Keynote Speakers

Allan Finkelstein | president of JCC Association

The release of the JCC Vision and Statement of Principles for the 21st Century at the 2012 Biennial Convention was a significant moment for the JCC Movement. The vision and statement of principles express the shared beliefs that tie us together, but only when they are studied (and argued and debated) locally, will they move off the printed page and into our daily lives. Allan will talk about what this means for you and your JCCs.

Allan Finkelstein assumed the position of president of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America in October 1994, culminating a 20-year career in the JCC field. His previous positions include executive vice president of the JCCs of Los Angeles, executive vice president of the Leo Yassenoff Jewish Community Center of Columbus, Ohio, and a variety of positions at the JCC of Greater Buffalo.

Allan is a native of Minneapolis, and received his M.S.W. degree from the University of Minnesota, where had also received his bachelor’s degree. He has continued to be active in the field of professional education, having served as the chair of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Benjamin Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University. He was a faculty member of the Kaplan Seminar for Emerging Professionals at Brandeis University from 1995-2007. He also served as a faculty member of the Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.


Michael Bitton | mayor of Yeruham, Israel

bitton-largerOn November 23, 2010, Michael Bitton was elected mayor of Yeruham, Israel with a 44.5 percent majority, in the first municipal election in five years. His parents, Masuda and Eliyahu Biton ז”ל , emigrated from Morocco in 1963 directly to Yeruham, and Michael was born and raised there. He is married to Ilana and they have five children.
For three years, Michael was the director of the Yeruham Community Center, where he eliminated a deficit and doubled the budget. He also worked as the regional director for Beer-Sheva with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and served as director of partnerships and strategic planning at the United Israel Appeal Federations Canada (UIAFC).
Michael holds an M.A. in nonprofit organizational management through the Schwartz program from the Hebrew University, and a B.A. in behavioral studies and Hebrew literature from Ben Gurion University. He is currently a fellow at the Mandel Institution of Educational Leadership.


Haydn Shaw | Senior Consultant, Franklin Covey

As an author and thought leader on the subject of generations, Haydn Shaw uses laughter and reflection to help audiences increase their personal productivity and work together despite differences.

Haydn Shaw is an expert on increasing personal productivity and turning around negative work environments and negative employees, as well as helping leaders bridge generation gaps within their organizations. For over twenty years, Haydn has helped Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen Xers, and, most recently, Millennials, work together. He is the author and developer of Franklin Covey’s workshop and two hour webinar, Leading Across Generations®.

As a senior consultant with Franklin Covey for 17 years, Haydn specializes in its leadership, execution, and personal productivity methodologies. Known for taking groups from hilarity to deep reflection, he combines rich content with “use tomorrow” tools.


Deborah Grayson Riegel | President of Elevated Training, Inc. and MyJewishCoach.com

Deborah Grayson Riegel is the president of Elevated Training, Inc. and MyJewishCoach.com, where she delivers training, coaching, and speaking across industries, from financial services and advertising to law and Jewish organizations. Deborah was the director of education and training for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at United Jewish Communities (UJC), and also worked at the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) as the director of the only program in North America that trains senior citizens to be lobbyists. In addition, Deborah was a key player in the development of New York’s Makor/Steinhardt Center for young Jewish professionals.

A popular conference speaker for both the American Society of Training and Development and Training Magazine’s Conference and Expo, Deborah was awarded membership into the National Speakers Association in 2005. She is also a member of the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals, the Jewish Communal Service Association, and a credentialed member of the International Coach Federation. She has served as a trainer for JCCs of North America Biennial and Professional Conference many times before.

Deb is a visiting professor of executive communications at the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, China. She is also the author of Oy Vey! Isn’t a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success’ (Behrman House).


See Deborah Grayson Riegel in action on Fox Business about What we can learn from this year’s presidential debate moderators and come to the Professional Conference to learn more about how you can have productive meetings.