CORE TEAM

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RABBI ELAN BABCHUCK

Founding Director

Rabbi Elan Babchuck is a rabbi and entrepreneur who spends much of his time exploring the rich intersections between these two traditions. He’s committed to leaving behind a world that is more compassionate, connected, and just than the one he found, and – in pursuit of that commitment – he is the Director of Innovation at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and the Founding Executive Director of Glean Network, an incubator and network for entrepreneurs who are building new models of faith in action, which partners with Columbia Business School.

 

He has incubated over 150 successful startups over the past 10 years, and built four of his own during his 20 years of entrepreneurship. A sought-after keynote speaker, he publishes regularly on The Wisdom Daily, creates content for Ritual (app), contributed to Meaning Making - 8 Values That Drive America’s Newest Generations (2020), and is the co-author of Renewable Energy (2023), a book exploring emergent leadership models for legacy religious organizations.

 

He serves as the founding board chair of Sympara - an organization that repurposes religious buildings into sacred/civic spaces, a founding board member of the Beloved Network - a network of startup, home-based Jewish communities, a member of the Research Advisory Board of Springtide Research Institute - which focuses on spirituality and Gen Z, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Changemaker Initiative.

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NOVA GEORGE

Belonging and Engagement Intern

I am a 2nd year Master’s of Divinity student at Union Theological Seminary, with a deep interest in the Hebrew Bible and the ways faith informs imaginings and realities with regards to diversity, belonging, and inclusion. I am excited to work with the Glean Network to embrace and engage the potential of my own sense of wonder and support the organization with my skills in facilitation, education, and care work. 

 

My eyes light up when I am in conversation about the pedagogical impact of educational technology, liberation theologies, Ancient Near Eastern prophecy, and ritual and spiritual practice. When I’m not studying, you might find me writing poetry, singing showtunes, or dreaming about the world I hope to co-create with all of you.     

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WORK WITH US

Careers at Glean Network

There are no current openings. We are always looking to meet with individuals who are passionate about spiritual entrepreneurship and motivated by our mission, vision, and values. Contact Us

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SANDY HONG

Assistant Director

Sandy Hong (he/they) is a facilitator and a strategic consultant, with a background in digital strategy & community organizing. Prior to joining Glean Network’s Core Team, he was a participant in Glean’s 2020 START program, focusing on developing offerings that center justice, belonging, liminality and spirituality within the Korean diaspora. 

 

Sandy is passionate about building resilient systems of care and accountability that shape organizations and their commitments from the inside out. A self-described "network nerd", Sandy is passionate about decentralized networks and their potential to create deep, broad, transformative change starting from the individual, their values, and their embodiment. 

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MINAHIL KHAN

Communications Strategist

I'm a data-driven creative that loves to explore the various avenues through which we create and share information. I come to Glean with the hopes of not only broadening my understanding of the intersection between innovation and faith, but also documenting our journey in a plethora of ways. I recently obtained a  BBA in Marketing and a minor in IT from The University of Massachusetts-Amherst, but my academic interests also include FinTech and Islamic Law. You can always find me talking world affairs, reading Emily Dickinson, or producing disruptive art - whatever that may look like. 

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SHELLI ADERMAN

Program Manager

Shelli Aderman comes to Clal from a varied and exciting background, where she started learning to code computers as a child. As an adult, Shelli continued her fascination with all things behind-the-scenes in a career of theatrical stage management and administration. As the Program Administrator for many of Clal’s varied projects, including Glean, Rabbis Without Borders, and Stand and See, she gets to use all of her backstage skills in the support of rabbis.

Within the Jewish community, Shelli has been able to put her stage management training to use as an Administrator for Congregation Tehillah in Riverdale, and Emanuel Congregation in Chicago. Also in Chicago, Shelli was the Youth Advisor and Youth Service Leader for Anshe Emet Synagogue. Shelli also is a Religious School and Youth and Family Educator at Town and Village Synagogue.

A graduate of Hofstra University and Young Judaea’s Year Course, Shelli is thrilled to be part of CLAL. Shelli is happily married to Narda E. Alcorn, with whom they share the joy of parenting Malka and Noah Matan.

PROGRAM FACULTY

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RABBI IRWIN KULA

Co-President, Clal

Rabbi Irwin Kula is a disruptive spiritual innovator and rogue thinker. A 7th generation rabbi he is Co-President of Clal–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership a do-tank committed to making Jewish a Public Good. A thought leader on the intersection of innovation, religion, and human flourishing, Irwin has worked with leaders from the Dalai Lama to Queen Noor and with organizations, foundations, and businesses in the United States and around the world to inspire people to live with greater passion, purpose, creativity and compassion. Named one of the leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape, he received the 2008 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award for his work “toward equality, liberty and a truly inter–religious community” and has been listed in Newsweek for many years as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.”

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DR. JACK MCGOURTY

Director of Community and Global Entrepreneurship, Columbia Business School

Jack McGourty Ph.D. is Director of Community and Global Entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School and a faculty member teaching courses in entrepreneurship, venture creation, and product innovation. Prior to joining the Columbia Business School, Jack was Vice Dean for Columbia’s Engineering School. Over the past 19 years, Jack has been an active member of the University's entrepreneurial community, establishing an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, teaching core and advanced courses in new venture creation & growth, and launching the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. Jack is the driving force behind Venture for All®, a program designed to educate aspiring entrepreneurs and build capacity for high potential startup ventures in emerging global markets.

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Sarah Beston

Instructor, Venture for All at Columbia Business School

Sarah Beston is an entrepreneur, yoga and meditation teacher, inner wellness coach, and writer based in Los Angeles. Sarah's Body Wisdom coaching programs and retreats blend ancient wisdom with modern science while pulling from the traditions of yoga, spiritual healing, positive psychology, somatics, and mindfulness. Through her teachings and guidance, Sarah hopes to inspire others to overcome self-imposed limitations, helping them to uncover their individual truths and (re)discover their most authentic selves. Sarah is an instructor at Columbia Business School's Venture for All program, where she teaches courses on spiritual entrepreneurship and venture creation.