Kenneth Bob, National President
Kenneth Bob is the National President of Ameinu. He is a member of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors, of the World Zionist Organization Executive and the board of the J Street Education Fund. Ken is a past chair of the Habonim Dror Foundation, the national alumni association of the Labor Zionist youth movement, providing financial support for their educational programming throughout North America. In his professional life, Ken is an experienced entrepreneur and currently serves as President of RenewTricity, a solar energy development company. View Articles
Judith Gelman, Vice President and Chair of the Executive Committee
Judith Gelman is the Chair of Ameinu’s Executive Committee and serves as the Chair of the Fundraising and Membership Committee. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Habonim Dror Foundation and on the Camp Committee for Habonim Dror Camp Moshava, where her three children represent the fourth generation of her family associated with the camp. Prior to attending Oberlin College and MIT, Judith participated in the Habonim’s 23rd Workshop at Maayan Baruch. In addition to her work with Ameinu and Habonim Dror, Judith sits on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and on the NIF DC Local Council. Judy also serves on the Montgomery County, MD Steering Committee for J Street and on the board of a local private high school.
She is a former President of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD. She has previously worked for the Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Trade Commission, and is currently employed at Salop Economics in Washington, DC. View Articles
Hadar Susskind, Secretary
Hadar Susskind is the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and the Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. His work is focused on building a strong political operation that will bring the voices of progressive American Jews into the halls of power in Washington DC.
Hadar has been widely acknowledged as one of the Jewish community’s leading progressive advocacy voices and brings more than a dozen years of experience working in Washington DC on both domestic and foreign policy. In that role he has built strong relationships with members of Congress, administration officials, and progressive partners and allies from across the spectrum of American political life.
Before joining Bend the Arc Hadar was Vice President of the Tides Foundation. Hadar previously served as Vice President for Policy and Strategy at J Street and was also Vice President and Washington Director for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). Previously, Hadar held positions at a number of other Jewish organizations including the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Israel Policy Forum.
Hadar has also served on the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives Task Force on the Environment, as well as the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs and Ameinu. Hadar was recognized by the Forward newspaper as one the Fifty Most Influential Jews in America for 2008. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds the rank of Sergeant First Class in the Israel Defense Forces. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Andrew Taylor, Treasurer
Andrew Taylor serves on Ameinu's Executive Committee and Chair of the Web Committee. In addition to Andrew's work with Ameinu, he is also Chief Financial Officer of Angel Medical Systems, a medical device company headquartered in New Jersey. Andrew is a Habonim Dror alum, and was the Gizbar for Habonim Dror North America and Rosh Machaneh at Camp Gesher. Andrew lives with his family in the Philadelphia area.
Brad Rothschild, Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee
Brad Rothschild currently serves as Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee. Besides Brad's important work for Ameinu, he is a screenwriter and independent filmmaker. From 1995-97, Brad worked as a speechwriter and Director of Communications at the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations. After graduating college, Brad lived in Israel for two years. During this period he worked as a research associate at the Israel Democracy Institute, a think tank advocating political and economic reform. Brad is a passionate advocate for Israel and is deeply committed to achieving peace and social justice. He lives in New York. View Articles
Jeffry V. Mallow Ph. D., Immediate Past President
Jeffry V. Mallow is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Loyola University Chicago. He does research on science education and on quantum physics. He is a member of the Forward Association and Honorary Chair of the Chicago YIVO Society His articles on Jewish themes have appeared in The Forward, Midstream, and on the AMEINU web pages. He is also a standup Jewish comic. View Articles
Carolyn Amacher, Board Member
Carolyn Amacher is a member of the Ameinu Board of Directors and has spent 15 years working in executive management of several Jewish Community Centers throughout the United States, and is currently Community Development Specialist for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, VA.
Amacher has bachelor's degrees in journalism and psychology from Syracuse University. She also earned a master of social work degree from Yeshiva University and a Jewish studies certificate from the WUJS Institute in 1985, when she also worked for United Press International covering the Lebanon War and the absorption of Ethiopian immigrants.
She has served as vice president for the Association of Jewish Center Professionals, president of the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Central Virginia and chair of the Community Advisory Board for KXCI Community Radio in Tucson, Ariz.
