Joel Berg | CEO, Hunger Free America
A nationally recognized leader and media spokesman in the fields of domestic hunger, food security, obesity, poverty, food-related economic development, national service and volunteerism, Joel Berg is CEO of Hunger Free America, formerly known as the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Since 2001, Joel has grown the nonprofit into a multi-million-dollar national champion for Americans struggling to obtain nutritious food. He is the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? and America We Need to Talk: A Self Help Book for the Nation.
Yuvi Tashome-Katz | Co-founder, Friends by Nature
Ethiopian-Israeli activist Yuvi Tashome-Katz currently works as an instructor at the Mandel Leadership Institute, a school teacher of Organic Community Farming and as an independent consultant. In 2005, Yuvi and a group of friends founded the Israeli NGO Friends by Nature – Community Empowerment, a group of families and young adults with common societal and educational goals who chose to live in Gedera’s neglected Shapira neighborhood, taking responsibility for the community.
Gidi Kroch | CEO, Leket Israel
Since 2009 Gidi Kroch has been leading Leket Israel, the country’s only food rescue organization. Today, Leket Israel operates a wide variety of projects for the rescue of surplus food to benefit 175,000+ people across Israel on a weekly basis. Prior to being nominated as Leket Israel’s CEO, Kroch served as assistant director general of “Table to Table,” expanding the organization’s food rescue efforts and developing a new management model to increase efficiency.
Eran Weintrob | Executive Director, Latet
Social entrepreneur and lawyer, Eran Weintrob supervises Latet’s complex national fundraising campaigns and nurtures partnerships with the largest companies in Israel, fighting for the eradication of poverty and developing solutions to tackle food insecurity. The leading umbrella organization & national food bank, Latet’s volume has grown from NIS 9 to 100 million under Eran’s management and their network of partner NGOs has increased from 30 to 180.
Moderator: Glenn Bergman | Executive Director, Philabundance
Glenn Bergman is the Executive Director of Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization. Since joining Philabundance in 2015, Glenn has worked to highlight the food bank’s role in food recovery and to expand the job training program at Philabundance Community Kitchen. Prior to Philabundance, he was the General Manager of the Weavers Way Co-Operative Market.
Organizing your Congregation for Action
Merav Cohen | Manager, Seal of Sustainability, Hazon
Merav Cohen manages the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program, supporting organizations and congregations in their efforts to adopt more sustainable practices. Holding an LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University, Merav has previously worked with an EU aid program to help the Chinese government improve its environmental governance, and practiced corporate law at a leading Israeli law firm.
Rev. Laura Colee | Head Pastor, Broad Street Ministry
Rev. Laura Colee serves as the Head Pastor at Broad Street Ministry in Center City, Philadelphia. She completed her undergraduate work at Northwestern University and received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to her position at Broad Street Ministry, she served as the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Rabbi Eli Freedman | Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Shalom
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, Eli Freedman was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2010. Rabbi Freedman’s major areas of work at Rodeph Shalom are the RiSe Up! (Social Justice) Initiative, Families with Young Children, and the Young Friends group. He also is engaged in all other rabbinic duties, including life cycle events, leading services, preaching, counseling and adult education.
Rabbi Andrea (Andi) Merow | Rabbi, Beth Sholom Congregation and The Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbi Andi Merow serves as a Rabbi at Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park. She founded a food pantry 21 years ago in Philadelphia, which is now part of Beth Sholom and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Program. Rabbi Merow also serves on the Social Action and Executive Committees of the International Rabbinical Assembly.
Moderator: Rabbi Kevin Kleinman | Rabbi, Mainline Reform
Main Line Reform Temple’s Associate Rabbi and Director of Education, Rabbi Kevin M. Kleinman was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and previously served as the Associate Rabbi for Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. Rabbi Kleinman is also a featured author in numerous Reform Movement online and print publications, including “Seven Days, Many Voices” and “The Sacred Table.”
Grocers with Environmental and Social Impact
Jeff Brown | President & CEO, Brown's Super Stores
Jeffrey Brown is Founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc., a thirteen-store supermarket chain trading under both the ShopRite and Fresh Grocer banners. Jeffrey is Chairman of both the State of Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board and the Philadelphia Youth Network, as well as Founder and Chairman of Uplift Solutions. In recognition of his work in solving the “food desert” crisis, he had the honor of attending President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Danielle Vogel | Founder, Glen's Garden Market
Danielle Vogel, the creator of Glen’s Garden Market, comes from four generations of grocers. Before founding Glen’s, Danielle worked in government for ten years. When the effort to pass comprehensive climate legislation failed, she dedicated herself to finding a new (more incremental) way to address global warming. And thus evolved the idea for Glen’s Garden Market, focusing on food sourced from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In its first five years, Glen’s launched over 80 sustainability-minded food small businesses, of which 49 are woman-owned.
