Let's be honest, you're not coming to the Summit on Jewish Teens to listen to adults. And you're in luck, because at BBYO, we never have adults talking about teens...especially when 2,000 teens are around!
At this Summit, the teens will be talking to adults about the issues and ideas that impact their lives. To help facilitate these discussions, we've identified several thought-provoking leaders who will join us in Atlanta.
David is the Chief Innovation Officer at The Jewish Education Project. David completed his Ph.D. Education and Jewish Studies at NYU focusing on Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish Education. He is also a graduate of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. Prior to moving to New York, David worked in formal and informal Jewish educational institutions in Australia, Israel, and North America. David’s current work focuses on bringing innovative strategies and creative thinking to Jewish education.
Sanford ("Sandy") R. Cardin is the president of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Center for Leadership Initiatives, and the Schusterman Foundation - Israel. He is also the chair of the Westbury Group, an informal association of more than 25 Jewish-oriented foundations that fund internationally. Among the boards on which Sandy has served are the Council on Foundations, the Jewish Funders Network and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. He is also a past president of Grantmakers of Oklahoma and Mizel Academy, the Jewish community day school in Tulsa. Sandy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1978 and was elected to the Order of the Coif upon the receipt of his juris doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1981. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
David Cygielman founded and has served as CEO of Moishe House since 2006. He has been a non-profit innovator since high school when he started Feed the Need, a nationally recognized homeless feeding organization. While attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, David served as the Hillel Student President and later the Executive Director of the Forest Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping college and high school students develop leadership qualities while following their passions. Through his work in the Jewish community, David has garnered many honors including the Avi Chi Fellowship, the JCSA Young Leadership Award, and the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence. In 2013, David was the recipient of UCSB Hillel's inaugural Alumni Achievement Award.
Bobby Dishell is a senior in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in public policy with a focus on education. Originally from Los Angeles, Dishell now serves as the President of the Central Student Government (CSG) Michigan. Dishell also served as the Vice President of CSG and as a member of the CSG Assembly. Throughout college, he has served as Director of Expansion for TAMID Israel Investment Group, a Diamond Summer Intern for AIPAC, and is a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Dishell was a member of BBYO AZA’s International Board as Grand Aleph Shaliach from 2010-2011.
Rachel Doyle is the Founder and President of GlamourGals, a nonprofit that creates compassionate teen leaders through service with the elderly living in nursing homes. When Rachel was in high school, she was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, she has steadily gained national recognition in many media publications such as Montel Williams, The Christina Show, CBS’s The Early Show, NBC 4, NY 1, The New York Times, Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Newsday. Aside from producing events, press donations, and volunteer programs, the online GG community enables volunteers to organize their chapters, journal their unique volunteering experiences, and most importantly, provide a safe virtual environment for teens. Rachel has inspired and educated thousands about her experiences, speaking to professional groups, nonprofits, conferences, and schools, including Cornell University where she received her degree.
Charles “Chip” Edelsberg, Ph.D. is the founding Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. The Foundation funds exclusively education of young teens, with $340 million granted in its first nine years of operation. Previously, Chip served as Director of Endowments and Vice President for the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland where he provided leadership for $750 million of grantmaking. He was Executive Director of the historic Temple Tifereth Congregation as well. Chip has served on a number of Boards and Advisory Committees in the Jewish community, including the Jewish Funders Network and Jewish Communal Service Association of North America. He also currently serves on the Boards for the Leadership Pipelines Alliance, iCenter, and the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE). Dr. Edelsberg writes widely on such topics as relational philanthropy, effective grantmaking, approaches to building the field of Jewish education, and educational leadership. Chip and his wife and life partner of 41 years, Leslie, are proud parents of Eric, Zack and Allie Rae z”l, and grandparents of Landon Rae and Olivia Marie.
Ami Eden serves as the CEO and Executive Editor of 70 Faces Media, a nonprofit digital media organization that aspires to connect people to all sides of the unfolding Jewish story. The organization was created through the historic merger of JTA and MyJewishLearning. Prior to the merger, Ami was the CEO and Editor in Chief of JTA. He previously served as the executive editor of the Forward and founding editor of the Jewish Daily Forward website. He also worked as an editor of the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Times of Israel, Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, the Forward, New York Jewish Week, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and dozens of Jewish newspapers around the world.
In 2012, Carrie Filipetti began her career at the Paul E. Singer Foundation as Program Manager and now is the Director of Portfolio Management. Prior to working at the foundation, she participated in the Tikvah Fund Fellowship, during which she worked on an international recruitment campaign for the Tikvah Fund’s major programs. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she received a degree with distinction in religious studies and the Levin Family Prize for excellence in Jewish studies. In addition to her studies, she served as president of Hoos for Israel and Chair of the Student Council's Diversity Initiatives Committee. She was an active member of Hillel and Chabad.