As a member of the Western Region Partnership 2000 Steering Committee, she developed an environmental educational workshop with American and Israeli teens. Carolyn also served as Co-President for JNF in St. Louis and co-chair of Ameinu's St. Louis chapter. Carolyn is Community Development Specialist for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. View Articles
Sharon Bershtel, Board Member
Sharon Bershtel grew up in a home of active zionists and was a second generation Habonim member. Attended Workshop 22 at Gesher Haziv and made Aliya in 1974 to Gesher Haziv, and later moved to Kibbutz Gezer. Has a background in education and has worked as a pre-school teacher both on Kibbutz and at her local JCC of Long Beach. Has also been a board member of her synagogue for a number of years and has been a member of Ameinu since returning to the U.S. Recently participated in the Ameinu Mission trip to Israel and has been a member of the board since 2011.
Steven Cohen, Board Member
Steven Cohen is a Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (www.BJPA.org ). In 1992 he made aliyah, and taught for 14 years at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
With Arnold Eisen, he wrote, The Jew Within, and with Charles Liebman he wrote, Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences. His earlier books include American Modernity & Jewish Identity, and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival?
In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. In 2010, he received the Marshall Sklare Award of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and was cited as one of the Forward Fifty (for the second time). The book, Sacred Strategies, of which he is a co-author, won a National Jewish Book Award in 2010.
He is married to Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen, and they live in Jerusalem and New York. His daughter, Edeet, recently completed a year at the Israel State Prosecutor’s office, and his son Adam lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Leonard Fein, Board Member
Leonard Fein is a writer and teacher. His most recent book is "Against the Dying of the Light: A Father’s Story of Love, Loss, and Hope". In 1974, he founded Moment magazine, which became America's leading independent magazine of Jewish affairs, and which he served as editor and publisher for 13 years. In 1985, he founded Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which is the American Jewish community's principal vehicle for participation in the campaign against world hunger. And in 1996, he founded the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy, a project for mobilizing the American Jewish community to provide volunteer reading tutors for 2nd and 3rd graders, principally in inner-city schools. The NJCL now has tutoring programs in 29 American cities, where a total of some 12,000 volunteers work with some 20,000 children. View Articles
Dan Fleshler, Board Member
Dan Fleshler, a New York-based media and public affairs strategist, is a board member of Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now and the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation. His book, "Transforming America's Israel Lobby-The Limits of Its Power and the Potential for Change"(a new release from Potomac Books) published in May of 2009 has received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
He blogs at Realistic Dove (www.realisticdove.org/) View Articles
Jerry Goodman, Board Member
Jerry Goodman is Executive Director of the National Committee for Labor Israel, which works to build support for and educate the public about the achievements of Israel, especially its labor sector. He was founding Executive Director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and was Executive Director of the International Committee for Sepharad '92. He has spoken and written widely on Israel and the Middle East, and is author of the weekly Internet bulletin "Labor Israel News." View Articles
Alisa Belinkoff Katz
Alisa Belinkoff Katz was born at Kibbutz Gesher Haziv and grew up in the Labor Zionist movement in Chicago and Los Angeles. She served Habonim in leadership positions at Camp Gilboa and on the national mazkirut, and represented Habonim at the 47th Machon L’Madrichei Chutz La’Aretz in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and earned a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Occidental College.
Alisa has worked for more than 25 years as Chief Deputy to Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles’ most prominent Jewish elected official who is also a graduate of Habonim. She has played a key role in steering Los Angeles City and County policies in such areas as police reform, fiscal stewardship, open space preservation, health care for the uninsured and mass transit. View Articles
Haya Laufer, Board Member
Haya Laufer is a board of member of Ameinu and the co-chair of the Washington, DC area Ameinu chapter. Coming from a family of Labor Zionists pioneers in Israel Haya was a member of Shalom Achshav and and a science teacher and tutor for youth at risk in Jerusalem's poorest neighborhoods. Haya has initiated and developed political and cultural Israel focused programs, as well as Israel trips for Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD and was a member of the Reconstructionist movement's Israel Task Force.
Rabbi Esther Lederman
Esther Lederman is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Micah in Washington, DC. Before moving to Washington, DC, she served as the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of Manhattan. She was ordained in May 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.
Prior to becoming a rabbi, Esther worked for several years in the non-profit world. She held positions with the Israel Policy Forum and directed a project on Middle East peace education for the Union for Reform Judaism. In addition to serving for two years as the rabbi of the Jewish community of Indiana, Pennsylvania, she has held pulpits at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and for the United States Navy in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from McGill University in 1996.
Esther was the Mazkira of Habonim Dror North America from 1996-1998 and had the distinct honor of serving as Rosh Machanah at three Habonim camps – Moshava, Galil and Na’aleh.
