JDC Global Symposium
New York City
Our Vision: An Exclusive Meeting with JDC’s CEO
October 14th, 2013 • Doors open 5 pm; discussion 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Hosted by Cliff Greenberg, Baron Funds, 767 Fifth Avenue bet. 58th-59th Streets
Discussion with Alan Gill, JDC’s new CEO, about crises facing Jews worldwide today and how to create the most strategic responses as we plan for the future; joined by Penny Blumenstein, JDC President.
October 15th, 2013 • Join us for part or all of the day’s programs
Congregation Shearith Israel: The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, 8 West 70th Street (co-sponsor)
Ambassadors and guests.
JDC works with Jewish communities and people in need in over 70 countries, and is witness to some of the most compelling global changes of our time.
11:00 am - 2:30 pm • Is Jewish the Way? (Lunch program)
Explore the variety of questions and responses, including yours, to how “Jewish” drives or complicates philanthropic priorities and decisions. Join JDC-Interface Fellowship founders, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of CLAL, and JDC’s Gideon Herscher in this compelling journey. Then share stories about meaningful engagement around the world with Michael Lazarus, Joni Kletter, Jon Deaner, Pamela Wohl, Will Schneider & JDC’s Dov Ben-Shimon.
Betsy Sheerr, JDC Board, Ambassadors Steering Committee
Tikkun Olam: Does Jewish get in the way, or is it the way?
Introduction: Hollis Rafkin-Sax, Interface alum
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President, CLAL
Gideon Herscher, JDC International Development & Crisis Relief
|12:30 pm||Table Discussions|
Jon Deaner & Pamela Wohl, Impact Network-Argentina
Michael Lazarus & Joni Kletter, Belarus Holocaust Memorial Project
Moderator: Will Schneider, Slingshot, Executive Director
JDC at Work Around the World
Dov Ben-Shimon, Executive Director, JDC Strategic Partnerships
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm • Strategic Solutions
How do we help people help themselves? Learn about how JDC’s employment initiative is key to Israel’s economic and social development with Michal Tzuk of the Ministry of Economics and JDC’s Sigal Shelach. Join break-outs with experts on shifting global realities from Cuba to Russia, and a discussion on the Szarvas camp in Hungary and its role in reigniting Jewish life.
Zach Fasman, JDC Board, Ambassadors Steering Committee Co-Chair
Employment: Helping people help themselves in Israel
Presenters: Michal Tzuk, Director and Senior Deputy General, Israeli Ministry of Economics
Sigal Shelach, Director, JDC-TEVET
Moderator: Stuart L. Brown, JDC Board member Trustee, Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation
Breakout sessions on shifting global realities and their ramifications in:
Latin America – lens on Cuba and Argentina (Introduction: Sandy Lenger; Presenter: Diana Fiedotin)
Russia – lens on shifting superpower (Introduction: Elizabeth Fine; Presenter: Rina Edelstein)
Israel – lens on building careers for women (Introduction: Alexandra Machinist; Presenter: Reeva Ninio)
Building new Jewish communities in Europe and beyond
Introduction: Jennifer Gross
Sasha Friedman, Director of Szarvas Camp
Mikaela Gerwin, Szarvas 2012
Ben Elias, Szarvas 2013
Rabbi Michael Paley, Director of Jewish Resource Center, UJA-FEDNY
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm • If You Will It... (Program & Reception)
Leading thinkers, activists and philanthropists including Susie Stern, Dr. Georgette Bennett, Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, Ambassadors Cheryl Fishbein and Geoffrey Stern, and Andres Spokoiny discuss what it takes to make real change.
