Monica Levinson is President of Production at ShivHans Pictures, a production and finance company creating unique and compelling projects outside the Hollywood studio model, while collaborating with top-tier talent. Levinson has lent her talents to hits like Zoolander, Dodgeball, Clear History and Borat. The latter film garnered an Academy Award nomination for its screenplay. Levinson was an executive producer on Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino, and producer on Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston in an Academy Award-nominated performance. Last year, Bleecker Street released the critically-acclaimed box office hit, Captain Fantastic, which was produced by Levinson and won the Un Certain Regard Directing Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Audience Award and Jury Prize at the Deauville Film Festival, and garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG nominations. Levinson also produced The Polka King, a comedy starring Jack Black and Jenny Slate, which made its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent film is High Wire Act starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike. Levinson made her initial foray into film on prominent features with noted directors Alan Pakula, Sidney Lumet, and Michael Mann. Before entering the world of feature films, Levinson cut her teeth working in broadcast news, where she covered the fast-paced happenings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Laurie Moskowitz is the Senior Director for U.S. Campaigns for The ONE Campaign, an advocacy group dedicated to fighting extreme poverty, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Laurie manages the public campaigns for ONE in the U.S., coordinating diverse assets in the creative, digital, press, grassroots and grass tops space. Prior to joining ONE, Laurie was a Founding Partner of communications and field strategy firm FieldWorks, which she ran for over 10 years developing and managing hundreds of grassroots campaigns for candidates and state political parties, advocacy organizations, ballot initiatives and corporate clients. Prior to starting FieldWorks, Laurie served first as the Director of Delegates for the Gore 2000 primary campaign and then later as the Director of the National Coordinated Campaign for the 2000 Presidential election at the Democratic National Committee. Laurie subsequently served as a Senior Consultant to the National Coordinated Campaign in both 2004 and 2008. She got her start as a grassroots organizer in the PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) and has also spent time as the Membership Development Director for Businesses for Social Responsibility. Laurie currently is involved in a variety of community and philanthropic organizations such as Green Century Capital Management, Adas Israel Congregation, DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table.
Erica Keswin of New York, N.Y. is a workplace strategist and founder of The Spaghetti Project, a platform for sharing the science and stories of human connections with global brands, communities, teams, and individuals. She's an expert at helping businesses, organizations, and individuals improve performance by making real connections. She travels around the country speaking at conferences and meeting with companies and community groups, and writes about the topic for such publications as Harvard Business Review, Forbes Woman and the Huffington Post. In fall 2018, McGraw-Hill will publish Keswin’s book: Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That is Good for People, Great for Business and Just Might Change the World.
Leah Greenspan Hodor
Dr. Greenspan is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Neonatal Medicine. Dr. Greenspan has extensive experience working in Sub Saharan Africa and Haiti where she has taught doctors, nurses, and midwives life-saving skills for newborns. She is the co-founder of Vital Health Africa and serves on the board of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. Dr. Greenspan has been on staff at two Greater Washington DC community hospitals
Mardene Miller of New York, N.Y., is president of healthcare advertising agency Harrison and Star. Mardene has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years in various sales and marketing roles. She began as a pharmaceuticals sales rep, followed by positions with a variety of nontraditional media companies, doing in-hospital teleconferencing, patient-based waiting room television programming, and managing a vast online disease management portfolio in the early days of the Internet. Addressing the strategic and communications needs of diverse biotech and pharmaceutical clients – including Genentech, Novartis, Bayer, and Merck – Mardene has helped create megabrands in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, and virology. Her passion is helping to end the AIDS epidemic, as well many social issues such as equality in the workplace regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Paula Shoyer is a French-trained pastry chef, teaching classes in French pastry and Jewish cooking in the Washington, DC area and around the world. She is the author of The Holiday Kosher Baker and The Kosher Baker: 160 Dairy-Free Desserts from Traditional to Trendy, and a freelance writer for numerous news outlets.
Pam Sherman is a nationally-syndicated columnist, actor, recovering lawyer and leadership consultant who was profiled in People Magazine about her career transition from attorney to actor. Today Sherman conducts programs and coaches leaders all over the world in leadership communications and how to present themselves and their stories with passion through her company, The ShermanEDGE. Sherman is also a keynote speaker about finding your EDGE™ in the best possible way, to: Explore, Dream, Grow, and Excite. She has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, law firms, advertising agencies, and is a highly-rated global resource for a variety of leadership groups, including, EO, Vistage Worldwide and the Young Presidents’ Organization in places as diverse as Morocco and Milwaukee, Saudi Arabia and Cincinnati, and most recently, Nigeria and South Africa. Pam has also been an adjunct professor and guest lecturer at RIT and American University among others. Her nationally-syndicated column, "The Suburban Outlaw," can be read in Gannett publications, including the Democrat + Chronicle, Rochester Magazine and USA Today. Her best-selling book, The Suburban Outlaw: Tales from the EDGE is sold on Amazon. Pam’s charitable involvement has benefited many organizations and Wegmans now carries her Suburban Outlaw bracelets made in South Africa by Relate to benefit youth programs in Rochester, New York. Pam’s Tedx talk can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-ZgPS1uStk.
Toby Graff, of New York, N.Y., of New York, N.Y., currently a consultant, most recently served as senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. In this position, she was responsible for developing and implementing all pro-social initiatives, creating cause marketing promotions; handling government relations; and managing charitable giving for USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire, Sprout and Universal Cable Productions. Previously Graff created and led USA Network’s Public Affairs division and its award-winning Characters Unite public service campaign to combat hate and discrimination. Before joining USA, Graff was senior vice president, public affairs and corporate communications, for Lifetime Networks. She has served as deputy press secretary for then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and worked on health care and welfare reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as special advisor for public affairs.
Naomi Brown works with students and teachers throughout Washington D.C. as a licensed clinical social worker for the charter school network KIPP DC. Naomi received a Masters in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, Naomi taught high school English as a Teach For America corps member in St. Louis where she developed a deep passion for education and social change. Naomi has also worked at an Israel education organization and lived in Israel for 6 months where she taught English at an elementary school. Naomi originally grew up in northern Virginia and is happy to be back living there with her husband and daughter.
Saskia Cohen grew up in Miami, Florida, where she attended Design and Architecture Senior High School (a premiere and public magnet art school). Before graduating from high school, she attended a pre-college program for filmmaking at The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City, which confirmed her passion for writing, directing and producing films, and most importantly, creating stories that resonate with people. Saskia took a gap year before starting college and lived in Paris, France for a year where one of her favorite pastimes included visiting the infamous Cinémathèque Française and watching classic French films. Afterwards, she attended SVA where she majored in Film/Directing. One of her very first short films “Adeelah" premiered at the Boston International Kids Film Festival and winner of Best Supporting Actress in a Short Film at the Hollywood Verge Awards. Saskia lives in Los Angeles, California and is a freelance filmmaker.
Abby Shuster is a native Bostonian who has made D.C. her home over the last 3.5 years. Her passion for exploring new places and meeting people led her to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to pursue a degree in human and organizational development, and then to D.C. to kick off her career at the Advisory Board Company, a healthcare research and consulting firm. Her first job at the company was in sales, and made her realize that she wanted a role that allowed her to develop long-term relationships with clients. She now works as an HR consultant at the Advisory Board, helping hospitals retain and engage their staff. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the new restaurants and activities in the area, hiking, and traveling around the world (especially to places where she can practice her Spanish!).
Naomi Rich is a southern California native currently living in and exploring Los Angeles. After graduating with her B.S. in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis, she went to work as a Regional Field Director on a Congressional campaign. After a crazy and successful year, she followed her love for the Jewish community and used her community organizing skills to help reengage college students at a Los Angeles based Hillel. Naomi now works in marketing and communications for a local nonprofit organization, Students Run LA, which combines her passion for social justice with her love of running. In her free time, Naomi loves traveling, trying new ice cream shops, and spending time with her family.
Stephanie Rosner is a Development Officer with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She focuses on direct solicitations with business professionals and event planning. Previously, she worked in annual giving and managed Colonial Connection, the student call center at The George Washington University. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Spanish from The Ohio State University and is originally from Cincinnati. Stephanie is on the board of The Ohio State University Alumni Club of Washington, D.C. and part of the Young Women of Achievement Awards committee of Women's Information Network.
Julie Lundy has worked in project management and product strategy for a software company since 2011. Always supporting her clients and her teams to help them achieve the next level of success, whether that be implementing a new product, creating a new product to bring to market, or finding new markets to expand into.Throughout Julie's life, her passion has remained consistent: pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and empowering women to feel strong, capable, and confident during this life transition. After becoming a mother herself in 2015 she began to shift her focus professionally to find ways to turn this passion into a business. And in 2017 she launched The Maternity Planner. Julie is married and a mother of a 2.5-year-old boy, Matan. In her spare time, she raises a feminist boy, enjoys all art forms with her husband, dedicates time for girlfriends over a glass of wine, expresses creativity in the kitchen, carves out time to move her body daily whether it's yoga on the living room floor during Matan's breakfast, a trip to the gym, or a long walk down 14th street! And mostly she's excited about what's to come!
Alyssa Weiner is the Assistant Director of International Jewish Affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC). In this position, she helps maintain AJC’s network of relationships with Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora and diplomatic contacts here in Washington, DC. Alyssa serves as President of Jewish Women International (JWI)’s DC Young Women’s Leadership Network. A native of South Florida, Alyssa graduated Magna Cum Laude from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Spring 2014. Alyssa’s hobbies include traveling, hiking, yoga, and exploring different cultures through food.
Shannah Katz is a bubbly cannabis connoisseur and brand manager in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of Canna Gold Life, an emerging cannabis-infused bath products company dedicated to changing the way you medicate. Her passion for healing and relief stems from seeing her late grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, battle stage 4 melanoma. With her extensive background in social media and brand marketing, Shannah serves as the head of marketing for her new startup, teaching friends and family near and far that there is more to the cannabis plant than just smoking it.
