DON ASHKENASE, Great Neck, N.Y.
Don Ashkenase, one of the most respected hospital administrators in the country, is Special Advisor to the President at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Don served as Executive Vice President-Corporate as the organization grew from $500 million in revenue to $3 billion. A former U.S. Air Force captain and marathon runner, Don now also serves as chairman of HealthFirst, a $3.5 billion managed care company; as chairman of Hospitals Insurance Co., New York’s most financially viable malpractice carrier; as chairman of the Bronx Regional Health Information Organization; as a board member of the Samuel Field YM & YWHA in Queens, N.Y.; and at 30 years of service, is the second-longest serving member in the 100-year history of Great Neck’s Board of Education. Don holds a master’s degree from Wagner College and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health. His children have been very active in Young Judaea – all went to Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake and TY. Jeffrey was vice president of the national mazkirut, Andrew was national mazkir, and both went on Year Course. His daughter, Debbie, and daughter-in-law, Jana Meyers, were Assistant Directors at Sprout Lake. Don’s wife, Karen, was president of Junior Hadassah, and they are founding members of The Friends of CYJ Sprout Lake.
DAVID BECHHOFER, Newton, Mass.
David Bechhofer, a Senior Director at Bain & Company, Inc., the global strategy consulting firm, has extensive consulting experience in all aspects of strategy development and implementation, including growth, sales and marketing, new technologies, global expansion, acquisition integration, change management, strategic planning processes and performance improvement. He has been at Bain for almost 30 years and has served on the Global Management Committee and as chairman of the Global Compensation Committee. He coordinated many of the firm’s pro bono efforts, including work with the Boston Public Schools, City Year, and Citizen Schools. David holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Business School and a Bachelor of Science with highest honors in Applied Math and Operations Research from Yale University. He is the creator of two highly successful nationwide programs for young people who have been touched by breast cancer — the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Youth Corps and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Youth Crew — and he travels the country in support of the Avon Walks. David has served on the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts board for 8 years and as a director of Goodman Global, a $2 billion company. As a Young Judaean, he was involved in clubs in Ithaca, N.Y. David, who is married to Kate, attended TY, Summer Course, and Year Course, and was a club madrich in Connecticut while in college. His daughter, Jessica, was on Year Course three years ago.
MIKE BERMAN, Minneapolis, Minn., and Tel Aviv, Israel
Mike Berman, a serial entrepreneur and seasoned corporate executive with vast experience in business start-ups, has co-founded two business incubators and co-founded or joined the boards of 14 medical device companies – an achievement that led to his recent induction into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. He got his start as a product manager at a no-revenue company, SciMed Life Systems, where he rose to become President and directed revenue growth from $300 million to $1.5 billion in five years. A native of Ithaca, N.Y., Mike and his wife, Judy, lived in Israel for five years after he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, where he also received an M.B.A. Mike, who is now active in the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, was involved in Young Judaea as regional mazkir of Upper New York State Region. He was a TY camper, madrich, and merakez, and attended Machon/Year Course. His sons, Oren and Noah, were also involved in the movement through Camp Young Judaea Midwest, TY, Camp Young Judaea West, and Year Course, and Noah served as national mazkir four years ago.
STEVE BERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.
Steve Berman is President of Atlanta-based OA Development, a real estate firm that has developed or acquired close to 3 million square feet of office, industrial, and business park space in the South. Steve co-founded The Weber School, an innovative and successful Jewish community high school in Atlanta. He led the team that raised $36 million to start the school and is a past president of the institution. Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University and is a graduate fellow of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He is also past president of the Greenfield Hebrew Academy and of Jewish Vocational Service. Steve has served on the national board of The American Friends of The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and was an officer of the Southeast American Israel Chamber of Commerce. A runner and cyclist, Steve worked at TY as a madrich and Head Counselor, and was Director of Florida/Puerto Rico Young Judaea. He met his wife, Gita, on Machon/Year Course and they lived in Israel for four years. Their daughters – Mara (whose husband, Michael Maze, is a Judaean who attended Camp Young Judaea Texas and TY), Aviva, and Shira – attended Camp Judaea, TY, and Year Course. Steve previously served on the board of Camp Judaea.
