Varda Rafaeli, Founding Fellow, deceased
Dr. Shlomi Ravid, Director
Shlomi has been a pioneer in developing Peoplehood education. In his 25 years of involvement in Jewish Global affairs he was the founding director of the Israel Center of San Francisco, the founding director of the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies at Beth Hatefutsoth, and a member of the founding team of the Jewish Peoplehood Hub. Shlomi initiated and edited publications such as the Peoplehood Papers and Peoplehood Now as well as the educational kit – Israel: the Vision and Venture of the Jewish People. He has published over a dozen articles on Jewish Peoplehood in the last five years
Shlomi is a member of Kibbutz Glil-Yam where he was born, married to Linda originally from San Francisco and considers his four children as his biggest contribution to humanity. His PhD is in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University and academic focus is community and Jewish Peoplehood.
Contact Shlomi at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Scott Aaron, Fellow
Rabbi Scott Aaron is the Community Scholar for the Agency for Jewish Learning for Greater Pittsburgh where he specializes in formal and informal adult education. He has rabbinic ordination and a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Literature from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and a law degree from the University of Toledo. Scott is currently a PhD candidate in Educational Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago where his academic work focuses on the impact of experiential education on the Jewish identity of Jewish Emerging Adults. Scott has worked in Emerging Adult education through the Hillels at New York University, the Ohio State University, and the University of Chicago. He has also worked extensively in the camping and retreat field, and was the Director of Education for the Brandeis-Bardin Institute outside Los Angeles from 2001-2004.
Scott is the author of a number of published articles and stories including his book, Jewish U: A Contemporary Guide for The Jewish College Student (URJ Press) which is now in its second edition. Scott is adjunct faculty at Spertus College and the education schools of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Scott is also a professional mentor for the Spertus College Master of Arts Program in Jewish Professional Studies and the ICenter, and he consults nationwide on Jewish experiential education and professional development. He was recently named to the editorial board of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education’s publication series on the theme of “Peoplehood in Practice.” He is married to the amazing and beautiful Rabbi Donni Aaron and they are blessed with three children, Meitav, Nitzan and Naor.
Dr. Elan Ezrachi, Fellow
Elan is a Jerusalem-based independent consultant: Effective Partnerships in Today’s Jewish World. Born and Raised in Jerusalem. After six years in the Israeli Air Force as a helicopter pilot Elan went on to pursue a career in Jewish education. Elan served in various executive roles including: director of the International Dept of Melitz – Center for Jewish Zionist education, Director of the Charles Bronfman Mifgashim Center, Executive Director of Masa – Israel Journey and director of the International School for Jerusalem Studies at Yad Ben-Zvi.
Elan received his BA and MA from Hebrew University in Education and Jewish Thought and his doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His dissertation topic was: “The Dynamics of interaction between American Jews and Israelis”. Elan is an active player in the Israeli Jewish Renaissance scene, and was the founding chair of Panim – for Jewish Renaissance in Israel. He is married to Rabbi Naamah Kelman and a father of three.
Dr. Lisa D. Grant, Fellow
Lisa is Professor of Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She holds an M.B.A. in public management from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the HUC faculty, she served as Evaluation and Pilot Project Manager at the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education. Her research and teaching interests focus on adult Jewish learning and the place of Israel in American Jewish life.
Lisa and Ezra Kopelowitz are co-authors of Israel Education Matters: A 21st Century Paradigm for Jewish Education (2012). This is the first book to be published by Peoplehood in Practice a CJPE publication series focused on education for identity, connection and commitment to the Jewish people. Lisa lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Billy Weitzer and has two young adult children.
Ezra is a sociologist specializing in the Jewish world and Jewish Education. He is CEO of Research Success Technologies (ReST). ReST brings to the CJPE wide experience with research on American and Israeli Jewry. Ezra is a pioneer in research on Jewish Peoplehood, developing intellectual frameworks and conducting applied research. Ezra is the co-author with Lisa Grant of Israel Education Matters: A 21st Century Paradigm for Jewish Education (2012). This is the first book to be published by Peoplehood in Practice a CJPE publication series focused on education for identity, connection and commitment to the Jewish people. Other publications include, Building Jewish Peoplehood: Change and Challenge, Academic Studies Press. (2008, co-edited); Cultural Education-Cultural Sustainability: Minority, Diaspora, Indigenous and Ethno-Religious Groups in Multicultural Societies, Routledge (2008, co-edited); “A Framework for Strategic Thinking about Jewish Peoplehood” (Position paper commissioned by the Nadav Fund. Tel Aviv. 2007).
Ezra is born in South Africa, raised in the United States and has lived in Israel since 1990. He lives in Kibbutz Hannaton in the Galilee. He is married to Debbie with four children .
Dr. Helena Miller, Fellow
Helena Miller is the director of Research and Evaluation, and Living Bridge programmes at UJIA, London. She has a doctorate in Jewish Education and has taught and written widely for many years. She has been involved in many educational projects, both in the UK and overseas. Helena is an associate editor of The Journal of Jewish Education, and is co-Chair of LimmudInternational. She is the senior editor of the International Handbook of Jewish Education (Springer 2011) and is the recipient of the 2012 Max Fisher Prize for contribution to Jewish Education in the Diaspora.
Prof. Noam Pianko, Fellow
NoamPianko is Associate Professor and Samuel N. Stroum Endowed Chair of Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. In addition, he serves as the chair of the University of Washington Stroum Jewish Studies program. Prof Pianko’s first book, Zionism and the Roads Not Taken: Rawidowicz, Kaplan, Kohn (Indiana University Press, 2010) explores overlooked formulations of early twentieth century Zionism. By illuminating the diversity of Zionist ideologies before the establishment of the state in 1948, the book demonstrates the importance of expanding our understanding of Jewish nationalism’s scope and function. His current book project, The Jewish People: Boundaries Beyond Borders investigates changing historical notions of Jewish collectivity and considering their lessons for contemporary debates about group identity in an era of transnational ties, demographic shifts, and global networks. Both projects rely on archival research, new readings of published sources, and a willingness to consider often taboo topics in Jewish scholarship and public discourse. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Prof. Pianko received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2004. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters.