The International Board of Governors

Stuart Eizenstat

Co-Chair

Bio

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat is co-chairman of JPPI’s board and professional guiding council and currently heads the international practice of the Covington and Burlington law firm. In the past, he served as US Ambassador to the EU, Under Secretary of State, Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Treasury. He has held many positions in the Jewish world including the Chairman of the Weizmann Institute’s Board of Governors. His books Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II, 21st Century Global Forces, Their Impact on the Jewish People, Israel and the US (published by JPPI), and most recently President Carter: The White House Years were extremely well-received worldwide.

Articles by Stuart Eizenstat

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Dennis Ross

Co-Chair

Bio

Ambassador Dennis Ross is co-chairman of JPPI’s Board of Directors and Professional Guiding Council. He rejoined JPPI in 2011 after serving as a special assistant to President Obama and NSC Senior Director for the Central Region. For more than 12 years (1988-2000), Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping US involvement in the Middle East and was the point man on the peace process in both the Gorge W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. From 2002-2008, he was part of the founding group of JPPI and served as its first chairman. He is the William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Ambassador Ross is the author of several influential books on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy: The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (2004); Statecraft, and How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (2007); Myth, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East co-authored with David Makovsky. Amb Ross’s 2015 book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S. – Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, won the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for History.

Articles by Dennis Ross

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Amira Aharonoviz

Bio

Amira has been working at The Jewish Agency for more than 26 years, first in various roles “in the field” and later in management positions. She has served as Director of Partnership Regions, Director of Budget & Finance, Vice President for Strategy and Planning, and Deputy Director General & COO. In January 2019, Amira was appointed as the first-ever female CEO and Director General of The Jewish Agency. Amira holds an M.A. in Business Management. Additionally, she held a two-year fellowship at Jerusalem’s Mandel Educational Leadership Institute. There, her major research area was “social impact investing,” an innovative financial vehicle for addressing pressing challenges in society. Amira lives in Mazkeret Batya and is the mother of three children. She is also a member of the Keshet Community, an urban group of religious and secular Jews who run a joint educational program in the spirit of pluralism and shared community life. She has served Keshet for 15 years, since its formation, in various capacities, and is a former member of its executive board.
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Zalman Shoval

Bio

Zalman Shoval is an Israeli banker, politician and diplomat. He is also active in Israel's economic life. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 1990–1993 and 1998–2000, and an active member of the Knesset in the Rafi-State List, and the Likud party.
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Adv. Isaac Molho

Bio

Isaac Molho is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (LLB, 1969). Having spent a period in the early 1970's as a foreign associate at the prestigious New York law firm of Proskauer Rose, Adv. Molho then returned to Israel to become a name partner in the firm E. S. Shimron, I. Molho, Persky & Co. Shortly thereafter, in 1978, he was appointed the firm’s managing partner, in which capacity he has served ever since. Adv. Molho specializes in business and corporate law; he also practices in the fields of telecommunications, entertainment and in intellectual property, where he handled the major precedent-setting litigation concerning copyright in the Dead Sea Scrolls. His clients range from large corporations and institutions to individual businessmen and from foreign governments to public bodies. In addition to having authored a range of academic articles on diverse legal subjects (such as securities law, computer law and telecommunications law), Adv. Molho serves in various public capacities, including Honorary Consul General of Austria in Jerusalem, Chairman of the Board of the Israel Museum, and is a founding member of the Board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute since its inception. During Benjamin Netanyahu's first period as Prime Minister (1996-1999), Adv. Molho – acting on a voluntary basis – fulfilled various special assignments on behalf of the Prime Minister at his personal request. These included acting as the Prime Minister’s personal envoy and as chief negotiator on behalf of the Government of Israel to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and its former Chairman, Yassir Arafat. The Israeli Bar (Tel Aviv District) magazine named Adv. Molho "Lawyer of the Year", for 2008.
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Sandy Baklor

Bio

Sanford M. Baklor, a long-time leader in Jewish communal work, has served in numerous roles throughout the Jewish world. He served as President of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County as well as Planned Giving & Endowments Chair, Annual Campaign Chair, Chairman of the Financial Resource Development Committee. A past chair of JFNA’s Jewish Renaissance & Renewal Committee he has also participated in the Corky Ribakoff Leadership Institute and was treasurer of their Board of Directors In his hometown of Baltimore, Mr. Baklor served as president of Junior Achievement of Baltimore Inc., the Jewish Vocational Services and the Maryland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. Additionally, Mr. Baklor served as a member of UJA’s national training center, providing solicitor training to volunteers and lay leaders from around the country.

