade of experience in the pulpit, training as a mindfulness teacher through the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, and her leadership and activism in social justice to her new spiritual start-up.

Ellie Goldstein, Moving Traditions, Sex Education Consultant

Ellie Goldstein is a recent Master of Public Health graduate from the Population & Family Health department at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual and Reproductive Health. She currently works as a sex education consultant. Previously, Ellie worked as a content writer for Neo, a sex education app, and on various social media projects for a sexual health consultant.

Danielle Goodman, Crown Family Philanthropies, Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Danielle Goodman is a former lawyer who now spends most of her free time working in the non-profit sector. In recent years she has become more deeply engaged in a private foundation, focusing on their work in the Jewish community, along with their health and human services and education committees. Danielle is deeply committed to maintaining a vibrant, strong, and pluralistic Jewish community.

Sally Gottesman, Moving Traditions, Founder & Former Chair

Sally Gottesman is the cofounder of Moving Traditions and the organization’s former Chair. She currently serves as the Chair of Encounter and is involved in research in neurofibromatosis (NF1). Sally is the parent of three children who are all around b’nai mitzvah age.

Hannah Grossman, Repair the World, Family and Youth Program Manager, Convening Facilitator

Hannah Grossman is the Family and Youth Program Manager at Repair the World NYC. She is an educator and curriculum designer who believes that experiential, values-based teaching has the power to change the world.

Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman, Jewish Interactive, US Director

Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman, EdD is the US Director of Jewish Interactive, and he has enriched the Jewish journeys of children and adults in Jewish Day Schools, community organizations and synagogues.

Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Vice Chair

Mamie Kanfer Stewart is the host of The Modern Manager podcast, author of Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable Meetings and Founder of Meeteor, a training firm focused on productive meetings. In addition, Mamie is an executive coach and trainer who works with entrepreneurs and managers to build the habits they need to successfully manage themselves and their teams. Mamie is a current board member of Luria Academy of Brooklyn and Brooklyn Community Foundation, and board chair of Bend the Arc. She serves on two foundation boards: Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

Rabbi Dena Klein, Moving Traditions, Vice Chair, Convening Facilitator

Rabbi Dena Klein is the Managing Director of New Models at The Jewish Education Project, assisting educators in creating ground-breaking approaches to offer relevant, meaningful Jewish learning. Rabbi Klein has served as a rabbi of Chavurat Tikvah, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, and Temple Sinai of Roslyn. Rabbi Klein received her Rabbinic Ordination and Masters of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where she has also served as an adjunct faculty member. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Rabbi Klein is a trained Moving Traditions supervisor and group leader.

Jonathan Krasner, Moving Traditions, Secretary, Convening Facilitator

Jonathan Krasner is the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Associate Professor of Jewish Education Research at Brandeis University. Jonathan researches the history of American Jewish education, and gender and sexuality, including the mainstreaming of LGBTQ+ Jews in American Jewish life. He is the author of Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps, winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Education, and The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education, winner of the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies. Jonathan holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Jewish history from Brandeis University, and he co-founded Keshet in 1996.

Esther Kustanowitz, Consultant

Esther D. Kustanowitz (@estherk on Twitter) is an award-winning writer, editor, and consultant based in Los Angeles. She writes about TV for J: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California; co-hosts The Bagel Report podcast; and speaks about TVGoneJewy, the increase of Jewish content on television. She has also written for many Jewish publications, including JTA, The Forward, the Jewish Journal and more.

Dr. Arielle Levites, George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Convening Panelist

Dr. Arielle Levites is the Managing Director of the Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education. Her research focuses on contemporary American Jewish education, and she has conducted a number of applied studies on behalf of American Jewish educational enterprises, with a focus on young adults and teens. Dr. Levites has served as the Golda Och Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, a visiting assistant professor at Hebrew College in the Shoolman Graduate School, and an affiliated scholar at Brandeis University’s Mandel Center. She holds a BA from Brown University in Religious Studies, a MSEd in Religious Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from NYU in Education and Jewish Studies. She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, as a Davidson Scholar.

Jon Marker, Jim Joseph Foundation, Senior Program Officer

Jon Marker lives in Northern California with his 4.5-year-old daughter Caroline, almost 7-year-old son Cole, partner Jess, dog and flock of chickens. He brings a series of experiences in youth development, education, community organizing, and political activism to conversations about Jewish Education.

Deborah Meyer, Moving Traditions, Founder & CEO

Deborah Meyer (she/her/hers) has dedicated her career to building change-making organizations. Deborah credits her commitment to feminism, social justice, and Jewish life to her participation as a teen in the Habonim youth movement. She serves on the Covenant Foundation Board and lives with her husband in Philadelphia, PA.

