Our advisors are seasoned professionals who are currently working in the Jewish nonprofit sector. They have experience working with early career professionals, and they are reliable and thoughtful. Each is a talented generalist on career issues, and each is committed to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality.

Judith Belasco

Judith Belasco

Judith Belasco (she/her) is the Executive Vice President at Sacred Spaces. She works to strategically scale and manage Sacred Spaces by aligning mission and vision with day-to-day operations. She manages and strengthens programs, operations, development, marketing, communications, and finance. Prior to joining Sacred Spaces, she was the Executive Vice President at Hazon as the organization moved from a start-up phase to become a flourishing organization. Judith specifically oversaw and directed all of Hazon’s programs, operations, development, marketing, communications, and finance. During her twelve year tenure at Hazon, she was also the Acting CEO and Chief Program Officer. Judith holds a Bachelors degree in Urban Studies from Vassar College and a Masters of Science in Nutrition and Public Health from Columbia University. Find Judith on LinkedIn
Joy Brand-Richardson

Joy Brand-Richardson

Joy Brand-Richardson (she/her) is Vice President of Professional Development at JCC Association. A leader and innovator in the JCC field for over 30 years, Joy develops and delivers in person and virtual professional training seminars across the US and Canada. Joy is the director of cohort learning programs which focus on leadership enrichment and advancement for high potential staff, thus, building the pipeline of strong professionals in the Jewish Community. Additionally, Joy is the co-creator of the Talent Management Program, an assessment tool providing valuable information to over 450 individuals as they expand their professional skills. As a keynote speaker, workshop leader, career coach and consultant Joy has trained thousands of Jewish Communal professionals and guided numerous JCCs in improving work place culture. She has written published works on the topics of workplace conflict resolution, customer service excellence, relationship building and succession management.

Joy holds a Master’s Degree and has completed additional course work in communications, personnel management and career coaching. She is a proud recipient of the JCC Association Graduate Scholarship, a program she is responsible for overseeing. Joy is the proud parent of Mike Brand, a human rights advocate. When Joy is not busy connecting and networking with Jewish professionals she enjoys cooking, hiking and traveling with her wife Donna and their two dogs Journey and Fenway.

Jodi Bromberg

Jodi Bromberg

Jodi Bromberg (she/her) has been a part of 18Doors since 2013 and became CEO in 2015. Since then, she has led 18Doors through a strategic planning process, including an organizational rebranding, name change, and new website and digital strategy,. As a result, 18Doors now provides resources and programs for couples and families in 25 communities in the U.S. and Canada, up from 4 in 2013. 18Doors has twice been named a “Best Nonprofit to Work for” by The NonProfit Times, most recently in 2020. Jodi has written for numerous publications, and spoken at conferences, synagogues and Jewish institutions around the country about the importance of creating comfortable, inclusive spaces for interfaith families in Jewish life. Jodi lives outside of Boston with her wife and three children, where she remains a diehard New York Yankees fan.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Scott Brown (he/him) brings over three decades of Jewish professional leadership and a track record of success to his coaching practice, Scott Brown Leadership Coaching, LLC, which he founded in 2015. Scott holds a certificate in Leadership Coaching from the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University, a renowned program in the coaching world. He has been designated at an advanced level, as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Scott’s clients often come from personal referrals from his outstanding reputation earned nationally and locally, and the relationships he formed over his career as a professional coach, trainer, consultant and volunteer leader. He served as Executive Vice President and Vice President for Talent at Hillel International.

He was Executive Director of Hillel at University of Maryland. As Associate Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Scott designed and developed new programs while overseeing the transition to a new facility. He began his professional career leading Jewish overnight camps in Cleveland (Camp Wise) and St. Louis (Camp Sabra). He currently serves as a Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is Immediate Past President of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. Scott earned an M.A. in Management from Webster University and a B.A. from Ohio University. He is the proud husband of author, Jane Schapiro Brown, and father of three kind and successful daughters. He also claims that his granddaughter and grandson are brilliant. Outside of coaching, he enjoys having fun with his enthusiastic Irish Setter, going on biking trips and competes in local and national racquetball tournaments.

