High School Leadership Development Summer Program 2020
We will be hearing from different speakers to learn and practice leadership skills such as organizing, advocacy, Jewish ritual skills, writing, and active listening.
Each week participants will hear from leaders in their fields - STEM, finance, law, journalism, the arts, politics, and Jewish leadership.
Join participants from all over the world for community building online activities, including fun scavenger hints, text study, museum crawls, trivia games, recording podcast episodes, and more!
William Paterson University
Elisheva Adler is a graduate student getting her doctorate in clinical psychology, with a focus on children and adolescents. She has extensive experience as a crisis counselor, and has trained hundreds of crisis counselors with Crisis Text Line. She works in a womens' shelter and has completed her most recent clinical work at a school for twice exceptional children. Her research interests include depression, suicidality, and hope.
She has recently co-authored a chapter for a textbook on youth suicidal tendencies and social media use and is presenting some of her other research at the Eastern Psychological Association later this month. She has a ridiculously adorable dog, and loves yoga, bike riding, and reading a good book.
Natalie Blitt is the author of the young-adult novels The Truth About Leaving and The Distance from A to Z. Her middle-grade titles -- Carols and Crushes, Snow One Like You, and Cocoa Crush -- have been featured in Scholastic catalogs and book fairs.
She was a double 2017 Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist for Best First Book and Best Young Adult Romance. Raised in Canada, she now lives in the Chicago area where she's an education consultant for the iCenter, working to make Israel education an integral part of Jewish education. Natalie and her husband, Rabbi Josh Feigelson, have three sons: Jonah, Micah and Toby.
Jonah S. Boyarin
Co-founder of the country's first Diversity and Equity Program
Jonah S. Boyarin is a white, anti-racist educator and writer, born-and-raised New Yorker, and Yiddish speaker. He co-founded the country’s first Diversity and Equity Program at a Jewish day school, at JCHS of the Bay.
Jonah serves as the Jewish Community Liaison for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. He was recently named by the Jewish Week one of 2020’s “36 under 36.”
Rabba Dina Brawer was born and raised in Milan, Italy and studied in Jerusalem, New York and London. She holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of London and an MA in Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, London and Semikha from Yeshivat Maharat.
She is the founder of JOFA UK , and the producer of #YourTorah podcast, a journey to discovering Mishnah. She currently serves as Director of Recruitment and Admissions for Yeshivat Maharat.
Neshama Carlebach is an award-winning singer, songwriter and educator who has performed and taught in cities around the world. A six-time entrant in the Grammy Awards and a winner and four-time Independent Music Awards Nominee for her most current release, Believe, Neshama has sold over one million records, making her one of today’s best-selling Jewish artists in the world.
As the first then-Orthodox woman of her generation to perform for a mixed-gender audience, Neshama has sparked public conversations with brave forays into the place of women in Judaism and today’s world. Neshama lives in New York with her husband Rabbi Menachem Creditor, and their five children.
Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt is the Life/Features editor at the Forward. She was previously a New York-based reporter for Haaretz. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and Tablet, among others. Avital teaches journalism at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, and does pastoral work alongside her husband Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt in New York City.
Dr. Emily Daniel
Columbia University Medical Center
Dr. Emily Daniel is a Nephrology Fellow at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. After graduating with degrees in Philosophy, Biochemistry, and Judaic Studies at Stern College, she went on to complete her medical school training at SUNY Downstate, followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Emily lives with her husband David on the Upper West Side.
National Gallery of Art
Liz Diament is the Senior Educator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Originally from London, she holds a degree in Art History from Manchester University and a Master’s in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education. At the National Gallery, she manages school and adult tours and docent education for about 200 docents.
Liz has been invited to lead professional development workshops in museum and school settings throughout the U.S. Inspired by her experience at the National Gallery, Liz has explored and presented about ways to integrate a museum teaching philosophy into the study of Torah and text.
Paula Eiselt is an independent filmmaker and mama from New York. Her artistic goal is to shatter as many preconceived narratives as she can get her hands on. Eiselt’s award-winning feature directorial debut, 93QUEEN. Eiselt is currently an Artist in Residence at Laurene Powell Jobs’ and Davis Guggenheim’s Concordia Studio where she is developing her latest feature documentary. In 2019, Eiselt was named one of the Jewish Week's 36 under 36 for her role in amplifying women's voices.
Emma Green is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion. In 2019, she won three first-place awards from the Religion News Association.
She has spoken at universities across the U.S., and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. She lives in New York City.
JOFA Founder and first President
Blu Greenberg is JOFA’s founder and first president, elected when Judy Heicklen was president. She has been involved in Jewish feminism for four decades. She was Conference Chair of both the first and the second International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy. She chaired the NY Federation Task Force on Jewish Women and the AJC National Jewish Family Center, and was president of the Jewish Book Council. Dialogue is another long standing passion of hers, and she has participated in various inter- and intra-faith projects. Blu serves on the editorial board of Hadassah Magazine and the advisory board of Lilith.
Recently, her papers were archived at the Schlesinger Library, in Cambridge, Mass. Her books include On Women and Judaism: A View From Tradition, How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household, and Black Bread: Poems After the Holocaust. She is married to Rabbi Irving Greenberg and they have five children and 23 grandchildren.
