Lori PalatnikFounding Director of the JWRP
Lori Palatnik is a writer and Jewish educator, who has appeared on television and radio and is the author of several books. Her latest, “Turn Your Husband Into Your Soul Mate” is available in bookstores now.
She is a much sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Central America, South America, South Africa and Israel, including featured talks at Yale, Brown, and Penn. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik; and is a regular speaker on Capitol Hill.
Lori is the Founding Director of The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, an international initiative that has brought almost 12,000 men and women to Israel, since 2009 from 26 different countries, on highly subsidized programs to inspire them with the beauty and wisdom of their heritage.
She is the busy mother of five children; and her son, Zev, served as a sharpshooter in the IDF.
In 2014, Lori was named as one of the ten “Women to Watch” by Jewish Women International, in recognition of her contribution to Jewish women throughout the world; and Hadassah recently named Lori as one of the “Most Outstanding Jewish American Women of Our Time
Deborah Gilboa, MDParenting and Youth Development Expert
Respected parenting and youth development expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, is the founder of AskDoctorG.com. Popularly known as Dr. G, her passion for raising kids with character makes her a favorite family physician, media personality, author,speaker and social influencer. A mom of four boys, she inspires audiences with relatable stories and easy tools to develop crucial life skills in children ages 2-22.
Dr. G is a board-certified attending family physician at Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Health Center, caring for diverse patients from 100+ countries, speaking 47 different languages. Her work with the deaf community has received national recognition and was the focus of her service as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.
She has received multiple awards for clinical excellence in teaching, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award as a Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine.
A graduate of University of Pittsburgh’s SOM and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as alumnus of Chicago’s Second City Improv Theater, Dr. G’s diverse background and experiences add to her credibility and lively story-telling.
Dr. G is the author of multiple books including Get the Behavior You Want, Without Being the Parent You Hate! (Demos Publishing) and parenting activity books focusing on building her 3R’s of Parenting: Respect, Responsibility and Resilience.
Dr. and Dr. Gilboa have four boys together and are happy to call Pittsburgh, PA their home.
Donna OrenderCEO, Orender Unlimited; Former President/Commissioner WNBA
Donna Orender is a highly respected corporate business leader having led growth and innovation in
several high-profile companies. She has been recognized as one of the top 10 Most Powerful Women in
Sports and one of Newsweeks100 most Influential people in the business of sports and is a best-selling
author with her 2018 release of Wowsdom! the Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible.
Donna was recruited by Adam Silver to lead the WNBA in its most vulnerable time. She served 6 years
as the President/Commissioner of the league, during which time she solidified its base and led double
digit growth in all key business metrics. This included 20% plus growth in sponsorship in the height of the
recession, 25% growth in television viewership and triple digit growth in digital. League operations were
cash flow positive for the first time in the history of the league. With her focus on revitalizing the brand, its
value and relevance, the league experienced 5 years of consecutive attendance growth, after 8 years of
The league greatly benefited from an 8-year contract extension with Disney/ABC/ESPN, which for the first
time included broadcast rights fees and led negotiations for an unprecedented 6-year Collective Bargaining
agreement. In addition, she was able to open new markets, bring in new owners, develop a franchise
template for success and execute new revenue producing events and help innovate with ground breaking
sales, marketing and digital strategies.
Prior to the WNBA, Donna spent 17 years at the PGA TOUR where she was one of 3 senior executives
serving in the Office of the Commissioner. She developed and led the global production, programming
and digital businesses for the TOUR, building globally recognized businesses in both revenue and
prestige. She led the negotiating team that changed the paradigm for how PGA TOUR golf was both
packaged and sold for television, resulting in billions of dollars of growth for the TOUR. She took a nascent
International television business and grew it exponentially establishing a foothold in all major international
As the Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. She was responsible for developing strategic
direction across all business lines including direct oversight of brand management, advertising and digital
strategy working closely with the Commissioner.
Donna’s business career began after playing 3 years in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, the
WBL, where she earned All-Star status. This experience enabled her to work in network television sports
at ABC and later in cable television at SportsChannel before forming her own production company. An
accomplished producer, director and writer, she was responsible for the creative development and sales
of programming globally.
