Daniel Kron created FunFit with the help of professionals in the fields of kinesiology, nutrition, and early child development. Previous to this endeavor, Daniel led experiential learning and Jewish after school programs for many New York City based community centers and schools for over 6 years. Daniel has a passion for Jewish education, Israel engagement and communal service that he would like to share with his students. He holds a Masters in Informal Education.(funfit.com)
Daniel Rothner is the Founder & Director of Areyvut. Prior to establishing Areyvut, Daniel taught Judaic studies at the HAFTR and Heschel Middle Schools, where he developed and implemented a variety of chesed and tzedakah projects and programs. Daniel earned a BA in Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University, an MA in Modern Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He received a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Loyola University and Principal Certification from the Jewish Educational Leadership Institute in Chicago. Daniel has presented at conferences, in day schools, synagogues and workplaces on ethics, leadership and actively making a difference.
Daniel facilitates a group of Mitzvah Clowns that regularly visit senior centers, children with special needs and those in need of a friendly visit. He has coached youth baseball, basketball and soccer and is active in Bergen LEADS, a unique leadership program in Bergen County. (www.areyvut.org)
Dov Smiley is an original comic book artist who creates Torah comics to address Jewish Values in a modern way. Along with his Jewish Holiday books, Dov offers a variety of art programs to help Jewish groups learn and interact with the Jewish comic book world. Dov is currently a teacher at the Kubert School in New Jersey, and works with Jewish communities in New York schools and camps to promote comic books as a way to further include others in their own Jewish education. See Dov’s work at dovsmiley.blogspot.com.
Eliana Light is an award-winning songwriter and educator who empowers people to make Judaism their own through song, experiential education, and prayer. She has released two albums of original Jewish music: A New Light and Eliana Sings (About Jewish Things!). Her songs have been featured on PJ Library compilations and are used by educators, song-leaders, and clergy all over the country. Eliana has performed and taught throughout the United States, including at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, the NewCAJE Jewish Education Conference, Limmud New York, and the DeLeT Master’s Program. She is the author of Hebrew in Harmony, a curriculum published by Behrman House that teaches prayer and Hebrew through music and founder of the G!d Project. Eliana received her MA in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2016.
Ellen Alt has exhibited her mixed media artwork in the US, Israel, Germany, former Soviet Union, China and England. One of her pieces was presented to Hillary Clinton in Jerusalem on the occasion of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. Ellen received a BFA in art education from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MA in studio art from New York University. She is an instructor in the graduate education program at Brandeis University. In New York City, she is the artist-in-residence at the Park Avenue Synagogue and teaches mixed media art courses to adults at the 92nd Street Y. In addition, Ellen organizes community sculpture and mural projects in the Middle East, India, England and throughout the United States. (ellenalt.com)
Heather G. Stoltz is a fiber artist who creates quilted wall hangings and fabric sculptures inspired by social justice issues, Jewish texts, and life experiences. Her work has been exhibited nationally and featured in Quilts and Human Rights, Jewish Threads, and several other publications. Stoltz, named as one of The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” for 2012, received a 2011 Manhattan Community Art Funds grant for Temporary Shelter, her installation piece about homeless New Yorkers. Heather teaches workshops for all ages and lives in Westchester County.(sewingstories.com)
Hillary taught in a nursery school for many years in Canada, where she also ran her own ceramics studio. Upon coming to New York became very involved in the JCC culinary arts programs. She is a cooking instructor for after school Little Chefs International, Cook Shabbat with your tots, JCC Summer Camp Cooking Instructor and Havurah Cooking Instructor all at the JCC Manhattan.
Ilan Marans is a musician, teacher, and film editor currently residing in New York City. He graduated from Columbia College in 2013 with B.A in Music. He is an accomplished performer and teacher who specializes in live improvisation. Up until September, Ilan was the Music and Video Specialist at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. In September, Ilan started his new job as the Jewish Life And Events Coordinator at the JCC of Harlem.
Joanna Hoffman is a spoken word poet and teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a 15 year veteran of slam, or competitive performance poetry. Her full-length book of poetry, Running for Trap Doors (Sibling Rivalry Press) was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and featured in the American Library Association’s list of recommended LGBT reading for 2014. In 2015, she was named a White House Champion of Change for LGBT advocacy through art. Joanna has taught poetry and performances workshops at middle schools, high schools, colleges, The National Poetry Slam, nonprofit organizations and festivals for writers of all levels of experience and ability. (www.joannahoffman.com)
Joyce Portnoy-Eisman was a teacher in The Saul and Zabar Nursery School for 14 years and in the fall she will be joining the teaching staff at The Brownstone School. In addition she taught third grade for three years at The Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Joyce has been the storytelling specialist in the JCC Havurah program since 2009 with a particular focus on Jewish values.
Joyce has lived on the Upper West Side since she was 18 years old. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Education from New York University. Joyce has also done post-graduate work at Bank Street College of Education and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. In November 2014, Joyce was the recipient of the Vivian Gussin Paley Award for Early Childhood Excellence at the 92nd St. Y Wonderplay Conference.
Equal parts rocker, ritual leader, trainer, experiential educator and social activist, Naomi Less’ performances and workshops captivate audiences, exploring themes of justice, empowerment and open-heartedness. Founder of Jewish Chicks Rock, a program umbrella for initiatives to invite and empower young Jewish girls to pick up instruments and express themselves through music, Naomi models the change she wants to see. She tours worldwide with her band, providing concerts, rock camps, worship services and workshops to participants of all ages. Naomi has developed and delivered myriad trainings for local and major national organizations in the Jewish community. She is a founding company member and Director of Education and Training Storahtelling and former VP of Programs at the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Naomi’s music is available on cdbaby.com/naomiless2 or iTunes.
Sara Stave Beckerman is a teacher of TaNaKh and Rabbinics and the Rosh Hinukh/ Director of Education at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. A curriculum expert and consultant, Sara is also the creative force behind the interactive full-color Jewish prayer curriculum Siddur Sababa. Sara holds an MA in Jewish Studies with a concentration in informal education from the Davidson School of Jewish Education at JTS. Sara loves teaching access skills to Hebrew and Jewish cultural literacy. Sara is the coordinator of the Hebrew Home Page course for the Jewish Journey Project.
Sasha Nanus currently is the director and producer of the JCC in Manhattan’s Youth and Children’s Theater and the director of the JCC Summer Stock Camp, which she created in 2001. She has also been the director and producer of The JCC New York Teen Theatre for 20 years, having staged over 35 musicals including Grease, Hairspray, Cats, Free To Be You and Me, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph, Fiddler, The School of Rock, Guys and Dolls, to name a few. She was also commissioned to create a new work for the JCC Teen Theater. She co wrote with her sister, Susan Nanus and directed The Orphan Train with music by Barbara Anselmi which was published by Samuel French.
Dutch-born Yona Verwer is an artist in New York. She creates works that explore identity, terrorism, Tikkun Olam, and Kabbalah. Yona holds a master’s degree in fine art from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and has shown and curated in galleries and museums nationally and internationally. She is the executive director & co-founder of the Jewish Art Salon in NYC, and serves on the advisory boards of Art Kibbutz: the International Jewish Artist Residency, Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, Jewish Art Now, and the Jewish Design Collective. Her art has exhibited at Yeshiva University Museum, Andy Warhol Factory, the Bronx Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Center for Jewish History, Mizel Museum, Reginald Lewis Museum of African-American Art, Stanback Museum, Canton Museum of Art, and the Holocaust Memorial Center. (yonaverwer.com)