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Project-Incubator Staff

Staff for the Paideia Project-Incubator are professionals from organizations in the field of social Jewish entrepreneurship from Europe, Israel and the US. The following professionals have taught in the Project-Incubator over the past few years.

Brachi Lipshitz

Brachi directed the Paideia Project-Incubator until 2010. Residing in Israel, she is a theatre director, her latest work being with the Catharsis improvisation theatre group in Jerusalem. She is also the founder and director of several community theatre groups and has initiated many community theatre projects within the Jerusalem municipality. She is also leading the Beit-Midrash for storytellers at Elul, in Jerusalem. Brachi has taught various courses – both theoretical and practical – in theatre and Jewish culture at Emunah College, Jerusalem, and in several high schools. Brachi was in charge of the Arts Track and the Arts and Text days at Paideia during 2005-2006. She holds a B.Ed. in Theatre Directing and Education from Seminar HaKibbutzim College in Tel-Aviv, and is currently pursuing her M.A. in theatre studies at Tel Aviv University.

Yair Lipshitz

Yair is a junior fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, where he is also active in curriculum writing and personal tutoring of Jewish Education students. His PhD dissertation, currently written in the Theatre Department of Tel Aviv University, discusses issues of body and text in Jewish theatre and drama. Lipshitz is a member of the academic committee at Alma College for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. There, he leads the “Beit Midrash” sessions and teaches various courses in Hebrew culture. He is also a lecturer in the Theatre Department of Tel Aviv University. During 2005-2006, Yair served as Scholar in Residence in Paideia.

Noomi Weinryb

Noomi is a PhD candidate in Philanthropy at the Hebrew University. Noomi was previously the Deputy Director of Paideia where she has been the initiator of the refined applied leadership program – the tracks system. Noomi has a BA and MA in Economy, majoring in Organization and Management, from the Stockholm School of Economics. In addition, Noomi has a BA in Theatre Studies and Jewish Studies from the Stockholm University. As an economist, Noomi has also worked as junior consultant for customer driven business strategies and has worked extensively with fundraising, program creation and philanthropy in the field of Jewish life and culture. Noomi was a Wallenberg Fellow at Paideia during the year 2001-2002.

Rani Jaeger

Rani was the Scholar-in-Residence at Paideia for the year 2009-2010. Rani co-directs the Be’eri program at the Shalom Hartman Institute, which pioneers a new model of Jewish education for Israeli secular high schools. He teaches both at Tel-Aviv University and at Alma College. Rani is currently pursuing his PhD at Bar-Ilan University, at the department of Hermeneutic and is also one of the founders of “Beit Tefilah Israeli”, a new liberal synagogue in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Mordechai (Mordy) Cohen

Mordy Cohen was scholar-in-residence at Paideia for 2011-2012. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Talmud and Hebrew literature, and has an M.A. in Bible from the Herzog College at Alon Shvut. Aside from holding various management positions at informal education organizations, he has also spent many years teaching a wide range of subjects in Jewish Studies.

Fabian Sborovsky

Fabian works with recruitment of new students at Paideia and is the Paideia-Project Incubator program coordinator. He was an Amalie Beer fellow in 2007-2008 and currently serves as chairman of the Paideia Alumni Association. Fabian holds an M.A in Jewish Studies from Vanderbilt University and is active in Jewish education in the United States and Sweden. His previous background also includes several years in the travel industry.

Reuven Kiperwasser

Reuven Kiperwasser is Paideia’s Scholar-in-residence for 2012-2013. He holds a PhD in Rabbinic Literature from Bar-Ilan University. The topic of his dissertation was “The Midrashim on Kohelet: Studies in their Formation and Redaction”. He is a fellow at the Yad Bey-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem and at the Israeli Sciences Foundation. Reuven is widely published and has taught Rabbinics extensively at i.a. the Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, Open University of Israel and the Moscow State University.

Hedva Radovanitz

Hedva Radovanitz, now living in Tel Aviv, grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Upper Nazareth, Israel. While studying for an MA degree in Modern History, she became involved in Human Rights work, and has since then filled a variety of positions in Social Change non-profits in Israel, from directing organizations to sitting on their board of directors and volunteering for day-to-day work. She has worked for ACRI, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, as the Tel Aviv chapter director; Physicians for Human Rights, as executive director; Shatil- the Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations, both as a consultant and as the director of the southern branch; and the New Israel Fund as the associate director responsible for grant making. On a personal level, she most enjoys being with her family and reading.

