As Chair of the Board of the Jim Joseph Foundation, Alisa guides the Foundation in fulfilling the philanthropic mission of its founder, Jim Joseph, z"l, who believed in providing compelling and effective learning experiences for young Jews in the U.S.
Alisa has been active on the boards of a wide spectrum of organizations and foundations - small and large, new and old - that promote deep engagement with Jewish life, and that build and provide care for community. She is past President and Chair of the board of UJA-Federation of New York where she has long been involved with its grantmaking in the Jewish education space as well as in Israel. A past president of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York City, she was instrumental in founding its high school division and building a new school campus. Additionally, she has served on the boards of the Jewish Theological Seminary, The Hadar Institute, Moving Traditions, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
More recently, she joined the board of Montefiore Health Systems, a major academic medical center based in the Bronx with deep commitments to excellence, humanism and community.
Alisa graduated from Harvard College and received an M.B.A at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She also holds an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Dan, and they are the proud parents of three adult children.
Barry Finestone is President and CEO of the Jim Joseph Foundation. The Foundation supports Jewish education for youth, teens, and young adults in the U.S., with more than $490 million granted in its first 11 years of operation.
Prior to the Jim Joseph Foundation, Barry was Executive Director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund. He moved to the Bay Area in 2010 to become CEO of the JCC of San Francisco, where he oversaw dramatic growth and built it into the second largest JCC in the country. Earlier in his career he served as executive director of the two-campus Isaac M. Wise Temple, transforming its information technology systems and earning the Harris K. and Alice F. Weston Award for Outstanding Leadership.
Barry’s first job out of college was at a residential summer camp director in Waupaca, Wisconsin for Young Judaea. Barry says he never would have hired himself for that job, but the experience was invaluable in helping him learn how to run and operate an entity. His philosophy in work is to have a vision, start going there, and then hire the best people you can and get out of the road!
A Scottish native with 25 years of experience in the Jewish nonprofit world, Barry holds a degree in Community Education from Jordanhill College in Glasgow, Scotland. He and his wife, Ellen, have three children—Gabrielle, Ethan and Mia.
David Agger has over thirty years of experience in investment and finance. Since 1998 he has managed an investment partnership, Metropolis Partners, Inc. offering direct investment and financial structuring in the real assets industry. Direct investment and advisory activities focus on the acquisition of value added opportunities in solar energy, industrial and R&D office real estate in Southern California and the New England area. Mr. Agger is the Member of DGEP Management, LLC an early stage developer of distributed solar projects throughout the United States.
He has a longstanding record of community service in the Bay Area where he currently serves as a Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation and is a Member of its Executive Committee, and is Chair of the Investment and Finance Committee. He is also Director, Member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Bernard Osher Foundation (www.osherfoundation.org ), Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Foundation for California Community Colleges (www.foundationccc.org), is a Board Member of the Sandler Foundation (www.sandlerfoundation.org) and is a past Member of the Board and a current member of the Investment and Endowment Executive Committees of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco (www.sfjcf.org).
Previously Mr. Agger was a Trustee, Member of the Executive Committee and was Chair of the both the Investment and Development Committees of the University of San Francisco (www.usfca.edu) was past President of the Mt. Zion Health Fund (www.mzhf.org) and past Board Member of the Institute On Aging (www.gioa.org).
Dr. Dvora Joseph Davey, Jim Joseph’s eldest child, has served on the Jim Joseph Foundation Board of Directors since 2006. Dvora is passionate about engaging young Jews in service learning and giving back to their communities and to the world.
Dvora is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and she is currently Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She has an Honorary Associate Professorship in Epidemiology with the University of Cape Town, South Africa where she conducts research on how best to prevent and treat HIV in pregnant women and families. As a research and evaluation expert, she sits on the Foundation’s Research and Learning Committee and advises on how best to inform decisions using research and programmatic evaluation.
She became passionate about the health of African women and children while serving in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa. Since her time in Gabon, she has worked for over fifteen years developing and evaluating public health programs in Africa (Rwanda, Mozambique and now South Africa). Before joining academia, she managed complex donor-funded programs for NGOs implementing reproductive health and HIV care in Africa. Most recently she was the Country Director for Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) and the HIV Director for Population Services International (PSI) in Mozambique.
Raised in California, Dvora studied International Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder and French in the Université de Grenoble, France. After her time in Gabon she earned her master’s degree in International Public Health from Columbia University, and then her Ph.D in Epidemiology from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.
Dvora currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, Ayden and Sophia.