Eric Fingerhut was appointed President and CEO of Hillel International in 2013. As Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents from 2007-2011, he served as an innovative leader and advocate of the value of higher education. Most recently, Fingerhut was Corporate Vice President of Education and STEM Learning business at Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization based in Columbus, Ohio. He also served as an Ohio state senator from 1997-2006, focusing on higher education, human services and economic development. From 1993-1994, Fingerhut represented Ohio’s 19th congressional district. He is an active member of Ohio’s Jewish and pro-Israel community.
Amanda Freedman (18 years old; Toronto, ON) serves as the BBYO International N’siah, or Teen President of BBG. Amanda was motivated by her mother, a BBYO alum, and her older brother to join BBYO in high school, and quickly found BBYO to be a Jewish experience unlike the one she was having at school. She was elected as BBYO’s International N’siah at International Convention 2014, and cites bringing the Jewish community together as her drive to hold this high position.
Ethan Gertzman (18 years old; Ringoes, NJ) is the National Mazkir (president) of Young Judaea. He has held a variety of leadership positions locally and regionally, spent the past eight summers with Young Judaea at their camps, and finally went to Israel last summer. With dozens of his best friends for a month, this was the culmination of all Ethan’s time spent learning about and advocating for Israel. Young Judaea has given him unbelievable memories and opportunities that sculpted him into the person and leader he is today. Now, he is in a position to help give that life-changing experience to so many others.
Hailee Grey (17 years old; East Cobb, GA) was elected to serve as the teen International President of USY at USY’s International Convention in December 2014. Hailee has been very involved in USY since she was a high school freshman, and she hopes to give back to USY everything that it gave to her. She held positions on the chapter, regional and international level before being elected to her current position. Two of Hailee’s main goals this year include increasing membership and promoting more social interaction.
Matthew Grossman was appointed to serve as BBYO’s Executive Director in February 2004. In his current capacity as CEO, he works with the organization's teen, lay and professional leaders to set a vision and implement strategies for BBYO to reach more Jewish teens with more meaningful Jewish experiences. Since becoming independent of B’nai B’rith International in 2002, BBYO has re-invented itself, now reaching more than 43,000 teens annually. Matt has also led an effort to involve thousands of alumni and other stakeholders in strengthening BBYO through its Friends and Alumni Network, resulting in the organization’s budget growing three-fold during his tenure. Prior to BBYO, Matt worked for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, playing a key role in the organization’s decade-long renaissance.
Max Heller is 2013 graduate of the University of Michigan who currently works for Blackstone. At Michigan he was one of the early members of Tamid – a program that seeks to connect your American college students to Israel through business. As the undergraduate VP of Expansion, Max grew Tamid from a single program at Michigan to 24 campuses with chapters at each that include 40 to 60 members. This competitive program teaches its members about the Israeli economy, provides them with an opportunity to travel to Israel and connects them with Israeli start-ups that can accommodate US based interns. Max got his start in BBYO holding leadership positions at the chapter and regional levels and utilized is global network of BBYO friends to help bring Tamid to new campuses.
Jay Kaiman is the Executive Director of the Marcus Foundation, which is the vision and philanthropic commitment of Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder of The Home Depot, and focuses on Jewish causes, free enterprise, medical research, children, and the community. Kaiman joined the foundation in 2001 as a Program Director and assumed the role of Managing Director in 2008. A graduate of the University of Florida School of Journalism and Communication, Kaiman held several positions in his nonprofit career, including serving as the Southeast Regional Director of the Anti Defamation League. He has held leadership roles on numerous volunteer boards, including two governor appointments, as a member of the Florida Commission on Holocaust Education and of the Southeast Governors Initiative on Infant Mortality.
Karen W. Katz has been Chief Executive Officer and President of Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC and its subsidiary The Neiman Marcus Group LLC since 2010. Mrs. Katz served as an Executive Vice President of Marketing, Business Development and Strategy of The Neiman Marcus Group LLC and Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC from 2007-2010. She joined Neiman Marcus in 1985, and has served in numerous executive and leadership roles, from Executive Vice President to President of Neiman Marcus Direct to Executive Vice President of Stores. She has a wealth of retail knowledge and a keen understanding of the customer shopping experience across channels. She has experience in leading an iconic retailer known internationally for luxury brands and superior service.
Anne Lanski is Executive Director of the iCenter, a national organization working to advance high-quality, meaningful and innovative Israel education by building, shaping and supporting the field. Israel education has been Lanski's personal and professional passion for three decades. A pioneer in cross-cultural education and teen travel to Eastern Europe and Israel, she is the Founder and former Executive Director of Shorashim, a nationally-recognized Israel education organization. She is regarded as the seminal figure in making the mifgash a central component of Israel educational programs, and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her pioneering work in this field. Lanski served as Director of Education at Congregation Hakafa in Glencoe, Illinois. She taught Hebrew at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where she developed new methodologies of Hebrew language and culture instruction. She also has experience in the world of Jewish youth group and camp settings.
