2013 Speakers

Find out more about our fantastic speakers from 2013

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz  |  Rabbi Pinchas Allouche  |  Maya Bernstein | Rabbi Ari Ellis  |  Rabbi Meni Even-Israel | Rabbi Ian Goodhardt  |  Hanan Harchol  |  Dara Horn |  Dr Norma Joseph | Einat Kapach  | Galina Karger |  Devorah Katz  |  Rabbi Elie Kaunfer  |  Rabbi Ariel Kleiner  |  Rabbi Uri Lam  |  Rabbi David Levin-Kruss  |  Dina Mann  |  Drs Leo Mock | Rabbi Marc-Alain Ouaknin | Rabbi David Silber |  Stereo Sinai | Yoram Taharlev | Sara Wolkenfeld | Rabbi David Wolpe  |

Map of Speaker Locations

List of Participating Organizations


Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

Teaching in English
Watch Creating Together: Jewish Approaches to Creativity and Collaboration

Rabbi Adin SteinsaltzRabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author who has been hailed by Time magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar.” His lifelong work in Jewish education earned him the Israel Prize, his country’s highest honor.  Born in Jerusalem in 1937 to secular parents, Rabbi Steinsaltz studied physics and chemistry at the Hebrew University. He established several experimental schools and, at the age of 24, became Israel’s youngest school principal.  In 1965, he began his monumental Hebrew translation and commentary on the Talmud.  The Rabbi’s classic work of Kabbalah, The Thirteen Petalled Rose, was first published in 1980 and now appears in eight languages. In all, Rabbi Steinsaltz has authored some 60 books and hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from zoology to theology to social commentary.Continuing his work as a teacher and spiritual mentor, Rabbi Steinsaltz established a network of schools and educational institutions in Israel and the former Soviet Union. He has served as scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies in Washington, D.C. and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University. His honorary degrees include doctorates from Yeshiva University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Bar Ilan University, Brandeis University, and Florida International University. The new Koren Talmud Bavli with Rabbi Steinsaltz’s English translation and commentary is a winner of a National Jewish Book Award.

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Rabbi Pinchas Allouche

Scottsdale, Arizona, USA / English
Watch The Jewish Obsession with Community: Why We Cannot Live Alone

Rabbi Pinchas G. AlloucheRabbi Pinchas Allouche is a well-recognized rabbinic figure and a sought-after lecturer and author of many essays and writings on the Jewish faith, mysticism, and social analysis. He was born in Toulouse, France and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Jerusalem, Israel. His travels have also taken him to Geneva, Switzerland where he provided Jewish Learning Opportunities and activities to adults and youth alike, and to Milano, Italy where he received his rabbinic ordination. From 1999 until 2002, Rabbi Allouche served as a teacher and educator in the Mekor Chaim School in Jerusalem and in the Jerusalem Seminaries for young Jewish Women, “Torat Chesed” and “Tikva”. Prior to joining our community, Rabbi Allouche served as a Rabbi, Youth & Programming Director in Congregation Beth Tefillah of Atlanta, GA. Rabbi Allouche is currently the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah in Scottsdale, AZ, and is a highly respected and tremendously involved member of the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix, participating in the Think Tank Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, and teaching Middle School Judaics at the Pardes Jewish Day School. Rabbi Allouche is also member of the Vaad Harabanim, the Orthodox Rabbinic Council – Arizona’s Committee of Orthodox Rabbis. Rabbi Allourche was recently listed as one of The Jewish Daily Forward’s most inspiring American rabbis.

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Maya Bernstein

San Francisco, California, USA / English
Watch Uprooting Mountains, Maintaining Sinai

Maya BernsteinMaya Bernstein is the Strategic Design Officer at UpStart Bay Area, which partners with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established organization to re-design the experience and expression of Jewish life. Maya began her career in education working with the Jewish community in the Former Soviet Union, has written curriculum for a variety of formal and informal Jewish settings, and is a frequently published author, online and in print, in the field of Jewish innovation and social entrepreneurship. A graduate of Midreshet Lindenbaum, a woman’s Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Columbia University and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Maya has lived and taught in Belarus, Germany, Israel, and China. She and her husband live in Palo Alto and have three children. She is a recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize.

