Deborah Ancona

Deborah Ancona is the Seley Distinguished Professor of Management, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Founder of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her pioneering research into how successful teams operate has highlighted the critical importance of managing outside, as well as inside, the team’s boundary. Ancona’s work also focuses on the concept of distributed leadership and on the development of research-based tools, practices, and teaching/coaching models that enable organizations to foster creative leadership at every level. She is the author, most recently, of the book, X-Teams: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate, and Succeed (Harvard Business School Press) and the related articles, “In Praise of the Incomplete Leader” and “Nimble Leadership: Walking the Line Between Creativity and Chaos” (Harvard Business Review). Ancona has served as a consultant on leadership and innovation to companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bose, Takeda, Li & Fung, OCP, Accenture, ASA and has served on the Board of the Penn Graduate School of Education and a working group of the Canadian Council of Academies. Ancona holds a BA and an MS in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in management from Columbia University.

Mara Benjamin

Mara Benjamin is Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mt. Holyoke College. She is the author of Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her most recent book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2018). She lives with her wife and two children in Northampton, MA.

Sarah Bunin Benor

Sarah Bunin Benor (on leave for Cohort IV) is Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, where she teaches masters students in the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and undergraduates at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and many articles about Jewish languages and culture. Professor Benor has received several fellowships and prizes, including the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and the Sami Rohr Choice Award for Jewish Literature. She is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages and creator of the Jewish Language Research Website and the Jewish English Lexicon. Her current project examines Hebrew use at North American Jewish summer camps. Professor Benor received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Linguistics in 2004.

Dan Judson

Rabbi Judson was appointed Dean of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School in 2018. Previously, he oversaw the professional development program, and served as the placement director for the Rabbinical School. He received his doctorate in Jewish history from Brandeis University where his research focused on the history of American synagogue finances. His book, Pennies for Heaven: A History of American Synagogues and Money, was published in 2018. Dan served on the national faculty of the Union for Reform Judaism, consulting to synagogues across the country on financial matters. His research on synagogues which have eliminated dues was featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, NPR, The New York Jewish Week, and Reform Judaism Magazine. He was also the Rabbi of Temple Beth David in Canton, MA for 10 years and co-authored a number of books on Jewish rituals for Jewish Lights Publishing, including: The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal and The Jewish Pregnancy Book: A Resource for the Soul, Body and Mind During Pregnancy, Birth and the First Three Months.

Devora Steinmetz

Faculty for the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and the Hebrew College rabbinical school. Devora is the founder of Beit Rabban, a Jewish day school profiled in Daniel Pekarsky’s Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice of Beit Rabban. She is the author of scholarly articles on Talmud, Midrash, and Bible as well as of two books, From Father to Son: Kinship, Conflict, and Continuity in Genesis and Punishment and Freedom: The Rabbinic Construction of Criminal Law. Devora has served on the faculty of Drisha, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Yeshivat Hadar, and Havruta: a Beit Midrash at Hebrew University.

David Stolow

David Stolow is the Co-Faculty Director of the Social Impact MBA Program at Boston University Questrom School of Business. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise and advises the 150+ MBA students who focus their graduate studies on issues of social impact. Professor Stolow previously served 10 years as Director of Strategic Development at Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit network of extended-day and after-school programs. Previously, Professor Stolow worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Boston Community Capital and for City Year. He has served in on the boards of several organizations and has conducted numerous workshops on financial oversight for board members. Professor Stolow graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.



Naomi Adler

Naomi Adler is CEO of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America.  Previously, she served as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. In 2019, she served as co-chair of the JPRO National Conference and was honored with the Shimon Peres Leadership Award by Israel Bonds. Adler is also a member of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors, Forum of Executive Women and serves on the Advisory Board of Vision 2020, which celebrates women’s leadership nationwide. Prior to this position, Adler served as President and CEO of two different United Way organizations in New York for 14 years. Hailing from Rochester, NY, Naomi graduated Mount Holyoke College and SUNY Buffalo School of Law before returning to her hometown to work in private practice and then as an Assistant District Attorney for Monroe County. Her reputation as a successful prosecutor in cases of violence against women and children, and later as a community advocate for families living in poverty, have earned Adler a number of honors, including national recognition at the State of the Union address to Congress in 2013. She is proud of her three (baseball fanatic) sons and her husband, Rabbi Brian Beal.

