The State of Pluralism 2012 Attendees


Igal Avrahami (Amitim '00) is a law student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He worked for two years as a Madrich in a pre-army Mechina and now works in the Gesher seminars, engaging secular and Orthodox high school students.

Andy Bachman (BYFI Faculty) is Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim. He received his ordination from HUC-JIR. He is co-founder of Brooklyn Jews and the former Executive Director of the Bronfman Center for Student Life at NYU.

Dianne Cohler-Esses (BYFI Faculty) is the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn to become a rabbi, ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1995. She has previously served as a faculty member at Mechon Hadar and, prior to that, as the Scholar in Residence at the Jewish Resource Center of UJA-Federation in New York.

Laurence Edwards (BYFI Faculty) is the rabbi of Congregation Or Chadash in Chicago. He was previously the associate national director for Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee in Chicago.

Rachel Farbiarz (BYFI '94) is a writer and artist. She graduated from Yale Law School, after which she clerked for the Honorable William A. Fletcher of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate for Keker & Van Nest law firm in San Francisco.

Jonathan Gribetz (BYFI '97) is a faculty member at the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He is the author of the forthcoming "The Arabic-Zionist Talmud: Shimon Moyal's At-Talmud" in Jewish Social Studies. He received a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, a Master's with distinction in Modern Jewish Studies from Oxford University, and an AB summa cum laude from Harvard University.

Jordan Hirsch (BYFI '05) holds a bachelor's degree in History from Columbia University, where he edited The Current. He has written for Tablet, the National Review and the Dallas Morning News. In 2010, he was a Robert L. Bartley fellow at the Wall Street Journal. He is now a staff writer for Foreign Affairs.

Rae Janvey (BYFI Parent) is a Consultant for Philanthropic Leadership Development and is the former Executive Director of the Wexner Heritage Program.

Elie Kaunfer (BYFI Spouse) is co-founder, Rosh Yeshiva and Executive Director of Mechon Hadar and is on the Talmud faculty at Yeshivat Hadar. He is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities.

Donya Khalili
(BYFI '97) is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Center on Bioethics. She is now Executive Director of Lifeskills Management Center in Olathe, Kansas. She was formerly an associate in Susman Godfrey L.L.P.'s New York office.

Alana Kinarsky (BYFI '03) is a Campus Engagement Associate at Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago. Previously, she served as an AJWS World Partners Fellow.

Aaron Lansky (BYFI Parent) is Founder and President of the Yiddish Book Center. He is the author of Outwitting History.

Amalyah Oren
is a recent graduate of New York University. She will be joining The Samuel Bronfman Foundation staff in June in the position of Bronfman Fellow.

Michael Paley (BYFI Founding Director and Parent) is the Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar in Residence at the Jewish Resource Center of UJA-Federation of New York. He has recently taught at the Columbia School of Journalism, City College and the Ivry Prozdor High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He was the founding director of BYFI.

Naamah Paley
(BYFI '02) is BYFI's Senior Program Officer. Prior to this role, she worked for two years at the New Israel Fund as the Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Middle Eastern and North African Studies and is a former Dorot Fellow.

Susan Pultman (BYFI '99) is the Patient Resource Navigator at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. She has a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Human Sexuality Education. She is President of the BYFI Alumni Advisory Board.

Joe Reimer
(BYFI Faculty) is the Director of the Institute for Informal Jewish Education and Associate Professor for the Hornstein Program at Brandeis. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University and his book, Succeeding at Jewish Education, won the National Jewish Book Award.

Judith Rosenbaum
(BYFI '90) is the Director of Public History at the Jewish Women's Archive. She earned a B.A. in History from Yale University and received her Ph.D. in American Civilization, with a specialty in women's history, from Brown University. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Israel, she has taught women's studies and Jewish studies at Brown, Boston University, the Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Hebrew College and Gann Academy

Michael Rosenzweig
(BYFI Parent) is President and CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History. He was founding President of The Weber School, one of the nation's first trans-denominational Jewish day high schools. He is president of the American Pardes Foundation.

Judah Skoff (BYFI '96) is an attorney at the New York firm McCarter and English. He graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law, where he was named Edward S. Hennessey Scholar and Paul J. Liacos Scholar. He got his undergraduate degree from Brown University where he studied fiction writing and received a degree in English. He is an accomplished playwright and is working on his first novel.

Becky Voorwinde (BYFI '97) is Co-Director and Director of Strategy & Community Engagement for BYFI. She formerly served as Corporate Responsibility Project Manager at Ernst & Young, L.L.P.

Avi Weinstein (BYFI Executive Director Emeritus) is the Head of Jewish Studies at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Maryland. He previously served as Judaic Studies Head at the Charles E. Smith Jewish School.

Mishael Zion (BYFI Co-Director and Director of Education) previously served as faculty at the Shalom Hartman Institute, the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning and Yeshivat Hadar. He received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.


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