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Advisors

  • Rachel Brodie, Chief Jewish Officer at the JCC of San Francisco (link)
  • Ralph Guggenheim, Media Producer, Founder of Alligator Planet, Co-Founder of Pixar, Producer of Toy Story (link)
  • Janet Harris, Director of the Early Childhood Education Initiative at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco (link)
  • Debbie Heimowitz, Kids & Family Content Development and Strategy, Caticorn Entertainment (link)
  • Evan Hirsch, Founder, Engine Co. 4 (link)
  • Mani Honigstein, Founder of Gaming Company RocketPlay(link)

  • Donny Inbar, Editor, Translator, Yiddish Theater Director and Israeli Chef (link)
  • Amichai Lau-Lavie, Founder, Lab/Shul (link)
  • Lisa Lepson, Executive Director, Joshua Venture Group (link)
  • Alicia Jo Rabins, Poet, musician, performer and Jewish educator (link)
  • Matthue Roth, Writer, poet, game designer (link)
  • Kari Saratovsky, Social Good Evangelist, author, Cause for Change (link)
  • Dr. Zvi Septimus, Cornell University, Department of Near Eastern Studies (link)
  • M. Evan Wolkenstein, Director of Experiential Education, Jewish Community High School of the Bay (link)

 

Board of Directors

 

Lewis Bernstein, Ph.D.

Lewis is transitioning out of the role of Executive Vice President of Education, Research and Outreach for the Sesame Workshop, where he established the educational agenda for all productions and creative executions. He oversaw the development and analysis of research studies which assessed the outcomes of Sesame Workshop’s projects. In his three years as Executive Producer of Sesame Street the series adopted a curriculum encouraging American children to respect the diversity of children from all over the world and an initiative to teach children about health, nutrition and exercise. His work won him and the Workshop three Emmy awards. Bernstein was integral to the success of the children’s series internationally. As Vice President of Global Sesame Street Productions he led the training production teams from France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Kuwait and Israel to develop their own versions of the program. Bernstein also served as Executive Producer for Sesame English, a television program that teaches conversational English in foreign countries. He was responsible for spearheading the Israeli/Palestinian Sesame Street’s co-production of Rechov Sumsum teaching children about traditions, heritage and Israeli daily life. Bernstein’s association with Sesame Street began in 1972 when he came on board as Director of Research working alongside Jim Henson and Jon Stone to integrate entertainment and education. Bernstein holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Communications Research, an M.A. from Hebrew University in Communications, and a B.A. from Queens College, CUNY, in Psychology. (link)

Maya Bernstein, Secretary

Maya is an Associate at UpStart Bay Area, a consulting firm that supports Jewish social entrepreneurs and facilitates innovation processes in established Jewish organizations. She has facilitated and taught for: The Wexner Heritage Program, The Jim Joseph Foundation, Yeshiva University’s Experiential Educators Program, the Stanford Hillel, and many JCCs, schools, and synagogues. She was the founding Regional Director of The Curriculum Initiative’s New England and Bay Area regions, supporting diversity education and Jewish life at prep schools. Maya is a 2012 recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize. Her writing on the intersection of Jewish thought and change theory has appeared online and in print in a variety of publications, including The Jewish Week, Sh’ma, Zeek, e-jewish philanthropy, and The Huffington Post. She also writes about the joys and challenges of modern Jewish motherhood for Lilith magazine.A graduate of Midreshet Lindenbaum, a women’s Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Columbia University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Maya has lived, taught, and spoken with the natives in Belarus, Germany, Israel, and China. Maya and her husband Noam Silverman live in the Bay Area with their four children. (link)

Lisa Colton

Lisa Colton is the Chief Learning Officer at See3 Communications, and the founder and president of Darim Online. Her works centers around nonprofits align themselves for success in the digital age, with a particular emphasis in the Jewish community. Much of Lisa’s energy focuses on helping people and organizations innovate, and helping innovators mature and strengthen their work. Lisa is a graduate of Stanford University, and attended The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Livnot U’lehibanot. Lisa lives in Seattle, WA with her family, where she’s a partner of the Kavana Cooperative, and is currently fostering a bunny named Caesar. (link)

Matthew D. Gershuny, CFO

Matthew is the Director of Research and the lead Portfolio Manager of the Parnassus Mid Cap Fund. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Gershuny was a Vice President of Equity Research at Cowen and Company. Before that, he held various equity research and asset management positions at UBS Securities. Mr. Gershuny received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Cornell University and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. (link)

Sarah Lefton, Founder and Executive Director

Sarah is a graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, a Pomegranate Prize winning Jewish educator and an uncompromising creative director with experience at the New York Times, Grey Advertising and several media and entertainment tech start-ups, she brings commercial technology and design skills to bear in the nonprofit world. Her work has been featured on NPR, in the Wall Street Journal and CNN.com. A recipient of the Joshua Venture Group fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs, she was named one of the “Forward 50” most influential Jews by the Forward newspaper. (link)

Galyn Susman

Galyn is a producer at Pixar Animation Studios. She joined the company in 1990 working on TV commercial production as a technical director, animator, and producer. Her first work on a feature film was for Toy Story, where she modeled, shaded, and supervised lighting. Galyn continued in the technical disciplines until 2003 when she joined the crew of Ratatouille as Associate Producer. After the film’s completion she produced live action documentaries and short films for DVDs as well as two Toy Story television specials. She is currently the producer for the upcoming Toy Story 4. Before arriving at Pixar, Galyn was conducting graphics research and development at Apple, where she was a part of the team that made a short film entirely on Macintosh computers. She cites this project as the tipping point for choosing her current career. Galyn is a graduate of Brown University and lives with her husband and children in Piedmont.

Joshua Weinberg, President

Josh is the Principal at the Digital Life Group, where he helps companies develop and market products that inspire passion and excitement.Since 1989 he has helped companies introduce successful technology products to the consumer marketplace, drawing on his extensive professional launch, product advising and public relations experience as well as his deep technical knowledge. During his career, Josh has successfully launched a wide range of products for clients and technologies ranging from toys for Intel to cell phones and the PlayStation 3 for Sony. Recently, Josh launched Cisco’s hybrid cloud solution, and Truveo.com, the widely acclaimed video search engine; PushPin, Placebase’s dynamic online mapping product; QiGO, the Internet experience key introduced at Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher’s D5 conference; and PairUp the social networking service for travelers that won the DEMOgod award at the DEMO conference. (link)

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