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About Us

Our Offices & Staff

The Wexner Foundation Offices & Staff

The Wexner Foundation
8000 Walton Parkway, Suite 110
New Albany, Ohio 43054
Map

614 939-6060

Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson

President

eabrahamson@wexner.net

Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson is President of The Wexner Foundation. She oversees the Foundation's full range of activities and, in partnership with Foundation chairmen Abigail and Leslie Wexner, imagines how the Foundation might further strengthen and educate Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America and public service leaders in the State of Israel. Rabbi Abrahamson has been associated with the Foundation for many years. For close to a decade she served as a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship's faculty and selection committee. She was the Director of the Graduate Fellowship Program and Vice President prior to assuming her current role in 2011.

A proud member of the Frozen Chosen, Elka, a native Minnesotan, earned her teaching degree from the University of Minnesota and spent the early years of her career creating curricula for Religious Schools and Informal educational settings, particularly Jewish camps. Her Jewish soul sprang to life at Camp Herzl in Wisconsin and her Jewish leadership blossomed at Camp Swig in Northern California. She is still a camper at heart. Ordained at HUC-JIR, New York, Elka began her career as associate rabbi at Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo, CA. and then, with her husband, Rabbi Martin (Misha) Zinkow, served as co-senior rabbi at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, MN.

Rabbi Abrahamson, a dynamic speaker and an engaging teacher, is optimistic about the Jewish future owing to the remarkable leaders she encounters in her rabbinate, many of them Wexner Alumni. She has served as High Holiday Rabbi-in-Residence at Chicago Sinai Congregation for a decade and has been a scholar, advisor, or keynote speaker in a wide variety of settings including the American Jewish World Service, Women's Rabbinic Network, Hadar, the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Columbus Jewish Day School, Pew Study, and The Conversation. She has taken up Mussar in the last few years as both a student and teacher. Elka loves a good football game, especially if the Vikings (or Buckeyes) are winning.

Rabbi Abrahamson has been published in magazines, books and journals including Moment, Shma, Jewels of Elul, and the CCAR Journal. She received the Bernard Reisman Award as an outstanding member of the professional Jewish community. Newsweek thinks she is one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Elka and Misha - senior rabbi of Temple Israel, Columbus since 2004 - are Ima and Abba to four twenty-somethings millennials.

Education Team

Rabbi Benjamin Berger

Program Director

bberger@wexner.net

Rabbi Benjamin Berger is a Program Director at The Wexner Foundation. He oversees the day to day activities of the Wexner Heritage Program including seminars, selection and summer Institutes. He most recently worked alongside Rabbi Larry Hoffman in the development, curation and editing of The Wexner Foundation’s new leadership volume, More Than Managing: The Relentless Pursuit of Effective Jewish Leadership. Alongside colleague, Ruthie Warshenbrot, Ben developed and led the first four cohorts of the Wexner Service Corps, a service-learning initiative for Columbus area Jewish high school students.

Ben comes to The Wexner Foundation after a number of years at The Ohio State University Hillel Foundation, where he was Senior Jewish Educator. While there, he helped shift the culture of the Hillel to one where Jewish learning and Jewish conversation were central expectations of programming and integrated into the fabric of the institution. He developed a unique methodology of Jewish Conversation and was highly involved in training colleagues across the country to utilize this methodology in other Hillels. Teaching regularly in a variety of settings and topics relevant to the lives of emerging adults, Ben became a popular teacher, mentor and counselor to hundreds of students. He was awarded the first inaugural Larry S. Moses Award for a Young Jewish Professional in Columbus. In recognition of its transformation during his time, OSU Hillel received Hillel’s 2012 Vision and Values Award, Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Meaningful Jewish Experience.

To the surprise of many, Ben was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended University of California at Santa Cruz (yes, the Banana Slugs!). And to the dismay of many in Buckeye country, he previously worked at University of Michigan Hillel as Berman Fellow and Program Director.

Ben studied for the rabbinate at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and was ordained in 2009. While studying for the rabbinate, Ben worked closely with Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg as the coordinator of Limdu Heitev: The Religious Leadership Initiative to support the proliferation of Rabbi Greenberg’s thought among modern orthodox rabbinic and educational leadership. Ben was a member of Hillel’s Accelerate executive training cohort, the second cohort of CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders, and the inaugural Shalom Hartman Institute’s Campus Fellowship.