Mr. Baklor worked for 28 years for the Maryland Cup Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and was vice president for 15 years of a consulting company specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Baklor is married to Arlene Kaufman, a longtime supporter and leader of both the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

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Prof. Irwin Cotler

Bio

Law Professor, Constitutional and Comparative Law Scholar, International Human Rights Lawyer, Counsel to prisoners of conscience, NGO Head, Public Intellectual, Peace Activist, Member of Parliament, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Articles by Prof. Irwin Cotler

The New Anti-Jewishness

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Eric S. Goldstein

Bio

Eric S. Goldstein became CEO of UJA-Federation of New York on July 1, 2014. Previously, Mr. Goldstein was a leading partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, one of the nation’s most respected law firms. He joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1992, representing many of the world’s largest financial institutions and corporations in significant litigations. Long active in the Jewish community, Mr. Goldstein served in a number of senior lay positions within UJA-Federation, most recently as vice chair with broad oversight of UJA-Federation’s work in Israel and the former Soviet Union. He was also a member of UJA-Federation’s Executive Committee and served as chair of its Lawyers Division, Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal, and Global Strategy Task Force. Also involved in Jewish communal life beyond UJA-Federation, Mr. Goldstein served as a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel; a founding board member of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education; chair of the board of Manhattan Day School; a board member of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency; president of the Beth Din of America; a board member of the Ramaz School; and an honorary board member of DOROT, also a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency. Mr. Goldstein is a recipient of the 2013 Torch of Learning Award from American Friends of The Hebrew University, was selected by his peers for The Best Lawyers in America in regulatory enforcement and securities litigation, and was named by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star for New York. Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Goldstein graduated from Columbia College, magna cum laude, and Cornell Law School, magna cum laude. He was a participant in the Wexner Heritage Program. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Tamar, and their four children.
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Bernard-Henri Levy

Bio

Bernard-Henri Levy is a French-Jewish philosopher, writer, filmmaker and businessman. As a mixed intellectual, Levy often speaks and writes in the media about current affairs and is among the most covered people in France. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Paris. For his activities for human rights and for the State of Israel, Levy received honorary doctorate degrees from Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University and Bar-Ilan University.

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Eric Fingerhut

Bio

Eric D. Fingerhut is the President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Prior to his appointment at JFNA, Fingerhut served as the President of CEO of Hillel International from 2013-19. At Hillel, Fingerhut led the organization’s Drive to Excellence, which resulted in doubling the number of students engaged by Hillel each year to over 130,000 and the total funds raised each year to nearly $200M. Fingerhut’s emphasis on recruiting, training and retaining top talent for the system, and on building a data and performance driven organization, have become models for the non-profit sector.

Fingerhut has had a varied and distinguished career in public service and higher education. Eric served as Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents from early 2007 to 2011, leading Ohio’s system of public universities and colleges. In that role, he earned a reputation as an innovative leader and ardent advocate of the value of higher education. Working in constant collaboration with the business community and elected officials of both major political parties, Fingerhut developed a strategic plan to prepare students for 21st century jobs. From 1997 to 2006, Eric served as an Ohio state senator, and from 1993 to 1994, represented Ohio’s 19th congressional district in the U.S. Congress. In 2004, he was the Democratic Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate.

Fingerhut received a juris doctorate from Stanford University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Amy, sons Sam and Charlie, and beagles Pedro and Lulu.