Find Scott on LinkedIn

Carrie Fischbein Darsky

Carrie Fischbein Darsky

As the Vice President of Talent and Leadership Development for Hillel International, Carrie (she/her) and her team are responsible for the strategy, recruitment, hiring, best practices, onboarding, professional development of all Hillel professionals and volunteer leadership. She's actively working engaging more diverse populations in the talent pipeline for the professionals and volunteers to better reflect the diversity of their constituents. She has spent her 20+ year career, developing talent, supervising staff, and building community. Carrie began her career at the 92nd Street Y as the Teen and Camp Director which led to roles in executive leadership at JCCs in Florida & New Jersey, and at Columbia/Barnard Hillel. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has an MSW from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work. A licensed social worker, Carrie is a board member of JPro, the JCC of Central NJ and she serves as a Standards Visitor for the American Camp Association. She lives in the Greater MetroWest Area of New Jersey with her husband Adam and their kids, Gabrielle & Jacob.
Marci Mayer Eisen

Marci Mayer Eisen

Marci (she/her) leads the Millstone Leadership Initiatives through Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Her work focuses on professional development, staff recognition, and networks/networking through JProStl, collaborating with staff across the spectrum of the entire St. Louis community. She also works in the areas of lay leadership development and board training. Marci is a life-long learner with a BS in Human Development from Penn State, MSW in group work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from UMSL. She attended the College of Executive Coaching and became an ICF (International Coaching Federation) certified coach in 2017 and served on the local ICF board. She has a deep commitment to civic leadership and is an an active alum with Leadership St. Louis. Marci currently leads workshops on staffing committees (her passion), leadership coaching (how to find coachable moments), team work (always time for a great icebreaker), and managing conflict with optimism. She previously coordinated social justice programs at St. Louis JCRC, and spent the majority of her career managing family programs and community events at the St. Louis JCC, including as Director of Jewish Community Life. Marci has been recognized for her work locally with Jewish Federation of St. Louis Goldstein award for Professional Leadership and nationally with the JCCA Yakir award (honored by one's peers). Find Marci on LinkedIn.
Annie Lumerman

Annie Lumerman

As Chief Operating Officer at Sefaria, Annie Lumerman (she/her) is involved in everything except the coding! She manages a $4M budget; supports 21 FTEs (and growing); shapes organizational strategy; and works with funders from across the Jewish world — from foundations to enthusiastic Sefaria users making whatever personal contributions they can. Before joining Sefaria, Annie founded Generate Change, a nonprofit consulting practice; served as the Director of Jewish Programming at Sixth & I; and worked in the development department at the US Holocaust Museum. Having benefited from years of mentoring and coaching herself, Annie is excited to help professionals think beyond the job description and innovate. Annie is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and currently resides in the Bay Area with her family.

Elissa Maier

Elissa Maier

Elissa (she/her) is Prizmah's Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Elissa spent many years in the Federation system, most recently serving as the JFNA Vice President of Financial Resource Development and the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence. Her path to becoming a Jewish communal professional began as a college student, when she served as a UJA Campus Campaign Chair with the University Programs Department. Her passion for this work led to her lifelong commitment to work in the Jewish communal field. Elissa has done extensive work in fostering a commitment to the importance of investing in human capital as the foundation for a successful organization. Her expertise in the areas of effective communication skills, leadership development, and management skills have enabled her to serve as a resource to develop and facilitate programs to advance the skills of volunteer and professional leaders. Elissa is the past president of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, where her daughters attended elementary and middle school. They both graduated from Golda Och Academy, where they attended high school. Elissa has a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami.

