Take a look at our team!
Dan Libenson is founder and president of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future and co-host of the popular Judaism Unbound podcast—one of the most-downloaded Jewish podcasts, with over 1.5 million downloads to date—which promotes and explores creativity and innovation in American Jewish life. In March of 2020, in response to the cancelation of in-person Jewish events due to Covid-19, Dan co-founded jewishLIVE, a platform for live-streaming meaningful and accessible Jewish content and experiences, including a weekly program called “The Oral Talmud,” which Dan co-hosts with Benay Lappe. Dan is also the translator of The Orchard, a novel about the early days of Rabbinic Judaism, by renowned Israeli novelist Yochi Brandes. He spent over a decade working with Jewish students on campus, at Harvard and at the University of Chicago, for which he received numerous awards, including Hillel’s Exemplar of Excellence Award and an AVI CHAI Fellowship
Jay Frankel is the President and Founder of True To Life Training, a company that develops interpersonal skills in both a creative and tangible way. Supported by a team of actor-facilitators, their ability to illustrate realistic answers to the challenges of working with children, teens, and adults makes their training a truly unique experience. In addition, Jay consultants with summer camps and foundations throughout North America. Organizations benefit from his expertise in sales & recruitment, transition planning, leadership development, and performance evaluation. As a Senior Consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Jay has launched 15 ground-breaking new camps with the Specialty Camps Incubator. He also consultants with numerous institutional strengthening programs for UJA Federation of NY, Rose Community Foundation, Jewish Education Project and the FJC. Jay feels very fortunate to participate in mission-minded and outcomes driven work in the youth services and camp community.
Pamela Schuller is the Director of HereNow, a Jewish teen mental health initiative through the Jewish Board. She holds a BA in Psychology and Youth Outreach Through the Arts from Knox College, an MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, where she focused her studies on creating improvisational theater programs as a tool for youth with disabilities to improve self-advocacy skills and a post Masters Certificate from MIT in Leadership in the Digital Age. Named one of the "36 under 36" who are changing the face of the Jewish community by The Jewish Week, Schuller is known for using storytelling, laughter and improvisational theater to inspire communities to a new understanding of inclusion and mental health.
Dr. Betsy Stone is a retired psychologist who currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer at HUC-JIR. Her classes include Human Development for Educators, The Spiritual Life-Cycle, Adolescent Development and Teens In and Out of Crisis. She also teaches a parent-child class in her synagogue, Temple Sinai of Stamford, which is a monthly, text-based for 6th and 7th graders and their parents. Betsy also teaches webinars and seminars on topics ranging from a series of national webinars on “13 Reasons Why” to adolescent spirituality to Gen-Xers as parents and teen brains and stress. She is an engaging speaker whose passion for the lives of teens and their parents has brought her invitations to teach all over the United States.
Dr. Noam Weissman is the Senior Vice President at OpenDor Media, where he spearheads the educational vision and leads the content of the organization, including hosting the "Unpacking Israeli History" podcast. He is also the Founder and Director of LaHaV, a spiraled curriculum and pedagogically advanced approach to Jewish education that enables teachers to collaborate across different disciplines and empowers students to find meaning in their Jewish learning. Noam has been in education for over a decade and served as principal of Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. Noam graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yeshiva University with a degree in history and received a Master's degree in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School, where he was a Legacy Heritage Fellow. Most recently, Noam earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Southern California, with a focus on curriculum design. His dissertation, entitled "Approaching Israel Education," argues for a new vision in learning about the modern State of Israel, focusing on Zionist identity development, narrative formation, and the ability to have a mature and loving relationship with Israel without sacrificing empathy. Noam has also applied to many fellowships and jobs, and has been rejected from several of them. He is married to Raisie Erreich and they are the proud parents of three incredible children, Eyal, Liana, and Nissa.
Lulu Belferder serves as Temple Sinai’s Director of Youth Engagement. Lulu has been part of the team at Temple Sinai since 2012. Among her many roles, she has helped to coordinate the Chazak program for two years, taught Religious School classes, assisted with the 6th Grade Holocaust class, and chaperoned countless teen trips. Lulu has directed Sinai’s Hand in Hand program since its inception in 2014, and she couldn't be more proud of the teens involved. She is a Birthright Fellow and has led a dozen trips to Israel for young adults. Through the URJ’s Youth Professional 101 track, Lulu served as a mentor to new Youth Professionals in the field for three years. Lulu oversees all of Temple Sinai's Teen Programs and Youth Activities. Lulu is currently working on her executive masters in Jewish Educational Leadership, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Lulu is very passionate about providing the space that our youth deserves, developing their Jewish identity and helping them find their own voice, while creating community and connection.
Dina Newman is the Associate Director of Youth & Teen Engagement at Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side. She is passionate about the intersection of contemporary popular culture, Judaism and the foundations of Jewishness. Dina holds a Master’s in Modern Jewish Studies from The Jewish Theological Seminary as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies from The George Washington University. She is particularly passionate about contemporary Jewish identity and how Generation Z is engaging in and developing their own unique understanding of what it means to be Jewish. In her five years at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Dina has worked to expand upon a strategy of multiple avenues of engagement to create a meaningful transitional experience for students moving through middle school and high school.
Andrew Paull has worked in the field of Jewish teen engagement for over a decade. Since 2017, he has served as the Director of Teen Engagement at Temple Shaaray Tefila, a large Reform synagogue in Manhattan. He recently earned his M.A. in Youth Studies from the City University of New York and previously earned a Certificate in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR. Andrew was the 2017 recipient of the Young Pioneer Award for his work as the Senior Regional Director of BBYO Manhattan Region.
Avi Siegel has served as director. teacher, counselor, guide, and mentor for over a decade to teenagers and young adults. He has created a sanctuary program that bridges SESL education and action based Judaism. Avi’s model of relational Judaism focuses on creating spaces that transform content learning into personal growth and discovery.