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Daniel Bahner brings experience in program development, community building and social-justice education to Keshet. Originally from southwest Ohio, Daniel quickly formed a connection between his Jewish identity and the importance of inclusion and working toward a more socially just society. He dived further into social justice and Jewish thought while an undergraduate at Lehigh University. Studying classics and religion studies, Daniel learned the importance of reflecting upon the past, but at the same time finding meaning for the present. At the same time, he began to become involved in many social-justice education groups, winning multiple campus awards for his involvement. His passion for social justice and education continued during his graduate studies at New York University, where he received a master’s in higher education administration and student affairs.Daniel joined Keshet spending three years working at a small liberal arts college as assistant director of residence life. There, he trained students in building inclusive residential communities as well as assisting students whenever they had concerns about their community environment. Daniel was highly involved with campus-inclusion projects, presenting at conferences, putting together programs, sitting on committees and managing educational processes. For his work, he was awarded a major regional award for commitment to social justice. Daniel is excited to be working with communities across the country and helping to facilitate a larger conversation about inclusion and equity.

Terri Bernsohn spent the past 15 years as the Religious School Director at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois. Terri earned a masters degree in Nonprofit Administration from DePaul University and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from HUC-JIR. Prior to leading JRC’s school, Terri worked as a grantwriter for multiple not-for-profit organizations. Over the past few years, the Terri’s work has focused oncommunity-building, and she has used her grantwriting skills to underwrite multiple family engagement initiatives, including a Shabbat chavurah that used social media to augment in-person Shabbat activities. Under Terri’s leadership, JRC was part of the initial cohort of CHIdush, a Chicago-area collaboration between Community Foundation for Jewish Education and UpStart; over the course of two years, a team of parents, teachers and clergy used Design Thinking to transform school structurally and programmatically. Currently, Terri is working with another longtime Jewish educator to develop programs for Jewish families not affiliated with congregations.

Beckee Birger currently works as the Program Director of Teen Leadership and Philanthropy at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Her passion for social justice has led her through a variety of jobs, such as special education attorney, AmeriCorp program manager, and college career advisor at an education non-profit. She holds a BA from Suffolk University and a JD from DePaul University. She believes engaging people of all ages in political education and activism is critical to our future, and she's proud to celebrate her Judaism through a deep commitment to social justice. In her free time, she's helping to build a space for Jews of Color at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and she's an avid board game player.

PHONE: 413-374-7210

Howard Blas currently serves as director of the National Ramah Tikvah Network of the National Ramah Commission and of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in Northern California. Howard previously served as the director of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England for 15 years. Howard has led five Tikvah Ramah Israel trips and served as group leader for three Shorashim Birthright Asperger trips to Israel. Howard, a social worker and special education teacher by training, teaches Jewish Studies and bar/bat mitzvah to students with a range of disabilities and “special circumstances”. Howard has 35 years of experience working with families and students in envisioning and preparing for a wide-range of b’nai mitzvahs, from traditional to creative. Howard writes regularly for many Jewish publications including the Jerusalem Post, Chabad.org, JNS (Jewish News Syndicate), ejewishphilanthropy, The New Normal (of the New York Jewish Week), and Sight Line (Covenant Foundation). Howard received the S’fatai Tiftakh Award from Boston Hebrew College’s Center for Jewish Special Education in 2012 and the 2013 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.

Anita Block has extensive experience in the field of early childhood education and elementary Jewish education. Anita served as Principal of the Perelman Jewish Day School, Forman Center, and directed a school improvement initiative for the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education (now Jewish Learning Venture). She founded and directed the early childhood center at Main Line Reform Temple for 21 years and served as the Director of Education there for 7 years. Anita has directed numerous Jewish early childhood programs throughout Greater Philadelphia. She is currently an educational consultant working with both Jewish and secular schools on school improvement and professional development.   

 

 

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