Rabbi Ari Israel, Executive Director, Maryland Hillel (Faculty)

Rabbi IsraelRabbi Ari Israel is in his twentieth year as a Hillel Executive Director. Since 2003, he has been at the University of Maryland after spending seven years at the Rochester, NY area Hillels. In addition to Rabbinic ordination, Ari has Masters Degrees in Medieval Jewish History as well as Secondary Education. Ari is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, teaching a Jewish Leadership Class, and also taught for the Melton mini-school for ten years. He is married to Suzy and they have six children residing in Silver Spring, MD. He is also an amateur photographer trying to pick up golf to avert a mid-life crisis.

Ellen B. Kagen Waghelstein, M.S.W. (Faculty and Coach)

Ellen WaghelsteinEllen is on the faculty of Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Leadership Program, a national learning and consultation effort on effective leadership and change management for professionals and civic activists. She has over 25 years of experience training and facilitating at the national, state and local levels and regularly trains, consults and coaches with such entities as the Michigan Office of Children, Youth and Families, Missouri Department of Mental Health, New Jersey Division of Health, Maryland State Department of Education, Kansas City Public Schools, Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Hillel Jewish Day School.

In addition to her professional experience, Ellen has a wide range of lay leadership involvement at the local, national and international levels. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program and is a past chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of United Jewish Communities (UJC) and PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. She currently serves on the boards of JESNA as national chair of the Lippman Kanfer Institute and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington as vice chair of Women’s Philanthropy as well as the boards of two innovative start-ups, Judaism Alive and JChoice. Ellen served as the founding president of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, the new collaborative education and identity building agency in Greater Washington, DC where she successfully integrated three separate organizations into one new entity. She also co-led the efforts to create a nationally recognized, community-wide, teen identity agency called JET, Jewish Experiences for Teens. Ellen and her husband David established the Waghelstein Family Hopes and Dreams Endowment Fund to further advance leadership opportunities for emerging activists.

Dr. Erica Brown, Director of Mayberg Center for Jewish Education & Leadership (Faculty)

Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor at George Washington University and the director of its Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. She is the author of eleven books on leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality. Her forthcoming book is Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet. Her other books include Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadership 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 include Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, Spiritual Boredom, Confronting Scandal and co-authored The Case for Jewish Peoplehood (All Jewish Lights). She also wrote Seder Talk: A Conversational Haggada, Leadership in the Wilderness, In the Narrow Places and Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe (All OU/Koren). She writes a monthly column for the New York Jewish Week and has blogged for JTA, Psychology Today and Newsweek/Washington Post’s “On Faith” and tweets on one page of Talmud study a day at DrEricaBrown. She previously served as the scholar-in-residence at both The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. Erica was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education. Erica has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University and Baltimore Hebrew University.

Rae Ringel, The Ringel Group (Faculty)

Rae Ringel is a certified executive coach and founding President of The Ringel Group. She is a faculty member at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership and founding director of their certificate program in the Art of Facilitation and Design. She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Rae is in high demand as an innovator in the areas of coaching, facilitation and training across sectors. She enables a growing list of executives in some of the most successful Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and government agencies to become more effective managers and stronger communicators with a formidable leadership presence.

Rae offers deep experience in the areas of fundraising and board development. Prior to starting The Ringel Group, Rae was the Director of Professional and Volunteer Development at United Jewish Communities, a two-billion dollar annual enterprise that provides global humanitarian and development assistance. In this capacity, Rae devised an award-winning interactive web-based training program and myriad conferences in service of over 20,000 professionals and volunteers.

Rae is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of the University of Rochester. She received her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and earned her Leadership Coaching certification from Georgetown University. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and now holds a faculty position with the Wexner Foundation. Rae lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and four children.

Debra “Debs” Weinberg, M.S.W. (Coach)

Debra WeinbergDebra Silberman Weinberg was the Executive Director of ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute from September 2005-June 2015. She is a certified leadership coach with particular interest in not-for-profit organizations. She has successfully been able to serve as both a lay-leader and a professional in the Jewish community.
 She earned an M.A. in Modern Jewish History from the Baltimore Hebrew University and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work with a certificate in Jewish Communal Service from the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development (DFI), formerly known as the Baltimore Institute for Jewish Communal Service (BIJCS). She also served as the Director of the BIJCS for ten years. A lifelong learner, Debra earned a certificate in “Women, Leadership and Change” through the Johns Hopkins University; participated in the first class of the Weinberg Fellows Program: Leadership Training for Executive Directors of Non-Profit agencies in 2001; completed the Leadership Coaching certificate program at Georgetown University in 2007 and completed 200 hours of yoga training in 2013. 
She was named a Woman of Distinction-Baltimore Chapter of Hadassah in 1999, received the Zelda Miller Award of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore in 2000, was named a Woman to Watch by Jewish Women International (JWI) in 2005 and honored by Israel Bonds of Maryland in 2011.

Scott Brown, Leadership Coaching, LLC (Coach)

Scott BrownScott Brown Leadership Coaching, LLC builds upon his 36 years as a Jewish leader and a nationally recognized profile as an experienced and successful professional and volunteer leader. Scott holds a certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University and has been designated as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Under his leadership, Hillel received the highly regarded Prism Award by the Washington, DC Chapter of the ICF for Coaching Excellence. Scott has specialized in organizational excellence, strategic human resources and coaching throughout his career at camps, JCC’s, synagogues, and Hillel both locally and internationally.

Beth Gansky, Executive Director of ACHARAI (Coach)

beth-ganskyBeth Gansky is the Executive Director of ACHARAI: Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute. Before becoming Executive Director in June 2015, Beth had been serving as a leadership coach for both the ACHARAI Fellows Program and Presidents’ Circle. She holds a Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University, a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Binghamton University. Beth is an experienced facilitator and a member of the faculty team of ACCELERATE, a year-long national program for high potential Hillel professionals who aspire to become directors.

Beth helps people bring their best selves to their professional and personal lives. Over the last twenty years, Beth has trained, consulted and coached both volunteer and professional leaders for local and national organizations. In 2012, she launched The Gansky Group, LLC, a consulting practice that specializes in coaching and training, particularly with non-profit organizations. Beth was with Hillel of Greater Baltimore for fourteen years until 2009, as the Executive Director for the last five. She led the decentralization of that regional operation to four self-sustaining Hillel campus foundations and played a significant role in the opening of The Smokler Center at Johns Hopkins University. Beth is also a board member at Camp Ramah in the Poconos where she is chairing their strategic planning process. She is a past board member at Beth Israel Congregation, University of Maryland Hillel, Beth Tfiloh and is a facilitator for the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development.

Outside of her professional life, Beth finds great fulfillment as a traveler, cook, reader, theatre patron and mother.

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