AMY FRIEDMAN President of Redhead Consulting, a brand creation and content development company, Amy’s recent clients include Scholastic, MTV, and Bonnaroo. Amy acts as Senior Advisor to Scratch, Viacom’s creative S.W.A.T team, working with partners like Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. A veteran of the kids’ media business, Amy has held senior management positions across all of the Nickelodeon networks. As Sr. Vice-President Original Programming/Creative Director, Amy was responsible for articulating and steering both Noggin and TeenNick’s original brand strategy, on-air identity and educational mission, and developing and producing its original programming. Friedman’s work in branding, programming and pro-social content has earned multiple Peabody, Beacon, Cable Ace and Creativity Awards.
MIKE SAVATOVSKY Director of A Bit Off the Top, Federation CJA’s venture social-capital initiative launched in partnership with the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, Mike works with groups and individuals to develop projects that provide young adults with the opportunity to explore Jewish culture and identity as they define it. He is also Festival Director of LE MOOD. As a former journalist, educator, fundraiser and not-for-profit founder, Mike relies on out-of-the-box thinking to help achieve his goals. Mike holds degrees in Communications Studies and Journalism from Concordia University and Education from McGill University.
AINA ABIODUN Creator, curator and strategist, Aina co-founded and runs StoryCode, a New York hub and lab for cross-platform and immersive storytellers. She designed the Story Hackathon, a first of its kind introducing a new, accessible creative framework for transmedia makers. Aina also runs a strategic media consultancy Aina Media Inc where she bridges tech+story divide using innovation thinking. Aina’s work is shaped by her upbringing in post civil-war Nigeria to a Jewish-Canadian mother and a Nigerian father at a time of radical political upheaval. An award-winning filmmaker, Aina holds degrees from Amherst College and UCLA’s graduate film program and currently lives in New York City.
JOSH BURSTEIN This election cycle, Josh created and curated content as Obama for America’s Deputy Director of Digital in Wisconsin. Josh previously served as Director of Business Development for the Government of Israel’s Economic Mission to the West Coast. In 2011, Josh was selected out of 82,000 applicants to be Charlie Sheen’s social media guy, winning two Shorty Awards for his work. He recently founded The Millennial Youth Professionals Initiative, and is a contributing writer to The Huffington Post.
JENNIFER CHERNIACK An artist presently based in Syracuse, NY, Jennifer has been involved in contemporary art as an artist, educator and administrator, working for not-for-profit organizations such as InterAccess, Regent Park Focus, Gallery 44 and the National Film Board of Canada. At Concordia University (Montreal), Jennifer taught undergraduate courses and professional development workshops, and in January successfully defended her Master of Fine Arts thesis project, The One with Netscape Navigator, the Year 1994, Jordan Catalano, Douglas Coupland, Milton Berle, Pratfalls, Linguists, and Chandler Bing. Jennifer has exhibited in a variety of venues; most recently the NY Art Book Fair.
BRIAN ELLIOT Brian helps foundations develop technology and innovation strategies to deepen their impact. He has started several organizations, including Friendfactor, an award-wining tech advocacy nonprofit that helped secure marriage equality for LGBT New Yorkers. Brian is a surprisingly bad cook, and a surprisingly good wedding dancer.
SHARON FEDER Chief Operating Officer of Mashable, the leading news site for the connected generation, Sharon oversees the company’s business operations. Most recently, Sharon was publisher, during which time the company experienced its fastest growth to date and built its own ad sales operations. She’s held the positions of managing editor and features editor and is responsible for building their native advertising offering. She joined the company in June 2008 as editorial assistant and has since grown their editorial team, extended partnerships with leading news publishers and created a human resources and recruiting function. Sharon serves on the Social Media Advertising Consortium board and the #GivingTuesday board.
NAOMI LESS Musician. Activist. Experiential Educator. Trainer. Feminist. Naomi Less uses her voice and music to educate, activate, empower and engage audiences in justice work and Judaism’s relevance in their lives. www.naomiless.com
NAOMI KINCLER From Mumbai to the Bronx, Naomi has led significant public health initiatives for almost a decade. She is currently launching a startup called Trudat; a platform to collaborate on data exploration and analysis. She is also a 2012/2013 Sauvé Scholar. Born in Montreal, she has lived in Jerusalem, Barbados, India, and NYC. She graduated from McGill University (BA Geography 2005) and Johns Hopkins University (MPH Epidemiology & Biostatistics 2009). Naomi has also been deeply involved in Jewish Social Justice work through the American Jewish World Service and other initiatives including Leading up North and ROI.
