Rabbi Jason Gitlin, ReFrame Project Manager
Rabbi Jason Gitlin recently served as Congregational Engagement Associate at Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn, where he co-founded and taught at the Open Beit Midrash and developed an experiential learning program for families called Kane Street Comes Home.
Before his ordination from JTS, Jason worked at UJA-Federation of New York in communications, interfaith affairs and as director of interactive services; and was a fellow in the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. Jason began his career in journalism, working as a reporter and editor for the New Jersey Jewish News and CBS New York and a contributor to Ha’aretz and other publications.
During his studies at JTS, he held rabbinic internships at the Educational Alliance and Jewish Council for Public Affairs, completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Beth Israel Medical Center, and taught at Ramah Nyack. Jason received an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University, a BA in journalism from the University of Colorado, and was a fellow at the Conservative Yeshiva and Yeshivat Hadar. He lives in Brooklyn and leads Kane Street Synagogue’s mini-minyan with his wife Laureve and young daughter Rose.
Dr. Lasker served for 10 years as camp director of Camp Ramah in California, a career that was preceded by many summers as a counselor, head of singing, and unit head. He has mentored graduate students as an instructor in the Fingerhut School of Education at the American Jewish University, and taught students in both day and supplemental settings. Prior to his pursuits as an educator, Dr. Lasker worked in nonprofit marketing at Gary Wexler + Associates: Passion Marketing.
Dr. Lasker earned his doctorate in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds an MA in Education from the American Jewish University and a BA in Sociology and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. He has published articles in eJewish Philanthropy; in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and San Diego Jewish Journal; and in the book Ramah at 60. In 2005, he and his family were honored by Adat Ari El in Valley Village, California, for their synagogue leadership.
Cheryl Magen, Educator & Site Coordinator
Cheryl provides training to congregational educators and their broader communities on experiential approaches to learning, arranges for guest trainers and educators, and works in collaboration with JTS faculty to define the experiential interests and research plans of ReFrame communities.
Cheryl serves as faculty and educator at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS since 2003. She works with the Experiential Learning Initiative, as the liaison to the National Ramah Commission, advises the Ivry Prozdor program and supports graduating students and alumni with career coaching. She recently served as the founding Program Director for the M.S. degree program in Camp Administration and Leadership at Touro University Nevada. Previously, Cheryl served as the director of Camp Ramah in the Poconos for 19 years, where in addition to running the overnight camp she created a day camp, a program for the Deaf, a Family Camp and Adult Camp. She consults to not-for-profit organizations on leadership, board development and mentors education and management professionals.
Cheryl is the author of Siddur Lev Yisrael, now in its second printing as well as various educational materials for The Gene Ezersky Safety College, USCJ, JOI, The FJC and STAR. Cheryl served as the president of the Keystone Regional section of the American Camping Association from 2008 – 2012 and is a past member of the ACA’s National Board Development Committee as well as a recipient of the Elenor Eels Award for Excellence in Programming. She is an avid reader, spoon collector and loves the Hebrew language, theater, and travel. Cheryl holds a B.A. From Columbia University in English Literature, a B.H.L. from JTS in Bible and Education and an M.A. in Education and Behavioral Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
Jane provides training to congregational educators and their broader communities on experiential approaches to learning, arranges for guest trainers and educators, and works in collaboration with JTS faculty to define the experiential interests and research plans of ReFrame communities.
Jane Sherwin Shapiro is a Jewish teacher and founder of Jane Shapiro Associates, (www.janeshapiroassociates.com) a consulting firm with a specialization in adult Jewish education. She served as the Associate Director of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and has taught adults in Chicago, throughout North America and Israel. Her students have included community leaders, philanthropists, emerging adults, camp staff, parents and other Jewish professionals.
She worked for many years as an educator and mentor at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She is the lead educator for the Mitzvah Initiative sponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary and works closely with JTS on other educational projects through the Melton Center. She studied at Princeton University and Columbia University and is currently working on a doctorate in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is committed to lifelong learning and helping people find the wisdom they need to do their work in the world through teaching, curriculum development, coaching and mentoring.
Jane’s other love is her family; husband David, four sons, two daughters-in-law, and an amazing grandson.
Dr. Kress provides instruction and guidance to ReFrame communities on the topic of evaluating the work they are doing in Reframe. Site-specific consultation will support site leaders and ReFrame staff in their efforts to set measurable objectives, develop and implement strategies to assess these, and understand the findings.
Jeffrey is associate professor and area coordinator of Jewish Education, and academic director of the Experiential Learning Initiative at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary. His interests include developmental issues in Jewish education; program implementation; and the varied social, emotional, and spiritual elements of Jewish educational contexts. He is the author of Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools and editor of Growing Jewish Minds, Growing Jewish Hearts: Promoting Spiritual, Social, and Emotional Growth in Jewish Education. Dr. Kress has also served as the chair of the Network for Research in Jewish Education. Dr. Kress received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University.
Dr. Tauber will document and evaluate the relationship between the ReFrame cohort experience and its broad impact on experiential Jewish education. By creating a narrative “portrait of the process,” she will synthesize and analyze qualitative data – collected through interviews, surveys, field notes, etc. — and present her findings in stages.
Sarah is assistant professor at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. She has taught in a variety of secondary school settings in the Jewish and general educational world, both in the United States and in Europe, and was the education director of Congregation Beit GIL in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Tauber ‘s dissertation explored the role of the congregational rabbi as a teacher of adults, and she looks forward to integrating this research with her practical experience in the field of Jewish education. She is also the book review editor of the Journal of Jewish Education. Sarah graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in History, University of California at Berkeley with a secondary school teaching certification in English, and JTS with an EdD in Jewish Education.
Dr. Katz instructs educators from ReFrame communities on making self-awareness a professional competency to be applied individually and to their educational frameworks, through reflective practice. This process is explored by helping participants become more aware of themselves as educators and how organizational change and growth occurs, and necessarily includes, individual and collaborative components.
Meredith Katz is the Senior Research Scholar of Jewish Education in The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She teaches courses in Pedagogical Skills, Curriculum, and Staff Development and Supervision, and works extensively with The Davidson School’s distance learning students in the MA and Executive Doctoral programs.
Dr. Katz completed her EdD in 2010 at Teachers College. She holds an undergraduate degree in History, with honors in Education, from Stanford University, as well as an MA in modern European history from Columbia University. Dr. Katz has considerable teaching and administrative experience in both day school and congregational school settings. She draws extensively on these experiences in her work with JTS students as they explore together the intersections of theory and practice.
Laura Herman, Research Assistant
A Davidson School of Education doctoral candidate, Laura supports the research and programming evaluation of sites by assisting congregations and Davidson faculty in the collecting, organizing and analyzing of data.