Avishag Bar-Tal is the Vice President of Operations at Shalem College, where she is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating operations in support of the college’s growth. In addition to the oversight of special projects, Bar-Tal, who has more than 11 years’ experience in developing organizational infrastructures, manages the daily operations of the administration, IT, and personnel departments.
Before joining Shalem, Bar-Tal was a senior placement coordinator at Hever Hon, one of Israel’s leading human-resources firms. Prior to that, she served as coordinator for the high-net-worth clients team at Bank Leumi.
Bar-Tal holds a BA in social sciences from Bar-Ilan University, where she also earned an MA in legal studies. Currently she is completing a certificate in conflict management from the Gevim Group, one of Israel’s leading professional firms.
Seth Goldstein is Senior Vice President at Shalem College. In this role, he works to advance the educational mission of the college and oversees the finance, operations, communications, admissions, alumni, and fund-development teams. Before joining Shalem, Goldstein served as deputy to the president of Yeshiva University, with a focus on philanthropy and community. In this capacity, he was part of a small leadership team that guided the overall university, and played a central role in the university’s historic $1 billion capital campaign. Prior to his time at Yeshiva University, Goldstein worked as a litigator at Dewey Ballantine LLP in New York City, where he handled complex commercial litigations. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.
Dr. Daniel Gordis is Senior Vice President, Koret Distinguished Fellow, and Chair of the Core Curriculum at Shalem College. Previously the vice president of the Mandel Foundation in Israel and director of its Leadership Institute, Gordis was also the founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Author of numerous books, a regular columnist for Bloomberg View and The Jerusalem Post, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Times of Israel, and other leading news outlets, Gordis lectures throughout the world on Israeli society, American-Israeli relations, and the challenges facing the Jewish state.
Gordis is a two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, first for Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End (Wiley, 2009), and then for his Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn (Ecco, 2016), a comprehensive yet accessible single-volume history of the state of Israel from its inception to the present day.
Gordis’s other books include Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul (Nextbook, 2014), an original examination of Israel’s sixth Prime Minister, and The Promise of Israel, Why Its Seemingly Greatest Weakness is Actually its Greatest Strength (Wiley, 2012), which was named by Jewish Ideas Daily as one of the “best Jewish books of 2012.”
Rachel Jacobson Gold is Chief of Staff and Director of Fund Development at Shalem College. In this role, she works to advance the President’s key strategic priorities and oversees the College’s fundraising operations.
Prior to joining Shalem in 2014, she served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Orayta gap-year program, and before that, as the Director of Development at Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, TX.
Jacobson Gold received a B.A. from Yeshiva University in Jewish history and English, and an M.S.W. from Wurzweiler School of Social Work with a focus in community organizing. She also holds a certificate in Fund Development from Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership.
Prof. Leon R. Kass is Dean of the Faculty at Shalem College, Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and Scholar Emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. A lifelong enthusiast of liberal education, he was trained in medicine and biochemistry before shifting from the practice of science to thinking about its meaning. For more than 50 years, he has been engaged with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advances, and more recently with broader cultural issues and the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible.
Kass taught at St. John’s College and Georgetown University before returning, in 1976, to the University of Chicago. He served there until 2010 as an award-winning teacher, noted for his deep involvement in undergraduate education and his commitment to the study of classic texts. Together with his late wife, Amy Kass, he helped found a core humanities course titled, “Human Being and Citizen,” as well as a degree-granting major, “Fundamentals: Issues and Texts,” which emphasizes big questions and great books. His own books include The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature (University of Chicago, 1999); Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (Encounter, 2004); The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis; Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times (University of Chicago, 2006); and his recent Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus (Yale, 2021).
From 2001-2005, Kass was Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, which, under his direction, produced seven books on topics ranging from human cloning and biotechnical enhancement to the care of the elderly. Kass was involved from the earliest stages in developing the ideas and educational philosophy behind Shalem College; from 2016-2019, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Shalem, offering seminars for both students and faculty.
Prof. Menachem Kellner is the Chair of the Philosophy and Jewish Thought Department at Shalem College. An expert in medieval Jewish philosophy and modern Jewish thought, Kellner taught at the University of Haifa for 33 years. Among other positions at the university, he acted as chair of the Department of Maritime Civilizations and dean of students, and held the Sir Isaac and Lady Edith Wolfson Chair of Religious Thought. He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne and at Northwestern University.
