Topic: Staff Culture
Times: 2PM (PDT) / 4PM (CST) / 5PM (EST) / 11PM (CEST) / 12AM (IDT) / 7AM (AEST)
Nicole Nevarez, National Director, Ta’amod
Nicole is the inaugural National Director of Ta’amod, a multi-pronged initiative dedicated to ending gender abuse and harassment in the Jewish communal space. A Jewish educator, trainer and facilitator, Nicole has held leadership positions for local and National Jewish organizations and nonprofit NYC theaters. Most recently, she served as New York Director for Moving Traditions, a Jewish communal organization committed to teen wellness work through a gender and Jewish lens. In addition to her work with Ta’amod, she provides independent consulting to mission-critical organizations to support them with positive internal culture and is a personal development coach. Nicole believes that when we do the work to reflect on ourselves and our organizations, we have the power to impact deep systemic change.
She lives in San Diego, CA with her husband, Rabbi Jason Nevarez their two children and Sadie the dog!
Alena Akselrod, Senior Program Director, Leading Edge
Alena sees her work at Leading Edge as the perfect outlet for her passions as she works on supporting and enhancing the Jewish nonprofit field and the talent that is responsible for all facets of Jewish life. In her capacity as Senior Program Director, Alena works within the Leading Places to Work Initiative and P2C: People Pro Collective. Alena’s portfolio encompasses the Leading Edge Employee Experience Survey, P2C initiatives, and graphic design for an element of fun. Her work, in many ways, is focused on helping Jewish organizations on their journey to become even better places to work.
Alena grew up in Brooklyn after emigrating from the Former Soviet Union in the mid-90s. Her passion for working with youth, propelled her into a career working with Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) immigrant families at a community center in South Brooklyn. She grew her career to encompass a robust marketing, community organizing, and communications portfolio, but her true love will always be facilitating identity and leadership programs, as well as creating new entry points into Jewish life for the RSJ community. Alena left the agency after 13 years to pursue a dual Masters – an MBA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University. She is an MBTI certified practitioner, a proud Wexner Graduate Fellow & Davidson Scholar, and a JCCA Merrin Teen Professional Fellow.
Joey Leskin, Director: Abroad Experience, Kahal
Joey is KAHAL’s London-based Director of Abroad Experience, a role in which he helps young people connect with Jewish experiences worldwide. His love of different cultures, education and Judaism have inspired a number of additional professional projects, including the development of several leadership training programs and cross-cultural communication workshops. Most recently Joey has been delivering a series of lectures for Jolt focusing on remote work & managing distributed teams. Joey has been in his role at KAHAL since 2018.
Betzy Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Family JCC
Betzy Lynch has spent almost her entire career in the JCC Movement. She has worked at the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches; the JCC of Youngstown, Ohio; the Memphis JCC and the Levite JCC in Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently CEO of the Lawrence Family JCC at the Jacobs Family Campus in La Jolla, California.
Lynch has served on many boards throughout her career, including synagogue boards and the board of Planned Parenthood and she will be in her second year on the board of the Jewish Community Center Association.
In the fall of 2019, Betzy was a San Diego Magazine Celebrating Women Awards nominee. In addition, she was awarded San Diego Business Journal’s Business Women of the Year Award for 2019. And most recently, she was recognized as one of San Diego Business Journal’s “SD500 Most Influential People in San Diego – 2020”.
Lynch grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. Betzy and her husband, Spencer and their 2 children, Renie and Cooper who are attending San Diego Jewish Academy, currently live in San Diego, California. She has a passion for baking and helping other women achieve their personal and professional goals.