Ben is married to native Detroiter Rachel Weiss-Berger and together they are the parents of four daughters, Tovah, Avital, Eliana and Nili.

Rabbi Michael Emerson

Associate Program Director

memerson@wexner.net

Michael, a Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholar alumnus, has relocated to the Foundation’s New Albany central office following four years of teaching Bible at SAR High School, an Orthodox day school in Riverdale, NY. Michael has previously taught at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in its summer program for high school girls, served as a consultant for the iCenter, focusing his work on improving Israel education in America, and was a research assistant for Dr. Eran Tamir of Brandeis University, analyzing the working conditions and induction practices of new teachers in urban public, Catholic and Jewish day schools. Michael also spent six summers at Camp Stone, a Modern Orthodox summer camp. He has served as a core faculty member of the Wexner Service Corps since its inception in 2013.

Raised in Memphis, TN, Michael graduated from Columbia University in 2009 and is a doctoral student in NYU's Education and Jewish Studies program. He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 2014. Michael is married to Adina Bitton, who will be completing her PhD in July in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology. Michael and Adina have two young daughters.

Or Mars

Vice President

omars@wexner.net

Or Mars is Vice President of The Wexner Foundation. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Los Angeles, Or has worked in many different Jewish organizations (the JCCs of Los Angeles, the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Jewish Family Services and the JCC of Manhattan) and has studied at various Jewish organizations (Hebrew University, the Pardes Institute, the Hartman Institute, The Jewish Theological Seminary).

He also served as a volunteer leader in the Columbus Jewish Community as the Board Member for the Columbus Jewish Day School, as a founder and organizer of Minyan Nedava, and as a member of several committees of the Columbus Jewish Federation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center of Columbus. In 2014 Or founded the Jewish Meditation Project of Columbus (www.jewishmeditationcolumbus.org). He and his son Adi (a Wexner Service Corps alumnus) served as big brothers for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Ohio.

Or holds an MSW in Planning and Community Organizing from the University of Southern California and an MA in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. Or is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program and the Jerusalem Fellows.

Or has served in his current position since January 2016. From 2006-2016 he served as the Director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program at the Foundation. From 2000-2006 he served as the Executive Director of North Carolina Hillel during which time he helped students and the North Carolina Jewish community create awesome Jewish life on campus. In 2004 he was awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award – a top honor in the Hillel profession. Before that he ran Jewish Education programs for adults at the JCC of Manhattan and director SOVA Kosher Food Pantry in Los Angeles.

Or lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Rabbi Sharon Mars, and their three children - Adi, Tova and Tal.

Or can be reached by email at omars@wexner.net and (614) 939 6060 .


Rabbi Jay Henry Moses

Vice President

jmoses@wexner.net

Rabbi Jay Henry Moses is Vice President of The Wexner Foundation, having served for many years as Director of the Wexner Heritage Program, North America’s premier Jewish leadership education program. He joined the staff of The Wexner Foundation in 2003.

Rabbi Moses got his start in Jewish leadership through NFTY, Reform Judaism’s youth movement. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English literature, magna cum laude. Having recently relocated to the territory of archrival Ohio State, he still bleeds maize and blue but is keeping quiet about it.

Rabbi Moses pursued rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was awarded a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Ordained in 1997, Rabbi Moses served for five years as Associate Rabbi at Temple Sholom of Chicago. From 2002 to 2003, Rabbi Moses studied Jewish mysticism in Jerusalem where he also taught and mentored rabbinical students at HUC-JIR. He has participated in the Rabbinic Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, an intensive study, meditation and retreat program.

Rabbi Moses sits on the board of the Columbus Jewish Day School. He is also on the board of Kavod, a non-profit tzedakah collective and is a member of the B’nai Ya’acov Council of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

Rabbi Moses has had essays published in fourbooks in the series on High Holiday prayers published by Jewish Lights Publications, as well as in many newspapers and magazines.

He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Cantor Bat-Ami Moses, who serves as the Hazzan at Temple Israel, and their sons, Caleb and Ezekiel. An avid basketball player, he has lost a step taking it to the hole but makes up for it with decent (if streaky) shooting and the craftiness that comes with advancing age.

