Who We Are


Strength to Strength is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to support victims of terrorism around the world with long-term psychological needs through regular meetings, provision of information and advice, and raising awareness of the unmet needs of victims and their families. Strength to Strength enables victims of terrorism to share experiences and empowers them to live life to their best potential. We remain committed to each victim through our global network.

Board of Directors

  • Don Aviv
  • Dov Braun
  • Michael Gallagher
  • Autumn Gilles
  • Dennis Grippen
  • Wendy Lanski
  • Maria Lozano
  • Paulo Pimentel
  • Robyn Polansky
  • Russell F. Robinson
  • Ari Schonbrun
  • Sarri Singer

Advisory Board 

  • Dr. David Pelcovitz, Chair
  • Dr. Alyssa Abo
  • Dr. Danny Brom
  • Dr. Leonard Cole
  • Micah Halpern
  • Dr. Daniel Herrmann
  • Dr. Zieva Konvisser
  • Melissa Jane Kronfeld
  • Dr. Daniel Pipes
  • Dr. Eva Lazar-Sultanik
  • Dr. Michelle Pearlman

Honorary Board

  • Juval Aviv
  • Lenny Krayzelburg

Legal Counsel
Mark I. Sokolow

Board of Directors

Don Aviv

Don Aviv, CPP, PSP – Chief Operating Officer: Mr. Aviv joins Interfor with extensive physical security, crisis mitigation and risk management experience. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Interfor Inc, a global investigations and security consulting firm. Prior to joining Interfor, Don managed the Global Security department for an international software company, where he was responsible for the security and safety of company assets and employees within 138 field offices. During that time, Mr. Aviv was an Executive Member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee in the Town of Needham, Massachusetts. Mr. Aviv has also previously worked as an undercover and field investigator for a regional investigative firm. Mr. Aviv is a Board Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Certified Physical Security Professional (PSP) and has attained New York State Private Investigator and Security Officer licensing and certificates. He holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and an Alpha Phi Sigma M.S. in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University.

Founded in 1979, Interfor, Inc. has been a world leader in corporate investigations and security consulting for over 25 years. Interfor regularly works directly with international law firms, insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, the entertainment industry and other Fortune 500 companies.

Dov Braun

Dov Braun is a partner at EisnerAmper LLP with nearly 10 years of diversified experience. His experience includes working with both public and private companies in various industries including financial services, media and entertainment, technology, software, manufacturing, pharmacuetical and benefit plans. Dov provides accounting and auditing services to hedge funds, commodity funds, real estate funds, funds of funds, broker-dealers, investment managers and advisors as well as other financial services entities. He has experience working with various financial instruments including but not limited to, derivates, PIPEs (private investments in public entities) and structured products. Dov also has expertise in public offerings and other filings with the SEC and compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Additionally, Dov has assisted clients with the design and implementation of operational and internal control systems.

Dov graduated with a B.S. from Touro College.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) where he is involved in the Investment Management Committee.

Michael Gallagher

Before the 15th August 1998 Michael Gallagher ran a small automobile repair centre. His only son Aiden had studied the repair of vehicle bodies and worked with him. He was 21years old and had big plans for the future. On August the 15th 1998 Michael left home with Aiden and went to the garage later on that morning. Aidens friend Mike called and Aiden left with him to go into town to buy some jeans and boots. It is only a small town with a population of around 15000. At 2:30pm Aiden and his friend were evacuated from the shop where he was buying jeans by the police and told that they had received a bomb warning at the top end of town near to the courthouse, where he had parked his car. Aiden and his friend were sent to the bottom end of the street which they believed was safe. Unknown to the police this is where the car bomb had been left outside a children’s school uniform shop busy with mothers and children preparing for returning to school. As Aiden and hundreds of other shoppers stood around the car bomb, it exploded killing Aiden and 30 other people and injuring hundreds of others, many seriously wounded who lost limbs. There were two young people from Madrid, Spain killed in the explosion and 11 injured. They were on an educational trip to Ireland. Michael heard the explosion and made his way home to make sure Aiden was safe but this was not to be.