Andrea WolfPresident & CEO-Brem Foundation
Andrea Wolf is the oldest of Dr. Brem’s three daughters. She grew up hearing a lot about breast cancer. At age 22, Andrea found out that she was BRCA1-positive. She committed to taking control of her breast health and doing everything she could to change her family’s breast cancer narrative. At age 30 she had prophylactic double mastectomies. Today, she uses her passion for helping others to inspire women from all backgrounds to take control of their breast health.
Prior to leading the Brem Foundation, Andrea graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and from the George Washington University Law School. She practiced law at Patton Boggs, LLP and later served as the Director of Public Policy of Girls Inc., an education nonprofit.
In her free time, Andrea loves giggling with her three daughters, petting puppies, eating sushi with her husband, and running in the woods. She is excited to welcome you to the life-saving and life-changing world of the Brem Foundation.
Andrea is a Nexus Global Youth Summit Outreach Ambassador, writer, and social impact investor who believes each of us should harness our gifts to find our best ways to give. A native of South Carolina, her parents modeled the importance of community involvement in both the Jewish and secular communities. She is also devoted to creating a safer and cleaner environment through reducing dependence on oil and serves on the board of SAFE, Securing America’s Future Energy. She is pursuing an M.F.A. at American University.
Ruth BaarsDirector of Programs
Ruth joined the JWRP in 2009 bringing 25 years of experience in Jewish Outreach as an educator, a Manager of Outreach projects, a certified Life Coach, and a counselor. Ruth’s style is to illuminate Jewish ideas to inspire people to grow and strive toward their potential. Ruth directs JWRP Programs and works with JWRP Partner Organizations and Leaders to maximize their talent and effectiveness.
Ruth grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also studied at EYAHT College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. While Ruth was in college, she directed the North American activity for Aish HaTorah’s first Jerusalem Fellowships program in 1988. While in Los Angeles, Ruth directed a Family Violence program for Jewish Women.
She and her British-born husband, Rabbi Stephen Baars, moved to Washington, DC, in 1992 to direct Aish Washington. Ruth and her husband have presented marriage and parenting seminars for many years across the US and in the UK. They have seven children, ages 10 to 26, and two grandchildren.
Lauren Brownstein has been working in philanthropy for more than 25 years as a fundraiser, educator, program manager, and administrator. She helps non-profit organizations, philanthropists, and grant makers achieve their goals through PITCH, LLC, her fundraising and philanthropy consulting practice.
She has raised millions of dollars for workforce development programs, museums, student support organizations, community centers, and more. Her areas of expertise include: foundation relations (grant writing, prospect research, cultivation and stewardship) and staff and board training. Lauren delivers learning experiences that are interactive, results-oriented, meaningful, and fun, drawing on her background in experiential education and the arts. She also helps clients with a variety of writing projects and trains groups and individuals to enliven and elevate their written products. She has a knack for clean, concise, and compelling writing, finding a way to make each client’s unique story jump off the page.
Lauren has led numerous workshops to help individual donors define their philanthropic goals and create charitable giving plans that reflect their values, passions, and priorities. She also has managed the grant making process for a small nonprofit focused on supporting programs for women and girls. She is a Certified Consultant with 21/64, an organization devoted to advising family philanthropies and intergenerational giving cohorts.
As a reflection of her commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism, Lauren has served on the boards of several nonprofits and has volunteered extensively in the community, including eight years as a weekly volunteer at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She was a certified foster parent before adopting a child from the foster care system. She earned a Masters in Teaching in Museum Education from the George Washington University (where she has served as a lecturer on fundraising) and a Bachelors with High Distinction from the University of Virginia.
firstname.lastname@example.org • pitchconsulting.com • 202-415-1777
Dr. Erica BrownDirector of the Mayberg Center, George Washington University
Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor at George Washington University and the director of its Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. She is the author of twelve books on leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality; her forthcoming commentary is The Book of Esther: Power, Fate and Fragility in Exile (Koren/OU). She has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tablet and The Jewish Review of Books and wrote a monthly column for the New York Jewish Week. She has blogged for Psychology Today, Newsweek/Washington Post’s “On Faith” and JTA and tweets on one page of Talmud study a day at DrEricaBrown.