Author of twenty-three books and well over one hundred scholarly articles, Kellner has twice been short-listed for the National Jewish Book Award. Two of his translations of classic texts have appeared in the Yale Judaica Series
Martin Kramer is Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Shalem College, for which he was also the founding president.
An authority on the history and politics of the Middle East, contemporary Islam, and modern Israel, Kramer earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, where he prepared his thesis under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Lewis. He then spent 25 years at Tel Aviv University, where he directed the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Kramer has taught as a visiting professor at Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, Cornell University, Georgetown University, and The Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). He has also served as a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington and Harvard University's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. He is presently the Walter P. Stern fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Kramer is the author or editor of eight books.
Jonathan Mensh is Vice President of Finance for Shalem College. He brings a diverse accounting and finance background to his role, including experience at publicly-traded corporations. Prior to joining Shalem, he was the corporate controller for IDT Global Israel, an organization of over 1,000 employees, where he was responsible for establishing and managing the firm’s accounting and finance operations. He has also served as assistant corporate controller for Pediatrix Medical Group (now MedNax), the largest provider of neonatal medical services in the United States, where his responsibilities included supervising the reporting, accounting, payroll, and payables functions.
Dr. Daniel Polisar is Executive Vice President and co-founder of Shalem College. Polisar served as president of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013, after holding posts as director of research, academic director, and editor-in-chief of the center’s journal Azure. Before joining Shalem, he was founder and director of Peace Watch, a non-partisan organization monitoring Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords, and head of the Peace Watch observer team during the January 1996 Palestinian elections. Polisar received his B.A. in politics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include the history and philosophy of higher education, education in Israel, and Israeli constitutional development.
Polisar has testified before the Knesset Constitution Committee on Israel’s character as a Jewish state. Since 2005, he has served on the board of Metzilah, the Center of Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought, and in 2006, he was appointed by the prime minister to be the first chairman of the National Herzl Council, responsible for commemorating the legacy of Theodor Herzl, a position he held for three years.
Prof. Russ Roberts is President of Shalem College. An economist, writer and teacher, he is also the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the founder of EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious, an award-winning weekly podcast with more than 750 episodes and millions of unique downloads. Past EconTalk guests include Yuval Noah Harari, Martha Nussbaum, Milton Friedman, Thomas Piketty, Angela Duckworth, Christopher Hitchens, Agnes Callard, Bill James, Emily Oster, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, A.J. Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato, Alan Lightman, Dwayne Betts, and Michael Lewis.
His latest book is Gambling With Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis (Hoover Institution Press, 2019). Roberts explores the role that past bailouts played in the risk-taking that led to the financial crisis of 2008. In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014), Roberts takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.
He is also the author of three economic novels, all of which teach economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008) tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us that create and sustain economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (MIT Press, 2002) looks at corporate responsibility and a wide array of policy issues, including anti-poverty programs, consumer protection, and the morality of the marketplace. His first book, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism (Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2006) is on international trade policy and the human consequences of international trade. It was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of 1994 by the Financial Times.
Together with filmmaker John Papola, Roberts has produced two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, both of which have had more than 11 million YouTube views, have been subtitled in 11 languages, and are used in high school and college economics classrooms around the world. He is also author of the poem and animated video “It’s a Wonderful Loaf,” which elucidates the patterns of daily life that emerge without coordination. His series on the challenge of using data to establish truth, The Numbers Game, can be found at PolicyEd.org. Roberts archives his videos and other work at RussRoberts.info.
Roberts has taught at Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, George Mason University, the University of Rochester, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he was the director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Sharon Weber is Vice President of Human Resources at Shalem College. She joined Shalem in 2002 as part of the marketing team, with responsibility for promoting Shalem Press books among Israeli universities. She was later promoted to director of marketing, and in 2010, she was appointed director of human resources.
Before coming to Shalem, Weber worked for the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center, which promotes dialogue between Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, and immigrant and native-born populations. She also served as a group leader for various Jewish Agency projects, including Birthright, and as an assistant to the Attorney General of Israel. Weber holds a BA in political science and art history and an MA in Conflict Management and Resolution, both from the Hebrew University. During her military service, she served as a rescue-operations instructor in the Homefront Command, teaching doctors, engineers, and reservists how to rescue civilians from disaster sites.
David Messer has spent his career in the financial-services industry, with a focus on commodities markets. Formerly the head of Sempra Energy Trading Corp., Messer is now the CEO of Freepoint Commodities, which he founded in 2011.