EILEEN LEVINSON Graphic designer and artist living in Los Angeles, Eileen’s installations, posters, videos & web projects encourage collaborative rethinking of Jewish ritual & tradition. Eileen is the creator of Haggadot.com, a website for Jews of any background to upload, exchange and personalize an original Haggadah for Passover. The site hosts over one thousand selections of user-generated Haggadah content from around the world. In 2011, Jewish Daily Forward reviewed the site as “the most exciting new Haggadah” of the year. For more information, and to view her other projects, visit www.eileenlevinson.com.
ROBERT SAFERSTEIN Online Director and Editor of Sh’ma Journal, Robert has led efforts in audience expansion, social media integration, strategic partnerships and content development. Interested in the interfacing of art, information, and technology, Robert’s background in interactive telecommunications, photography, film, and theatre has allowed him to pursue new points of engagement across multiple mediums. Prior to Sh’ma, Robert was the founding Creative Director of BroadwaysBestShows.com. Robert is also active in the LGBTQ Jewish community and was recently named a “Promoter to Watch in 2013″ for his series of sophisticated Shabbat dinners, Friday Night Lights, for which he also received a Natan grant.
JACOB SHWIRTZ Past Director of Social Viewing and Social TV for Viacom Media Networks, Jacob served as internal expert on social viewing and social media, blending strategy, business development and product management to maximize the company’s response to emerging trends. In May 2012, Jacob was included in a list of ‘Top Ten Social Media Mavens.’ He is a frequent writer and speaker on the evolution of digital content, social media strategy and the media industry, and has built dozens of digital communities for MTV/VH1. Among his entrepreneurial ventures, Jacob co-created TweetBookz, which later expanded into PodBookz in partnership with podcasting maestro Kevin Smith.
AMBER BERSON Passionate about art and its potential for social change, Amber’s current research for her Master’s thesis focuses on art and mourning, museum practises, narrative theory, and vernacular collections. Her thesis at Concordia University considered how missing and murdered Aboriginal women have been depicted in Canadian art. She works in and with artist run centres and most recently curated several editions of the SIGHT & SOUND festival, the Salon : Data series, the exhibit Département des Nuisances Publiques, and other projects at Eastern Bloc; The Wild Bush Residency at a cottage in Val David, Quebec; In Your Footsteps at the VAV gallery, The Magpies Nest at the Wenger Homestead in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and “We lived on a map” at the CEREV (Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence) exhibition space.
GABRIEL COUTURE Gabe plans on running a marathon during 2013. He also plans on getting his blue belt in Karate. He didn’t know what a Tefillin was until Birthright. Gabe loves food and is not kosher. He spends too much time watching movies and too much money on food and alcohol. He’s been married for over 4 years. He speaks French, English and Spanish but would like to learn another language. He finds interest in almost everything and has opinions about things he doesn’t know anything about, often being criticized for playing devil’s advocate. He believes himself to be a genuinely nice person.
ALEX FREDO Host of « Les petites anecdotes », a radio program on Radio Shalom 1650 AM in Montreal. Alex’s show centres on bridging the gap between Jewish and Quebecois culture by exploring the communities’ arts and culture through a humorous lens. Alex takes part in compelling community projects and serves as MC for various events around town. Alex has a passion for music and teaching.
ERICA GELLER Montreal-born student, blogger and waitress, Erica shares her observations about working in the service industry on her cheeky blog “howmayiserviceyou” (ssh, don’t tell my boss). Although she recently retired from her post as pub quiz master at Ye Olde Orchard Pub to focus on school, she still compiles quiz questions for fun. Erica is currently finishing up her Sociology degree at Concordia University and she hopes to one day remember what its like to read for pleasure.
JAKE GREENBAUM Starting with F*&K Cancer as well as Federation CJA, Jake has been involved in many non profits for many years. He has traveled and lived in Israel for 6 months. Jake’s biggest belief is, “It’s not what you know it’s who you know”.
JAKE GREENBERG Jake Graduated John Abbott with a Graphic and Web Design degree. Unsure what to do with his skills and education, Jake started his own blog, MyFatGuyProblems.com, where he opened up to the online world about his weight loss journey. With the success of his weight loss, and blog, he was able to score a job at Manwin where he applies the same skills from his blog to Playboy YouTube Channel, while also keeping up his blog views. Jake has also been involved in the Jewish community, from competing and judging the annual latke competition to photographing different events in the city.
