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Co-Chairs

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from Sept. 1991 until Sept. 2013. Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords on 27th October 2009, where he sits on the cross benches as Baron Sacks of Aldgate in the City of London. Rabbi Sacks is a frequent contributor on the radio, television and the national press, and has written 24 books.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, T.V. star of The Big Bang Theory. Bialik holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and is known for her lead role in the 1990’s NBC sitcom Blossom. She has also appeared in Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mayim is active in both national and international Jewish causes and writes for the progressive Jewish parenting website Kveller.com. She published a book on holistic parenting in early 2012.

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, celebrated author and former lecturer at Harvard University, where he taught the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”—with a total of over 1,400 students. Dr. Ben-Shahar consults and lectures on the subject to a variety of groups around the world, including executives of multi-national corporations. Dr. Ben-Shahar is a featured teacher on Jerusalem U’s Positive Psychology and Judaism course, and is the narrator of Jerusalem U’s documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. He is currently a teacher at IDC.

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from Sept. 1991 until Sept. 2013. Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords on 27th October 2009, where he sits on the cross benches as Baron Sacks of Aldgate in the City of London. Rabbi Sacks is a frequent contributor on the radio, television and the national press, and has written 24 books.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, T.V. star of The Big Bang Theory. Bialik holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and is known for her lead role in the 1990’s NBC sitcom Blossom. She has also appeared in Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mayim is active in both national and international Jewish causes and writes for the progressive Jewish parenting website Kveller.com. She published a book on holistic parenting in early 2012.

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, celebrated author and former lecturer at Harvard University, where he taught the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”—with a total of over 1,400 students. Dr. Ben-Shahar consults and lectures on the subject to a variety of groups around the world, including executives of multi-national corporations. Dr. Ben-Shahar is a featured teacher on Jerusalem U’s Positive Psychology and Judaism course, and is the narrator of Jerusalem U’s documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. He is currently a teacher at IDC.

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Young Leaders Advisory Board

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Bobby Davis

London, England

Robert Davis is an analyst at Houlihan Lokey working for their European Financial Restructuring Group in London. Robert graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he concentrated in Finance and minored in International Relations. Robert is passionate about Israel and the Jewish people. At UPenn, Robert was a member of the Penn Israel Public Affairs Committee’s engagement team. In addition, Robert was a Maimonides Leadership Fellow and is more generally involved with Meor at UPenn.

Jessica Felber

Los Angeles, CA

Jessica Felber is a doctoral student at UCLA, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures. Since graduating with a B.A. from UC Berkeley, Jessica has worked and volunteered for numerous Israel advocacy and education organizations including Jerusalem U, Hasbara Fellowships, Alternative Action, and Zionist Organization of America. She is currently a board member of Creative Zionist Coalition, a volunteer activist for Alternative Action and a consultant for Jerusalem U.

Sara Greenberg

Boston, MA

Sara is pursuing a joint master’s degree in business and public policy from the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. After graduating from Yale, Sara worked at Thomson Reuters in their strategy group in New York and Hong Kong and then for Susquehanna Growth Equity Partners in the US, China, and Israel. While living and working in Israel, Sara also did research for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and helped start a crowd-funding platform for Israeli start-ups. Sara now represents Israel abroad as a member of Israel's National Women's Lacrosse Team and will be playing in the World Cup this summer in Toronto.

Matan Hazanov

Toronto, Canada

Matan Hazanov is Israeli born and grew up in Toronto. While in university, he co-founded the Jewish Business Network (JBN), whose vision is to create a values-based revolution in business by inspiring the next generation of global Jewish business leaders to have a deeper connection to Judaism and their responsibility to the Jewish people and the world. Matan is a mentor for JBN High School, the Jewish Student Leadership Foundation and an advisory board member of the JBN. Matan holds an International BBA from the Schulich School of Business and is currently involved in venture capital, investing in early stage, disruptive high-tech companies.

Shalom Klein

Chicago, Il

Shalom Klein is Vice President of Moshe Klein & Associates and MKA Receivables. He oversees a staff of more than 10 associates and the operations of three offices, as well as handling client relationships and consulting opportunities. As Founder of Jewish B2B Networking and Jewish Business News, Klein saw a need in the small business and Jewish communities and created the vision for what is now the premiere business and employment networking organization across the Midwest. Shalom received Keshet’s 2013 Community Service Award, was named “Jewish Community Hero” by Jewish Federations of North America and listed as one of the “36 under 36″ by the Jewish United Fund. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards and is Chairman of the Economic Development Commission – Village of Skokie.