Messer is highly involved in a variety of communal activities. He holds a B.A. from Yale University, where he is a Yale Sterling Fellow.
Alan Adler was chairman of the board and CEO of Oridion Systems Ltd., a global leader in patient monitoring systems, from 2004 until the company’s acquisition by the American healthcare conglomerate Medtronic in 2012. Prior to that, he served for more than 30 years as a partner and consultant at McKinsey & Company and as a partner at Evergreen, the Israel-based venture capital group. Adler has served as a director on the boards of numerous technology and life-science companies and currently serves as director on the board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
A Brooklyn native, Adler holds a B.Sc. in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with honors from Stanford University. After having spent several decades in London, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam, he and his wife Valerie moved to Jerusalem’s Yemin Moshe neighborhood, where they have spent the last 25 years.
Segev Aframian grew up in Jerusalem, where he attended the prestigious Hebrew University-affiliated high school Liyada and served as a leader in the national Scouts youth movement. After high school, he elected to do a year of voluntary national service teaching math and literature to youth at risk in Beit Shemesh. Aframian then enlisted in the paratroopers' brigade, where he served first as a sergeant and is now a sergeant in the reserves.
A Philosophy and Jewish Thought major at Shalem College, Aframian divides his time between his studies and his work as an analyst in the Department of Information and Strategy at Maoz, a national network for advancing leadership in the public sector. He also teaches philosophy at the Ein Prat pre-army preparatory academy.
Yitz Applbaum is co-founder of MizMaa Ventures, a $200M fund that invests in Israeli startups, and is president of Health Connect Acquisitions Corporation (SNRHU). He is also co-founder of Secure Senior Connections, a digital platform for addressing loneliness and improving health among the elderly. Previously he was the founder and CEO of Concorde Solutions Inc., which he sold to Bank of America, and a partner at the global venture fund Lightspeed Venture Partners.
A longtime member of the Young Presidents Organization, Applbaum is on the board of directors of The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Asia Society, and the American Action Network. He is a trustee of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and sits on its governance and nominating committees, and also serves on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, for which he co-chairs its legislative affairs committee. Finally, Applbaum is a founding board member of Him for Her for Him (HHH), which assists in the placement of women in corporate boards.
Jed Arkin is engaged at the board, management, or advisory levels in ventures spanning optical design of progressive eyeglass lenses, semantic databases, truffle cultivation, reactive personal armor and real estate development. He previously served as chairman of MadahCom, a manufacturer of spread-spectrum public-alerting systems ultimately acquired by Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE), and as vice president of the Israeli venture-capital firm Challenge Fund. He was also general manager of merchant banking for Oscar Gruss & Son, a New York-based investment bank, and has served as director for more than a dozen public and private Israeli tech companies.
Arkin holds a B.A. in classics from St. John’s College in Annapolis and J.D./M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University.
Trevor Asserson is senior partner and head of dispute resolution at Asserson Law, and is recognized as one of the United Kingdom’s leading litigation lawyers. In addition to representing numerous household names in the UK, Russia, and Israel, Asserson has run a number of public interest claims on behalf of various causes and also founded BBC Watch, which analyzes BBC media coverage of the Middle East.
Prior to establishing Asserson Law, Asserson worked at Herbert Smith, Europe’s leading litigation firm, and subsequently served as global head of international litigation at Bird & Bird, one of Europe’s largest multi-national firms with a premier reputation for IP, Telecoms, and IT law.
Harvey Beker is chairman of Millburn Ridgefield Corporation (“Millburn”), an alternative asset management firm specializing in the use of quantitative models to trade futures and currencies. He has been a principal of Millburn for more than forty years and is a member of its investment committee. He is also the president and treasurer of The Beker Foundation, a private foundation founded in 1984 to support initiatives in education and medicine, and serves as a board member of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Esplanade Association, and SAR Academy.
Beker is a member of Harvard Kennedy School’s Dean’s Council and of the Wiener Advisory Council, and previously served on the board of overseers of New York University’s Stern School of Business; on the advisory committee of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mt. Sinai Hospital; and on the board of directors of Wave Hill and the Riverdale YM-YWHA, among others.
Beker received his B.A. in economics and M.B.A. in finance from New York University. He is also a 2019 graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.