Adam Reiss

Coordinator, Communications and Social Network

areiss@wexner.net

Adam Reiss falls into the class of one of America’s multi-talented visual design artists. Recognized as a creative and practical problem-solver and as an enthusiastic, resourceful professional, Adam projects a unique ability to adapt quickly to challenges and changing environments. After receiving a Masters of Arts in Visual Communications from The Ohio State University, Adam focused on “raising the bar” to create new digital media for his craft and, more importantly, his clients.

Along with Adam’s natural interpersonal and communication abilities, he is also very adept at working with a variety of personality types to help them reach their peak performances.

In providing a solution-driven leadership style, Adam has created a strong track record of building and mobilizing highly effective marketing solutions.

Beyond the latest technology, gear and know-how, the most remarkable of Adam’s gifts as a director is his ability to tell a story, capture the essence of the message and, finally, to present it in a visually compelling manner.

Using his many talents, Mr. Reiss has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, national clients and campaigns including Abbott Laboratories, The Alzheimer’s Association, Goodwill, James. E. Arnold and Associates, McGraw Hill, The Ohio State University, ZingAnything and more. Adam also has an extensive background working with Jewish agencies in his home community including the Jewish Federation of Columbus, the Columbus Jewish Foundation, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Community Center of Columbus, The Ohio State University Hillel to name a few.

As a passion and creative outlet, Adam runs Spyroll Studios, a full service, high-end, Ultra-HD video production house, specializing in cutting-edge videos and motion graphics.

Adam and his amazing wife, Shara, are the parents to three incredible children, all under the age of 8. Along with his passion for Judaism, the arts, his home state of Ohio (hometown of Akron) and his family, Adam also loves basketball. Go Cavs!

Ruthie Warshenbrot

Program Director

rwarshenbrot@wexner.net

Ruthie Warshenbrot is a Program Director at The Wexner Foundation. She is leading the development and implementation of new initiatives for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program including the Wexner Field Fellows program (in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation), alumni engagement, and advising on Foundation-wide initiatives.

Ruthie grew up in Charlotte, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Jewish Studies. She received her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and her MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies through the NYU Wagner/Skirball dual degree program as a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar and a Lisa Goldberg Fellow in Jewish Professional Leadership.

While at NYU, Ruthie worked as a Jewish Service-Learning Manager at Repair the World and as a Program Leader for Bend the Arc’s Jewish service-learning trips. She also participated in a Jewish service-learning delegation to Senegal with American Jewish World Service. She is currently working with a group of NYU alumni on the first ever Jewish Communal Professional Compensation Survey. Prior to graduate school, Ruthie worked for Limmud NY for five years, with the final two as the organization’s Executive Director. She is the recipient of the 2009 Jewish Communal Service Association’s Young Professional Award.

Stefanie Zelkind

Director, Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program

szelkind@wexner.net

Stefanie Zelkind is the Director of The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars program.

Stefanie graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Judaic Studies. Upon graduation, she attended the WUJS Institute in Arad, Israel and interned through the New Israel Fund. Stefanie made Aliyah and served as Program Manager at EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East and later as Director of International Affairs at Adam Teva V’Din: The Israel Union for Environmental Defense. Upon her eventual return to the States, Stefanie joined the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) as National Field Director, bridging her interests in environmental awareness and education with Jewish engagement and activism.

In 2003, Stefanie completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and her MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies through the NYU Wagner/Skirball dual degree program as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

From 2006 to 2016, Stefanie served as the Founding Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN), a project of the Jewish Funders Network, engaging thousands of Jewish teens in hands-on philanthropic giving.

Stefanie joined the staff of The Wexner Foundation in 2016, making the big move from Brooklyn to Columbus, where she now enjoys the open space (but misses the subway) with her husband, Josh Feinberg, and son, Ari.

Administrative Team

Rachel Sosin

Chief of Staff

rsosin@wexner.net

Rachel grew up in rural Virginia and began connecting with her Judaism while in college at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Following her passion for tikkun olam and social justice, Rachel spent several years working on political campaigns on the East Coast and in Ohio. In 2015, she helped launch a start-up focused on improving energy efficiency and lowering utility costs for low and middle-income Ohioans, driving the establishment of processes to build a scalable organizational structure. In her free time, Rachel enjoys travel, the arts, and clean cooking. A quick way to her heart is sharing robot or cat memes with her.

