The Advisory Committee

The formation of the Certificate Program was steered by an Advisory Committee. Members include:



Ilana Aisen

Ilana Aisen is the Senior Director of Jewish Service-Learning at Repair the World. From 2002-2009, Ilana worked at American Jewish World Service, where she was involved with all aspects of their service programs and led 15 groups in Central America and West Africa.  As a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar, Ilana earned an MPA and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic studies at NYU.  She attained certification to teach high school english and history at York University in Toronto.



Maggie Bar-Tura

Until recently, Maggie was the Chief Operating Officer, Foundation for Jewish Camp
where she oversaw strategic planning and program development. Previously, Maggie was a member of Kibbutz Hulda in Israel for three decades where she developed experiential educational programs for the kibbutz movement, and consulted to social change start-ups. She has served as the Executive Director of the Carmel Institute for Social Studies, and as Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.



Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Brander is the inaugural Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. CJF serves as Yeshiva University’s catalyst to: infuse the student body with a spirit of leadership and sense of commitment to the Jewish people and society; build, cultivate, and support communities, and their lay and rabbinic leaders; and create a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva University. He is Rabbi Emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue and founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to over 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. During that time he served as the student assistant to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from the Chief Rabbi, Mordechai Eliyahu, in the field of medical ethics; infertility, gynecology and halakhah. He is currently a PhD candidate in general philosophy at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He has received numerous awards for his community service and has authored many articles in various scholarly journals.



Dr. David Bryfman

David Bryfman is the Director of New Center for Collaborative Leadership, Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York-SAJES. He completed his Ph.D. Education and Jewish Studies at NYU focusing on the development of Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish Education. He is also a recent graduate of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. David completed his undergraduate and Masters in Education degrees in Melbourne, and is also a graduate of the Melton Senior Educators Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Pardes. In Australia he was the Director of Informal Jewish Education at a large Jewish day school, a Hillel Director, and the Director of Birthright Israel in Australia. David is a graduate of Brandeis University’s Informal Jewish Education Leadership Seminar and Jewish Education Leadership Seminar.  David is currently an educational consultant for the iCenter.



Rabbi Steven Burg

Rabbi Steven Burg is the International Director, NCSY, a movement of more than 35,000 Jewish teens in over 200 communities across North America with additional branches in Israel, Chile, and Argentina. NCSY’s mission is to connect, inspire, and empower Jewish teens through innovative outreach and inspirational opportunities.  Rabbi Burg’s career in NCSY has spanned nineteen years, during which time he has impacted the lives of thousands of Jewish teens making Judaism relevant to their lives.  Rabbi Burg is also the founder of the Jewish Student Union (JSU), a network of 250 public high school clubs that reaches more than 15,000 unaffiliated Jewish teens.  In addition to his role as International Director of NCSY, Rabbi Burg serves as the Managing Director of the Orthodox Union overseeing the Orthodox Union’s many programs.

Rabbi Burg currently resides in Bergenfield, New Jersey with his wife Rachel and their six children Aryeh, Elie, Devorah, Zevi, Natan, and Ayelet.



Dr. Beth Cousens

A Jewish Educational Consultant, and previously an Associate Vice President and professional leader of Hillel’s Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience, Beth is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds PhD from Brandeis University in Jewish education. Her dissertation research is entitled, “Shifting Social Networks: Studying the Jewish Growth of Adults in Their Twenties and Thirties.” Beth also holds an MA with Honors in Judaic Studies from Baltimore Hebrew University and an MSW from the University of Maryland. As the educational planner for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, she focused on synagogue education, teen Jewish identity, and expanding participation in Jewish overnight camping. She acts frequently as a consultant to Jewish organizations on the ethno-religious engagement of Millennials and Generation Xers, discussing how younger American Jews might help us reshape Jewish institutional life while remaining true to historic Jewish ideas and values.



Rabbi Binny Freedman

Rabbi Freedman is Rosh Yeshivat Orayta and Director of Isralight. He is an energetic teacher, erudite scholar, charismatic tour guide, and talented musician- bursting with optimism and zest for life. A student of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and a graduate of the Yeshiva’s affiliated Machon Herzog Teachers’ Institute, Rav Binny received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel.

Rav Binny has a gift for synthesizing difficult sophisticated material and text in a way that inspires both the scholar and the novice. His knowledge of Jewish History, Philosophy, and Judaism, coupled with his life experiences as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces have made him a popular lecturer, and contribute to the inspiring nature of his weekly Internet ‘Parsha Bytes’ which have a loyal readership of tens of thousands.



Dr. Scott Goldberg

Dr. Goldberg is the inaugural Director of the Institute for University – School Partnership at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School. As director of the Institute, Dr. Goldberg works closely with organizations, agencies, and institutions to improve the educational and operational performance of schools. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from New York University, an M.S.Ed. in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York, and a B.A. in Jewish Studies from the University of Chicago.


Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is the founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, and the founder and director of Project YES, a national organization which provides at-risk and pre-risk teens with a “big brother and sister” teen mentoring program, parent mentoring, an advice help-line, and the website Rabbi Horowitz is a regular columnist in The Jewish Press, Hamodia, and Mishpacha Magazine. He is the author of Living and Parenting, Growing with the Parsha, and more than a dozen best-selling CD and DVD sets on parenting. Readers around the world enjoy his weekly D’var Torah and parenting emails. 

Rabbi Horowitz, a talmid of the Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Torah Vodaath, Hagoan Horav Avrohom Yaakov Pam zt”l, was the recipient of the Rockland Educator of the Year Award, the Grinspoon-Steinhart Award for excellence in Jewish education and the 2008 Covenant Award for outstanding Jewish educators. He is a featured speaker at national conventions, and conducts in-service training seminars and parenting workshops in communities across the world.



Rae Janvey

Rae Janvey is a consultant in the area of recruitment for and design of leadership and learning programs. She is also a mentor and leadership coach to senior lay and professional leaders, and young social entrepreneurs, in the Jewish community.

Rae is senior advisor to the Jewish Week’s “The Conversation”, and principle advisor to the Berrie Fellowship  - a selective Jewish leadership program in Northern New Jersey, amongst numerous other initiatives in the area of leadership and education. 

She currently serves as head of the Jewish Week’s nominating committee and board.

Rae is the immediate past Executive Director of the Wexner Heritage Foundation where she was head of recruitment and alumni relations. Prior to that, Rae was the director of the American Pardes Foundation.



Rabbi Joshua Joseph

Rabbi Joseph is Vice President and Chief of Staff at Yeshiva Univeristy. In addition to managing the Office of the President and working with administration, academic and lay leadership, he runs the Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership and several project teams and task forces. Rabbi Joseph had previously been Director of Special Projects for YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, served as Executive Director of the Orthodox Caucus, worked on Wall Street and served as a pulpit rabbi. Rabbi Joseph completed his undergraduate degree with honors at the University of Pennsylvania and received both rabbinic ordination and a Master’s in Jewish philosophy from YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Bernard Revel Graduate School.



Esther D. Kustanowitz

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a writer and consultant specializing in social media, pop culture, Jewish community and innovation. She has worked as a consultant for the ROI Community – a global network of young Jewish innovators in their 20s and 30s – since its inception in 2006. She has served as innovation consultant for the 2010 JFNA General Assembly, and currently works part-time as Program Coordinator for the NextGen Engagement Initiative at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. She also served as founding senior editor for PresenTense Magazine from 2006-2008, and was a founding member of the Jewlicious Festival team in 2005. In all of her roles, Esther is committed to creating and cultivating productive, collaborative partnerships between established Jewish organizations and innovative initiatives.



Dr. Jonathan Mirvis

Dr. Mirvis is the International Director at the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. He is the foremost academic specialist in adult education and the new field of social entrepreneurship at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He lectures to graduate students on these subjects at the Hebrew University’s School of Education and Melton Centre for Jewish Education, the School of Social Work’s Program in Non-Profit Management and the Business School’s MBA Program.



Dr. David Pelcovitz

David Pelcovitz, Ph.D. holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Jewish Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. He also teaches courses in pastoral psychology at the university’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and serves as special assistant to the president of Yeshiva University. He is a leading scholar, author and lecturer in areas ranging from trauma and abuse in children, spiritual education of children and adolescents, values education and parenting.



Yehuda Rothner

Yehuda Rothner is currently the Director of Camp Stone.  He received his BA from Case Western Reserve University with concentrations in classics, art history, and anthropology.  He received his Masters in Education with concentrations in history and social studies from John Carroll University.  He is a sofer STaM, and has studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion for eight years. He has held a variety of teaching positions in both the Cleveland public school system and in various Jewish elementary and secondary schools.  He has held a number of Administrative positions, most recently Middle School Principal at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland.  He currently resides in Alon Shvut with his wife Adina and their six children.



Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek

Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek is the founding director of the Emek Project, home to deep and creative Jewish life in the Hudson Valley. In recent years, he has served as the Rabbi in Residence at American Jewish World Service and the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York. An experienced leader and creator of Jewish service learning experiences, Rabbi Spodek teaches extensively about spiritual approaches to justice work, Judaism and human rights and other topics in a variety of settings. He holds rabbinic ordination and a masters in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was the first recipient of the Neubauer Fellowship. Prior to entering the rabbinate, he attended Wesleyan University and worked as a daily journalist in Durham, NC.



Rhoda M. Weisman

Rhoda M. Weisman is a non-profit coach and consultant specializing in talent and leadership development, programmatic excellence and multi-generations in the workplace. Rhoda was the Founding Executive Director of Professional Leaders Project (PLP). A recognized expert in “next generation” leadership development, Rhoda has been at the forefront in developing innovative initiatives for the Jewish community.

Rhoda is an occupational therapist and certified leadership coach with a Masters Degree in Jewish Professional Leadership from Brandeis University. She resides in Los Angeles, California and is an avid community volunteer with children and teens, hospital patients and various philanthropies across the city.