Alexandra “Sasha” Fox was born in Kishinev, Moldova. Her immediate and extended family immigrated to the United States in the 70’s after traversing through Israel and France, finally settling in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
After graduating from the University of Hartford, she landed a job at Salomon Brothers’ Compliance Department. She then made her way onto the trading floor working in Equity Sales and Trading in various roles. Her career turned to Client Management, working as a strategic partner within Equities to help US and Global managers implement business initiatives that helped increase revenues and profitability. As the firm evolved into Salomon Smith Barney, and then eventually, into Citigroup, Alexandra left the firm after 15 years of service to work at JP Morgan. There, she helped establish its Client Management Department and worked with Sales and Trading Management through the Bear Stearns merger.
After four years at JP Morgan, Alexandra left to start up Client Management for Global Equities at Jefferies & Co where she implemented significant business, infrastructure, and technological initiatives. As the financial landscape changed, Alexandra decided to leave Wall Street and concentrate more on her family life and the non-profit world. She currently lives with her husband, two sons and her little daughter in New Rochelle, NY.
Alexandra attended Jewish elementary and middle schools (Shulamith and Bialik) in Brooklyn; however, her family was not observant. After September 11, 2001, she met her husband, Andrew, through Aish HaTorah, and as they became more involved with the Upper West Side Jewish community, they began to live a Modern Orthodox lifestyle. In 2012, they were honored at the West Side Institutional Synagogue 91st Annual Dinner for their service to the community. They support various Jewish organizations in the US and Israel.
Daniel Held is the Executive Director of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education, which builds the capacity of Toronto’s system of Jewish education. He has a wide range of experience in strategic philanthropy, conducting research and evaluation to maximize funders’ impact in Jewish education. Daniel holds a doctorate in education from JTS’s Davidson School of Education and is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Previously, he served as the Director of the Educators Track at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, as a senior educator at Brandeis University’s Office of High School Programs, and as a teacher at TanenbaumCHAT, Toronto’s community high school. Daniel lives in Toronto with his wife and daughters.
Leah Krakinowski, currently the director of marketing and communications for a private Jewish day school, had a 20-plus year career as a newspaper reporter, radio producer, and magazine editor, working for such media outlets as Dow Jones, the Voice of America, and Knight-Ridder, in the United States and Southeast Asia. She also previously worked as a communications strategist for several financial services and technology companies. In addition to her professional affiliations, Ms. Krakinowski has maintained a longstanding commitment to building bridges in and beyond the Jewish community, serving as founding board chair of Yeshivat Maharat, an advisory board member of Tzav Pius, an organization focused on promoting tolerance and diversity in Israeli society, as a founding Board Member of Minyan Tiferet of Englewood & Tenafly, a partnership minyan, delivering meals to needy families for Tomchei Shabbos, and supporting area family-service entities such as Bergen County’s roving family shelter, Family Promises, Shelter Our Sisters domestic violence program, and the Oasis in Paterson, N.J. Previously, she served as a board member member of the Board of Kehilat Kesher, a modern Orthodox Synagogue in Englewood, N.J., and before that, of the Hong Kong Jewish Benevolent Society, a private agency allocating funds for elderly, indigent Jews throughout Southeast Asia. She has a bachelor of arts in communications from the State University of New York at Albany, and a master of arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Through an early grant from the Berrie Foundation, Ms. Krakinowski participated as a community empowerment fellow with Mechon Hadar, a New York-based yeshiva that combines traditional text study, egalitarian prayer and social action with a special focus on personal religious growth. She lives in Bergen County, N.J. with her husband, Andrew, and relishes occasional visits from her college-age sons.
Chani Laufer graduated from Fordham Law School in 2004. After graduation, she worked as a Law Guardian representing children in custody, abuse and neglect cases in the Bronx and New York district courts. Before practicing law, Chani was a journalist, reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Bergen Record. She was also involved in New York State politics. Chani, and her husband Steve, live in Washington, DC with their three children, Shoshana, Ari and Erez.
Ann Baidack Pava currently serves as Acting Chair of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools. She is past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). During her two- year tenure (2013-2015) she traveled the world speaking to women about their philanthropy and its impact on the Jewish people. Under her leadership the Women’s Philanthropy Campaign of the Jewish Federation of North America increased by 3 million dollars.
She is a past recipient of the JFNA Kipnes-Wilson Friedland Award for outstanding women philanthropists, the ADL Torch of Liberty Award and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s Lay Leadership Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Ann serves as Chair of the Jewish Education and Engagement Committee of JFNA and serves on the boards of JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) and GPATs (Graduate Program for Advanced Talmud Study) at Yeshiva University. Ann served as the founding President of the Hebrew High School of New England, the region’s first co-ed Jewish high school serving the communities of Western Massachusetts and Greater Hartford and New Haven Connecticut.
Adina Popuko is the Director of Grants and Programs at the Natan Fund, where she oversees Natan’s grantmaking, which focuses on Jewish and Israeli social innovation. Before coming to Natan, Adina oversaw student leadership programs and student
programming at Yeshiva University, and was the Director of National Partnerships at Masa Israel. Previously, Adina was a fellow at the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership at UJA Federation of NY, received a certificate in Experiential
Jewish Education, and received a Masters in Non-Profit Management and Public Policy from NYU Wagner. Adina was raised in both Montreal and Cincinnati, and found her love for Jewish communal work at Camp Stone, where she worked for many summers. Adina currently resides on the Upper West Side.
