Charlie Kalech BA- Chairman

 Charlie Kalech is the director of J-Town Productions Ltd., a Jerusalem-based website design and  internet consulting firm. A pioneer in the Web industry, Charlie combines graphic design, internet  marketing and business development with a practical, client-based approach. Charlie is the volunteer  coordinator of the Jerusalem Twestivals and ongoing educational seminars for the Jerusalem Web  Professionals group. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events in the field of Internet  Marketing. Charlie earned two B.A.s, one in Jewish Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary  and another in Political Science from Columbia University. He also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Bezalel National Art School. He has represented Israel as a shaliach for the Jewish Agency’s Aliyah Department and Mercaz and as an educator for the Israeli Defense Forces, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and other organizations in Israel and overseas.

 Jodie Asaraf JD

Originally from New Jersey, Jodie Asaraf received her BA in Business Administration from Rutgers University and her JD from Cardozo Law School. Her first appointment was as Director of the Jewish Community Endowment Foundation at the Worcester Jewish Federation. After two years in that position she came to Israel where she worked for several years as a youth counselor for various programs with teens from overseas. After a short period back in the States she returned to Israel with her husband and son and began a long career at the Jerusalem Foundation. During that time her daughter was born. After learning every aspect of fundraising from the best in the field she moved on to become the Director of Development at the Hand in Hand Center for Jewish Arab Education in Israel. Currently she serves as the Executive Office Manager at the Jerusalem International YMCA.

Anita Besdin Cooper MSW

Anita, originally from Syracuse, NY, resides in Jerusalem with her husband Eitan and four children. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rochester and an M.S.W. from Yeshiva University. Anita works as the Director of Social Work for Clalit Health Services, Jerusalem Region, and has worked extensively with Clalit’s Home Hospitalization Program, a community Palliative Care Unit, treating patients in advanced stages of illness in the comfort of their own homes.

Jonathan Grunfeld MD (Advisor to the Board)

Jonathan was born in Rehovoth, Israel and lives there today. He is married and the father of two boys. A graduate of the Tel-Aviv Sackler School of Medicine (1996) and a fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA, Dr. Grunfeld is currently in charge of Oncologic Palliative Care at Asaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel and is a specialist in Pain Management. For the past several summers, Dr. Grunfeld has been the on-site supervisor for Clinical Pastoral Education students from the Schechter Institute.

Board of Overseers:

Sara (Susan Petersen) Avitzour MSW

Sara was born and raised in New York. She earned a B.A. magna cum laude in French Language and Literature from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut) in 1976 and a J.D. from Boalt Hall of Law (University of California, Berkeley) in 1979. She made aliyah in 1980 with her husband Daniel and their first three children. She worked as a lawyer until 1998, while bearing four more children and, together with Daniel, raising all seven – six girls and a boy. Her fourth daughter, Timora, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 1994. Over the next six-plus years Timora underwent numerous intensive treatments, including two bone marrow transplants, before leaving this world in 2001. Toward the end of her daughter’s remission, Sara left the field of law to become a family mediator, translator, and writer. She published a memoir entitled And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones, in which she recounts and processes fifteen years of her experience, first with Timora while she was ill, then without her. Sara earned an M.S.W. from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work (Yeshiva University, New York) in 2007 and currently works as a psychotherapist in Hadassah Hospital (Jerusalem) and in private practice.