Barbara Dobkin Founder and Chair
Barbara Dobkin is the Founder and Chair of Ma’yan. A trustee of the Dobkin Family Foundation, which funds Ma’yan, Barbara is a significant supporter of and advisor to a variety of non-profit organizations-both Jewish and secular-in the U.S. and in Israel. A pioneer in the Jewish community for many years in advocacy and funding for Jewish women, she is the Founding Chair of both the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Massachusetts, and the Hadassah Foundation. She currently chairs the Board of Directors of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and the Dafna Fund (Israel) and serves on the board of Advancing Women Projessionals and the Jewish Community. Barbara is a coveted national speaker on issues of women’s philanthropy and leadership.
Eve Landau Executive Director
Eve Landau is the Founding Executive Director of Ma’yan. In its first decade, under Eve’s guidance, Ma’yan became a nationally recognized resource in the areas of Jewish feminist ritual and women’s leadership development. In addition, Ma’yan has been at the forefront of Jewish women’s and youth philanthropy and in showcasing the work and talents of Jewish feminist artists. Eve has represented and presented the work of Ma’yan at national conferences including the General Assembly and CAJE as well as at synagogues and other local organizations. More recently, Eve has overseen the transition to Ma’yan’s new organizational focus on the needs of Jewish girls through its Koach Banot: Girl Power! initiative. This work includes training professionals who work with Jewish youth, advocating on behalf of Jewish girls, and educating the community about excellent girls programs. Eve is a member of the board of Project Kesher and serves as co-chair of The Task Force on the Jewish Woman at UJA-Federation of New York. She is a member of Westchester Reform Temple where she serves on the board of Women of Reform Judaism and on the synagogue’s Gay and Lesbian Concerns committee. Before co-founding Ma’yan in 1993, Eve was Director of Community Relations at Westchester Jewish Community Services. An active community volunteer for many years, she served as a member of the Board of Education in Scarsdale, NY, and founded and directed The Child Care Association of Scarsdale, a school-based before- and after-school child care program. Eve was honored for her work with Ma’yan by US/Israel Women to Women on the occasion of their Silver Anniversary in the fall of 2004, and by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, in July 2005.
Beth Cooper Benjamin, Ed.D. Director of Research
Beth Cooper Benjamin serves as a vocal advocate for girls in the Jewish communal world. In addition to advising Ma’yan’s participatory action research with Jewish teen girls (the Research Training Internship), she has addressed audiences including the Jewish Funders Network and the Jewish Women’s Foundation of South Palm Beach County, and contributed writing to Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility, the Union for Reform Judaism’s Torah at the Center journal, Moving Traditions’ Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, and the Journal of Jewish Communal Service.
Beth received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation, entitled What to Give the Girl Who Has Everything, examines the definition and practice of girls’ leadership in an affluent, suburban, adolescent Girl Scout troop. Beth has presented research at conferences including the Society for Research on Adolescence, the Network for Research in Jewish Education, and the Gender and Education Association (in Dublin, Ireland). Beth has worked extensively with single-sex programs for adolescent girls, both as a researcher and a practitioner. She has also consulted and conducted trainings for girl-serving organizations including the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
Beth’s research is included in New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future, edited by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein (2008, Jewish Lights), and Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage in the United States, edited by Adam Howard and Ruben A. Gaztambide-Fernandez (2010, Rowman & Littlefield).
Pippi Kessler Program Director
Pippi Kessler joined Ma'yan as Program Director in March 2011, where she designs programs for teen girls and conducts professional training seminars. She is also the Director of Rowe Young People’s Camp, a summer program for 8-11-year-olds in western Massachusetts, and leads conferences for parents and educators including “The Ethics of Working with Youth” and “Rules That Make Sense: How to Set Boundaries That Empower Kids.” Previously, she was the National Coordinator of The Mothers Circle program at the Jewish Outreach Institute, a support and education program for women of other religious backgrounds raising Jewish children. She is currently completing her Masters Degree in Social-Organizational Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Eli Schmitt Marketing, Outreach, and Communications Director
Eli joined Ma'yan in the fall of 2011, drawn to the organization by his interests in feminism, education, media, and critical consciousness. He has worked as an editor for various periodicals in New York City and Providence RI, taught high school in rural Wisconsin, and worked at publishing houses in Portland OR and Boston. He graduated from Brown University in 2011 having studied economics and English.