Advisory Board

AMBASSADOR DR. MICHAEL OREN

Ambassador Oren served as Israel's ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. During this time, he was instrumental in securing U.S. support for Israel’s defense and upholding Israel’s right to security and peace. The Forward named Ambassador Oren one of the five most influential Jews in America and the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the ten most influential Jews worldwide. He is currently the Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. 

 

AMBASSADOR YORAM ETTINGER

Ambassador Yoram (ret.) Ettinger is an insider on US-Israel relations, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel's high tech. He is a consultant to members of Israel’s Cabinet and Knesset, and has served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington, Israel's Consul General in Houston, and Director of Israel's Government Press Office. Additionally, he is the editor of boardroom newsletters on issues of national security and overseas investments in Israel's high-tech.

 

BOB DIENER

Bob Diener co-founded Hotels.com, which is now the world’s leading online hotel booking service. As a travel industry expert, he is a frequent source for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox News, and more. Diener is on the National Board of Directors of both Israel Bonds and AIPAC, and is currently President of Getaroom.com. Together with his wife Michelle, he founded the Nativ program at Hillel Community Day School, which integrates Judaic studies and special education for dyslexic students.

CAREY WOLCHOK

Carey Wolchok is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Perilune Group, a private investment partnership. Previously, he was involved in several projects including co-founding (with board members including football legend Joe Montana and the former CEO of Apple Computer) a business jet development venture with two leading global aerospace manufacturers. He serves on the boards of Hillel, the Meor Foundation, the Maimonides Leaders Fellowship, and is a trustee of the Abraham Scholarships.

 

 

 

DAVID SACKS

David Sacks attended Harvard College, graduating with a degree in Government in 1984. During his schooling he began his comedy writing career as an editor of the school’s humor magazine, The Harvard Lampoon. He's written and produced for “The Simpsons,” where he won an Emmy Award, and “Third Rock from the Sun” receiving a Golden Globe Award. He has also written for “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Lewis Black: The Root of All Evil.” Mr. Sacks is married and raises his family in Beverly Hills, CA.

DAVID SHORE

David Shore is the creator and executive producer of “House”. He has written for cult favorites “Due South,” "NYPD Blue" and "EZ Streets," served as head writer and supervising producer on "Traders", and was part of the writing team of the Emmy Award-winning first season of “The Practice.” He was twice nominated for an Emmy as a producer on "Law & Order" and executive-produced both “Family Law” and “Hack” before creating "House." "House" has won awards as varied as the People's Choice and the Peabody.

DIANE TRODERMAN

Diane Troderman is involved in renaissance and renewal of Jewish life throughout the world. She currently sits on the boards of AJWS (American Jewish World Service), Hazon, Hebrew at the Center and the Davidson School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She and her husband Harold Grinspoon are partners in several educational collaboratives and have received several awards and honorary degrees as well as published articles on intergenerational philanthropy.

DR. DAVID LUCHINS

Dr. David Luchins is a political analyst and Chair of the Political Science Department at Touro College and long time Senior Advisor to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. Dr. Luchins is National Officer of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Senior Vice President of the Orthodox Union. He is a popular speaker at the State Department Distinguished Visitors Program, Hillels on college campuses, yeshivot, and synagogues throughout North America and Israel.

DR. TAL BEN-SHAHAR

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, celebrated author and former lecturer at Harvard University, where he taught the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”—with a total of over 1,400 students. Dr. Ben-Shahar consults and lectures on the subject to a variety of groups around the world, including executives of multi-national corporations. Dr. Ben-Shahar is a featured teacher on Jerusalem U’s Positive Psychology and Judaism course, and is the narrator of Jerusalem U’s documentary Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. He is currently a teacher at IDC.

DR. SHMUEL KATZ

Dr. Shmuel Katz is a surgeon who gained extensive trauma experience while serving during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of the Hebrew Academy and is a member of the International Board of Bar Ilan University, StandWithUs, HonestReporting, and has played a key role on multiple committees both in the US and abroad. His commitment to the community has resulted in numerous awards from public and private organizations.

GARY ERLBAUM

Gary Erlbaum is immediate past Chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia Israel Advocacy Task Force, founding co-chair of Federation's Israel & Overseas Center and a member of its Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and has served on the boards of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia, the Solomon Schechter Day School, and the Shipley School.

GIL TROY

Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University and a Shalom Hartman Research Fellow in Jerusalem. He is the author of "Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today" as well as six books on American history. He is also a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and the Canadian Jewish News. Troy is the chairman of the Birthright Israel Education Committee and a co-chair of the Task Force on Delegitimization for the Foreign Ministry’s Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism.

GLORIA GREENFIELD

Gloria Z. Greenfield’s work over the past 30 years has been dedicated to Jewish education, Jewish identity and Israel engagement. In addition to serving as president of Doc Emet Productions and Producer of the documentary film The Case for Israel: Democracy's Outpost, she serves as Strategy Manager for the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education. She has previously served as Director of Hebrew College and as Executive Director of The David Project.

ILAN SHARON

Ilan Sharon, a son of Jewish refugees from Libya and Egypt, was born and raised in Haifa, Israel. He served in the Israeli Defense Forces for six years as an officer, and finished his service ranked Captain. Following his military service he started a software company in Israel that later merged with a Minneapolis based company. Mr. Sharon is the Executive Director of Voices Against Terrorism (d/b/a Minnesotans Against Terrorism). He speaks frequently on Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, terrorism and the struggle for peace in the Middle East and participated in the production of few documentary films on these topics. He presented to thousands of people, in various conferences, churches, synagogues, high schools, colleges, and home groups.

