Gali Cooks is the inaugural Executive Director of Leading Edge, Alliance for Excellence in Jewish leadership, an organization formed in 2014 by foundations and federations to influence, inspire and enable dramatic change in attracting, developing and retaining top talent for Jewish organizations. Gali’s professional experience spans the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Her career began as a speechwriter at the Embassy of Israel and a Legislative Assistant at AIPAC. She then joined the Harold Grinspoon Foundation as Founding Director of the PJ Library. From 2007-2013, Gali was Executive Director of the Rita & Stanley Kaplan Family Foundation. In the private sector, Gali was VP of Operations at an education technology startup. Most recently, Gali was Director of Business Operations in the Youth Division of URJ.
Gali serves on the Boards of Keshet and the Joshua Venture Group, and holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business. In 2016, she was named one of the Forward 50, an annual list of the top 50 Jews influencing American life, for her efforts to build the next generation of leaders.
Timeless Ketubah was founded in 2015 after years of developing a new way of approaching Ketubot/Ketubahs. It all started when my wife, Elana, and I were planning our own wedding. With her keen eye for style and color and my background in fine art and design, we worked together to create original elements for our wedding. Throughout the busy planning process, there were three main areas of focus that we came to realize were most important. They included (1) infusing rich, meaningful traditions and rituals (2) in a unique way (3) that would highlight our individual and collective personalities.
I love to challenge myself and turn the seemingly impossible into reality. I was told that invitations were supposed to be flat, so I designed a 3-D pop-out wedding invitation that Elana and I hand-made (over a hundred of them). I was also told that a ketubah should either be something that gets hung on a wall or gets rolled up and put in a safe place. We chose to go in a different direction.
It was at this time that I developed and created the first sculptural ketubah (the image on this site’s homepage), which was able to perfectly capture the above three elements. Although it took a long time to complete, it was truly a labor of love; I created the sculptural elements and Elana wrote a beautiful English interpretation for our ketubah’s text. It became one of the focal points of our wedding, and is now one of the focal points of our home in Brooklyn, N.Y., that we have created together.
We want you and your soulmate to have a meaningful, unique, and special ketubah of your own; One that speaks to your relationship and your love for each other.
We invite you to explore our website at the various styles of sculptural ketubot/ketubahs that I have created and various texts crafted by Elana that you can customize to fit your needs and wants. Your ketubah should capture your essence, and we will customize anything to your liking so that it is truly an expression of you and your soulmate.
Your wedding day is one of a kind; your ketubah should be too.
As Founder of the Kugler Company, LLC, Drew Kugler advises senior executives and professionals around the world on the always-challenging issue of change-creating conversations. For over thirty years, Drew has been retained by dozens of organizations looking to learn to lead and collaborate in ways that genuinely work over time.
In addition to his advising experience, Drew has held management positions with Nordstrom and Marriott Corporation. He received his Master’s Degree from San Diego State University in Communication Studies, where he was recognized and awarded as an Outstanding Lecturer. He has been published in the American Lawyer, appeared on CBS, ABC, and NPR, and has been a guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Law School, NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.
Drew is also honored to have coached and spoken on Leadership and Communication in many Jewish communities including Synagogues, Agencies, and he is now in his eighth year as a faculty member of the Zelikow School of Non Profit Management at Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion.
Dara Z. Klarfeld is the Managing Director for DRG- Executive Search Consultants for the Non-profit Sector. Dara joined DRG in 2011 as a Consultant, with an eye to building the firm’s practice in education administration. With more than fifteen years of experience working in both the formal and informal Jewish education communities, Dara has a wealth of experience working with camps, Jewish Day Schools, and a variety of other education nonprofits. Most recently, Dara worked to identify and cultivate the next generation of leadership as Director of the Shapiro Family Fellowship at UJA-Federation of New York and as a consultant for a number of philanthropic community start-ups.
In her current work, Dara heads up executive search assignments for Heads of School and Principals of Jewish day schools, Jewish Community Centers, and a variety of other education-focused organizations. Dara also works closely with boards in helping them to strategize and manage their executive transitions. Her vast networks are central to her success in all the work that she does. Dara is also focused on and passionate about the field’s future: developing talent pools of next generation senior leadership in the nonprofit sector.