Esther is very involved in local community groups, serving on the advisory council of AVODAH in Washington, DC and the Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse, a project of Jewish Women International. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, she now makes her home in Virginia with her husband and son. View Articles
Avram Lyon, Board Member
Avram Lyon, an Ameinu board member, is a consultant to labor and Jewish communal organizations. View Articles
Daniel Mann, Board Member
Daniel Mann is a retired Jewish communal worker and educator now active in several volunteer capacities in the national and local communities. From 1994-2000 he was national president of the Labor Zionist Alliance (now Ameinu). In 1982-4 he was the first president from the Washington area of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, the professional organization of Jewish communal workers in the United States and Canada. In the 1990s he chaired the committee that published "Builders and Dreamers: Habonim Labor Zionist Youth in North America" and raised the seed money for the Habonim Dror Foundation, the major national funding instrumentality for the Labor Zionist youth movement. View Articles
Seth Morrison, Board Member
Seth Morrison has held leadership posts in various local, regional and national Jewish organizations starting in college as a youth leader in Young Judea. He is currently on the J Street Washington DC Metro Steering Committee, and he is active in LGBT organizations and local politics in Northern Virginia.
He joined the pro-peace camp in the mid 80s, thanks to two dear friends. Gershon Baskin who facilitated Gilad Shalit’s release and Alon Tal who founded the Arava Institute, which brings Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians together for environmental studies. Morrison is the immediate past chair of the Friends of the Arava Institute.
Professionally, Morrison is consulting in association marketing and management while seeing full time opportunities. Most recently, he was the SVP & General Manager of a trade association serving the cable television industry. As a marketer, he has been responsible for major local and national marketing, PR and social media campaigns for industry and non-profit organizations. View Articles
Samuel Norich, Board Member
Samuel Norich is the Publisher of the Forward and Forverts newspapers and websites, which have become the most prize-winning and admired Jewish publications in English and in Yiddish during his tenure. Active in Jewish life, Samuel serves on the boards of the Claims Conference, the Jewish Labor Committee, the Atran Foundation, and Midstream magazine. Samuel was also Vice President of the World Jewish Congress from 1975 to 1981, and Executive Director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research from 1980 to 1992.
Mira Sucharov, Board Member
Mira Sucharov is Associate Professor of Political Science and Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, and a blogger at Haaretz. She is the author of "The International Self: Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace" (Albany: SUNY Press, 2005), and numerous articles on international relations, Jewish politics, and Israeli-Palestinian relations. Her recent article, with Brent Sasley, and appearing in "International Journal", suggests how West Bank settlers may be convinced to move across the Green Line in a post-peace scenario.
Mira Sucharov was a 2011 winner of the Provost’s Fellowship in Teaching, and for a column on Holocaust education and Israeli foreign policy, she won a 2010 Simon Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association. She is a frequent contributor to "The Huffington Post", writes a regular column in the "Ottawa Jewish Bulletin" and Vancouver’s "Jewish Independent", comments regularly in the Canadian national media on Middle East Affairs, and is writing a book on nostalgia and political change.
In Ottawa, Mira serves as a vice-chair of the Soloway Jewish Community Centre board of directors, and sits on various committees at Agudath Israel congregation. Her Haaretz blog,"The Fifth Question", can be found at www.haaretz.com/blogs/the-fifth-question View Articles
Martin I. Taft Ph. D., Board Member
Chairman and founder of the Frontiers of Learning Program that brings prominent national and Israeli figures on tours to Ameinu city branches for lectures and seminars. For Ameinu, he has served as National Vice President for Communications and as President of the local chapter in Los Angeles.
While member of the Jewish Federation Board of Directors, he was President of the Council of Affiliated Organizations and Chairman of the Aliyah Demonstration Project. In Los Angeles, Martin volunteers as management consultant to not-for-profit agencies for the Executive Service Corps and as a magician member of the Magic Castle he performs magic for patients at the LA Veterans Administration in Westwood and the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City.
He is a retired mechanical and systems engineer as well as a personal liability forensic expert witness in accident cases. View Articles
Steven Weinberg, Board Member
Steven Weinberg represents Ameinu in many organizations of American Jewish leaders, including in the American Zionist Movement. In addition to his work with Ameinu, Steve is active within the Habonim Dror Camping Association, as Chair of the Camp Committee of Philadelphia's Camp Galil. An urban planner, Steve does affordable housing consulting in New Jersey and Pennsylvania from his home base in East Brunswick, NJ