Susie Stern, JDC Board
Why We Care
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Congregation Shearith Israel, Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
If You Will It... Making a real difference
Cheryl Fishbein, Ambassadors Steering Committee
Geoffrey Stern, lay leader, Ambassadors Circle member
Dr. Georgette Bennett, philanthropist, JDC leader and President & Founder of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding
Moderator: Andres Spokoiny, President and CEO, Jewish Funders Network
Bringing it All Together
Jayne Lipman, JDC Board, Ambassadors Steering Committee Co-Chair
HOST COMMITTEE (in formation)
Zach Fasman, Ambassadors co-chair
Michael I. Katz
Judah S. Kraushaar
Shari B. Levy
Jayne Lipman, Ambassadors co-chair
David J. Nathan
Paul E. Rosen
Betsy R. Sheerr
Mark B. Sisisky
Etta Gross Zimmerman
In collaboration with:
Dov Ben-Shimon was born in England and moved to Israel at the age of 18. He was an Air Force Rescue Medic and Infantry Combat Medic in the Israel Defense Forces, and saw active duty in both the Gaza and Lebanon fronts, with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Dov has a BA and MA in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as Assistant Spokesman to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Chargé D’Affaires (Deputy Ambassador) at the Israeli Embassy in Luanda, Angola. After several years in Jerusalem as the Director of Resources for the Israeli Reform Movement, Dov served as Major Gifts Officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. After serving as the Assistant Executive Vice President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and its Director of Board Development, Dov was appointed Executive Director for Strategic Partnerships in 2009, in which capacity he serves as a resource to American Jewish leaders on global Jewish needs and JDC’s programs and priorities.
Dr. Georgette Bennett, is the founder and President of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, an organization that combats religious prejudice. She has led Tanenbaum in pioneering the field of religious diversity in education, workplaces and health care, while at the same time contributing to the practice of religion in conflict resolution. Today, the Tanenbaum Center is a leading resource in these spheres. Dr. Bennett received the Interfaith Gold Medallion from the International Council of Christians and Jews, and the Nostra Aetate award from the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, the Distinguished Service Award from the City Comptroller's office, and the Friends of the United Nations' Global Tolerance Award on behalf of the Tanenbaum Center. Dr. Bennett plays a lead role in the recently formed Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, coordinated by JDC.
Stuart L. Brown is a member of the JDC Executive Committee. Mr. Brown is a retired tax attorney who currently devotes much of his time to philanthropic activities. In addition to the JDC, he serves as a director of the Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and American Friends of Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish Arab Education in Israel. At different points in his legal career, Mr. Brown was a partner at the Washington, DC law firm of Caplin & Drysdale, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress, and Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Brown has a B.A. from Yale College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. His wife, Diane Solomon MD, is a researcher at the National Cancer Institute. He and Diane have two daughters.
Jon Deaner is a digital marketing consultant and has worked with or for Bliss Spas, Godiva Chocolatier, Madison Square Garden, WebMD, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other marquee consumer brands. He is presently co-chairing JDC’s first Impact Network and is also involved with UJA-Federation of New York. He is former member of the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and was co-chair of media and marketing efforts. Jon is glad to have been able to witness firsthand the incredible work done by the JDC and Federation through chairing and attending missions to Israel, Haiti, Ethiopia, Argentina, Cuba, Morocco, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Chile, and others. Jon graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in advertising. Originally from Boston (Go Red Sox!), Jon resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Rina Edelstein, Director of Strategic Programs (JDC-FSU Division), creates channels of communication between the Jewish communities of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and the Jewish world. Prior to joining JDC, she worked in the Nativ department of the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, which was then the office's secret arm of activity in the FSU. Upon joining JDC in 1997, she was the architect of several groundbreaking projects, most notably the first distribution of restitution funds to Holocaust survivors. Today, Rina articulates the communal and welfare needs of FSU Jewry to JDC’s donors.
Zach Fasman is a partner in Paul Hastings LLP and national co-chair of the firm’s employment discrimination practice. He has practiced labor and employment law in Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York for 40 years. He is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been listed for many years in Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who in American Law. A member of the Advisory Board of New York University’s Center for Labor and Employment Law, he frequently teaches labor and employment law to members of the federal judiciary on behalf of the Federal Judicial Center and New York University Law School. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University. Zach is a Board member of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Israel and JDC, co-chair of Ambassadors and a member of the Lawyers’ Committee of the ADL. He has three grown children and two grandsons. Zach and his wife Andrea Udoff live in New York City.