Dara Katzner

Administrative Associate

Dara Katzner joined the Foundation’s staff in December 2016 as an Administrative Associate. Dara graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. A life-long Ohio girl, Dara was born and raised in Cleveland and moved to Columbus in 2011 when she began at OSU. She soon fell in love with the city and wants to help do her part to improve her community. She has been actively involved with OSU Hillel as well as at synagogue.

Liz Meyers

Senior Administrator

lmeyers@wexner.net

Liz Meyers - A member of the Foundation’s staff since November 1998, Liz was named a Senior Administrator in October 2011. Prior to assuming her new position she served as the Assistant to the President, Larry Moses, who is now Senior Philanthropic Advisor and President Emeritus. She will continue to work closely with Mr. Moses , and on more general Foundation projects as well. Prior to coming to the Foundation, Liz served as the Administrator at a Central Ohio synagogue, and earlier as Assistant Director at a Jewish preschool in Denver, Colorado.

Linda Smith

Senior Administrator

lsmith@wexner.net

Linda Smith joined the Foundation staff in May, 2003 as the Assistant to the Director of the Graduate Fellowship Program. Linda has extensive experience in the Columbus Jewish community having worked at both Jewish Day Schools for a number of years.

Jaclyn Szaruga

Administrative Associate

jszaruga@wexner.net

Jaclyn Szaruga is an Administrative Associate, primarily involved in working with the Wexner Heritage Program. She joined the staff of the Foundation in August, 2012 after graduating from The Ohio State University with degrees in English and Film Studies. Jaclyn has been actively involved with OSU Young Alumni Academy, OSU Hillel, Growing Jewish Columbus, and ATID Columbus at the Jewish Federation.

Melinda Secrest Whittington

Director of Budget and Finance

msecrestwhittington@wexner.net

Melinda Secrest Whittington joined the Foundation staff in October, 2000 as the Coordinator of Financial and Computer Systems. Prior to that she was an Accounting Manager for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts. Melinda received a B.S. degree in Business Administration, with a major in accounting, from The Ohio State University.

Presidents Emeriti

Larry Moses

Senior Philanthropic Advisor and President Emeritus

lmoses@wexner.net

In his 29th year of service to The Wexner Foundation, and after thirteen years as its President, Larry Moses serves as the Foundation’s Senior Philanthropic Advisor. He was the Founding Director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program in 1987, and later Foundation Vice President. As Leslie and Abigail Wexner's senior advisor, he plays a key role in organizing the family’s philanthropic activities, and works closely with Jewish philanthropists and public leaders in Central Ohio, throughout North America and across the globe.

Mr. Moses sits on numerous international, national and regional boards, civic and Jewish. His published articles and frequent keynote presentations, often centering on the challenges of leadership in modern Jewish life, have been widely circulated. He has been the recipient of many professional awards.

Prior to joining the professional staff of The Wexner Foundation, he served as the International Director of Hillel (1984-1987) in Washington, DC. From 1980-1984, he was the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in San Francisco. He began his career as the Hillel Director at San Francisco State University, where he also served as an instructor in the History Department (1975-1980).

Mr. Moses’ scholarly interests rest largely in the arena of Holocaust studies. His mother was a survivor of Auschwitz, and Mr. Moses has taught extensively on various historical, theological and human dimensions of the Holocaust. He has also taught university-level courses on Jewish mysticism, modern Jewish history, Jewish medical ethics and medieval Jewish-Church relations.

Mr. Moses received a BA in philosophy from Indiana University, an MA in modern Jewish history from the Baltimore Hebrew University, and an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning. He also studied and taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In May 2006, Mr. Moses was the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Baltimore Hebrew University. He has received a variety of community and organizational awards and distinctions and serves on a number of boards and advisory committees, including as an officer of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Funders Network, as a Board and Executive Committee member of Hillel International and as a member of the External Advisory Committee for the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.

Mr. Moses is married to Dr. Susan Steinman, who is a psychotherapist, researcher and author. They are the parents of Alana Moses (Brandeis ’08), who is a PhD in clinical psychology and is currently doing post-doctoral work in New York, and Danielle Moses (Bard College ’12), who is in her second year of the MSW program at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University.

Rabbi Maurice S. Corson

President Emeritus

Since 1998 Rabbi Maurice S. Corson has been President Emeritus of The Wexner Foundation. A native Philadelphian, Rabbi Corson received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Cincinnati. After a year of study in Israel at Yeshivat Keren B'Yavne he studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received a M.H.L. and was ordained in 1960. Following ordination he was a Chaplain in the United States Army. He served as the Rabbi of Herzl Conservative Congregation in Seattle, Washington, Beth Judah Congregation in Ventnor, New Jersey and as the Senior Rabbi of Chizuk Emuna Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland. He became Director of Inter-religious and International Programs of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia during the 1970's, responsible for widely acclaimed programs on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Rabbi Corson has been Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies at Seattle Pacific College, Trinity Luther Seminary and Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Prior to becoming the Founding President of the Wexner Foundation, he was Director of Development for B'nai Brith International.

Rabbi Corson was responsible for creating the initial programs of The Wexner Foundation including, the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program, the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program and an Institutional Grants Program.

He currently serves as President of the National Jewish Book Council, which annually sponsors Jewish Book Month, the National Jewish Book Awards and coordinates Jewish Book Fairs in more than 100 communities throughout the US and Canada. He has served on the Executive Committee of the National Hillel Center, and the American Pardes Foundation and is a member of the Board of the Koppelman Institute on American Jewish Israel Relations of the American Jewish Committee.

Rabbi Corson and his wife, Ruth reside in New York City and Otis, MA. They are the parents of two daughters, Rishona and Aliza and currently grandparents of one granddaughter Maia Hanna.

Rabbi Nathan Laufer

President Emeritus

Rabbi Nathan Laufer joined the Wexner Heritage Foundation in 1986, soon after its creation, and served as Director of Programs and Vice President before becoming President and CEO in 1994. Prior to his arrival at the Foundation, he was Director of East Coast Educational Programs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Director of Legal Affairs for the Coalition to Free Soviet Jews. Laufer, who is a graduate of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and the Fordham University School of Law, teaches and lectures across the country regarding issues of leadership, Jewish identity, day school education and the future of Judaism and North American Jewry.

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman

z"l, of blessed memory

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, (1918- 2008) served as the executive chairman of the national United Jewish Appeal for more than 20 years, and co-founded the Wexner Heritage Foundation in 1985 with Leslie Wexner, chairman of Limited Brands. Rabbi Friedman served as the Foundation's president for a decade. He was an eminent authority on Jewish overseas needs and on Israel's birth, growth and development. His contributions to Jewish life were numerous, and ranged from actively participating in the Haganah and its Aliyah Bet mission to creating the Israel Education Fund.

Rabbi Friedman was passionate, courageous and determined. He put adult Jewish learning on the Jewish map once and for all, and because of Herb we will forever couple Jewish learning and Jewish leadership.

The Wexner Foundation
60 East 42nd Street, Suite 1700
New York, New York 10165
Map

212 355-6115

Education Team

Cindy Chazan

Senior Advisor

cchazan@wexner.net

Cindy Chazan is the Senior Advisor for The Wexner Foundation. In this capacity, she facilitates collaborations among the Wexner Leadership constituencies in North America and in Israel, develops Partnership Communities for the Wexner Heritage Program and engages Jewish communities in greater leadership development activities. Cindy is based in the New York office of the Foundation. Prior to coming to the Foundation, she was the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. Before that, she was Special Projects Associate for the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America (then the Jewish Welfare Board) where she staffed the Mandel Commission on Maximizing Jewish Educational Effectiveness of JCC's. Ms. Chazan was the Director of the Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto and the Associate Director of The Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. She holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies from McGill University and an M.A. in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University.

Ms. Chazan is a founding Board Member of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community and is on the Board of the Jewish Funders Network. She is the recipient of The Louis Kraft award for Professional Leadership awarded by the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America; the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program; and the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals of North America.

She is married to Jay Leipzig who is Sr. Philanthropic Advisor of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. They are the parents of Deborah and Eric.

