A History of Birthright Israel Foundation

In 1999, Birthright Israel was founded on a bold idea: provide the gift of a life-changing trip to Israel to Jewish young adults with the goal of securing—and transforming—the Jewish future. In 2004, Birthright Israel Foundation was created in order to help raise the funds needed to ensure this trip would be available today, tomorrow, and always.

Together, we stand firmly behind our joint mission and vision of offering this educational journey through the Jewish homeland.

Our Approach

Birthright Israel and Birthright Israel Foundation are committed to providing young adults with the gift of connection, community, and a love for the State of Israel. With offices in 11 different cities around the United States, we work to guarantee that the gift of a Birthright Israel trip is available to every Jewish young adult every single year.

Over more than two decades, we have helped raise funds annually in order to send a total of 750,000 young adults and counting on this transformational trip. We believe that we’re not only changing the lives of Jewish young adults, but that we’re also transforming the Jewish future.

Learn More

The Lasting Impact of Birthright Israel

85 %
of alumni feel the trip was a life-changing experience
93 %
more likely to feel very connected to Israel than non-participants
84 %
of alumni are raising their children Jewish
54 %
of participants say it’s important to marry someone Jewish

Note: Statistics via Brandeis University Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Board of Directors

Birthright Israel Foundation’s Board of Directors is composed of diverse and talented people from across the country who are dedicated to building a foundation for a strong and vibrant Jewish future. Our board guides our organization and supports our mission through fundraising, working closely with our partners in Israel, and serving as ambassadors by sharing the life-changing power of the Birthright Israel experience.

Executive Committee

Philip de Toledo
Lori Komisar
Vice Chair
Douglas M. Ross
Vice Chair
Lawrence J. Cohen
Mark Charendoff
Thomas D. Stern

Board Members

Sara Aronson
Laurie Blitzer
Robert A. Clarfeld
David Engel
Shawn Evenhaim
Rachel Cohen Gerrol
Judy Goodman
Joel Greenberg
Marjorie Honickman
John Hoover
Harry Krakowski
Judith A. Levy
Marlene Post
Michael Rashes
J. Philip Rosen
Avery Rosin
David Shapira
Wendy Gould Shenfeld
Barry Swidler
Jane F. Wilf

Honorary Board Members

Madlyn Abramson z” l
Dr. Miriam Adelson
Sheldon G. Adelson z” l
Charles R. Bronfman
Edgar M. Bronfman z” l
Susie Gelman
Chair Emeritus
Michael A. Leven
Joshua Nash
Chair Emeritus
Daniel S. Och
Chair Emeritus
Lynn Schusterman
Jane F. Sherman
Michael H. Steinhardt

Staff Leadership

Israel ("Izzy") Tapoohi
President & CEO
Jessica Feldan
Chief Development Officer
S. David Shapiro
Chief Financial Officer

Directors Emeriti

Stephen M. Siderow
Former Executive Officer

Regional Cabinets & Ambassador Councils

Birthright Israel Foundation has established Regional Cabinets & Ambassador Councils as two ways in which local lay leaders can further strengthen the Foundation’s mission of ensuring that every eligible young Jewish adult is given the opportunity to visit Israel. Cabinet and Ambassador Council members are focused on fundraising efforts including solicitations, prospecting and introductions in their communities. Members also receive Birthright Israel Foundation updates regarding trips, as well as national and local activities. Interested in getting involved? Get in touch with us today!

Atlanta Cabinet

Barak Cohen
Carol Cooper
Ron Eichel
Lisa Greenberg
Michael Leven
Michelle Leven
Bernie Marcus
Honorary Chair
Harry Maziar
Sara Meyers
Stuart Meyers
Beth Paradies
Jerry Rosenberg
Douglas M. Ross
National Cabinet Chair
Fred Shaftman
Irwin Siegel
Michelle Simon
Michelle Tillem

Atlanta Ambassador Council

Eliot Arnovitz
Arden Frank
Sherry Frank
Nancy Galanti
Adrian Grant
Barry Hyman
Michael Jacobson
Jonathan Leven
Shawn Leven
Larry Miller
Karen Much
Matthew Oppenheimer
Lynn Oves
Eyal Postelnik
Aviva Postelnik
Marc Salzberg
Cathy Selig Kuranoff
Garry Sobel
Jesse Wellner

Boca Raton Cabinet

Rosalyn August
Meryl Gallatin
Laurence Goldfarb
Lynne Halpern
Michael Leven
Andrea Leven
Ed Levine
Tamara Morgenstern
David Pratt
Rhonda Small
Barry Swidler
Deborah Swidler
Etta Zimmerman

