Jewish As Civilizations 2009 Attendees

Joshua Aronson is the Saidye Rosner Bronfman Rabbinic Chair at Temple Har Shalom in Park City Utah. He has held rabbinic appointments in Buffalo, Cleveland and Australia.

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
is Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College in Boston. She formerly served as a Hillel Rabbi at Yale and Harvard as well as a faculty member of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel.  

Andy Bachman is Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. He is also the co-founder, with his wife Rachel, of Brooklyn Jews, and a faculty member of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel.

Jason Brzoska is Chief Operations Officer of He formerly served as Operations Director for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel and Technical Coordinator for The Curriculum Initiative. Jason is also a member of the board of the Jewish Studies Center at the University at Albany.

Angela Warnick Buchdahl is Senior Cantor of Central Synagogue in New York, NY. She also serves on the Board of the Multiracial Jewish Network and regularly teaches and writes on the topic of diversity within the Jewish community.

Charlie Buckholtz is the Rabbi of the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in New York, NY. He is also the author of the mystery novel In Heaven Everything is Fine.

Ami Eden is Editor-in-Chief for the Jewish Telegraph Agency. He formerly served as National Editor of The Forward.

Shimon Felix is Executive Director of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel. Ordained as a Rabbi at Yeshivat Hamivtar, he formerly served as assistant to the Chief Rabbi of England.

Wayne Firestoneis President of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Previously, he served as the Director of the Israel Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League, and as Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition. He has also been a lecturer at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

Adam Gaynor is Executive Director of The Curriculum Initiative. Prior to working at TCI, Adam worked as Assistant Director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. As a PLP Fellow, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Jewish Education at New York University.

David Gedzelman is Executive Vice President of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and was the Founding Creative and Rabbinic Director of Makor. He has served as Director of Hillel and Rabbi-in-Residence at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and a Lecturer in Rabbinics at the University of Judaism's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

Gidi Grinstein is founder and president of The Re’ut Institute and a leading policy analyst in Israel. Previously, he served in the Office and then in the Bureau of Prime Minister Barak as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Negotiation Team of the Government of Israel to the Permanent Status negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Idit Klein is Executive Director of Keshet, an organization working for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Jews in all aspects of Jewish life. She is the Executive Producer of the documentary film Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School.

Eyal Mazliah is Director of Hillel Sapir in S’derot, Israel.

Rachel Nussbaum is the founder and director of the Kavana Cooperative in Seattle which was recently named by Newsweek Magazine one of "America's 25 Most Vibrant Congregations." She is also a 2009 recipient of The Avi Chai Fellowship.

Kerry Olitzky  is Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute. Among his most recent publications are: The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal.

Michael Paley is Scholar-in-Residence at the UJA-Federation of NY. He was the Founding Director of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel.

Abigail Pogrebin is the author of Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish. Abigail was a senior correspondent for Brill’s Content, a contributing writer for Talk Magazine, and a producer for Mike Wallace and Ed Bradley at "60 Minutes."

Daniel Septimus is Editor-in-Chief of He hosts the 92nd Street Y's Jewish Literary Exchange. His literature column, "Reading between the Lines," is published monthly in the Jerusalem Post.

Becky Voorwinde is Director of Alumni Engagement for the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel. She formerly served as Corporate Responsibility Project Manager at Ernst & Young, L.L.P.

Avi Weinstein is the Head of Jewish Studies at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Kansas City. He formerly served as the Executive Director of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel.

Neri Zilber is a writer on international politics, based in New York City. Previously, he was a researcher and writer on Middle East affairs at the US Library of Congress, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the World Jewish Congress.

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