Our Staff

MICOL ZIMMERMAN BURKEMAN, DIRECTOR

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Micol Zimmerman Burkeman, MAJE, is the Director of the Experiential Jewish Education Network where she combines her passions for creating powerful learning experiences and building a supportive network of colleagues that fosters connection and collaboration. Upon first joining the EJE Network team, Micol also served as staff and mentor at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, working in the Certificate in Jewish Education program. Prior to this, she served as the National Director of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement serving over 8,000 Jewish youth. Micol has also served as a consultant at The Jewish Education Project, training and mentoring Jewish professionals in the field of teen engagement, and as Director of Education at synagogues across the country and in England. An avid lover of pop culture, she spends an inordinate amount of time watching and analyzing film and television and uses it to bring Jewish text and values to life in a fusion she calls Pop Torah, which she has presented at national and international conferences and for communities around the country.

Micol received her Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and her B.A. in Communication at the University of Southern California. She lives in Natick, MA with her husband, Rabbi Danny Burkeman, and their two children, Gabriella and Benjamin. She spends her free time playing with her kids, posting too many pictures of them on Facebook, appreciating art and pop culture and is currently training for a Rugged Maniac race to fulfill her dream of being an American Ninja Warrior (and to impress her daughter).

What sparked your passion for Jewish education?
My years as a camper and staff member at summer camp, specifically URJ Greene Family Camp, which cultivated my love for Jewish learning and inspiring a love for it in others.

JODY GANSEL, PROGRAM MANAGER

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Jody Gansel, MAJE, is the Program Manager of the Experiential Jewish Education Network where she integrates her love for program planning and logistics with community organizing to bring Jewish professionals from all walks of life together to build community and learn in a meaningful way. Jody first discovered the EJE Network as an alumna of the Experiential Jewish Education MA program at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the EJE Network team, Jody worked at the largest Reform temple in New England, Temple Israel of Boston, where she collaborated with clergy on young adult programming. It was in her role as Hebrew teacher for young adults that Jody discovered her passion for working with the 20s-30s population. Jody has also worked with the JCC Maccabi team at JCC Association where she spent time engaging with JCC Maccabi host communities and volunteers ensuring a successful Games and ArtsFest. Prior to her studies at JTS, Jody was a youth educator at a Reform temple outside of Boston where she first discovered the idea of experiential education a professional setting. Taking her community organizing skills in a different direction, Jody is a community manager for the travel company for young adults, Under30Experiences, where she organizes meetups and creates an Atlanta based travel community for Under30Experiences alumni.

Jody received her Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and her B.A. in Jewish Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her fiancé, Aaron Miller, and their dog Sadie. Jody spends her free time hiking in the North Georgia mountains, planning trips around the world, and having board game night with friends.

What sparked your passion for Jewish education?
Summer camp, specifically URJ Camp Coleman, laid the foundation for a lifelong love for Jewish education, but that love was solidified by participating in the NFTY-EIE (now renamed URJ Heller High) semester in Israel.