His worst nightmare happened and his life has never been the same for his family, which was once a happy home is now a home of grief and pain. His two daughters and wife strive every day for the memory of Aiden. The Omagh bomb was the worst single atrocity of 35 years of terrorism in Ireland. The irony is that it happened during a time of peace, just four months after the good Friday agreement was signed and this made it all the more difficult to believe. Michael’s younger brother Hugh had been assassinated by terrorists fourteen years earlier and he had been a member of the security forces but had left due to health reasons. He was 26 years old and married with two young children.

Michael was determined that his son’s life would count even in death and for the last years I have worked with victims of terrorism and terrorist related issues. He attended the first international conference for victims of terrorism in Madrid, Spain and in Columbia where he met people who had lost loved ones and many who were injuries through terrorism. He still continues to build links across the world as he believes we all have much to learn and give each other our experience which was gained at a very high price. His journey over the past years since he lost his son was not of his making but was imposed on him and his family and this is all the more remarkable and which brings to light that only by resisting as well as accepting loss can one continue to live. Michael heads the Omagh Support and Self Help Group in Omagh, Northern Ireland.

Autumn Gilles

Autumn Gilles, a survivor of the Mumbai attacks that occurred in November 2008 is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and always had an interest in other cultures and a sense of adventure. Following high school she moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked to put herself through college. She obtained a BS in International Business from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Following her studies she took her local work experience and knowledge of International Business to Paris, France. In Paris she put her skills to work volunteering for The American Church in Paris and de la Fédération des femmes pour la paix mondiale (The Federation of Women for World Peace).

Following some international working experience in France, she set off to the Netherlands where she started an internship as a Business Analyst at IMC Financial Markets. Soon she turned it into a regular full time Business Development position, in which she actively looked for, analyzed and presented international trading opportunities to Senior Management. Those opportunities that were given a “go” by management she would then construct the business plan and manage the project to implementation.

As the company and the breadth of opportunities grew, IMC decided to expand the Business Development role into multiple regional rolls. In mid-2008 Autumn had the opportunity to spend 2 months in Hong Kong training and getting a counter-part in the HK office started on projects for the APAC region.

While in HK, she presented her analysis on the trading opportunities in India and the management was sold. A few months later she was off to Mumbai, India with 3 other employees to investigate the operational set up. During this business trip she, her colleagues and 2 representatives of a potential counter-party were having dinner on that fateful night of November 26, 2008 in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Towards the end of dinner gun shots rang out and thus started a 12.5 hour saga of shooting, explosions and evading discovery by the terrorists.

Unbelievably, she, as well as the others she was with escaped with their lives and physical safety. However, her psyche and priorities were forever changed. With community service at the top of her priority list she started volunteering for Strength to Strength following their support for her as she has been healing from the emotional wounds.

Autumn looks forward to using her expertise in International Business to expand build the international relationships, write business plans and help implement the projects of Strength to Strength.

A. Dennis Grippen

Inspired by the work ethic of his father, Mr. Grippen entered the business world immediately after high school graduation. In his long career, he has established nineteen different businesses as diverse as supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, taverns, and a fitness center. Wherever he opened a new business, he was proactive in giving back to the community. Mr. Grippen holds a BA in Business Administration from Stratford University in England. He is currently working toward his MBA.

Mr. Grippen is one of the Co-founders of the Soup Kitchen in Trenton, New Jersey to feed the hungry. He has organized numerous fundraisers for the poor in the Appalachian Mountains. He has coached Pop Warner football in Lakewood, New Jersey as well as sponsored many youth programs in Trenton. Currently he is the Treasurer of the LHS Alumni Association and he initiated the Gold, Silver and Bronze Club, whose funds are dedicated solely to their Scholarship Fund.

In 2002, he was named to Who’s Who in the National Senior Games Association. He is a world record holder in the American Drug Free Power Lifting Association. He is still active in the Senior Olympics, where he won three gold and two silver medals in track and field events. He was a member of the NJ Beverage Association and serves on the Board of Directors of several business enterprises.

Mr. Grippen and his wife, Maureen, reside in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. He has 2 children and 6 grandchildren.

Wendy Lanski

Wendy Lanski was born and raised in Long Island, NY and then moved to Queens to work at the offices of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in Midtown Manhattan. In 1999, Empire moved its headquarters to One World Trade Center, but shortly thereafter Wendy decided to leave to pursue other career opportunities. In May of 2001, Wendy was offered an excellent position back at Empire, and returned, to the 29th floor of the North Tower.

