Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal is the CEO of the Rabbinical Assembly. Previously, he served for 20 years as founding rabbi of Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, Maryland since ordination by JTS in 1999. Jacob previously served in various lay leadership capacities within the Rabbinical Assembly, including chairman of the Joint Placement Commission, member of the Executive Council and Administrative Committee, and the Our RA Vision strategic plan working group. In recent years, Jacob has also played important roles in developing start-up projects in the DC area, such as the Montgomery County Executive’s Faith Community Working Group, the Ramah DC Day Camp, and the Jewish Millennials Engagement Project. He is a native of the Maryland suburbs of Washington, husband to Marci, father of two college students, and enjoys cycling among other hobbies.
David Bryfman is the CEO of The Jewish Education Project. After working in formal and informal Jewish educational institutions in Australia, Israel, and North America, David earned his Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU, focusing on the identity development of Jewish adolescents. David has authored several articles and presented broadly on topics ranging from the Jewish teenage experience, innovation and change in Jewish life, Israel education and more broadly about Jewish education. He is a founder of the annual Jewish Futures conference, lead researcher of the groundbreaking 2016 study, “Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teenagers Today,” and editor of “Experience and Jewish Education,” a compendium of essays written by and for Jewish experiential educators. David is an alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program and the Schusterman Fellowship. David lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Mirm and 2 children Jonah and Abby.
Lisa Budlow is the CEO of CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. As CEO, Lisa oversees the agency’s work in housing management and development, community development and aging in community, continually seeking innovative ways to strengthen northwest Baltimore. Before coming to CHAI, Lisa served as the Chief Program Officer for AJFCA, a membership organization of Jewish family service agencies throughout North America. Previously, Lisa worked in the Community Services Division of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, serving a variety of programs including Sarah’s House shelter, the Cherry Hill Town Center, Our Daily Bread Employment Center, and My Sister’s Place Women’s Center. Lisa began her career as an attorney in the mergers and acquisitions department of Miles & Stockbridge P.C. Lisa received her B.A. from Emory University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. Lisa serves on the Board of Trustees of Temple Oheb Shalom and currently is the Co-Chair of the temple’s Joint Task Force for merger exploration. Lisa lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with her husband, Paul, and their five children.
Mariam Feist is the President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. In her seven years as its SVP and Chief Development Officer, Mariam has increased the Federation’s unrestricted Annual Campaign each year hitting record breaking campaigns for the last four. Mariam came to Dallas with over 25 years’ experience in Jewish philanthropy. She began her career at the UJA-Federation of Greater New York in its Women’s Division. While at UJA, she was awarded a work-study scholarship to Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. After receiving her M.S.W., Mariam joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. During her 13-year tenure, she served as its Women’s Division Director, Campaign Director and Assistant Executive Vice President. She left the Federation to join The Shefa Fund, a national community foundation, as the Marketing and Development Director. Mariam has also held roles at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and World ORT. She and her husband, Bob reside in Far North Dallas and have two sons: Jacob, a recent graduate of, and Max a current student at the University of Missouri.
Elizabeth Fisher is the CEO of Amplifier, working to grow the movement of intentional, collaborative giving inspired by Jewish values. She envisions a world where everyone uses their resources for impact and is proud to call themselves a philanthropist. Liz comes to Amplifier from Repair the World, where she led the organization’s expansion, fundraising, communications, and operations. Liz began her career in grassroots community development with University of Missouri Extension and has worked at NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, UJA-Federation of New York, and The Jewish Education Project. She’s a Schusterman Senior Fellow and a board member of B’Shert congregation. Liz loves talking about money, meaning, and Judaism, spending time with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, NY and making regular pilgrimages to her home state of New Hampshire.
Addie Goodman is the President & CEO of JCC Chicago. Addie joined JCC Chicago in March 2014 with a solid reputation as a strategic thinker, relationship builder and successful fundraiser for Chicago’s non-profit community. She has served as Chief Advancement Officer and COO, and was appointed President & CEO in September 2018. Prior to joining JCC Chicago, Addie was Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Baker Demonstration School, where she successfully developed and trained boards, and managed all facets of fundraising and development communications. Prior to that, Addie held roles at the Youth Job Center of Evanston, YWCA Evanston/North Shore and University of Chicago. Addie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and in Japanese Language and Culture from the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana and a Master of Arts Degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. She lives in Evanston with her husband, Sam, and their four children.
Tyler Gregory is the Executive Director of A Wider Bridge, the LGBTQ organization advancing equality in and for Israel. Tyler (Tye) envisions a progressive movement in the U.S. that sees no contradiction between a love for Israel and a commitment to social justice and equality. In his capacity at AWB Tye partners with his talented team and dedicated board to advance the LGBTQ Israel movement. Previously, Tye served for three years as the Deputy Director of A Wider Bridge, managing the fundraising and programming portfolios of the organization. Before AWB, Tye spent several years working for AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), America’s pro-Israel lobby, most recently as the Deputy Political Director to the Pacific Northwest. Tye is a Schusterman Senior Fellow and was among the 2018 “36 Under 36” in the New York Jewish Week. Tye is a native of San Diego, California, and a graduate of the University of California, Davis.