Yoni Neydavoud

Palo Alto, CA

Yoni Neydavoud is completing his master’s degree in Business Administration at Stanford University and currently serving as a Board Fellow at the Palo Alto JCC. Yoni is also a Jersusalem Fellow, where he pursued post-graduate studies in Talmudic Law and learned about regional cultural nuances occurring in Israel. Yoni volunteers as a paramedic and is the Founder and President of the Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Conference.

Sam Schear

New York, NY

Samuel D. Schear is a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in History and Judaic Studies. Sam currently works directly for Malcolm Hoenlein (another member of the Core 18 team) at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations where he is pursuing his passions for Judaism, Zionism, US/Israel Relations, and Politics. Sam is currently a member of the UJA Generosity Leadership board, sits on the advisory board of the Gatestone Institute, and is a co-head of University of Pennsylvania's Hillel Alumni Board. Sam is eager to mentor students about the importance of being involved in Jewish life outside of college.

Alex Shandrovsky

Palo Alto, CA

Alex Shandrovsky is the Director of Special Projects for the Jewish Study Network, an organization dedicated to raising the level of Jewish literacy in the Bay Area. He also serves as Co-Director of Self Discovery, through which he has employed experiential wisdom to impact over a thousand participants from America, Germany, Mexico, Turkey and FSU. Alex is also member of the prestigious ROI Community.

Lindsey Singer

Washington, D.C

Lindsey is currently working in the press office at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. Before starting at the embassy Lindsey worked at a non-profit that provides information about Israel and its neighbors to reporters and community leaders called The Israel Project. Lindsey studied public relations at Quinnipiac University and in the professional world has been able to combine that focus with her love for Israel. Outside of work Lindsey is an advisor for a B'nai B'rith Girls chapter of BBYO, a youth group for Jewish teens focused on leadership.

Alex Vainer

Los Angeles, CA

Alex currently works for Disney ABC Television as a Research Analyst. He founded a company called TzedakahEveryDay and is developing an app that will enable people to donate to any Jewish organization directly from their phone. He has interned and worked for: NBC Universal, PMK*BNC, Microsoft, 5 Hour Energy, MTV and Oprah Winfrey Network. Alex has a BA in Marketing from Cal State Northridge and is a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.

Adam Wachs

Philadelphia, PA

Adam Wachs is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Economics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fellow and participant in Ask Big Questions, where he traveled to Africa, volunteered in a youth orphanage and met weekly for a semester to learn about genocide, peace building and methods for better conflict resolution. Adam is an active volunteer at the University of Pennsylvania, devoting his free time to many social and religious organizations.

David Yarus

New York, NY

David runs the global youth marketing agency Mr Youth, where his team helps the largest and most sophisticated brands in the world understand, activate, and engage the millennial consumer. David also heads up the youth insights team at the agency, dedicated to decoding the minds of today's youth through ongoing research and analysis. On the side, David helps jewish organizations leverage the power of social media to connect with the next generation and build vibrant, active online communities.

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Advisory Board

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Sara Berman

Sara Berman is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hebrew Charter School Center. She is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of both the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, NY, and the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and the Board of Trustees of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. She has been a regular guest on CBS Morning News and FOX News, as well as a frequent guest lecturer at local schools and community centers throughout the city. Sara Berman graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, where she studied history.

Alan Dershowitz

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” “the best known criminal lawyer in the world,” “the top lawyer of last resort,” “America’s most public Jewish defender” and “Israel’s single most visible defender – the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg. He has also published more than 100 articles in magazines and journals such as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Nation, Commentary, Saturday Review, The Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Journal, and more than 300 of his articles have appeared in syndication in 50 national daily newspapers. Professor Dershowitz is the author of 27 fiction and nonfiction works with a worldwide audience.

Malcolm Hoenlein

Malcolm Hoenlein is the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the coordinating body for 51 national Jewish organizations. He received his B.A. from Temple University and completed his doctoral course work at the University of Pennsylvania where he taught International Relations and was a Middle East specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He was the Founding Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York and of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Mr. Hoenlein appears regularly in the media and has lectured and met leading officials throughout the world. A recipient of many awards, including the Guardian of Jerusalem, the highest recognition of the capital city, and the Guardian of Zion award, and two Honorary Doctorates, he is associated with and serves on the boards of many communal, educational and civic organizations. He is the Chairman of America’s Voices in Israel and Co-Chair of the Secure Community Network. He is on the board of the Council for Secure America and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the board of several high-tech companies and a bank.

Mitch Julis

Mitchell R. Julis is Co-Founder, Co-Chairman, and Co-CEO of Canyon Partners, LLC. Mr. Julis is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude), and Harvard Business School (M.B.A., honors). Prior to forming Canyon, Mr. Julis directed a group of professionals responsible for a portfolio of distressed and special situation securities at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Prior to working at Drexel, he was a bankruptcy and creditors' rights attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York. Mr. Julis has authored a number of articles published in law journals and other periodicals on the subject of bankruptcy and distressed credit investing.