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John Fishel

Bio

Since 2010 serves as the Director of the Diane And Guilford Glazer Foundation in Los Angeles. His career in Jewish Communal Service has spanned over 40 years. Previously he served as Executive at the Montreal Jewish Federation and subsequently at the Los Angeles Jewish Federation for over 18 years. He is deeply interested in the relationship between the North American Jewish Communities and Israel.
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Sara Genstil

Bio

Born in Bagdad, Iraq, we moved to Israel when I was 10 months old.  Among the difficulties of that period, the basic needs for functioning in school were lacking.  Despite all odds, I managed to be accepted to the Hebrew University.  There I met my husband Larry, who was a 3rd year student in the American program.  At the end of that year, we got married and went to Los Angeles in the US.  There, I completed a BA in Social Work from the University of Southern Calif., an MA in Jewish Communal Work from Hebrew Union College, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I also completed supervision with Dr. Robert Stolorow for more than 2 decades.  He, being one of the key people in the field of psychoanalysis, founded of Intersubjective Systems Theory.  While in LA, I had a large private practice. Further, I asked Dr. Stolorow to supervise me in understanding political processes from an Intersubjective Systems Theory point of view. In 1986, we returned to Israel.  I became active in the Labor Party, becoming a psychological advisor in Party functions, particularly for Shimon Peres.  During that period, I was elected as head of the Labor Party branch in Mevasseret Zion, remaining in that position for 13 years.  Also, during that period, I was elected a member of the Mevasseret Zion Municipal Council and later I was Vice Mayor during the last 2 years of my term. As a psychologist, I have a private practice.  I am a vendor for the Ministry of Defense, for bereaved families, and also for Bituach Leumi for victims of terror attacks.  Recently I was selected to be the psychologist for Jerusalem area UN staff. My most significant project was a paper I presented at an International Self-Psychology Conference, in San Diego, CA, USA, in 2004, titled, “The Israeli-Palestinian Tragedy:  A proposal for healing a pathological intersubjective system.” Today, I am married, a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 13 grandchildren.
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Alan Hoffmann

Bio

Over the past ten years, Alan Hoffmann led the Jewish Agency's Education Department in its mission is to intensify the unique and multi-dimensional significance of Israel in connecting the next generation of Jews to their heritage, people and homeland. Since his Aliyah from South Africa in 1967, Alan's professional life has been dedicated to promoting Jewish Education, initially as the director of The Young Judea Year Course. After three years of doctoral study at the Harvard School of Education, he spent 13 years at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University, including six years as its director. Subsequently, Alan served as the Executive Director of the Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) in New York and in 1997 was named the head of the Mandel Center for Jewish Continuity at the Hebrew University. In February 2000, he became the Director General of the Education Department of the Jewish Agency. Under Alan Hoffmann's leadership, the Education Department developed such groundbreaking initiatives as MASA Israel Journey and MAKOM – a think-practice tank focused on re-imagining the place of Israel in Jewish life. He led the department to play a central role in training inspiring educators, developing compelling content, and promoting transformative Israel experiences that together encourage Jewish identity as well as a connection to the Jewish People and to Israel. As of March 1st Alan became the Director-General and CEO of the Jewish Agency. In this capacity he is the Chief Executive of the Jewish Agency worldwide, but also is leading a new strategic planning process for the Jewish Agency.
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Glen Lewy

Bio

Glen Lewy is a Senior Managing Director of Hudson Ventures, a technology-focused venture capital fund based in New York. Prior to joining Hudson in 2000, Glen spent 25 years as an adviser to some of the world's largest and most prestigious corporations, having distinguished himself as both a lawyer and investment banker. He was a senior partner and member of the Management Committee of Wolfensohn & Co., a member of the Management Committee of Bankers Trust Company, and a partner in the New York law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. Glen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of The New York Historical Society. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SEED Foundation. Glen is also a Board member of several technology-related companies in which Hudson is an investor. Glen recently completed a three year term as the National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). He has been involved in the ADL since the 1970s and continues to be a member of the National Commission and the National Executive Committee, on which he has served for more than 20 years. Glen holds a B.A. degree from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Glen resides in Mamaroneck, New York with his wife, Cheryl (the Chair of the Westchester County Planning Commission). They have three grown children.
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Sallai Meridor

Bio

Sallai Meridor served as Israel’s Ambassador to the USA from 2006 to 2009, and as the Chairman of the Jewish Agency from 1999 to 2005. From 2011 to mid 2018, he served as the Chairperson and co founder of a cyber security focused VC fund. He currently serves as the Chairperson of a Pension and Provident fund and as a board member of several policy institutes.

