Meeting the Moment: Israel + Jewish Peoplehood Education in a Time of War
Thank you for attending Meeting the Moment: Israel + Jewish Peoplehood Education in a Time of War. Resources from our speakers will be available on this page soon.
Recognizing the monumental challenges facing Jewish learners today - the war between Israel and Hamas, the dramatic uptick in antisemitism worldwide, and the anxiety that accompanies all of it - The Jewish Education Project, M²: The Institute for Jewish Experiential Education, RootOne, and The iCenter are presenting this summit on Israel + Jewish Peoplehood Education to focus on these pressing challenges.
Educators who work with teens/tweens across settings are invited to join us as we delve into tips for helping our learners fight antisemitism, talking about Israel with diverse audiences, and gaining content knowledge + skills in facilitation, youth mental health, Israel, and more. This will be an immersive opportunity to learn, network, and grow.
Please be in contact with Tova Perlow at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Dates, Times, and Location - New York, NY
- Monday, December 4th, 9:30am - 4:30pm, The Conference Center, 130 E 59th St
- Tuesday, December 5th, 9:30am - 3:00pm, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W 83rd St
plenary Speaker: Dr. MIJAL bitton - Jewish Peoplehood: Pride, Pain, and Potential
All food served at the event will be certified kosher.
A list of suggested hotels for the summit can be found here.
speakers, facilitators, and presenters
Mollie is the Senior Program Director of Fellowships at M²: The Institute for Jewish Experiential Education. She has over 10 years of experience teaching in a variety of Jewish educational settings – from formal classroom teaching to nature education, from theatre education to collaborative philanthropy education. Mollie enjoys being in the field as well as building programs and trainings to support others. She holds a double Master's in Midrash and Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, a BA in Religion from Bard College and is a graduate of M²’s Senior Educators Cohort. Mollie lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and children.
May Brown is an Israeli RootOne and The Jewish Agency for Israel Shlicha (emissary) sponsored by the Samis foundation. May was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, but spent the last 5 years living in the Sderot area. May went to college there, and after she completed her degree in social work, she returned to that college to be a Hillel Director for another 2 years. As a result, she knows many people from that area that have been affected by the catastrophe. In a professional capacity, May’s background is in experiential Jewish education, and she has spent the past seven years honing her skills and expertise in this field. During this time, she had the privilege of working with incredible organizations such as Masa, Onward, Ramah and the URJ and different Jewish communities worldwide, such as North America, England, Australia, India, and China.
Lior started her current role as a shlicha in August 2023. Prior to moving to Atlanta with her husband Ofer, she was the head of a mechina (Gap Year program) program in the Upper Galilee for a year. After serving as a commander in the search and rescue unit of the IDF, Lior studied special needs education at Tel Chai College.
Rebekkah Gold is a passionate educator with over ten years of experience in the fields of Jewish and Israel education. As the Director of Israel Education with RootOne at The Jewish Education Project, Bekkah focuses on creating RootOne's Israel education strategy for teens participating in immersive summer Israel experiences, working closely with stakeholders from the US and Israel. She is dedicated to creating dynamic learning environments that allow teens and the professionals with whom they work to explore their identities, Jewish connections, and relationships with Israel.
Clare Goldwater is the Chief Strategy Officer at M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. She is a Jewish educator and leadership coach with expertise in professional and organizational development and experiential education. Working in close partnership with a wide range of organizations, Clare oversees the development, dissemination of M²’s approach and ideas about experiential Jewish education, through consulting projects to Jewish organizations, publications, curricula materials, and more. Clare has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University, and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. She also holds passports from those three countries and lives in Jerusalem with her family.
Sarah Gordon is the Senior Director of Israel Education – AMER for Unpacked for Educators, a division of OpenDor Media. Previously, Sarah served as the Director of Israel Guidance and Experiential Education at Ma’ayanot High School, where she taught Talmud, chaired a course on Contemporary Israel, and brought her vision and creativity to a wide range of school programs. Sarah holds dual masters degrees in Jewish Education and Modern Jewish History from Yeshiva University, where she is currently pursuing her Ed.D as a Wexner Fellow and Davidson Scholar.