Angie Atkins

Director, Wexner Heritage Alumni

aatkins@wexner.net

Angie Atkins is the Director of Wexner Heritage Alumni. Previously, Angie founded, ran (and then sold) an international jewelry business which manufactured in Israel and wholesaled fine designer jewelry around the world for 22 years. Working with Israeli artists and “bootstrap entrepreneurs” exposed Angie to a very zesty, secular, “left” intellectual part of Israeli society. From her warehouse in NJ, she listened to Galgalatz and skyped with her suppliers all day, and travelled to Israel often. Upon graduating from the Wexner Heritage Program (MetroWest 08), Angie was moved to devote more of her life to giving back to the Jewish world. She joined the Wexner Foundation staff in 2010 as Director, Wexner Heritage Alumni, to help galvanize the already tremendous work of their alumni. Angie has built up platforms, venues, and opportunities for our 1800 alumni to network and cross pollinate (both online and in person), to continue their high level Jewish and leadership learning, and to invigorate their dedication to the far reaching communal work in which they already engage. Angie’s personal/lay involvement in the Jewish world centers on learning and kiruv. Along with her husband Norman (also a Wexner Heritage Alum), she regularly hosts Shabbat minyans, seudot, and learning in her home on Manhattan's Upper West Side – the gatherings are unique in that they are trans-denominational, bringing many people together from across the spectrum of Jewish life. Angie serves on the board of Romemu, a shul dedicated to a Judaism that opens body, heart, mind and spirit to experience greater compassion, courage, and joy in our lives. She also serves on the SYNERGY advisory committee at UJA-NY Federation, which tries to bolster all New York City synagogues through collaboration and sharing of best practices. Angie has a B.A. in English from Yale University and three (more or less) adult children: Zohar, Ari, and Shira.

Lori Baron

Director, Operations and Conferences

lbaron@wexner.net

Lori Baron has been with the Wexner Foundation since 1989. Prior to joining the Foundation, she held several positions during her 10-year tenure with the National United Jewish Appeal (now JFNA), including five years as the Associate Director of the Young Leadership Cabinet. She began her career as a 10th-grade English teacher in New York after receiving her degree in English Education and Psychology. Lori is an avid reader, New York Times puzzle solver and is known to have 10 on-line scrabble games going on simultaneously. Those who know her cell phone number and call her - know that Billy Joel's Piano Man is her ring tone. She is a museum, theatre and movie enthusiast and will only vacation in warm climates.

Administrative Team

Aliza Tick

Administrative Associate

astorchan@wexner.net

Prior to joining The Wexner Foundation Aliza worked at Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future where she helped innovate and launch a number of projects that train, inspire, and educate future leaders of the Jewish community.

Aliza was born and raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan. After high school, she spent a year studying at Midreshet AMIT in Jerusalem and then went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, Aliza moved to New York to obtain a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School.

The Wexner Foundation
3 Kiryat Hamada St., Har Hotzvim
Building D, 11th floor
Jerusalem, Israel 91450
Map

02 563-7035

Education Team

Ra’anan Avital

Director General - Israel

Ra’anan spent the major part of his professional life in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, where he held a variety of positions at home and abroad, including, at one point, heading the office’s Senior Executive Development Program.

During the ten years before joining the Foundation, Ra’anan was co-founder and CEO of an innovative high school in Emek Heffer, Israel. The school, promoting an ethos of leadership, academic excellence and pluralistic Jewish values and culture, was established by Ra’anan and his co-founders as an experimental model for 21st century Israeli schools.

Ra’anan received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Political Science from Haifa University, and over the years has graduated numerous programs in Jewish Studies, management and education, including “The Art and Practice of Leadership Development” at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

Israeli born Ra’anan is married to English born and raised Sara, a lawyer, and together they have three grown up children, all living in Israel.

Dana Savoray-Hadar

Associate Director, Wexner Israel Programs

Dana Savoray-Hadar, an alumna of the Wexner Foundation Israel Fellowship (Class 17), joins The Wexner Foundation as the Associate Director, Wexner Israel Programs.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Programs' Director for the Gandyr Foundation, an Israeli Philanthropic foundation, as well as serving as the deputy executive director of Alma, a liberal arts college for the studies of Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv.

Dana also held the position of Head of the Municipal Women's Administration in the Municipality of Herzliya. In 2000 she established the first municipal women's administration in Israel, which has become a state-wide model of municipal intervention for the advancement of women's status. For her achievements in her this position, Dana received the Women's Leadership Award from the Authority for the Advancement of Women's Status in the Prime-Minister's Office and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel.