He is married to Noa, father of 3 daughters, grandfather of 8 grandchildren.

Photo: Muki Schwartz

Articles by Sallai Meridor

Not On One Leg

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Lonnie Nasatir

Bio

Lonnie Nasatir is only the fifth person in the 121-year history of Chicago's Jewish Federation to serve at its helm as President and Chief Executive. Lonnie brings an exceptional track record as a community leader and senior-level experience at both the Anti-Defamation League and at a major government agency. Serving as the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Director of the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest area from 2005-2019, Nasatir led initiatives to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry. As ADL Regional Director, Nasatir oversaw the six-state Upper Midwest region and was charged with leading the implementation of ADL’s strategic plan among its 26 regional offices. Notably, Nasatir more than doubled the local campaign from $2.6 million to $5.8 million. A hallmark of Lonnie’s leadership has been his focus on engaging the next generation and his commitment to promoting institutional diversity. Nasatir exponentially increased the representation of next generation young leadership on the Board of the ADL Midwest region, as well as worked closely with the first two female Board Chairs in the organization’s history. Lonnie’s legacy at the ADL includes establishing the organization as the lead voice on issues of anti-Semitism, Israel and fighting hate in the Midwest. He also championed multiple legislative initiatives to enhance hate crime statutes at both the state and federal level. Prior to his tenure at ADL, Nasatir served as Administrator for the Illinois Department of Public Aid (now the Department of Healthcare and Family Services), Division of Child Support Enforcement, where he managed a budget of $225 million and led a division of over 1,000 staff to record-high collection and performance numbers. A powerful advocate for children and families, Nasatir worked with the Federal Government, Illinois General Assembly and state agencies in drafting legislation which benefitted the most vulnerable. Lonnie began his career as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he quickly became a lead attorney and a supervisor. He serves as a member of the Cook County Hate Crime Prosecution Council and was a past member of the Board of Directors at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. The recipient of ADL’s Professional Excellence Award and the Cook County SAO Leadership Award, Nasatir was named Man of the Year by the Shomrim Society, the fraternal organization of Jewish law enforcement officers, in 2016. Lonnie is often quoted in local and national news outlets and is deemed an expert on issues related to anti-Semitism, extremism and bigotry in this country and the world. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nasatir received his law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He and his wife, Risa, live in Lakeview with their two daughters. They are members of Am Yisrael Congregation in Northfield.
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Dr. Steve Nasatir

Bio

Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, formerly President of the Jewish Federation of Chicago, is a recognized authority in the area of social and human services and a distinguished Jewish communal leader. He has traveled throughout the world in his commitment to the cause of Jewish and human survival. A frequent visitor to Israel, Dr. Nasatir has also visited other countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union and other countries in Eastern Europe where the welfare of the Jewish community is at risk. A former academician, Dr. Nasatir is the fourth person in the 111-year history of Chicago's Jewish Federation to serve as its chief executive officer having been appointed to that position in 1979. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois; holds an M.A. degree from Roosevelt University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He has served on the faculty of the University of Illinois in Chicago and has been a Visiting Professor at other institutions of higher education. He joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago in 1971. He has served on city and state commissions and task forces, has served on the Board of First Trust Nonprofit Companies, and was an elected member of the Board of Directors of United Way/Crusade of Mercy, Inc. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem, the Board of the Michael Reese Health Trust, the Covenant Foundation, a number of Family Foundation Boards of Directors. He is an Associate Member of the Board of Governors and delegate to the Assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and a very active participant and consultant to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). In November, 1986 the Mayor of the City of Chicago presented him with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Annual Award; he was selected as the 1991 Distinguished Service Honoree by the Association of Jewish Community Organization Personnel (AJCOP); and in 2002 received the Franklin Roosevelt Humanitarian Award from Roosevelt University A native Chicagoan, Dr. Nasatir is a member of Am Yisrael Congregation, has five sons, and is married to Carolyn Rosenberg, who is an attorney and a partner at Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver in Chicago.
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Mark Wilf