Eliezer Brender is co-founder and CEO of Exigent Capital Group, a boutique investment house that manages strategies across public markets, private and distressed debt, growth equity, venture capital and real estate. The firm’s primary sector focus is financials and banking, healthcare technology and energy/ESG, and makes investments on an international scale, including in Israel, EEMA, the Americas, and Europe.
Brender and his partners leverage their firm to focus and impact philanthropic enterprises with an emphasis on education, in particular the study of history, philosophy, and science, and on technological advancement with applications for the future of Israel. They are also involved in business and organizations that work in the areas of diplomacy, national security and Jewish identity.
Lorne M. Buchman is president of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and an international leader in art and design education. He is a theater director, dramatic literature professor, and the author of a book on creativity entitled Make to Know: From Spaces of Uncertainty to Creative Discovery (September, 2021). He is also the author of a book on filmic adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. He hosts Change Lab: Conversations on Transformation and Creativity, a podcast in which he conducts interviews with leading artists, designers, and cultural innovators. Buchman previously served on the faculty of University of California, Berkeley. He left that position to become president of California College of the Arts and later Saybrook University. He holds a PhD from Stanford University in Drama and Humanities.
Mark Charendoff is president of the Maimonides Fund, a private grant-making organization dedicated to education and Jewish identity in both Israel and North America. He is the former president of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN), an umbrella body of over 900 Jewish family foundations and independent funders, and the former vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, where he helped to establish the Birthright Israel program. He also served as director of Jewish Educational Services for the JCC Association of North America. Charendoff currently serves on the board of the Birthright Israel Foundation and is the recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence from Brandeis University.
Sanford “Sandy” T. Colb is founder of Sanford T. Colb & Co., a patent and technology law firm based in Rehovot, Israel. As head of the firm, Sandy leads a team of lawyers engaged in highly sophisticated patent writing and prosecution, as well as intellectual-property counseling, licensing, and litigation in both Israel and the U.S. His clients include leading Israel companies, multinational corporations, universities, and governmental bodies.
Himself a farmer, Colb has for the last 25 years sponsored and managed a charity farm, HaTov V’HaMeitiv, in Rehovot, which grows almost 2 million kilos of 40 different crops each year. All produce is donated to 35 different agencies that assist nutritionally challenged populations throughout Israel. Schools and groups also visit the farm to enjoy a hands-on, back-to-the-land, fruit-and-vegetable picking experience.
Sandy holds a B.A. and M.Sc. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, London and was a Thouron Scholar at Cambridge University.
Tal Eitan is director of the Jerusalem Municipality’s Al Bashair University Program for Arab high-school students and graduates in East Jerusalem, whose goal is to prepare them for both university and the work force. Previously, she served as the director of an elite pre-army leadership academy for secular and religious youth in the Arava—one of the few women in the country to hold such a position. For her army service, Eitan served as a deputy company commander for Havat Hashomer, a training base for soldiers from troubled backgrounds that aims to integrate them successfully into the army and Israeli society.
While studying at Shalem, she co-founded Mered (“Revolution”), a national student movement within the Labor party that works to reinvent the Zionist left. She also spearheaded a student-wide conference on politics and policy ahead of the national elections.
Jeffrey Farber is the chief executive officer of the Koret Foundation, a San Francisco-based foundation committed to nurturing the continuity of the Jewish people worldwide and to strengthening the Bay Area community. Farber has over 30 years of broad business experience, ranging from executive positions at Bank of America to vice chairman and chief operating officer of Shorenstein Realty Services and partner of a boutique financial services firm.
Farber holds numerous community and philanthropic leadership positions, locally, nationally and internationally, including member of the National Council and former chair of AIPAC of Northern California; member of the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; member of the board of governors for the San Francisco Commonwealth Club; member of the board of American Friends of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds; member of the board of directors of Onward Israel; and trustee at the Center for Human Rights Leadership at his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College. He is also a former board member of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and of the board of directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, as well as the director of the Exploratorium.
Louis Frenkel is an investment/portfolio manager and the lead trustee of the Joe and Rosa Frenkel Charitable Trust, a registered UK charity. He also runs, together with his colleague Andrew Branch, a company that invests in and renovates commercial properties in London and the south of England.
Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Frenkel attended the University of the Wiwatersrand, where he earned his B.A. in sociology. After working for several years in his family’s business, Tiger Oats and the National Milling Company, he moved to London and took up a position at a stockbrokerage. Frenkel lives with his wife Averil outside of London.
