The PresenTense SocialStart Trainers have all completed a three-part certification program that includes training & teachbacks, webinars & clusters and shadowing.
Alex arrived in Israel as part of the Naaleh Russia program. He has worked for years in formal and informal education, both developing and managing programs in the public and nonprofit sectors. A few years ago Alex established a department to integrate immigrants into Israeli society with the Ramat Gan municipality that operates successfully in the immigrant population, In recent years Alex has been a guide and consultant in a variety of areas: social business development, establishing a support system in diverse populations in local authorities, management of volunteers, strategic planning and management of marketing communications for enterprise social business, budget management, campaign management. Alex has a BA in Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, a teaching certificate, and an MBA with a focus in Marketing.
Alisha Pedowitz is an experiential Jewish educator whose work revolves around building and fostering community as a primary means to shape Jewish identity and inspire Jewish learning. She utilizes that passion in her role as Teen Experiential Education Specialist at the BJE: Builders of Jewish Education. She has worked at Camp Alonim, New Community Jewish High School, Milken Community High School, was a founding faculty member at Brawerman Elementary School East of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and is the founder of Embracing Wholiness, which focuses on empowering Jewish youth to build healthy, supportive communities.
After realizing the gap between children's and adolescents' exposure to sexual content and the ability of the adults around them to talk to them about the subject, Alon Metrikin-Gold started a social start-up which aims to change the attitudes toward sexuality in Israel, help parents talk to their kids about sex and reinvent sexual education in schools. Apart from talking about sex, Alon is finishing up his Bachelor's degree in sociology, writes and performs spoken-word and swims in the sea.
Amir is currently the VP of Business Development at Signals Intelligence Group Ltd. Previously, Amir was the Co-founder and Managing Director of Arazim Agro, a business consulting and project management firm specializing in agriculture. Amir also served as a member of the board and Finance committee of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listed, ISSTA-Lines LTD (ISTA.P). During his time at Ben Gurion University, Amir was elected to serve as Chairman of the Student Union, and he held the position between 2005-6. Amir holds an MBA and a B.A in Political Science and Middle-Eastern studies from Ben-Gurion University. He is also an alumnus of the Merage Foundation for U.S-Israel trade MBA Executive leadership program. Amir was raised in Re’ut, and lives today in Tel-Aviv.
Andy Kirschner is a founder, coach and trainer at 100 Reasons to Win. He works with professionals to win at life, so they can improve their health, better their relationships and succeed at their careers. As a certified social start trainer with PresenTense, he is passionate about training the next generation of entrepreneurs looking to make positive social change. In addition, he facilitates meetings for Weight Watchers where he shares his journey of losing over 100 pounds to inspire others. Andy grew up near Detroit, went to college in Grand Rapids, met his wife in Chicago and then moved to Greater Washington DC. He used the opportunity to combine all of his experience in coaching, training, sales, business development, and even improv comedy to start 100 Reasons to Win. When he is not coaching, you can usually find him on a trail in the park, training for his next distance race or traveling to see family with his wife and baby.
For Benji Lovitt, Jewish summer camp led to his first trip to Israel at the age of 15 and then to a life-changing year in Israel on the Young Judaea Year Course program. His fate was sealed. Benji was destined to live the rest of his life as a committed Zionist and Jew. After earning a degree in psychology from the University of Texas, he worked at several dotcom jobs before realizing that something was missing. He found his calling in the Jewish communal world. Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji has performed stand-up comedy for audiences throughout North America and Israel including Hillels, Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federations General Assembly, and more. His perspectives on aliyah and life in Israel have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in publications such as the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and the Jewish Daily Forward. His blog, videos, and annual Yom Ha'atzmaut list of things he loves about Israel have developed a huge following and he works regularly with Jewish organizations to promote Israel.
Dan Grotsky is a serial entrepreneur, business development executive and angel investor. His international experience ranges from information technology and communications to agribusiness and clean-tech. He holds an MBA and MS, EECS, both from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.Sc., Industrial Engineering, from Tel-Aviv University.