GINA HARASZTI Gina was born in Budapest, Hungary. She is an artist, filmmaker, concept developer with a background in fine arts, interested in the experimental aspects and transmedial forms of media. She holds an MA in cyber arts, an MFA in film production and has worked in different media with regard to film, video, new media, gaming, design and marketing. She has experience working with cross-disciplinary teams in leading art & technology labs in both Europe and Canada. In her projects she often addresses the questions and narratives of faith, space and time. She has an interest in architecture, science and East-Asian culture.
ROBBY HOFFMAN Named one of the ‘Top 10 Comedians’ by the Montreal Mirror, Robby is regularly featured in the Montreal media. She is a panelist on The Next Gang of Four, a popular weekly radio show in Montreal. Robby wrote, produced, and performed her best-selling one-woman show at the Montreal Fringe Festival and across North America and Britain. She recently hosted the Toronto Gay Pride Parade and received the Mary Scruggs Scholarship at The Women in Comedy Festival in Boston where she will perform this year in March. She has performed at the Muskoka Cottage Comedy Festival and the Just for Laughs Festival.
GREG ISENBERG Co-Founder and CEO of fiveby.tv and venture partner at Good People Ventures, Greg is a digital marketer and angel investor that has strategized and implemented digital strategies for companies like WordPress, FedEx, TechCrunch and Microsoft. He also helped build Wall Street Survivor, the world’s most popular fantasy stock market game.
TAMARA KRAMER Creator of Shtetl Magazine and host of Shtetl on the Shortwave, Tamara is a journalist who uses radio and online technology as a platform for telling, sharing and discovering the trends and stories of Jews today. Music, dance, art, culture, talking to strangers and social justice are her passions.
ALYSSA LEIBNER Social Media Manager for Linen Chest, one of Canada’s top home decor & entertaining retail destinations, as well as Editor & Creative Director for their upcoming digital lifestyle website, LC Living.
ALINA MAIZEL Born in Moscow, Alina grew up in Vancouver and moved to Montreal to study Political Science at Concordia University. After working in Politics as a government relations consultant for 4 years, Alina switched fields, pursuing her love for the arts, creativity and innovation at Moment Factory. In parallel, she co-founded a grass roots art gallery and vernissage space called Studio Beluga which strives to support emerging artists.
ZEV MOSES Founder and director of the Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal, Zev believes that cities are museums, filled with stories that are increasingly accessible through technology. He believes that communities can build museums through crowd sourcing and network building, and believes in inspiring young people to take ownership of their family and community histories. He studied City Planning at U of Penn.
DANIEL NAHMIAS-LEONARD Web and Social Media Coordinator for Federation CJA’s Marketing Department, Daniel works with a varied mix of Jewish initiatives. A product of a bilingual and multicultural Montreal, he is fascinated with questions of self-identity and plurality in the Jewish community. Other interests include travelling off the beaten path, soccer, and the snooze button.
WILLIAM ROBINSON Will completed his MA in the Special Individualized Program at Concordia University in 2012. He is currently a PhD Candidate in the Humanities Program where his research focuses on player creativity, digital labour and aesthetic analytic philosophy. Housed by the Research Center for Technoculture, Art and Games, Will plays, writes, makes and thinks games all day.
KAT ROMANOW Blogger, food lover and Jewish food academic, Kat blogs about recipes and cookbooks at Jewesses with Attitude, and wrote a thesis about the food and culture of the Moroccan Jewish community in Montreal.
RYAN SCHWARTZ Pursing a career in screenwriting, Ryan is slowly realizing the significant overlap between engaging an audience and telling a damn good story. Now, as the writer at Federation CJA, Ryan explores that convergence on a daily basis to get people involved with the organization and its mission.
MARLEY SNIATOWSKY Creative director at Tête Carrée Films, Marley has produced 2 independent features: Shadowboxing (2011) a dramatic narrative and I’ve Seen the Unicorn (2013) a dramatic documentary. Sniatowsky directed a documentary short film for the NFB, and his work has screened on the CBC. He works freelance in locations.
SYDNEY WARSHAW Social Action Coordinator for the Outreach and Engagement Department at the Federation CJA, Sydney organizes initiatives aimed at engaging Jewish young adults in the community through causes that they feel a connection to. Her other interests include air fresheners, uniforms and all waves of feminism.