The PresenTense SocialStart Trainers have all completed a three-part certification program that includes training & teachbacks, webinars & clusters and shadowing.
Benjamin Goldman has his B.A. degree in History from Indiana University and an M.S. in Financial Markets from Illinois Institute of Technology. He has been an entrepreneur, starting numerous businesses, and is an Director of Entreprenurial Studies for Truman College's Department of Continuing Education. Benjamin has made numerous presentations and produced original academic research including a presentation at Cambridge University in conjunction with the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Benjamin currently works as a business consultant to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Chicago focusing on articulating business ideas and creating a productive culture to nuture their ideas.
For Benji Lovitt, Jewish summer camp led to his first trip to Israel at the age of 15 and then to a life-changing year in Israel on the Young Judaea Year Course program. His fate was sealed. Benji was destined to live the rest of his life as a committed Zionist and Jew. After earning a degree in psychology from the University of Texas, he worked at several dotcom jobs before realizing that something was missing. He found his calling in the Jewish communal world. Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji has performed stand-up comedy for audiences throughout North America and Israel including Hillels, Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federations General Assembly, and more. His perspectives on aliyah and life in Israel have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in publications such as the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and the Jewish Daily Forward. His blog, videos, and annual Yom Ha'atzmaut list of things he loves about Israel have developed a huge following and he works regularly with Jewish organizations to promote Israel.
Caylee grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, made Aliya in 2008, and has recently returned to Israel after completing her MSc in International Development at the London School of Economics. Over the years, Caylee has worked for various Jewish organisations in a number of countries including serving as National Chairperson of the South Africa Union of Jewish Students, a Goldman Fellow in the American Jewish Committee’s Africa Institute in New York and volunteering with Tevel B’Tzedek in a rural village in Nepal. She also holds a business degree from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and an MA in Israeli Politics from Hebrew University.
Caylee is passionate about international development, social-enterprise and finding market-driven solutions to improving the lives of the 4 billion people who live at “the base of the pyramid” in developing countries. Caylee has been a member of the ROI community since 2007.
A seasoned social entrepreneur and strategy professional, David has several years of experience working in venture capital and technology-enabled companies. Most recently, David was the VP of Product Development and Charity Partnerships for Ryzing, a prized-based social gaming company. David currently sits on the Executive Committee at The Spruce Foundation in Philadelphia, a unique fund that drives philanthropy and volunteer engagement among Next Generation professionals. David holds an MBA in International Business from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from Dickinson College.
Born and raised in Israel, Elad saw himself as an educator and instructor from infancy. Enlisting in the army, Elad served as the chief instructor in the commanders branch of the military medical school. He went on to complete his studies at Beit Berl College in 2009. Elad became a tour guide authorized by the Ministry of Tourism. He established "Derech Eretz Tour Company" in 2010 and worked as a school teacher for Jewish American programs. Elad is currently studying environmental science and Jewish history at Hebrew University.
Evelyn is from Argentina. She was born in Moises Ville, the first Jewish area of settlement in Argentina. Eve led at a Jewish youth movement - Tnúa Hanoar Hatzioni - in Moises Ville; she has taught at Hebrew schools; she is an informal educator and a director of cultural workshops for young adults in community settings. She has volunteered for many projects connected to investigating the AMIA bombing and has been involved in projects relating to the Holocaust in social media. Since 2010, Eve has been developing opportunities for fomal education for young adults, between 25 to 40 years old. She independently manages the projects that are related to corporate social responsibility, aiming to highten Jewish people's awareness of social responsibility issues in Argentina.
Gil was born in central Israel and eventually served in the army in shayetet 13. For the past 6 years he has been involved in American and European capital markets. In 2011, he established a private venture capital market studies program and has been involved in the training and facilitation of private entrepreneurs in different fields.
Heather Wolfson is currently a nonprofit management consultant and part-time Managing Director of the Avi Schaefer Fund. She most recently served as the Western Regional Director for NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundations. Heather has been very active in the Jewish community. After being a dedicated USYer, an educator at a religious school and involved in her campus Hillel, she decided to pursue a career in the Jewish world. She worked at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation as the Special Projects Coordinator and later left Arizona for LA. She started her early career with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger as the Marketing Manager. Outside of work, Heather has been involved in many activities including with the Progressive Jewish Alliance as a Jeremiah Fellow and the Emma Fellowship. Heather graduated from the University of Arizona with a dual B.A. in Journalism and Communication and her M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.
Hili spent her childhood in the U.S Virgin Islands but has lived the majority of her life in Arad, a small town in the south periphery of Israel. She served in the Air force and graduated Officer Course with Honors. Hili has a B.A in East Asian Studies, Political science and Education, and is majoring in the Chinese language from Tel Aviv University. She is a graduate of UNESCO’s Master in “Social Sciences in Humanitarian Affairs”. Hili is currently writing her thesis in East Asian studies and majoring in the Hindi language. She is a group facilitator in dialogue groups between Israeli’s and Palestinians in Israel and abroad. She is also the Founder and Manager of ‘Afik’ Center for Student Leadership in Israel
Jay Stone is a beat-boxing, globe-trotting, sustainability-consulting, humanitarian-thriving adrenaline junkie. He advanced to the Hollywood Week Finals on Season 9 of American Idol with his beatbox rendition of "Come Together." Jay has also served as a dedicated Israel advocate and performed his "Sh'ma Israel" beatbox in 2010 for a crowd of 10,000+ people, including Israeli President Shimon Peres. Jay recently completed his MBA at NYU Stern School of Business and currently works with Deloitte Consulting's Sustainability & Climate Change practice.
