Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development and the director of its Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. She also consults for non-profits and serves as the community scholar for The Jewish Center in Manhattan. She previously served as the scholar-in-residence for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, where she directed its Jewish Leadership Institute. She also held that position at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. Erica was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, is a recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education and the 2012 Bernie Reisman Award (Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, Brandeis University). Erica has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University and Baltimore Hebrew University. She lectures and writes widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership and lives with her husband and children in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Erica is the author of 11 books. Her forthcoming book is Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet (fall, 2017). She is the author of Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadership (Simon and Schuster, December 2015) 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 are Leadership in the Wilderness (OU/Koren), Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, Spiritual Boredom, Confronting Scandal and co-author of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood (all through Jewish Lights), In the Narrow Places: Daily Inspiration for the Three Weeks (OU Press/Koren) and Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe (OU/Koren) and Seder Talk: A Conversational Haggada (OU/Koren). She writes a monthly column for the New York Jewish Week and London’s Jewish Chronicle and has blogged for JTA, Psychology Today and Newsweek/Washington Post’s “On Faith” and tweets on one page of Talmud study a day @DrEricaBrown. She also writes Weekly Jewish Wisdom. Access her articles at ericabrown.com.
Gabrielle Burger, Director, PJ Library
Gabrielle moved from Israel to Baltimore 15 years ago and has spent 12 of those years in the Jewish non-profit world. She has taught Hebrew school, helped converting families learn for their conversions, been a JCC camp director, and ran a Jewish outdoors pursuits ropes course before becoming the Director of PJ Library and PJ Our Way for Baltimore. Gabrielle has her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Management from University of Baltimore, yet always finds herself helping people bring Judaism into their lives through nontraditional Jewish educational experiences. Gabrielle has worked for the CJE since 2012, and has the privilege of meeting and engaging with different members of the community.
Reut Friedman, Israel Education Senior Associate
Reut Friedman, an Israeli native, moved with her family from Israel to Baltimore. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from Bar Ilan University. Prior to joining the CJE, she worked as a Business and Community Manager at “Mifalot Education”, a non-profit organization in Israel. She is passionate about working with the local Jewish community. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling and running.
Lynda Katz Wilner, a Corporate Communication Specialist and Maryland licensed Speech and Language Pathologist and founder of Successfully Speaking which is located in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan are. . She is a Preferred Trainer with LDS & Associates providing professional training in Accented Speech and is certified by the Institute of Language to conduct training with the Compton P-ESL program. In 2006, Lynda and her colleague, Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker, formed a joint venture, ESL RULES, LLC, to present workshops and produce and distribute their unique training materials for accent modification and communication training. Lynda is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has been working with clients for over 30 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hearing and Speech Science from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Michigan. She is a member of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), ATD-Maryland (American Society of Training and Development), CHRA (Chesapeake Human Resources Association), ASHA (American Speech-Language and Hearing Association), MSHA (Maryland Speech-Language and Hearing Association), and was the Vice President of CORSPAN (Corporate Speech Pathology Network) from 2005-2006.
Shira Levy, NCSP, MAPP is the founder of Baltimore Thrives (BMORE Thrives) http://www.bmorethrives.org/, a local Maryland-based organization which aims to improve professional wellbeing and thriving, through workshops, coaching, counseling, and organizational consulting. She has been a school psychologist for the past 11 years and received her Master of Applied Positive Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania, founded by Dr. Martin Seligman, the “Father of Positive Psychology.” Her passion is helping to create flourishing individuals and positive organizations.
I simply love food…
I love preparing food, cooking, baking and any type of kitchen activity (minus clearing the dishwasher). I love food shopping and menu writing and meal planning. I love looking at food, smelling and touching it, and of course I love eating food!
Doing all that just makes me happy in so many ways- my name is Huppit, I’m an Israeli-American, Jewish mother of three and an educator who happens to have a HUGE passion for food.
Dr. Michal Zalzman is a molecular cell biologist and a stem-cells expert who made significant discoveries related to telomere biology and cellular lifespan. Dr. Zalzman was the first to report that human stem cells can differentiate into insulin-producing cells, a finding which may translate into a potential treatment for type I Diabetes Mellitus. Her findings were published in major leading journals and are heavily cited. More recently, she made a seminal discovery of a novel mechanism that controls cellular lifespan and telomere maintenance in mouse embryonic stem cells. (Zalzman et al., Nature, 2010).
The Zalzman laboratory studies fundamental mechanisms controlling telomere maintenance and cellular lifespan in two major systems: adult stem cells and cancer cells. The cancer research projects goal in the lab is to allow the development of a new class of drugs designed to target cancer immortality. Her laboratory team generates adult stem cell lines from multiple adult tissue sources and in combination with 3D printing technology the team generates novel therapies for bone regeneration and reconstruction. In additional projects the technology is use for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.