Summer Institute Presenters


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Summer Institute Presenters

  1. 1.   Summer Institute: Families in a World of Transitions About the Presenters JEANNIE APPLEMAN has been the Lead Organizer of Long Island Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods (LI-CAN) since January 2010. She co-founded and directed the Rabbinic and Cantorial Fellowship for Leadership in Public Life at Jewish Funds for Justice. The Fellowship teaches future clergy how to build dynamic and engaged congregations and make social change through congregation-based community organizing thatis grounded in relationship-building. Previously, Ms. Appleman was the Executive Director forInterfaith Funders, a program officer for Jewish Fund for Justice in New York, and a communityorganizer in Chicago. Ms. Appleman has trained hundreds of synagogue, church, and schoolleaders in the Metropolitan New York and Chicago areas to build deep levels of communityand relationships within their congregations and to make social change. She currently lives inLong Island with her husband and daughter. DAVID BRYFMAN is currently the Director of the New Center for Collaborative Leadership at The Jewish Education Project. David recently completed his Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU focusing on the development of Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish Education. He is also a graduate of the Wexner Graduate FellowshipProgram. Prior to moving to New York, David worked in formal and informal Jewisheducational institutions in Australia, Israel, and North America. David completed hisundergraduate and Master’s in Education degrees in Melbourne, and is also a graduate of theMelton Senior Educators Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Pardes. In hisspare time David also enjoys (sort of) running marathons. TOVA GARR is the Associate Director of Youth at The Jewish Education Project. She has spent many years in the world of informal Jewish education, working for such organizations as Ramah, Young Judaea and the Melton Center at the Hebrew University. While based in Israel, Tova also had the unique experience of traveling to work in the United States and Russia focusing on Israel Education, summer camps and creating and implementingeducational policy and strategy. Tova has a B.A. from Bar Ilan University in InformalEducation and Israel Studies and an M.A. from Hebrew University in Jewish Education.  
  2. 2.   PAUL GOLIN is Associate Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute (, a national, independent, transdenominational organization reaching out to unaffiliated and traditionally-underserved Jewish populations with an emphasis on engaging intermarried households and helping the organized Jewish community better welcome them in. He is responsible, together with the Executive Director, for budget, development,board stewardship, strategic planning, and operations. He is also charged with managing allmarketing, communications and public relations. Paul is a frequent writer and speaker onJewish inclusion and co-authored with Rabbi Kerry Olitzky Twenty Things for Grandparents ofInterfaith Grandchildren To Do (And Not Do) To Nurture Jewish Identity In Their Grandchildren(2007) and How to Raise Jewish Children Even When You’re Not Jewish Yourself (2010). Paulhas a background in media, having worked at HBO Studio Productions and an interactivegames company. TERRY KAYE is Director of Behrman House Consulting Group. In her 20 years at Behrman House, Terry has written and edited numerous Hebrew texts, and provided in-person and online curriculum consultation and professional training to thousands of education directors and teachers. Recognized as a leader in professionalizing Jewish educational practitioners in North America, Terry is a highly sought after presenter and facilitator in the field. Terry has a degree in education from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. RABBI EDYTHE HELD MENCHER, LCSW, serves as a specialist at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), offering consultation to congregations on creating caring communities and addressing the concerns of Jewish families. Rabbi Mencher writes regularly for Reform Judaism Magazine and speaks and consults on issues related to leadership development, spirituality, health andfamily life at congregations, schools and organizations. She has previously served as theAssociate Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and as AssociateRabbi of Temple Israel in Westport, CT. Rabbi Mencher is the major author of Resilience ofthe Soul—Developing Spiritual and Emotional Resilience in Adolescents and their Families, aprogram guide focusing upon how Jewish communities and tradition can help people developpositive ways of managing stress and difficult emotions. Rabbi Mencher was ordained byHebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (New York) in 1999, received certificationfrom the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in 1989, andearned her Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College School of Social Work.  
  3. 3.   RABBI ANDREA MYERS is the author of "The Choosing: A Rabbis Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days" (Rutgers University Press, April 2011). After receiving her B.A. in neuroscience from Brandeis University, she studied for two years in Jerusalem. She was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR), an interdenominational seminary in New York City. She is amember of the New York Board of Rabbis, and has led congregations from the RockyMountains to the Borscht Belt. RABBI DANIEL SMOKLER is the Senior Jewish Educator at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU. Dan graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in the History of Art. He has worked extensively as a community organizer and consultant in the labor movement in Connecticut and Los Angeles. He was ordained in 2006 by Rabbis Zalman Nechemia Goldberg and Yaakov Moshe Poupko in Jerusalem. Since 2006, Dan has worked for Hillelwhere he founded the Senior Jewish Educators initiative which charges master educators toexplore moral questions with Jewish college students. In 2011, the Jewish Week named Danone of the “36-under-36 Changemakers” in Jewish life. Dan is currently pursuing a Ph.D. inEducation and Jewish Studies at NYU. Dan lives in New York with his wife Erin Leib Smokler. DR. RON WOLFSON earned his Ph.D. in Education from Washington University, and his M.A. in Jewish Studies at American Jewish University (AJU). Over his 30- plus year career at AJU, he has served as Director of the Education Department, founding Director of the Whizin Center for the Jewish Future, Director of the Ramah Academy, Dean of the Fingerhut School of Education, Special Assistant to the President, and Vice President of the University of Judaism. Currently, heserves as Fingerhut Professor of Education. He developed both the Working Professionals andthe Experiential Education tracks in the Masters in Education program. His latest creation is agraduate seminar in Experiential Education. He and his students have been developing a setof principles describing the components of excellent “experiences” by immersing themselves inthe experiences themselves.Dr. Wolfson is the author of Shabbat: The Family Guide to Preparing for and Celebrating theSabbath, Passover: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration, Hanukkah: The Family Guide toSpiritual Celebration, A Time to Mourn, A Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavementand Comfort, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (with Lawrence Hoffman), First Fruit: AWhizin Anthology of Jewish Family Education (editor, with Adrianne Bank), The Spirituality ofWelcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community, Gods To-Do List:103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do Gods Work on Earth, and The Seven Questions YoureAsked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth.