Minneapolis Lay Committee
Mark Appelbaum, Minneapolis Chair
Mark Appelbaum is the principal of The Makado Group LLC, a real estate development opportunities firm. Makado develops highly functioning residential environments that serve as long-term assets and improve the lives of individuals, enhance neighborhoods and build community.
Amy Rosenblatt Lui
Amy Rosenblatt Lui is a Philanthropic Advisor with over 30 years of strategic foundation and development experience. She was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio and is the product of a mixed marriage – a fifth generation, Jerusalemite Sabra and an 4th Generation American, Reform Jew who is a Zionist.
Dick has been involved with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation filling numerous positions including:
- Campaign chair for 3 campaigns
- VP Campaign
- Member of Central Planning Committee
- Member of Federation board and Executive Committees
- Chair Jewish Identity and Continuity committee
I have lived in Minnesota my entire life and grew up at the Adath Jeshurun Synagogue. Our family has always had a strong connection to the Adath and to our Jewish Community and to Israel. My oldest sister went to Israel with our communities Rishon exchange program and when I was in high school, we hosted a Rishon student. We also hosted with the Givat Olga program and even now, we’ve hosted Scouts and Israeli’s who’ve worked at the local summer programs.
Gayle was born and raised in Boston area (still misses the ocean). She received her BA from Brown University and her MBA from Northwestern University.
Jodi, a small business owner of a company called FreshlyCut, is the President of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Chair of the Israel Center (a program of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation) and serves on the Overseas Committee for Federation. She is a past President of Bet Shalom Congregation and Co-Chaired the Parallel Lives Program (a former collaboration with an Israeli organization—Zehut Lachyim).
Judy was born and raised in Minneapolis and is a Talmud Torah Beit Midrash graduate. She is a total Zionist and a proud mother of an olah hadasha! Her proudest community post include: past Presidency of Darchei Noam, plus housed it in its first 7 months of existence. Married 36 years to Jerel Shapiro (high school sweethearts!), 4 great kids, 2 great kids-in-law, and one super-great grandchild in Baltimore.
Kim is married and has two daughters, age 19 & 24 with a new son in-law. She has a Masters in Social Work and is an LPN. Both of her daughters attended the Jewish Day School and went to Talmud Torah until 12th grade. Her family frequently travels to Israel and has an apartment in Netanya.
Mark is the President of Marketshare Sales, a sales organization. He and Debbie have been married for 33 years and have 3 children (hoping for grandkids soon).
Sally Abrams is a lifelong resident of Minnesota, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She co-directs the Speakers Bureau for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC MinnDak) and has spoken about Israel and/or Judaism in scores of churches, classrooms, and civic groups.
Scott is an IT manager at MTS and has worked in the IT field since 1989. He has been to Israel 5 times, including a semester at Tel Aviv University during his college career and is reasonably conversant in Modern Hebrew. His children were both active in USY during high school and both went on the USY Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage and his daughter, who is a Junior at University of Arizona participated on the Shorashim Birthright program.
Although originally from North Carolina, Julian Yigal Kritz has called Minnesota home since January 2013. A recent honors graduate from Augsburg College, Julian now works as an Executive Legal Assistant at JUX Law Firm in downtown Minneapolis. Julian is an engaged member of both the local and national Jewish and pro‐Israel communities.
Jonathan is the father of 3 wonderful and active teenagers and married to Iris, who is also wonderful and active. In the Jewish community, Jonathan has been a leader in Scouting, involved with Heksher Tzedek movement, has served on the Adath Jeshurun Congregation Board for 6 years and is currently the Chair of Adath Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery, the Cemetery of Adath Jeshurun.
In 2007, Ethan Roberts became the Director of the Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program, which is a joint program of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC). His responsibilities include serving as the principal lobbyist for Minnesota’s Jewish community before the federal, state, and local governments.
Sami Rahamim is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in public and nonprofit management. He has lived in Minneapolis his entire life, save for the gap year he spent on a Masa Israel program. While most of his life has been in Minnesota, Sami has a very deep connection to Israel. His father Reuven, z”l, was born in Rehovot in 1951 and raised on Moshav Ge’ah further south.
Andrea Nadel‐Tikh has been passionate about and fascinated by Israel since her first visit at age 13. Since then she has been to Israel many times in personal, volunteer and professional capacities. She currently serves as co‐chair of the Federation’s Twin Cities Masa Alumni Board and works for Korn Ferry Hay Group, a human resources consulting firm.
Born in Pennsylvania, grew up (for the most part) in Bloomington, MN. Received my B.S. from University of Michigan (GO BLUE), MPH and PhD from University of Minnesota. Worked for both Medtronic and Boston Scientific (Guidant) before joining 3D Communications where I am a consultant to device and pharmaceutical companies.