Sasha Bloch is the regional youth director of Seaboard USY & Kadima, the youth group of the Jewish Conservative movement. She works with the teen youth groups at 30 synagogues in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, and facilitates multiple day- and weekend-long events for teens throughout the year. Previously, she taught middle school history, language arts and English as a second language after receiving both her bachelor's and master's degrees from American University. Outside of her passion for youth work, Sasha is active in the Jewish Young Professionals community in D.C., is an avid traveler, volunteers with Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority as an operations specialist.
Kerry Brodie grew up in Potomac, Maryland. She graduated from Princeton University and went on to receive her master's from Johns Hopkins University. She worked as the director of communications at the Embassy of Israel in Washington D.C. After this experience she was the global press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. Kerry is the founder of Emma's Torch, a New York-based nonprofit that empowers refugees through culinary education. She is also pursuing a degree in culinary arts from the Institute of Culinary Education. Kerry lives in New York with her husband.
Arielle Cohen is a marketing research analyst at CM360/Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales divisions for Comcast. After graduating from University of Maryland in 2011, Arielle began her career at Picture This Television, an Emmy award-winning company. She then moved to ICM Partners, one of the world's largest talent and literary agencies. She then received her M.B.A. and M.S. in television management from Drexel University. Arielle is currently a development executive for Broadway producer Eric Falkenstein's Spark Productions. She is on the board of the Junior Hollywood Radio and Television society and a member of Women in Cable Television and Advertising Research Foundation's Young Pros.
Chloe Diamond is a first-year master of public health degree candidate at the Milken Institute School of Public Health of The George Washington University. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in nutrition from Arizona State University and currently works at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) part-time. Chloe has interned at various health-related non-profit organizations, both in D.C. and in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. Her ideal career post-graduation is one that allows her to make a difference in the lives of others, while also encompassing her passions for nutrition and health.
Elana Freeman is an attorney at Levine Lee, LLP in New York, N.Y. She grew up in San Diego, California, and graduated with honors in religious studies from Occidental College in Los Angeles. She then moved to New York to attend the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she was managing editor of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition Team, and staff editor of the Law & Literature Journal. She graduated cum laude in May of 2016. At Levine Lee, she practices complex civil litigation and white collar and securities enforcement defense.
Amanda Moskowitz, a Minnesota native and adopted Marylander, is a seasoned marketing communications professional with over ten years’ experience in the government, private and non-profit sectors. She currently works for a Health IT company developing and managing their internal communication initiatives and external marketing campaigns. Amanda aspires to be an activist, author and a regular on Saturday Night Live. In addition to the above activities, Amanda is an entrepreneur at heart. Above all else, Amanda is a dedicated wife to Jeff and a mother to Alyce and Jacob. Her life goal is to make the world a better, safer place for herself, her family and for her community.
Erika Oppenheimer coaches high school students in a mindfulness-based approach to SAT and ACT preparation. Through her work, she helps students acquire skills and mindsets beneficial in the test room and in life. She shares her unique methodology in her book, Acing It! A Mindful Guide to Maximum Results on Your College Admissions Test. Erika graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with degrees in English and Psychology. Originally from South Dakota, she now lives in New York City where she served as a charter member on the board of JWI’s Young Women’s Leadership Network: New York City. She has ongoing yoga and meditation practices and loves a good green juice.
Meredith Jacobs, JWI's chief operating officer, is an award-winning journalist and former editor-in-chief of Washington Jewish Week. She is the author of The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat: Connect and Celebrate—Bring Your Family Together with the Friday Night Meal (HarperCollins) and co-author, with her daughter Sofie, of Just Between Us: A No-stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms (Chronicle Books, Spring 2010). She is co-founder and editor of ModernJewishMom.com, now part of MyJewishLearning’s Kveller.com.
Dana Marlowe is a social entrepreneur and internationally-known disability advocate who founded Accessibility Partners – an advocacy IT consulting firm that makes technology more accessible to people with disabilities – and Support the Girls, a non-profit that has donated more than 20,000 bras and 53,000 tampons, pads and other hygiene products to women in need around the world. Dana’s efforts have been showcased in national news outlets including The Today Show, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. She has been recognized with the Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Woman Award, The Maryland Daily Record’s Top 100 Women Award for 2016, the Maryland 40 Under 40 VIP List, SmartCEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year, and more. She has also won the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 35 Under 35 Award and was a finalist for the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s Women in Technology Award.
Robyn Altman is corporate strategy director at AARP. Previously she served as vice president of partnership development & ideation at Discovery Communications, where she led a team that designs and develops educational initiatives with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, foundations and trade associations. Prior to joining Discovery in 2005, Robyn held communications positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the office of U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu and the Senate Democratic Technology & Communications Committee. Robyn earned an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in Political Science from Brown University. She resides in Chevy Chase, Md. with her husband and two children.
Mary Jo Barrett
Mary Jo Barrett is a leading authority on trauma and violence. The Center for Contextual Change of Metropolitan Chicago was created to help families and communities recover from trauma and violence. Barrett's treatment model helps people prevent and recover from traumatic events by harnessing their own resources and engaging in the natural cycle of growth. She has co-authored three books and published more than 100 works, and led thousands of trainings on her treatment model, The Collaborative Change Model, as well as eating disorders, compassion fatigue and other related topics. She is adjunct faculty at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Barrett has been passionately dedicated to her teaching and her clinical work in the field of family violence since 1974.
