Judy Abel lives in Manhattan and is the founder and president of the Yavneh minyan on the Upper East Side. A seasoned journalist, she currently writes about New York City-based topics for the Arts section of the Boston Globe and is a contributor to The New York Times. She has extensive professional experience, including having worked as a producer for the Fox News Channel and has written for The New York Post, The New York Observer and ADWEEK.
She was the program co-chair for two JOFA conferences and was a member of the JOFA Journal editorial committee. She served as JOFA's Vice President of Communications. Judy and her husband, Michael Brill, have three children, Joshua, Rebecca and Noah.
Allie Alperovich is a partner at Ropes & Gray. Allie and her husband, Dr. Jeremy Simon, live in New York City with their daughters Emma and Hannah. Allie is actively involved in JOFA and is a member of its executive committee, serving as JOFA's treasurer as well as serving on the JOFA Journal editorial board. Allie is a member of the board of Darkhei Noam on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Roselyn Bell is currently the editor of the JOFA Journal. She lives in Highland Park, NJ, with her husband, Eli Leiter, and is the mother of three children, Daniel, Elisheva, and Alex Baskin. Roselyn was formerly the publications director of American Jewish Committee, and also edited publications for CAJE (Jewish Education News) and Hadassah (Hadassah Magazine). She is pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Studies at Rutgers University.
Dr. Gail (Giti) Bendheim is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York. She served for many years as Supervising Psychologist at The Marsha Winokur Learning Center of JBFCS. Having attending Michlala in its early years, she takes a special interest in advanced women’s education both in America and Israel.
She was a founding member of The Orthodox Caucus, and serves on the Board of Education at SAR Academy, the boards of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, Pardes, ORA, and the JOFA Advisory Board. She has also been an involved participant in Drisha and Matan. She chairs the Yoetzet Halacha Committee for American Friends of Nishmat. Dr. Bendheim writes occasionally on topics related to women and Judaism, and lives with her husband in Riverdale, New York.
Ilana Benson, an officer of JOFA, has worked for Yeshiva University Museum for the past fourteen years, and currently heads their education department. She designs and implements programs including gallery activities and hands-on workshops for student groups and families. She has a B.A. from Barnard College, studied at JTS and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds an M.S. in Museum Education and Early Adolescence Education from Bank Street College.
Prior to joining the YUM staff, she served as a Gallery Educator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and worked in the corporate world as a computer systems analyst. Ilana is proud to belong to Kehilat Yavneh Partnership Minyan in Manhattan, and to have served on its Board. Ilana also proposed and developed the joint YU Museum /JOFA programs “In the Mix: Building Community and the Eruv” and "Ezrat Nashim: The Women's Section Across Time and Space."
Rachel Berke is the current President of the Akiba Academy of Dallas Board of Trustees and a Trustee of Yavneh Academy of Dallas. Previously, Rachel was an attorney at the New York and Dallas offices of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and in-house counsel for both Blockbuster Inc. and TXU Energy. Rachel is a graduate of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women and Cardozo School of Law.
She and her husband Matthew have three children, Ari, Ezra and Mia and are active members of Congregation Shaare Tefilla.
Sarah Blechner is a Sr. Manager of Marketing and Creative Strategy for Charter Communications. She has worked in marketing and advertising for over 15 years with experience in branding, creative strategy, digital and social marketing, direct response and event marketing. In the past, she was the Marketing lead for the JOFA conference, creating a campaign that generated word of mouth buzz and press coverage with its edgy tone.
Sarah and her husband Josh are from New Rochelle, NY, and they are part of the leadership of the local partnership minyan, Kol Echad. She was part of the founding committee for The Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies, an organization within the Young Israel of New Rochelle. Her children, Leora (12), Eli (10), and Aliza (6) attend SAR Academy. Sarah was a member of the Board of Education from 2014-2017. She’s been a parent liaison and has served on multiple committees contributing marketing expertise.