Erica has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University and Baltimore Hebrew University. She previously served as the scholar-in-residence at both The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and as the community scholar for the Jewish Center of New York. Erica was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education. She is also the author of Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet, Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadership and Happier Endings: A Meditation on Life and Death (Simon and Schuster), which won both the Wilbur and Nautilus awards for spiritual writing. Her previous books include Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, Spiritual Boredom, Confronting Scandal and co-authored The Case for Jewish Peoplehood (All Jewish Lights). She also wrote Seder Talk: A Conversational Haggada, Leadership in the Wilderness, In the Narrow Places and Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe (All OU/Koren).
Michael Soberman, B.A., B.ED., J.D., M.A.Senior Educational Consultant, iCenter for Israel Education
Michael is a Senior Educational Consultant for the iCenter for Israel Education and is responsible for the oversight of the iFellows Masters Concentration in Israel Education for the iCenter, a program for master’s students at nice Jewish Academic Institutions. Prior to that, Michael was the Vice-President, Canada Israel Experience and Next Generation Initiatives at the Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA. Canada Israel Experience is the Federations’ Israel Experience arm that is committed to maximizing the number of Canadian teenagers and young adults traveling to Israel on programs such as Birthright Israel, the March of the Living and high school/youth movement programs. Michael has been invited to speak all over the world on topics of Israel Education, Israel Experience, next generation and experiential education.
As a volunteer, Michael is the Co-Chairman of Camp Kadimah located in Nova Scotia Canada with a summer population of over 400 campers and staff. Michael is very active in the North American camping world as volunteer lay leader. Michael sits on a variety of volunteer committees including the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project Education Committee and the Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre. Michael lived for two years in Israel and taught Middle East studies at the American International School in Israel.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University, a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto an Executive M.A. in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Michael is married to Rebecca and they have a 13-year-old daughter named Jordyn and a eight-year old son named Joshua.
Nili CouzensTrip Leader
Nili Couzens is a JWRP Trip Leader and a popular Jewish Educator. She is a sought-after motivational speaker and has spoken on tours across the U.S., Israel, Greece, South Africa, and Central America.
Nili has been involved in women’s Jewish education and community leadership for over 20 years. She is the Founding Director of Jewish Life Seminars, a Jewish educational organization in Philadelphia and has recently moved to Israel with her husband and children.
Visit her website at http://www.nilicouzens.com/
Adrienne GoldTrip Leader
Adrienne Gold Davis was a fixture on Canadian television for almost two decades, both as host of her own daily fashion and beauty program, and as a regular contributor on scores of others. After a visit to Israel, she was no longer interested in promoting issues of style and turned her attention to matters of substance.
Ruchi KovalTrip Leader
Ruchi Koval is the co-founder and Associate Director of Congregation JFX, an innovative community in Cleveland, Ohio. She has been a Jewish educator for two decades, leading self-development groups for adults and teens, and mentoring educators around the world. Ruchi is a certified parenting coach, motivational speaker, musician, author, and mother of seven. She is a Trip Leader for the JWRP, inspiring hundreds of women on their journeys in Israel. She is also a columnist for the Cleveland Jewish News, and her first book, “Conversations with G-d,” was released in 2016, with a second book on the way. Find Ruchi on Facebook and Instagram; her blog at outoftheorthobox.com; and her podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Orlee TuritzChief of Staff, JWRP
Orlee joined the JWRP in 2018, finding a match between the organization’s mission and her aspiration to help people bring light into their lives and find their authentic voices.
Trained as an Executive Leadership Coach, Orlee comes to the JWRP from her private consulting practice where she focused on transformative leadership for senior non-profit professionals and lay leaders.
Orlee has served as a faculty member for the Wexner Leadership Institute, a project manager for RAVSAK, and as lead professional and consultant in Leadership for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She has also had over twenty years of experience as a lay leader in Jewish organizations, serving as President of the Berman Hebrew Academy and the Birah chapter of AMIT.