Or Mars

Or Mars

Or Mars (he/him) is a Vice President of The Wexner Foundation where he focuses on the development of Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America, and public leaders in Israel. Or holds an MSW from the University of Southern California and an MA in Jewish Non-Profit Management from HUC-JIR. Or is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program (which he later directed) and the Jerusalem Fellows. From 2000-2006 he served as the Executive Director of North Carolina Hillel. Or is the founder and facilitator of the Jewish Meditation Project of Columbus and leads family services at Temple Israel. Read more about Or.
Aliza Mazor

Aliza Mazor

Aliza Mazor (she/her) is the Chief Field-Building Officer for UpStart, a national enterprise that partners with bold leaders to build more just, vibrant, and inclusive Jewish communities. As Chief Field-Building officer, Aliza supports UpStart alumni network and manages strategic partnerships. Prior to joining UpStart, Aliza was the Executive Director of Bikkurim: Advancing New Jewish Ideas. Aliza has also worked as an independent consultant to non-profits and philanthropies in many fields including social entrepreneurship and community development.

A Chicago native, Aliza spent fifteen years living and working in Israel and holds an MSW in Social Welfare Planning from the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Aliza is a single mother by choice of a multi-racial Jewish family. She currently lives in New York City.

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon (she/her) is Founding Executive Director of Edot Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collaborative. She also holds several appointments at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, including that of Special Assistant for Diversity and Inclusion. Shahanna is a longtime national thought leader on racial and ethnic diversity in the Jewish community. She has held senior leadership roles in synagogues and Jewish Federations as well as in public education, including serving as Chief Diversity Officer for large education organizations. Shahanna has also led local, regional, and national work on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including directing professional learning for the Minority Student Achievement Network, a national consortium of 30 US public school districts working to end the effects of racism on their schools. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education, with concentrations in Hebrew and Communications, from University of Wisconsin-Madison; and an M.Ed. in Student Services, with a concentration in Social Justice Education, from University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Among her current volunteer activities, Shahanna sits on the Board of Governors for Reconstructing Judaism, the primary organization of the Reconstructionist denomination of Judaism. She comes from a large Midwest US African American and Ashkenazi family with Seminole, Cherokee, Blackfoot, and Sephardi heritages.

Leonard Petlakh

Leonard Petlakh

Leonard Petlakh (he/him) has served as the Executive Director of Kings Bay Y and JCC Brooklyn since 2006. Their Southern Brooklyn-based flagship site serves a very significant population of Russian-American, Israeli-American, Orthodox, and Sephardic Jews. Their JCC Brooklyn sites serve three (soon to be four) storefront JCC locations in Brownstone and North Brooklyn— in North Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, and Windsor Terrace. Their young upwardly mobile parent clientele represents the fastest-growing Jewish denomination consisting of those who identify as Just Jewish or "kinda Jewish" in these new gentrified frontiers of Jewish life. The agency has received numerous awards for innovation, including UJA-Federation of NY's Riklis first prize for innovative programming initiatives. Leonard has also been involved in myriad programs to bring together Brooklyn's Jewish and Muslim Turkish communities. Prior to this position, Leonard served as the Associate Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society and a Hillel Director in Manhattan. He earned a BA from Hunter College, CUNY; MBA from Baruch College, CUNY and an MPA from NYU. Leonard’s parents brought him to Brooklyn as a teenager from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and convinced him that it was a contiguous part of the United States of America. Leonard and his family have lived in South Merrick on Long Island for many years. Thanks to a perpetual traffic-filled commute to his various Brooklyn locations, Leonard has developed a meaningful relationship with his beloved car. During the last year, he and his car have both discovered the joys of Zoom.

Rabbi Amber Powers

Rabbi Amber Powers

Rabbi Amber Powers (she/her) serves as executive vice president of Reconstructing Judaism. Her works focuses on internal leadership and management, including supervision of the senior staff, financial strategy and organizational culture. She also serves as a member of the regular faculty and she is the instructor of the required workshops in budgeting and board governance. Powers served as a member of RRC’s academic administration from 2004-2016. Her previous roles at RRC included dean of admissions and recruitment, assistant vice president for enrollment and rabbinic formation, acting vice president for academic affairs, and vice president for student development. Before joining the RRC staff, she served as rabbi of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Northeast Philadelphia and as the mid-atlantic regional director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.