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Rabbi Ari Ellis

Winnipeg, Canada / English
Watch Of Roses and Prohibitions: Creativity, Innovation and Personal Choice in Jewish Thought

Rabbi Ari Ellis, Winnipeg, CanadaRabbi Ari Ellis was born in Los Angeles, California. He earned a BA in Jewish Studies and a MA in Education before marrying his soul-mate, Tikvah, and moving to Israel. During the six years they lived in Israel he studied in Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Efrat where he eventually received his Semicha (ordination) from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as well as from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Just over three years ago, the Ellis family came to visit Winnipeg to serve as the Rabbi & Rebbetzin of the Herzlia – Adas Yeshurun Synagogue. Rabbi Ellis also teaches several classes at Gray Academy of Jewish Education.

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Rabbi Meni Even-Israel

Jerusalem, Israel / English
Watch the talk on Creating Something from Nothing
This hour of 24×24 was sponsored by The Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation and Michelle, Howard, Robert and Keith Rosenbloom, in honor of Rabbi Meni Even-Israel’s years of service to the University of Maryland Hillel and Baltimore Jewish Community.

Rabbi Meni Even IsraelRabbi Meni Even-Israel was born in Jerusalem. He was ordained by Israel’s Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and served as a Campus Rabbi for several years in the United States. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Shefa Foundation, overseeing Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz)’s institutions worldwide. He is responsible for the completion of the Hebrew Talmud and the publication of the French and English editions of the Talmud. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Liza, and their four children.

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Rabbi Ian Goodhardt

Melbourne, Australia / English
Watch Rabbi Goodhardt’s talk on Creativity and Torah Study

Rabbi Ian Goodhardt and Sharon GoodhardtRabbi Ian Goodhardt became a rabbi in 1988 and has served communities in Reading and Leeds in the UK and Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Australia. He became acting rabbi of the Blake Street Hebrew Congregation in January 2009 and was made permanent in November of that year. Ian has degrees in Philosophy and Jewish Studies and Masters degrees in Counselling and Conflict Resolution. He has worked as a Family Law mediator since 2003 and run a small counselling and mediation practice. He still teaches the nationally accredited Vocational Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution. He and his wife, Sharon, have five sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandsons.

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Hanan Harchol

New York, NY, USA / English
Watch Making Jewish Wisdom Accessible Through Art

Hanan HarcholHanan Harchol is a multimedia visual artist, born in Israel, who moved to the U.S. as a child. Harchol creates paintings, drawings, animations, videos, and multimedia installations that use family narratives to explore the human condition, in particular, the application of Jewish teachings to contemporary life, including Jewish Food for Thought Harchol earned a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Highest Honors from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.  Harchol has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries across the country, including The Chicago Cultural Center; the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum and Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York; and the Jersey City Museum. His animation work was recently presented in an exhibit at Hebrew Union College. Watch an interview with Hanan, conducted by Sandee Brawarsky of The Jewish Week, about his work an this exhibition.

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Dara Horn

New Jersey, USA / English
Watch The Theological Art of Storytelling: Field Notes from an American Jewish Novelist

Dara_HornDara Horn is a beloved and highly-regarded author.  She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish. In 2007 she was chosen by Granta magazine as one of America’s “Best Young American Novelists.” Her first novel, In the Image, was published in 2002 when she was 25.  Her second novel, The World to Come, received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has been translated into eleven languages. Her third novel, All Other Nights (2009) was selected as an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review and was one of Booklist’s 25 Best Books of the Decade. In 2012, her nonfiction e-book The Rescuer was published by Tablet magazine and became a Kindle bestseller. Her newest novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, was published by W.W. Norton in September 2013. She has taught courses in Jewish Literature and Israeli History at Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, and City University of New York, and has lectured at over two hundred universities and cultural institutions throughout North America and in Israel. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.

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Dr Norma Joseph

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Watch And Hannah Cried: Women, Prayer and Creating Community

JosephAuthor of many publications, Dr Norma Joseph has received numerous awards recognition of her scholarly and pedagogic talents. She is currently a recipient of a Canadian research grant: a SSHRC on gender and identity in the Iraqi Jewish Community of Montreal. Dr Joseph received her Ph.D. from Concordia University in 1995. Beginning in 1975, she taught as a part-time lecturer and in 1992 was gained tenure in the Department of Religion. Dr Joseph is currently Director of the Women and Religion specialization and an associate of the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies.