DAVID M. BRAND, Virginia Beach, Va.
David is a retired business executive with a broad knowledge of retail operations following more than 30 years experience in building and developing retail teams. He served as Executive Vice President of Haynes Furniture Co. of Virginia Beach, Va., one of the top 25 furniture companies in America. David, who is currently President and CEO of Alliance For Global Good, a grant maker dedicated to improving nonprofits focused on solving global crises, earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Political Science and Mideast Affairs from American University. He was president of the Tidewater Jewish Federation in Virginia as well as chairman of its Israel/Overseas Committee and its General Campaign. In addition, he was a member of the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet and is currently a member of the AIPAC National Council. In Young Judaea, David served as Connecticut Region mazkir and then as national mazkir in 1970-71. He attended TY as a camper, worked there as a madrich in M.A., and went on Year Course. David is married to Bonnie Strelitz and they have three children: Benjamin, Lauren, and Genna, who recently made aliyah and is playing women’s professional soccer for ASA Tel-Aviv.
ORAN EBEL, New York City, N.Y.
Oran Ebel is a New York-based attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, an international law firm. As an associate in the firm's finance group, Oran has represented a wide variety of clients in connection with acquisition financings, restructurings, and mezzanine and subordinated debt financings. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in real estate finance. Oran earned a Juris Doctor cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he was an articles editor for the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. At Princeton University, he graduated with both an A.B. in History cum laude as well as a certificate in Near Eastern Studies. As a Young Judaean, Oran was active on the Eastern Pennsylvania Region mazkirut and served as national mazkir in 1996-97. He participated in the Israel Discovery program in 1995, attended TY and was on tzevet there for several years, and participated in the 1997-98 Year Course. In recent years, Oran, who is married to Samantha, co-chaired Young Judaea fundraisers for young alumni in the New York metropolitan area.
NANCY FALCHUK, Newton Centre, Mass.
Nancy Falchuk, immediate past National President of Hadassah and former president of Hadassah International, is credited with helping envision Young Judaea as independent from Hadassah, its longtime sponsor, in a move to strengthen both organizations. Nancy, currently national chairman of Hadassah Magazine, is a founding board member of Hadassah Medical Organization and for more than 17 years, traveled through Europe, South America, and Israel raising substantial funds for it. In 1990, she co-founded the Hadassah National Center for Nurses Councils, the first and still only national professional organization for Jewish nurses. In 2002, during the worst of the Intifada and calls for boycotts of Israel, Nancy, with the leadership of Professor Benjamin Sachs of Harvard Medical School, facilitated the first Hadassah/Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston Medical Solidarity Conference to Israel. More than 60 prominent U.S. physicians traveled to Israel to make the statement that medicine must not be used as a political weapon of war. Nancy, who sits on the boards of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the David Project, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Russell Sage College and is an advisor to Best Doctors, a health services company co-founded by her husband, Dr. Kenneth H. Falchuk. They have three children and five grandchildren.
BETSY AUGUST GOLD, Hillsdale, N.J.
Betsy August Gold began her career as a reporter at The Miami News and later worked at newspapers in New York and New Jersey, where she last served as Business Editor of The Bergen Record. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and won the Society of Professional Journalists’ highest award for Distinguished Service for a story in which she traced the path of a serial killer as he crossed the country murdering young women. Betsy currently has a direct-sales business and was named a top performer companywide for 10 straight years. She oversees a 45-member team and is responsible for training, business planning, and recruitment. Betsy grew up in Young Judaea in Miami and served as mazkira of the Florida/Puerto Rico Region; attended Camp Judaea and then worked there as a madricha and Head Counselor; and attended TY. She was on Year Course with her husband, Ron, former mazkir of the New Jersey Region. Their daughters – Stephanie, Jacqueline, and Alexandra – have been engaged in the movement via CYJ Sprout Lake, TY, Machon, and Year Course. Betsy is a co-founder and immediate past president of The Friends of CYJ Sprout Lake.
STEVE GREENBERG, New York City, N.Y.
