Anita Altman is an activist and a life-long New Yorker. She is a graduate of CCNY and the New School for Social Research. A recent retiree, Ms. Altman had an almost 50-year career in New York City government and the non-profit sector. For almost 3 decades she held a prominent position as a Jewish communal professional on the staff of UJA-Federation of New York. There she played an instrumental role in organizing a Jewish response to the AIDS epidemic, helped put family violence in the Jewish community and addressing the needs and fostering inclusion for people with disabilities on the communal agenda, as well as championed programming to help enable seniors to age in their own communities. For 25 years she was responsible for the Rose Biller scholarship program, which has provided financial assistance to hundreds of Footsteps members. Ms. Altman was a recipient of the 2008 Woman of Valor award from the New York Board of Rabbis and is the founder of the ReelAbilities film festival.
Seth D. Kaplan is a Professorial Lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Senior Adviser for the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), and consultant to organizations working on governance, state building, and poverty reduction. Mr. Kaplan is the author of two books: Fixing Fragile States: A New Paradigm for Development (Praeger Security International, 2008), which has been widely read by policymakers and think tank analysts because of its unique framework for analyzing and addressing the structural constraints that hold back countries such as Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and the Congo; and Betrayed: Politics, Power, and Prosperity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), which examines how to promote inclusive development and poverty reduction in fragile states.
Chana Silberstein worked for the Board of Jewish Education for 26 years, where she rose to become the director of the Division of Informal and Family Education. Her accomplishments include: growing “Mishpacha,” a program of engagement for parents; pioneering “Shibbolim,” a leadership training program for Soviet emigres; and creating “Programs to Go” and “Ethnic Journeys,” programs that brought experiential Jewish education into schools. For Chana, as a passionate child advocate, Jewish education is not a job but a calling.
Shlomo Noskow is an emergency physician living in New York. He works for the Brooklyn Hospital Center and as a traveling physician for NES+ Health. Dr. Noskow attended Hasidic yeshivas growing up and consequently was not offered any secular education in high school. After overcoming major obstacles, he was able to pursue higher education and ended up obtaining his medical degree. He strongly believes that every child has the right to a robust and well-rounded education.
Yitzchok Pinkesz was born in Brooklyn, NY. He was raised in a Hasidic family and attended Hasidic schools for elementary through high-school. When he left high-school he pursued a computer science degree at Yeshiva University. While at YU he was active in the Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society and Computer Science Club. He joined YAFFED when it started in 2012. In the summer of 2017, he joined Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Starting with his time at YU, Yitzchok was actively involved in child education rights advocacy and organ donation advocacy.