BimBam’s digital storytelling sparks connections to Judaism for learners of all ages.
Sarah Lefton is the founding Director of BimBam.
Before creating the organization as a response to her own mediocre Jewish education, Sarah produced early online experiments for The New York Times, the Village Voice, Princess Cruises, and several robotics companies. She graduated from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where her Masters work looked at the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Augmented and Virtual Reality for film and TV applications.
Sarah is a recipient of the Pomegranate Prize for exceptional educators, a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs, and was named one of the “Forward 50” most influential Jews by the Forward newspaper. She lives in Oakland with her family, and dabbles in ceramics and urban sketching.
Jordan has spent over 20 years in and around the Jewish nonprofit world, including long-term affiliations with Camp Tawonga, Jewish Free Loan of Los Angeles, and Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco, where he was the Director of Development for more than five years. Most recently, Jordan served as the Director of Global Accounts for an ad-tech start-up based in Netanya, managing a portfolio of clients with annual ad revenue of nearly $20M. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College and a certificate from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
As the Animation Director at BimBam, Jeremy Shuback has brought together over seventy shorts on subjects ranging the gamut of Jewish Education. Most notable was directing the eScapegoat – a traveling (goat) web app that collected sins in preparation for Yom Kippur. It received tens of thousands of atonements and was featured in the WSJ, CNN, NPR, WaPo, and many other papers.
With The Jewish Life Cycle series, his team created thirty three pieces covering everything from Jewish Births to Jewish Funerals. He continues to expand BimBam’s series of animated shorts and supports educators and artists to create boundary-breaking Jewish content.
The grandson of a Rabbi, he’s always been deeply involved in his Jewish Community. He’s led High Holiday services, staffed dozens of Jewish retreats and trips, and worked as a Hebrew School Teacher for years.
Before starting at BimBam, Jeremy worked as an artist / educator and lectured in over a hundred cities across the US. To date, he has taught over 100,000 people through his online crash courses and done backgrounds, visual effects, and title sequences for a dozen movies. To see his latest work, head to http://shuback.me/
Barbara is an experienced marketing executive with a lively career path. After earning her Masters in Computer Engineering from Stanford, Barbara began work as a software developer for Xerox PARC. Barbara then followed her colleagues to “change the world,” and proudly led the product marketing team that launched the original Apple Macintosh. Barbara continued pursuing tech innovation from there, managing marketing and launch programs for a variety of innovative Silicon Valley start-ups including PIXAR. Barbara has also dabbled in robotics and worked in software development for interactive video. She has significant volunteer experience in education and a deep foundation in the Jewish community, beginning with the presidency of her temple youth group up through the co-leadership of her Temple’s sisterhood. When she’s not working, Barbara likes to hop on a bike and to travel the world with her family. Contact Barbara at Tel:(415) 935-4565 or Barbara@bimbam.com.
Prior to joining BimBam, Richa worked at various nonprofits both in the US and abroad. She received her Masters in International Development and has worked in Japan, Nepal, and England. She lives in Oakland with her husband and dog. In her free time, she edits a Nepali Women’s blog, writes short stories, and enjoys the outdoors.
Ellen Coplan Holderman is the Marketing Manager at BimBam. Ellen joins the team as a marketing and social media maven with experience working with the Jewish community and nonprofits in the Bay Area.
Prior to joining BimBam, Ellen served as the Communications and Engagement Manager at KQED where she marketed KQED’s free educational resources to K-12 educators and created their first KQED Teacher Ambassador program. She has also worked at Congregation Emanu-El, Bend the Arc, Common Sense Media, READ Global, and The Representation Project.
Ellen holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco and a BA in Feminist Studies and History of Art and Visual Culture from UC Santa Cruz. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, backpacking and drinking too much matcha tea.