Rabbi Bethie Miller, Sanctuary, Founder, Convening Partner Panel

Rabbi Bethie Miller is a native of Newton, MA, a graduate of Williams College, and an alum of HUC-JIR-NY (’14). In 2019, she founded Sanctuary to experiment with a new model of Jewish belonging in Westchester. She works to build community one circle of souls at a time.

Wendy Newberger, Crown Family Philanthropies, Director of Jewish and Israel Giving

Wendy is the Director of Jewish Life and Israel Giving for Crown Family Philanthropies. Prior to joining CFP, she served as the COO of JCFS Chicago and the Director of Early Childhood Services for JCC Chicago. Wendy is the founding President of the Chicago Jewish Day School and has served on several Jewish communal boards locally and nationally. Wendy lives in Chicago with her husband and (for much of COVID) their four children.

Carly Orshan, Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, Director of CAJE Teen Department

Carly Orshan is the Director of the Teen Department at CAJE where she serves the Miami Jewish community by creating professional development opportunities to help youth professionals build their leadership capacity, develop best practices, and work in partnership toward mutual goals. She created a Jewish Life Coaching program for professionals in the field after receiving a prestigious Covenant Grant to develop the project. Carly also oversees the education and management of the Miami March of the Living and Diller Teen Fellows – two of CAJE’s signature teen programs. Carly is currently completing a dissertation for her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Specialization in Curriculum Evaluation and Research at Barry University.

Alisha Pedowitz, Moving Traditions, California Director

Alisha Pedowitz has made her career working with teens, using the richness of Jewish community, ritual, tradition, and wisdom to help them thrive. Alisha has worked as an educator and communal professional at Jewish camps, schools, and agencies throughout California, and she is a third-year Rosh Hodesh community group leader. Alisha holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management, a MAEd with a Concentration in Experiential Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Hebrew Letters from American Jewish University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Rabbi Scott Perlo, Romemu Brooklyn, Rabbi

Rabbi Scott Perlo is the rabbi of Romemu Brooklyn. A California native, he has worked at IKAR, Sixth & I, and the 92nd St. Y. Scott is a graduate of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

Rabbi Elana Perry, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Director, Jewish Education Collaborative

Rabbi Elana Perry has served as Director of the Jewish Education Collaborative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta since 2019. In this role, she works to strengthen collaboration, catalyze innovation, improve quality and advance compelling part-time Jewish learning in Atlanta. Prior to this position, she served as Assistant and Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Atlanta from 2007-2016, embracing the full range of rabbinic responsibilities and demonstrating passions for education, community building, women’s programming, and social justice initiatives. From 2016 – 2019 she served as the Director of Family Engagement at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, OH.

Rebecca Phillips, 70 Faces Media, VP of Audience and Digital Strategy

Rebecca Phillips oversees audience development and engagement as well as overall digital planning for 70 Faces Media and its suite of publications—My Jewish Learning, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Kveller, Alma, The Nosher, and the New York Jewish Week. She has worked in the digital media space for more than 20 years, and on-and-off in the Jewish digital media space for the same amount of time. She is the parent of three boys, one of whom is currently preparing for his March 2022 bar mitzvah.

Meredith Polsky, Matan, National Director of Institutes and Training

Meredith Polsky founded Matan (www.matankids.org) in 2000 and serves as Matan’s National Director of Institutes and Training. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish Special Education and is a 2017 Covenant Award recipient. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and a graduate certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University.

Valerie Rosenberg, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Chief of Staff

Valerie joined Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah as Chief of Staff in 2018. Her prior role was a dual one, at both the New York City Housing Authority and the Fund for Public Housing, where she focused on bringing strategic investments to public housing communities. She has also worked in policy development and analysis, advocacy, and social service provision. Valerie holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley.

Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein, Jewish Federations of North America, Rabbinic Scholar and Public Affairs Advisor

Rabbi Isaiah Joseph Rothstein serves as Rabbinic Scholar and Public Affairs Advisor at Jewish Federations of North America and grew up in a mixed-race family in the ultra-orthodox community of Monsey, NY.

Danielle Segal, Honeycomb, Senior Program Manager

Danielle has worked in the non-profit Jewish field for fifteen years as a Jewish educator, camp director and non-profit manager. She was awarded the Jack Petchey Award for Outstanding Service to Young People in 2009. Danielle is Vice Chair of the JPRO NY Board and is a trained StorahTelling Maven with LabShul. She currently presents and produces the Honeycomb podcast “Outside The Tzedakah Box”. Danielle is currently completing the Certificate in Jewish Leadership For Educators with Spertus Institute and Northwestern University. She resides with her husband and their son in Brooklyn.