Liora Asa

Liora, with an M.B.A., University of Haifa (2006), an M.A. International Affairs, George Washington University (1993), and a B.A., University California, Berkeley (1989) has over 20 years of professional experience in project management, training, and Resource Development and Financial Management consulting. Over the past decade, Liora has worked as Resource Development and Financial Management Consultant at Shatil – Israel’s leading capacity building center for social change organizations, providing support to hundreds of NGOs throughout the country. Liora is an experienced trainer on a broad array of resource development and financial topics, as a lecturer at the University of Haifa’s NGO management program over the past three years, and as a veteran international trainer with the Galilee International Management Institute.

Beto Maya

As the Program Manager for ROI, Beto Maya is responsible for Summit selection, programming, regional gatherings and more. Born in Mexico City, Beto was very active in Zionist youth movements and he made aliyah in 1993. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Education Degree from the Beit Berl College in informal education and Israel studies, he worked for the World Zionist Organization. Beto returned to Mexico City for three years as a shaliach for the Jewish Agency. He later worked as the Education Coordinator for the Herzl Museum and then joined ROI. Beto lives in Modi’in with his family.

Nir Ortal

Since 1996 Nir Ortal has worked as coordinator, educator and guide in various frameworks of the Zionist “alphabet soup.” Raised in Jerusalem, Nir completed his B.A. in archaeology and Jewish history from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He taught at the University of Arizona and then returned to his beloved Jerusalem and became Executive Director of WUJS. Nir returned to studies pursuing an M.A. in Archeology (he still enjoys playing in the dirt!).

Aharon Horwitz

Aharon Horwitz is the co-Founder and co-Director of the PresenTense Group, the Jewish World’s leading community entrepreneur startup platform. Each year, PresenTense partners with thousands of volunteers worldwide to build a vibrant Jewish People. Aharon lives in Jerusalem but regularly travels the Jewish world to PresenTense’s many outposts, where he enjoys working with passionate social entrepreneurs that see opportunity where others see only obstacles.

Joshua Avedon

Jumpstart co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Joshua Avedon is a start-up veteran with an MBA in nonprofit management and an undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley in Mass Communication.  He is one of the founders of IKAR, a dynamic Jewish spiritual community in Los Angeles and also a member of the Los Angeles Selah cohort. Joshua also is a co-refounder of Another Mother for Peace. He has written for the Huffington Post, Forward, and PresenTense, among others. Joshua is a recognized leader in forward-thinking use of technology, viral communication and community-building strategies within the world of emerging Jewish organizations.  As a successful business and communication strategy consultant for both for-profits and nonprofits, Joshua brings operational know-how, a strong background in grassroots marketing and expertise in harnessing emerging technologies to the Jumpstart team. Previously he was Director of Business Management & Communication for Synagogue 3000, where he oversaw financial/organizational infrastructure, S3K’s online presence, marketing, publishing, and media relations.

Shawn Landres

Jumpstart co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Shawn Landres has extensive experience in academic and nonprofit leadership, peer network development and grant management. Shawn currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of Jewish Mosaic: The National Jewish Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity and is a member of the American Jewish Committee ACCESS Los Angeles Steering Committee, the IKAR Leadership Council, the J Street Advisory Council, the PJA/MPAC Muslim-Jewish New Ground Project advisory board, and the Selah Network Leadership Team. Coeditor of four books and numerous articles, he has written for The Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Forward, and the Annals of the AAPSS, among others (including Austrian, British, Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak journals).  He has taught at UCSB; the University of Judaism; Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia; and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Shawn also is a Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. An interreligious activist with expertise in evangelical-, Catholic-, and Muslim-Jewish affairs, Shawn is an inaugural (2009) Fellow of the Ariane de Rothschild Fellows Program. Previously, he served as Director of Research for Synagogue 3000, where he managed the launch of the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute, launched the widely read S3K Reports series and Synablog, and conceived S3K’s Jewish Emergent Initiative. Shawn holds degrees in Religious Studies and Social Anthropology from Columbia University, UCSB, and the University of Oxford. He is certified by 21/64 as a consultant/trainer in multigenerational family philanthropy.

Chaya Gilboa

Gary Wexler

Gary Wexler is the Founding Revolutionary of NonprofitRevolutionNow.com and the Adjunct Lecturer in Nonprofit Marketing in the Masters in Communication Program, at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication (USC/Annenberg). Gary began his marketing career as a copywriter and creative director in major multi-national advertising agencies such as Chiat/Day, McCann-Erickson, DDB-Needham and Ogilvy&Mather, writing awards winning ads, radio and television for clients ranging from Apple Computer to Coca-Cola. After 15 years, he switched to working exclusively with clients in the nonprofit world, including some of the largest organizations and foundations in Jewish life, in the US, Canada and Israel. Gary’s work creating marketing campaigns, training and lecturing over 1500 nonprofits has been covered extensively in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report, the Forward and many other publications and blogs.