Powers received a Bachelor of Arts in religion with a concentration in Jewish studies from Emory University and rabbinic ordination and a Master of Hebrew letters from RRC. She was a participant in the Senior Executive Action Learning Team sponsored by Advancing Women Professionals in the Jewish Community (AWP). She is an alumna of the Wexner Fellowship Program for Jewish Professionals and has served as a mentor in the Wexner Alumni Mentorship Program. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her partner, Cherie Older, and their son, Elijah.

Adam Silver

Adam Silver

Adam Silver (he/him) is the Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Jewish Federation and Calgary Jewish Community Campus Corporation in Alberta, Canada, where he is responsible for leadership and oversight of the community’s fundraising, allocations, campus development, and community planning activities. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of The Betel Centre, a Jewish social service agency for older adults in Toronto. As an adjunct professor in Seneca College’s Community Services department, he taught community practice, casework, and social policy. Adam received his M.Ed. in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto (OISE), and completed graduate work in philanthropy and development at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. A professional highlight is Adam’s selection to the inaugural cohort of the Mandel Nonprofit Institute’s Executive Leadership Program. Adam is currently engaged in studies as part of the Western University's Doctor of Education (EdD) program in its Community Leadership cohort.

Find Adam on LinkedIn

Franny Silverman

Franny Silverman

Franny Silverman (she/her) is a facilitator, trainer, and coach bringing people together to have a shared experience of growth and transformation whether by building antiracist practices, facilitating charged conversations across differences, or creating rituals. She spent much of the last decade as Director of Learning and Action at Brooklyn synagogue Kolot Chayeinu, supporting the growth of a broad-based anti-racist Jewish network and a thriving intergenerational queer and trans-embracing community, and building up educational opportunities for youth, families and adults. A longtime facilitator and trainer with Resetting the Table, Franny supports individuals and communities nationwide to have meaningful conversations across political differences.

She is on the steering committee for the Coalition of Faith/Spiritual/Ethical Communities for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, is a member of Tzedek Lab where she co-facilitates the white caucus, and serves on the board of Lab/Shul following an extended tenure as Associate Artistic Director of Storahtelling. She was in the inaugural cohort of the UJA-Federation Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership, was a LABA Artist fellow presenting her interactive, deconstructed Passover experience, UnSeder|DisOrder, and has a Certificate in Jewish Leadership in Education from Spertus Institute and Northwestern University. Franny has performed on stages and bimas around the country, and drawing on her background in ritual and devised theater, she creates and officiates tailor-made life-cycle rituals marking time and life moments. She was raised in the Jewish communities of Pittsburgh, Cleveland, South Florida, and greater-DC, and after 20 years in NYC, she and her family now call home the occupied Lenape territory of the Hudson Valley region of New York state. Learn more about Franny here.

Bradley Solmsen

Bradley Solmsen

Bradley (he/him) served from 2016 - 2021 as the executive director of Surprise Lake Camp based in Cold Spring, New York. Surprise Lake is one of the longest running Jewish residential camps and is known for its breathtaking grounds as well as its strong sense of community and inclusiveness. Prior to joining the SLC team, Bradley served as the director of youth engagement for the Union for Reform Judaism and served as the director of Brandeis University’s Office of High School Programs. Rabbi Solmsen was ordained at The Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and received a masters degree in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Bradley has held fellowships from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Brandeis University and currently is a Schusterman Senior Fellow. He has extensive experience working with youth, training staff and overseeing camp, travel and residential programs in Israel and North America. Bradley is married to Aliza Kline and is the proud abba of Ela, Gila and Nomi. Find Bradley on LinkedIn
Akiko Yonekawa

Akiko Yonekawa

Aki (she/her) is a Jewish educator with a background in Jewish camp and synagogue school who currently teaches and leads Jewish life programming at Gann Academy, a Jewish community high school in the Boston area. When she is not working with high school students, she teaches and coaches Jewish young adults in Jewish professional programs and at Brandeis Collegiate Institute in Southern California. She grew up loving camp and religious school and eventually pursued graduate work in Jewish education and non-profit management at American Jewish University. She is dedicated to helping people find their authentic expressions of Jewish life and leadership through contemplative practices, Torah learning, and deep connections.

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