Moderator: Amy Zitelman | Vice President of Business Development and Co-founder, Soom Foods
Amy Zitelman is the youngest of the Soom Sisters. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors in Communication. Following graduation, Amy taught English in Israel before committing full-time to Soom Foods. She is responsible for managing client and customer relationships, and the sales cycle and process. Amy has been named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2018 List for the Food and Drink category.
Moderator: Shelby Zitelman | CEO and Co-Founder, Soom Foods
Shelby Zitelman is the oldest of the Soom Sisters. Inspired by her entrepreneurial family, Shelby graduated from the Wharton School with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Management. She is responsible for developing Soom’s strategy, managing the finances and accounting, managing the team and overseeing contractor relationships.
Reinventing the Food Pantry
Sabina Dopiro | Northeast Site Manager, Mitzvah Food Program, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
With 18+ years of nonprofit experience working with domestic violence victims, juvenile delinquents, older adults and individuals with developmental disabilities, Sabina Dopiro serves as Site Manager for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Program: Northeast. Originally from Former Soviet Union (Latvia), Sabina is fluent in both Russian and Latvian. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Forensic Psychology and a Master of Education in Special Ed.
Tanya Thampi-Sen | Community Nutrition Program Manager, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
As Community Nutrition Program Manager for the Coalition Against Hunger, Tanya Thampi-Sen, MPH, RD coordinates surveys of the local emergency food system and advises local food pantries and soup kitchens on providing healthier food to their clients. In 2013, Tanya led the Coalition’s effort to create a new model for food pantries in Philadelphia, called Green Light Pantries, providing only highly-nutritious food to their clients alongside nutrition workshops, health screenings and other services.
Patrick Walsh and Eli Wenger | Food Pantry Managers, Catholic Social Services: Martha’s Choice Marketplace
Patrick Walsh and Eli Wenger manage Martha’s Choice Marketplace of Catholic Social Services, a community of over 2,800 families and hundreds of volunteers serving an average 900 families each month. They lead efforts to cultivate a responsive and effective community that brings together people from diverse backgrounds with the goal of preventing and alleviating hunger in Montgomery County.
Moderator: Sean Breslin | Executive Assistant, Philabundance
Sean Breslin joined Philabundance’s programs staff in 2014 and has worked with its network of food pantries and service agencies to foster strong relationships and distribute more food to the Delaware Valley. He recently transitioned to an Executive Assistant role, where he is helping build alignment and collaboration between the organization and its Board of Directors.
Advocacy, Cooking and Farming for the Next Generation
Rel Bogom-Shanon | Fellow, Repair the World & Eden Village
Rel Bogom-Shanon is a Philadelphia native who is fascinated and excited by the way food connects our physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, cultural and emotional selves. For the past two summers, Rel was a staff member on Eden Village Camp’s teen Food and Farm Road Trip. Currently a food justice fellow with Repair the World Philadelphia, Rel is working to mobilize and engage young adults to do direct service work in our community.
Carly Zimmerman | CEO, Challah for Hunger
Holding a Masters in Jewish Professional Studies and a Bachelors in History and Political Science, Carly Zimmerman is proud to lead a network of thousands of challah bakers and change makers. Prior to Challah for Hunger, Carly worked as the Jewish Life Director at Hillel at both University of Pittsburgh and Temple University. Carly is a Schusterman Fellow, Grants Co-chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Women of Vision and Treasurer of the Jewish Farm School.
Moderator: Nati Passow | Co-founder and Executive Director, Jewish Farm School
Nati Passow is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Farm School. He has been a leader in the Jewish environmental movement for over 15 years, and is passionate about connecting Jews to the agricultural roots of our traditions and using that as a foundation for engagement in contemporary food and social justice issues.
Raise Your Voice!
Kathy Fisher | Policy Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
As Policy Director at the Coalition Against Hunger, Kathy Fisher researches best practices; performs policy and data analysis; presents information to elected officials, service providers and community members; and works with a wide range of anti-hunger and nutrition partners to advocate for effective policies to fight hunger in our communities. She has over twenty years of social service and advocacy experience and earned her J.D. and M.S.W. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Robin Rifkin | Consultant, Meeting Intentions
Robin Rifkin is a nutritionist and certified facilitator working primarily in public health and food security. She has spent her career helping organizations develop education and systems change programs, and as an advocate for good nutrition policy. She volunteers locally on the advisory boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Mitzvah Food Program, the Coalition Against Hunger, Act Against Hunger, Hazon CSA at Kol Ami, and Creekside Coop.
Moderator: Robin Schatz | Director, Government Affairs, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Robin Schatz has been involved in Philadelphia politics since 1991 when she worked on Ed Rendell’s mayoral campaign. Following Mayor Rendell’s election, she served as Director of Constituent Services. Robin has also worked for Councilman Frank DiCicco and on Sam Katz’s mayoral campaign. In 2004, Robin became the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Director of Government Affairs, working with elected officials to increase awareness of and to advocate for Jewish Federation.