Journalist and entrepreneur Joshua Foer is the author of the international bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein, which has been published in 37 languages, and which was a finalist for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and other publications. He is the co-founder and chairman of Atlas Obscura, and the co-author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders. He is the co-creator of the international design competition Sukkah City, and the co-founder and chairman of the Jewish digital library Sefaria. He has been named "One of Ten People Who Could Change the World" by the New Statesman and one of the "Forward 50." He was a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and two children.
Shira Goodman is an Advisory Director at Charlesbank Capital Partners. Formerly, she was CEO of Staples Inc. Shira joined Staples in 1992 and was the first director of Marketing and Merchandising for the B2B delivery business. Her experience over 26 years with Staples includes leading the marketing, human resources and global growth functions. Prior to Staples, she was a manager at Bain and Company where she helped develop the initial business plan for the Staples delivery business, now a $10B+ company.
Shira serves on the Board of Directors of CarMax, CBRE and Henry Schein. She was included in Fortune’s list of “Most Powerful Women” in 2017.
Shira is Chair of CJP (the Boston Jewish Federation) Board of Directors. She co-chaired the CJP Strategic Planning Committee and the recent CEO Search Committee. She has served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Gann Academy, Director of the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale and President of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.
Shira received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Shira is married to Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz, and they have three children: Nat, Sam, and Jordana.
Joshua is a student and a teacher, a seeker and a guide, an author, a philosopher, and an embracer of all that can be questioned. Through his mentorship, writing, and The Inflection Point platform, he works with his readers, audience, and clients to navigate life-altering moments with more freedom, awareness, effectiveness, and joy.
Relentless in his personal growth, Joshua is constantly seeking new wisdom and perspective through people and books. His debut novel, Dak Ackerthefifth and the Ethics of Heroism, is the manifestation of all he has consumed: a story for those interested in unconventional explorations of modern living, or in the probing of today’s invisible guiding narratives.
A graduate of Tufts University and the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Joshua lives the Pirkei Avot teaching “Who is wise? He who learns from every person,” taking disparate teaching, philosophies, and tradition, and reconciling them into something meaningful and relevant.
Joshua is the proud father of two daughters, whose Hebrew names are Miriam, named for her great grandmother who brought the family to the United States to escape the Holocaust, and Simone, named for her grandfather who established the Jim Joseph Foundation.
Learn more about Joshua, his work, and his writings at The Inflection Point.
Laura Lauder is a native of Canton, Ohio and journeyed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Seville, Spain for her undergraduate education. In 1992, she joined her husband Gary in their venture capital partnership, Lauder Partners, specializing in Internet and media investments.
Laura now primarily focuses her efforts on strategic grantmaking through the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund and in numerous leadership capacities at local and national nonprofit organizations.
Laura is a nonprofit entrepreneur. She is the founder of DeLeT: Day School Teaching through Leadership, a national Jewish Teach for America program that is a selective fellowship to recruit, train and retain Jewish Day School teachers in the US. DeLet is modeled on Laura’s experience as a fellow in the Wexner Heritage Foundation. She is co-founder of the Jewish Teen Funders Network’s Foundation Board Incubator, which brings the success and impact of Jewish teen philanthropy programs across North America into cities around the world. Laura and Gary co-founded the Socrates Program of the Aspen Institute in 1996, which has convened over 8,000 young leaders worldwide to Aspen to participate in seminars and salons on the most difficult issues of the day. Laura is the founder of a new Gap Year program at Duke University that seeks to encourage young people to take a gap year between high school and college to grow, explore and serve.
Laura also serves on numerous nonprofit boards. She is immediate past chair of the $2.1 billion Jewish Community Endowment Fund of San Francisco. She serves on the board of Social Finance of Boston, a non-profit that brings impact investing through Pay-For-Success Bonds through public private partnerships. She also serves on the advisory board of Service Year Alliance, which creates opportunities for young adults to serve their country through a year of full-time community service, on the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute. She has previously served on the boards of the National Public Radio Foundation and Spark Networks — a NYSE Amex Company and parent of JDate.
In conjunction with JFNA, Laura has recently launched an interfaith couple Jewish education program that was pioneered at Central Synagogue in NYC. The objective is to scale it up nationally through JFNA and via many partnerships with organizations serving this population.
Laura is active with the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO/WPO), a global leadership network and is a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was named one of “10 Women to Watch” by Jewish Woman magazine in 2004. She has won numerous awards, including Volunteer of the Year from the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation in 2011, the Jim Brooks Achievement Award in 2004, and the San Francisco Bay Area Dinkelspiel Young Leadership Award in 1999.
Laura is an avid cyclist and won a bronze medal in the Maccabi Games in Israel in cycling time trial in 2009. While she is a political junkie, she hopes to never run for political office, but is willing to climb any mountain on a bike. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, Gary; they are empty nesters as both of their children are in college.