Shira is the Education Director, Values in Action at M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. She is an educational entrepreneur, attorney, and writer. Shira brings with her over fifteen years of experience teaching Jewish Studies and designing interdisciplinary curricula in the classroom and immersive learning environments. Prior to her career in Jewish education she practiced corporate law at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. She is the author, together with Hanoch Piven, of Dream Big, Laugh Often: And More Great Advice from the Bible (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2023). Her written work appears in both scholarly and popular publications and she lectures widely on topics of creativity, family life and Jewish texts. She holds a JD from Cardozo School of Law, and is a graduate of the Advanced Talmud program at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She is an avid tennis fan and loves exploring the world with her partner and their four children. Shira is a graduate of SEC 2.
Erica Hruby is a Jewish educator with over 28-years of teaching, curriculum writing, and professional development experience in Jewish community, academic, and residential environments. Erica serves as the Senior Manager of National Teen Education and Engagement at The Jewish Education Project, formerly the Executive Director of JTEEN - Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Network. She is also the founder of Anchored Parenting, LLC where she serves as an educator and coach for tw/eens, parents, and grandparents. Erica has an M.A. from Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Clinical Psychology with a focus on children and adolescents. She lives in Clearwater, Florida with her high school sweetheart with whom she shares two daughters.
Shuli Karkowsky is Chief Executive Officer at Moving Traditions. Shuli has extensive experience in non-profit management, including at legacy institutions like UJA-Federation of New York and innovative start-ups like 70 Faces Media and Hazon (now Adamah). She joined the nonprofit world after litigating at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Shuli graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland and from Harvard Law School. She lives in Westchester with her husband and three children, marveling constantly at the luck of getting to cohabitate with her four favorite people in the world.
Mikhael Reuven Kesher
Mikhael Reuven Kesher is a curator of educational experiences and resources, whose professional passion is supporting Jewish educators and learners in building informed, constructive, and committed relationships with am yisrael (the Jewish people) and medinat yisrael (the Jewish state). As a British-born Israeli-by-choice and American-in-the-making, he cares deeply about strengthening each Jew’s connection to global Jewry. Before joining The Jewish Education Project as Director, Israel Education, Mikhael worked at Harvard Hillel, MIT Hillel, and Hebrew College. He holds Master’s degrees in Philosophy (University of Cambridge), Near Eastern & Judaic Studies (Brandeis University), and Jewish professional leadership (Brandeis University). At home, Mikhael is an avid reader, ḥevruta enthusiast, and devoted abba to two young children.
Kiva has worked extensively in Jewish summer camps, day schools, teen programs and service-learning initiatives. Since 2010, he has been training educators in various roles in experiential Jewish education. As Chief Program Officer at M²: The Institute for Jewish Experiential Education, Kiva brings a creative lens to develop and deliver engaging experiences and dynamic resources to educators across the field. And as Deputy CEO, he offers a systems approach to ensure that M² as an organization is thriving. Kiva holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management, and an undergraduate degree in Education and Archeology. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, and their three children.
Nadav Shachmon is the director of Israel Partnerships for RootOne, an innovative, dynamic initiative that is proactively inspiring a generation of teens to be more confident and proud Jews. Nadav oversees and cultivates strategic partnerships with official Israeli governmental ministries, NGOs, and Israeli tour operators, fostering collaboration and leveraging resources. In his previous position, Nadav was the senior Jewish Agency Shaliach (emissary) for Westchester, New York, where he developed and implemented Israel engagement strategy with 50 community partners and oversaw the local delegation. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Nadav served as an officer in the IDF medical corps. Before his arrival in the US, Nadav was the national director of the youth department of the Israeli Reform movement. Nadav holds a BA in Psychology from Tel Aviv Academic College and an MBA with a specialty in psychology from the College of Management Academic Studies. Nadav is married to his husband, Aylee, and lives in Connecticut with their two children, Aviv and Tal.
Michael Soberman is a Senior Educational Consultant with The iCenter. Prior to that, Michael was the Vice President of Canada Israel Experience and Next Generation Initiatives at the Jewish Federations of Canada–UIA. In that role, Michael maximized the number of Canadian teenagers and young adults traveling to Israel on programs such as Birthright Israel, the March of the Living and high school/youth movement programs. Michael has been invited to speak all over the world on topics of the Israel experience, Birthright Israel, Israel and experiential education. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University, a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and an Executive Master’s of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Michael is married to Rebecca, and they have a daughter named Jordyn and son named Joshua. In his spare time, Michael is studying Shotokan Karate and working towards earning his Black Belt. Stay tuned for updates.
