Jeff is President and Executive Director of the David & Janet Polak Foundation, formed in 2012 to support Israel, the American Jewish community and other causes. In 2016, the Foundation made grants to over 50 organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Associates Ben-Gurion University, and the Ayn Rand Institute. The Foundation has also endowed the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and seeded major gifts to the Technion and the Los Angeles Jewish Home.
Samara Hutman is a seasoned experiential Jewish educator and community builder. She is the Co-Founder/Director of The Righteous Conversations Project, a program of Remember Us, an international initiative to nurture youth connection and leadership in the ongoing sacred work of Holocaust memory. Over the last decade Hutman has worked to build inter-generational bridges between today’s youth and the last generation of Holocaust Survivors. Hutman served as the Executive Director at Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust from 2013-2016. Hutman has also served in parent leadership roles, from Parent Association Co-President to Community Outreach in her daughter’s schools: First Pres, Crossroads, Harvard-Westlake and the family’s spiritual home IKAR.
Evan Schlessinger is chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. His past lay leadership roles include serving as chair of The Foundation’s Cutting Edge Grants Committee, member of the Jewish Funders Network’s Executive Committee, board chair of Jewish Family & Life Media, and founding member and past chair of the Los Angeles Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund. Mr. Schlessinger is a nationally known marketing expert and president of the Springboard Company, a market research and consulting firm based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in the national media including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS This Morning and the ABC Home Show.
David Suissa is President of Tribe Media/Jewish Journal, where he has been writing a weekly column on the Jewish world since 2006. In 2015, he was awarded first prize for "Editorial Excellence" by the American Jewish Press Association. Prior to Tribe Media, David was founder and CEO of Suissa Miller Advertising, a marketing firm named “Agency of the Year” by USA Today. He sold his company in 2006 to devote himself full time to his first passion: Israel and the Jewish world. David was born in Casablanca, Morocco, grew up in Montreal, and now lives in Los Angeles with his five children.
Founder of Open Temple in Venice, CA, Lori’s unconventional rabbinate is dedicated to reaching unaffiliated and intermarried families and seekers. Previously the Director of Jewish Life and Senior Consultant for Interfaith Relations and Outreach at the University of Southern California Hillel, Lori’s transdenominational rabbinate was informed by her studies at the American Jewish University, years living in Israel studying within an Orthodox Jewish framework and graduation from both the Academy for Jewish Religion/California (MA in Rabbinics) as well as the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (MA in Jewish Studies). Rabbi Lori and Open Temple began as a part of a national incubator supporting cutting edge and innovative Jewish programming mentored by Rabbis Without Borders and CLAL.
Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot is best known for her joyful spirit, her soulful singing, and her passion for Jewish learning. As one of a handful of people in the nation who have been jointly ordained as Rabbi and invested as Cantor, she is dedicated to revitalizing worship and integrating the ancient sounds of Jewish tradition with contemporary music. Rabbi Cantor Wissot has served on the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly, as well as the Board of Directors of Stand With Us. She is an active leader in the American Conference of Cantors, as well as the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Prior to joining the Temple Judea clergy team, Rabbi Cantor Wissot was cantor at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue in New York.
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