On September 11, 2001, Wendy was preparing for a routine meeting when the first plane hit. Throughout her escape, she experienced all of the horror of that tragic day, and was ultimately rescued by a ferry and brought to a hospital in Jersey City. Her most profound loss was that of her heroic friend who would not leave his wheelchair bound friend until help arrived. They both perished on the 27th floor, right after the firemen arrived.

Since September 11, 2001, Wendy’s mission has been to keep the memory of 9/11 alive, to pay tribute to those who were lost and to support and advocate for the survivors. Wendy became affiliated with Strength to Strength after being introduced to Sarri Singer at the 10 year anniversary of September 11th, and is also a member of the World Trade Center Survivors Network. These memberships have broadened Wendy’s cause to help not only 9/11 survivors, but those affected by terrorism throughout the world.

Wendy currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at a healthcare company in Manhattan. Wendy and her husband Jerry, who she describes as the love of her life, live in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Maria Lozano

Maria Lozano is the Managing Director of the Network of Associations of Victims of Terrorism (NAVT) where she has been involved since its inception. She is responsible of the design, direction and coordination of all the areas, projects and activities of the organization. She is also the Manager of the ASSOCIATION OF AID OF 11TH MARCH VICTIMS. NAVT includes more than 30 Associations, foundations and other European organizations which support Victims of terrorism and their families. NAVT is entirely supported by the European Commission its aims are joining, connecting, and facilitating the success of groups already in existence that help and assist the victims of terrorism and their families and stimulating trans-national cooperation between associations of victims of terrorism or other non-governmental organisations with a special focus on supporting victims of terrorism. She is member of the Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN) and has led several researches on the situation and needs of victims of the March 11th attacks, 18 and 36 months afterwards, a comparative research on the Legislative treatment of victims of terrorism in Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and France as well as the public and private organizations supporting victims of terrorism in the European Union. Maria’s areas of specialization include International Law and International Relationships.

Paulo Pimentel

Paulo Pimentel is the Project Director of Survivors of Terrorism, a UK non-profit organization providing assistance for victims of terrorism in the United Kingdom. He also managed the 7th July Assistance Centre – the only dedicated independent service for victims of the London attacks of 2005. He is the Coordinator of Brent Bereavement Services, a registered charity since 1987 supporting those affected by sudden and traumatic death and loss, often resulting from murder, suicide and other sudden deaths, provided by 50+ volunteer counselors. He has been a tutor on counseling & psychotherapy courses and continues to provide training in supporting bereaved adults, children & young people and those affected by terrorism for psychotherapists, schools, voluntary agencies, health and social services staff. He worked in the travel industry before returning to college, where he studied psychology, counseling and psychotherapy. Paulo has spoken at many UK and international conferences and seminars on his experience, knowledge and ways to improve support services for the bereaved and survivors of terrorism and other disasters. He project manages individually funded schemes, and organizes & facilitates seminars, conferences and group support meetings. His knowledge of private and voluntary sector enables him to manage charities in a business-like manner, whilst maintaining the ethos of care and support of non-profit organisations.

Robyn Polansky

Robyn Polansky is Vice President, Research Analyst in the New York City office of Bessemer Trust, a privately-owned wealth management and advisory firm that focuses exclusively on high-net-worth individuals and families. At Bessemer Trust, Robyn is responsible for traditional (long-only) equity and fixed income investment manager research, selection and oversight as well as client assets allocation and portfolio construction. Prior to joining Bessemer Trust in 2002, Robyn was a portfolio analyst in the Venture Economic division of Thomson Financial Corporation where she conducted research and analysis on the domestic and overseas private equity markets.

Robyn is an avid volunteer and active lay leader for numerous charitable organizations including the Executive Board for the Council of Young Jewish Presidents, The Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, and Bottomless Closet, which provides disadvantaged women with the skills needed to attain economic self-sufficiency including training and business attire for interviews.