Steve Greenberg, Founder and CEO of S-Curve Records, is known for discovering and producing hits for such artists as Joss Stone, Hanson, the Jonas Brothers, and Andy Grammer. He is a multiple Grammy Award nominee and won in 2001 as producer of Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out." Steve, former President of Columbia Records, served a stint in 1981 as a disc jockey on the Voice of Peace pirate radio station, which broadcast from a ship in the Mediterranean in the name of peace. In 1983 and 1984, he was a correspondent for Israel Radio in Tel Aviv. Steve holds a master's degree in Applied Communication Research from Stanford University, a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University, and was a Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. He wrote about pop music culture in the anthology, "The 80's," is on the adjunct faculty of New York University’s Clive Davis School of Recorded Music, and serves on the boards of several Israel-based Internet start-ups focusing on music. Steve was on Queens Region mazkirut, and from 1976-1984, was a TY camper, madrich, and merakez. He was a Camp Judaea madrich before attending Year Course in 1978-79. His wife, Jennifer Sylvor, who was on Year Course in 1984-85, serves on the TY board, and their daughters, Amelia and Abigail, attend Young Judaea camps.
DONNA ROSENBLATT HOROWITZ, Northbrook, Ill.
Donna is Vice President of Human Resources for Leica Microsystems, the same company that saved Jews in Nazi Germany in an effort known as the Leica Freedom Train. She has held multiple roles in human resources in IBM, Motorola, Underwriters Laboratories, and Elkay Manufacturing. Donna, who has facilitated strategic planning processes for several Jewish organizations in the Chicago area, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from DePaul University. She was on Western Pennsylvania Region mazkirut, was a camper at TY and on staff at CYJ Midwest, is a graduate of Machon/Year Course, served as a madricha for Hadracha to Israel, and was Director of Michigan Region Young Judaea. Donna is married to Aaron Horowitz, a former national mazkir, and they have three children: Jonathan, Elana, and Alexa. All three have attended Young Judaea camps, including Camp Young Judaea Midwest and TY. Jonathan went on Year Course four years ago and Alexa was Midwest Region mazkira and is headed to Year Course this fall.
JOE KORNFELD, Houston, Texas
Joe Kornfeld is an attorney in private practice in Houston, where he is very active in the Jewish community. He has served on the board and executive committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and as chairman of the Community Relations Committee. Joe, who received an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, is an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program and a co-founder and former president of the Emery/Weiner School, a pluralistic Jewish middle and high school in Houston. He was also chairman of the Southwest Zionist Youth Commission of Hadassah and president of Camp Young Judaea, Inc. Joe grew up in Elmira, N.Y., attended TY, was mazkir of Upper New York State Region, served on national mazkirut, and went on Year Course. He worked at Camp Young Judaea Texas during summers while attending college, and became the Director of CYJ Texas and the Director of the T-O-L Region after graduation. His three children — Alyse, Seth, and Dori — attended Young Judaea camps and each was a madrich on a summer Young Judaea Machon trip to Israel.
VALLY NAOMI KOVARY, Ithaca, N.Y.
Vally Kovary is a transformational leader in the private and non-profit sectors in the U.S., Latin America, Israel, and the former Soviet Union. Principal of International Planning Associates, her management consulting firm specializes in strategic organization and business planning. Her expertise is in working with educational and community-based institutions, helping transform their visions and missions, and integrate their programs, communications, funding, and staff/governance structures. Vally earned a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University and a M.B.A./M.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Fellow of The Joseph H. Lauder Institute for International Management and Studies. Formerly a professional in the field of higher education advancement, she has galvanized millions of dollars of support for organizations worldwide. She is considered a catalytic member of the board of the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community. Particularly interested in the leadership of women, she has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and Project Kesher. Vally, who performs with an interactive theater troupe, also mentors young executives with international promise in Africa and Latin America. She grew up in Young Judaea in Ithaca, N.Y., and is a Year Course alumna.