Mackenzie Barth is the cofounder of Spoon University, a digital food media brand powered by a network of young influencers on college campuses worldwide. Mackenzie and her cofounder Sarah Adler grew Spoon from a local publication at Northwestern University in 2013 to a network of 250 university chapters with more than 25,000 total contributors, supported by a proprietary educational platform that trains the next generation of food journalists. After going through the Techstars accelerator program in New York and raising $2.5 million in funding, Mackenzie helped grow the team to 28 people. She recently sold Spoon to Scripps Networks Interactive (now part of Discovery), and remains part of the team, focused on sales/marketing, community, and experiential. Mackenzie is also recognized as a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 in media.
Vivian G. Bass
Vivian Bass has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life, independence, community inclusion and dignity of individuals with disabilities on a non-sectarian basis throughout the Washington, D.C. area, nationally and internationally. Until June 2016, she was the chief executive officer of The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH). She has served as a consultant to more than 25 communities over five continents. In addition to being sought as a speaker for major national and international disabilities and/or Jewish conferences, serving on numerous boards, and playing a pivotal role in a myriad of consortiums and legislative/consumer advocacy efforts, Vivian has been the recipient of many distinctions including 'Washingtonian of the Year' by Washingtonian magazine. She is a 2007 JWI Community Leader Women to Watch Honoree, and she is also a Lion of Judah. She was elected the vice-chair of the JWI board of trustees in June 2013 and become chair in June 2016.
Pearl Gluck was awarded a Sundance Producer's Lab fellowship for Divan (2004), her first documentary film which was developed on a Fulbright grant to Hungary. Divan was broadcast on the Sundance Channel, theatrically premiered at the Film Forum in NYC, played at festivals worldwide, and is distributed by Zeitgeist Films. Her short, Where Is Joel Baum (2012), stars Lynn Cohen won various awards at festivals including Best Actor for Luzer Twersky at the Starz Denver Film Festival. Her first fiction feature, The Turn Out, exploring domestic sex trafficking at truckstops, won Best Debut Feature at Toronto's Female Eye Film Festival among other awards. Her short film, Junior (2017), won three Best Actress awards for Elle Jae Stewart, and her award-winning short, Summer (2018), is about to be released by Film Movement. Her previous work includes a TV doc, Soundwalk: Williamburg (2007), which won an Audie Award, a short film that she co-wrote, Goyta (2007), which premiered at Cannes, and Great Balls of Fire (2001), which screened at Transmediale, Oberhausen, and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Pearl has been interviewed about her work on NPR with Melissa Block, WBUR's The Connection with Chris Leiden, WBAI, and other outlets internationally. She has appeared in A Life Apart: Hasidism in America (1998; Directed by Oren Rudavsky and Menachem Daum). Pearl teaches screenwriting and directing at Penn State University. Her work can be seen at: palinkapictures.com.
Abby Greensfelder is co-CEO and executive producer at Half Yard Productions, an independent production company that has made hit series for 17 different networks, including Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and Travel Channel. Prior to starting Half Yard Productions, Greensfelder was senior vice president of programming and development for Discovery Channel. Greensfelder played a critical role in creating Discovery Channel Quest, an initiative that funded and filmed scientific expeditions around the world. She was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Next Generation: 35 under 30.’ Greensfelder started her career in production with Transatlantic Films, a UK-based production and distribution company. She is a sought-after speaker and panelist at industry events, a contributor to Realscreen magazine, a member of the Maryland International Film Festival’s Advisory Board, an honorary member of Jewish Women International and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Laura Rebell Gross
Laura Rebell Gross is the managing director of girls’ education for Student Leadership Network (formerly Young Women’s Leadership Network), which supports all-girls schools in New York City and 12 affiliate schools across the country – including Young Women’s College Prep (YWCP), which Laura co-founded in 2011. Laura earned a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a master’s from Brown University, and has completed coursework toward an Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching at Teacher’s College, Columbia University and the Warner School, University of Rochester. Laura currently serves on the boards of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Young Women’s College Prep Foundation in Rochester. In 2012, she was selected by the Jewish Federation of Rochester to travel to Israel on a pioneer leadership exchange program with 20 other professionals from the Rochester community. Laura and her family relocated back to Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2014.
Dr. Bonnie Hartstein
Doctor and colonel currently serving as director, Army Quality and Safety Center overseeing clinical quality outcomes and patient safety for all Army hospitals worldwide. Board certified in pediatric and emergency medicine, she continues clinical practice at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and has also served in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann
RABBI LIZZI HEYDEMANN of Chicago, Ill., is the founder of independent spiritual community Mishkan, which reimagines Judaism to better connect and inspire people, and has quickly grown from a living room minyan to a community hosting 1,900 at the High Holidays. A graduate of Stanford University, Lizzi was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in L.A. and was the first rabbinic fellow at L.A.’s renowned IKAR. She has been named one of the Chicago Jewish Federation’s 36 Under 36 and a Top 20 Real Rabbi by myjewishlearning.org. She has been a fellow of both CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders and the Schusterman Fellowship, and won the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Award for promising early-career educators, as well as the 2018 Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom. She also sits on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and the rabbinic cabinet of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.
