Rabbi Joshua Rabin is Director of Innovation at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, where he is also the Program Director of the USCJ Convention. Prior to coming to USCJ, Josh served as the Rav Beit Sefer (Rabbi-in-Residence) of the Schechter School of Long Island from 2011-2014. Josh received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011, where he served two terms as student body president.
Josh received a Certificate from The Principals’ Center at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2014, and was an inaugural fellow at the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership at the UJA-Federation of New York. Josh lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Rabbi Yael Hammerman, and their children Hannah and Shai. You can read more of Josh’s writings by visiting www.joshuarabin.com.
Aliza Mazor is the Executive Director for Bikkurim: Advancing New Jewish Ideas, a joint project of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Kaminer Family. Bikkurim will soon become part of UpStart together with Joshua Venture and the North American programs of PresenTense, forming an “innovation one-stop” for the Jewish community. Bikkurim has supported 33 innovative start-ups that contribute significantly to the diversification and reinvigoration of Jewish life. Through Atid Hazak (Strong Futures), Bikkurim prepares the most promising new initiatives in Jewish life to grow their impact.
Previously, Aliza served as an independent organizational consultant to philanthropies, capacity-builders, and social justice organizations. A Chicago native, Aliza spent fifteen years living and working in Israel and holds an MSW from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently lives in New York City.
This podcast episode focuses on the merger between four Jewish innovation organizations, Bikkurim, Upstart, Joshua Venture Group, and the US programs for PresenTense as announced through E-Jewish Philanthropy.
Mark S. Young is passionate about advancing effective educational leadership in Jewish life. As managing director of the JTS Davidson School Leadership Commons, Mark builds relationships with community foundations, federations, and practitioners across the continent to make the Leadership Commons a space where “thinkers, doers, and visionaries” from all corners of Jewish education come together to learn, create, and collaborate for the common good of the Jewish people in North America.
Mark previously served as The Davidson School’s director of Alumni Engagement, launching new initiatives to benefit its 1,000 alumni, including the school’s recent 20th anniversary alumni celebration. Mark also served as program coordinator of the school’s Experiential Learning Initiative, launching the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI) for JCC professionals and advancing experiential learning within the school’s MA program.
Prior to joining JTS, Mark served as assistant director of human resources for Episcopal Social Services (ESS), human resources and volunteer programs manager for the 92nd Street Y, and head song-leader and Jewish educator for the Mandel JCC Camp Wise in northeast Ohio.
Ilana Aisen is the Executive Director of JPRO Network, which connects, educates, inspires and empowers professionals working in the Jewish communal sector throughout North America. Ilana served most recently as Director of Experiential Education at UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. She was part of the founding staff team at Repair the World and concluded her tenure there as Executive Vice President.
Ilana started her career at American Jewish World Service, where she worked in a variety of program roles during seven years of rapid organizational growth and change. She holds Masters in nonprofit management and Judaic studies from New York University. Through UJA Federation of New York’s Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership (a predecessor to the Ruskay Institute), the Wexner Foundation, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, and the Schusterman Foundation, Ilana has been the beneficiary of professional development opportunities that grew her ability to exercise leadership in the Jewish community.
She is passionate about maximizing opportunities for our 80,000 North American colleagues to contribute at their highest potential and build exciting and fulfilling careers in our field. She also once won an AJWS staff scrabble tournament in which Ruth Messinger was the runner up. Ilana lives in Toronto with her husband Eli and their two young children.