A seasoned social entrepreneur and strategy professional, David has several years of experience working in venture capital and technology-enabled companies. Most recently, David was the VP of Product Development and Charity Partnerships for Ryzing, a prized-based social gaming company. David currently sits on the Executive Committee at The Spruce Foundation in Philadelphia, a unique fund that drives philanthropy and volunteer engagement among Next Generation professionals. David holds an MBA in International Business from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from Dickinson College.
Gilad is great believer in entrepreneurship and an admirer of those people who stand up and make a difference by bringing into reality their own vision, ideas and dreams. He studied Industrial Engineering, completed an MBA (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP® / PMI) he lectures Project Management courses in English & French.
He brings to the table a proven and meaningful international record in the Hi-tech industry serving in various positions (R&D, Project management, Sales Management, Business Development).
Gilad had the pleasure to study coaching and also coached for a while.
Hadas is a self-employed leader of virtual communities, working with social media, blogging and writing on the web. She is also working part-time at Microsoft’s Innovation Labs. Her experience is in managing marketing content and websites. Hadas studied at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. She has an MA in theater and was formerly a lighting designer at different theaters and for the Israeli opera. She has also worked in the guidance of youth, including youth at risk. Hadas has also spent time in Ukraine with a delegation from the Jewish Agency and the JDC helping the Jewish community.
Haytam Khatib has experience in founding business and social ventures. He founded, together with "Ofakim La'atid" (I.E "Future Horizons" in Hebrew) a nonprofit in the field of social and business development, a business in the security sector which was targeted both for activity in Israel and abroad. As part of his role he supervised and coached teams in the field. Haytam holds an MA in Public Policy and a BA in government, both from the Interdisciplinary center (IDC) in Herzliya.
Hilly spent her childhood in the U.S. Virgin Islands but has lived the majority of her life in a small town in the south periphery of Israel. She served in the Air force and graduated Officer Course with Honors. Hilly has a B.A. in East Asian Studies, Political science majoring in the Chinese language from Tel Aviv University. She is a graduate of UNESCO’s Master in “Social Sciences in Humanitarian Affairs”. Hilly is currently writing her thesis in East Asian studies and majoring in the Hindi language. She is a group facilitator in dialogue groups between Israeli’s and Palestinians in Israel and abroad. She Founded and Managed ‘Afik’ , a Center for Student Leadership and Entrepreneurship under the National Student Union in Israel. She is currently the Commercial Officer at the Embassy of India in Israel.
Ilan Shenkar, is originally from Uruguay. He has a B.A in Political Science and East-Asian studies from Tel-Aviv University. Ilan works as an Independent producer, and co-founder of a social venture called "The 25th Hour". He completed the "ISEF foundation" leadership program. Ilan is a Public administration intern at the "Union of Local Authorities in Israel." Ilan believes in interdisciplinary knowledge, co-operation, transparency, responsibility, independence and the possibility of change.
Jay Herman is the manager of the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP), a competitive undergraduate internship program with sites in New York and Israel that cultivates emerging professional and lay leaders in the Jewish community. Originally from the beautiful state of Colorado, Jay is a graduate student in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at NYU, pursuing a degree in music education. At NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, Jay also works with with student leaders to maximize their potential to create communal change. Outside of work and school, Jay enjoys practicing marimba, vibraphone, and piano, listening to National Public Radio, and skiing the Rocky Mountains. You can reach Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-
Jonathan 'J.' Stone is Principal Analytical Lead of Media & Entertainment Sales at Google. Stone is an MBA graduate and Harvey Beker Scholar of the NYU Stern School of Business, a 2013 Fellow of Startup Leadership Program and leads workshops for social entrepreneurs with PresenTense. Stone is also an avid beatboxer (mouthmatics.com) and Co-Founder of the vocal/beatbox duo Bagels 'n Box (bagelsnbox.com) in the concrete jungle of New York City, where he eats, sleeps, beats, and repeats...
