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YESOD STAFF

Dani Serlin – Yesod Director

Dani is the Director of Yesod, a partnership of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, investing in key individual Jewish communal professionals, educators and activists to strengthen Jewish life in Europe through professional development and Jewish fluency opportunities.

Dani previously led Limmud International, supporting and advising Limmud volunteer leaders and teams in Europe as well as worldwide to deliver diverse cross-communal Jewish learning events to over 80 Limmud communities in more than 40 countries. She was responsible for delivering regional and international development and connection programmes. Her background is in project management, social research into community conflict, and she was a madricha in a pluralist youth movement. Dani has a BA in Modern History and Political Science and an MA in Mediterranean Studies. She lives in London.

Lela Sadikario – Junction Director

Lela Sadikario serves as the Director for Junction at the JDC – an initiative that seeks to empower young Jews to take part in the pan-European Jewish community. Since she assumed her position with the JDC, her main focus has been offering innovative and creative frameworks for Jewish young adult engagement across international borders. For almost a decade now she has pioneered various programs that enabled thousands of young Jews to reconnect and engage in the Jewish world. After 15 years of shuttling her life around different cities, today Lela lives in Milan, Italy with her husband and son.

Clare Goldwater – Yesod Director of Educational Programming

Clare is a Jewish educator and leadership coach working with organisations and professionals to expand their potential. She works with emerging leaders and forward-thinking organisations to develop new projects, nurture innovation and train Jewish professionals to maximise their potential.

A native of London, England, who has lived in both Israel and the US, Clare has a BA from Oxford University and an MA in Education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  She was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Institute for Leadership in Jerusalem and is also a licensed coach with a focus on leadership development. Clare has worked with a range of organisations including Hillel, the iCenter, the Jewish Agency and many more. She lives in Jerusalem with her family.

Melanie Hoechner- Professional Development Manager

Melanie is the Professional Development Manager for Yesod. Her main focus is on supporting professionals in their own individual professional development, finding the best approaches and fits for them as well as creating tools that will benefit their professional growth.

Melanie spent her childhood and youth in the United States, Asia and Switzerland. Growing up, she was active in her local Jewish youth movement and later worked as a youth director for the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities. She also spent time studying and working for an HR consultancy in Spain. Her other past work experience includes simplifying procedures for small businesses for an NGO in Costa Rica, as well as advising and coaching students, creating lectures and workshops and working in applied research projects in the areas of organizational and personnel development at the University of Applied Psychology, Northwestern Switzerland. Melanie has a M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Bern and is also a certified coach. She is based in Switzerland.

Aya Yariv-Gordon – Yesod Administrator

Aya is the Yesod Administrator. Originally from Tel Aviv, Aya holds a B.A. in Economics and Social Science from Ben Gurion University in Israel. She has worked as an administrator, an economist at a law firm specialising in municipal taxes, and as Head of Hebrew in a London nursery.  Aya also has a background volunteering in various organisations that support families in need, developing relationships between communities and promoting local tourism. She lives in London.

Samantha Levinson – JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellow

Samantha (Sam) Levinson is the Senior JDC Fellow working out of Budapest with Junction, a pan-European platform, and network for young Jews living in Europe to create Jewish life in their own image. Sam’s background is in political and community organizing and she has worked for Political Action Committees, Digital Media Firms, Campaigns, and Congressional offices. Before political work, Sam spent a year as International President of BBYO traveling around North America and global communities.