Orlee and her husband live in Silver Spring, Maryland and her children are now spread across the United States and Israel.
Dr. Ronit Ziv-KregerDirector of Education and Leadership Development, JWRP
Ronit joins the JWRP with 20 years of experience in education and leadership development. Previously, in her private consulting practice she combined her MIT training in management science with Judaic expertise to guide Jewish institutions navigate systemic changes and adapting new pedagogies to manifest their vision. Her clients included schools and other institutions across all denominations including the Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ initiative to reinvent supplementary education in the Boston area. She serves as designer and trainer for Hebrew College’s year-long professional development institute on project-based learning. Ronit has served as faculty member for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, Me’ah, Hazon’s Adamah Fellowship and Isabella Freedman retreats. She is a graduate of the Pardes Educators Program and earned her PhD from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Ronit and her family live in the Boston area.
Susan KramerDirector of External Relations, JWRP
Susan Kramer recently joined the JWRP as director of external relations after volunteering with the organization for more than seven years. As a volunteer, Susan offered strategic planning, organizational development and fundraising expertise. In her new role as director of external relations, Susan is creating an infrastructure that will enable the JWRP to expand with respect to participants, partner organizations and funders. As a member of the JWRP’s executive leadership team, Susan is building on the organization’s foundation to implement global strategies that will help move the JWRP into its next phase of growth.
Prior to joining the JWRP team, Susan held a number of senior philanthropic and Jewish communal positions. For two and half years, Susan was president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and successfully led the organization into its second century. In partnership with professionals and lay leaders, Susan increased Dallas’ fundraising campaigns with record numbers. Their efforts helped the Dallas Federation acquire more than 1,600 new donors during her tenure and increase the Annual Campaign by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Among other successful accomplishments, Susan also launched and rebuilt the Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Center, re-engaged and re-imagined Dallas’ relationship with its partner region, the Western Galilee, and completed one of the largest Jewish Community Needs Assessment and Community Scans in the country. Known for her remarkable outgoing personality and drive to succeed, Susan was a diligent proponent of change at the Federation, implementing the “Kramer Institute,” a weekly course in which staff professionals are trained in leadership skills and donor development.
Returning to her familiar roots, family and home in Colorado, Susan followed her “calling” at JEWISHcolorado (formerly known as Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado), resuming an expanded and redefined role as the chief development officer in the organization in which Susan built her career. As JEWISHcolorado reinvented itself for a new generation of Jewish donors and users, Susan was specifically tapped to bring her unique vision, passion, experience and energy to the role to help navigate the professional and lay leadership teams into the next era of fundraising and community building for Denver/Boulder.
A role that Susan has most recently embraced is as adjunct faculty at Regis University in Denver. Susan is teaching fundraising in the master’s of nonprofit management department. Her students benefit from her years of experience and passion for the industry.
A sought-after speaker for community events, celebrations and dedications, Susan also is a mentor and coach for fundraising professionals across the country.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s in nonprofit management from Regis University. She also is a graduate of Denver University’s Certification for Jewish Communal Professionals.
Susan is married to Brett Kramer; they have two sons, Jules, who made Alliyah to Israel in 2007 and is a tour guide licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, and Max, who attends the University of Colorado at Denver.
Lee M. Hendler
Beyond her decades of work on her family’s charitable foundations and leadership and fundraising activities in many Jewish and communal organizations, Lee is the author of The Year Mom Got Religion: One Woman’s Mid-life Journey into Judaism, and the creator of Freedom’s Feast, an 18-year-old civics initiative that raises the next generation of citizens through the celebration of our national holidays. In August 2017, Lee co-founded the Jewish Grandparents Network with David Raphael to celebrate and support grandparents as essential family members who make unique contributions to our children, our people, and our future. Most importantly, Lee is devoted Gromzy to 6 grandchildren, proud mom of two sons, two daughters and lucky mother-in-law to their 3 spouses.
Nikki ShapiroConference Co-Chair
Mary PleeterConference Co-Chair
Natalie WestConference Co-Chair