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board biographies

Gila Bronner (Chicago, Illinois)
Gila J. Bronner is President and CEO of Bronner Group, LLC, a woman-owned, multi-disciplined professional services company that delivers comprehensive strategy, transformation and accountability consulting services to federal, state and local governments and federal agencies. Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Bronner has assisted several hundred different government entities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico in streamlining business practices, implementing improved internal controls, and developing strong public oversight mechanisms. Ms. Bronner served as a member of the governing board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and formerly chaired the Audit Committee and Finance Committee. She is also a current or former member of the USHMM Executive, Ad-Hoc, Investment, and Strategic Planning Committees. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) appointed Ms. Bronner to the NASA Advisory Council, Financial Audit Committee (FAC).

Rabbi Selwyn Franklin (Denver, Colorado)
Rabbi Selwyn Franklin, the spiritual leader of BMH-BJ Congregation in Denver, Colorado, pursued his rabbinical studies at Yeshivot in Israel as well as Yeshiva University in New York. He was ordained by Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik, the scion of the Modern Orthodox movement. At Yeshiva University, Rabbi Franklin received his bachelors and masters degrees in philosophy and Jewish philosophy respectively. He has served congregations in North America, South Africa, Australia and Israel. While living in Israel he was also the director of public relations at University and lectured at the Orot Teachers Seminary in Petach Tikva. Rabbi Franklin was an activist in the human rights struggle in South Africa where he was the founder patron of "Jews for Justice," a group committed to the struggle for human rights during the Apartheid era. He is a former president of the organization of Rabbis of Australia and served as a member of the Sydney Bet Din.

Rabbi Marc Gitler (Denver, Colorado)
A native New Yorker, Rabbi Marc Gitler joined East Denver Orthodox Synagogue (EDOS) following two years as the assistant Rabbi of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue. A recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Rabbi Gitler received his Rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York City, and from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat. Rabbi Gitler was named Alumnus of the Year by YCT in 2008. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. After graduating from Yeshiva University, Rabbi Gitler traveled to Belarus where he served for two years as the overseas director of YUSSR, a student-founded organization that works with Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union. While in Minsk and Moghilev, he organized Jewish communal programming, ranging from Sunday schools and summer camps for children to luncheons for the elderly. During his tenure in Rabbinical school, Rabbi Gitler interned for two years at ASBI synagogue in Chicago, and was part of the rabbinical student delegation to the American Jewish World Service.

Katharine Gorsuch (Hollywood, Florida)
Ms. Gorsuch is the Creative and Artistic Director for the Foundation for Holocaust Education Projects, which is dedicated to developing Holocaust education programs and building community capacity. Katharine also serves on the board of directors of the Poland Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project. For the past three years, Katharine and Mr. Mizrachi, Executive Director of the Foundation for Holocaust Education Projects have been developing the Shenandoah Valley Holocaust Education Project, which presents the lessons of the Holocaust to those living in the Greater Shenadoah Valley, Virginia, and is comprised of a consortium of more than thirty public and private, secular and religious, educational and cultural institutions.

Naomi Johnson (Greeley, Colorado)
An educator and library media resource specialist for more than 30 years, Nomi has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Greeley Children's Theatre, Greeley Bootleggers Soccer Club, Beth Israel Synagogue, and University of Northern Colorado Performing and Visual Arts Advisory Board. She is a current member of the board of the Greeley Holocaust Memorial Observance and Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado. The child of Holocaust survivors, she became active in Holocaust-related activities, and preserving family histories to honor the memory of her many family members (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) who perished in the Holocaust. Her favorite activities are reading by her backyard pond, walking in the woods or in the mountains, and anything connected to nature and animals. An active volunteer with the Union Colony Civic Center, Bike-to-Work Week campaign, and the United Way Promises for Children Baby Shower. An accomplished musician, she currently plays and sings with Back Home, a Celtic/American folk group, and is the song leader for Beth Israel Congregation of Greeley and their religious school.

Avi Mizrachi (Hollywood, Florida)
Avi Mizrachi is the executive director and founder of the Foundation for Holocaust Education Projects, and the former executive director of the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach, Florida, a position he held for twenty-two years. The Foundation for Holocaust Education Projects is deeply involved in developing cultural and artistic programs and projects for schools, communities and organizations throughout the United States and Canada. The organization recently premiered, "Who Retunred My Soul To Me" an original play featuring the stories of ten Miami-area Holocaust survivors.

officers

Tami Ellison, President & Executive Director

With more than twenty years as a senior education, marketing and technology consultant, Tami has worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Ellison brings an extensive multi-disciplinary repertoire and skillset to her role as Executive Director of the YIZKOR project. A gifted public speaker, she routinely conducts professional development workshops at regional conferences on science education, and how-to advance critical and creative thinking skills in both children and adults. Her multimedia portfolio includes Executive and Coordinating Producer credits on hundreds of educational and edutainment programs and projects. She has served in various leadership capacities on the board of directors and public relations committees of numerous organizations, including: the Avenue of the Righteous, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Religious Zionists of Chicago, Jewish Community Relations Council and other advocacy groups promoting equality and equity.

Mindy Hecht, Secretary & Director

Committed to communal service and volunteerism since High School, Ms. Hecht served as Regional President of Bnai Brith Girls, and volunteered as an Advisor in college before joining the organization in a professional capacity, serving as the Assistant Director and then as the Rocky Mountain Regional Director of Bnai Brith Youth Organization. She has been a member of Jewish Community Response to Domestic Violence, the Cantors Cultural Committee, and was a contributing editor to Standards, the first international journal for multicultural studies. As an educational leader, she played an integral role in bringing the JECEI Early Childhood Education Initiative to Denver area preschool programs. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE), chaired the BMH-BJ Preschool Board, later becoming the Associate Director of the BMH-BJ Preschool, co-chaired the Lubavitch Chabad of Colorado six million pennies campaign, and is a Gabbai with Tomchei Shabbos of Denver.

Dr. Marilyn Levi Treasurer & Director

Marilyn Levi, M.D. (Denver, Colorado)
Dr. Marilyn E. Levi is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Colorado Denver. She received her Infectious Diseases training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her work focuses on transplant infectious diseases, with a specific interest in viral complications of transplantation including the treatment of multiresistant cytomegalovirus with novel agents, Epstein Barr virus and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. Dr. Levi serves on the organizing committee for The Holocaust in Contemporary Bioethics Program. Their mission is to promote the understanding of the contemporary impact of the Holocaust on bioethics and professionalism. The guiding vision of the Program is to transform health care by promoting education, scholarship, and community outreach about the lessons the Holocaust holds for contemporary challenges in medicine and society. Dr. Levi currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of EDOS (East Denver Orthodox Synagogue)


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