Robin Bernstein

Robin Bernstein is currently the Interim Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. A clinical social worker by training, Robin served as the CEO of the Educational Alliance for 15 years after working at the Alliance in a number of senior management positions for 11 years prior to her being appointed CEO. In the past five years, since leaving the Educational Alliance, she has been working as a consultant on a number of projects in Africa, consulted on a project at the Yale University Center for Social and Emotional Intelligence, as well as serving as an Executive Coach to new CEO’s. She also recently served as the Interim Executive Director of Friends of the Children New York, a youth serving organization in Harlem and the South Bronx. Earlier in her career she was a clinical social worker both in private practice in New York City and at Jewish Family and Community Services in Chicago.
Jeremy Burton

Jeremy Burton

Jeremy Burton joined the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC) as Executive Director in October 2011, after playing leadership roles in many Jewish organizations as well as government and political campaigns. Under Jeremy’s leadership, JCRC has thrived as a national model for community relations, with a core mission of building a network of Jewish organizations that is a leader in the public square, connected through enduring partnerships beyond our community in service to Jewish concerns and the collective good. Under his leadership, JCRC spearheaded a Jewish communal response to stand with our immigrant neighbors in the face of detention and deportation by creating a robust interfaith network to provide sanctuary, court accompaniment, pro bono legal assistance and bond funds to targeted immigrants. His vision for American engagement with and support for grassroots civil society activists laid the foundation for JCRC and CJP’s joint initiative, Boston Partners for Peace, an innovative model to promote the work of shared-society organizations in Israel and the Palestinian Areas and connect them with the Boston community. Jeremy is a national thought leader, writing and speaking widely about the challenges and opportunities facing the Jewish community. As a Gay and Mexican-American Jew, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to the issue of inclusion across the diversity of our Jewish community. He has been published in the Boston Globe, JTA, Times of Israel, New York Jewish Week, Forward, Jerusalem Post, and the Washington Post. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has included his account, @BurtonJM, in their “Twitter 100” list of the most influential Jewish voices on Twitter. Previously Jeremy was the Senior Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funds for Justice, and Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funders Network. Jeremy came to the Jewish community from a career in political strategy and public communications, having worked for New York Mayor David N. Dinkins, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, the 1996 Clinton/Gore Re-Election Campaign, and the New York State legislature & Attorney General, among others. Jeremy has served on several boards and in many volunteer leadership roles, including as a founding board member and then co-chair of Darkhei Noam, the first ‘partnership’ minyan in the United States, in New York City. He was a founding board member of Bikkurim, an incubator for new Jewish ideas that is now part of UpStart, and a founding national board member of Keshet, working for the full inclusion of all LGBTQ Jews in Jewish life.

Cindy Chazan

Cindy Chazan retired in December 2017 after 18 plus years with The Wexner Foundation where she served most recently as Senior Advisor. As Vice President for the Foundation, she facilitated collaborations among the Wexner Leadership constituencies in North America and in Israel, developed Partnership Communities for the Wexner Heritage Program and engaged Jewish communities in greater leadership development activities. Prior to her work for the Foundation, she was the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford — the first woman to hold such a position in a large or large/intermediate community. Before that, Cindy 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, both branches of the JCC. Cindy is a founding Board Member of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community.
Serena Eisenberg Headshot

Serena Eisenberg

Rabbi Serena Eisenberg is the Director of Regional Engagement at American Jewish Committee (AJC), following five years as the Director of AJC’s Northern California region. She served as the President of the Northern California Board of Rabbis and worked for Jewish congregations and organizations in the Bay Area for over 25 years. Previously Eisenberg was the Executive Director of Hillels at Stanford University and Brown University. She is a member of both the Reform and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assemblies and is an alumnus of several fellowships, including Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, CLAL Rabbis without Borders, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Chautauqua Interfaith Clergy, and AJWS Global Justice Rabbis.  She now serves as a trainer and mentor for the Clergy Leadership Incubator. Before entering the rabbinate, she received a JD/MSW from UC Berkeley and a B.A. from Brown University and worked for a decade as child-welfare advocate in the Bronx, Oakland, and in West Africa. Serena is married and blessed with five sons and several adorable grandchildren.

Allan Finkelstein

Allan Finkelstein retired in 2015 after 20+ years as President and CEO of the Jewish Community Centers of North America, the continental leadership organization for JCCs and camps in 140 cities. Allan came to his position following 25 years in the field in a variety of positions including CEO of JCCs in Columbus Ohio and Los Angeles. Allan worked as a consultant to some of the largest JCCs in North America, focusing on executive leadership, board development, organizational visioning , professional training, and overall management. During his tenure, the organization grew from a small consulting organization, to creating signature programs for constituents, along with a sophisticated benchmarking program that articulated and measured excellence in both business and mission for non profits. He is known as a mentor and coach to many of the leading executives who serve today. He has a passion for engagement with executives in leadership challenges,, lay/staff relationships, professional growth, and organizational leadership and strategy. Allan was the 2016 recipient of the Florence G. Heller Award for Distinguished Professional Service to the Jewish Community Center Movement Allan is a mentor in the Mandel Executive Leadership Program. He taught leadership and organizational development at the Zelikow School of Non Profit Management in Los Angeles, and was the 2016 Louis Bernstein Scholar in Residence. He has also taught at the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University. Allan’s avocation is musical conducting. He currently serves as resident musical director of Gallery Players in Columbus and has served as a synagogue choir director for many years.
Alan Gill Headshot 2023