MARVIN KRISLOV, Oberlin, Ohio
Marvin Krislov has served as President of Oberlin College since 2007. Previously, he was vice president and general counsel of the University of Michigan, where his legal defense of its admission policies resulted in a 2003 Supreme Court decision recognizing the importance of student body diversity. He also served as Acting Solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor and Associate Counsel to the President during the Clinton Administration. Marvin earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in Economics and Political Science from Yale University. He was named a Rhodes Scholar, and received master’s degrees from Oxford University and Yale, as well as a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. Marvin has taught advanced courses in law and public policy, and has published op-ed pieces in The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Chronicle of Higher Education on his commitment to teaching, student voting rights, colleges’ role in driving sustainable economic development, and student mental health. Nominated by President Obama in 2009, Marvin currently serves on the National Council on the Humanities. In Young Judaea, Marvin was mazkir of Central States Region, worked at Camp Young Judaea Michigan, and attended TY. His wife, Amy Ruth Sheon, served on Central States mazkirut and attended Machon/Year Course. Their children – Zachary, Jesse, and Evie Rose — have attended Young Judaea camps.
DAN MOGULOF, Berkeley, Calif.
Dan Mogulof is the Executive Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the University of California, Berkeley. In that capacity, he serves as spokesperson for the world’s leading public university and plays a central role in the development and execution of communications strategies to promote and protect its reputation. Dan also oversees a team of media relations specialists and editorial writers who extend the campus’ reach through journalistic outlets, social media, and the institution’s websites. A four-time Emmy winner, Dan previously served as a producer at CBS News, PBS, National Geographic Television, and New York Times Television – including four years as the CBS News Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv. Dan first got involved with Young Judaea as a 12 year old at Camp Judaea in Northern California. He served on mazkirut of the Northern Pacific Coast Region; spent three summers at TY as a camper, kitchen boy, and madrich; and attended Machon/Year Course in 1974-75. He later settled on Kibbutz Ketura, which was established in 1973 by Young Judaea alumni. Dan, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and an alumnus of Columbia University, is married to Anne Wolf and has a 5-year-old son, Evan.
MARLENE EDITH POST, New York City, N.Y.
Marlene Post’s 40-year volunteer career working on behalf of humanitarian causes has placed her at the pinnacle of vital new initiatives for the 21st century. A past National President of Hadassah and past chairperson of Hadassah International, Marlene is currently co-chairperson of its Centennial and chairperson of its Missions Department. She is a passionate Zionist, has led more than 300 trips to Israel, and is widely regarded as one of Hadassah’s strongest proponents of Young Judaea and leadership development. Of her hundreds of awards, Marlene treasures the Doctor of Humane Letters from Hebrew College for “bettering the lives of those in need of a caring hand or a forceful advocate here and in Israel.” Marlene established the first Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women at Brandies University and created the Hadassah Foundation to fund activities for the benefit of women and girls in Israel and the U.S. She is a founding member of Birthright Israel and presently sits on the Foundation board as well as the Taglit-Birthright Israel Governing Board. Marlene is on the Advisory Council of the New York Board of Rabbis; the executive committee of the Jewish National Fund; and the board of New York Hospital, Queens. She is a founding member of the Jewish Deaf Resource Center. Marlene, who holds a Master of Science in Nursing Education and Administration, and her husband, Dr. Robert Post, have three daughters and six grandchildren.
DONALD F. RABINOVITCH, New York City, N.Y.
Donald Rabinovitch, a health care and media entrepreneur, recently retired as co-Founder, President, and co-CEO of AFP Imaging Corp., a leading publicly traded company. He is currently Founder/Principal of Andes Films Co., producer of four award-winning films, including “Mendy: A Question of Faith,” the story of a Hasidic boy’s encounters with the secular world. Donald recently started to grow QUADflix SELECT, an on-line digital platform for the venerable independent art film house, Quad Cinemas. Born in Montreal, he grew up in a creative/artistic Cooperative Housing Community in the Bronx. Donald earned his bachelor’s at Pace University and his M.B.A. in International Business at The George Washington University. He has served on the board of the Truman Institute for Peace at Hebrew University and is now on the boards of The Town Hall and The Dominican Dream Project. Donald, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, South America, from 1968 to 1970, was mazkir of Bronx Region, attended TY, and was on the 1964-65 Year Course, where as a member of the “Caspi Trio” folk group, he played throughout Israel and on Kol Yisrael. He was an Israeli Army volunteer during the Six-Day War, and he and his wife, Irene, worked at TY in 1970. Their three children, one of whom made aliyah, attended Young Judaea camps, Summer Course, and Year Course. They have four grandchildren.
