Nic AberyCity Consultant
Ethel BarylkaCity Consultant
Melissa Eidelheit-CukiermanChief Operating Officer
Ilana MannEducational Consultant
Nechama RaykoOperations Manager
Rafael SaitChief Financial Officer
Dr. Alex SinclairChief Content Officer
Joshua SpinnerVice Chair
Nic Abery is a City 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.
Ethel Barylka is a City Consultant.
Ethel received a B.A. in Hebrew Literature and General Philosophy and an M.A. in Contemporary Judaism from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ethel is also a graduate of the Toanot Rabaniyot (Rabbinical Court Advocate), a project of Ohr Torah Stone.
Ethel has extensive experience in both formal and informal education and advising directors and community leaders. In addition, Ethel has been involved in training teachers, developing curricula and community educational programs. Ethel spent four years as the Director of Jewish Studies in the Ibn Gabirol School in Madrid, Spain, and has worked in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
She has published many articles on Jewish Education and on Gender and Judaism. Her last book Judaísmo en Femenino” (Judaism in Feminine) was published in 2018 in Spain.
Ethel lives in Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem, with her husband and son.
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.
Ilana Mann is an Educational Consultant.
Ilana graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Psychology and earned a dual M.S. in General Education and Special Education from Hunter College. She received certifications in numerous sub-specialty areas including second language instruction and numerous special education instructional techniques. She is now completing her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Yeshiva University.
Ilana has worked extensively in education in grades 1-12 as a teacher, a learning specialist, a mentor and a school leader both in the United States and in Israel. Before making Aliyah, she also served as an adjunct professor for students earning their B.A./M.A. in Special Education. Along with Ilana’s roles in formal education, she has been creating and running informal educational programming for over two decades.
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
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.