Faculty Members

Dr. Elana Stein Hain

Dr. Elana Stein Hain is the Rosh Beit Midrash and a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty, engages in research and curriculum development and consults on the content of lay and professional leadership programs.

A widely well-regarded teacher and scholar, Elana is passionate about bringing rabbinic thought into conversation with contemporary life. To this end, she created Talmud from the Balcony, an occasional learning seminar exposing the big ideas, questions, and issues motivating rabbinic discussions. She is the author of Circumventing the Law: Rabbinic Perspectives on Legal Loopholes and Integrity (Penn Press, 2023-2024) which uses loopholes as a lens for understanding rabbinic views on law and ethics.

Elana also co-hosts For Heaven’s Sake, a bi-weekly podcast with Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi, exploring contemporary issues related to Israel and the Jewish world.

She earned her doctorate in Religion at Columbia University and is an alumna of the Yeshiva University Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) as well as the Consortium in Jewish Studies and Legal Theory Graduate Fellowship at Cardozo School of Law. She also served for eight years as a clergy member on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at both Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Jewish Center, has taught at the Wagner School at NYU, and sits on the board of Sefaria: A Living Library of Jewish Texts.

Elana lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her family.

Marci Mayer Eisen

Marci Mayer Eisen, MSW, ACC, Director of Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Millstone Leadership Initiatives and JProStLouis, leads community-wide professional development and lay leadership training. A native of Philadelphia, Marci has a MSW in Social Group Work and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She previously promoted interfaith volunteerism at the St. Louis JCRC and spent the majority of her career at the St. Louis JCC, including leading the Department of Jewish Community Life. An ICF credentialed coach, Marci is the founder and co-chair of IMUN, a new (and growing) international community of coaches promoting coaching in Jewish organizations. Passionate about committee work and leadership development, Marci has mentored many staff and has supervised over 30 MSW students, including international students.

Ellen B. Kagen Waghelstein

Ellen is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Leadership Academy, a national learning and consultation effort on effective leadership and change management for professionals and civic activists. She has over 30 years of experience training, coaching and facilitating at the national, state and local levels and regularly works with such entities as the World Bank, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Council on Mental Wellbeing, The Harvard Berkman/Klein Center, US State Department, Michigan Office of Children, Youth and Families, Missouri Department of Mental Health, New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and Maryland Child Welfare Academy. She currently directs the Kagen Fellows Program in Washington State and Georgia and created Coach Approach Partners to teach coaching and communication skills to leaders across the county. She is on the founding faculty of Preside, a national program that links Leadership and Governance through a Jewish Lens.

In addition to her professional experience, Ellen has a wide range of lay leadership involvement at the local, national and international levels. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program and is a past chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. She currently serves on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is a trustee of their Jewish Community Foundation. She is the 2019 recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland award and was recently selected to join the Shalom Hartman Muslim Leadership Institute. She also served on the founding Board of BBYO and two innovative start-ups, Judaism Alive and JChoice. Ellen was the founding president of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, the collaborative education and identity building agency in Greater Washington, DC where she successfully integrated three separate organizations into one new entity. She also co-led the efforts to create a nationally recognized, community-wide, teen identity agency called JET, Jewish Experiences for Teens.

Ellen and her husband David established the Waghelstein Family Hopes and Dreams Endowment Fund to further advance leadership opportunities for emerging activists. Ellen is delighted to continue her service to the Baltimore Jewish Community through her work with ACHARAI and Na’aleh.

Beth Gansky

Beth is the Director of Leadership Innovation at Na’aleh, previously filling the Executive Director of ACHARAI: Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute role. Before becoming Executive Director of ACHARAI in June 2015, Beth had been serving as a leadership coach for both the ACHARAI Fellows Program and Presidents’ Circle. She holds a Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University, a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Binghamton University. Beth is an experienced facilitator and a member of the faculty team of Accelerate, a year-long national program for high potential Hillel professionals who aspire to become directors.

Beth helps people bring their best selves to their professional and personal lives. Over the last twenty years, Beth has trained, consulted and coached both volunteer and professional leaders for local and national organizations. In 2012, she launched The Gansky Group, LLC, a consulting practice that specializes in coaching and training, particularly with non-profit organizations. Beth was with Hillel of Greater Baltimore for fourteen years until 2009, as the Executive Director for the last five. She led the decentralization of that regional operation to four self-sustaining Hillel campus foundations and played a significant role in the opening of The Smokler Center at Johns Hopkins University. Beth is also a board member at Camp Ramah in the Poconos where she is chairing strategic planning process. She is a past board member at Beth Israel Congregation, University of Maryland Hillel, and Beth Tfiloh Congregation and is a facilitator for the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development.

Outside of her professional life, Beth finds great fulfillment as a traveler, cook, reader, theatre patron, and mother.

Daniel Langenthal

Daniel is an experienced educator, whose approach to human and organizational growth is informed by values of openness, engagement, reflection, and empowering others. He has worked as a trainer, consultant, and educator with a wide array of clients from businesses to non-profit organizations, including working with teachers and youth-at-risk in both the US and Israel.

In his most recent role as Director of the Leadership Development Institute at CJP Boston, Daniel worked with synagogues, Jewish communal organizations, and universities to facilitate effective boards, enhance team effectiveness, and develop emerging leaders.

Previously, as the Director of Experiential Learning and Teaching at Brandeis University, he worked with faculty to help them incorporate active and reflective learning into their teaching. Prior to that, Daniel founded and directed MABAT, an Israeli non-profit dedicated to improving intercultural awareness among all Israeli citizens through experiential and diversity programming at Israeli colleges and universities. Daniel also served in the IDF, as a tour guide for the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel and as an Outward Bound instructor.

Daniel earned an MBA from the Heller School of Social Policy Management and an MA from the Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University. He also earned an MS in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He volunteers with numerous non-profit organizations both Jewish and non, locally, nationally and in Israel.