LEN LEADER

Len Leader is an information technology pioneer and one of America's most successful high technology executives. He was named President of AOL Time Warner Ventures in 2000 and President of AOL Ventures in 1998 after serving nine years as AOL's Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Previously, he had been Senior Vice President of Legent Corp. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Israel Project and a board member of The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

LEON G. COOPERMAN

Leon G. Cooperman has presided as Founder and Chairman over the hedge fund Omega Advisors, Inc., since 1991. For nine straight years he won honors as the top portfolio strategist in the Institutional Investor All-America Research Team survey. In 1989, he founded Goldman Sachs Asset Management, serving as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of its equity products. He is a senior member and the former President of the New York Society of Security Analysts, Inc.

MARLENE POST

Marlene Edith Post has been volunteering for 40 years for a myriad of humanitarian causes. She is a past National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America and past President of Hadassah International. She is currently a National Vice President of Hadassah and an Advisor to the President. Post has received numerous Israeli awards for her advocacy and work on behalf of the people with disabilities. In 1999, she was appointed chair of Birthright Israel for North America.

MICHAEL H. STEINHARDT

Michael H. Steinhardt, a legendary philanthropist who is dedicated to creating a rebirth in American Jewish life, closed his lucrative hedge fund, Steinhardt Partners L.P, to devote his time and fortune to the Jewish world. In addition to being a co-founder and supporter of Birthright Israel, Steinhardt supports New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, among other universities. In 2001, he published his memoir, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets.

MICHAEL MEDVED

Michael Medved is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated talk radio host. As co-founder of Pacific Jewish Center in Venice, California, he helped to attract thousands of unaffiliated Jews to traditional commitment. Medved has been a frequent guest on major TV talk shows, including Larry King Live, Oprah, David Letterman, Good Morning America, and many others. His columns on media and society appear regularly in USA Today, where he serves as a member of the Board of Contributors.

MITCHELL R. JULIS

Mitch Julis is a founding partner, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Canyon Partners, LLC, a leading global alternative asset management firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Since 1983, Julis has been a value investor in special situation debt and equity securities in the public and private markets, including bankruptcies, reorganizations and restructurings. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

 

 

 

NAOMI VILKO

Naomi Vilko received her B.A. from Barnard College, her M.D. from New York Medical College, and was trained at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at two medical schools and does organizational and occupational psychiatric consulting for large and small companies. In addition to being active with Jerusalem U, Vilko is involved with AIPAC (Senate Club Member), AJC (Board Member), JNF and Jewish Federation of Mercer/Bucks County.

ORNA SHULMAN

Orna Shulman presently serves on the Boards of Directors of New Yorkers for Children and the Middle East Forum, and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.  She was also on the Women’s Board at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. For over 12 years, she served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Intertech Corporation, a privately held investment and real estate development company.  She graduated cum laude from Tufts University and earned a law degree from the Washington College of Law at the American University. 

RABBI JOSEPH TELUSHKIN

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a world-renowned author of many bestsellers ranging from humor to halacha. Named as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, he is the author of many best-selling books on Judaism. Rabbi Telushkin’s books have inspired State Resolutions and have been the basis for Hollywood films and television series. He lectures throughout the United States is a spiritual leader of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and is on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Book Council.

RABBI JOSEPH POTASNIK

Rabbi Potasnik is the former President, and presently the Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis.  He is the co-host of “Religion on the Line” which airs on WABC Talk Radio.  He is also the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Mt. Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He serves the New York City Human Rights Commission and was recently appointed Chaplain of the New York Press Club.

RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is a leading voice in the Modern Orthodox world. He received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Soloveitchik and a PhD from New York University. A noted educator, Rabbi Riskin is a social activist, author, and is founder and Chancellor of the Ohr Torah Stone network of groundbreaking men's and women's institutions and the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel.

RUSSELL F. ROBINSON

Russell Robinson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish National Fund. In 1998, Mr. Robinson became the youngest CEO in JNF’s history. He has worked tirelessly to inject energy and life into JNF, and to ensure its mission is more relevant and meaningful today than ever before. Under his direction, JNF is one of the most recognized non-profits, for its work, business management, financial integrity and volunteer involvement.

RABBI HANK SKIRBALL

Rabbi Hank Skirball has served as an Army Chaplain in Germany and directed Hillel Foundations at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. He was also Chairman of the Department of Education and Culture in the Diaspora of the World Zionist Organization. He is a graduate of Harvard received a doctorate in education from Columbia and Rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College.

SCOTT WEITZ

Scott Weitz is CEO and co-founder of Driver Media, an independent high-end production-outsourcing company. Driver Media oversees $65 million annually on behalf of the world’spremier brands and advertising agencies such as Microsoft, ABC News, Tropicana, Coke, Toyota, MSNBC, Canon, and more. Driver works with leading stars such as Julia Dreyfus, Sting, Tiger Woods, and Maria Sharapova. Building on the success of Driver Media, Weitz and his partner JD Williams founded Driver Digital, a venture-backed division focused on the social media and technology involved in delivering content to consumers.

AARON WOLFSON

Aaron Wolfson of the Wolfson Group.