RONI SCHWARTZ, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Roni Schwartz, the Young Judaea Coordinator for Hadassah, is a speech pathologist who works with developmentally disabled adults. She currently sits on the boards of the Jewish National Fund and Town Square Inc., and is the founder of the Friends of Edward R. Murrow High School in New York, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts in public high schools. Previously, Roni was president of Hadassah’s Brooklyn Region and served on the board of the Institute for Living Judaism. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Education from the University of Buffalo and Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Brooklyn College. Roni currently serves as a Hadassah National Vice President and her dedication to the organization began with her late mother, Hilda Spivack, and has extended three generations to her daughter, Sari, who is also a life member. A Judaean herself, Roni has three children – Jeremy, Sari, and Joshua, a Young Judaean who went on Year Course. She and her husband, Michael, were founders of the Young Judaea Youth Hostel in Israel.
MICHAEL P. SHERMAN, New York City, N.Y.
Michael Sherman is a business leader and attorney in New York City. Currently a Senior Advisor for the Peter J. Solomon Co. investment bank, Michael has spent 25 years in multi-channel retailing, where he has been involved with numerous acquisitions, spin-offs, and restructurings. He was President of Fingerhut Companies, Inc., a $2 billion direct marketer that was purchased by Federated Department Stores. He was also chairman of the Direct Marketing Association in 2002 and he currently serves on five boards. Michael, who earned an A.B. from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University, spent his junior year at Hebrew University and was a volunteer during the Yom Kippur War. His Young Judaea connection is through his children: Son, Josh (Rosh Sport at CYJ Sprout Lake); daughter-in-law, Andrea Eisenstein (TY, Year Course, Rosh Mumchim at Sprout Lake); daughter, Laura (Sprout Lake, TY, Year Course, national mazkirut; met her husband, Avi Fisher, on Year Course); and son, Jon (Sprout Lake, TY, Year Course). Michael, who served on the board of The Friends of CYJ Sprout Lake, is married to Ruth. He was a counselor and Rosh Edah at Camp Ramah, president of Neve Shalom synagogue in New Jersey, and treasurer of Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis.
SHELLEY SHERMAN, Great Neck, N.Y.
Shelley Sherman, an attorney, is the Hadassah Executive Division Coordinator and immediate past Coordinator of the Young Judaea Division. She previously served as the Young Major Donors Chairperson and was the originator of Hadassah’s Take a Stand!, the young women’s fundraising and advocacy initiative. Shelley joined Hadassah in 1974 at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem after spending the summer backpacking through Israel and being impressed with Hadassah’s institutions. Shelley, a past president of Temple Isaiah of Great Neck, N.Y., graduated from The George Washington University and Hofstra University School of Law. She practiced public service law in the New York State Department of Health, where she prosecuted doctors for misconduct, and in the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. She also taught torts, legal writing, and trial practice at two law schools. Shelley and her late husband, David Diamond, are second-generation Hadassah Guardians of the Dream Donors, and part of a three-generation Founders family along with their children: Hannah, a Young Judaea Year Course participant in 2007-08, and Daniel, a Young Judaea alumnus.
MANNY SYNALOVSKI, Plantation, Fla.
Manny Synalovski is the Managing Principal of Manuel Synalovski Associates, a national architecture firm headquartered in South Florida. In addition to his significant accomplishments in the design industry, Manny is a highly regarded construction and real estate development professional. Manny completed his architecture studies at the University of Miami and for more than 25 years, his firm has completed award-winning projects in Florida, Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Texas, and Illinois. Born in Cuba and raised in Puerto Rico, Manny is currently on the board of the Jewish Federation of Broward County and serves as president of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County. Manny’s involvement in Young Judaea began during high school and he served as mazkir of Southern Region. He also worked at CJ and was a club leader during college. Manny is married to the former Lisa Kliegman, his Year Course sweetheart who was Director of Florida/Puerto Rico Young Judaea and Assistant Director at TY. Their daughters, Eva and Lindsey, are fourth-generation life members of Hadassah and active in the Jewish community.