Rabba Abby Brown Scheier is an educator and Jewish community leader in Montreal. Abby was member of the first ordination class of Maharat, holds a degree in Religious Studies from York University, and pursued an M.A. in Bible at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a popular Torah teacher in the Montreal community. In addition to her public lectures at synagogues and Federation, Abby works as a private tutor for conversion candidates, bat mitzvah students, and International Bible Contest candidates. Abby established a supplementary education high school of which she serves as director, and is active in multiple volunteer capacities at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue of which her husband is the Senior Rabbi. Abby serves on the board of directors of the Canadian Jewish News and writes a monthly column for the paper. Abby is married to Rabbi Adam Scheier, and together they have five daughters.
Daniela Bellows Schreiber is a graduate of NYU with a degree in Physical Therapy and has been a practicing therapist for more than two decades. She is a Court Advocate for victims of Domestic Abuse for the Rachel Coalition in the Newark NJ Family courthouse. Daniela is a Past Teaneck chapter Amit President. Daniela was on the founding board of Yeshivat Noam, Paramus NJ. Together with her husband Laurence, she founded Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh, Israel. She is involved in many philanthropic endeavors. Daniela Bellows Schreiber believes passionately in the importance of advancing opportunities for women within Jewish society and in the world at large. She is the proud mother of three remarkable children. Born and raised in Chicago, she currently lives with her husband in Teaneck NJ.
Erica Schwartz is a graduate of Harvard University whose passion is journalism and writing. She began her career at the Wall Street Journal and then spent several years writing the Back of the Book column in The Jewish Week. Today, Erica is a freelance writer and author of the blog “Six in the City.” She currently serves on the board of the Ramaz School, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and is the chair of UJA’s “Community Outreach and Engagement" committee. Erica lives on the Upper East Side with her husband and their six children.
Abigail Tambor currently serves on the boards of JOFA, Penn Hillel and Yavneh, a Partnership Minyan on the Upper East Side. She has been dedicated to developing greater opportunities and leadership roles for Women in Orthodox communities since birth. She currently resides in Manhattan with her husband and 4 children.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Smokler is the inaugural Chief Innovation Officer of Hillel International. In 2011, the Jewish Week named Dan one of the 36 under 36 change makers in Jewish life.
Dan grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan and graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a Bachelors of Arts in the History of Art. Following college, Dan worked as a labor union organizer for the Service Employees Union and the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union in Connecticut and Los Angeles. Dan then went on to found Organizational Solutions, a labor-consulting firm that helped reorganize the Writer’s Guild of America.
Dan went to Israel for his rabbinical education and was ordained in 2005 by Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, of Jerusalem’s highest rabbinic court. Dan has worked for Hillel at Occidental College and University of California Los Angeles. He now works at New York University’s Hillel. Dan has a doctorate in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University and is a Wexner Fellow.
Dan lives in New York with wife, Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib Smokler, the Director of Spiritual Development at Maharat, and their three children.
Zelda R. Stern is a donor-activist who is a member of the founding board of JOFA. A graduate of Temple University, she received an MSW from Columbia University and a Post-Masters Certificate in Advanced Clinical Social Work from Hunter College. She is a trained psychotherapist who had a private practice before transitioning to her later work as a member of the Board of Directors of the Harry Stern Family Foundation, where she worked with her five siblings, and where she became an officer. She speaks and writes about using strategic philanthropy to effect change, and also mentors women serving in Orthodox leadership positions.
Chaim Trachtman is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology, NYU Langone Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine. He cares for children and adolescents with kidney disease and is the principal investigator for several NIH-funded and industry-sponsored studies of kidney diseases and hypertension. He is on the editorial board of the journal Pediatric Nephrology and is on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation-NY. He has edited a book entitled Woman and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives that brought together several viewpoints on the halakhic validity of partnership minyanim. He is married to Audrey Trachtman, former executive board member of JOFA, and is the father of three wonderful girls and their three husbands. So far, Chaim has five grandchildren.
Jeffrey Wechselblatt grew up in Yonkers, New York and lives in Riverdale with his wife and four children. Jeff graduated from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (1985), Ramaz (1989 (with Hadar notables Shai and Ariella Dubler)), Columbia College (1994) and Columbia Law School (1998). He spent two years studying in Israel (Yeshivat HaKotel (89-90) and Pardes (94-95)). While at Pardes, he also interned at the Israel Religious Action Center. He also spent many years as a camper at Young Judaea camps. Jeff is the General Counsel of Lone Pine Capital LLC, an investment adviser based in Greenwich, CT, and worked at NY law firms prior to joining Lone Pine in 1997. In his free time Jeff is an enthusiastic (a kind way of saying bad) guitar player, and enjoys coaching his kids in their various endeavors, reading and running.
Ariel Groveman Weiner is Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Yeshivat Maharat and serves on its Executive Committee, chairing the Strategic Plan Implementation. Ariel is a board member of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and serves on SAR Academy's Board of Education. Ariel is on the Advisory Board of the Susi Bradfield Center for Halachik Studies and Hillel International's Office of Innovation. Ariel is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship and serves on the Wexner Heritage Continental Alumni Council. For over a decade, Ariel served as the Associate Director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation where she oversaw the foundation's grant portfolio and worked closely with the various initiatives the foundation supports, specifically focusing on strategic and long term planning. Ariel received her BA and MA in Jewish History from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Riverdale with her husband, Josh, and their three children, Ilan, Yael, and Meirav.