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Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
The Founder & Director

In addition to directing the Hineni Fellowship, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is currently the spiritual leader of Kol Shalom in Rockville, Maryland. Prior to that, he served for 10 years as senior rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. He re-envisioned the nature of Adas Israel, the largest and oldest Conservative synagogue in Washington, and pioneered a national paradigm shift that lifts up innovative modes of study and exploration of meaning as central in synagogue and organizational life. He is currently bringing this spirit of bold yet traditional evolution to Kol Shalom.  Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, conservative congregation to come out as openly gay, and he seeks to draw from this unique experience to evolve leadership and innovation in the Jewish community.

Stuart Kurlander
The Co-Founder & Director

Stuart Kurlander has a long history of involvement in the Jewish community. He is a Past President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He has previously served as Vice President for Financial Resource Development, Vice-President for Israel and Overseas, Vice President at Large, Co-Chair of the Campaign’s Philanthropic Leadership Group, and Co-Chair of Operation Promise, all for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Jewish Endowment Fund. Mr. Kurlander serves on the Council of the World Jewish Restitution Organization and the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). He currently serves on the JDC’s Legal and Resource Development Committees and is a former chair of the Government Relations Committee He is also a Trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Stuart is a member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the distinguished Cosmos Club of Washington D.C.

Stuart Kurlander was the first National Board Chair of Keshet (leading national grassroots organization that works for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life). He is the Founder and past Chair of the Kurlander Program on Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Engagement (GLOE) at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, the first program of its type at a Jewish Community Center. In 2012 and 2014, GLOE was selected by Slingshot as one of the 50 most innovative nonprofits in North American Jewish Life. Stuart was also a funder and adviser for the Human Rights Campaign Jewish Organization Equality Index released in 2012. He was National Chair of the first UJC LGBT Pride Mission to Israel in 2005. He served as the National Chair of the 2016 JFNA LGBTQ Mission to Israel which brought to Israel more than a 100 LGBTQ persons from around the country. In 2018, Stuart co founded with Rabbi Gil Steinlauf the Hineni Fellowship for LGBTQ Jewish Leadership.


Mr. Kurlander is the recipient of, the American Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists 2019 Pursuit of Justice Award, The Washington Business Journal 2019 Business of Pride honoree, the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award, the President’s Award from the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, the Bet Mishpachah Harvey Milk Community Service Award, the Pillar of the Community Leadership Award from the JCRC of Greater Washington, the Philip Berg Distinguished Alumni Award from BBYO, the Tikun Olam Award from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Lee G. Rubenstein Outstanding Leadership Award from the Washington DC Jewish community center, and the Jewish Federation’s Jerome J. Dick Young Leadership Award. He is a Wexner Heritage program alumni and a former member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of United Jewish Communities. He is also an owner of WJW Group, which includes the Washington Jewish Week and The Baltimore Jewish Times. He is a member of the Economic Club of Washington, DC.

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Rabbi Deborah Newbrun
Retreat and Curriculum Facilitator

Deborah was the Director of Camp Tawonga,  a Jewish resident Summer Camp near Yosemite National Park, for 24 years. Her career as a Jewish leader (particularly in Jewish environmental education) spans more than 35 years including 4 years as Hazon's Bay Area Director, serving on the founding boards of Wilderness Torah, and Bay COJEL (Coalition for Jews and the Environment). Additionally, Deborah is a nationally recognized Jewish educator, she is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award. Her groundbreaking work as co author of Spirit In Nature/Teaching Judaism and Ecology on the Trail paved the way for the early curriculum of the Teva Learning Center. Most recently, Deborah co-founded SVARA's Queer Talmud Camp and has been the Camp Director for six summers. She recently worked with Keshet to create a curriculum that helps Jewish summer camp directors and staff be welcoming and inclusive of gender non-conforming campers and staff.


Deborah has served on the faculty of multiple fellowships for resident summer camp directors including for the Foundation for Jewish Camps. She co-founded JOLT (Jewish Outdoor Leadership Training) for staff working in Jewish summer camps across North America and she regularly mentors young Jewish professionals for local and national Jewish organizations.


Before entering the Jewish not-for-profit world, Deborah was a National Park Service Ranger. Deborah is known for being an engaging and creative Jewish educator and infusing deep spirit into her teachings. She lives in Berkeley with her wife, Rabbi Sue Reinhold PhD. Between them they have four twenty-something year old children.

Aryel Abramovitz
Fellowship Coordinator

Aryel Abramovitz serves as an environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in Washington, DC. As a member of the Compliance Policy Staff, Aryel specifically works on policy related to the enforcement of environmental laws and statutes which allows for increased compliance nationwide. 


Prior to joining EPA Headquarters, Aryel worked in the Philadelphia regional office of EPA in the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division's Water Branch where he was a Clean Water Act (CWA) field inspector. He investigated CWA noncompliance, developed cases, and monitored corrective action to ensure return to compliance. 

Aryel is a 2015 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. During his time at Johns Hopkins, Aryel was involved with the Johns Hopkins Hillel, the Johns Hopkins Outdoors club, the Office of Sustainability, and the Undergraduate Orientation Program. He also was able to intern in Tel Aviv, Israel for a startup company, work with a local Synagogue in their Jewish Outdoor Education Program, and received a grant to be a visiting researcher in Brisbane, Australia for a summer.


Aryel grew up in Pittsburgh, loves to travel, and loves to try new types of cuisines.

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