Leadership and Staff

Leadership

Board of Directors

Robert Glimcher, Chair
Kerry Bron
Estelle Comay
Laura Penrod Kronk
Robert Mallet
Charles S. Perlow
Louis B. Plung
Debbie Resnick
James Rudolph
Hilary S. Tyson

Advisory Committee

Nancy Aloi
Joshua Andy, PhD
Sean Boyle
Paula Calabrese
Maria Caruso
Judith Ehrenwerth
Tamara Freeman, PhD
Melissa Haviv
Mary Johnson, PhD
Kate Lukaszewicz
Stanley Levine
Don Linzer
Michael Naragon, PhD
Rachel Oren
Mindelle Pierce
Marc Rice
Jamie Rosenthal
Barbara Shafran
Gail Shirazi
Naomi Weisberg Siegel
Jonathan Zisook, PhD

Staff

Dr. Zipora (Tsipy) Gur


Executive Director


Dr. Zipora (Tsipy) Gur is the Founder and Executive Director of Classrooms Without Borders (CWB), a non-profit educational organization in association with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. CWB connects teachers and learners through experiential, extended-term professional growth programs that result in lasting positive changes in the way teachers instruct students.

Dr. Gur has worked in the field of Jewish education for more than 35 years, creating cutting-edge programs in professional development and teacher training, supervising and mentoring teachers, teaching high school students, and developing new programs to stimulate students in the classroom. Dr. Gur developed several two-year professional development courses for teachers who lack knowledge in pedagogy and/or Judaic studies. She created a number of international study seminars to Spain, Poland, and Israel, utilizing countries as the textbook for Jewish learning. She developed partnerships with local universities to enable Jewish educators to pursue advanced degrees to enhance their professional development.

Among the honors and awards received by Dr. Gur are: Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education in 2019; W. LaMarr Kopp Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, presented by the Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PaCIE) in recognition of outstanding contributions commitment and leadership to international education; Doris and Leonard H. Rudolph Jewish Communal Professional Award in 2002, presented by the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh; Israel Bonds Honoree in 2001; and Shazar Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 1993 on behalf of the Jewish Education Institute, presented by the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog.

Dr. Gur holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Haifa University, with a major in Hebrew Language and Literature and Sociology, as well as a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education and a Doctoral degree in Curriculum and Supervision, both from the University of Pittsburgh. She participated in Leadership Pittsburgh and received Leadership Certification from the Council of International Jewish Federations: Philosophy of Education Center at Harvard University. She holds a teaching certificate from the Israeli ministries of Culture and Education. She achieved the rank of Lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces during her military service in 1969-1971.

She is married to Dr. David Gur. They have two adult children, Saar and Ilan.

Ellen Resnek


Educational Programs and Outreach Manager


Ellen Resnek has been an educator for over 20 years, teaching in both Massachusetts and Vermont before relocating to Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Massachusetts in 1988 and holds 2 Masters Degrees in Education from Wilkes University. She has taught a wide variety of courses in the field of Social Studies, including partnering with the University of Pittsburgh as a College in High School Educator. She is a member of the Teacher Advisory Board for The National Constitution Center; responsible for promoting high-quality, nonpartisan, civic education through a variety of activities and programs and a founding member of the Teacher Advisory Group for the National Council on History Education, NCHE. She also serves as an Outreach Teacher Trainer for the Transatlantic Outreach Program.

Her accomplishments include placing second in the Teaching America’s Founding, through the National Endowment for the Humanities and Mount Vernon Ladies Association. She also was awarded the Lucile Cornetet Individual Award for Professional Development from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation. In  2018, she was honored to be the recipient of the Transatlantic Outreach Fellow of the Year awarded at the National Council of Social Studies Annual Conference in Chicago. She has had her work published in many educational journals, newsletters, and websites, including Lincoln’s Cottage, Foreign Policy Research Institute, National Council for History Education, The National Constitution Center, World History Digital Education Foundation, and the Transatlantic Outreach Program.

Her expertise in educational outreach is only surpassed by her passion for Professional Development. She has participated and led a plethora of Professional Development programs both in the United States and Abroad. Her classes have designed and participated in cross-cultural immersive activities with educators and students across the globe creating platforms to engage in thoughtful discussions surrounding difficult histories to enrich and inform the greater global community. She has developed and presented educational outreach workshops at the local, state, and regional levels, sharing these experiences.

Jackie Goldblum


Seminars Manager


Jackie Goldblum is a leader in Holocaust education. She has joined CWB after 22 years of teaching elementary and middle school in Pittsburgh. This career path has led her to become a subject matter expert in the complexities of the Holocaust, genocide and current events, Israel’s national security and civil liberties, Jewish History, and Hebrew language studies. Jackie’s mission was to challenge her students to create a more equitable future, by honing essential life skills such as leadership and fostering empathy when making choices. 

Jackie is excited to begin her journey at CWB as the Seminars Manager, with significant experience in program coordination, building educational partnerships, and community outreach. Starting in 2007, she established an annual Holocaust Survivor Dinner, where survivors shared their testimonies in an intimate and safe environment with students. Jackie also spearheaded educational trips which included Higher Achievement Pittsburgh, an after school outreach program for at-risk youth. In an effort to bridge gaps between communities, she highlighted historical similarities between African American history and the Holocaust for the Higher Achievement scholars. This program allowed many of her students to become warriors for justice and advocates for those without a voice. 

Jackie’s awards and accomplishments include winning the International Educational K-12 Classroom Competition at the University of Pittsburgh for MLK Day curriculum planning, the Unsung Jewish Hero award for classroom teaching in 2016, and a two-time recipient for the PA Association for Student Council State Advisor of the Year. 

Jackie received her education at Beit Berl Teaching College in Israel, and Point Park University for elementary education. She continued to develop her studies at Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies, the Facing History Organization, Teacher Leadership Fellowship at Brandeis University, as well as becoming an Alfred Lerner Fellow with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

Erica Fox Zabusky


Operations Manager


Erica Fox Zabusky has a varied career as a versatile performing artist, educator, and entertainment industry and non-profit professional, spanning over twenty-five years of international experience.

Having studied music at Harvard University and voice/opera at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Erica has held positions in both the US and Germany with commercial and non-profit organizations. She started in the recording industry at Teldec Classics International (Hamburg), later moving to Sony Classical (New York) and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Erica has held such positions as Executive Director of the string orchestra Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg) and as a consultant for the grass-roots organization, Lawrence Opera Theatre where she implemented finance and budget strategies as well as fostered new organizational partnerships.

Erica’s teaching experience began in Germany as an Instructor of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and Bi-lingual Commercial Correspondence. She has been a Teaching Artist at a local theatre for elementary school student workshops and has taught lessons on Jewish Holidays to school classes ranging from Pre-School to 3rd grade.

In 2018 she returned to Squirrel Hill, moving into her childhood home. She is a current member of the Board at Congregation Beth Shalom and a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School. Prior to the move, Erica served on the Board and as Cantorial Soloist for the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation in Lawrence, KS. A self-professed ‘culture vulture,’ she attends concerts, opera, theatre, dance and film whenever possible. She loves good jazz, food and wine, and speaks fluent German.

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