Rebecca Shafron, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Program Officer

Rebecca is a Program Officer for U.S. Jewish Grantmaking at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, where she provides support and technical assistance to a portfolio of grants shaping diverse, inclusive Jewish communities, deeply connected to Israel and committed to making the world a better place. Rebecca earned her B.A. in Communications and Jewish Studies from Tulane University and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Rachel Shamash Schneider, Jim Joseph Foundation, Program Officer

Rachel Shamash Schneider is a Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation that is passionate about Jewish education and engagement and elevating experiences that inspire people to live connected, meaningful, and purpose-filled lives. She has worked across sectors in and out of the Jewish community as an entrepreneur, community builder, communications and development manager, and programming and operations director. Rachel received her MS in Organizational Leadership & Innovation at The Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and earned her BA in International Studies Political Science, with an emphasis on Communication, at the University of California, San Diego.

Rabbi Matt Shapiro, Temple Beth Am, Director of Youth Learning and Engagement, Convening Partner Panel

Rabbi Matt Shapiro is Director of Youth Learning and Engagement at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. Rabbi Shapiro previously served as TBA’s interim associate rabbi after six years of working full time in a wide variety of capacities at Beit T’shuvah, an addiction recovery center which integrates Jewish spirituality into its treatment model. He has worked in a variety of rabbinic and educational settings, including Honeymoon Israel, BCI, and Los Angeles Hebrew High School, and currently serves as the board co-chair for Bamidbar Wilderness Therapy.

Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Union for Reform Judaism, Director of Learning and Innovation

In Michelle Shapiro Abraham’s role with the URJ, she oversees the teen engagement strategies and camp, Israel, and educational initiatives. A longtime educator, author, and speaker, she holds a master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Michelle is a PJ Library and Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award author and the proud recipient of the 2015 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.

Dr. Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH, NYU School of Medicine, Convening Panelist

Dr. Jess. P. Shatkin leads the educational efforts of the NYU Child Study Center, where he is Vice Chair for Education and Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the NYU School of Medicine.

Sarah Sokolic, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lab/Shul

Sarah began her affiliation with Lab/Shul in 2003 as a member of the Storahtelling company of artists. In those early years, Sarah helped to conceive, brand and launch “Raising the Bar”, Lab/Shul’s signature BMitzvah preparation program, and has brought hundreds of students and families through the BMitzvah process throughout her 25+ year career. Sarah holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University and a B.A. in Sociology and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.

Dr. Betsy Stone, Hebrew Union College, Psychologist, Convening Facilitator

Dr. Betsy Stone is a retired psychologist, currently working a great deal over zoom. She leads webinars on trauma, post-traumatic growth, parenting in a pandemic. Before COVID-19, much of her work focused on the lives of teens and their families. She is an adjunct at HUC-JIR, teaching electives in the Rabbinic and Education Schools, where her courses have included from Adolescents and Emerging Adults, Spirituality over the Life Span, Family Process and others.

Saskia Swenson Moss, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Engagement Officer, PJ Library

Saskia Swenson Moss is a veteran Engagement Officer for PJ Library, a flagship program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Saskia serves as the point person for family engagement in over 70 small communities. She helped found PJ Our Way, the next chapter of PJ Library for kids ages 9-12, and supports tween engagement throughout North America. Saskia lives in Jerusalem with her husband Yoni and their three children: Akiva, Yovel, and Heleni.

Dr. Jean Twenge, Author & Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University, Convening Panelist

Dr. Jean Twenge is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and books, including ”iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.” Dr. Twenge frequently gives talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation based on a dataset of 11 million young people. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She lives in San Diego with her husband and three daughters.

Susan Wachsstock, The Jewish Education Project, Chief Program Officer

Susan Holzman Wachsstock is the Chief Program Officer at The Jewish Education Project. Before joining The Jewish Education Project in 2014, Susan was the Executive Director of Jewish Student Connection and of Matan. She also previously worked for Hillel International and at UJA-Federation of New York. Susan has an MA in Jewish Studies from The Jewish Theological Seminary and an MSW from Columbia University and is an alum of the FEREP Graduate Program and The Columbia Business School Executive Education Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership.

Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, Jewish Educator

Reb Ezra Weinberg is identified through his work as a rabbi, song leader, dance instructor, peace-builder, environmental activist and freelance Jewish educator. Ordained through the Reconstructionist movement, Reb Ezra is at home in a variety of Jewish settings, from traditional to secular. He loves creating DIY B’nai Mitzvah experiences for unaffiliated families. Of late, his specific interest is in supporting single parents and divorced parents through the B’nai Mitzvah process.

Sara Wolkenfeld, Sefaria, Chief Learning Officer

Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the Chief Learning Officer at Sefaria, an online database and interface for Jewish texts. She is passionate about expanding Jewish textual knowledge for all. Sara is also a fellow at the David Hartman Center at the Hartman Institute of North America.

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