Diana Fiedotin has channeled her skills toward safeguarding the welfare of Jews in distress and strengthening Jewish communities. Diana has traveled extensively in order to be an effective and informed advocate for people in need. Previously, as a senior executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, she led the Federation's efforts to provide assistance and opportunity to Jews in need locally and overseas, and relief in the aftermath of disasters such as earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and Carmel wildfire in Israel. Diana's current focus at JDC is exposing JDC's global achievements to new audiences. She is now spearheading JDC's efforts to connect with North American synagogues and inform Rabbinic leaders about JDC's work around the world.
Elizabeth Fine first started at JDC as a Jewish Service Corps fellow and now works as Director of International Initiatives. Elizabeth worked with the Jewish communities of Moscow and St. Petersburg to redesign leadership development programs that help young Jewish adults create and support Jewish communities that meet their needs. As part of that effort in Moscow, Elizabeth worked to develop Kaet, a JDC program that brought the PresenTense social entrepreneurship model to its first location outside of Israel and the United States. While working in Moscow, Elizabeth also cultivated donor relations, oversaw missions to Moscow, and worked with governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. During her six-year career as a corporate litigator in Chicago, Elizabeth served as a member of the Jewish Federations of North Americas' (JFNA) National Young Leadership Cabinet. Locally, she founded and chaired the Jewish Professional Women’s Forum and the Young Lawyers’ Group, and served on committees at the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
Cheryl Fishbein has a long history of voluntary leadership involvements. She is on the Board of UJA-Federation of NY, where she is the 2008 recipient of the Generosity of Spirit Award. She is past chair of the Caring Commission, of the Hurricane Katrina Relief Committee, of the Missions Committee, and of the Trauma Task Force at UJA-Federation. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency (JAFI), and The United Israel Appeal (UIA), and she is on the FSU and Property Reclamation Committees of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Cheryl is in private practice as a clinical psychologist and an attorney. She holds a doctorate in psychology from SUNY at Stony Brook, a law degree from New York University, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Barnard College. She is married to Philip Schatten and they have four children and 3 grandchildren.
Sasha Friedman was born in Ukraine in 1982 and grew up in Hungary. Today, he serves as the Director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation/JDC Camp at Szarvas, where he was once a camper. Szarvas is where his Jewish identity was formed. Beyond his summers at camp, Sasha was also active in youth organizations in Budapest and at the JDC-sponsored Balint JCC, where his charismatic leadership helped in strengthening the outreach efforts of the Center. Sasha's rise to the coveted position of Szarvas Camp Director was not by chance. JDC identified Sasha's potential when he was just a 13 year-old camper and cultivated his leadership skills throughout the years creating positions for him from counselor to unit head, enabling him to rise through the ranks. For Sasha, becoming a Jewish communal worker was a natural choice, thanks to the opportunities he was given at Szarvas, the Balint JCC and other programs.
Jennifer Gross is Managing Director and Head of Business Development at Archview Investment Group, an event driven credit hedge fund. Prior to Archview, she was Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations at One East Partners, a global event driven hedge fund. She currently serves as Chair of the Women’s Executive Circle (WEC). She is on UJA-Federation’s Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Wall Street Strategic Council and Campaign Steering Committee. This past summer, Jennifer traveled with JDC to Hungary and visited Camp Szarvas, where she sent her son. Jennifer is on the Board of Directors of Northwestern University Hillel and chairs the Development Committee. She is also on the board of Meir Panim. She holds a BA from Northwestern University.
Gideon Herscher’s primary focus at the JDC has been the development and implementation of programs and partnerships for vulnerable populations in Israel and across the globe, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, and most recently, post-earthquake Haiti. In the midst of the chaos after the earthquake in Haiti, Gideon was relocated to the devastated island to serve as JDC's representative on the ground, overseeing and coordinating the organization's disaster relief and development efforts. Originally from Los Angeles, Gideon holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating, he moved to Israel and spent several years first as a counselor and later as coordinator of Young Judaea's Year Course Program for American high-school graduates. He then served in the tank corps of the Israel Defense Forces. Gideon is a talented composer and musician who has performed his own music in a variety of Jerusalem nightspots. He currently lives on Moshav Beit Nekofa in the Judean Hills.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield is the President of Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. A regular on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network and an opinion columnist for Fox News, he writes the For God’s Sake blog for the Washington Post and is a host for the Washington Post’s live weekly online conversations. Listed in Newsweek for many years as one of America’s “Most Influential Rabbis,” he represented the White House Office of Inter-Faith and Neighborhood Initiatives in Indonesia, was a featured speaker at The Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona and Melbourne, and is often sought out as a speaker and media commentator. His most recent book is You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.