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Einat Kapach

Jerusalem, Israel / English
Film.Course: Jewish Learning and Culture through Film

Einat KapachEinat Kapach is the Director of International Relations & Special Projects at Ma’aleh Film School, and is the director of one of the school’s flagship films, Jephtah’s Daughter, about the experiences of an Ethiopian family crossing the Sudan desert.  Herself a graduate of Ma’aleh, Einat is also an independent director, scriptwriter and lecturer who has represented Ma’aleh at Jewish communities and conferences all over the world, lately in Australia, New Zealand and Italy. Her feature length documentary about her Yemenite heritage, “My Two Legacies”, was produced by Israel’s New Cinema Foundation and aired on Channel 2. Einat is at present working on the script of her feature length fictional film.

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Galina Karger

Kishinev, Moldova / Russian
Watch The Formula of Love: Togetherness and Love in the Context of Jewish Tradition

Galina KargerGalina Karger is the Director of the International Center of Training and Professional Development at the Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus, Moldova. She is the Jewish Educator at the JDC in Moldova and has over 15 years’ experience working in Jewish education. With her help, The Global Day of Jewish Learning has been in Kishinev since 2011.  Galina is a graduate of the Melton program in Israel.

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Devorah Katz

Alon Shvut, Israel / English
Watch Devorah’s talk on Creation and Creativity

Devorah Katz, Educator & EditorDevorah Levine Katz is the editor of the Global Day of Jewish Learning Curriculum. She is the founder and editor of www.challahcrumbs.com. Devorah has written extensively for the Lookstein Center, BabagaNewz, Camp Moshava and various schools around the country. Devorah works to bridge the gap between formal and informal education and spends her time both in and out of the classroom (real and virtual) creating curricula that seek to educate and inspire.

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Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

New York, NY, USA / English
Watch How Can I Pray what I Don’t Believe? Creativity and Prayer Interpretation

Rabbi Elie KaunferRabbi Elie Kaunfer is Executive Director of Mechon Hadar. A  Dorot Fellow and Wexner Graduate Fellow, Elie is also co-founder of Kehilat Hadar, one of the first “independent minyanim.” He graduated from Harvard College and received ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he is pursuing a doctorate in liturgy. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). Newsweek named him one of 50 Top Rabbis in America in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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Rabbi Ariel Kleiner

Montevideo, Uruguay / Spanish
Watch Rabbi Kleiner on Creating the Amidah

Ariel KleinerRabbi Ariel Kleiner is a graduate of the Marshall T. Meyer Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, and holds a M.A. in Talmud and Halacha from The Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. “The main functions of a rabbi,” he says, “are studying, teaching, educating, serving and motivating.” For Rabbi Kleiner, being a rabbi is not about knowing everything but about having a certain attitude towards life and constantly studying. “It is about the vocation of service: Divine service, local service, service to Humanity, to serve those at the table who have not yet been served…the key is to participate, engage, and participate some more.” Rabbi Kleiner lives with his wife, Renata, in Montevideo, where he serves the Nueva Congregación Israelita (New Israel Congregation) of Uruguay. He is also an enthusiastic defender of the environment and has worked with a variety of organizations on preservation initiatives.

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Rabbi Uri Lam

Salvador, Bahia St, Brazil / Portuguese
Watch (Re)Creating the Amidah: How the Prayer Came Into Being and How It Can Be Relevant to Our Lives

Rabbino Uri Lam, Salvador Bahia, BrazilRabbi Uri Lam is the spiritual and community leader of Sociedade Israelita da Bahia (SIB) in Salvador, Bahia St, Brazil. He holds a M.A. in Philosophy from PUCCAMP São Paulo and a B.A. in Psychology at the University of São Paulo. He is also a publisher and translator, whose books include the first translation of the Tanach into Portuguese and parts 1 and 2 of Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed (Moreh Hanevuchim) – the first comprehensive translation to Portuguese; Part 3 is underway.