Bio

Mark Wilf is the chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America. He has previously served as UJC National Campaign Chair, UJA National Young Leadership Cabinet Chair, and as President of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. Most recently Mr. Wilf has chaired JFNA’s national initiative that addresses the needs of impoverished Holocaust survivors living in the United States. Mr. Wilf, an attorney and partner in Garden Homes, a real estate development firm is also owner/president of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He graduated from Princeton University and then received his law degree from NYU School of Law. Mr. Wilf has long been involved in efforts locally, nationally, and globally, to ensure the welfare and vitality of the Jewish community. As the son of Holocaust survivors, Elizabeth Wilf and Joseph Wilf, z”l, he has drawn upon his parents’ experiences to become an unwavering advocate for needs of the Jewish people, wherever they may be. The Wilf family, a major and longtime supporter of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, is the largest contributor to its world-renowned Holocaust History Museum. The Wilfs are also key sustained benefactors of Yeshiva University in New York. In 2002, the family made a substantial donation to enhance the main campus, renamed as the Wilf Campus of Yeshiva University. He serves on a variety of educational and philanthropic boards, including the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, American Society for Yad Vashem, NYU School of Law, Princeton University President’s Advisory Council, Yeshiva University, Vanderbilt University, and NFL Business Ventures. Mark and his wife Jane have four children Steven, Daniel, Rachel and Andrew.
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Prof. Judith Boxer Liwerant

Bio

Judith Bokser Liwerant is a full professor of political science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she is the director of the Graduate School of Political and Social Sciences. She also heads the Academic Committee of the Universidad Hebraica. Her B.A. and Master studies in sociology and political science were at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and she holds a Ph.D. in political science from the UNAM. She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Science and was the recipient of a National Annual Research Grant of the National Council of Science and Technology. She is the associate director of the Mexican Journal of Political and Social Science. She has published numerous books as author and editor and many scientific articles and chapters in the field of political theory, collective identities and contemporary Latin American Jewry. Prof. Bokser Liwerant was a member of the National Commission Against Discrimination, where she collaborated in the enactment of the Federal Law against Discrimination, condemning antisemitism. In 2002 she was appointed a member of the Human Rights Council.
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Prof. Jehuda Reinharz

Bio

Jehuda Reinharz returned to the directorship of the Tauber Institute in 2011, after serving as president of Brandeis University between 1994 and 2010. He continues to serve as general editor of the Tauber Institute publication series and as Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History. In January 2011 he became president of the Mandel Foundation. Reinharz has authored and co-authored many articles and books, including, most recently, Glorious, Accursed Europe, Darwin and His Circle, and The Scientific God: Popular Science in Hebrew in Eastern Europe in the Second Half of the 19th Century (all three written with Yaacov Shavit). His forthcoming books include the third and final volume of his biography of Chaim Weizmann, as well as a book entitled The Road to September 1939: The Yishuv, the Jews of Poland and the Zionist Movement.
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Erika Rudin-Luria

Bio

Erika B. Rudin-Luria is president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and only the fifth person to serve in this role in the Federation’s nearly 120-year history. Prior to being appointed to this role in 2019, Erika served as the organization’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, in which she was responsible for the Federation’s strategic planning, community development, allocations, governance, and marketing functions. In this capacity, Erika helped the organization identify and address a wide range of established and emerging community needs – ranging from food insecurity to caregiver support to inclusion. She first joined Cleveland’s Federation in 2001 as a Supporting Foundations manager. She began her career as a project coordinator with UJA-Federation of New York. Erika received her Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Brandeis University and earned her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work and her Master of Arts in Judaic Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In 2018, she was part of the inaugural cohort of the Mandel Executive Leadership Fellows, a program of the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership, an initiative of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Erika is a trustee of the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Foundation, the David and Inez Myers Foundation, and the Maltz Foundation. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Parkwood Corporation, a private financial services company. She and her husband, Rabbi Hal Rudin-Luria, live in Pepper Pike, Ohio with their two sons, Jacob and Ari.
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Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Bio