Joni Kletter joined Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. in 2007 as an Associate of the Labor and Employment Law practice in the firm's New York City office. Ms. Kletter helps litigate numerous employment related claims and provides employment advice to employees, executives, professionals and companies. She has experience in cases involving discrimination, harassment, FMLA, misclassification, separation agreements, employment contracts, restrictive covenants and employee benefits. Ms. Kletter also advises employers on best practices and compliance issues, and provides anti-discrimination trainings. Before joining the firm, Ms. Kletter was a federal law clerk to U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein and prior to that, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy in the Eastern District of New York. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Kletter received the Jacob Burns Medal for Scholastic Achievement and the National Association of Women Lawyers Award for Outstanding Graduate.
Bettina Kurowski recently retired as CEO of the LA chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Before that she led her own health care biotech consulting firm for 10+ years; was a pioneer in the HMO industry; managed two medical centers; and started it all as an academic at the Univ. of Colo. Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Business. She holds a Ph.D. and M.P.A. in Health Policy and a B.S. in Finance from U.S.C. All her volunteer activities have focused on fundraising for Jewish organizations. She has held 12 chairs spanning three communities over 25 years in several Federations, most recently having chaired the Los Angeles Campaign & been President of the Valley Alliance. She has also been involved in fundraising for her synagogue, Valley Beth Shalom, as well as the Jewish Outreach Institute. She and her husband, of blessed memory, have 5 wonderful grandchildren from 4 children.
Michael Lazarus retired from a life in commerce some 20 years ago and has since mainly devoted himself to Jewish communal activities and a certain amount of loafing about. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he read a degree in English Literature. He was for 14 years Chairman of The Jewish Literary Trust, is Chairman of the Simon Mark Lazarus Charitable Foundation, is a founder and board member of the Hadley Wood Jewish Community and, most important of all, is married to the loved and cherished Diana. He and Diana set up the Belarus Memorials Project some ten years ago and remain deeply committed, along with their American partners, to ensuring that the hundreds of thousands of Belarusian Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis are never forgotten.
Sandy Lenger is the Women's Campaign Chair for UJA/NY. She is a Life Member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, NJ. She is a member of the National Women's Philanthropy Board where she held the portfolios of JDC liasion to National Women's Philanthropy as well as co-chair of the T.E.C.H. Team, a corps of trained consultants who speak at Federations throughout the country. Ms. Lenger has participated in numerous missions throughout the world with both JDC and JFNA. She is a National Young Leadership Cabinet alumnae, a lifetime member of Hadassah, and has served on the Boards of MASA and the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey. Ms. Lenger is a member of the JDC Ambassadors Circle as well as the Ambassadors Steering Committee. Ms. Lenger, a graduate of Skidmore College, is a Registered Nurse and has worked at New York Hospital, at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and at Federation of Jewish Philanthropy, where she investigated medical malpractice for the Federated hospitals. She and her husband, Dr. Steven Lenger, have three children, Marisa, Paul, and Carly.
Jayne Lipman has been an active volunteer with leadership roles in numerous community organizations, including Board positions at Larchmont Temple, the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation, the Emelin Theater, and the Student Aid Fund. Currently, she is Co-President of the PTSA at Mamaroneck High School and a member of Cornell University’s Advisory Council for the College of Arts & Sciences. As a Board member of JDC and co-chair of its Ambassadors’ Circle, Jayne has traveled on a number of JDC missions, including ones to Lithuania, Ukraine, the Russian Far East, and Uzbekistan. Jayne holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and continues to study intensive Hebrew. She and her husband, Bob Goodman, have three children, ages 21, 17, and 11.