Amy Philip

Amy Philip has been Deputy Director of Pears Foundation since 2007. She is responsible for the Foundation’s operations and for the strategic direction and management of its UK partnerships and programmes, with particular focus on the Jewish community, citizenship, community relations and Holocaust Education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Amy was responsible for the 2006 UK Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism and before that she was policy advisor to the Deputy Mayor of London. She has also been a Limmud volunteer for 9 years, including serving as a Trustee. She is currently responsible for training on the Limmud International steering group.

Rabbi Ute Steyer

Rabbi Ute Steyer received her rabbinic ordination (s’mikha) from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 2009. She also received a M.A. in Jewish Philosophy. Her thesis dealt with the rabbinic and scriptural influences on thought of Emmanuel Levinas. She is currently giving a two-year graduate fellowship in legal theory at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Rabbi Steyer has served as acting rabbi in small congregations in North America as well as scholar-in-residence at various congregations. She taught courses at the JCC in Manhattan and is scheduled to teach a course in Pastoral Theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Steyer was raised in the UK, Greece and Germany and has lived for many years in Stockholm, Sweden and was an active member of the Stockholm Jewish community. Ute was a Wallenberg Fellow at Paideia during the year 2001-2002. Publications: “Rabbinic Authority – The case of Da’at Torah” (forthcoming), “Possibilities and Limits of Levinas’ Ethics in Pastoral Counseling” (forthcoming).

Nirit Roessler

Nirit Roessler conducted special research at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum and worked at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute before she discovered the fascinating world of NGOs. After working for a German political foundation in Israel, Nirit then headed the Resource Development Department in Shatil for 8 years. She has vast experience in fundraising consultation, writing guidebooks, training and capacity building for sustainability both in Europe and in Israel. Between 2005 and 2011 Nirit was the director of the Pradler NGO Empowerment Program. Having recently completed an M.A. in Organizational and Strategic Consultation, she is now a freelance consultant and trainer.

Dina Gidron

Dina Gidron is a management and strategic consultant in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors in Israel and abroad. Following a long career in business, Dina took up the position of Emissary for the Jewish Agency in Canada. Upon returning to Israel, Dina joined JDC as Director of Donor Relations in the International Relations Division where she managed a team focused on developing and fostering links between JDC programs in Israel and around the world with North American Federations, foundations and private donors. Dina holds an M.B.A. and her B.A. from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Dina and her family live in Zur Hadassa.

Patrick Levy

Patrick Levy is a counselor for non-profit organizations on organizational strategy, peer education and fundraising in Israel through the Joint, the New Israel Fund, the UN and other bodies. He also represents a foundation and directs a program for organizations of people with disabilities. Patrick has taught Israel, France and the United Kingdom and he has served as executive director of national and international nonprofit organizations. Patrick advises various city mayors in Israel, businesses, foundations and private donors in Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and around the world. Patrick specializes in tri-dimensional projects, cooperation between businesses and non-profit, peer education and health issues.

Ofra Palmer Granot

Ofra works as a resource development counselor for non-profit organizations in Israel, specializing in business-community relations and in cross-sector partnerships. She coordinated the Community Affairs’ unit at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd for six years, from 2002 to 2008. Ofra taught at the Ariel College and still gives workshops on The Third Sector issue at several other organizations. Previously, she served as a fundraising manager at the Dor Shalom movement and for three other non-profit educational organizations. Ofra holds an MA in NGO management from the Hebrew University and a BSW in social work from Tel Aviv University. Ofra is the chairwoman of a Jewish text study group in her community.

Michal Elbaz

Ms. Elbaz is the director of the Central Eastern European desk of the Education Department of the Jewish Agency. Ms. Elbaz grew up in Zurich, Switzerland where she graduated from High School and was an active member of Bnei Akiva there. She has a B.A. and teaching degree in History of the Jewish people from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Most of her professional experience is in the field of Jewish education and resource development for Jewish organizations. In Jerusalem she worked in the European desk of Keren Kayemet Leisrael and while living in Geneva for several years, she was the director of the Community Center of the Jewish Community there. In her current function in the Jewish Agency, Ms. Elbaz is developing new and ongoing projects in the renewed communities of Central Eastern Europe and promoting pan-European initiatives in the field of Jewish education. Thanks to her previous experiences and her current function, Ms. Elbaz is very much familiar with the situation and the needs of the small and middle sized Jewish community in Eastern and Western Europe. Ms. Elbaz speaks fluently four languages, Hebrew, English, German and French.