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz is the Rabbi of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. He was born in Toronto, Canada, received his B.A. from York University (1971), his M.A. and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (1976) and his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary (1981). He also received a Doctor of Divinity degree (Honoris Causa) from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2003). Rabbi Kurtz recently completed a 6-year term as President of MERCAZ Olami, the World Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement. He is an associate member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, has been elected to its executive, and serves as deputy chairman of its Russian Speaking Jewry committee. He is past President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative Rabbis, and was a member for many years of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. He served for 10 years as a member of the Leadership Council of Conservative Judaism. Rabbi Kurtz served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, including a term as Vice-Chairman. Rabbi Kurtz is a member of the board of the Jewish People Policy Institute. Rabbi Kurtz has served in leadership positions in the areas of Jewish communal and interfaith activities. He has been President of MERCAZ USA, President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Rabbinic Cabinet and President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Rabbi Kurtz is the recipient of the Rabbinic Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Council of Jewish Federations (1984 and 1985); the Young Leadership Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (1985); Jerusalem Covenant Award, State of Israel Bonds (1996)/Star of David Award, State of Israel Bonds (2008); the Rabbi Simon Greenberg Rabbinic Achievement Award, The Jewish Theological Seminary (1998); the Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award, Chicago Board of Rabbis (2008), the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (2010), and the Rabbi Mordecai Waxman Memorial Rabbinic and Community Leadership Award, Masorti Olami (2011). Rabbi Kurtz is adjunct Professor of Rabbinics at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. He has authored teshuvot for the Law Committee and has published articles in periodicals and books. Currently he is a monthly Torah commentator for the Chicago Jewish News and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem. Rabbi Kurtz and his wife, Bryna, are the parents of two daughters, Hadassa (Haim) who lives in Israel and Shira who works at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington D.C. as a neuropsychologist. He is the proud saba of Shmuel Binyamin, Meytal Dvora and Anael Rina.
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Michael Siegel

Bio

Michael D. Siegal has been on The Jewish Agency Board of Governors since 2012 and served as Chairman from 2017 to 2022. He is the Executive Chairman of Olympic Steel, Inc. (Nasdaq: Zeus). Among many philanthropic positions, he has served previously as Board Chair of the Development Corporation for Israel (Israel Bonds), the Cleveland Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federations of North America. He, along with his wife Anita, helped establish the Michael and Anita Siegal One Happy Camper Scholarship Fund with the Foundation of Jewish Camping.

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Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon

Bio

Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is Senior Advisor to Chasbro Investments, the family office of Charles Bronfman. For two decades, he was the President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel and the United States. He currently sits on the Boards of the the Jim Joseph Foundation (where he serves as secretary), the KIND and Lubetzky Family Foundations and the Israel Policy Forum. He served as the Chair of Leading Edge, an organization aimed at talent acquisition and retention in the Jewish community and serves as Co-Chair of the Peaceworks Foundation. His books (co-authored with Charles Bronfman), The Art of Giving and The Art of Doing Good, have won awards and recognition throughout the philanthropic world. He is also the author of over 120 publications in both professional journals and outlets such as The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. He served as an adjunct associate professor in the masters and doctorate programs of New York University School of Social Work.
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Michael H. Steinhardt

Bio

Michael H. Steinhardt is a legendary money manager turned philanthropist who is dedicated to creating a renaissance in American Jewish life. After he graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1960, Mr. Steinhardt began his financial career as a research associate, staff writer and securities analyst. In 1967 he formed his own hedge fund company, Steinhardt Partners L.P., where he made his fortune in one of the most spectacular careers in the history of Wall Street. Mr. Steinhardt has always believed that wealth and financial achievement alone are not sufficient to give full value and meaning to life. At the same time, he has felt growing alarm over the erosion of Jewish life in the Diaspora. In 1995, Michael Steinhardt stunned the financial world by announcing that he would close his lucrative hedge fund to devote his time and fortune to the causes of the Jewish world. Mr. Steinhardt directs his Jewish philanthropic activities through The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and The Judy & Michael Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel which he chairs. Mr. Steinhardt was the co-founder of Birthright Israel, Birthright Excel and continues to be a major supporter to this day. Mr. Steinhardt also serves as Co-Chair of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. In addition, Mr. Steinhardt supports The Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative, New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Museum. In 2001, Mr. Steinhardt published his memoirs, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets (John Wiley & Sons, 2001). He and his wife, Judy, are the proud parents of David, Daniel and Sara, and the grandparents of Jacob, Joshua, Kira, Talia, Nathaniel, Theodore, Lila, Aetien, Infinity and Ben Zion.
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James Tisch