Alexandra Machinist began her publishing career as a summer intern at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. After practicing law at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, she became an agent at the Linda Chester Literary Agency before happily returning to her Janklow & Nesbit home. Her authors are New York Times, USA Today and national bestsellers. She has a keen desire to represent all types of high concept commercial fiction, romance, young adult, literary suspense and anything and everything that grabs her on the first page and doesn’t let her go until the last. Alexandra helped form JDC Ambassadors Women’s Impact Network in 2013. She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D.from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Reeva Ninio, Director of JDC-TEVET Overseas Partnerships, believes that advancing employment is the most effective means of fighting poverty in Israel. The percentage of Israeli citizens who do not participate in the workforce is at a dangerous high. As Director of Overseas Partnerships at JDC's TEVET Employment Initiative, Reeva is responsible for the promotion of JDC's groundbreaking employment initiatives to reduce poverty in Israel.
Rabbi Michael Paley is the scholar in residence and director of the Jewish Resource Center of the UJA-Federation of New York. He is an adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Journalism. Prior to his arrival at UJA, he was a professor of Jewish Studies and dean at Bard College and the vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, where he remains a member of the permanent faculty. For many years, Rabbi Paley served as the university chaplain at Columbia University. Rabbi Paley was the founder and first director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a program that brings together outstanding students from diverse Jewish backgrounds. He also served as the Jewish chaplain at Dartmouth College. Rabbi Paley earned his bachelor's degree at Brandeis and graduate degrees in Jewish and Islamic Philosophy and Science at Temple University.
Holli Rafkin Sax has been a seasoned communications advisor specializing in crisis communications, corporate positioning, M&A, IPOs, bankruptcy and restructurings as well as corporate governance and shareholder activism issues for close to 30 years. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading crisis communications counselors, she worked across a wide range of industries advising multinational corporations on critical reputational issues. Most recently Holli was Vice Chairman and Chair of the Executive Committee of Financial Dynamics, a global based business communications firm. In 2010, Holli pursued a new direction. She focused on photography and graduated from the General Studies one year degree program at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City. She has been working closely with a number of non-profit organizations helping them tell their stories through compelling images as a humanitarian photographer. Holli lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband Ben Sax. They have two adult sons living on the west coast.
Dr. Sigal Shelach, director of JDC’s Israel-based TEVET employment initiative, is one of Israel’s leading experts on labor market integration and advancement of non-employed populations including minorities, immigrants, and the disabled. Responsible for overseeing the development of JDC employment programs and the adoption of such successful initiatives by the Government of Israel, Shelach previously focused on workforce placement for Israel’s Arab and new immigrant populations, with particular success in the development of employment centers in Arab cities in Israel. She is also a founding member of the Israel Forum for Diversity, which has had significant success in developing ties with large businesses and helping them create workplaces more reflective of and sensitive to Israel’s diverse populations.
Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot Fund, worked as a fundraising consultant for dozens of non-profit clients across several sectors — the Apollo Theater, the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, and the National Urban League, to name a few. While consulting, he also founded and developed a community and professional network for young professional fundraisers called “The Future Leaders in Philanthropy (FLiP).” In approximately two years, the FLiP community grew rapidly to over 3000 people — and now it continues to grow under new leadership. Prior to consulting, Will worked on the major gifts team at Carnegie Hall, and before that in the Development Office at New York University.
Betsy R. Sheerr has traveled the world for JDC and speaks extensively as an advocate for overseas Jewry. She has chaired the JDC International Development (non-sectarian) Program and Marketing & Communications Committee, was Vice-Chair of the Israel Committee, and led the Israel work group of the Strategic Visioning process. She is a former National Chairman of the UJA Young Women's Leadership Cabinet. Ms. Sheerr is a public speaking coach with an international practice in presentation skills for a range of clients, from individuals in the public eye to companies in M&A or public offerings. She teaches in the M.B.A. program at Wharton. She holds a B.A. and M.Phil. from Yale University. She and her husband, Richard, live in Philadelphia and have four children and four grandchildren.