Behnam Dayanim is a partner at Paul Hastings, where he chairs both the firm's Advertising, Gaming, and Promotions practice and its Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. Behnam has had extensive leadership experience in the Jewish community. He is currently secretary and member of the executive committee of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, and treasurer and member of the board of both Start Up Shul and PORAT. Behnam is a past president of the board of Berman Hebrew Academy, was founding chair of the Lay Advisory Council to the Beltway Vaad of Greater Washington, and served as a national vice president and member of the executive committee of the Orthodox Union. He and his family live in Silver Spring, MD.
Paula Eiselt is an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Film Production and Cinema Studies. Her feature film debut, 93QUEEN, premiered at the 2018 Hot Docs International Canadian Film Festival followed by an Academy Award qualifying national theatrical release in over 25 U.S cities.
93QUEEN was broadcast nationally on PBS’s POV, as well as, ARTE in France and Germany, UR in Sweden and yes Docu in Israel.
Previously, Paula was a POV/Wyncote film fellow, Sundance Documentary fellow and IFP Documentary Lab fellow. Her work has been supported by major film and arts institutions including PBS/ITVS, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, the International Documentary Association, and the New York State Council of Arts among others.
Paula is currently an artist in residence at Concordia Studio founded by Laurene Powell Jobs and Academy Award winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim where she is developing her latest feature documentary. She is also serves as Senior Creative Consultant for the Maimonides Fund’s inaugural Jewish Writers Initiative
Paula lives in Teaneck, NJ with her husband David and their three children: Avinoam (10), Yoli (8) and Libbie (3).
Evan Hochberg is Senior Restitution Policy Specialist at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). Evan commenced his career at the Anti-Defamation League. He has served as a law clerk at the Maryland Court of Appeals and the South African Constitutional Court and a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Prior to his position at the Claims Conference, he was a Senior Counsel at the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Law Department. Mr. Hochberg graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and cum laude from Harvard Law School. He was awarded the Dorot Fellowship for study in Israel.
He participated in the Berrie Fellows Program, an intensive two-year program to train northern New Jersey Jewish communal leaders. He was a founder of the Shirat Miriam independent minyan, co-founder of Minyan Tehillah (both in Cambridge, MA), and founder of Minyan Tiferet in Englewood and Tenafly.
Carolyn Hochstadter is the CEO of her international law practice where she enjoys speaking French, Arabic, Hebrew and German. She is a Lecturer at the Wharton School where she advises budding entrepreneurs on how to strategically navigate the legal field. Carolyn is honored to have sat on JOFA's Board and journal Editorial Board for over a decade. She currently serves as Chair of the President's Circle and Conference VIP committees and is thrilled to fill the recently created role of JOFA Philly Ambassador!
Carolyn is President of Lechu Neranena, the Lower Merion partnership minyan, and has served on the Executive Board of Kohelet Yeshiva High School for almost a decade. Carolyn received her J.D. and M.A. in Arabic from Columbia University and her B.A. from Barnard College, where she met her spouse Adam Dicker. They are the proud parents of three feminists: Michal (former Barnard JOFA fellow), Shimshon and Yehuda.
Sylvia Barack Fishman, Ph.D. is the Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life in Brandeis University's Department of Near Eastern Judaic Studies; and Co-Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She is the author of eight books--most recently Love, Marriage and Jewish Families: Paradoxes of a Social Revolution, and numerous articles about the sociology, literature and culture of American Jews. Prof. Fishman, who received her undergraduate degree from Stern College for Women and her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, is married to Philip Fishman and has three children and seven grandchildren.
Blu Greenberg, JOFA’s founding President, 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 22 grandchildren.
Pam Greenwood works as a pediatric occupational therapist. On a local level, Pam has been instrumental in starting women's tefillah groups in four communities where she has lived--Zichron Yaakov, Palo Alto, Efrat and West Orange. On a national level, Pam initiated JOFA's Joan S. Meyers Torah Lending Project and serves as the current program coordinator. Pam holds a B.A. From Columbia College, engaged in postgraduate study at Pardes and completed her M.S. at Columbia University. She and her husband, Rabbi Matt Greenwood, are the proud parents of four children.
Mindy Feldman Hecht grew up in Teaneck, NJ and currently lives on the Upper West Side in Manhattan with her husband, Eric, and son, Charlie. She is an active member at Darkhei Noam, volunteering on both the gabbai and dvar torah committees, and is deeply committed to the concept of partnership minyanim. Mindy also serves on the Board of Hip Hop Public Health, a nonprofit that promotes health literacy.
