Chosen from a competitive pool of 150 applicants, ELI has selected 16 individuals for the Spring cohort of its Speaker Fellowship. Speakers will participate in 3 months of training around Jewish idea development, storytelling, and stage presence and deliver their talks to a live studio audience in Detroit (June 18-20). The Fellowship will release the filmed videos this summer. The cohort includes Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis, cantors, teachers, Jewish professionals, film directors, authors, writers, chefs, dating coaches, and more.

The selected speakers for this season’s cohort are:

  • Abi Taylor-Abt – Education Director the Yachad Religious School.
  • Aryeh Bernstein – Director of the Avodah Justice Fellowship in Chicago.
  • Aleeza Ben Shalom – An author, speaker, and dating coach.
  • Cantor Melanie Fine – A cantor and high school teacher.
  • Rabbi Amitai Fraiman – Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) graduate and founder of Interwoven.
  • Merissa Nathan Gerson – A freelance writer and speaker.
  • Rabbi Lisa Greene – Rabbi of North Shore Congregation Israel.
  • Rabbi Hayim Herring – A rabbi and author.
  • Dana Hirt – A parenting coach.
  • Rabbi Dan Horwitz – Founding Director of The Well.
  • Daniel Kaufman – A director and film writer.
  • Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison – Executive Director of Lehrhaus Judaica.
  • Melanie Nezer – Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS.
  • Jonathan Posner – Founder and Chef of Wandering Food Productions and rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
  • Dr. Jane Shapiro – Co-founder of Orot and partnership minyan Kol Sasson.
  • Sarah Waxman – Founder of At The Well, Waxman lives in San Francisco, CA.

About: ELI Talks works with organizations and individuals to cultivate, raise up, and transmit inspired Jewish ideas. Its premiere program, the Speaker Fellowship, runs twice annually with approximately 30 ELI talks a year. Speakers come from a wide variety of Jewish backgrounds, providing a snapshot of Judaism today and building a bridge across denominations of Judaism to serve as a beacon of discourse and civility in today’s world.

ELI Talks has, to-date, captured over 150 inspired Jewish ideas on topics ranging from parenting and comedy to disability inclusion and Israel. ELI videos have been used as homework in graduate programs such as the masters in Experiential Education at the Davidson School, the Pardes Institute Retreat, and Wexner fellowship gatherings; they appear in monthly adult Jewish education courses such as those taught by Chai Mitzvah; they emerge as cornerstones of debate around boardroom tables and are used as the foundation for new strategic plans for synagogues.

For more information about ELI Talks, visit www.elitalks.org.