Executive Committee


  • Brian Lurie - President, Caroline and Brian Lurie Philanthropic Fund
  • Ariel Zwang - Chief Executive Officer, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Executive Committee


  • Brian Lurie

    Caroline and Brian Lurie Philanthropic Fund

    Rabbi Brian Lurie served for seventeen years as Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and for five years as President of the San Francisco Jewish Museum. He has worked in Israel and America to promote equality for Israeli Arabs and as Executive Vice President of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), he was instrumental in launching the second phase of Operation Exodus and provided the vision and strategic direction under which UJA has begun to broaden its mandate. Rabbi Lurie developed the concept of "The Living Bridge", a metaphor which is redefining the broad range of relationships and the partnerships, as equals, of American Jews and Israelis. Both the Israel Experience for teens and Partnership 2000 were created as pillars of the Living Bridge.

    Rabbi Lurie received his B.A. from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania and a Masters in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He has been granted honorary degrees from both Lafayette College and Hebrew Union College.

  • Ariel Zwang

    Chief Executive Officer 
    JDC - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

    Ariel Zwang is CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the global Jewish humanitarian organization operating in 70 countries worldwide. Ariel took the helm of JDC, and its team of hundreds of professionals, in January 2021.

    Ariel previously led Safe Horizon, one of America’s leading social service agencies, where she served with distinction as CEO for twelve years. Her mastery of complex organizational dynamics and multi-faceted operations helped transform the organization, as she doubled its size and enhanced its financial, operational, programmatic, and strategic health. Ariel oversaw its staff of 1,000, a $100 million budget (including tens of millions in government contracts and grants), and programs impacting 250,000 vulnerable people annually.

    Her distinguished career in the human and public service sectors includes her tenure as Executive Director of New York Cares, New York City’s largest volunteering organization; as a White House Fellow in the Department of Housing and Urban Development; as Vice President of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation in the South Bronx; and as Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education. Ariel began her career with Morgan Stanley and the Boston Consulting Group.

    As a noted expert in social support for vulnerable populations and advocate for the impact of volunteerism, Ariel has regularly appeared in media discussing these trends. She was a board member of the Human Services Council of New York, and the Points of Light Foundation, and was ranked the “2nd most powerful nonprofit leader in New York State” on City and State’s Annual Power List.

    A passionate Jewish leader hailing from a family of rabbis and Jewish educators, Ariel has held numerous community leadership positions underscoring her commitment to Jewish practice, pluralism, and the diversity of Jewish life. She is a Vice President of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan; and has served in a variety lay roles at UJA-Federation of New York; as a past Board Member of Jewish Coalition for Service; and with the New York Committee for Harvard Hillel.

    Ariel received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College. She and her husband, Gordon Mehler, are the parents of two young adult daughters and reside in Manhattan.  


  • Kenneth Jacobson

    National Director 
    Anti-Defamation League

    As ADL's Deputy National Director, Kenneth Jacobson serves in a number of capacities including representing ADL when CEO Jonathan Greenblatt is not available, writing extensively on ADL subjects, speaking to groups across the country and educating ADL staff and volunteer leaders about the history and legacy of the organization. Ken joined ADL in 1971. He is the longest serving ADL professional and has served in many roles, including leading the International Affairs, Civil Rights, Marketing and Communications, and Education divisions at various times. Ken has a BA in history from Yeshiva University and an MA in history from Columbia University.

    Mr. Jacobson holds degrees from the City College of the City University of New York, the Yeshiva of Flatbush, New York University School of Law, Clark University, Iona College, Florida International University and has completed graduate work in advanced Judaic studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and in international economics at The New School for Social Research. Mr. Jacobson is the author of Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism andThe Deadliest Lies, and is the recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award, the State of New York at Albany University Medallion and Austria's Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold, among others.  


