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Board

Mordy Walfish is Chief Operating Officer of Leading Edge, an organization dedicated to strengthening how Jewish organizations attract, develop, and retain top talent.

Prior to joining Leading Edge, Walfish was Vice President for Programs at Repair the World, where he played a key role in the organization’s redesign and oversaw its community-based service programs.

Mordy was a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Schusterman Fellow, and the winner of the 2015 JPRO Network Young Professional Award. He also serves as board chair emeritus of JQY, a nonprofit organization supporting and empowering LGBTQ youth in the Jewish community. Mordy is a certified professional coach through New Ventures West and is on the faculty of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Carlton Watson is the President & CEO at The Torch Foundation. Drawing on his thirty-five years of experience in the non-profit sector, he provides leadership to guide the organization in operational excellence to achieve its desired strategic results. In partnership with the Board of Directors, Mr. Watson leads the Torch Foundation in implementing policies and best practices that drive equity and inclusion goals as core values within the organizational culture. He is versed in strategic marketing, financial management, business expansion; vendor relations; public relations; human resources, brand management, government contracting, and community engagement. Mr. Watson has an extensive background in senior leadership and executive positions during his human services management career.

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He founded a consulting group to provide strategic and organizational development to for-profit and not-for-profit entities ten years ago. Mr. Watson has broad expertise in moving organizations to transform their culture, boost employee engagement, and maintain diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

He actively supports inclusion outcomes to improve employee morale, increase productivity, and encourage professional growth. Additionally, he coaches organizational executives on leveraging the benefits of diversity to achieve a competitive business advantage.

Mr. Watson is results-driven with quality management, continuous improvement, business transformation, and stakeholder management expertise. He is an engaging senior manager adept at promoting racial justice, impartiality, and fairness within institutions.

Mr. Watson holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) in Clinical & Administration from the University of Connecticut. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Assumption College.

Mr. Watson has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career for high performance and community leadership. Some of his recognitions are as follows:

  • African American Juneteenth Comm, Recognition of Outstanding Leadership and Guidance, 2013
  • Seven Charter Public School, Visionary Guidance & Undaunting Leadership, 2012
  • Learning First Foundation, Outstanding Leadership, 2012
  • YMCA 13th Annual Men’s Health, Recognition of Commitment &
    Dedication to the Well-being of Central Mass, 2011
  • State Senate Official Citation, Commendation for Service as
    President of the Willis Center, 2011
  • Certificate of Congressional Recognition, Outstanding &
    Invaluable Community Service, 2011
  • Institute for Global Leadership, Life Leadership Award, 2011
  • State Senate Official Citation, Commendation for Nigerian
    American Organization Leadership Award, 2010
  • Nigerian American Organization, Human Service Leadership
    Award, 2010
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dedicated Services to the City
    of Worcester, 2009
  • State Senate Official Citation, Commendation for Barbara Jordan
    Award, 2009
  • Worcester County Sheriffs Office, Leadership Recognition, 2009
  • Worcester Democratic City Comm, Barbara Jordan Award, 2009
  • YMCA, Leadership Award, 2008
  • Hector Reyes House, Certificate of Appreciation for Expertise &
    Support, 2008
  • NASW, Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice, 2006
  • NASW Central Mass Region, Community Impact Award, 2005
  • Atlantic Union College, Certificate of Appreciation for Expertise &
    Support of Social Work Students, 2005

Mr. Watson is committed to improving teens’ quality of life. He shares with others at the Torch Foundation the importance of supporting teens to discover their best selves. Teens matter: they are essential to our future; investing in teens creates an ever-widening circle of leaders who will produce extraordinary results for themselves, their families, and the world.

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Aaron Bisman is an organizational strategist who builds and manages media, cultural, and organizational brands. With deep experience in organizational development, arts and culture program design, digital strategy, and marketing innovation, Aaron’s expertise lies in fostering creativity, collaboration, and loyalty in service of a shared purpose.

Currently serving as Vice President, Audience Development at Sesame Workshop, Aaron has spent the 20 years building audiences for brands, artists, and experiences.

Aaron spent 7 years at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he helped the organization build an audience of 2 million people across its digital channels, produced an annual 2 day conference for the jazz industry, and launched and managed a Grammy-nominated record label.

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In 2002, he founded JDub, a music and digital media non-profit responsible for opening the cultural landscape to emerging Jewish voices with groundbreaking artists including Matisyahu, Sway Machinery, The Macaroons, and Balkan Beat Box.

He is a passionate curator and strategist who helps organizations understand and integrate program and marketing best practices into their work to drive both mission and revenue. He lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife, Amanda Pogany, and three children.

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Becca Steinman-DeGroot is a Michigan native and recently returned to the Mitten State to live in Detroit after 7 years in Los Angeles. Becca’s passion is Jewish education and mentorship and for over 17 years she has worked all across the country as a teacher in the classroom, a tutor, an administrator, a mentor, and as a consultant. After serving as an Engagement Associate and Senior Program Manager, Becca is thrilled to step into the role of City Director of Repair the World Detroit!