Kim Oster-Holstein is a passionate entrepreneur, business coach, writer, speaker, inspiring leader and teacher of entrepreneurship. She is a brand architect and strategic visionary with 22+ years of expertise in marketing, ideation, product innovation/development, packaging and go-to-market strategy, social entrepreneurship and creating business with purpose and impact. Kim is cofounder, chief mocktail officer, Industry Juice, a juice company providing cold pressed juice to restaurants and bars around the country. She is cofounder, chief strategy and marketing officer for AlertBOSS, a tech platform providing smart alerts. Kim is also cofounder, CEO of Nourish Foods Group’s The Crave Bar, cofounder, chief inspiration officer of TwistWorks, consulting and mentoring entrepreneurs, and cofounder and former owner of Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels. Kim was named the Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year in 2009, and in 2010 she was recognized with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Star Award. She was an inductee in the 2011 Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Kim was a JWI Women to Watch honoree in 2010, and is a past chair of JWI’s board of trustees. She shares her passion for empowering others to build their dreams through motivational speaking engagements and coaching.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Pati Jinich is the James Beard Award-winning host of the PBS Television series PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE. Pati is also resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., and author of two cookbooks: Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking and Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen. A former political analyst focused on Mexican political institutions and U.S.-Mexico relations at the Inter-American Dialogue, Pati holds a master's degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University. In April 2017, the Council of the Americas and Americas Quarterly named Pati one of the Top 5 Border Ambassadors who have performed outstanding work bringing the United States and Mexico closer together. The same year, she was named one of the 100 Greatest Cooks of All Time by Epicurious. Pati is a regular guest on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’s The Talk, ABC's The Chew, and Good Morning America, NPR’s All Things Considered and The Splendid Table, and Univision’s Despierta America. She was profiled on the front page of The New York Times food section in October 2018 and has been featured in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune,and other national and regional press. In addition to writing on her website, patijinich.com, she contributes to a wide array of print and online publications.
Dr. Logan Levkoff
Dr. Logan Levkoff is an internationally-recognized expert on sexuality and relationships. Logan frequently appears on national television and was the host of CafeMom’s Mom Ed: In the Bedroom, the sexuality expert for A&E/FYI’s Married at First Sight, and host of Shape Magazine's video series, "The Sexpert." A popular sex columnist nationwide, she currently blogs for The Huffington Post. Logan speaks on a range of issues related to sexuality and has designed education programs, faculty development, and parent education in many secular and religious schools, universities, medical schools, and community organizations. She is the author of three books on sexual health, including Got Teens? The Doctor Moms’ Guide to Sexuality, Social Media, and Other Adolescent Realities with Dr. Jennifer Wider (Seal Press, 2014). She has been an AASECT certified sex educator and board member.
Liza Levy is the immediate past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington where she currently serves on the executive committee and the board. She has served as chair of the Grants committee of the United Jewish Endowment Fund of the JFGW and currently sits on the committee as a member. She was the co-founder of both the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation and Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) where she was the recipient of the Barbara Rabkin Eshet Chayil Award. She was a participant in the Wexner Heritage program and a recipient of the Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award. She is an alumnus if the National Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Young Leadership Cabinet. Liza has also served on the boards at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation and the Edlavitch DCJCC. She currently serves on the board of the Joint Distribution committee (JDC). In 2012, she was honored by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) with the Kipnis- Wilson Friedland Award.
One of the country’s leading experts on organization, business productivity and time management, the author of five best-selling books, a consultant to large corporations and a sought-after speaker, Julie Morgenstern has appeared on "Oprah" and NBC’s "Today" show, and helped thousands of people transform their homes, businesses and attitudes about every kind of clutter. Morgenstern studied theater and developed a passion for directing – a job that requires both big-picture thinking and attention to detail. But as a newly-divorced mother of a three-year-old, she needed a career with a more stable financial future. The New York City-based Julie Morgenstern Enterprises has been successfully in business for 20 years; USA Today dubbed her the “queen of putting people’s lives in order.”
Estee R. Portnoy
Estee Portnoy manages the day-to-day business and marketing activities of Michael Jordan, working with the basketball star for over 22 years to manage and grow Jordan’s brand. Portnoy has managed the licensing for Jordan’s feature film debut Space Jam, and overseen the successful launch of the JORDAN brand, a division of Nike. She oversees all of Jordan’s business partners, public relations, marketing endorsements and philanthropic endeavors, along with serving as an Advisor to NBA Charlotte Hornets. Portnoy is on the board of Hillel International and past chair of the international board of directors for BBYO. She is also the co-founder of KEEN USA, a sports program for children with disabilities, and has served on the national advisory council for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and as a board member for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Dr. Jill Saxon
Dr. Jill Saxon joined Bausch + Lomb as the director of professional strategy in 2014, and is part of the leadership team for U.S. Vision Care. Previously Dr. Saxon served as an optometrist at Randolph Eyecare Center in Randolph, N.J., and as an optometrist at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, Md., as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. There she created a newly-renovated clinic that provided critical vision treatment and services to military members and their families. Dr. Saxon also coordinated the Optometry School Externship program, instructing students through the clinical program, and became an adjunct assistant clinical professor at four universities across the country. She is a member of the Armed Forces Optometric Society, the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians, and the American Optometric Association.