David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He has written numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli conflict. David is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and recently concluded a stint as a senior advisor on Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace team. His 2011 maps on alternative territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were reprinted by the New York Times and his widely acclaimed September 2012 New Yorker essay, “The Silent Strike,” focused on the U.S.-Israel dynamics leading up to the 2007 Israeli attack on Syrian nuclear facilities. David is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, was diplomatic correspondent for Israel's leading daily, Haaretz, and is a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
Daria Melamed is a member of Sofia, Bulgaria’s Moishe House, where she lives with other Jewish young adults and provides a welcoming environment for Sofia’s Jewish community. She is a student at Sofia Univerity “St. Kliment Ohridsky” in the Philology Department. Daria also works in the Jewish Community Center “Bet Shalom” as a program coordinator. She sees Moishe House as a great opportunity to create a place where young adults can spend time together to learn about Judaism and to be involved in Jewish life in Sofia.
Sam Perlen (19 years old; Nashville, TN) serves as BBYO’s Grand Aleph Godol, or Teen President of AZA. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Sam joined BBYO in high school as a member of Athens of the South AZA in Cotton States Region. After getting involved with his chapter and his region, Sam ran for Grand Aleph Godol at BBYO’s International Convention in February 2014. He ran with his main priority being to develop more relationships within the BBYO community because connections “engage people and make them want to come back”.
Debbie Rabinovich (18 years old; Charlotte, NC) was elected as NFTY President in February 2014. She has been involved with NFTY since eighth grade, and has served on her chapter and region boards. During her term as regional president, Debbie developed a leadership network which brought together leaders of all Jewish organizations in her area. She recognizes that each organization can learn a lot from each other.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, internationally renowned speaker, author of more than 25 books, and moral voice for our time. Until 1st September 2013 he served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, having held the position for 22 years. He is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He has also been appointed as Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King’s College London.
Lynn Schusterman, Tulsa, OK, is the Founder and Chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and power in young people to create change in the Jewish community and across the broader world. Lynn has been active in Jewish communal and philanthropic affairs for over 40 years, with a particular focus on devoting her time and resources to strengthening the Jewish people, the State of Israel, public education in the United States and her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She holds a variety of leadership positions in local, national and international organizations that advance the values and causes she holds close to her heart. Lynn is a mother of three and grandmother to six wonderful girls.
Stacy Schusterman, Tulsa, OK, is Chairman and CEO of Samson Energy Company, LLC, a private oil and gas company that is active in the U.S. Gulf Coast and the U.S. Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. She was Chairman and CEO of Samson Investment Company, a private oil and gas company, until its sale to a partnership organized by KKR in December 2011. She is also the Co-founder and Chairman of Granite Properties, commercial real estate business with properties in Texas, Atlanta and Denver. Stacy is the Co-Chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. She serves on the Executive Committee of BBYO, as a member of the AIPAC National Council and is involved in efforts to improve K-12 public education. Stacy is a graduate of Yale University and has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tova Sklar (18 years old; Bergenfeld, NJ) was elected as NCSY’s national president at the Leadership Boot Camp Shabbaton in the summer of 2014. Tova stumbled upon NCSY accidentally: she was interested in a disaster relief trip to New Orleans, so she signed up, not knowing it was affiliated with NCSY. After a life-changing experience in New Orleans, Tova quickly got involved with NCSY and was recruited for NJ NCSY’s Leadership Experience and Development program. As she built herself within NCSY, she also became a role model for younger members. She and plans to continue developing NCSY’s learning and chesed programs, as well as their online programs.
Michael Steinhardt is an American hedge fund manager and philanthropist who dedicates much of his time supporting the Jewish community. He is the co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel and is committed to developing American Jewish day schools and supporting Hillel programs on college campuses. In 1994, Steinhardt founded the Steinhardt Foundation, whose main objective is to revitalize Jewish identity through educational and cultural initiatives and further Hebrew and Jewish literacy amongst the population. His goal is to connect Jewish teens to Judaism, through trips to Israel and life-changing Jewish experiences.
As the founding director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network, Stefanie Zelkind has played a crucial role in the growth and development of the field of Jewish youth philanthropy. She got her first taste of collective giving as a co-founder and participant of "No Small Change: A Tzedakah Collective for Women and Girls." Before joining JTFN, Stefanie served as the National Field Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), and the Director of International Affairs for Adam Teva V’Din – The Israel Union for Environmental Defense. She earned a double masters degree in Nonprofit Management and Judaic Studies at New York University, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and is a 21/64 Certified Consultant in areas relating to teen philanthropy and grantmaking.