  • Libby Lenkinsky
    VP of Public Engagement
    New Israel Fund

    Libby is the Vice President for Public Engagement at the New Israel Fund, where she leads all aspects of NIF’s public efforts in the United States – including communications, digital, programs, events, leadership, community partnerships and engagement, New Generations and our fellowships. Prior to joining NIF, Libby lived and worked in the Israeli non-profit field for almost a decade. There she worked as Director of International Relations at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and as a strategy consultant for human rights organizations like Yesh Din and Physicians for Human Rights, for documentary films including Budrus and The Law in These Parts, new media initiatives like +972 Magazine, and for progressive campaigns. She is a founding member of Zazim-Community Action and The Whistle. Currently, Libby serves on the board of Comet-ME, Hashomer Hatzair North America and is a NY co-chair for the Reboot Network. Libby is based in Brooklyn and travels to Israel-Palestine frequently.


  • Roni Rubenstein


    Roni Rubenstein has worked with minority populations in Israel as past chair of the Ethiopian Task Force and the Economic Empowerment Committee at UJA-Federation. She is also a former chair and current board member of the Baron de Hirsch Foundation. Additionally Roni sits on the alumni council of the Wexner Foundation and the boards of the Good People Fund and UJA-Federation. Professionally, Roni is an attorney, having worked in the private sector as a litigator at Shearman & Sterling and in the public sector as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

  • Michael Hirschhorn
    President of the Trustees
    The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation

    Michael Hirschhorn served as Executive Director of the International Human Rights Funders Group from 2008 through 2014. Prior to directing IHRFG, from 2003-08, Michael was Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center. Earlier, from 1995-2001, he served as Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City. Michael was an Assistant to the Chancellor of the NYC Public Schools and a Visiting Non-Profit Executive at Yale's School of Management. Michael serves as President of the Trustees of The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, and also serves on the boards of several rights-related and educational non-profit organizations. Michael received his BA from Yale University in 1981 and his MBA & MSW from Columbia University in 1989.

  • Howard Sohn

    Chair and Executive
    Fohs Foundation

    Howard Sohn board chair and executive of the Fohs Foundation, which is dedicated to improving Arab-Jewish relations within Israel; co-chair of the board of The Kenneth Fund Initiatives; an active member of the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues and the Social Venture Fund of the Jewish Federations of North America.

    He is retired board chair and CEO of Lone Rock Timber Company and Sun Studs, Inc., Roseburg OR; served as director of human resources policy, planning, and communication at Pfizer Inc., New York, NY; and taught ethics and public policy at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. Public service activities have included the State of Oregon Board of Higher Education; member and chair of the State of Oregon Board of Forestry. He holds a PhD from Fordham University, MA from Manhattan College, and BA from Claremont McKenna College.

  • Jeffrey Solomon

    Senior Advisor, Chasbro Investments
    The CRB Family Foundation

    Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is Senior Advisor to Chasbro Investments, the family office of Charles Bronfman. For two decades, he was the President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel and the United States, founding and operating programs, including Birthright Israel, Reboot, Historica Canada, Karev Educational Ventures and Slingshot. He currently sits on the Boards of the Jim Joseph Foundation in San Francisco, the KIND and Lubetzky Family Foundations in New York and the CRB Family Foundation in Palm Beach. He served as the Chair of Leading Edge, an organization aimed at talent acquisition and retention in the Jewish community and serves as Co-Chair of the Peaceworks Foundation, supporting Darkenu in Israel and Zimam in Palestine, aimed at empowering the moderate majority. His books (co-authored with Charles Bronfman), The Art of Giving and The Art of Doing Good, have won awards and recognition throughout the philanthropic world. He is also the author of over 120 publications in both professional journals and outlets such as The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. He served as an adjunct associate professor in the masters and doctorate programs of New York University School of Social Work.

  • Rebecca Katz-White

    Planning Director
    UJA-Federation of New York

    Rebecca Katz-White is a Planning Director in the Jewish Life department at UJA Federation of New York, focused on the organization’s work in Israel. Previously she was part of UJA’s Commission on the Jewish People where she managed grant portfolios focused on engaging interfaith families in New York and Israeli civil society. Before coming to UJA Rebecca was a public interest lawyer, serving as a public defender, a union labor lawyer and as the staff attorney for a disability rights organization. She also taught basic education to adults who immigrated to the United States. Rebecca studied political science at Stanford University and received her J.D. from Stanford Law School.