Born in Jerusalem, son of former Israeli emissaries who served in the U.S; raised in the Israeli Youth Movement; nine years a pilot and flight instructor in the Israeli Air Force; eight years a high school teacher and mentor for youth-at-risk in Tel Aviv; an educator with a Master’s of Philosophy; what better creds for Jewish Detroit’s new Shaliach, our emissary from Israel, Yiftah Leket?
Imagine the courage, the spirit and the optimism it takes to mask-up and fly in the face of a world pandemic to carry out his mission to Israel and our Jewish community. With steadfast confidence in his bold move to Detroit - having just arrived in September with his wife, Paz, and their daughter, Ella - Yiftah offers his first take on the challenges and opportunities ahead.
So far, so good . . . Michigan winters and Detroit drivers haven’t bothered Tomer Moked, not a bit. “Driving in Michigan is a little like driving in Israel,” he says, “Everyone is in a rush, but they know where they want to go.”
In his previous role as Assistant Director at Tamarack Camps, as many know him, Tomer was never one to rush into a decision. And he knew with certainty where he was going, moving from Israel to Michigan into the heart of the Detroit Jewish community. Leaving the house he owns in Beit Arye and the business he’s established in Tel Aviv - Tomer maintains that he’s found “a dream come true” in his new position as Federation’s Director of NEXTGen Detroit.
All in: That’s Scott Kaufman. Absolutely, positively, whole-heartedly, Scott has been all in at the helm of the Detroit Federation. It’s been 10 years, a long time in a challenging job. And now? He’s stepping away from his day-to-day role in an astonishing, bold move. Call it a mid-career reboot – a self-imposed opportunity to reset his focus on community initiatives in development and see them to fruition. “Jewish communal work is in my blood,” Scott says. “I was the right leader for the times, but the time is right for me to step aside and share the lessons I’ve learned. Federation is in a great place for others to step in and lead in new directions. I’m not walking away from our community. I remain here for our community. And all in.”
A born leader: Matt Ran is Past President (and an EPIC fundraiser) for Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit. Now Co-chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet, Matt is also V.P. of Michigan ORT and a member of the boards of Federation, Yad Ezra and the JCC of Metro Detroit. On the path to career volunteerism at 33, Matt also has a “day job” – spearheading business growth and development at Telemus– a financial life management company co-founded by his father and two uncles. Influenced by the many role models for active community engagement in his family, Matt often refers to the legacy of his great grandfather, Phillip Stollman (z”l), a guiding light in Detroit philanthropy, and a founding patron of Young Israel in Oak Park and Bar-Ilan University in Israel. “I never forget that I am the son, the grandson and great-grandson of outstanding community leaders and I am forever grateful for those connections.”
They finish each other’s sentences. They describe their life as Perfect. Chaos. Typical. Jewish. Blessed. Two busy professionals, never too busy for their leading roles as parents and Jewish community volunteers. This is Ilana Liss, Managing Director at Schechter Wealth . . . and Zachary Liss, MD, Pediatric Urologist, Michigan Institute of Urology . . . a NEXTGen Detroit couple, committed to building community and leading by example.
As long as he can remember, Scott Wasserman has been a techie. “I have always been into computers, gadgets, gizmos—anything with an on button.” At 17, Scott turned pro as the videographer for Tamarack Camps, and there he fell in love with the magic of storytelling. Honing his skills in Media Arts and Technology at MSU, Scott launched his own company while still in college. Today he runs Flow Video (formerly Visioned Media), a video marketing and production company he co-founded three years ago with his fraternity brother, Alex Scharg. With a growth spurt into the New York area and a recent project in Geneva, Switzerland, Scott’s company has gone global. On the move and “always on,” yet firmly rooted in Jewish Detroit, Scott indeed is an emerging young leader to watch, friend and follow.