In 2011, The Jewish Week included Robyn in its annual “36 Under 36” list which honors professional and lay leaders who are reshaping Jewish life around the world. Robyn received a BA in Economics and Political Science from Union College in Schenectady, New York and currently pursuing an M.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship at the Touro College Graduate School of Business in New York City.

Russell F. Robinson

In 1998, Russell became the youngest CEO in Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) history. He works tirelessly, traveling around the country and visiting Israel almost every month, to ensure JNF’s vision is more relevant and meaningful today than ever before.    Today, more than 110 years after it was founded, JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building and ensuring the prosperity of the land of Israel through their generosity and partnership with the people of Israel.

Jewish National Fund is a leader in environmental activism, Zionist education, sustainable community development in the Negev and Galilee, the protection of historical landmarks, and water resource development.  No other organization makes a greater impact on the land and the people of Israel.

Under Russell’s direction, JNF is one of the most recognized non-profits for its work, cultivation of a younger donor population, business management, financial integrity and volunteer involvement.  Russell is featured in the best selling management book, “The 24 hour Turnaround, How Amazing Entrepreneurs Succeed in Tough Times.”

Russell is a sixth generation American Jew.   His family first laid down its American roots in Petersburg, Virginia after emigrating from Alsace Lorraine in the late 1700’s.

Ari Schonbrun

Ari was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens. In 1971, at the age of 14, Ari moved to Israel with his family. He came back to the United States after attending Bar Ilan University and in 1981 he went to work for United Mizrahi Bank in NY. He worked there for 10 years rising to the position of head trader.

In 1993, Ari went to work for Cantor Fitzgerald. He is currently the Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Expense Management for the Capital Markets Group.

On September 11, 2001, Ari was on the 78thfloor of Tower One on his way up to his office on the 101st floor when the first plane hit. Seeing a co-worker with 3rd degree burns, he helped her down 78 flights of stairs to safety. His miraculous story was written up in many newspapers and magazines. He recently wrote and published a book called “Miracles and Fate on 78”, detailing the events and miracles that happened to him on that day.

Since September 11, 2001, Ari has been speaking to a wide array of audiences nationally and internationally about the events and ramifications of that day.

Ari and his wife, Joyce, currently live in Cedarhurst, Long Island. They have 5 children; Chani, married to Menachem Yondorf, Rikki, Baruch, Avrumi & Yoni.

Ari’s book, Miracles and Fate on 78 is an outgrowth of his message of hope and renewal that he has been sharing with audiences throughout the world since the horrific events of September 11th changed his life forever. For more information on Ari or to purchase his book, you can visit his website at www.arischonbrun.com

Sarri Singer

Sarri Singer, born in Lakewood, New Jersey, is the daughter of New Jersey State Senator, Robert Singer. Until 9/11, Sarri worked two blocks away from the World Trade Center. Deeply moved by the tragedy of 9/11, Sarri decided to resign from her position in December 2001 and move to Israel to help victims of terror. While there, Sarri coordinated bone marrow drives for Gift of Life and volunteered with various organizations working with victims of terror.

On June 11, 2003, Sarri was on Bus 14 in Jerusalem when an 18 year old Palestinian terrorist dressed as a religious Jew boarded and blew himself up. 16 people were killed, including all those seated and standing around her, and over 100 people were injured. Sarri was hospitalized for two weeks and then returned to New Jersey to be with family. Her story became high profile. She appeared on television stations such as CBS, FoxNews, CNN and radio interviews. She spoke before Congressmen and Senators in Washington, D.C. and politicians in New York and New Jersey. In September 2003 she returned to work and volunteering in Israel. In June 2004, she returned to the United States to take care of medical issues associated with her attack.

Sarri is the Founder and Director of Strength to Strength, focusing on bringing together victims of terrorism together from around the world and assisting with long term psychological needs. Sarri has addressed audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel and continues to share her unique insight into the ongoing struggle for victims of terror in Israel and around the world.

Advisory Board

Dr. David Pelcovitz, Chair

Dr. Pelcovitz holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration where he is also the Special Assistant to the President. Serving for over two decades as Director of Psychology at North Shore University Hospital-NYU School of Medicine, and Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, at NYU School of Medicine, he has consulted extensively with the Jewish community in the United States, Europe and Israel on a wide range of issues facing children and adolescents. Dr. Pelcovitz, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, has published and lectured extensively on a variety of topics related to education, parenting and child mental health. Areas of research and clinical specialty include family violence, the impact of domestic violence, stress management, transmitting values to children and adolescents and coping with trauma and loss His only regret in life is that he wasn’t somebody else.