Dr. Betsy Stone
Dr. Betsy Stone received her Doctorate in Psychology from Yale University. She is a psychologist and for the last seventeen years has served as an adjunct lecturer at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Her classes include Human Development for Educators, Adolescent Development and Teens In and Out of Crisis. She also teaches a family education class in her synagogue, Temple Sinai of Stamford, for 6th and 7th graders and their parents, and likes to travel and teach about teenagers and their families. Betsy’s book, Happily Ever After, was published by Random House.
Dan Tatar has dedicated over 25 years to experiential Israel education, from facilitating teen travel to Israel to his work as the Director of Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at The iCenter. Dan’s extensive background in the field is rooted in his own transformative teen Israel experience led by his then-teacher, Anne Lanski. With a Master’s degree in Israel Education from The George Washington University and an Executive MA in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Dan also holds a certification in Innovative Strategies from Systematic Inventive Thinking. As a former stage and television actor with a fascination for educational technology, he offers a unique perspective on Israel education.
Shuki is the founder and CEO of M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education. Previously, Shuki served as director of Service Learning and Experiential Education at Yeshiva University, where he founded the Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education and a range of programs mobilizing college students to serve underprivileged communities worldwide. Shuki has lived in Israel, New York, and South Africa. A Schusterman Fellow, Shuki studied Jewish philosophy, education, and scriptwriting and currently lives in Jerusalem with his wife and their four children.
Amir Tibon, an award-winning Israeli journalist, is the diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz Newspaper, and a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. His family survived the October 7 Hamas attack on their community. Amir will share his personal experience from that day and provide an outlook on the diplomatic efforts to create a new reality in Gaza after the war.
Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath
Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath, Ed.D., is the Senior Director of Knowledge, Ideas and Learning at The Jewish Education Project. A lifelong Jewish educator and learner, Samantha has lived and worked in Jewish communities in Israel, Washington DC, Cleveland, and New York. Samantha is a recognized expert on Israel education, Jewish teens, antisemitism education, and Jewish peoplehood. She is the author of #antisemitism: Coming of Age During the Resurgence of Hate, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the category of Education and Jewish Identity. She is an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Gratz College. Samantha lives in Westchester with her husband, baby, and two beloved rescue dogs.
Rabbi Josh Weinberg
Rabbi Josh Weinberg serves as the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. He was ordained from the HUC-JIR Israeli Rabbinic Program in Jerusalem, and is currently living in New York. Josh previously served as the Director of the Israel program for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and as a faculty member of NFTY-EIE High School in Israel teaching Jewish History. Josh is a reserve officer in the IDF spokesperson’s unit, has hiked the Israel-trail, and came on Aliyah to Israel in 2003. Originally from Chicago, he has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin in Hebrew Literature, Political Science and International Relations, and an M.A. at the Hebrew University in Jewish Education.
Amanda Winer is the Director of Research and Evaluation at The Jewish Education Project and RootOne, LLC. She is a social psychologist and applied statistician; her research interests are in individuals' sense of self and navigating behavior-based communities. Her dissertation, "Why am I not More Comfortable?" details the complicated impacts of identity-based education among Jewish millennials' professional and personal choices, and she has led research projects at New York University, George Washington University, and consulted to dozens of educational institutions. Amanda's other passion is teaching and she spent the five years prior to this role at The Jewish Education Project/RootOne teaching courses at NYU that demystify research by abating statistical coding and mathematical-related anxieties.
Yotam Wolk is the Jewish Agency Shaliach (emissary) to Chicago, with RootOne & The iCenter for Israel Education. Yotam grew up in Haifa, Israel, as the youngest of three. Upon concluding 3.5 years military service in the anti-aircraft corp as a sergeant major, Yotam spent several summers working in Jewish summer camp, as well as training other Israelis to become summer camp staff through the Jewish Agency. Yotam also served as the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to Yale University. Yotam holds a BA in International Affairs and Communications from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and an MA in Israel Education from George Washington University. Yotam currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Nitsan.
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- Congregational Learning
- Day Schools and Yeshivas
- Teen Engagement