Avram Mandell
Executive Director and Founder
avram@tzedekamerica.org

Avram Mandell is a dynamic educator and respected member of the national Jewish community.

He brings nearly 20 years of experience developing and leading educational programs for Jewish children and teens. Avram aspires to create high-impact immersive programs that engage young adults in Jewish learning in a fun and relevant way and inspire them to incorporate Jewish values in their everyday lives.

Past Experience

Avram served as Director of Education at two major Reform congregations, most recently Leo Baeck Temple, a 600-family congregation in Los Angeles, California from 2004-2014. At Leo Baeck, he was responsible for all congregational learning, including a supplemental religious school, adult education, early childhood education, post-B’nai Mitzvah studies, and national service opportunities. Prior to joining Leo Baeck, he spent three years as Education Director at Temple Beth El, a 1,200-family synagogue in San Antonio, Texas.

Avram also brings youth group and camp experience, and once served as Assistant Director of the Union of Reform Judaism Camp Harlam and the regional advisor to the Pennsylvania High School Youth Group, NFTY-PAR.

Education and Training

Avram holds a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education (MAJE) from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, CA and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Miami University.

Professional Service

Avram served as co-chair of the Los Angeles Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) and was elected to the board of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE) from 2007-2009. He was a 2010 Pellie Technology Fellow and a 2013 PresenTenseLA Fellow. Avram is a frequent speaker on experiential education, Hebrew language acquisition, teen engagement, and technology in the classroom. He is the creator of two popular Hebrew learning apps and an award-winning Jewish radio station.

Avram authored “Carry Over the Feelings and Practices of Passover” (Reform Voices of Torah, April, 2011); “Derech HaLimud – The Way to Study” (The Hebrew Project, July, 2010); and “Funny Man”, Still Small Voice: Reflections on Being A Jewish Man (URJ Press, 2007).

Avram was named the 2016 RHSOE ALUMNI-IN-RESIDENCE Educator for the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

Personal

Avram brings many of his passions to Jewish education, including camping, improvisational comedy, music, and service. He is married to Abby Fifer Mandell, MAEd, Executive Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and is the proud father of two children, Shai and Bo.

Josh Steinberg
Assistant Director of Programming
josh@tzedekamerica.org 

Josh Steinberg is a creative, open-minded and passionate educator who loves learning about the world’s rich array of diverse people and cultures. In the effort of making a tangible positive difference in the world, Josh leverages his professional skills with hs globally-informed perspective to serve as an effective agent of social change in his community.

Past Experience

Josh joins Tzedek America from the public sector where he worked in Governmental Affairs at the Department of Public Health for the State of Illinois. During his time working in government, Josh was responsible for community outreach in Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods, educating constituents on current public health issues, and advocating for joint resolutions at the desk of state senators and representatives.

Prior to his governmental work, he served as a Field Officer on a political campaign and an intern for Indiana’s Senator Richard Lugar and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Josh’s government experience was invaluable and enabled him to transition into the nonprofit sector, as he begins his role as Assistant Director of Programming at Tzedek America.

He is excited to implement his policy knowledge into programmatic and educational experiences for students. With a strong commitment to Jewish continuity, social justice and experiential education, Josh brings his civic conscience and passion for uniting individuals across their differences to Tzedek America’s multi-faceted programs.

Education and Training

Josh graduated from Indiana University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. While at IU, Josh served as the brotherhood committee chair of his fraternity, led an interfaith student group where he exercised his belief in breaking down religious prejudice through education, and served as a leader for IU’s bipartisan Israel advocacy group.

As an alumni of Camp Ramah, both as camper and counselor, Josh understands the importance of cultivating leadership in students and empowering them to be engaged in the Jewish value of pursuing justice. Josh focuses on creating engaging and interactive programming that involves hands-on experience, collaborative discussion and space for personal reflection.

Personal

Josh finds great pleasure in meeting new people, learning about new cultures, speaking Spanish, connecting with the outdoors and attending music concerts of all genres.