Long Island Cabinet

Michelle Berger
Barbara Cooper
Steven Cooper
Clifford Goldman
Jonathon Held
Susan Held
Arlene Horowitz
David Horowitz
Mindy Horowitz
Amy Jaffee
Scott Jaffee
Michael Lax
Jahn Levin
Sabrina Levin
Patricia Loeb
Alonna Ostad
Michael Ostad
David Pelton
Morty Schaja
Rebecca Schaja
Susie Schulman
Wendy Shenfeld
Scott Smith
David Sterling
Barry Swidler
Chair Emeritus
Frank Zuckerbrot

Los Angeles Cabinet

Kimberly Brooks
Philip de Toledo
Josh Diamond
Rick Entin
Shawn Evenhaim
Daniel Feiner
Steven Fishman
Jodie Fishman
Andrew Hauptman
Michael Koss
Cary Meadow
Simon Mendelson
Michael Messinger
Avery Rosin
Michael Scott
Toby Waldorf

Los Angeles Ambassador Council

Nancy Beiser
Scott Beiser
Donna Bender
Betsy Berger
Arthur Bilger
Dahlia Bilger
Alexander Block
Melissa Block
William Comanor
Helgard Field
Irwin Field
Corie Koss
Gary Lazar
Aaron Leff
Rochelle Levy
Robert Meth
Zev Opos
Arline Pepp
Buddy Pepp
Kamyar Shabani

Miami Ambassador Council

Beth Adler
Leslie Adler
Evelyn Dreszer Behar
Joe Victor Behar
Robert Berrin
Fredric Garvett
Nancy Luria Cohen
Barbara Menachem Furman
Judith Rohatiner
Stuart Rohatiner
Elena Salomon
Sheree Savar
David Schaecter
Sydney Schaecter
Linda Schechter
Howard Socol
Sharon Socol

Midwest Ambassador Council

Joni Cohen
Tom Fellman
Joseph Frank
Lori Komisar
Irwin Levin
Andrew Lucas
Jason Peltz
Patti Schear
Robert Schuckit
Marc Schwartz
Louri Sullivan

New England Ambassador Council

Sara Aronson
Sara Bernstein
Gregg Darish
Mark Friedman
Dan Guttell
Roberta Menzin
Yoni Philosophe
Suzanne Priebatsch
Jill Roberts
Sharon Shane
Anne Sternlicht
Deborah Swidler

Northwest Ambassador Council

Rabbi Ryan Bauer
Shelley Bensussen
Alex Bernstein
Danny Bernstein
Bobbi Chamberlin
Roselyne Chroman Swig
Amy Friedkin
Alexander Fromm Lurie
Nancy Grand
Lily Kanter
Hilary Karlinsky
Stewart Karlinsky
Alex Lin-Goldsmith
Rabbi Brian Lurie
Jessica Minkoff
Sheryl Reuben
David Saxe
Scott Seligman
Jennifer Smorgon
Alayne Sulkin
Howard Zack
Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Palm Beach Cabinet

Sara Aronson
Richard Baer
Sandy Baklor
Jill Bernstein
David Brodsky
Amy Dalton
Nathaniel Dalton
Harold Danenberg
Stephen Dephoure
Chris Goldberg
Ray Golden
Linda Golden
Gayle Gross
Bowie Jacobson
Brahm Levine
Judith Levy
Erna Liebovich
Sam Liebovich
Michael Margolis
Ronnie Pertnoy

Philadelphia Ambassador Council

Alix Ablaza
Edward Baumstein
Connie Berg
Bryna Berman
Sharyn Berman
Miriam Feldman
Judy Felgoise
Harvey Goldberg
Jeff Green
Jodi Greenblatt
Marjorie Honickman
Susanna Lachs Adler
Gail Norry
Jaclyn Platt
Susan Raynor
Beth Reisboard
Susan Schwartz
Wendy Singer
Sarah Solomon
Joy Stember
Donna Sternberg
Nancy Wolfson
Andrew Yaffe

Southwest Ambassador Council

David Barish
Allen Bodzy
Leonard Friedman
Evan Gremont
Stuart Prescott
Carol Silverberg

Tri-State Cabinet

Jon Drucker
Joe Feshbach
Amy Jaffee
Mark Jurish
Howard Kivell
Isidore Mayrock
Susan Ratner
Sharon Shane
Nick Zerbib

Donate Now

Without your donations to Birthright Israel Foundation, this gift isn’t possible. Secure the Jewish future today by investing in this transformational trip for Jewish young adults.

Help Fill A Bus Today! Your Gift Will Be Tripled! Help Fill A Bus Today! Your Gift Will Be Tripled!