Dr. Alyssa Abo

Alyssa Abo is a pediatric emergency doctor living in New York City. Her medical training has taken her all over the world and she is delighted to be back in NYC near family and friends. After medical school in Israel, Alyssa completed her pediatric residency at Yale and a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. After living in Israel for medical school, Alyssa has a special connection with the State of Israel. As a medical student during the intifada, Alyssa saw firsthand how terrorism affected daily living. She had a special interest in how terrorism affected adolescents and published a paper on terrorism and the adolescent population. While terrorism did shatter many hope and dreams of those who lost their lives, there were many heartfelt and inspiring stories which reflected the resilience of the Israeli people. Alyssa is honored to be a part of such an organization that assists in bringing victims of terrorism together.

Dr. Danny Brom

Dr. Danny Brom is the Founding Director of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma of Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem. Originally from Holland, Dr. Brom is a certified clinical psychologist. Upon his arrival in Israel in 1988, he opened the first walk-in trauma crisis center in the country. Dr. Brom is the initiator and former chairman of the Israel Trauma Coalition. As Director of the ICTP, he has brought his expertise to the fields of education, community resilience, health and mental health care to increase the capacity of Israeli society to cope with the ongoing existential threat. Dr. Brom has published numerous books and articles on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. He published the first controlled outcome study on short term therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 1989. His latest book, “The Trauma of Terrorism: Sharing Knowledge and Shared Care, an International Handbook”, was launched at the UN. Dr.Brom gave a congressional briefing hosted by Senator Hilary Clinton about the effects of terrorism and trauma. His main effort goes to bridging the gap between scientific data and the development of service provision in the community.

Dr. Leonard A. Cole

Dr. Leonard A. Cole, an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, is an expert on bioterrorism and terror medicine. Trained in the health sciences and public policy, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and has been a recipient of grants and fellowships from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Cole has written for professional journals as well as general publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, and The Sciences. He has testified before congressional committees and made invited presentations to government agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of Technology Assessment. Cole has appeared frequently on network and public television and has been a regular on MSNBC. He is the author of seven books including The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare and The Anthrax Letters: A Medical Detective Story, which was named a 2004 Honor Book by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. His latest book, Terror: How Israel Has Coped and What America Can Learn, will be published in 2007. Cole has served as national chairman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and president of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey. Currently, he is a member of the executive committee of the United Jewish Communities and is UJC liaison to Birthright-Israel.

Micah Halpern

Micah D. Halpern has a track record. He is a frequent analyst on network television and radio in the areas of terror, the Middle East and Muslim Fundamentalism. He is the author of the recently released, best selling, book THUGS.

His voice is recognized by listeners to talk radio across America and to his weekly feature, A Safer World, on USA Radio Network. His face is familiar to viewers on CBS, FOX, MSNBC and to those who watch documentaries on PBS, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, Discovery and the Food Network. Following 9-11 he was the CBS-2 commentator on terror. On 9-11, 2003 he was the guest expert on ABC’s The View. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Terror (Toby Press, 2003) an accessible book that clearly and succinctly answers the questions we are afraid to ask.

Halpern, a syndicated columnist, is also a well-known social and political commentator, educator, and historian. He lectures frequently, both in the United States and Israel, on issues relating to terror, foreign affairs, Israel and the Middle East, as well as wine history, and popular culture. In 1997, Micah Halpern was appointed Israel columnist for America Online and continues, until today, to write a weekly, now syndicated, column on foreign affairs, the Middle East and terror.

Micah’s weekly column is read by hundreds of thousands if not millions on the internet and in papers and websites around the world from the American Enterprise Institute to Israelinsider.com. His weekly radio spot is featured on 28 radio stations nationally on the USA Radio Network.

An expert on terrorism, Halpern has been invited for consultations in the White House with terror analysts and has addressed conferences sponsored by the Justice Department. His expertise as a historian was called on by PBS for their 4 part series on Herod and by The History Channel for the documentary film entitled Masada in which he also appears. He has also contributed religious commentary for CNN and ABC television.