Josh is the Associate Director of the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. Josh is passionate about the intersection of art and leadership development. As a leadership development professional Josh was most recently the Jeremiah Fellowship National Director for the Progressive Jewish Alliance. He is an alumnus of the Jeremiah Fellowship and Selah and was a 2011 member of the Selah National Leadership Team. Josh is a co-founder of East Side Jews and an adviser to the Emma Fellowship. Josh is a coach trained through the Center for Non Profit Management. Josh comes to his work with over 10 years of non-profit and informal education experience. Josh believes deeply in the power each of us has to maximize our potential, creating greatness for ourselves and the world around us.
Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Lani Hart graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Sociology, Jewish Studies and Hebrew. During college, Lani was active with Wisconsin Hillel and also spent a semester studying and volunteering in the Jewish community in Prague, Czech Republic. Following graduation, Lani worked for four years, first as a fellow at PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values and more recently as the Assistant Director of Young Leadership at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She took more than 150 young adults to Israel on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips and engaged hundreds of alumni as a Birthright Israel NEXT professional. Lani is a first-year student in the NYU Nonprofit Management and Jewish Studies dual degree program and is a recipient of The Federation Executive Recruitment & Education Program (FEREP) scholarship. In her free time, Lani enjoys traveling, watching sports and exploring New York City.
Lior Bakalu has lived in Kfar Saba, Israel, for most of his life. After his release from the IDF in which he served as an editor and producer for the IDF radio (Galatz), he began working as a journalist, mostly for web portals but also for newspapers and TV productions. He now works as a managing editor for Calcalist newspaper, Israel's largest financial newspaper and web portal. Lior is a board member and website editor for the Mitpkadot feminist lobby and a co-editor for the Israeli Gay Youth organization (IGY) website. Lior studied political science and western history at Tel Aviv University and plans to pursue an M.B.A. degree.
Moti Taubin was born in Kfar Adumim, a unique village whose inhabitants, both secular and religious, live together. This experience has continued to influence Moti throughout his whole life. After he spent one year in a pre-military study program in the Golan Heights, Moti began his military service in a unit called Maglan. As an officer, he commanded two teams and then discovered his passion for education. After he was released from the army, Moti started to work with youth, both as a volunteer coordinator during the disengagement from Gaza and as a guide to street children in Jerusalem. After finishing his studies at the Hebrew University in bible and history, he worked as a teacher in two high schools in Jerusalem and as a manager of a secular midrasha for volunteers. During 2009 he and Uriel, a friend from his kindergarten, established in Ein Gedi a Pre-Military Academy for underprivileged youth from the social periphery, meant to empower and help them to realize their potential on all levels: personal, social and national. The first year just ended on March 2010 and now Moti is preparing with his staff for the next one. He's married to Yael and they live in Ein Gedi.
Nuphar Schwartz was born in 1984. She has aquired management, operations, and marketing experience from the high-tech industry. She holds a B.A in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center Hertzeliya (IDC). Nuphar graduated the Argov Honors Program for Leadership and Diplomacy. During her studies, she has volunteered in several programs focusing on Israel advocacy. She participated in the Stand With Us Fellowship and in the Model United Nations. Nuphar served as an officer in the IDF Field Intelligence Corps.
As an alum of Teach For America, Rachel has continued to pursue a career in special education and led training sessions for beginning teachers in the USA and abroad with affiliated programs. Rachel is currently the Inclusion Team Leader and 4th grade teacher at DC Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, DC. In addition to her work at DC Bilingual, she provides consulting services for international schools that are working toward developing and/or improving special education and inclusive programs. Outside of work, Rachel loves to read, run, go camping and spend as much time traveling as possible!
Robert J. Saferstein, a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, specializes in online media, photography, music composition and film production. Since 2010, Saferstein has served as Online Director for Sh’ma Journal, where he has led efforts in audience expansion, social media integration, the introduction of new forms of digital content and partnerships with outside organizations. Robert is very active with the LGBTQ Jewish Community as an organizer and advocate for change and equality. Robert consulted on and designed Broadway websites and was the founding Creative Director of Broadway’s Best Shows.
Now in its fourth year, and attracting over 250 people annually, Robert formed the first LGBTQ Orthodox-friendly megillah reading in NYC in 2009. His newest endeavor, Friday Night Lights, is a series of Shabbat dinners for gay professionals that will highlight different charitable organizations helping the LGBTQ Community.
Shiri is a sociology graduate student. She is active in the Sociology department as editor of the department's journal, producer of a series of lectures and founder of TA's forum and was elected excellent lecturer by the dean of social science. She was recently the winner of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship for excellent students, which allowed her to spend a semester in Karl Franzes University in Austria. Currently, she a research assistant for a few Prof at the Hebrew Uni. active in the international peace education movement CISV .
Todd Schechter is a Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant because he loves helping others overcome obstacles, seize opportunities and achieve their potential. Todd specializes in supporting individuals, teams and organizations working for social impact; his clients include non-profit organizations, government agencies, social businesses and corporations with a commitment to CSR. Specifically, he helps clients improve their effectiveness and efficiency by guiding situation analysis, sculpting intervention planning and propelling implementation. He also provides similar services to early stage social businesses and non-profit organizations such as directing need assessment, challenging mission definition and bolstering strategic planning. Todd has mixed sector and mixed industry experience previously having worked as a documentary television producer, video brand consultant and social entrepreneur. He has a passion for learning, building things and sharing great food with great people. Todd holds an M.P.A. in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and a B.S. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in New York City and loves having engaged conversations.