Dr. Shmuel Katz

Dr. Shmuel Katz was born in Debrecen, Hungary and was raised in Jerusalem, Israel. He served as an officer in the Israeli army during the Six Day War (1967) where he decided to become a doctor. He enrolled in the University of Milan's Medical School and graduated summa cum laude. Shortly thereafter, he gained extensive trauma experience while serving during the Yom Kippur War (1973). Dr. Katz further enhanced his formal education by obtaining degrees of CS and MS from the University of Tel Aviv. Dr. Katz is double-boarded in Surgery, a Fellow of the Israeli Surgical Society and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of multiple other medical societies. Dr. Katz is currently the Senior VP and past Chairman of the Executive Board of the Greater Miami Hebrew Academy; the Immediate Past President of the Greater Miami chapter of Friends of the IDF; on the National Board of the FIDF; on the Board of Trustees of The Shul of Bal-Harbour; a member of the international Board of Bar Ilan University, StandWithUs, HonestReporting, Hasbara Fellowship, PJTN, Jerusalem U and has played a key role on multiple additional committees both in the United States and abroad.

Amy Kratchman

Amy Kratchman is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business in the department of Finance. Prior to coming to Drexel, she worked for Blackrock Securities and Eaton Vance Management in portfolio management of fixed income securities. She also teaches and helps develop CFA course review classes for Kaplan, Schweser Corp. Amy has been a longtime volunteer for the Jewish Relief Agency and Caring Clowns of Philadelphia.

David Magerman

Mr. Magerman is a computer scientist, venture capitalist, and the Founder of the Kohelet Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to support Jewish education in the Greater Philadelphia area. Previously, he was a research scientist and Head of Production for Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund management company which manages the Medallion Fund, the Meritage Fund and the Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund. Before coming to Renaissance, David was an artificial intelligence researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, developing statistical methods for understanding speech and language. David has a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, along with a B.A. in Mathematics and B.S.E. in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Medved

Jonathan Medved is an investor, serial entrepreneur and, according to the Washington Post, “one of Israel’s leading high-tech venture capitalists”. Medved has been part of the founding teams at several successful Israeli startups. As a venture and angel investor over the past two decades, he invested in over 100 Israeli startup companies, helping to bring over a dozen of them to values in excess of $100 million. Medved has currently over 30 startup companies in his personal angel investor portfolio, including his OurCrowd portfolio. Medved serves on the Boards of various non-profits including Ma’aleh Film School, The Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center, Artists and Musicians for Israel, Bnai David Eli, chairs the Aish HaTorah Boneh Yerushalayim Dinner and serves on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency and on the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem College of Technology.

Adam Milstein

Adam Milstein was born in Israel, served in the Israeli army during the Yom Kippur War and graduated from the Technion in 1978. Upon his arrival in the US in 1981, he enrolled in USC where he earned an MBA. Adam has been involved in Commercial real estate since 1983 and he is"www.hagerpacific.com" target="_blank">Hager Pacific Properties, a private real estate investment firm.
Adam is the co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation which supports many organizations including: The American Israel Education Foundation, which is the educational arm of AIPAC, The Israeli-American Council which has built a strong and active Israeli-American Community in Los Angeles, Taglit-Birthright Israel, StandWithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, Israel on Campus Coalition, AEPi and Sifriyat Pijama B’America that provides free Hebrew books monthly to more than 8,000 Israeli-American families nationwide.

David Shore

David Shore is the creator and executive producer of House. He has written for cult favorite Due South, NYPD Blue and EZ Streets, served as head writer and supervising producer on Traders, which he developed for Canadian television, and was part of the writing team of the Emmy Award-winning first season of The Practice. He was twice nominated for an Emmy as a producer on Law & Order and executive-produced both Family Law and Hack before creating House. House has won awards as varied as the People's Choice and the Peabody. Shore won the Humanitas Prize and an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for his House episode “Three Stories.”

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a world-renowned author of many bestsellers ranging from humor to halacha. Named as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, he is the author of many best-selling books on Judaism. Rabbi Telushkin’s books have inspired state resolutions and have been the basis for Hollywood films and television series. He lectures throughout the United States, is a spiritual leader of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and is on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Book Council.