Saving Food Every Step of the Way
Ana Caballero | Kitchen Manager, Fork
The daughter of American and Honduran parents who ran a restaurant in South America, Ana Caballero learned kitchen economics at a very young age. As Kitchen Manager at Fork and High Street restaurants, Ana focuses on improving local sourcing, reducing food waste and managing food costs. In addition, she has worked as an instructor with Drexel University’s Culinary Arts & Food Sciences department and sits on the board of the James Beard Food Waste Advisory Committee.
Melissa Simmons | Manager of Sustainability, Saving Food Every Step of the Way
For the past 10 years Melissa Simmons has worked at Philabundance, currently serving as the Sustainability Manager. Focusing on the Grocers Against Hunger Program — which rescued 10.5 million pounds of food from area grocery stores in the last fiscal year — Melissa works with over 117 agencies and over 250 grocers within 9 counties. Melissa is also the President of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.
Cathy Snyder | Founder and Executive Director, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue
Volunteering at a local food pantry in New Hope, Cathy Snyder realized local farmers were an untapped resource who could help fill the nutrition gap faced by food pantries. In just a few short years, Cathy grew Rolling Harvest Food Rescue from an initial connection between one food pantry and one farm to a vibrant network of volunteers, farms, food producers and hunger-relief sites.
Moderator: Jonathan Deutsch, PhD | Professor, Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, Drexel University
Jonathan Deutsch joined Drexel from Kingsborough Community College-CUNY, where he served as professor and founding director of the culinary arts program as well as deputy chair of the department of tourism and hospitality. He previously worked at CUNY Graduate Center as professor of public health and founding director of the food studies concentration.
Now and Then: Our Jewish Community and Farming
Nate Kleinman | Co-founder/Co-director, Experimental Farm Network
A farmer, plant breeder, activist and organizer from Philadelphia, Nate Kleinman launched the Experimental Farm Network (EFN) in 2013. EFN aims to fight climate change by revolutionizing agriculture through broad-based collaboration on research and plant breeding, and by working to preserve traditional plant varieties and foodways. Nate farms in both central New York and southern New Jersey, including at the Jewish non-profit Alliance Community Reboot farm.
Moderator: Judith Belasco | Executive Vice President, Hazon
Executive Vice President at Hazon, Judith Belasco oversees the growth and development of Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education through transformative experiences, thought-leadership and capacity-building. She strengthens delivery and operations across all of Hazon’s programs, and manages development, marketing and communications. She brings extensive staff development and training experience, new program expansion and evaluation-based program improvements.
Valuing and Protecting Our Food System Work Force
Meghan Hurley | Communications Coordinator, CATA - The Farmworkers' Support Committee
Meghan Hurley is the Communications Coordinator for CATA – The Farmworker Support Committee, a migrant worker advocacy organization that focuses on issues of workers’ rights and immigration and food justice to create positive, systemic change. Meghan manages CATA’s website, fundraising activities, legislative advocacy work, newsletters, and runs RadioCATA, CATA’s low-power community radio station.
Natalia Nicastro | Coordinator, Coalition Restaurant Health & Safety
Natalia Nicastro is the coordinator for the Coalition for Restaurant Safety & Health (CRSH), a local organization advocating for change in restaurant workplace culture. Focusing on the prevention of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, CRSH hosts programs on proactive best practices, interactive scenarios and team work. Natalia is also a trainer at PhilaPOSH and conducts Know Your Rights Health & Safety training in ESL classrooms, houses of faith, refugees’ agencies and personal homes.
Barbara Rahke | Executive Director, PhilaPOSH The Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health
Barbara Rahke is the Director of the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH), founded in 1975. PhilaPOSH works with union, community, immigrant, environmental and faith-based organizations to advance the rights and protect the health and safety of all workers. Most recently, she has promoted a focus on the connection between both worker health and safety, and public health and safety.
Moderator: Rabbi Batya Glazer | Director, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Rabbi Batya Glazer previously acted as the JCRC Director of D.C. and Maryland Interfaith Relations and D.C. Government and Community Relations. Batya has worked in Jewish education at all levels and worked at a number of social service agencies, including Voyage House, a counseling center for runaway and homeless teens in South Philadelphia. She hold a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University, a degree in Master of Hebrew Letters from The University of Judaism, as well as a Master’s degree and Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Gefilteria - The Wisdom of Pickling with Hands-on Learning
Jeffrey Yoskowitz | Co-founder and Chief Pickler, Gefilteria
Co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto cookbook, Jeffrey Yoskowitz is a food entrepreneur and Co-founder of The Gefilteria, a culinary venture reimagining Old World Jewish foods, best known for manufacturing its artisanal gefilte fish, producing high quality dining events around the world and offering engaging Jewish cooking classes. Jeffrey was named to both Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list in Food and Wine and The Forward 50.