Rachel Braun Scherl
Rachel Braun Scherl is a strategist, entrepreneur, speaker, and the co-founder and principal of business consulting firm SPARK Solutions for Growth, which provides consulting services to clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. After earning a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford, in 1992 Rachel joined Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division, where she managed the flagship TYLENOL® brand. She later became a principal at Marketing Corporation of America, where she served as lead consultant for Johnson & Johnson’s global products and managed strategic engagements for American Express and Disney. In 1998 Rachel co-founded SPARK; 10 years later The Jannick Group partnered with Quaker BioVentures to create Semprae Laboratories, Inc., which developed women’s sexual health products and was sold to Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2013.
Rabbi Susan Shankman
Rabbi Susan Shankman is a rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Along with officiation at services, life cycle events and pastoral care and counseling, Rabbi Shankman coordinates the confirmation program, and focuses on programming for families with young children, sisterhood and women’s issues, social action, and outreach to interfaith families. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001. As a rabbinical student, Rabbi Shankman served student pulpits in Valparaiso, Indiana and Columbus, Mississippi. Upon ordination, she received the Ferdinand M. Isserman Prize for her contributions to the development of community relations. Rabbi Shankman earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in religion from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She is immediate past president of the Washington Board of Rabbis, and serves on the boards of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is also a member JWI’s National Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse, and was honored with the Women to Watch Community Leadership Award in 2006 and the Matthew H. Simon Rabbinical Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in 2014.
Laurie Strongin is the CEO of Hope for Henry Foundation, which creates innovative programs that entertain, comfort, and empower seriously ill children to be active participants in their own care. Laurie and her husband, Allen Goldberg, created the foundation after losing their seven-year-old son Henry to Fanconi anemia in 2002. Laurie now mentors young women who are emerging philanthropists and non-profit leaders. She also organized a Hope for Henry Teen Advisory Board, giving D.C.-area children ages 13 to 18 an opportunity to create fundraising events and hospital programs, and recently expanded this model with a young professional board for adults ages 28 to 40. Laurie sits on the boards and advisory councils of Be the Match – the National Marrow Donor Program; Disney Team of Heroes; Association
Noha Waibsnaider is the founder & CEO of GatheringUs, an online platform that brings together communities after the loss of a loved one. After planning many memorials and funerals within her own large family, Noha yearned for a simpler way to mobilize family and friends, and commemorate loved ones. She created GatheringUs to support communities through shared memories, gatherings, resources, and funding — all in one place. Noha is a 360° Council Member of Reimagine, a nonprofit that hosts a public conversation around death and life celebration. In 2004, Noha founded Peeled Snacks, an organic food company. She ran the brand for 13 years, raised $20M in equity financing, and brought healthy fruit and vegetable snacks to millions of consumers nationwide. Formerly, Noha worked in brand management on Ragu and Lipton at Unilever. Noha has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change, Women Presidents Organization’s 50 Fastest, JWI Woman to Watch, Columbia Business School’s Distinguished Alumna, and received the Ecademy Award for Entrepreneurship. She has an MBA from Columbia Business School and BA in Spanish and Latin American studies from American University.
Andrea Wolf is the president and CEO of the Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer – a nonprofit dedicated to preventing death from breast cancer through education, access, and physician training – where she oversees programming and operations. The organization is named after her mother, breast cancer survivor and breast imaging pioneer Dr. Rachel Brem. Andrea herself tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation and had prophylactic mastectomies at age 30. Prior to her current position, Andrea was the director of public policy at Girls Inc., where she advocated for afterschool education and social issues for low-income girls. After graduating from the University Pennsylvania in 2005 and George Washington Law School in 2009, she was an associate attorney at Patton Boggs LLP. Andrea lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three daughters.
Rachel Apfelbaum is a project coordinator with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), where she plans training events nationwide centered around enhancing law enforcement response to sexual assault crimes. Prior to this position, she worked with the IACP to arrange training events focused on strengthening the response to domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. She also has a background in direct victim services with experience as a court advocate and shelter supervisor working with the victims of domestic violence. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Madison University and her master’s degree in global women’s studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). At NUIG she was a committee member for the Feminist Society.
Heather Berg is a 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in leadership and public policy. A first-generation college student, Heather is passionate about advancing solutions to ensure all students have access to an equitable, high-quality education. After graduating, Heather taught middle school English at Title I schools in Nashville for two years. She then moved to D.C. to kick-start her career in public policy. Heather served as an Urban Leaders Fellow, where she researched policy solutions to reduce suspensions and expulsions in Washington, D.C. Her recommendations were ultimately successful and led to the introduction and subsequent passage of a bill by D.C.'s City Council. Heather now works as a senior research associate at Council for a Strong America, an education advocacy nonprofit where she researches and writes about evidence-based outcomes that impact youth.