Dana is an attorney who specialized in criminal and family law. She served as a defense attorney in the Israeli Military Advocate Headquarters and later in a private family law office.

Dana received her L.L.B and L.L.M, both magna cum laude, from the Tel Aviv University Law School.

She also holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Dana lives in Herzliya with her spouse, Omri, and her three sons, Yonatan, Yuval and Itamar.

Administrative Team

Leah Briskin

Program Manager, Wexner Israel Fellowship

Leah Briskin is the Program Manager of The Wexner Israel Fellowship at The Wexner Foundation Israel’s office in Jerusalem. She is in charge of the recruitment and evaluation process of candidates applying to the program. Once the new class is assembled Leah oversees the orientation process until their departure to Harvard Kennedy School. Leah continues to work with the fellows as they return form their year at Harvard and join the Wexner Alumni community.

Before joining The Wexner Foundation, Leah worked as a Project Coordinator at The Federation of Local Authorities in Israel at the Foreign Affairs Division. Prior to that, she was an Education Coordinator in Arad’s center at Educating for Excellence, an NGO aimed to provide children and youth, with potential for excellence in Israel’s periphery, an academic reinforcement and positive role modeling.

Leah has a Master’s degree in Political Science from Tel-Aviv University and a Bachelor's degree in Politics, Government & Management from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. During her Bachelor’s studies, she volunteered at The Lod Foundation aimed at promoting programs for the benefit of the city and its residents.

Leah grew up in Givat Zeev and lives today in Tel Aviv with her spouse, Gil, and their dog.

Tal Winbrom

Manager, Wexner Senior Leaders

Tal Winbrom is the Wexner Senior Leaders (WSL) program manager at the Wexner Foundation, Israel. In her current position, which she has held since the eve of the program's launch in 2014, she plays an active role in the design, planning and implementation of the program, and manages the recruitment, selection and preparation process. Tal's responsibilities include frequent interactions with the top echelons of Israel's public service.

Tal's is actively involved in the activities of the Wexner Senior Leaders' Network and the Wexner Israel Fellowship Alumni community.

In her previous role with the Foundation, Tal was the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program manager for a period of 3 years. Prior to joining The Wexner Foundation, Tal worked as a cultural event planner for the Jerusalem municipality and prior to that she worked for JDC Israel (the JOINT).

Tal grew up in Jerusalem and graduated cum laude from the Open University with a B.A in History of the Jewish People. She holds a Master in Public Administration degree from the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Outside working hours she volunteers in various social programs in her community.

Tal lives in Jerusalem with her 2 children.

Olga Yalovski

Administrative Manager

Olga Yalovski is the Administrative Assistant in The Wexner Foundation's Israel office. She supports day to day operations and provides administrative assistance, including support for social media in the Jerusalem office.

Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Map

617 495-8501

Education Team

Elisha Gechter

Program Manager, Wexner Israel Programs

egechter@wexner.net

Elisha Gechter is the Program Manager for the Wexner Israel Programs at the Harvard Kennedy School. She represents The Wexner Foundation at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and works with mid-career Israelis who spend a year studying for a Master’s in Public Administration at the Kennedy School through the Wexner Israel Fellowship as well as Israelis who spend a month of intensive training in Executive Education at the Kennedy School through the Wexner Senior Leadership Program.

Before joining The Wexner Foundation, Elisha worked at Hebrew College in Newton, MA as the Associate Director of Adult Learning and Community Engagement, running programs to connect parents and people in their 20s and 30s to community and to Jewish wisdom. Before that she spent three and a half years working at Boston’s Jewish Federation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, fundraising with local young leaders. She has a BA in psychology from Yeshiva University’s Stern College in New York and an MA MBA from Brandeis’ Heller Hornstein Program in Jewish Leadership and Non-profit Management.

Elisha grew up in Riverdale, NY at the open Orthodox synagogue lead by Rabbi Avi Weiss (the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale). She now attends Minyan Tehillah in Cambridge with her husband Sam Gechter and their daughter Zoe. In her free time Elisha enjoys cooking, gardening and enjoys date nights in Boston that involve live music.