Dr. Anita Friedman has a distinguished record of public service as a lay and professional leader both nationally and internationally. Professionally, she heads Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) of the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the largest and oldest family service institutions in the United States. She is also President of the Koret Foundation.
As a speaker, lecturer, and author, Friedman’s expertise includes social policy and programming for diverse populations—from children and youth to families and the aged; the financing of health and human services; and the development of innovative business social enterprise models. She is also an expert on the theory and practice of Jewish communal service, and on Holocaust and genocide education.
As a lay leader, Friedman has been appointed to various local, state, national, and international commissions, including the San Francisco Human Services Commission and as a commissioner for the State of California Board of Education. As a policy consultant to the State of Israel Ministry of Social Affairs, she has advised on effective policy strategies for human services and immigrant absorption. She also serves as a trustee on the national boards of AIPAC, the Polin Museum of Poland, the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. Friedman is also currently vice president of the International Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University.
Sapir Ganz Eldar grew up in Shaarei Tikvah, a settlement in central Israel. After graduating high school, she spent a year learning at Yeshivat Ein Hanatziv, where she studied philosophy and Jewish texts and volunteered for several organizations that help children with special needs. Eldar began her army service as a commander on a base for soldiers with criminal backgrounds, and later joined the educational staff of a unit for non-Jewish soldiers who seek to convert during their service. Eventually, she eventually became head of the course in Tel Aviv. Eldar finished her army service as the commander of a unit composed of 120 Arab soldiers.
Eldar is a sophomore in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Shalem College, where she is also a Fooksman scholar.
Dr. Micah Goodman is an Israeli Jewish philosopher and a leading voice on Judaism, Zionism, and the challenges and opportunities facing Israel and contemporary world Jewry. He was named by the Jerusalem Post in 2017 as one of the 50 most influential Jews and by Liberal Magazine in 2019 as one of the 100 most influential Israelis.
Goodman received his doctorate in Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of five Israeli bestsellers, president of Beit Midrash Yisraeli – Beit Prat, Israel's leading pluralistic Zionist Beit Midrash for young adults, and a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is also a sought-after lecturer across North America and Europe as well as at Israel’s leading think tanks, cultural venues, and universities. Goodman also advises Israel’s political and national leaders on a wide range of issues.
Daniel Herman, a program manager at the Ministry of Defense, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio until the age of 11, after which he and his family moved to Jerusalem. He served in the IDF in a small, elite intelligence unit for eight years, five more than the required period. Having risen to the rank of Major, he held various command positions and oversaw both combatant training and strategic development.
A major in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Shalem College, Herman directed resource development and strategic development for 0202, a trilingual website that translates national news and social media posts from the Zionist, Haredi, and Arab communities of Jerusalem into Arabic, Hebrew, and English. He was also the recipient of a grant from the Bronfman Fellowship Alumni Venture Fund to continue developing the site’s English platform. Finally, Herman interned at Blue and White Human Rights, where he worked at the Tsur Baher community center in East Jerusalem to help Palestinian residents navigate the Israeli bureaucracy.
Terry Kassel is the head of strategic human resources at Elliott Investment Management L.P. and serves on the management committee. Kassel is also a member of the compliance and operational risk committee. Previously, Kassel was global head of human resources and a member of the operating committee at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. from 2001 to 2006, counsel and head of human resources for the private client division at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. from 2000 to 2001, and litigation counsel at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith from 1985 to 2000. Kassel serves as chairman of the board of Start-Up Nation Central, a not-for-profit based in Israel and inspired by the book, Start-Up Nation; as trustee of the Paul E. Singer Foundation; and as board member of Barnes & Noble and the Jewish Food Society. Kassel earned a J.D. from Seton Hall University and a B.A. in Political Science from New York University.
Adv. Yudi Levy is co-chairman and managing partner of Goldfarb Seligman & Co., one of Israel’s most renowned law firms. Often called upon to assist corporate directors in critical situations, Levy is consistently ranked by Chambers and Partners as one of the top corporate lawyers in Israel.
Levy is a member of the boards of directors of Knafaim Holding, Global Knafaim Leasing, and Dori Media Group, and a member of the management of the Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law at the Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University. Between 2008-2020, Levy served as vice chairman and chairman of the board of directors of El Al Israel Airlines and as a member of the board of directors of Maman Cargo Terminals. Levy holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a member of both the Israel and New York Bar Associations.