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Rabbi David Levin-Kruss

Nashville, TN, USA / English
Watch What Price Pluralism? Creating Unity While Acknowledging What Separates Us

David-Levin-KrussRabbi David Levin-Kruss is a Director of Special Programs and a faculty member of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.  He holds a B.A. and Teachers’ Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education and as the community director of Stanmore Synagogue, in northwest London. David hails from South Africa, loves cooking in his spare time and sees himself as a bridge between Jewish heritage and those seeking to connect or reconnect to that tradition.

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Dina Mann

New York, NY, USA / English
Watch Pretty Woman: Unscrolling Tamar and Judah in Va-yeshev, featuring a dramatic reading of David Auburn’s play, performed by Michael Tedeschi and Emily Loubaton.

Dina MannDina Mann is the National Marketing and Outreach Coordinator of Reboot, responsible for liaising with national and regional Community Partners to maximize the impact of Reboot projects. Dina was previously a social media consultant and a member of the teaching faculty of Park Avenue Synagogue. Dina holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Rutgers University and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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Drs Leo Mock

Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Dutch
Watch Leo Mock’s talk here. This hour was made possible by Martina Knee, in memory of her Father, Theodor Wanko. “When I pray, I speak to God. When I study Torah, God speaks to me” – Rabbi Louis Finkelstein.

Drs Leo Mock studied Yeshiva in Israel. He also studied Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University and Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. Since 1999 he has been a professor the Hebrew University of Amsterdam. Together with Rabbi Raphael Evers he wrote At the Table With The Rabbi – Food and Drink in a Biblical Perspective (1999). His work as a columnist for Het Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad (The New Israel Weekly) has been published in two volumes: Zapping the Talmud (2002) and Surfing on the Sea of the Talmud (2004). Leo is on the staff of educators at Crescas in The Netherlands.

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Rabbi Marc-Alain Ouaknin

Paris, France / French
Watch La créativité du midrach, fabriquer l’odeur du paradis

OuakninMarc-Alain Ouaknin, son of Chief rabbi Jacques Ouaknin (Reims, Lille, Metz, Marseille) is a French philosopher and Associate Professor at Bar-Ilan University (Comparative literature). A specialist in the philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas, Rabbi Ouaknin’s books have been translated in more than 20 languages. Works translated into English include The Burnt Book and Reading the Talmud (Princeton University Press). He is currently co-director of The Targoum Project (a new annotated French translation of the Tanakh) with Françoise-Anne Ménager and Emmanuel Dyan. Rabbi Ouaknin is joining 24×24 with the generous help of Akadem.

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Rabbi David Silber

New York, NY, USA / English
Watch Building Sacred Spaces: The Mishkan

Rabbi David Silber is the Founder and Dean of the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received the Covenant Award in 2000. He is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (JPS, 2011).

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Stereo Sinai

Brooklyn, NY, USA / English
Watch Stereo Sinai’s video, We Steal Lyrics from God

Stereo Sinai: Biblegum PopDubbed “biblegum pop,” Stereo Sinai‘s signature sound is the heretical combination of ancient, holy tongues with blasphemous backbeats and synthesized pop melodies. If Kelly Clarkson and A-Ha had been on the mountain with Moses, they would have come down sounding a lot like this band. They have been hailed by critics as “ethereal,” “compelling,” “one of the most innovative new bands on the Jewish music scene,” and “relentlessly cute.” The duo, made up of singer/songwriter Miriam Brosseau and songwriter/producer Alan Jay Sufrin, released their debut double-album, “Biblegum Pop” and “The Revelation Will Not Be Televised” in December, 2011. Find more about their music and performance dates on their website.

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Yoram Taharlev

Tel Aviv, Israel / Hebrew
Watch the video of Taharlev’s Torah Featuring the BINA Mechina

Taharlev yoramYoram Taharlev was born and raised on Kibbutz Yagur.  His parents, both pioneers from the Halutz movement, came to Israel from Lithuania.  Taharlev worked as a beekeeper, fruit-picker and gardener as a young man, eventually moving to Tel Aviv where he built a career as a lyricist.  He has since written more than 1,000 songs which have been recorded by Israel’s top groups and vocalists, including 130 songs for the Israeli Army Entertainment Troupes.  Taharlev’s songs have become standards on stage, radio and television over his four decades of songwriting, including well-loved songs such as Givat HaTachmoshet (Ammunition Hill), Od Lo Tamu Col Plaich (Your Wonders Never Cease) and Kum ve Hitalech BaAretz (Go Walk the Land).  Taharlev is still writing and touring, and continues to inspire young listeners and musicians.