Previously, she served as the Chief Compliance Officer for Uri L'Zedek's Tav HaYosher (Ethical Seal) Restaurant program in NY. Mindy is currently a doctoral candidate at Teachers College at Columbia University, where she is focusing her dissertation research on innovative ways to improve school-based physical activity in underserved populations. Mindy graduated from Columbia University with a BA and has a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia. She is also an alumna of Migdal Oz.
Judy Heicklen, past President, earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the mother of two daughters and a son. She also serves on the Boards of the Drisha Institute and the Halachic Organ Donor Society.
Gail Katz is Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for the dental platform of Danaher Corporation. Gail has served on the JOFA board for over a decade and has led the Ta Shma source guide project since its inception. In addition, Gail serves on the Board of B’nai David-Judea Congregation in Los Angeles, CA where she chaired the committee that raised the funds for and recruited Morateinu Alissa Newborn-Thomas to serve as the first female clergy member of the shul. Gail is also on the Board of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills, CA where her interests include working with school leadership on ways to increase female presence and role models on the Judaic studies staff. Gail was a member of the Drisha Board and participated in the Wexner Heritage Program in Los Angeles.
Monique (Nicky) Katz retired on June 30, 2015. She is a former Director of Radiology at the Irving Pavilion at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Nicky originated the design for several pieces of radiological equipment, has published articles in radiology, and has made multiple presentations to the medical societies of which she is a member. Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology, Nicky received her M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and B.A. from Vassar College.
Michael Kellman is the Senior Gabbai of the Hebrew Institute of White Plains, a co-Founder of Shira Chadasha of White Plains, and one of the first Co-Chairs of Darkhei Noam in Manhattan. A co-producer of the original JOFA Megillat Esther CD, he has been an active supporter of JOFA since the first conference. Michael works in technology in the media and education industries. He lives in White Plains with his wife Idana and their three feminist children.
Batya S. Levin, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, graduated from Barnard College and practices Elder Law in New York City. She worked as an interviewer on JOFA's Beit Din Study and was a writer and editor of the JOFA Guide to Jewish Divorce and the Beit Din System. Batya chairs the JOFA Agunah Task Force and works with Agunah l'Agunah -- a mentoring group of former agunot.
She also serves on the JOFA Bylaws committee. She is a former President of the Riverdale Seniors Services, a former National Vice-President of AMIT Women and a Vice President of the Riverdale Jewish Community Relations Council. Batya is married and her children and grandchildren live in Israel. In a former life, she was a potter.
Sharon Lieberman earned her degree at Princeton University, and then joined the investment bank Kidder, Peabody & Company, Inc., where she worked on the block trading desk. Sharon became a Vice President and Partner of Kidder, Peabody. She retired after Rachel was born. Since that time, Sharon has been an active volunteer in the Potomac community. She has worked with a number of local organizations, including the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Beth Sholom Congregation, and ASIRT, where she served on the Board of Directors. Sharon was honored with her husband, Steven Lieberman in 2015 by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
For more than a decade, Sharon has organized an annual shabbaton at Beth Sholom, bringing in leaders of the Jewish community – both male and female – as scholars-in-residence. Sharon also has a long and active association with the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee, and has served as Co-Chair for Suburban Maryland for five of the past six years. Sharon is a dedicated learner, and she approaches her Jewish education with a passion. She can regularly be found attending classes at Beth Sholom, Ohev Shalom, and other locations in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
Carol Kaufman Newman has been on the Board of JOFA since its inception in 1997 and served as President from 2003 to 2010. Long a standard-bearer in championing women's rights and education initiatives in Orthodox Judaism, she was the founding president of the Drisha Institute of New York. She was also a founder of the Women's Tefillah Group of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and was on the board and served as treasurer of the Women's Tefillah Network. Carol Kaufman Newman holds an MA in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education. For a number of years she ran the education/docent program at The Yeshiva University Museum of New York.