Josh is the Associate Director of the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. Josh is passionate about the intersection of art and leadership development. As a leadership development professional Josh was most recently the Jeremiah Fellowship National Director for the Progressive Jewish Alliance. He is an alumnus of the Jeremiah Fellowship and Selah and was a 2011 member of the Selah National Leadership Team. Josh is a co-founder of East Side Jews and an adviser to the Emma Fellowship. Josh is a coach trained through the Center for Non Profit Management. Josh comes to his work with over 10 years of non-profit and informal education experience. Josh believes deeply in the power each of us has to maximize our potential, creating greatness for ourselves and the world around us.
Lani Hart is a SocialStart Trainer for the PresenTense Group. Since 2011, she has facilitated seminars for the fellowship/accelerator program and other groups on a range of topics across the country. Lani recently earned her MPA in Nonprofit Management, her MA in Jewish Studies from NYU, and currently works at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). In her role as Assistant Director of Talent Acquisition and Talent Development for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, she works on professional development and staff enrichment programming and helps to attract, strengthen and retain talent for the Jewish Federation system. Prior to JFNA, Lani was the Assistant Director of Young Leadership at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. After growing up in Chicago and Madison, Lani is now a proud Brooklynite.
Lauren B. Weinstein is a self-employed consultant and coach. She is passionate about coaching as a tool for change and enjoys working with both individuals as well as organizations in the domain of strategic consulting, leadership development/curriculum design, facilitation/training and coaching. She previously spent seven years at Accenture, a multinational consulting firm, working primarily in corporate social responsibility and international development.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Lauren graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Communications and a minor in Jewish History. She was a competitive swimmer for most of her life and captain of Penn's Varsity Swim Team. In 2013, she received a Certification in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University and in 2014 published the book "Coaching is Calling: A Guide to Coach Training Programs and Professional Career Paths." In her free time, Lauren enjoys surfing, yoga, writing poetry, speaking Spanish and Portuguese and talking about social innovation and impact.
Lior Shoham served as a lieutenant in the IDF Combat Engineering Force. Lior works as a Madrich in "ITF- Ma'ase Olam" Rehovot. In addition, he is an instructor with PresenTense, where he works to support social innovators. He also works as a media analyst for Apco World Wide, a communications and public affairs consulting firm and as a consultant for "Tlalim Strategy", a strategic consulting firm specializes in education institutes. Lior is a graduate of the Nova Project, which provides strategic consulting to non-profit organizations. Lior has worked as a researcher for the National Security Council and is also a graduate of the "Stand With Us" fellowship, a fellowship designed to train outstanding students in the fields of public diplomacy and leadership.
Maya was born in Botswana, Africa, and moved to Israel at the age of 13. After serving in the IDF as a lone soldier, Maya moved to Jerusalem to pursue a B.A. in International Relations and Communications. Between 2006-2013 Maya was a part of StandWithUs, an international Israel education NGO. She joined in 2006 as a fellow in The StandWithUs Public Diplomacy Fellowship and consequently began to work for the organization as a Regional Executive. She took part in missions on behalf of the organization and coordinated Israeli missions abroad, media and PR in addition to taking on the role as the Executive Assistant to the Israeli Director. Maya has been involved in other organizations such as Onevoice, Tzeva, Tzeirim Bamerkaz – Jerusalem and is an alumnus of the Heseg Foundation . Maya has an M.Sc. in Organizational Consulting from Tel Aviv University.
Michal is a psychologist and organizational consultant, and is currently PhD student in Bar Ilan University in organizational psychology focusing on team relations and resilience.
I have the privilege of working as an instructor in PresenTense in the past two years, where I facilitate workshops to entrepreneurs worldwide.
I'm working as a consultant in "Lotem", where I am a personal consultant to managers, facilitate managers development programs and help build organizational strategy.
As an alum of Teach For America, Rachel has continued to pursue a career in special education and led training sessions for beginning teachers in the USA and abroad with affiliated programs. Rachel is currently the Inclusion Team Leader and 4th grade teacher at DC Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, DC. In addition to her work at DC Bilingual, she provides consulting services for international schools that are working toward developing and/or improving special education and inclusive programs. Outside of work, Rachel loves to read, run, go camping and spend as much time traveling as possible!