Judge Mojgan Lancman
New York City Civil Court Queens County
Judge Lancman is the Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in Queens County. She is currently presiding in an IAS Part dedicated to foreclosure matters, including all foreclosure trials and inquests where plaintiffs were unable to obtain a judgment by motion.
She previously presided over all Civil Court matters within the Civil Court Circuit, including jury, bench and commercial
Landlord & Tenant trials, motion practice, and settlement negotiations.
Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program for Advanced Talmud Studies
Nechama Price is the Director of Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program for Advanced Talmud Studies (GPATS), from which she earned certification in 2003. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Bible and Judaic Studies departments at Stern College, where she has been teaching since 2004. Nechama earned a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, and an MA in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School.
She is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the American branch of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha Program, and currently serves as a Yoetzet Halacha (Halakhic Advisor) to the communities of Englewood, Tenafly, Livingston, West Orange, and Long Branch NJ. Nechama is a community scholar and speaks all over North America. She lives in Bergenfield, NJ with her husband & four children.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic
New York’s 25th District
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic represents New York’s 25th District. Upon her election in 2012, Assemblywoman Rozic became the youngest woman in the state legislature and the first woman ever to represent the 25th District. Nily has championed bills creating flexibility in the workplace, fair practices for work shifts, pay equity, and increased entrepreneurship in underserved communities. In 2017, Nily was named as chair of the Task Force on Women’s Issues.
New York County Family Court
Pam Scheininger, JOFA President, works as a Court Attorney Referee in New York County Family Court and is an adjunct professor at CUNY's New York College of Technology. She is the past-president of Yavneh Academy in Paramus, NJ. She is a past president of Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ, past chair of the Netivot Shalom Youth Committee and past president of the Parents’ Association at Yavneh Academy.
Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich
Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich is the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at CTU in Chicago. She earned a doctoral degree in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism from Brandeis University and a Masters degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard University.
Malka’s articles have been published in such journals as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well on online forums such as TheTorah.com, The Lehrhaus, and the Times of Israel. Her first book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016, and her second book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2018.
Jewish Multiracial Network
Chava is a current board member and past president of the Jewish Multiracial Network, where she’s brought to bear her experience and knowledge of corporate governance, non-profit development, and program coordination. A passionate and committed Jewish diversity advocate, prior to JMN, Chava co-founded an organization which provided opportunities for Jews of Color to connect in safe spaces across the East Coast. A regular speaker and writer on Jewish diversity, she has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, JTA, and The Salon on the Jewish Channel. Chava was also selected as one of the Jewish Week's "36 under 36" in 2015.
Until recently Chava served as Program Coordinator for Building Skills NY, a not-for-profit ensuring that low income communities access job opportunities created by affordable housing construction and has founded Shervington & Associates P.C., a general corporate and real estate law practice located in Brooklyn. Chava has a Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School and is barred in NY.
Executive Director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA)
Mrs. Keshet Starr, Esq., is the Executive Director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), the nonprofit organization addressing the agunah (Jewish divorce refusal) crisis on a case-by-case basis worldwide. At ORA, Keshet oversees advocacy and early intervention initiatives designed to assist individuals seeking a Jewish divorce, along with prevention initiatives to eliminate abuse from the Jewish divorce process. Keshet has written for outlets such as the Times of Israel, The Forward and Haaretz, and frequently presents on issues related to Jewish divorce, domestic abuse, and the intersection between civil and religious divorce processes.
Keshet has also authored academic work focused on get refusal and domestic abuse and is a Wexner Field Fellow. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Keshet lives in central New Jersey with her husband and three young children.
In addition to her work with ORA, Keshet supports local women’s learning initiatives and presents shiurim on a broad range of Tanach related topics. Keshet particularly enjoys connecting Tanach to issues in modern life.
Jackie Tepper is often referred to as a “Jack of all trades.” Educated at the University of Pennsylvania (BA in Political Science and Philosophy, 1986), New York University School of Law (JD, 1990) and most recently Hebrew College (Master of Jewish Liberal Studies, 2019), Jackie has acquired a broad range of skills and knowledge with her work spanning many industries including law, professional sports, investment banking, fitness, education and music.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Barbara Weinstein is the Religious Action Center's Associate Director, where she helps guide the RAC’s broad range of social justice work. She is also the Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a joint body of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism and its affiliates. The Commission seeks to apply the insights of Jewish tradition to domestic and foreign public policy issues including civil rights, economic justice, immigration, the environment, and more.
Before joining the RAC in 2002, Barbara worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. While on Capitol Hill, Barbara's public policy portfolio included women's rights, human rights, and the environment.
Chief Learning Officer at Sefaria
Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education at Sefaria, a new online database and interface for Jewish texts, and a David Hartman Center fellow at The Hartman Institute of North America. She is passionate about Talmud education and expanding Jewish textual knowledge for all. Her previous experience includes serving as Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University as part of the OU’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, as well as serving as faculty at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago and at the Drisha Institute in New York.
She studied Talmud and Jewish Law at various institutions of Jewish learning in Israel and America including Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Nishmat, and Beit Morasha and speaks on various Jewish topics at synagogues, schools, and university communities. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their five children.