Polina Liberman is active in numerous communal and philanthropic projects related to education and Jewish identity and sits on the board of directors of SAR Academy in Riverdale. A longtime advocate for Israel, she is also a member of the boards of the Mazel Day School and RAJE, organizations aimed at revitalizing Jewish life in the Russian American community.
Liberman holds a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. in operations research from Stanford University. She began her career at the Fair Isaac Corporation, for which she built mathematical models.
Pini Lozowick is a hi-tech entrepreneur and investor with more than three decades’ experience. He was previously a co-founding partner and CIO of OurCrowd, an innovative crowdsourcing investment vehicle for startups in Israel. He was also founder and CEO of Verisense, a Jerusalem-based hi-tech company, and a partner at Alta Berkeley, a London-based venture capital fund. Lozowick has also held marketing, engineering, and management positions with Provigent, Chiaro, Broadcom, and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Lozowick was one of the founding members and is on the board of New Spirit, an organization that works to retain young professionals in Jerusalem. He also sits on the board of MadeinJLM, which works to grow the Jerusalem’s hi-tech community.
Lozowick completed his engineering degree at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Elisa Palter was co-founder of a specialty directory business for children’s services in Toronto that she sold in 2009 and another one for travel and tourism that she sold in 2019. She now assists on a volunteer basis with marketing for the Jewish Future Pledge and writes articles for a business that targets the startup community.
Palter holds a B.A. in economics and international relations from the University of Toronto and an M.B.A. with a focus in marketing from York University. Her many volunteer activities on behalf of the Toronto Jewish community include positions as founding publisher of “inTO,” a monthly UJA Federation of Greater Toronto magazine for youth; founding member of the Federation’s Young Business Network and ATID divisions; founding chair of the PJ Library for Toronto; and founder of a non-denominational Hebrew school for children.
Jay Pomrenze is a founding partners of Clarity Capital, a global, Israel-based asset-management firm. Previously he worked for 26 years at Bankers Trust Company, for which he was a member of the firm’s management committee. He has also served on the boards of various nonprofits and for-profit companies in Israel.
Pomrenze is a passionate student of Bible criticism, the history of the Talmud, philosophy, and early Christianity within its Jewish context..
George Rohr is co-founder and president of NCH Capital Inc., a New York-based private equity firm that has been investing across asset classes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union since shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. NCH was among the earliest Western participants in the region’s privatization opportunities. More recently, NCH extended its operations to Latin America.
In tandem with his business in the FSU, Rohr has had a long-time philanthropic focus on the rebuilding of Jewish life there, including ongoing support of Chabad emissaries throughout the region, the construction and renovation of Jewish communal institutions, and the publication of Jewish texts in Russian translation. In North America, his principal philanthropic focus has been on Jewish literacy, particularly through initiatives such as the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and support for the establishment of Chabad Houses on over 160 college campuses.
Yair Shamir is a managing partner at Catalyst Fund and is the chairman and director of the boards of many private and listed companies in Israel and around the world. He has also served as the chairman of four Israeli governmental companies: El Al Airlines, the National Road Company of Israel, the Metropolitan Mass Transit System, and the Israeli National Road Safety Authority.
A pilot and an engineer in the Israeli Air Force, Shamir served as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries from 2005-2011. He went on to serve as a member of Knesset and as Israel’s minister of agriculture and rural development.
Shamir is the chairman and co-founder of Gvahim, a nonprofit that helps qualified new immigrants accomplish their professional goals in Israel.
Raised in Connecticut, Lisa Wallack received a B.A. in the Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. (summa cum laude) from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. After law school, she practiced as a litigator at the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall, & Stewart, and is now a full-time community volunteer leader, actively serving the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), AIPAC, and Temple Beth Elohim. She has served on the boards of, and led major fundraising campaigns for, Gann Academy and The Rashi School. She is currently the vice chair of the International Board of JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).
At CJP, Wallack served as co-chair of the Annual Campaign (twice) and of the Acharai Leadership Program. She currently chairs Israel and Global Jewish Citizenship, which oversees the Boston-Haifa Connection and Strategic Israel Engagement, and serves on numerous other CJP committees. Wallack is the recipient of CJP’s Young Leadership Award and Circle Excellence Awards for Growth and for Leadership. She is a graduate of UJC’s Young Leadership Cabinet.
David Messer, Chairman
Segev Aframian ’22
Tal Eitan ’17
Sapir Ganz Eldar ’23
Daniel Herman ’20
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