Jewish Futures 2019 West Coast Conference

presented by The Hive at Leichtag Commons


Welcome and Framing

We’ll be introducing the conference with a framing by the Jewish Education Project and an interactive welcoming by Rabbi Chaya Gilboa.

Dr. David Bryfman, Chief Innovation Office, The Jewish Education Project

Dr. David Bryfman is Chief Innovation Officer of The Jewish Education Project. David earned his Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU, focusing on identity development of Jewish adolescents. David has authored several articles and presented broadly on topics ranging from the Jewish teenage experience, innovation in the Jewish community, and the impact of technology on the Jewish people. He is a founder of the annual Jewish Futures conference, lead researcher of the groundbreaking 2016 study, “Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teenagers Today,” and editor of “Experience and Jewish Education,” a compendium of essays written by and for Jewish experiential educators. David is an alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program and the Schusterman Fellowship.

Malka Fleischmann, Director of Knowledge and Ideas, The Jewish Education Project

Malka Fleischmann is the Director of Knowledge and Ideas at the Jewish Education Project. Prior to working in the innovation space, Malka served as a Hebrew School Director (Tribeca Torah), Head of Camp (Stone), Director of Faith-Based Programming (Touro College and University System), Judaic Studies educator (SAR and Ramaz Middle Schools) and speechwriter. Formerly a Wexner Fellow-Davidson Scholar and Mfellow, Malka is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Divinity School and has roots firmly planted in Camp Stone. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Jewcy and the Jewish Week.

Chaya Gilboa

Chaya Gilboa, Director of Jewish Engagement, Leichtag Foundation

Chaya Gilboa is the Foundation’s Director of Jewish Engagement, where she’s responsible for Jewish integration and education across all entities at Leichtag Commons with an emphasis on: The Hive at Leichtag Commons, Coastal Roots Farm and the Leichtag Foundation. Chaya is committed to creating alternatives within the realm of religion and state, establishing Hashgacha Pratit, an alternative kashrut system and active in crafting egalitarian wedding ceremonies and other initiatives that combine feminism and Jewish identity.

Sexual Victimization

Guila will lead a fruitful discussion about the ways in which Judaism can inform our understanding of and response to victimization as well as disclosures and also help us address where change is needed.

Dr. Guila Benchimol, Researcher & Consultant on Sexual Violence

Dr. Guila Benchimol is a researcher and consultant on sexual violence. Guila is currently an advisor to the Safety, Respect, Equity Jewish coalition to address sexual harassment and gender discrimination. She is also a research assistant at the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence where she works on projects related to homicide and domestic violence cases. Guila brings over ten years of experience as a Jewish educator to her work with various religious groups on gender based violence. She was previously the Managing Director of National Conference for Synagogue Youth (NCSY) Canada, the founder and director of an international NCSY overnight summer program for high school girls. She is a proud alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars program.

Racial Inequity Panel

This panel will identify how racial inequity and bias manifest in, and impact, the Jewish community, and provides tools to make educators more racially aware and inclusive. This panel will be moderated by Angel Alvarez-Mapp.

Angel Alvarez-Mapp, Program Manager, Jews of Color Field Building Initiative

Angel is the Program Manager of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. Prior to joining the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative Angel was owner and CEO of Hello Mazel, a quarterly subscription box of unique, hand-picked Jew-ish stuff. Angel is a seasoned nonprofit professional with extensive experience in the development of comprehensive strategic plans, capital campaigns, and communication/marketing plans. He has provided strong leadership and strategic direction to organizations for more than a decade.

Nicky Geis, Leadership Teacher & Anti-Defamation League Facilitator

Nicky Geis is a fun-loving, positive energy-giving thought leader, who’s driving passion is to help people stand in their purpose and walk in their truth. Nicky has a Bachelor’s Degree in Diversified Liberal Arts and a Master’s of Education in Literacy from the University of San Diego, where she also played softball and was a member of the Black Student Union. She taught Religious Studies in the Diocese of San Diego for 6 years while also coaching high school softball and basketball. Nicky currently teaches Leadership with an emphasis on Personal Growth and Development at The School for Entrepreneurship and Technology in Kearny Mesa.

Eric Greene, Associate Communications Director for Diversity & Campus Climate, UCLA

Eric Greene currently serves as the Associate Communications Director for Diversity and Campus Climate at UCLA and as a Board Member for the Jewish Multiracial Network. He has written or co-written several books on race, the arts and politics, and his first book, “Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race, Politics and Popular Culture was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “classic.” A former CORO fellow in NY, he studied religion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and Pardes in Jerusalem before attending Stanford Law School. In addition to his efforts as an organizer in national and local Jews of Color communities, Eric has served as a consultant working with Jewish organizations on diversity strategy.

Danielle Natelson, Design Strategist, Upstart Lab

Danielle has spent more than a decade working at the intersection of leadership and learning across the Jewish communal landscape, most currently as the Design Strategist at UpStart in Los Angeles. She has cultivated relationships with students, community partners, and stakeholders at Hillel at UCLA, resulting in the engagement of nearly 2000 Jewish students annually. There, she’s launched pluralistic Jewish learning environments, and scaled immersive experiences to reach broad audiences. Her intersectional identity has positioned her to contribute to efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Jewish community. An alumna of UC Berkeley, Hebrew University, Pardes, and other fellowships, Danielle is a proud learner and relishes opportunities to immerse in our rich tradition.

Immigrant Justice

Dr. Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz’s expertise on immigrant justice will guide us through the power dynamics of the humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico Border and immigration to the US.

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Valley Beit Midrash

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of the Valley Beit Midrash (Jewish pluralistic adult learning & leadership), the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek (Jewish Social Justice), the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute (Jewish animal advocacy), the Founder and President of YATOM, (Jewish foster and adoption network), and the author of sixteen books on Jewish ethics. Newsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America and the Forward named him one of the 50 most influential Jews. Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is also a social justice advocate and has been on the frontlines of the humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico Border. He co-founded “Jews for Human Rights in Syria” and founded and leads the Jewish social justice group Arizona Jews for Justice. He also serves on the Phoenix Human Relations Commission.

About The Hive

The Hive is a coworking and events center where we build a stronger, more connected community. Inspired by Jewish wisdom and our natural and farm surroundings, we provide a thriving environment for social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and local community organizations to work, meet, and grow in a unique environment. Our goal is to become a model for community collaboration and to promote creative Jewish expression, both at home in Encinitas, California, and around the world.