Data Science Research
Dollar Shave Club
Matthew D. Gershuny
Director of Research
Parnassus Mid Cap Fund
Director Early Childhood Education
Jewish Community Federation
Kids & Family Content Strategy
Engine Co. 4
Vice President, Development, Nickelodeon Preschool
Chief Advancement and Operations Officer
Global Lead, Creator Growth at YouTube
Alicia Jo Rabins
Poet, Musician, Performer
and Jewish Educator
Writer, Poet, and
Dr. Zvi Septimus
Department of Near Eastern Studies
M. Evan Wolkenstein
Director of Experiential Education
Jewish Community High School
As Senior Vice President of SpringHill Ventures, Sam is involved in all aspects of managing the Company’s real estate development projects. Within his role on the executive team, Sam plays a key part in molding and implementing the strategic direction of SpringHill’s developments. Sam also oversees all financial activities and analysis for the organization and manages and coordinates third party contractors, including contract negotiation, scopes of work and development plan implementation. Sam has over 15 years of experience in real estate finance, private equity investment, asset management and accounting. Prior to joining SpringHill Ventures, he spent 10+ years in New York working for BofA Merrill Lynch, Clarion Partners and Blackpoint Partners. Sam oversaw investment management functions for these private equity and development firms specializing in opportunistic retail, office, multi-family and land investments. Throughout, he has directed leasing, construction and property management activities, representing both active and passive stakeholders, for properties and portfolios across the country. Overall, he has been a major contributor in the acquisition and value-creation of over 10 million sf of real estate with a combined value of over $2.5 billion.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Sam earned his MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Tulane University. Sam currently lives in Mill Valley where he and his wife are tirelessly trying to get their three young daughters to love the outdoors as much as they do.
Lisa Colton is the Chief Learning Officer at See3 Communications, and the founder and president of Darim Online. Her works centers around how nonprofits align themselves for success in the digital age, with a particular emphasis in the Jewish community. Much of Lisa’s energy focuses on helping people and organizations innovate, and helping innovators mature and strengthen their work.
Lisa is a graduate of Stanford University, and attended The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Livnot U’lehibanot. Lisa lives in Seattle, WA with her family, where she’s a partner of the Kavana Cooperative, and is currently fostering a bunny named Caesar.
Andrew Gordon has been animating characters professionally for over 20 years. He joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1997 where he has animated on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and 3, Monsters Inc, Monster U. Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, The Incredibles and Ratatouille among many others. The characters he has helped lead include Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Gill, from Finding Nemo and Edna Mode, the costume designer in “The Incredibles.” He was Supervising animator for the academy award nominated short “Presto” and directing animator on Monsters University and a Toy Story TV special. Andrew is currently the director for ancillary material for the film “Incredibles 2.”
Mr. Gordon studied animation in Vancouver, NY and NJ, and prior to his work at Pixar, he worked at Warner Bros. Classics. He was awarded “Outstanding Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture” by the Visual Effects Society for his work in Finding Nemo. Andrew has an interest in creative spaces, creating many of the secret spaces at Pixar such as the Love Lounge, Lucky 7 lounge and Hearth Lounge. Andrew also teaches animation and storytelling around the world including classes for businesses, working with such companies as Sales Force, Pinterest, Deloitte and IDEO. He co-founded a school called The Animation Collaborative, and helped start the most popular program at California College of Art.
As a founding member of Pixar, the pioneering computer animation company, Ralph was Vice President of Feature Animation. At Pixar he managed the growth and development of the studio from seven people in 1986 to more than 350 employees in 1997. Among his many accomplishments, Ralph produced Toy Story for Pixar and Disney. This computer animated feature film, produced for $30 million, grossed over $350 million worldwide and is among the most successful animated films ever produced. Subsequently, Ralph was an Executive Producer at Electronic Arts, the computer game manufacturer, where he produced Majestic, an innovative online episodic experience that established the Internet as a storytelling medium.