ALON TAL, Modi’in, Israel
Alon Tal, Chairman of Israel’s Green Party, was recently named Israel’s most influential environmentalist by Haaretz newspaper. Alon founded both Adam Teva V’Din — the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Israel's leading environmental advocacy organization, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura, a unique graduate research center where Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians study with environmentalists from around the world. He serves on the Jewish National Fund’s international board and is chairman of its committee overseeing forestry and land development. After making aliyah on his 20th birthday, Alon completed the Nachal paratroopers and developed a career in academia and public interest advocacy. He is on the Ben Gurion University faculty and between 1990 and 1999, was an adjunct faculty member at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. Alon, the 2006 recipient of the The Charles Bronfman Prize for young Jewish leadership, was active in Seaboard Region Young Judaea in North Carolina, served on national mazkirut, attended Year Course, and was director of TY-Bet. He married Robyn Klein, a Judaean from Maryland who also went on Year Course. Their daughters — Mika, Hadas, and Zoe — have been active in Israeli youth movements and Zoe attended CYJ Sprout Lake.
MELANIE TOPPER, Washington, D.C.
Melanie Topper, who has lead data management projects at several Fortune 100 companies, is a Senior Sales Engineer at Appfluent Technology in Rockville, Md. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems at the University of Georgia. She is a charter member of the Meira Chapter in Hadassah’s New York Region and during her 2008-10 tenure as co-president, membership and fundraising goals were exceeded. Melanie led efforts to bring Meira online and Meira operated under the motto, “Not Just Your Bubbe’s Hadassah.” As a New York Region board member, Melanie served as a membership vice president, recruiting young professional Jewish women into Hadassah, including many Young Judaea alumni. She is also a mentor for Year Up, an intensive training program that provides urban young adults with technical and professional skills to bridge the opportunity gap, and spent five summers as an advisor and co-director of Anytown South Alabama, a teen leadership program that exposes and tackles prejudice and discrimination. Melanie grew up in Young Judaea clubs in Mobile, Ala.; was a camper and madricha at Camp Judaea and TY; served on Southern Region mazkirut and national mazkirut; and attended Year Course. She and her husband, Jason Kromirs, have a newborn baby.
GIL TROY, Jerusalem, Israel, and Montreal, Canada
Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University and a Shalom Hartman Engaging Israel Research Fellow in Jerusalem. Maclean’s magazine has repeatedly identified him as one of McGill’s “Popular Profs” and the History News Network designated him one of its first 12 Top Young Historians. Gil received his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, where he taught history and literature for two years. He is the author of nine books, including the best-selling, “Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today,” and the forthcoming, “Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism.” Gil writes regularly for The Jerusalem Post, The Canadian Jewish News, and The Jewish Week, and has been an occasional contributor to the “Campaign Stops” section of The New York Times. He has been extensively involved in the Jewish community and the worldwide fight against the delegitimization of Israel, consulting with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for Strategic Affairs. As an expert in informal Jewish education, he is chairman of the Birthright Israel International Education Committee. Gil is the former mazkir of Queens Region Young Judaea and was a longtime merakez and educational director at TY. He attended Machon/Year Course, and he and his wife, Linda, have four children: Lia, Yoni, Aviv and Dina.
HAL D. UNGAR, Metairie, La.
Hal D. Ungar is Of Counsel at the law firm of Middleberg, Riddle & Gianna, based in New Orleans. Hal, who earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University-New Orleans and his Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies and Political Science from Indiana University, has a diverse litigation practice including insurance defense, contractor negligence, and admiralty and maritime defense, with special focus on immigration and maritime-related class actions. Hal is passionate in his service on the board of Congregation Beth Israel in New Orleans, a synagogue destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that is set to open the doors to its new home in August 2012. In Young Judaea, Hal served on both Lev HaDarom Region mazkirut as well as national mazkirut; was a camper, madrich, and merakez at Camp Judaea; and worked as Rosh Ropes Course at TY after attending Year Course in 2000-01. He is married to Lauren, a teacher and administrator at the New Orleans Jewish Day School.