His essays, published in book form, heralded the millennium and are entitled On-Line with Israel at the Millennium: Insights into Life and Religion (Urim, 2000). Halpern also conducted a weekly radio program entitled

This Week in History for Jerusalem Radio.

Micah was a lecturer at Yale University and a long-standing educator with Young Judaea. He has also taught at Brandeis University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Halpern continues to lecture to student groups in the fields of political terror and world terrorism, Middle East dynamics, Jewish history, Holocaust, Zionism and philosophy and Israeli society and politics.

For fun, Micah Halpern writes a column on Kosher wines. He is the only exclusively kosher wine reviewer in the Western world. A native of Annapolis, he currently divides his time between Jerusalem and New York City.

Dr. Daniel Herrmann

Dr. Daniel Herrmann is the School Psychologist and Director of Psychological Services at Hillel Yeshiva in Deal, New Jersey, where he serves to facilitate learning and to promote the cognitive, social and personal development of all students. He received his doctorate degree in Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and has worked in numerous educational settings, spanning kindergarten to college. In addition, Dr. Herrmann lectures frequently on a wide variety of psychology and education topics.

Dr. Zieva Konvisser

Zieva Konvisser’s diverse career has evolved from pharmaceutical chemist to automotive executive to earning a post-”retirement” PhD in human development. As a fellow of the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, her research focuses on the human impact of traumatic events, such as terrorism, genocide, war, wrongful conviction and the possibility of positive change after trauma. She has served on the National Commission on American Jewish Women and the boards of several community, philanthropic, and professional organizations and is currently on the international board of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma. She is the author of “Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing” (Gefen 2014). Whether in the laboratory, the parts distribution center, the streets of Jerusalem, or the boardroom, she has always been driven by a commitment to make a positive difference in people’s lives and the communities in which they live and work.

Melissa Jane Kronfeld

Melissa Jane Kronfeld is a Ph.D candidate in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University, where she is currently completing a dissertation on American national security and militarization in the Twenty-First Century. A New York City native, Melissa received a B.A. in International Relations from George Washington University and an M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University, and Rutgers University. Melissa has lectured on American foreign policy and national security issues in the Political Science department at Rutgers, as well the Center for Global Affairs at New York University.

In 2012, she was awarded the first place in the Richard A. Clarke National Security and Counter-Terrorism Scholarship contest. Her winning monograph, “Killing Them With Kindness: A Softer Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism and Countering radicalization in the War on Terrorism,” was featured in the Journal of Terrorism and Security Analysis and was presented at the annual Syracuse National and International Security Conference in 2013. A journalist and editorialist, Melissa has been featured in the Politico, The Daily Caller, Government Security News, Fox News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, World Jewish Daily, and the New York Post and in 2013 she was named one of the “36 Under 36” by The Jewish Week.

Melissa is also engaged in numerous community endeavors including serving as the New York Development Coordinator for Nexus; Vice President of the Young Leadership Group at Save A Child’s Heart; an Advisory Board Member for Only Honest; a Consultant for Girls Heath Ed; and a contributing member for development strategy at Curated Innovation. She is also an active member of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents and has worked on fundraising efforts for K9s for Warriors, the American Society for the University of Haifa, the Survivor’s Initiative, Shalva’s House, AIPAC Young Leadership, the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, Birthright, and Seeds of Peace. Melissa co-founded the New York Young Leaders for Sandy (in support of the victims of super-storm Sandy), and founded the Tweet4Shalit campaign (in support the family of Gilad Shalit), as well as the New York Teddy Bear Bash (in support of the families of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut).

Daniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes is the President of the Middle East Forum.  A former official in the U.S. departments of State and Defense, Daniel Pipes has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and Pepperdine University. Mr. Pipes is the author of twelve books on the Middle East, Islam, and other political topics. He writes a bi-weekly column for many newspapers and leading Internet sites; his writings have been translated into 35 languages. Mr. Pipes frequently discusses current issues on television and radio. He has received two Presidential appointments, has testified before many congressional committees, and has served on five presidential campaigns. Al-Qaeda invited him to convert, Edward Said called him an “orientalist,” and Edward Kennedy borked him. To see a complete listing of his writings, please visit http://www.danielpipes.org.

