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BBYO Hires Three Directors of Jewish Enrichment

June 8, 2012

Jim Joseph Foundation Helps Advance Teen Movement’s Agenda to Deepen Jewish Education

BBYO is pleased to announce the hire of three Directors of Jewish Enrichment (DJE). These positions were made possible through a generous grant of $1.9 million over three years by the Jim Joseph Foundation of San Francisco. The DJEs will enable BBYO to deepen the Jewish experiential learning offered to its teen-led community and prepare Jewish teens for a lifetime of Jewish involvement.

The new professionals will be dispersed in key geographic hubs and will be networked together as a dynamic team of educational entrepreneurs. They will be given the opportunity to work with teen leaders, volunteer adult advisors and program professionals to impact programming from local and regional events to international travel programs.

The new BBYO Directors of Jewish Enrichment Include:


Ira Dounn, who will focus on BBYO’s Northeast Regions, currently serves as BBYO’s South Jersey Region Program Director, and has worked at Jewish Child Care Association’s Bukharian Teen Lounge and B’nai Jeshurun’s Teen Programs of NY. In these capacities, he has helped to lead teen service and leadership experiences throughout the U.S. as well as in Nicaragua, Bulgaria, and Israel. Dounn also participated in the 5th AJWS Rabbinical School Delegation to Gbi Atabu, Ghana in 2008, in UJA-Federation and the JCRC of New York’s Community Connections Fellowship 2009-2010, and in the Schusterman Family Foundation’s Kivun Intensive 2012 program. Originally from Teaneck, NJ, Dounn graduated from the University of Chicago, studied at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat, Israel and at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and is currently pursuing an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and his Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Boston with BBYO’s Professional Development Institute. Read about Ira Dounn's new position in the Jewish Community Voice.


Rabbi Zac Johnson, who will focus on BBYO’s Western Regions, built a distinguished career with formal and non-formal Jewish education and a focus on reaching the teen audience. He has been associated with some of the most innovative organizations in the Jewish community, including the Cambridge Minyan, the Mission Minyan in San Francisco, Midrasha in Berkeley, Gann Academy in Boston and Camp Ramah Darom in Georgia. He most recently developed a dynamic new learning program for high school students through Mechon Hadar in Manhattan. He got his start as a teen himself, growing up in AZA in Greensboro, North Carolina. Read about Rabbi Zac Johnson's position in j. Weekly of Northern California.

Aleeza Lubin

Aleeza Lubin, who will focus on BBYO’s Midwestern Regions, most recently served as the Director of Service Learning at Bend the Arc / Jewish Funds for Justice, an immersive service learning program that has exposed hundreds of participants each year to the societal issues facing US communities in need. She has spent 15 years working one-on-one with students, beginning in Toronto and continuing when she moved to New York. Recently she has worked for My Learning Springboard, an educational services and consulting company, providing curricular support, assisting with skill development, and creating strategic learning plans for middle and high school students. Originally from Toronto, Lubin holds degrees in both history and education and a Masters in American Studies from Columbia University. Read about Aleeza Lubin's position in the Canadian Jewish News.

“It is clear that teens yearn for ways to stay connected to Judaism despite their busy lives,” said Estee Portnoy, Chair of the BBYO Board of Directors. “BBYO’s new Directors of Jewish Enrichment will provide that connection, making Judaism accessible and relevant to the lives of today’s teens.”

The Jim Joseph Foundation has a proven track record of investing in Jewish professionals, including the creation and implementation of BBYO’s Professional Development Institute (PDI), which provides fully-funded MBAs from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and degrees in Informal Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Boston to talented BBYO professionals.

“The Jim Joseph Foundation is the Jewish community’s funding leader in developing and deploying high performing Jewish educators,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO’s Executive Director. “Through our continued partnership, BBYO will serve as a pipeline for a new generation of Jewish professionals whose impact will be felt for decades.”

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