Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Founder & President

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President of Shamayim and the author of 23 books on Jewish ethics. Currently Rav Shmuly serves as the President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash and serves as the Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek. He completed a Masters at Harvard University in Leadership and Psychology, a second Masters degree in Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University, and has completed a Doctorate at Columbia University in Moral Development and Epistemology. Shmuly was ordained as a Rabbi by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT Rabbinical School) in New York as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Yanklowitz was awarded a Rothschild Fellowship at the University of Cambridge.​ As a global social justice educator, Shmuly has volunteered, taught, and staffed missions on five continents including Israel, Ghana, India, France, Thailand, El Salvador, Britain, Senegal, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa and Haiti. In 2012, Newsweek rated Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America and in 2013! In 2016, the Forward named Rabbi Shmuly one of “The Most Inspiring Rabbis in America.” Also in 2016, the Forward acknowledged Rav Shmuly as one of the 50 most influential Jews. In 2008, the Jewish Week recognized Shmuly as one of “36 under 36” (one of 36 of the most influential Jewish leaders under the age of 36). Shmuly, his wife Shoshana, and four children live in Scottsdale.

Email me: RavShmuly@shamayimvaretz.org

Emma Goldblatt

Program Manager

Emma Goldblatt is the owner of Emma’s Pet & Home Care LLC and has been a proud animal advocate for as long as she can remember. Starting young she dedicated her Bat Mitzvah project to Southwest Wildlife Sanctuary. She stopped eating meat in high school and became vegan as an adult. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona where she runs her business and works with Shamayim to advocate for a better life for all animals, big and small.

Email me: emma@shamayim.us

Nicholas Jagdeo

Engagement Manager

Nick is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds a BA in Business Administration, an MA in International Business and an MSc in Strategic Leadership and Innovation. He is currently pursuing an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Yeshiva University and is pursuing a passion project to document and highlight the role Trinidad and Tobago played in opening its borders to Jewish refugees during World War 2. He hopes this project will give rise to a more welcoming attitude on his islands to the Venezuelan migrants who have fled the situation in their home country and are seeking a new start in Trinidad. Born in the UK, raised between Essex, Canada and Trinidad, and then later having moved to Israel, Nick defines himself as the quintessential immigrant and he would like to see a world where all immigrants are treated with more dignity, warmth and respect. He has two nine-year old dogs, George and Puggles, and is a strong advocate for animal rescues and animal rights.

Email me: nick@utzedek.org

Founding Board Members

Mayim Bialik, Phd.

Founding Member & Senior Leadership Consultant

Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990’s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in “Beaches.” She has also appeared in Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Bialik was born to first-generation American teachers and documentary filmmakers and was raised in Los Angeles, attending both public and religious school. Bialik has guest starred on some of the most beloved TV shows of the 1980s and 1990s including MacGyver, The Facts of Life, and Webster. She has appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show, the Arsenio Hall Show, and on Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart’s early forays into late-night.

Bialik received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA in 2000 and earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2007 from UCLA, specializing in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. She is the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting holistic and green parenting and living.


Founding Member

When Matisyahu emerged in 2004 with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust…Arise, his musical persona seemed to some a novelty. Here was a Hasidic Jew — dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard — who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica. Moreover, he punctuated his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious about his craft, and his diverse style soon garnered Grammy nominations, gold record certifications, and a broad audience.

Known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop beatboxing sounds, Matisyahu’s single “King Without a Crown” was a Top 40 hit in the United States. In 2006 he was named as Top Reggae Artist by Billboard.

Rabbinic Advisory Committee

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner

Rabbi Alison Abrams 

Rabbi Penina Alexander, New Jewish Community High School

Rabbi Will Berkovitz

Rabbi Yisroel Bernath, Chabad, Concordia University 

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Israel Center of Conservative Judaism

Joshua Boydstun, Student, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College 

Rabbi Rick Brody 

Rabbi Sharon Brous 

Rabbi Nadav Caine

Rabbi Mychal Copeland 

Rabbi Boris Dolin, Rabbi at Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal, Quebec

Rabbi Adam Frank, Rabbi of Congregation Moreshet Yisrael in Jerusalem 

Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs, World Union for Progressive Judaism, President 

Reb Yonassan Gershom

Rabbi Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Andy Kastner

Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director, CLUE-LA 

Rabbi Sandra Lawson

Rabbi Aaron Levy

Rabbi Robin Nafshi, Rabbi of Temple Beth Jacob, Concord, NH 

Rabbi Hillel Norry

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner

Rabbi Daniel Sperber 

Rabbi Michelle Robinson

Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Director of the AJC’s Department of Interreligious Affairs

Rabbi Adam Stein

Rabbi David Wolpe

Rabbi Lina Zerbarin

Advisory Committee Members

Jamie Arfin “Oy Vegan”

Dr. Roy Artal

Joshua Avedon

Suzanne Barnard, Director, Jewish Vegetarian Society 

Daniel Bloom

Rich Bloom

Sarah Brammer-Shlay

Linda Bronfman

Professor Geoffrey Claussen

Jeffrey Cohan, The Beet-Eating Heeb

Beth Cousens

William Daroff

Beth DeRicco

Sara Fredman

Lori Goldman

Dr. Aaron Gross

Miriam Gross 

Daniel Inlender

Dr. Roberta Kalechofsky

Lisa Karlan 

Robin Kellner-Friedman 

Aviva Kraus

Jacob Labendz

Abby Lodmer

Isaac Mamaysky

Karen Meppen

Noam Mohr, Vice President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

Nina Natelson

Esther Oakley, ABC Vegan

Sasha Perry

Matthue Roth, co-founder, G-dcast.com

Matthew Readdick, Orange County Hillel, UC Irvine 

Aaron Relyea

Philip Schein, PETA

Roberta Schiff

Richard H.Schwartz, Ph.D, President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

Rachel Shapiro

Dr. Heather Shenkman

Alexandra Sipos-Kocsis

Katharine Skupsky

Lisa Stein

Lauren Trexler

Aharon Varady

Wilhelmina Waldman, ASPCA

Eli Winkelman, Founder, Challah for Hunger

Yossi Wolfson, Ginger – the Vegetarian Community Center, Israel

Brian Wendel

Rabbi Jonathan Crane