Gil Kofman

Gil Kofman was born in Nigeria and raised in Israel and NYC. He has an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. His play – American Magic – was produced in NY, LA, and London with music by Sonic Youth. His film “The Memory Thief” won the Edmonton Film Festival and Jury Prize at Red Rock Film Festival. The New York Times called it “morally audacious and intriguingly original.” In 2008, he edited and acted in “You Won’t Miss Me,” which won a Gotham Award and played at Sundance and SXSW. Last summer, Gil directed a thriller in China, “Case Sensitive,” that got a wide release in China in June 2011.

Netta Frister-Aaron

Netta Frister Aaron is cultural producer at the Jewish Community of Stockholm. She is a graduate of the Dramatic Institute of Stockholm and has previously worked as a producer at Södra Teatern in Stockholm. Netta specializes in Jewish art and has experience with artistic productions in theatre, festivals, television and music. At Paideia, she has been leader of the Art Track and coordinator the course Art & Text Dialogue. She was also the head producer of Paideia’s Month of the Arts – a meeting between Jewish sources and film, music, dance, literature, and the fine arts.

Roee Canaan

Roee was born in Jerusalem in 1970 and has been with the Nachshonim program since its third cycle (2006). He has worked in several social projects such as the Jerusalem Foundation’s projects department, seminars for new immigrants on culture and identity and the Administration for the Enhancement of Employment (JDC – Ministry of Industry). His academic background is in Neuropsychology (Hebrew university).

Yulia Ginis

Yulia is a painter and theatre director. She was born in Moscow and made Aliyah at the age of 16. Yulia is the founder of the Israeli “Mystorin group”, aiming at creating an original theatrical language that would combine inspiration from ancient Jewish texts with video, dance and visual theatre. The group has toured in various countries (Romania, Poland, Armenia, Russia, Serbia, and Finland among others). At Nachshonim, Yulia works as coordinator of projects in Jewish communities in the FSU. She has extensive experience in implementation and coordination of educational programs and artistic projects both in Israel and abroad. Formerly, she worked for the Jewish Agency in teaching students, teachers and coordinators how to use and combine different creative arts in informal Jewish education. She has created numerous seminars and taught in the Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. Several articles written by her on the subject of Jewish education and creativity were published by the Jewish Agency as learning materials for teachers and coordinators.

Nehama (Hami) Verbin

Hami has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Cambridge and teaches at Tel Aviv University. She is research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a member of the editorial boards of the Canadian journal “Studies in Religion” and the Dutch journal “Ars Disputandi”. Nehama has written numerous articles on the nature of faith and doubt, and on the transition from one to the other. She is currently completing a manuscript on divine providence and the problem of evil.

Jonathan Cohen

Prof. Cohen is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education of the Hebrew University, a Curriculum Adviser to the Hartman Institute and a Faculty Member of the Mandel School for Leadership. Prof. Cohen, in addition to many educational textbooks in rabbinic and Jewish thought, has written academically on the construction of the history of Jewish philosophy, the interaction between hermeneutics and education and the teaching of Jewish thought.

Gabriel Horenczyk

Prof. Horenczyk is an Associate Professor at the School of Education and the Melton Center for Jewish Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His teaching and research areas include: the psychological study of cultural and ethnic identity; Jewish identity transitions; education and immigration; cultural identity processes during intergroup contact; acculturation and identity processes among immigrants. He has published extensively in various scientific journals, and has co-edited two books: Language, identity, and immigration (with E. Olshtain), and National variations in Jewish identity (with S. Cohen). Some of his current research projects: Stress and coping among teachers working with immigrant students; the acculturative school context and the adaptation of immigrant students; the intergroup encounter: strategies, outcome, and the role of collective identity.

Diana Pinto

Diana is a historian and writer living in Paris. She has a PhD. in Contemporary European History from Harvard University and is a consultant to the Political Directorate of the Council of Europe. She is a member of the academic committee of Paideia.

Michael Gillis

Michael is a member of the faculty of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University. His work is concerned with the ways in which different paradigms of reading rabbinic literature can be a resource for teaching and curriculum. He served for five years as the head of education of  Revivim, an honors program for the preparation of teachers of Jewish studies in Israeli non-religious high schools.