I’m a rabbi and an entrepreneur, and spend much of my time exploring the rich intersections between these two traditions, and the abundant possibilities therein. I'm committed to leaving behind a world that is more compassionate, connected, and just than the one I found, and - in pursuit of that commitment - I am the Founding Director of Glean Network, an incubator and network for entrepreneurs who are building new models of faith in action, and Director of Innovation at Clal, a think-tank focused on the future of faith in America. I'm blessed to live and learn with my wife, Lizzie Pollock and our two children, Micah and Nessa, in Providence, RhodeIsland. I read broadly and voraciously, cook adventurously, and find sanctuary on the rock climbing walls of New England.
TAJ M. SMITH
I'm a theologian, writer, and advocate fascinated by the intersections of faith, justice, and identity. To me, innovation happens when a community holds these three things at the center of what it's trying to build. I see this reflected in the work of Glean Network and am thrilled to be part of this team. I draw inspiration from music and literature. I play guitar and have been refining this skill for over 20 years. Some of my most formative years were spent singing in coffee shops, bars, and on the streets of Santa Cruz, CA. As for books, I'll read anything with a good first sentence, though science fiction, fantasy, and magical realist fiction are my favorites.
Cameron Chaleff is interning at Glean Network while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies at Brown University. He is passionate about Jewish text study and design thinking as a tool for societal change. Last year, Cameron had the opportunity to begin exploring the intersection of his passions as a TikkunXDesign Fellow at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island. He's gleefully continuing to synthesize his disparate interests through his work with the Glean Network. Dedicated to finding connections across distance, Cameron divides his time between Providence, Rhode Island for school, and his hometown, Los Angeles. In his spare time, he experiments with fermented foods, roots for the Dodgers, and works on his feminist venture, the Morning-After Project.
RABBI IRWIN KULA
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.”
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.
Director of Fellowships at the OpEd Project
Ashley Zwick is an experienced and passionate educator in the areas of entrepreneurship and social innovation. She has taught aspiring changemakers for over 10 years at institutions such as Columbia University, the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame.
Most recently, Ashley served as Director of the Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School. While at Lang, Ashley developed and implemented a broad portfolio of programming, events and courses for Columbia student and alumni entrepreneurs. In addition, she was a co-instructor for the Lean Launchpad course with Steve Blank, and was on the founding team for the Columbia Startup Lab, a 72-seat co-working community for Columbia alumni entrepreneurs.
Ashley has a Master's in Public Administration from New York University, and a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School. Ashley is a Chicago native who currently lives in New York City with her husband and two boys, and can often be found in one of the city's wonderful parks.