Cheris Kline Berlinberg
Cheris Kline Berlinberg is a manager in the consulting department for the Healthcare division for Cognizant Technology Solutions, where she manages a team and works with insurance companies to increase their auto-adjudication rate by using Facets. Cheris sits on the board of directors for: Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue, JWI’s Denver Young Women’s Leadership Network, and Young Jewish Professionals. In 2019 she is participating in the GIFT (Give It Forward Today) fellowship, the Olami Impact Accelerator program, Impact Denver through The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Foundation, and the Denver Women’s Commission. Cheris is the founder of Path You Choose, a website devoted to helping college graduates discover their professional path. She is pursing her doctoral degree through the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Executive Healthcare Leadership program and expects to graduate in 2020. Cheris received a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration through St. Joseph’s University in 2014 and an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009.
Marissa Freemanis the Chicago Hub manager for OneTable. Originally from Kailua, Hawaii, Marissa is passionate about activating Chicago's community of young Jewish adults in an intentional way around the Friday night dinner table. While living in Seattle, Marissa built a foundation in marketing and events. A friend from Camp Ramah ultimately introduced Marissa to OneTable, where she helps Shabbat hosts and guests connect with their surroundings and each other around the great equalizer: Food. When Marissa isn't connecting with OneTable hosts and guests, you can find her teaching a class at The Bar Method, collaborating with JWI's Chicago Young Women's Leadership Network board, cheering on the University of Washington Huskies, or re-watching "The West Wing" for the 100th time. Marissa is motivated to explore ways to make OneTable Chicago even more successful!
Rachel Giattino is the program analyst for Jewish giving at Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP). Prior to joining CFP, she worked at Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies and Hillel at The George Washington University. She was also the first executive director of GatherDC, an organization that connects young Jewish adults to community in Washington, D.C. Rachel is currently completing her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management and serves as the VP of community relations on the Kellogg Part-Time Student Association. In her free time, Rachel volunteers weekly with individuals experiencing homelessness, serves on the University of Chicago board of directors, and trains for triathlons.
Kyle Goldhoff is a TV and video content producer at Intersport and can be found in cities across America on any given day traveling for both work and pleasure. She settled in Chicago by way of growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and studying at the University of Texas at Austin. Kyle found her Jewish identity and passion of leadership during her involvement in the B'nai Brith Youth Organization in high school. Through joining both Women in Film and Women in Sports and Events in Chicago, Kyle has become very well versed in the strengths and struggles of women in her industry and the support system an organization like YWLN can provide. She has also been involved in the JUF and is excited to become even more active in the Jewish community. Aside from travel, Kyle is a die-hard foodie, decent home cook and fitness fanatic.
Sarah Goldberg is the assistant director of the Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics, where she oversees community outreach and engagement, marketing initiatives and works closely with the Sarnoff Center’s associate board of young professionals. Prior to joining the Sarnoff Center in 2017, Sarah worked at the University of Chicago Medicine. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a Master of Science in Health Communication from Northwestern University. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys cooking and traveling, and is passionate about improving the lives of individuals with digestive diseases. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their rescue dog, Domino.
Suzanne grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Political Science and began her career at AIPAC, working in fundraising in NYC. Suzanne worked as a consultant in political fundraising before accepting a dream position - transitioning from a community member to working full time with the founding Rabbinic couples of Base. Base builds vibrant Jewish community committed to pluralism and founded upon three core values: hospitality, learning, and service. Suzanne currently lives in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn with her partner Nick.
Maggie Herman lives in Washington, D.C. and works on health care and education policy issues for Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). Prior to this role, she served as the communication and policy associate at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an agency that advises the Congress issues affecting the Medicare program. In her free time, she likes to read non-fiction books, spend time outdoors, and explore the Washington D.C. restaurant scene. Maggie is originally from Overland Park, Kansas, and graduated from cum laude from Tulane University where she studied public health and political science.
Anna grew up in Wilmington, Del., moving to D.C. to complete an accelerated five-year BBA/MSIST program at the GW School of Business. Afterward, she joined Deloitte and has been with the firm for almost four years. At Deloitte, Anna works for the office of the chief risk officer, serving as the team lead and project / product manager. In addition to managing technology-enabled solutions, she handles strategy, stakeholder management, vendor procurement, and communications for the team. Her latest initiatives include building a successful global enterprise program by collaborating with member firms, and expanding the risk sensing practice. Outside of work, Anna loves staying active and enjoys trying new fitness classes, spending time outdoors, traveling, and exploring new cuisines. She also remains an active alumna at GW, frequently participating as a student mentor and guest speaker.
Miriam was born and raised in Upstate New York in Syracuse and then went to the University of Michigan where she majored in education and psychology. After graduating from Michigan, she moved to New York City and completed a master’s in literacy at Columbia University. During her four years in New York City, Miriam worked as a 6th grade English teacher at a NYC public school. In July 2018, Miriam moved to Chicago and is currently continuing her career as an educator. In addition to being a passionate educator, Miriam enjoys running along the lake, trying out new restaurants, and being with friends!