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Sara Wolkenfeld

Chicago, IL, USA / English
Join Sara in discussing Creating Shabbat

Sara Wolkenfeld, Educator, sefaria.orgSara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Sefaria. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at the Drisha Institute, and served as JLIC educator and Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life – Hillel at Princeton University. Sara has taught at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, NY, at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, TX, where she was an intern for two years, and as a Beit Midrash Fellow at S.A.R. Academy in Riverdale, NY. She lectures in synagogues and Hillels on a variety of topics, and also teaches Hilkhot Nidah to brides and engaged couples. Sara holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat,and Beit Morashah. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and four children.

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Rabbi David Wolpe

Los Angeles, CA, USA / English
Watch Rabbi Wolpe discuss How Moses Learned to Speak

Rabbi David WolpeNamed the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. He previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hunter College, and UCLA. Rabbi Wolpe’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, and he is a columnist for Time, he regularly writes for many publications, including The LA Times, the Washington Post’s On Faith website, The Huffington Post, New York Jewish Week, and many others. He has been on television numerous times, including the Today Show, Face the Nation, ABC this Morning, and CBS This Morning. In addition Rabbi Wolpe has been featured in series on PBS, A&E, the History channel, and the Discovery channel. Rabbi Wolpe is the author of seven books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. Rabbi Wolpe’s new book is titled, Why Faith Matters.

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Participating Organizations

Organization/CommunityLocationSpeaker
The Aleph SocietyWorldwideRabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
AkademFranceRabbi Marc-Alain Ouaknin
Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel CongregationChicago, IL, USASara Wolkenfeld
בינ"ה BINA Center for Jewish Identity & Hebrew CultureTel Aviv, IsraelYoram Taharlev
Blake Street Hebrew CongregationCaulfield South, Victoria, AustraliaRabbi Ian Goodhardt
ChallahCrumbsIsraelDevorah Katz
Crescas Joods OnderwijsAmstelveen, The NetherlandsDrs Leo Mock
Congregation Beth TefillahScottsdale, AZ, USARabbi Pinchas Allouche
Dara Horn BooksUnited StatesDara Horn
Drisha Institute for Jewish EducationNew York, NY, USARabbi David Silber
The Global Day of Jewish LearningWorldwideDevorah Katz
שפע HaShefaJerusalem, IsraelRabbi Meni Even-Israel
The Jewish Book CouncilUnited StatesDara Horn
Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle TennesseeNashville, TN, USARabbi David Levin-Kruss
Jewish Federation of WinnipegWinnipeg, CanadaRabbi Ari Ellis
Jewish Food For ThoughtNew York, NY, USAHanan Harchol
The Jewish WeekUnited StatesHanan Harchol
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) MoldovaChisinau (Kishinev), MoldovaGalina Karger
Kishinev Jacobs Jewish CampusChisinau (Kishinev), MoldovaGalina Karger
מעלה Ma'aleh Film SchoolJerusalem, IsraelEinat Kapach
Mechon HadarNew York, NY, USARabbi Elie Kaunfer
Nueva Congregación Israelita (NCI)Montevideo, UruguayRabbi Ariel Kleiner
פרדס Pardes Institute of Jewish StudiesIsraelRabbi David Levin-Kruss
RebootUnited StatesDina Mann
Sefaria: A Living Library of Jewish textsWorldwideSara Wolkenfeld
Sociedad Israelita de Bahia (SIB)Salvador Bahia St, BrazilRabbi Uri Lam
The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue of MontrealMontreal QC, CanadaDr. Norma Joseph
Sinai Temple Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA, USARabbi David Wolpe
Stereo SinaiBrooklyn, NY, USAStereo Sinai
UpStart Bay AreaSan Francisco, CA, USAMaya Bernstein
UnscrolledUnited StatesDina Mann