Wendy Lovell Smith
Wendy (mother of four) has been an active member of the Jewish community since she moved here from NY in 1997. She has served as an officer of Federation, Co-Chair of the Beth El Capital Campaign and currently serves as VP of development of the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School.
Zehorit was born in Israel to a Yemenite immigrant family. Growing up in multi-cultural Givat Olga, she experienced Israel’s rich ethnic diversity through food and celebration. Following high school graduation, Zehorit Joined the Israeli army, where she became an officer, finishing her service as a lieutenant. She then majored in English Literature and Political Science at the Tel Aviv University.
Greg Arenson graduated with Biomedical Engineering and Law degrees from the University of Minnesota, and practices patent law with a focus on high-tech and medical device technology. While in school, Greg led the Jewish Law Students Association, working to connect students to the greater Twin Cities Jewish legal community.
Rehovot Lay Committee
Dr. Yoram Blachar
Dr. Yoram Blachar, Israeli Partnership Chair. Yoram, a Pediatrics expert, is the head of The School of Medical Professions at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot and a member of the American-Israel Educational Fund – The Fulbright Foundation.
Proph. David Tennor
Proph. David Tennor is a professor of Chemical Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Born and raised in New York City. 1995 he made Aliya to Rehovot with his wife, Vivian (Chaya) Levmore Tannor, and their four children.
Zohar Blum (47), a third-generation Rehovotite, was raised and educated in the city. He is married to Chani and the father of two daughters, ages 20 and 13. Throughout his childhood he was in the Israel Scouts and is active in the movement to this very day. He serves as Deputy Mayor of the City of Rehovot and has headed the Education Portfolio for a decade. It was in this capacity that he led the recent reform in the education system in Rehovot, including the introduction of dozens of community-oriented projects. He is also the chair of the Yesh Atid political party in Rehovot.
Nega Alene was born in Ethiopia and made Alia in 1995. Nega has been an active as an educator and volunteer in the Ethiopian community all of his adult life. Between 1992-1995 he was an administrator in the Addis Ababa Jewish refugee camp where 4,000 Ethiopian Jews waited for Aliyah to Israel.
Adi Milstein, born in 1950 in Tel Aviv, was a teacher at the southern city Dimona, where she met her husband, David. In 1976 relocated to the U.S. where David performed his Post-doctoral studies in chemistry and then joined DuPont Company in Wilmington, De. While being there Adi obtained an MA degree in Special Education from the University of Southern New Jersey and taught at Jewish Day-Schools.
Yasmin Sagiv was born in Argentina and at the age of 2, moved to Israel. She grew up in Naharia, 3 Miles away from the Lebanese border. She Graduated with a BSc. In Soil and Water Sciences and a MSc. In Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, both from the Hebrew University. Yasmin and her family spent 5 years in Minnesota during her husband’s PhD studies at the UMN at the department of Physics.
Harry Langbeheim made Aliya at the age of 23 from Switzerland to do a Ph.D. in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot followed by a Postdoc period at the National Cancer Institute Bethesda Maryland. Harry is Senior Lecturer for Biotechnology Entrepreneurship at the Prof. Ephraim Katzir Dept. of Biotechnology Engineering, ORT Braude Academic College and serves for over 25 years as healthcare/biotechnology business executive and consultant to early-stage companies mostly funded by private investors and by government support programs.
Gideon Vennor, Partnership2Gether Rehovot – Minneapolis director
Gideon Vennor was born in London to a British Dad and an Israeli Mom, and made Aliyah to Israel when he was six. He is currently – and since 2008 actually – Partnership2Gether Director at the Jewish Agency for Israel. As such, he is responsible for developing ties between the Israeli communities of Mateh Yehuda and Beit Shemesh and the Jewish communities in South Africa; and ties between the city of Rehovot and the Jewish communities in Minneapolis and in Switzerland. These ties touch upon several of Gideon’s favorite themes, including dialog, Jewish and Israeli identity, leadership, and social action.
Avital Beer is a project manager at the research institute, coordinator and member of the International Review Board at the Rabin Medical Center. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Weizmann institute and an MBA from Bar Ilan University. In her job at the IRB committee, she advances an agenda of improvement and efficiency of the quality of the medical research in Israel while still protecting the autonomy of the patients.
I was born in Israel in 1954. I grew up and was educated in Rehovot. I am a mother of three children and grandmother of two grandchildren.
I worked for 36 years as an educator, teaching Bible, linguistics, computers and special education. Today I am retired and spend my time with my family and volunteering in my community.
Brenda is the People‐to‐People project manager for Partnership2Gether Rehovot—Minneapolis. She is responsible for coordinating incoming and outgoing missions, the school twinning program and other projects run by our Partnership in Rehovot.