Bio

James S. Tisch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lowes Corporation. Mr. Tisch is Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Mount Sinai Health System, and he serves on the Executive Committee of the Partnership for New York City. He is a Chairman Emeritus of WNET and is also a member of the Board of Directors of The New York Public Library. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an Honorary Member and past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, past Chairman of the Board of the Conference of Presidents, past Chairman of the Board of United Jewish Communities, past President of UJA-Federation of New York, and a former director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Marc Utay

Bio

Marc is the Managing Partner of Clarion Capital Partners, LLC, an asset management firm in New York City specializing in growth oriented Private Equity. Prior to launching Clarion, from 1993 to 1999, Marc was a Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., where he served as Co-Head of the Media, Telecommunications, Entertainment, and Technology Group, the Leveraged Finance Group, and the Retail Group. He was also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. During this period, he led investments in Imax Corporation and All-Clad Holdings, Inc. From 1991 until 1993, he was a Managing Director at BT Securities, in the firm’s High Yield and Mergers and Acquisitions groups. From 1990 to 1991, he was the Managing Partner of Kent Capital Partners, a principal investment firm with limited advisory business. From 1983 to 1990, he was a Partner at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions department. From 1981 to 1983, he was a Financial Associate in the Beverage Division of the General Foods Corporation. Marc graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in 1980 and an MBA in 1981.
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Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin

Bio

Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin is the chairperson Israel Export Institute. She served as a member of the Knesset for Labor Party between 2015 and 2019. Nahmias-Verbin was born and raised in Tel Aviv. She studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She lives in Jaffa and is married with three children.

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Sami Friedrich

Bio

Sami Friedrich has guided Shaldor's development from its founding. With over 30 years of experience in strategic management consulting, Sami is a recognized expert in corporate and business strategy. He pioneered the concept of Operative StrategyTM and developed frameworks and tools for its application. Over the years, Sami has devoted a significant part of his time to public service, as a board member of major non-profit institutions and think-tanks, and through his leadership role in a number of national task forces. Sami holds a B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
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Ralph Gerson

Bio

Ralph J. Gerson is the former Board Chairman of Guardian Industries Corp. He now serves as the Treasurer, Investment Committee Chair, and a Director of the William Davidson Foundation. Mr. Gerson is also a private investor. From 1990 until 2011 Mr. Gerson served as Executive Vice President of Guardian Industries Corp. and President and CEO of Guardian International Corporation. Guardian is one of the largest manufacturers of float and fabricated glass products in the world and a major manufacturer of automotive plastics. Prior to joining Guardian in 1988, Mr. Gerson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. From 1983 to 1985 he served as Director of Commerce and Chairman of the Cabinet Council on Jobs and Economic Development for the State of Michigan. From 1977 to 1980, Mr. Gerson served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative and then Counselor to the President’s Personal Representative to the Middle East Peace Negotiations, during the Autonomy Negotiations. Mr. Gerson received his J.D. degree in 1975 from the University of Michigan Law School. He also received a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics in 1972 and a B.A. from Yale University in 1971. Mr. Gerson currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Vice-President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Secretary of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and an International Board Member of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in addition to other civic and Jewish community positions.
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Daniel Liwerant

Bio

Daniel Liwerant is C.E.O. of the K Group. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees and the World Campaign Cabinet of Keren Hayesod. He previously served as Chair of Keren Hayesod’s World Board of Trustees and Chair of Keren Hayesod Mexico. He has been a  member of The Jewish Agency’s Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education, of the Governing Council of the Education Authority in Mexico and of the Board of Directors of the Diaspora Museum (Beit Hatfutsot).

Liwerant has been a member of The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors since 1994, and is a member of the JAFI Executive and former Chair of the Agency’s Strategic Planning Committee.

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Gary Rosenblatt

Bio

Gary Rosenblatt served as editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York for 26 years. Prior to that he was editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times for 19 years. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, he continues to write his “Between The Lines” column at garyrosenblatt.Substack.com

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Esther Dominicini

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Josh Schwarcz

Director of External Relations, The Jewish Agency for Israel
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