When not working at Repair, Becca is also the Director of Dor Hadash, the only supplementary Jewish family education program in the Detroit city limits. She sits on the Board of Jewish Family Services of Metro Detroit and is a proud alumna of the Jewish Women of Color Resilience Circle and Jews of Color and White Allies cohorts through Dimensions Educational Consulting. In both her professional and personal life, Becca enjoys being a community builder focused on creating intentional, intersectional, inclusive, diverse, and embracing spaces and communities. In her free time, Becca loves spending her time with her husband Nate, her son Saavi, and her mini goldendoodle pup Simmy (short for Simcha)

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Ellie Axe is the director of Story Starters, a non-profit that equips families with strategies for raising children with anti-racist values and inspires racial justice action in homes and communities. Ellie has over 20 years of experience building system-wide change in faith-based and secular institutions. Ellie’s passion for organizational behavior and operations are drivers for her success in building and strengthening social change institutions. Most recently Ellie was the Director of Operations at JOIN for Justice where she guided the strategic planning process to support the organization in pursuing its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ellie holds an MBA from Simmons School of Management. She lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and their two daughters.

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Ezra Reinstein is a respected health care lawyer representing physicians, psychologists, practice groups, health care businesses, and high-tech startups in Greater Boston and beyond. He provides insightful, experience-based counseling with clarity, creativity, humor, and dedication.

After graduating from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, Ezra served for more than a decade as a litigator in some of the most prominent law firms in New York and California. In 2009, Ezra moved home to Massachusetts, shifted his focus entirely to counseling health care professionals, practice groups, and startups, and founded The Reinstein Law Firm.

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Joelle Asaro Berman values love and justice, and believes that interdependence among all living beings is our only path forward. She’s a partner and a mother, and unspeakably grateful for the friendships in her life. Joelle has worked with nonprofits for 17 years, leading communications and strategy-building initiatives and serving as the founding program director and then executive director of Amplifier, an initiative that inspires people to give collectively and intentionally. She now works independently with nonprofits across the Jewish, social justice, civic engagement and philanthropic sectors. She’s a Senior Schusterman Fellow, and remains deeply active in that network and community. She lives in Brooklyn, helps run a local community-supported agriculture program, and can’t believe how fast her daughter is growing up.

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Ro Johnson is a Brooklyn based digital and television news producer, specializing in local public affairs and social justice content. Her work with BRIC Arts Media’s flagship BRIC TV channel received a NY Emmy award in 2018 for school segregation coverage and she’s been recognized with nine nominations in total for her work covering Rikers Island, Covid-19, the 2016 US presidential election and the Child Victims Act.

Prior to her professional media work, Ro was a promotion and marketing executive in the music business working with top selling music acts at Fader Magazine/Cornerstone Agency, Interscope Records and J Records/RCA Music Group under the legendary Clive Davis.

Ro is not only committed to social justice professionally but maintains a high level of activism in her home community of East New York Brooklyn where she resides with her husband and college age son.

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Tamar Ghidalia (she/her) is a Jew of Color of Sephardic (Spanish)
heritage who was born in Tunisia, fled with her family to France, and
subsequently immigrated to Israel and then to the U.S. She has a B.A. in Education and Hebrew Literature from Paris Sorbonne University and a B.A. in Music from the Conservatoire de Paris.

Tamar is an educator and professional musician with 30+ years of
experience in teaching, facilitating, leadership, mentoring, program building, curriculum development and program management. Most recently, she worked for six years as the Executive Director of Urban Arts Academy, a South Minneapolis non-profit serving diverse students and families through art-infused education.

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In 2018, Tamar was honored by congregation Shir Tikvah, Minneapolis, with the Radical Hospitality Award for her work with the Racial Justice Task Force. In 2005, she received the Paul Wellstone Call to Action Award for her work in racial justice.

Tamar completed the 2019- 2020 URJ’s (DEI) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion JewV’Nation Fellowship (she is now an alumni).

Tamar is a leader in the racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) space, working through 3W Consulting, as well as with BI Collaborative, and Edot-The Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity and Racial Justice Collaborative. She has developed partnerships between organizations to collaborate for success.
Tamar’s most recent REDI trainings were for YIPA in MN (Youth Intervention Program Association) and for JPRO New York Network.

She currently is on the RAC (Religious Action Center) Racial Justice Campaign Leadership Team which looks at systemic change at the community, State and Federal levels.

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Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum is the Rabbi of Congregational Learning and Programming at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, MA. She received rabbinic ordination as well as a Master’s of Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Newton, MA and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Rabbi Tiferet formerly served as senior rabbi and education director at congregations in Milwaukee, WI and in Mt. Holly, NJ. She is a 2021 Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize recipient in recognition of her leadership in Jewish education.

Throughout her career, Rabbi Tiferet has had a front seat at the intersection of race, gender and religion, giving her valuable insights into how different groups of people view the world and their role in it. She teaches, “None of us can control what happens in the world, but we each have the power to control how we respond. We need to access our spiritual core and fearlessly acknowledge our dark places, both as individuals and a society, in order to shift what we see going on around us. The shadows serve to remind us that there is also light.”

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