Executive Committee


  • Brian Lurie - President, Caroline and Brian Lurie Philanthropic Fund
  • Asher Ostrin - Interim 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.

  • Asher Ostrin

    Interim Chief Executive Officer 
    JDC - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

    Asher Ostrin has more than three decades of senior leadership experience at JDC, the leading global Jewish humanitarian organization. A key advisor to JDC operations in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, he helped design and led JDC’s transformative work reviving Jewish life and aiding needy Jews in the former Soviet Union (FSU) for more than 20 years. He previously served as the organization’s senior executive for international affairs.

    Ostrin has represented JDC on a global stage with a wide range of funders, partner organizations, governments, and important stakeholders. This includes leading a joint process for the Jewish Federations of North America to map JDC and Jewish Agency synergies in Israel and the FSU; assisting in issues of Jewish property restitution; and liaising with key operational partners.

    Among other notable accomplishments during his tenure, Ostrin supervised the rescue of Jews facing war and conflict in Georgia and Ukraine; assisted tens of thousands of Jewish refugees in Austria as they fled Iran, the Soviet Union, and other eastern bloc countries in the late 1980’s and currently manages JDC’s global communal loan fund, which empowers Jewish communities to innovate through no-interest financing for strategic initiatives and property renovation.

    Ostrin lectures widely on JDC’s pivotal role in shaping 20th- and 21st-century Jewish history and is a recognized expert in the post-Soviet Jewish experience.

  • 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.

  • Daniel J. Sokatch
    Chief Executive Officer
    New Israel Fund


    Daniel J. Sokatch is the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund (NIF), the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis.  Before joining NIF, Sokatch served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.  Prior to his tenure at Federation, he served as the founding Executive Director of the Los Angeles based Progressive Jewish Alliance.

    In recognition of his leadership, Sokatch has thrice been named one of the Forward newspaper's "Forward 50," an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers and opinion-shapers in 2002, 2005 and 2008.

    Daniel has an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a BA from Brandeis University.  He is married with two daughters and resides in San Francisco.

  • Malcolm Hoenlein

    Executive Vice Chairman 
    Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

    Malcolm Hoenlein has written and lectured domestically and abroad on international relations, Israel and Middle East affairs, Soviet and World Jewry, terrorism, the American Jewish community, and intergroup relations. He served as the founding Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New York and was the founding Executive Director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry.

    Mr. Hoenlein received his B.A. in Political Science from Temple University and his Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Department of International Relations, where he completed his doctoral course work. A National Defense Fellow in the University's Near East Center, Mr. Hoenlein taught International Relations in the Political Science Department and served as a Middle East specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and on the editorial staff of ORBIS, the Journal of International Affairs. He was conferred a Doctorate of Humane Letters Honoria Causa by Yeshiva University in 2002, and has received the Private Sector Initiative Award from President Ronald Reagan, American ORT "Man of the Millennium" Tribute and the first Quittman Award for Jewish Professional Excellence. The Forward listed him as the most influential Jewish leader.

  • 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 Karev Foundation

    Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is Senior Advisor to Chasbro Investments, the family office of Charles Bronfman. For two decades, he was president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel and the United States, Among the foundations’ innovative launches were Birthright Israel and Reboot, two initiatives aimed at connecting young, assimilated Jews to their tradition. He currently sits on the Boards of the Leichtag Foundation in San Diego, the Jim Joseph Foundation in San Francisco and the KIND and Lubetzky Family Foundations in New York. 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. 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.