Education Coordinator, Department of Youth and Young Adult Services for United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
New York, NY
Amy Dorsch currently works in the Department of Youth and Young Adult Services (USY and Kadima) for United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Amy has background in camp, JCC, congregational and day school experiences. Before moving to New York to pursue a graduate degree in Jewish education at the Davidson School, Amy worked for Hillel of Greater Toronto as the Program and Engagement coordinator. Amy's passion lies in creating impactful, meaningful Jewish experiences, forging personal connections to Jewish tradition and fostering sacred community among participants. She specializes in active learning techniques and creative pathways to Jewish prayer and mitzvot - encouraging learners to experience "joyful Judaism" they can carry with them along their Jewish journeys.
Rabbi Paula Mack-Drill
Rabbi, Orangetown Jewish Center
Orangetown, New York
Rabbi Paula Mack Drill grew up in the close-knit Jewish community of Portland, Maine, and graduated with honors from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she developed a broad world-view and a passion for learning. In 1987 she completed a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University as well as a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Drill's social work experience includes eleven years at the Daughters of Israel Geriatric Center and at the Solomon Schechter School of Essex and Union in New Jersey. During seven summers, she served as Assistant Director at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, NY.
As a rabbi, she still views the world through the eyes of a social worker, but she loves the fact that she can now add what she calls "the God piece" to her interactions with people. She loves to teach and to counsel, and endeavors to be open to the wisdom of others. Her passion is to connect each person, in his or her own way, to essential Jewish values, to seek solutions by working together to repair the world, to strive toward holiness, to commit to community, Israel, and to God.
Amy Skopp Cooper
Assistant Director, National Ramah Commission
Director, Ramah Day Camp in Nyack
New York, New York
As Assistant Director of the National Ramah Commission, Amy Skopp Cooper lends her vision to Ramah's entire network of eight overnight camps, three day camps, and camping programs in Israel. Deeply committed to nurturing the next generation of Jewish leaders, Amy spends much of her time creating and running staff leadership development initiatives in North America and Israel and around the world. Concurrently, Amy serves as Director of Camp Ramah Nyack, a position she has held since 1997. Under her leadership, Ramah Nyack has seen a significant increase in campers from across the spectrum of Jewish life. In addition to managing the day camp program for children, Amy oversees a rich and varied program of learning and social action for hundreds of young adults on staff, whom she nurtures, educates, and builds into a community of Jewish leaders. Under her direction, the camp has become a national model for Jewish leadership development.
Prior to coming to Ramah, Amy was Director of Education at Congregation B'nai Israel in Millburn, New Jersey and Assistant Director of the high school division at Hebrew College in Boston. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Director of Congregational Learning
Temple Israel Center
White Plains, New York
Nancy Parkes is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), earning her M.A. degree in Jewish Studies and Education in the William Davidson School of Education. She has been involved in Jewish education since 2000, as both a student and teacher.
Nancy joined Temple Israel Center in 2007, served as the Director of Education from 2009 to 2011 and assumed the new role of Director of Congregational Learning in 2012. She has initiated many programs at Temple Israel Center, including pilot programs in grades K-3, and a new bold model in Havurat Torah, Temple Israel Center's high school. Nancy is one of the teachers in Havurat Torah along with other members of the professional staff and clergy.
Nancy is a member of the Board of the Trustees for the William Davidson School of Education of JTS and is a committee member of the Consortium for the Future of the Jewish Family. In 2001, Nancy combined her passion for Israel and her love for tennis when she represented the United States and competed in the Maccabiah Games in Israel bringing home three medals.
Gila Hadani Ward
Director of Lifelong Learning
Temple Beth Sholom
Roslyn, New York
Gila is a graduate of the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida College of Law.
In 1992, Gila left her practice of law to join the staff of United Synagogue Youth as Regional Director for the Connecticut Valley Region. In 1994, she joined the Executive Staff of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's Department of Youth Activities in New York. In her position as the Assistant Director of the Youth Department, Gila served five years as the Director of the USY on Wheels Program and served 9 years as the Director of USY's Annual International Convention, a conference of over 1400 teenagers and staff held each December.
Gila joined the Temple Beth Sholom family in 2000 when she began to teach in the Machon Beth Sholom Hebrew High School. In 2006, Gila became the Director of Lifelong Learning at Beth Sholom, shepherding all of the Jewish learning that occurs at TBS from the Mommy and Me classes for infants to its most senior adults. She is a graduate of the Principals' Leadership Institute sponsored by the Suffolk Agency for Jewish Educational Services (SAJES) and the Leadership Institute for Congregational Principals, a joint project of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College and funded by UJA Federation of NY.