Advisory Council

Lisa Colton
Founder and President, Darim Online

Ken Gordon
Social Media Manager, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education

Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
Middle School Teacher Librarian, The Daring Librarian

Kathy Krcma
Director of Technology & Media, Krieger Schechter Day School

Ann Chatterton Klimas
Freelance Writer & Content Development Consultant

Denise LaBuda
Marketing & Business Development, Learning Times

Jay Leberman
Head of School, Perelman Jewish Day School

Robin Smolar Minkoff
Director of Finance & Operations, Jewish Learning Ventures

Myrna Rubel
Middle School Principal, The Epstein School

Susi Silesky
President & Owner, Silesky & Company, LLC

Heidi Slater
Reference and Instruction Librarian, University of Nevada, Reno

Advisory Council Biographies

Lisa Colton

Founder and President, Darim Online

Lisa Colton holds a B.A. from Stanford University and studied in Israel for 2 years at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Livnot U’lehibanot and the Yakar Learning Community, among others. Lisa’s work experience includes teaching and curriculum development, Jewish education and communal development, and extensive experience in design and publication of community directed media. Lisa’s interest, involvement and dedication to the Jewish community led her to found Darim Online. She has a deeply held passion for Jewish education and community building, and she has personally contributed to many Jewish education efforts in Seattle, San Francisco, Israel, Virginia and Vermont. In addition to her work with Darim, Lisa has served as a board member and president of the board of the University of Vermont Hillel, a board member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), and is a current board member of The Local Food Hub and the co-chair of the Early Childhood Education committee of her synagogue.  Lisa is the recipient of the Hillel “Exemplar of Excellence” Award, the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America’s “Young Professionals” Award, and the Nonprofit Technology Network’s NTEN-y Award.

 

Ken Gordon

Social Media Manager, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education

Ken Gordon is the Social Media Manager of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education. He oversees the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages, co-edits Sustained!, the PEJE webzine, and pens the Virtual Assembly column. Outside of PEJE, he is the founder of QuickMuse—the improvisational writing website that’s been profiled by the New York Times, the PBS Newshour, and BBC radio—and wrote the Marginally Jewish Reader column, a bit of Talmudic literary criticism, for the Forward. He has been known to edit JBooks.com and freelance various essays and articles, including ones about being a day school parent.

 

Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones

Middle School Teacher Librarian, The Daring Librarian

“The Daring Librarian” is a middle school teacher librarian, a blogger, a Tweeter, a public speaker, a citizen of social media, and a resident of Second Life. Gwyneth is a member of the ISTE Board of Directors, is a Google Certified Teacher, DEN Star, was named an Innovator and one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers 2011, a Gale/Cengage New Leader, and is the author of the award winning Daring Librarian blog. The Daring Librarian is a digitally shifted Ed Tech teaching Ninja with a passion for re-mix mash-up production, transliteracy, cutting edge librarianship, creative commons, mobile media, graphic design, & being a change agent within in her learning communities both geographically and within the æthernets.

 

Ann Chatterton Klimas

Freelance Writer & Content Development Consultant

Ann Chatterton Klimas has been a lifelong member of the educational community and continues to both learn and lead in many venues, including the Internet, the classroom and in print and video.  As a core member of Maryland Public Television’s educational leadership team, she spearheaded the development of award-winning interactive experiences for middle grade and high school students, including Knowing Poe , the 2005 Webby award-winning adventure in the life and times of Edgar Allen Poe.  Her career in helping design games and interactive experiences promoting active hands-on learning culminated in her work on The Lure of the Labyrinth, an algebra learning game produced in cooperation with MIT. She continues as a consultant and freelance writer, designing online classes for diverse audiences.  Two of her textbooks series in language arts and social studies remain in print, helping students with limited reading skills master grade-level content. In all these experiences, Ms. Klimas has relied on a strong commitment to giving learners the chance to succeed, her natural curiosity about the learning process and a bedrock of teaching experiences in kindergarten through university classrooms.