Rita holds a BA in Economics and International Relations from the Hebrew University. Her academic track started at Wharton School of Business, where she was chosen among 40 students to participate in the prestigious Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business on a full scholarship. After graduation, Rita worked in strategic business consulting and economic analysis. As part of these roles she constructed business plans for a wide range of companies in Israel and around the world.
Robert J. Saferstein, a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, specializes in online media, photography, music composition and film production. Since 2010, Saferstein has served as Online Director for Sh’ma Journal, where he has led efforts in audience expansion, social media integration, the introduction of new forms of digital content and partnerships with outside organizations. Robert is very active with the LGBTQ Jewish Community as an organizer and advocate for change and equality. Robert consulted on and designed Broadway websites and was the founding Creative Director of Broadway’s Best Shows.
Now in its fourth year, and attracting over 250 people annually, Robert formed the first LGBTQ Orthodox-friendly megillah reading in NYC in 2009. His newest endeavor, Friday Night Lights, is a series of Shabbat dinners for gay professionals that will highlight different charitable organizations helping the LGBTQ Community.
Sheila Katz is the Director of Ask Big Questions, a national initiative of Hillel that brings diverse college students together for conversations that help people understand themselves and others. Sheila is an expert in facilitating reflective conversations and creating multi-channel technology campaigns that lead to in person action. She has presented at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, American Association of Colleges & Universities Global Education Summit, Millennial Impact and at the White House Interfaith Gathering. Sheila has been named one of 16 people changing the world by CraigsList founder Craig Newmark and is a 2010 recipient of the International Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award. Previously, Sheila was the Assistant Director at North Carolina Hillel and a Teach for America Corps Member in NYC. She holds a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University and a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Ithaca College. Sheila is currently a Wexner Field Fellow through the Wexner Foundation. Sheila can be reached at email@example.com.
Born in Russia, Shirly is a trainer at PresenTense. Prior to that, Shirly was the program manager of the Int'l Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy. She also worked at the Israeli Parliament (HaKnesset) for a few years and at NEST- Negotiation strategies. Shirly graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has a degree in International Relations. Currently she is a research student, studying Organizational Behaviour.
Todd Schechter is a Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant because he loves helping others overcome obstacles, seize opportunities and achieve their potential. Todd specializes in supporting individuals, teams and organizations working for social impact; his clients include non-profit organizations, government agencies, social businesses and corporations with a commitment to CSR. Specifically, he helps clients improve their effectiveness and efficiency by guiding situation analysis, sculpting intervention planning and propelling implementation. He also provides similar services to early stage social businesses and non-profit organizations such as directing need assessment, challenging mission definition and bolstering strategic planning. Todd has mixed sector and mixed industry experience previously having worked as a documentary television producer, video brand consultant and social entrepreneur. He has a passion for learning, building things and sharing great food with great people. Todd holds an M.P.A. in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and a B.S. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in New York City and loves having engaged conversations.
Yaron Edel is a Jerusalemite from birth, is married to Hadas, and lives in Old Katamon. Yaron has a law degree from the Hebrew University, was a founder of the Hitorrerut movement in Jerusalem, as well as the clinic for small businesses. After graduating he founded, together with partners, 'Hidalgo', a consulting firm for social and political organizations, which has since closed. Yaron is a board member of the "Interdisciplinary Arena," an experimental theater in Jerusalem, and of Jerusalem Village, an organization which aims to create a sense of belonging among new immigrants. Previously, he was on the staff of PresenTense, training and coaching social entrepreneurs, something he does to this day. Yaron served in the Nahal Brigade 931, and attained the rank of company commander during the Second Lebanon War, and continues to serve in the reserves with the rank of captain. Following his experiences in the army, Yaron, his wife Hadas, and friends created the project "Resisim" (Fragments), which supports Israelis who were influenced by the experience of combat, to help them share their experiences and feelings, and gives access to the tools to do so. Yaron is the manager of Resisim, which is his main occupation today.