Rachel is a glass half full pragmatist who worked in philanthropy for 20 years before launching Fundamental in the summer of 2013. She began her career working in government and politics before joining Margery Tabankin & Associates, a philanthropic and political consulting firm. There she helped establish the Righteous Persons Foundation (RPF), a fund Steven Spielberg began in 1995 with his profits from the film Schindler's List. After a decade as RPF’s executive director, Rachel now serves as a senior advisor to the foundation, while also managing a number of other private foundations and grant portfolios on a range of issues including democracy, civic engagement, racial and economic equity, and education. All of this work is grounded in the core value of human dignity; in a belief that the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, have been, and can be matter; and in the idea that better is possible—if we come together to do the essential work of justice and care.
In addition to serving on the board of the Jim Joseph Foundation, Rachel is an advisory board member of the International Refugee Assistance Project and former board member of the Alliance for Justice. Rachel is the co-founder of Reboot, a national effort to engage creatives and activists in an open examination of their Jewish identity. Rachel frequently lectures on philanthropy and generational change and was the first recipient of the JJ Greenberg Award presented to professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in Jewish philanthropy. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was a public policy fellow at the Coro Foundation.
As Partner and Head of BBH’s Global Institutional Business Development and Relationship Management, Jeff leads the firm’s Institutional client activities on a global basis for a range of products/services. He joined BBH in 1984, was named a Partner of the firm in 1996, and has served numerous investment leadership roles during his 38-year BBH career, including Chief Investment Officer, Head of Asset Allocation, and Head of Fixed Income Management.
Currently, Jeff participates in several firm-wide oversight committees for Asset/Liability Management and BBH’s volunteerism activities, BBH Cares. He also helps lead BBH’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts and is the founding sponsor for the firm’s LGBTQ Affinity Group, BBH Pride.
Jeff is passionately involved in several philanthropic organizations. He is the Immediate Past President of UJA-Federation of New York, the largest local philanthropy in the world. Preceding his role as President, Jeff was the Co-Chair of UJA's Annual Campaign and the Chair of UJA’s Caring Commission, overseeing human service and community building programs in New York, and 70 countries around the world. Today, he chairs UJA’s Allocation Steering Committee, and is a member of its Executive Committee, Finance Committee and Board of Directors.
Jeff currently serves as Chair of the Israel and Overseas Committee of the Jewish Federations of North America, helping to strategically guide global allocations for the North American Federation system. In this capacity, Jeff serves as a member of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Joint Distribution Committee.
As a member of the Board of Directors of the Jim Joseph Foundation, Jeff is committed to supporting Jewish education, engagement and leadership development among of youth and young adults in the United States. Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Funders Network, joining other philanthropists to address critical societal challenges. Jeff serves as a member of the Board of Directors of amfAR, a leading cure-focused global HIV/AIDS research organization, as well as the NPR Foundation, the country’s leading provider of journalistic excellence and programmatic content for public radio and podcasts. And Jeff serves as a member of the Graduate Executive Board at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, working to expand Wharton’s impact as the foremost teaching, research, and experience-led business school in the world.
Jeff received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Shimansky is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in public accounting. He currently works as an Inspections Leader at the PCAOB, an organization that oversees the audits of public companies in the United States. Michael serves on the Board of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, where he also volunteers as a Gabbai and Torah Reader and leads prayer services. A graduate of Yeshiva University with degrees in Judaic Studies and Accounting, he studied abroad at Yeshivat Beit Midrash L’Torah in Jerusalem. Michael lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sima and daughter Lila.
Dr. Jeffrey R. Solomon is Senior Advisor to Chasbro Investments, the family office of Charles Bronfman. For two decades, he was the President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, a group of foundations operating in Canada, Israel and the United States, founding and operating programs, including Birthright Israel, Reboot, Historica Canada, Karev Educational Ventures and Slingshot. He currently sits on the Boards of the Jim Joseph Foundation in San Francisco, the KIND and Lubetzky Family Foundations in New York and the CRB Family Foundation in Palm Beach. He served as the Chair of Leading Edge, an organization aimed at talent acquisition and retention in the Jewish community and serves as Co-Chair of the Peaceworks Foundation, supporting Darkeinu in Israel and Zimam in Palestine, aimed at empowering the moderate majority. His books (co-authored with Charles Bronfman), The Art of Giving and The Art of Doing Good, have won awards and recognition throughout the philanthropic world. He is also the author of over 120 publications in both professional journals and outlets such as The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. He served as an adjunct associate professor in the masters and doctorate programs of New York University School of Social Work.