Alan Gill

Alan Gill served as Executive Vice President and CEO of JDC from 2013-2018 before retiring from full-time service and returning home to Israel, capping a 24-year tenure with the organization.  Gill played a leadership role in launching many of JDC’s landmark programs around the world including PACT – Parents and Children Together, an internationally recognized program for the education and cultural integration of Ethiopian-Israeli preschool children and their parents.  Gill also served as a special advisor to the organization’s former Soviet Union operations and was a member of JDC’s emergency rescue and relief team during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, providing urgently needed assistance to Jews trapped behind the Russian lines.  In 2015, he oversaw JDC’s rescue operation of 130 Jews trapped in the war zone in eastern Ukraine and who were brought to safety in the western part of the country.  During Gill’s tenure as JDC’s founding Executive Director of International Relations (1993-2012), JDC’s annual philanthropic revenue increased tenfold with significant growth in major philanthropic, governmental, and general donor support, bringing JDC’s total annual budget to over $350 million. This growth enabled JDC to expand its critically needed humanitarian assistance and Jewish community development activities in post-communist countries as well as to address growing social gaps in Israel.  In 2010, Gill’s work at JDC was the subject of research and a subsequent book published by Brandeis University, ” Mission, Meaning, Money”.  Before moving to Israel, Gill served as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Columbus (1984-1993).  Founder of The Ohio State University’s graduate training program for Jewish Communal Service, he was also a part-time faculty member of OSU’s College of Social Work.  Gill holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University where he was elected to its College of Social Work’s Hall of Fame in 2014 for outstanding career achievement. He is also a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Psychotherapy and Organization Development in Columbus.  Gill is a past recipient of JPRO’s Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award for an Exemplary Career in Service of the Jewish People.  In addition to his life-time appointment as Executive VP Emeritus with JDC, Gill is a mentor in-residence with the Mandel Institute for Executive Leadership in North America. He also served as 2019 summer scholar-in-residence at Hebrew Union College’s graduate school of Organizational Leadership and Innovation.  Gill serves on the Boards of Directors of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel and the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. He also acts as a senior advisor to numerous Israeli and global Jewish organizations. 

Stephen H. Hoffman

Stephen H. Hoffman is President Emeritus of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, having led the organization from 1983-2018. His career at the Federation began in 1974. For three years, 2001-2004, he was “loaned” by Cleveland to serve as the President and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, the national umbrella organization of the federation movement. He is a graduate of Dickinson College and received his Master’s of Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew University. Steve currently serves on the boards of the Musical Arts Association (the Cleveland Orchestra), United Way of Cleveland, and the Jewish People Policy Institute (in Jerusalem). He is a cofounder and former co-chair of the Secure Community Network, a national organization concerned with communal security issues and preparedness for the Jewish community. He currently serves as the chairman of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Steve was the 1999 recipient of the Charles Eisenman Award, the Federation’s highest honor and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from the Baltimore Hebrew University in 2002.

Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the Executive Director of Detroit’s JCRC/AJC: A Partnership for Community Relations and Jewish advocacy.  He is also the rabbi of Congregation Kehillat Etz Chayim, and the President and Director of the Detroit National Center for Civil Discourse. He most recently served as  President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, an Orthodox rabbinical school that teaches an inclusive, open and welcoming Torah. Previously, he was the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago, for 18 years. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and from Yeshiva University, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A Rhodes Scholar with a M.Phil. in Medieval Arabic Thought from Oxford University, Rabbi Lopatin is the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles.

John Ruskay

John Ruskay is Executive Vice President Emeritus of UJA-Federation of New York and a Senior Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem. Now in his fourth decade of leadership in the North American Jewish community, Dr. Ruskay was a senior professional at NY UJA-Federation from 1993-2014, the last l5 as EVP and CEO. Prior to coming to UJA-Federation in l993, John was Vice Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (1985-1993); Education Director of the 92cd Street Y (1979-1985). John earned his PH D in Political Science from Columbia University specializing in the Politics of the middle East. John has received numerous honors including honorary degrees from YU, JTS, HUC and the RRC. In May 2016, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Ruskay to a two-year term on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Dr. Ruskay has written extensively and speaks nationally on how the American Jewish community can most effectively respond to the challenge and opportunities of living an open society, Israel Education, and the central role of community. Dr. Ruskay lives in New York with his wife Robin Bernstein. They have five children and nine grandchildren