 

Kathy Krcma

Director of Technology & Media, Krieger Schechter Day School

Kathleen M. Krcma has been a teacher and professional development leader for over 20 years, working with learners of all ages. She is known for her clear, patient manner and forward-thinking use of technology. Ms. Krcma is an advocate of 21st Century Learning and life-long learning skills. Early in her career, she led her own public school students into exciting technology adventures as a teacher and a librarian. Later, Ms. Krcma received her Master’s in Educational Technology and Leadership, Summa Cum Laude, from Johns Hopkins University. As the Manager of Professional Development in the Education Department at Maryland Public Television, she designed and led presentations, workshops, and online courses, enabling teachers all over Maryland to lead their students into new challenges and opportunities with technology. As Director of Technology and Media at her current K-8 school, she continues to expand other teachers’ abilities in the instructional technology arena. Ms. Krcma specializes in finding the technology tools that help students, teachers, and parents reach their own goals in and outside of the classroom.

 

Denise LaBuda

Marketing & Business Development, Learning Times

Denise LaBuda is a financial education and marketing expert with over 25 years of experience and accomplishments in a variety of settings including small and large-scale businesses. She has extensive domain expertise in personal finance and investing for children and adults. She is an entrepreneurial and innovative leader with a proven track record achieving bottom-line results. Ms. LaBuda holds a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Michigan.

 

Jay Leberman

Head of School, Perelman Jewish Day School

Jay Leberman has thirty years of experience in day school education. He currently serves as the Head of School for the Perelman Jewish Day School in Philadelphia, PA. In all of Jay’s work, he has been instrumental in developing and integrating special needs programs for day school families. As Head of School at Perelman, he sent over 100 teachers and school personnel to Israel on various seminars and teacher programs.   Before taking on leadership at Perelman, Jay was the principal of the Sager Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook, IL.  Jay holds degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Oriental Institute, Oxford University.

 

Robin Smolar Minkoff

Director of Finance & Operations, Jewish Learning Ventures

Robin Smolar Minkoff specializes in building the infrastructures and managing the financial resources of Jewish communal organizations. Minkoff has served as Director of Finance and Operations of Jewish Learning Venture since 2010.  She was the Associate Director of Moving Traditions for its first five years, prior to which she spent fifteen years raising funds for the Development Corporation for Israel, Anti-Defamation League, Albert Einstein Medical Center and Jewish Publication Society. Minkoff holds an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland and an M.A. with honors in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew University.

 

Myrna Rubel

Middle School Principal, The Epstein School

Myrna Rubel earned a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in educational administration from Virginia Polytech Institute. For over thirty years she has been involved in Jewish Day School education as teacher, Head of School and is currently the Middle School Principal of the Epstein School in Atlanta, Ga.  Myrna has pioneered innovations in integrated curriculum design, Hebrew language instruction and digital technology.  She currently leads a grant project funded by the Covenant Foundation to produce a prototype for a digital badging program at Epstein.  This spring she was an invited speaker at the 2012 Digital Media & Learning (DML) conference in San Francisco.

 

Susi Silesky

President & Owner, Silesky & Company, LLC

Susi Silesky graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs and a Minor in French Linguistics.  She is currently the president and owner of Silesky & Company, LLC, her marketing company where she works with a wide range of clients in developing marketing strategies and collateral materials.  Her marketing career began in Paris, France, where she worked with companies such as Sara Lee Corporation, Gillette, Avon, Henkel and W.R. Grace. She has twenty-five years local and global marketing experience with an emphasis on strategic planning and implementation. She has developed and managed successful marketing campaigns for a diverse range of global, retail, non-profit, healthcare, real estate and business-to-business clients.  Susi was an account executive at The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore where she spearheaded branding campaigns for the Jewish Federation and constituent Jewish community agencies, as well as conceptualized, launched and managed a wide range of materials and promotional campaigns. Upon her departure from the Jewish Federation, she continued to work with many Jewish organizations, including synagogues and non-profits. Ms. Silesky is fluent in both French and Spanish.

 

Heidi Slater
Reference and Instruction Librarian

Heidi Slater graduated from Yale University in 1992 with a B.A. in History and went on to earn a Masters in Education with certification in Social Studies, Language Arts and Library Media Instruction. Heidi has 17 years experience teaching in both public and private institutions, from pre-school through college, and in both the classroom and the library. Her library career began when she opened an elementary school library and taught a K-5 information literacy and literature promotion program to almost 900 students. She continued her career at the Portland Jewish Academy, a community day school in Portland, Oregon where she facilitated the Technology and Library Committees and advocated for the integration of both. She recently re-designed and currently directs the library’s freshmen instructional program at the University of Nevada, Reno.