Sheila Katz is the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, leading a network of 90,000 members and supporters across the U.S. who are living out their Jewish values and turning their progressive ideals into action. Sheila most recently served as Hillel International’s vice president for student engagement and leadership and was the youngest-ever VP in the organization’s history. During her 12 years at Hillel, Sheila engaged Jewish students and professionals around the world through programs including “Ask Big Questions” and MitzVote, Hillel’s non-partisan civic engagement campaign that helped 19,000 students register to vote leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. In 2014, Sheila was appointed by the White House to committees advising President Obama on higher education and women’s rights. She is a longtime advocate for equal pay and mentors young women on the issue. In addition, she is a strong voice for survivors of sexual assault and an activist fighting for inclusion for people with disabilities. Sheila is currently on the executive committee of a national coalition of over 100 Jewish organizations working to promote safety, respect, and equity in Jewish communal spaces. She holds an M.S. in teaching from Pace University and B.A. in politics from Ithaca College. She is a proud alumna of the Wexner Foundation Field Fellowship and Teach for America.
Joel Marcovitch is the CEO of JewishColumbus, a new organization combining the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Columbus, OH. A native of London England, Joel spent 10 years working at Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, The University of Michigan and The University of Georgia respectively. Joel then served as CEO of the Jewish Federation in Toledo, OH before becoming CEO of JewishColumbus. Joel has lectured around the world on building community and how to connect the next generation of Jews to Jewish institutions. Joel is enthusiastic about building community and enjoys aligning and connecting donor’s passion through their philanthropy with meeting the needs of the communities he has served in. Joel and his family reside in Bexley, OH but still is a Michigan Fan!
SooJi Min-Maranda is the Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. A national nonprofit, ALEPH brings spiritual vitality and passion into the daily lives of Jews through programs that empower leadership, build communities, and generate powerful experiences and practical resources. A seasoned nonprofit executive with 15 years of executive management experience, Min-Maranda brings a for-profit mindset to the nonprofit arena. Previously, she was the executive director of Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, MI. She also served as executive director of both the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), a statewide nonprofit policy and advocacy organization that focuses on adolescent sexual health and parenting, as well as Korean American Community Services, a comprehensive direct social service agency in Chicago. A graduate of Barnard College and a member of the Selah Leadership Program’s National Executive Cohort 9, Min-Maranda holds master’s degrees from Northwestern University and The University of Chicago.
Miryam Rosenzweig is the President and CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. She brings to this role years of community building and development experience, most recently at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit where she served as Chief Development Officer. She led the organization’s Philanthropic Advancement team, overseeing all fundraising and resource development. She began her tenure at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 2011 as the founding Director of NEXTGen Detroit, a groundbreaking initiative she helped develop from prior young adult engagement groups. With her bold and innovative approach to outreach, engagement and leadership, Miryam created a dynamic model that has influenced communities across the country in the engagement of young adult populations. Before moving to Detroit, Miryam was the Head of Development Initiatives at World ORT, and was charged with developing and managing global NEXTGen strategy. Miryam earned a BA in fine arts and psychology from Yeshiva University and an MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She lives in downtown Milwaukee with her husband, Matthew Burchi.
Halie Soifer is the Executive Director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). Halie is leading JCDA into a national movement serving as the voice of Jewish Democrats, advocating for Jewish values and mobilizing the Jewish electorate. A seasoned congressional aide, Obama administration alum, and foreign policy expert, Halie served for 16 years in various national security roles supporting Democrats in the U.S. Senate, House, and executive branch. Most recently, from January 2017 until May 2018, she served as National Security Advisor to Senator Kamala Harris (CA). Halie also served in the Obama administration as Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and in the Bush Administration, where she served as a civil servant in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Halie received her master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Middle East Studies and international economics, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan Honors College.
Neil Spears is the Executive Director of the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, a leading institution for arts, culture, and education on the east side of Los Angeles. An educator at his core, Neil taught middle school in Los Angeles Unified School District before serving as executive director of the California regions of PowerMyLearning, a national education nonprofit that enhances the learning relationships among teachers, students, and families. Neil cares deeply about justice and equity and he serves on the board of JQ International, a nonprofit that promotes community and provides services for LGBTQ+ Jews. Neil holds a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard University and a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He also maintains an active multiple subject California teaching credential. He learned how to play guitar a few years ago and now has a regular gig playing for preschoolers on Friday mornings.
Rabbi Jay Strear is the President and CEO of JEWISHColorado. He joined from American Jewish University in Los Angeles, where he served in several capacities during his 23-year career there, including Special Assistant to the President, Director of Development, Chief
Advancement Officer and Senior Vice President. In these roles Rabbi Strear worked closely with the University’s Board of Directors and Board of Regents, led solicitation of gifts including annual, capital, endowment, foundation and testamentary gifts, facilitated the merger and acquisitions of other organizations and advised the University president on strategic and political issues. In his various roles he oversaw more than $170 million in fundraising, including leading capital campaigns and building coalitions. Rabbi Strear is part of a fourth-generation Denver family and holds an MBA and Rabbinical ordination from the University of Judaism. He lives in Denver with his wife and three children.