Our Team

Nic Abery

Nic Abery

Educational Consultant

Nic Abery is an Educational Consultant.

Having graduated with B’Ed hons Cantab and a diploma in Museum Studies from the Leicester University, Nic has spent the past 20 years working in Jewish and Arts Education with schools and communities in England, USA, Europe and Israel. Her particular specialist approach to integrated education has been used internationally, and she curated the Israel70 Building Artistic Connections.

Nic lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Alex Bailey

Dr. Alex Bailey

Educational Consultant

Dr. Alex Bailey is an Educational Consultant.

Alex is a licensed clinical and school psychologist, with a doctorate from Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in New York.

He has spent 20 years working in Jewish day schools across the denominational spectrum, in addition to providing private psychotherapy to teenagers, young adults, couples, and families. Most recently, Alex was Assistant Principal at the Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked with teachers, administrators, students, parents and lay leaders to effect cultural change through school programming, teacher training, student interaction, and parent education. Alex specializes in the areas of communication and systems psychology, and he uses his expertise in those areas to inform how he approaches his work with schools, families, communities and individual patients.

A recent emigre to Israel along with his family, Alex currently provides coaching to administrators and teachers and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Carolyn Bogush

Carolyn Bogush

Facilitator

Carolyn Bogush is a Facilitator.

Carolyn graduated with a Psychology degree and then completed a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology at Manchester University. She is a Chartered Organizational Psychologist, with 25 years of experience.

Carolyn has experience working with leaders and individuals both one-on-one and facilitating groups to support their development and growth. Her expertise lies in the field of management and leadership development, change management and personal development. Beyond her professional work, Carolyn is actively involved in communal activities, where she was the global Chair of Limmud between 2009 – 2012 and is now a trustee for the Union of Jewish Students and for World Jewish Relief. She continues to mentor and advise volunteers within Limmud and is the President of her synagogue in the UK.

Carolyn lives in London with her husband and three children.

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Educational Consultant

Michael Cohen is an Educational Consultant.

Michael graduated from the Moreshet Yaakov Religious College of Education in Israel and received his M.A. in Education at the University of Hertfordshire.

Michael has extensive experience in teacher training, curriculum development and community engagement. He has held educational leadership posts in Jewish schools in the London area for over 17 years and spent three years in Hong Kong as Director of Judaic Studies at Carmel School Association. In Israel, he coordinated and taught Jewish culture to immigrant teachers from the former USSR.

Michael coaches leaders in education through the change management process. He lives near London, UK, with his wife and two daughters.

Esther Colman

Esther Colman

Educational Consultant

Esther Colman is an Educational Consultant.

Esther holds an M.A. in Jewish Education, is a qualified Pikuach inspector and a Lookstein fellow, having completed the Bar Ilan Lookstein Leadership Programme.

Esther has been involved in Jewish Education for the last 40 years, since arriving in England from her home town Antwerp in Belgium, both as a teacher of Jewish Studies in a wide range of schools – from the Early Years to Secondary school – and as a Head of Jewish Studies and Deputy Head for 14 years.

Since entering consultancy in 2006, Esther has worked closely with senior leaders and Heads of Jewish Studies to achieve excellence in their schools focusing on professional development for all staff, curriculum development and monitoring as well as teacher training. Esther lectures on the B.A., M.A. and Teacher Training Program at the London School of Jewish Studies and is the Primary Jewish Studies Advisor for PaJes, where she supports teachers in delivering outstanding Jewish Studies lessons.

Esther lives in London with her husband but travels among Manchester, the United States and Israel to spend time with her five children and her many grandchildren.

Melissa Eidelheit-Cukierman

Melissa Eidelheit-Cukierman

Chief Program Officer and Team Leader

Melissa Eidelheit-Cukierman is the Chief Program Officer and the Team 1 Leader.

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.

Joanne Greenaway

Joanne Greenaway

Facilitator

Joanne Greenaway is a Facilitator.

Joanne studied languages (Spanish, French and Italian) at Cambridge University followed by postgraduate legal studies.

Joanne is the Chief Executive of the London School of Jewish Studies, which provides teacher training for Jewish community schools, Jewish education degrees for educators in the UK and overseas and adult education courses, events and digital content. Prior to this she was the Get Case Director at the London Beth Din, enabling parties to secure a Jewish divorce, mediating between parties and seeking new strategies to deal with difficult cases of Get refusal. She spent 12 years at Herbert Smith Freehills in the City of London specialising in international dispute resolution. She holds a number of communal board positions and regularly teaches across the community.

Joanne is married to Daniel, and they have four children.

Hadassa Halpern

Hadassa Halpern

Program Officer and Facilitator

Hadassa Halpern is the Phase Two Program Officer and a Facilitator.

Hadassa holds a degree in Psychology and counseling and is a qualified teacher. She is the director Eishet Chayil, a leading professional development and support network to empower Rebbetzins and women in leadership positions in Central and Western Europe.

Since 2010, Hadassa has lived in Berlin, Germany with her husband and children.

Rivky Krestt

Rivky Krestt

Facilitator

Rivky Krestt is a Facilitator.

Rivky graduated with honors from Yeshiva University with a B.A. in Judaic Studies and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Theory and Development from The University of Maryland.

Rivky has been working in Jewish education and educational technology for close to 20 years and has held department chair positions in Jewish studies at day schools and community schools in the United States. In addition to being a master teacher, she has worked as a department chair, teacher mentor, curriculum writer, and educational technologist. She currently teaches online for Lookstein Virtual and also serves as the Director of Education in a Jewish overnight camp during the summers.

Rivky lives in Efrat, Israel with her husband and three children.

Isaac Mashiah

Isaac Mashiah

Assistant CFO

Isaac Mashiah is the Assistant CFO.

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

Nechama Rayko

Program Administrator

Nechama Rayko is the Program Administrator.

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 five 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

Rafael Sait

Chief Financial Officer

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

Dr. Alex Sinclair

Lead Educational Consultant and Team Leader

Dr. Alex Sinclair is the Lead Educational Consultant and the Team 2 Leader.

Alex grew up in London, England, and received an M.A. (Oxon) in Hebrew Studies from Balliol College Oxford and a Ph.D. in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Alex has been a full time or adjunct member of faculty at the Davidson School of Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary since 2002, and is also a Tanakh Education 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.

Joshua Spinner

Joshua Spinner

Executive Vice Chair

Josh Spinner is Executive 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.