Jackie Kossoff is a marketing strategist and success coach, and founder of the Accountability Collective, a community of women entrepreneurs committed to turning their goals into reality. She loves helping women tap into their full potential and create meaningful success in their businesses (and lives). Jackie loves reading, writing, history, and travel. She's currently working on her first book, which encourages millennial women to discover and pursue their own visions of success. Learn more about Jackie at jackiekossoff.com or follow along on Instagram @jackiekossoff_la.
Nisa Kwall is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. Nisa’s desire to become a financial advisor began in her early teen years, which ultimately led her to begin her career with the Cohn Weisskopf Oxmangroup as asummer intern in 2012. Nisa received a Bachelor of Arts degree with aconcentration in financial planning from the University of Illinois. She focuses on developing long-term relationships with new and existing clients and dedicates herself to understanding her clients’ personal financialgoals, concerns, and needs. This commitment to her clients led to Nisa being recognized as one of Jewish United Fund of Chicago’s “36 Under 36” honorees in 2018. Additionally, Nisa started the Gold Coast chapter of BNI, an international networking organization, which she helped grow to over 25 members.
When Sammantha Marks is not disseminating financial data for her clients at Morningstar, you can find her at Jewish events around the city of Chicago. Whether attending interfaith programming through American Jewish Committee, volunteering with Maot Chitim or building her next Moishe House Without Walls program, Marks feels incredibly fortunate to be intertwined in her Midwest Jewish community. She attributes her love and drive for tikkun olam to her grandparents who were active in their own Jewish community in Los Angeles. Marks graduated from the University of Iowa in 2014 with a degree in Spanish and Speech Pathology. She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois, where she loves to explore new neighborhoods by bicycle.
Hali Simons, born and raised in Oak Park, Calif., made the move to Washington, D.C. to attend The George Washington University. She received her B.A in communications and journalism and has since migrated back to the West (BEST) Coast! She currently works at Pandora Music in ad operations. In her free time she can be found exploring Los Angeles or perusing the aisles of Trader Joe's, and is always looking for a new restaurant, fitness class, or snazzy rooftop!
Carrie Seleman is a 2019 JD candidate at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, pursuing certificates in ChildLaw and Public Interest Law. Carrie was born and raised in St. Louis and moved to Chicago after graduating from Indiana University, where she studied Public Policy and Jewish Studies. Since starting law school, Carrie has worked at the Office of the Public Guardian, representing children who have been abused or neglected; the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk, providing short- and long-term legal assistance to clients wishing to clear their juvenile records; the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, in the Orders of Protection division; and the Center for Conflict Resolution as a certified mediator. At Loyola, she is the President of the Jewish Law Student Association and the editor-in-chief of the Children's Legal Rights Journal. Outside of pursuing her law degree, Carrie serves as the co-president of JWI YWLN Chicago.
Jordanna (Jordy) Snyder works to advance children’s health equity by bringing health and academic partners together to plan strategically. Jordy started her career as a teacher at the Jewish Primary Day School, now Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. She studied biology at Bucknell University and completed her master’s in public health in prevention and community health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Jordy is an avid and curious learner. She is committed to building a strong Jewish community with deep relationships, creating a Jewish home, and stretching her creative muscles through improvisational comedy.
A fourth generation Denver native, Jess is an avid skier, cyclist, and hiker. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Denver and her M.B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Jess works in brand management at Danone North America, where she manages the International Delight coffee creamer brand. Jess has worker her entire career in CPG and has experience in a variety of functions including supply chain, category management, and now brand marketing. Women’s rights, empowerment, and community are all passion points for Jess. Currently she serves as president of Danone’s women’s resource group, LIFT (Leading and Inspiring Female Talent). She is also active in the consumer goods industry group NEW (Network of Executive Women) and serves as a board member for the Denver JWI Young Women's Leadership Network.
Lindsey Wagner is a business development consultant at a New York City government relations firm, where she focuses on helping companies build strategic plans that encompass digital strategy, political, and social impact elements. Before starting in her current role, she was a political fellow in Washington, D.C. working on nutrition and food policy for Save the Children. She then moved to Israel for a teaching fellowship, where she taught English in Netanya, integrating advocacy and equality into collaborative learning modules for elementary school students. Currently, Lindsey co-leads an initiative in her office focusing on culture and wellness of the workplace. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a double major in strategic communications and political science with a focus on global health and policy.
Jennifer Weinstein was born and raised in Maryland and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, where she received a full academic merit scholarship. During her time in college, Jennifer was involved with behavioral science research and received the University of Maryland's Undergraduate Researcher of the Year award. Jennifer currently lives in Washington, D.C. and works in Workforce Strategy and Analytics for Deloitte Consulting. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys traveling, going to restaurants, and meeting new dogs around her neighborhood.
Jordan Zall is a Colorado native and graduate of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Following her graduation, Jordan made the bold decision to move to New York City. She currently works in the advertising industry at Cosmopolitan Magazines and helps guide various teams with digital strategy pitch for potential clients. When she’s not working, Jordan enjoys attending networking events, playing tennis, and volunteering for the JCC's tutoring program for low income kids. She strives to balance work, personal life, and giving back to the community and is always looking for ways to do more.