At Alligator Planet, Ralph supervises the production of all projects, including relationships with offshore production studios. He produced two computer animated feature films for the direct-to-DVD market in 2004 and 2005: Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie and Casper’s Scare School, both for Classic Media, Inc. These projects required his coordination of a multinational team spanning Australia, India, Los Angeles, London and New York. Each 75-minute film was produced in less than 16 months from script to delivery.
Ralph produced the first season of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, working closely with the show’s creator and a small team based in San Francisco. Subsequently, he produced a pilot for the Fox TV series Bob’s Burgers, picked up by Fox for a 13-episodes first season.
Dr. Miriam Heller Stern is National Director of the School of Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, based at the Rhea Hirsch School in Los Angeles. She supervises a menu of graduate programs in education at HUC-JIR, designed to prepare and advance educators at all stages of their careers. Dr. Stern earned her Ph.D. in education policy and practice and her MA in history from Stanford University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Dr. Stern serves as a coach, mentor and advisor to Jewish educational leaders, institutions and initiatives across the United States. She has taught courses on educational vision/philosophy of education, curriculum development, practitioner research, social foundations of education, and the arts in Jewish education. She has published widely and is a frequent presenter at academic and professional conferences for educators.
Dr. Stern serves on the advisory boards of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation’s Community Teen Initiative, theatre dybbuk, the Jewish Montessori Society, the Jewish Lens, and education committees of the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Jewish Education and the Network for Research in Jewish Education Awards Committee. Previously, she was Dean of American Jewish University (AJU) Graduate Center for Jewish Education in Los Angeles where she founded Dream Lab, a teaching fellowship and catalyst for artist educators to deepen their professional practice as educators. Together with her husband Jonathan, she proudly channels her interest in creativity into parenting their three elementary and middle-school aged children, Elijah, Judah and Zoe.
Sarah is a graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, a Pomegranate Prize winning Jewish educator and an uncompromising creative director with experience at the New York Times, Grey Advertising and several media and entertainment tech start-ups, bringing commercial technology and design skills to bear in the nonprofit world. Her work has been featured on NPR, in the Wall Street Journal and CNN.com. A recipient of the Joshua Venture Group fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs, she was named one of the “Forward 50” most influential Jews by the Forward newspaper.
Galyn is a producer at Pixar Animation Studios. She joined the company in 1990 working on TV commercial production as a technical director, animator, and producer. Her first work on a feature film was for Toy Story, where she modeled, shaded, and supervised lighting. Galyn continued in the technical disciplines until 2003 when she joined the crew of Ratatouille as Associate Producer. After the film’s completion she produced live action documentaries and short films for DVDs as well as two Toy Story television specials.
Before arriving at Pixar, Galyn was conducting graphics research and development at Apple, where she was a part of the team that made a short film entirely on Macintosh computers. She cites this project as the tipping point for choosing her current career. Galyn is a graduate of Brown University and lives with her husband and children in Piedmont.
BimBam is a 501(c)3 non profit organization made possible through the support of many foundations, individuals, organizations and families. Each of our contributing donors is passionate about the power of digital media to engage people in Jewish learning and life.
The Applbaum Family
Michael Bien and Jane Kahn
Frederick J. Isaac Philanthropic Fund
Sarah and Dan Rueven
Galyn Susman and Dan Levin
Marc and Anita Abramowitz
Dr. Allan Barza
Erin and Lance Chernow
Shelley W. Gottlieb
Marsha and Ralph Guggenheim
Suzan and Terry Kramer
Rabbi Jonathan L. Hecht
Jan and Robert Newman
Toby and Robert Rubin
Daniel Joseph Tan
Joshua and Sharon Weinberg
Robert and Sherry Weiner
Randi Zuckerberg and Brent Tworetzky
Bernstein Family Foundation (DC)
The Covenant Foundation
The Crown Family
Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library® Alliance
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Jewish Community Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
Jim Joseph Foundation
Joshua Venture Group
Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation
Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah
The Natan Fund
Righteous Persons Foundation
Upstart Bay Area
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