Dr. Eva Lazar-Sultanik

Eva Lazar-Sultanik, Ph.D. received her undergraduate education from Rutgers University, obtained a MS Ed in preschool psychology and Ph.D. in school psychology from Fordham University. Dr. Lazar has a background in working with schools, and is a strong advocate for meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. Her interests include developing social skills in preschool-aged children, as well as children and early adolescents dealing with social, family, and learning challenges. She has conducted research in the areas of religiosity, self-esteem, and early adolescent girls. Dr. Lazar works clinically with children, adolescents, and parents at The Koch Center.

Dr. Michelle Pearlman

Michelle Pearlman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist living and working in private practice in Rockland County, New York. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. Dr. Pearlman specializes in helping individuals of all ages through times of grief and loss, trauma, stress, and transition. Before starting her independent practice, Dr. Pearlman was the Founding Director of the Trauma and Bereavement Service and the Clinical Director of the Institute for Trauma and Resilience at the NYU Child Study Center. She was also involved with the development and implementation of programming for the Families Foward Program at the NYU Child Study Center, which was designed to meet the continuing needs of children and families who lost loved ones during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Dr. Pearlman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from American University in Washington, DC and her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University. Dr. Pearlman has published in the areas of grief, trauma, depression, and cognitive coping. She recently published a book entitled Grief in Childhood, which presents a model for helping bereaved children and their families. For more information, please visit her website at www.michellepearlman.com.

Honorary Board

Juval Aviv

Juval Aviv is a world renowned security and counter-terrorism expert. He holds an M.A. in Business from Tel Aviv University and earlier in his career served as an officer in the Israel Defense Force, leading an elite Commando/Intelligence Unit. Mr. Aviv was selected by the Israeli Secret Service (Mossad) to participate in a number of special operations in the late 1960s and 1970s in various countries throughout the world.

A special consultant to the U.S. Congress on issues of terrorism and security as well as a consultant for Fox News, Mr. Aviv is also the author of Staying Safe: The Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, & Your Business (Harper Resource, July 2004), Max (Century/Random House, July 2006) and The Complete Terrorism Survival Guide: How to Travel, Work and Live in Safety (Juris Publishing, March 2003).

Mr. Aviv also is the President and CEO of Interfor, Inc., a leading international investigative and intelligence firm. Working with law firms, major banks, multinational corporations, insurers, and government agencies, Interfor conducts corporate fraud investigations, internal inquiries, asset search and recovery efforts, due diligence investigations, and security/vulnerability assessments in the U.S. and around the world.

As head of Interfor, Mr. Aviv can call upon more than 30 years of experience conducting international investigations into white-collar crime at scores of multinational companies. He has personally solved numerous cases of fraud, counterfeiting, embezzlement, anti-competitive behavior, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the banking, insurance, aerospace, entertainment, pharmaceutical, and aviation industries, to name just a few. A leading authority on terrorist networks and their inner workings, Mr. Aviv served as lead investigator for Pan Am Airways into the Pan Am 103-Lockerbie terrorist bombing. In addition, while working as a consultant with El Al Airlines, Mr. Aviv conducted a survey and update of the airline’s security program that made El Al the safest airline in business today.

Lenny Krayzelburg

Lenny Krayzelburg captivated America and the entire world at the 2000 Summer Olympics, capturing three swimming gold medals for the United States. He took a fourth gold at the 2004 Olympics. He was the USA Swimming Swimmer of the Year in 199 and 2000.

Originally from the FSU, Lenny and his family immigrated to America and settled in Los Angeles without jobs or the ability to speak English. He swam at the JCC, became a citizen and earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California, receving a degree in Finance. He skipped the 2001 World Championships to take part in the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Since his Olympic pursuits, Lenny has been actively involved in the Jewish community. He set up swimming academies at the Westside JCC and the JCC at Milken, has spoken at Jewish conferences, serves on the board of Tikva Children’s Home and represented the United States at the summer 2009 Maccabi games. His Lenny Krayzelburg Foundation’s mission is to create swimming opportunities for disadvantaged youths.