Ann Baidack Pava is the immediate past chair of National Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). During her two-year tenure (2013-2015) she traveled the world speaking to women about their philanthropy and its impact on the Jewish people. Under her leadership the Women's Philanthropy Campaign of the Jewish Federation of North America increased by 3 million dollars. She is a past recipient of the JFNA Kipnes-Wilson Friedland Award for outstanding women philanthropists, the ADL Torch of Liberty Award and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's Lay Leadership Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. A passionate advocate of Jewish Day School Education, she served as the founding president of the Hebrew High School of New England, the region's first Jewish high school serving the communities of Western Massachusetts and Greater Hartford and New Haven Connecticut. She currently serves as an officer of JOFA.
Ann is the current campaign Chair for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. She has served on the board of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance since 2003 and was recently appointed to the board of GPATS at Yeshiva University. Ann was also recently appointed to the board of Yeshiva Maharat, the first Orthodox institute to ordain women as rabbis. Ann and her husband Jeremy Pava live in West Hartford, CT. They have three children and a daughter in law, Harvey and his wife Devorah, and Nate and Devorah, both students at Brandeis University.
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 also a frequent trainer of judges and judicial employees in the New York Family Court system. She is currently the President of Yavneh Academy in Paramus, NJ and Chair of Netivot Shalom Youth Committee. She is a past president of Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ and past president of the Parents’ Association at Yavneh Academy.
At JOFA, Pam is the President and serves on the editorial committee for the JOFA Journal and on the Governance Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com. Pam has a B.A. in political science from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is a 2011-2013 Northern NJ Berrie Leadership Program Fellow. Pam lives in Teaneck with her husband and four children.
Laura Shaw-Frank is the Director of Recruitment, Placement and Alumnae Support at Yeshivat Maharat as well as the Director of Israel Guidance and member of the history faculty at SAR High School. She is a PhD candidate in modern Jewish history at the University of Maryland. Laura is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. She lives in Riverdale with her husband, Rabbi Aaron Frank, and their four children.
Noam Stadlan, MD is Vice-Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore University Healthcare system, and Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. He specializes in surgery of the spine and has published articles related to spine research as well as authored chapters on surgical technique. He served as chairman of the ethics committee of the Neurological and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago and currently is chairman of the Professional Conduct and Ethics committee of the North American Spine Society. He contributed a chapter on the Orthodox Jewish view of abortion to a soon to be published textbook on the topic of abortion, and a chapter on the definition of death to the volume on that topic published by the International Rabbinical Federation/Koren publishers.
He has also published articles related to brain death in Hakirah and Meorot, and on the blog of the Rabbinical Council of America. He has served as President of Congregation Or Torah in Skokie, and on the board of the Halachic Organ Donation Society. He currently serves on the board of the Ida Crown Jewish Academy. In 2014 he co-founded DAVAR Skokie, an organization devoted to providing a forum for educational voices vital for the Orthodox Jewish community. He is the proud father of three. His wife, Marianne Novak, teaches adult Jewish education, tutors bar and bat mitzvah students, and is a student at Yeshivat Maharat.
Abigail Tambor has volunteered for JOFA for many years – on the branding of JOFA, Shabbat T'lamdeini, the Journal editorial committee, and as co-chair of the 6th International Conference Program Committee in 2007 and currently is an officer of JOFA. She was instrumental in the formation of the Yavneh minyan, a partnership minyan that meets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Audrey Axelrod Trachtman has served on the JOFA Board since 2002 and was the Conference Chair of the 2004 and 2010 International JOFA Conference. At JOFA, she previously held the positions of Treasurer, Vice President of Advocacy and Vice President of Programming and is currently an officer of JOFA. Audrey currently serves as treasurer of AMIT Children and is a member of the Executive Board.
She is a member of the Westchester Chevra Kaddisha, was a founding member of Kol Echad, New Rochelle's partnership minyan, and previously served on the Young Israel of New Rochelle's Board. Audrey was the Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for Philip Morris and General Foods Latin America and the recipient of the YWCA Women of Achievement Award. She is a CPA and has an MBA from the Wharton School. She and her husband, Chaim, are the parents of Sarah (and Josh), Rebecca (and Josh) and Tali (and Rafi) and grandparents of Leora, Eli and Elinor--all Jewish Orthodox feminists in their own right!