Melissa Eidelheit-Cukierman is the Chief Operating Officer.
Melissa received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Cornell University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was Executive Editor of the New York University Law Review.
Melissa has over 10 years of experience as a corporate attorney in New York and Tokyo. Her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances in various industries including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, media and computers. She also spent eight years as a Docent at Humboldt University of Berlin in the Faculty of Law.
Melissa lives in Berlin, Germany.
Nathan Kaplan is a startup entrepreneur and accomplished management consultant with a decade of global experience at McKinsey. An inspired teacher and avid learner, Nathan is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world and is passionate about sharing knowledge on Jewish traditions and business ethics. He has studied at the London School of Economics and the Heidelberg University School of Jewish Studies, where he received his Ph.D. in Talmudic Management Ethics. Nathan learned in yeshiva in New York City and Jerusalem and founded Germany’s first Jewish subscription box startup.
Isaac Mashiah is the Comptroller.
Isaac received his higher education from Brooklyn College. He completed his academics with an undergraduate accounting degree, graduating with honors at the top of his class.
He brings a collection of entrepreneurial and financial organization skills to his position with EFI. His professional experience includes owning and operating a toy importing business for several years, and ensuring data accuracy for high-transaction non-profit organizations.
Isaac lives in the hills of Beit Shemesh, Israel with his wife and children.
Nechama Rayko is the Operations Manager.
Nechama studied Hotel Administration and Tourist Management at Moscow University.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Nechama has also lived in Israel and Germany. She worked as a counselor and event manager for multiple Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Agency, Am Echad/Lauder Yeshurun, and ZWST.
For the last seven years, she has served as a board member of Kahal Adass Jisroel, a young modern Orthodox community in Berlin, Germany, where she lives with her three children.
Rafael Sait is the Chief Financial Officer.
Rafael has been involved in the world of Jewish philanthropy for 15 years. As the Israel Trips Director for Olami, he oversaw grants to thousands of college students looking to learn more about their heritage and partnerships with the Governments of Israel and beyond.
After being raised and educated in New York, Rafael, his wife Pearly, and their five children have lived in Israel since 2001.
Dr. Alex Sinclair is the Chief Content Officer.
Alex grew up in London, England, and received an M.A., (Oxon) in Hebrew Studies from Balliol College, University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Alex was a member of faculty at the Davidson School of Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary between 2002 and 2019, and remains a Consultant for JTS’s Legacy Heritage Instructional Leadership Institute, in which role he has coached instructional leaders in Jewish Day Schools throughout North America. He has taught or run programs for the Hartman Institute, the Schechter Institute, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hebrew Union College, and the Jewish Agency. He has published many academic articles on Jewish education and his book, “Loving the Real Israel: An Educational Agenda for Liberal Zionism”, was published in 2013.
Alex lives in Modiin, Israel with his wife and three children.
Josh Spinner is Vice Chair of EFI and Executive Vice President and CEO of The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation.
Born in the United States, Josh has also lived in Canada, Israel, Belarus, and Germany. He founded Lauder Yeshurun, a leading provider of Jewish education and outreach in Germany today, and led the reestablishment of the legendary pre-war “Hildesheimers” Rabbinical Seminary of Berlin.
Today, Josh is active in the fields of collaborative philanthropy, strategic thinking for Jewish communities and schools, and security for Jewish educational institutions in Europe. Josh is an ordained Rabbi and lives in Berlin, Germany, with his wife, Joelle, and three daughters.
International philanthropist, diplomat, public servant, entrepreneur, investor and patron of the arts, Ronald S. Lauder is deeply committed to his Jewish heritage.
In 1983, Mr. Lauder served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs, and in 1986 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Austria by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1987, he established The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which now has 20 Jewish schools, kindergartens and summer camps throughout 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Over 4,200 children attend these schools today, and 2,500 children attend the summer camps. Over the years, the Foundation has educated more than 50,000 children in a region that was devoid of Jewish scholarship and has helped build thriving Jewish communities throughout this area. Mr. Lauder also created an International Student Exchange Program between Jewish high school students in New York and Vienna.
Encouraged by the success of the Foundation, and passionate about the power of Jewish day schools, The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, together with five other Jewish foundations and organizations and in partnership with the Government of Israel, established a new charitable entity. Educating for Impact (EFI), of which Mr. Lauder serves as Honorary President, works with 20 Jewish communities across Europe. EFI inspires thousands of Jewish children and their families to become active, engaged members of both their local and their global Jewish community.
In February of 1999, Mr. Lauder was elected Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. His selection by the Conference followed his election in 1997 as President of the Jewish National Fund, of which he now serves as Chairman-Emeritus. Through his work with JNF-KKL, Mr. Lauder established the Lauder Employment Center in the old city of Beersheba. He also serves as Chairman of the Friends of Auschwitz Birkenau Foundation as well as being a member of the International Auschwitz Council.
In June 2007, Mr. Lauder was elected to lead the World Jewish Congress and has served as the organization’s President ever since. In this capacity, Mr. Lauder meets with heads of countries, diplomats and religious leaders, representing Jewish communities in 100 countries around the world. Mr. Lauder’s name is synonymous with flourishing Jewish life across the globe.
The son of the late Estée and Joseph Lauder, founders of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Mr. Lauder was born on February 26, 1944. He holds a B.A. in International Business from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Paris and received a Certificate in International Business from the University of Brussels. Mr. Lauder is married to Jo Carole Knopf.
Professor David Latchman is Master (CEO) and Professor of Genetics at Birkbeck University of London, a post he has held since 2003.
Prior to this he was Dean of the Institute of Child Health at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He is Chairman and Trustee of the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation, Trustee of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation and a member of the Protector Committee of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation. He is also a Board member of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Centre (JDC). He founded a company BioVex Ltd which was ultimately sold to Amgen Ltd. Its anti-cancer virus therapy has received FDA approval for marketing and is used to treat melanoma patients in the USA. Professor Latchman holds BA, MA and PhD degrees from Cambridge University and was awarded a DSc by London University. He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday’s Honours of 2010 for services to Higher Education.