Gordon Zacks

Gordon B. Zacks, an expert on the Middle East and staunch supporter of Israel, worked as Chairman of the Board of the NASDAQ listed company R. G. Barry Corporation, the world's largest marketer and supplier of comfort footwear. Recognized as an authority on the qualities of leadership, Zacks was a frequently sought after speaker. He served as a behind-the-scenes advisor, confidante, and friend of Vice President and then President George H. W. Bush on Israel/American relations, the Middle East peace process, Soviet Jewry, Ethiopian Jewry, and the changing political landscape of the American Jewish community. Zacks was integrally involved in a wide variety of Jewish nonprofit endeavors ranging from AIPAC to the National Republican Jewish Coalition. He founded the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, which provides pluralistic adult Jewish education in more than 60 cities in four countries around the world. He authored the book, Defining Moments: Stories of Character, Courage, and Leadership, a collection of essays on leadership. Zacks graduated from The Ohio State University in 1955 with a BA from the Fisher College of Business. He passed away on February 1, 2014 at the age of 80.

Rivka Zell

Rivka Zell is an active philanthropist with a strong focus on bringing education to the community. She maintains strong ties to Israel through the Zell Entrepreneurial Program at IDC Herzliya. This program, now in its 12th year, provides final year students a platform for business venture development with support from accomplished instructors, mentors and the business community. Rivka brings Israeli culture to Chicago through the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema and serves on the Chicago boards of the Jewish National Fund (Co-VP Education and Community Affairs), CAMERA, and StandWithUs. Rivka is also actively involved in AIPAC and works closely with members of Congress to support the US-Israel relationship. Rivka Zell joins us from Chicago where she resides after being raised in Anchorage Alaska. She earned her undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon.

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Senior staff

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Alan Goldman

Educational Director

Alan Goldman is Educational Director of Core18 at Jerusalem U. He oversees the Jerusalem U Core18 Fellowship, an elite training program for Israel activists. Alan also teaches approximately 400 students as part of the Jerusalem U Gap Year Program, an Israel education and leadership development program for post-high school students studying at some 15 gap-year institutions in Israel. Prior to joining Jerusalem U, Alan worked in formal and informal Jewish education in Israel programs for 25 years, serving on the senior faculty for a number of organisations, including Young Judaea Year Course, Ramah Israel Programs, JRoots, and Heritage Seminars. Alan moved to Israel from Philadelphia, PA in 1989 after completing a BA from Clark University in Sociology and Jewish Studies. He later went on complete a Master’s Degree in Jewish History and to receive Rabbinic Ordination in Jerusalem.

Beth Austin Mischel

Managing Director

Beth combines a long history of work on Wall Street with an abiding commitment to Jewish social activism.  She managed portfolios, major projects, and teams for financial service corporations such as Goldman Sachs and AllianceBernstein.  She served on the Board of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and was a regular Torah reader for, and organizer of the synagogue’s women’s tefillah group.  Beth was a coordinator of an Art and Music Appreciation curriculum for children in Jewish day schools in the United States and an English Studies curriculum for junior high school students in Israel.  She also helps her husband, Ken, with his start-up venture developing a comprehensive, automated pension-advice solution for the global market.  Beth received her BS in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University, attended Albany Medical College, and completed her CFA certification.  She made Aliyah in 2005 and lives in Chashmonaim with her husband and children.  

Gabriela Mischel

Program Coordinator

​Gabriela Mischel is the program coordinator at Core18. She oversees alumni relations as well as develops event workshops for students who are standing up for Israel on their college campus. Gabriela is also a project manager at JerusalemU, where she coordinates the logistics for the film department. Prior to joining JerusalemU, Gabriela managed customer and client relations at AngloProtekzia, a business that helps immigrants in Israel connect with service providers. ​

Zeev Ben-Shachar

Senior Israel Educator

Zeev Ben-Shachar is the Director of Israel Education at Jerusalem U. He oversees curriculum development and directs the Jerusalem U Gap Year Program, a leadership development program for post-high school students studying at some 15 gap-year institutions in Israel. Previously, Zeev worked for the Israel branch of The David Project as an Educator and Project Manager. Until 2006, Zeev worked as an organizational consultant and as a teaching fellow at Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department, where he received Harvard’s certificate of distinction for excellence in teaching. Zeev has a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Harvard University.

Raphael Shore

Founder, CEO Jerusalem U

Raphael Shore is the founder and CEO of Jerusalem U. Shore produced the 2010 documentary Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus, which explores the proliferation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments on North American college campuses, and just produced Jerusalem U’s newest PBS film, Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, about contemporary Israel and its global contributions. Shore also founded and is the CEO of the Clarion Project, producing its groundbreaking documentary films, including the critically acclaimed Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West (seen by 30 million Americans and won Best Feature Film at the 2005 Liberty Film Festival), The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America, and Iranium, released in February, 2011. CNN, Fox News, the New York Times, and other leading media organizations have interviewed him and featured his films. Shore previously served as COO of the Jewish outreach organization Aish HaTorah. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Shore and his family now live in Jerusalem.

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