When she’s not working with clients, Dara enjoys rooting for (some) New York sports teams, reading interior design magazines, trying out new recipes for her family to taste, and wishing she was a professional folk guitar players/singer/songwriter. Dara received her B.A. from the University of Maryland. She also holds a master’s degree and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox is the President and Founder of NewCAJE: Re-Imaging Jewish Education for the 21st Century. She is well known in the Boston area and beyond. She was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York which is a pluralistic Jewish seminary. She has served as rabbi at Congregation Eitz Chayim in Cambridge, Temple Emanuel of Marlborough, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital. She was also the Interim President of the Academy for Jewish Religion and is a founder and national chair of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Rabbi Cherie served as the chair of the NewCAJE conferences in 2010 – 2016.
Rabbi Joshua Rabin is Director of Innovation at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, where he is also the Program Director of the USCJ Convention. Prior to coming to USCJ, Josh served as the Rav Beit Sefer (Rabbi-in-Residence) of the Schechter School of Long Island from 2011-2014. Josh received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011, where he served two terms as student body president.
Josh received a Certificate from The Principals’ Center at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2014, and was an inaugural fellow at the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership at the UJA-Federation of New York. Josh lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Rabbi Yael Hammerman, and their children Hannah and Shai. You can read more of Josh’s writings by visiting www.joshuarabin.com.
Aliza Mazor is the Executive Director for Bikkurim: Advancing New Jewish Ideas, a joint project of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Kaminer Family. Bikkurim will soon become part of UpStart together with Joshua Venture and the North American programs of PresenTense, forming an “innovation one-stop” for the Jewish community. Bikkurim has supported 33 innovative start-ups that contribute significantly to the diversification and reinvigoration of Jewish life. Through Atid Hazak (Strong Futures), Bikkurim prepares the most promising new initiatives in Jewish life to grow their impact.
Previously, Aliza served as an independent organizational consultant to philanthropies, capacity-builders, and social justice organizations. A Chicago native, Aliza spent fifteen years living and working in Israel and holds an MSW from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently lives in New York City.
This podcast episode focuses on the merger between four Jewish innovation organizations, Bikkurim, Upstart, Joshua Venture Group, and the US programs for PresenTense as announced through E-Jewish Philanthropy.
Mark S. Young is passionate about advancing effective educational leadership in Jewish life. As managing director of the JTS Davidson School Leadership Commons, Mark builds relationships with community foundations, federations, and practitioners across the continent to make the Leadership Commons a space where “thinkers, doers, and visionaries” from all corners of Jewish education come together to learn, create, and collaborate for the common good of the Jewish people in North America.
Mark previously served as The Davidson School’s director of Alumni Engagement, launching new initiatives to benefit its 1,000 alumni, including the school’s recent 20th anniversary alumni celebration. Mark also served as program coordinator of the school’s Experiential Learning Initiative, launching the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI) for JCC professionals and advancing experiential learning within the school’s MA program.
Prior to joining JTS, Mark served as assistant director of human resources for Episcopal Social Services (ESS), human resources and volunteer programs manager for the 92nd Street Y, and head song-leader and Jewish educator for the Mandel JCC Camp Wise in northeast Ohio.
Ilana Aisen is the Executive Director of JPRO Network, which connects, educates, inspires and empowers professionals working in the Jewish communal sector throughout North America. Ilana served most recently as Director of Experiential Education at UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. She was part of the founding staff team at Repair the World and concluded her tenure there as Executive Vice President.
Ilana started her career at American Jewish World Service, where she worked in a variety of program roles during seven years of rapid organizational growth and change. She holds Masters in nonprofit management and Judaic studies from New York University. Through UJA Federation of New York’s Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership (a predecessor to the Ruskay Institute), the Wexner Foundation, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, and the Schusterman Foundation, Ilana has been the beneficiary of professional development opportunities that grew her ability to exercise leadership in the Jewish community.
She is passionate about maximizing opportunities for our 80,000 North American colleagues to contribute at their highest potential and build exciting and fulfilling careers in our field. She also once won an AJWS staff scrabble tournament in which Ruth Messinger was the runner up. Ilana lives in Toronto with her husband Eli and their two young children.