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik is director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan. He graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva College, received his semikha from RIETS, and was a member of its Beren Kollel Elyon. In 2010, he received his doctorate in religion from Princeton University. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays on these subjects have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal.
Andres Spokoiny is a long-time Jewish communal leader with a history of leading successful organizational transformations. The CEO of Federation CJA in Montreal from 2009–2011, he helped fundamentally change the Federation’s operations and its relationship with the community. In Montreal, as a young, ‘out of the box’ Federation executive, he spearheaded a new branding strategy and initiated and developed innovative community programs that are now being used as models across North America. Before joining the Federation, Andres worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Community (JDC) in Paris. As Regional Director for Northeast Europe, he was responsible for a number of pan-European projects, leading programs in the areas of Welfare, Leadership Development, Jewish Renewal, Education, Community Development, and Outreach, and building coalitions with local and international organizations, public and private.
Geoffrey Stern is the President of PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. where he works with a team of fellow volunteers and dedicated trustees to enable the direct distribution of funds to approved charitable organizations in Israel. PEF was established in 1922 by Justice Brandeis, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Robert Szold and a group of distinguished Americans to enable the direct distribution of funds to certified charitable organizations in Israel. In 2012 PEF provided over $70 million in grants to Israeli charitable institutions. PEF currently has over $112 Million dollars under management in endowment Funds and its grants have touched almost every facet of Israeli life. PEF has recently funded an ambitious multiyear program with Hebrew-University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine and JDC- Ashalim for Early Childhood Dental Health Promotion in the Israeli School system. Geoffrey lives in Westport, CT with Orna, his wife of 32 years and driving distance from his three children and two grandchildren.
Susan K. Stern is a community activist and political advocate both in New York and nationally. She was appointed by former Governor Patterson as the Chairman of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Mrs. Stern chaired the National Council of Civic Leaders for Hillary Clinton and served as a Jewish Leadership co-Chair for the Obama Campaign during the general election. Ms. Stern previously served as chair of the board and Campaign chair of UJA-Federation of New York, president and chair of National Women’s Philanthropy of United Jewish Communities, a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and national chair of the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet. She also serves as the special advisor on Government Affairs to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Mrs. Stern has a B.S. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Public Health Degree from the University of Illinois. She and her husband, Jeffrey, have two sons, Michael and Peter, and a daughter-in-law, Janna.
Michal Tzuk, Director and Senior Deputy General, Israeli Ministry of Economy, has played a significant role in Israel’s economic life, leading in the development of economic policy across a range of spheres. Currently, Ms. Tzuk holds responsibility for employment policy and funding at the Israeli Ministry of Economy. Ms. Tzuk has led in the development of policies for areas including employment, immigrant absorption, education, higher education, and religious services. In particular, she conducted negotiations between teachers’ unions and employers, lead teams that addressed policies on illegal workers from Thailand, and helped implement a technology education program for Haredi women. During her time at the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Tzuk helped found TEVET (JDC’s employment initiative), which creates and implements employment programs for Israel’s most vulnerable citizens, and which she currently chairs. Due to the high level and in-depth role she has played in key areas of Israel’s economic life, Ms. Tzuk has garnered a unique insight and helped impact many of the most significant issues facing Israeli society.
Pamela Wohl is the Manager of Individual Giving at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, a national nonprofit that works to strengthen the Jewish community's fight against poverty in the United States. Ms. Wohl has been involved with JDC's Impact since 2012. She has been involved with UJA since 2003 and is the founder and past Chair of Generosity, and a former Co-Chair of B.i.G., two groups within UJA's Emerging Leaders & Philanthropists Division. Ms. Wohl co-chaired Generosity's mission to Argentina and has traveled with UJA to Cuba. Ms. Wohl has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MPA from NYU Wagner.
JDC Ambassadors is a unique network of extraordinary individuals and families who are dedicated to creating a visionary and caring Jewish community. Joining the Ambassadors Circle or Society is a commitment to supporting JDC’s work and those who look to JDC for help every day.
Ambassadors host exclusive international travel. Take a look at 2013 and 2014 destinations here.