YidLife Masterminds

Crisis Management Team

Eli Batalion


ELI BATALION is a hybrid animal, at once a writer, producer, actor and composer for film, TV and the stage with a B.A. from Brown University in the liberal arts and a content strategist and analyst with an M.B.A. from École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montréal, Québec.

Eli has written, composed and produced in various capacities for dozens of projects ranging from award-winning horror musical films screened and distributed internationally (including the recently Magnolia released Stage Fright starring Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf and the Sundance cult short film The Legend of Beaver Dam) through to touring musical comedy productions and live comedy shows (including the fringe hit J.O.B. The Hip-Hopera). Eli also consults and writes regularly on content strategy and the content industries and the roles of new and traditional media.

Eli lives in transit happily together with his suitcase and two beautiful mobile devices. He is a member of the Reboot, ROI and BYFI alumni communities.

Jamie Elman


A native of Montreal and graduate of McGill University, JAMIE ELMAN has appeared on many of television’s most acclaimed series including Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House M.D., Criminal Minds, Without A Trace, CSI: NY, The Closer, and The Young and the Restless. He also played Luke, the resident piano-playing record store guy and boyfriend, for three seasons on NBC’s award winning and critically lauded drama American Dreams. His breakout role was Cody on the FOX/YTV hit teen sitcom Student Bodies.

Elman’s starred in California Dreamin’ (Grand Prix, Un Certain Regard, 2007 Cannes Film Festival) opposite Armand Assante, When Nietzsche Wept (2007), portraying a young Sigmund Freud opposite Ben Cross, Shattered Glass (with Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny and Hayden Christensen, 2003), The Chicago 8 (with Orlando Jones, Danny Masterson and Phillip Baker Hall, 2011), Saving Lincoln (with Tom Amandes, Penelope Ann Miller and Bruce Davison. 2013), and Random Encounters (with Michael Rady and Sean Young). Elman has done extensive voice work for video games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and animated films including Disney’s highly acclaimed Wreck-It Ralph and the blockbuster Frozen. A creator in his own right, the actor wrote and starred in the web series crazy/sexy/awkward, produced by Howie Mandel and purchased by Shaw Media. He recently starred opposite Jodi Balfour in the finale of the beloved Canadian series Bomb Girls.

Jamie is also an accomplished blues and jazz pianist and singer who has recorded with Ben Harper, Natalie Maines and Rickie Lee Jones. He lives in Los Angeles.

Our team behind the scenes

Sheiny Satanove

Community Manager

Sheiny Satanove is a community builder who wears many hats as a theatre producer, executive director, event planner, festival manager, publicist, and arts advocate. Sheiny grew up in Vancouver, was most recently based in Edmonton, and is now enjoying life on the road.

Sheiny is a founding member and Artistic Producer of Punctuate! Theatre, a registered charity dedicated to creating subversive and accessible theatre. During her time in Edmonton she also had the pleasure of being the Executive Director of PACE (an arts advocacy non-profit) and one of the founding members of Spark! Youth Camp. Sheiny has also worked as a producer on The Serca Festival of Irish Theatre, The Thousand Faces Festival of Mythic Art, The Skirts Afire Festival, and as production staff for LitFest and The Expanse Festival.

Sheiny officially joined the YidLife Crisis team in March 2016, after being a loyal fan for several months. Currently she manages tours and bookings, as well as communication duties and community management. The best part of her job? Constantly being entertained by this dynamic duo!

Philip Kalin-Hajdu


Philip has worked in many key areas of film, television and digital media in a career that has spanned over 15 years. Recently, as producer and co-director, Philip delivered a 13 x 60 min travel series “Mon Israel” to Canal Evasion for the 2014 season. Filmed in only a few weeks, Philip led a crew throughout Israel and the West Bank to portray over 50 unique individuals and locations. In 2015, he produced Erin Laing’s short film, “Timber”, funded by BravoFact, which premiered at the Rendez-Vous de Cinema Quebecois.

Philip is a graduate of Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema – Bachelor of Fine Arts, With Distinction, Specialization in Film Production. In addition, Philip works as a writing consultant on numerous feature and short film screenplays, and is a guest lecturer at notable institutions including Dawson College and Concordia University. Philip taught screenwriting at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts and for the Montreal J-way Program and has acted as consultant to Adobe for their screenwriting software. Philip juries for SODEC, Quebec’s cultural financing body and sits on the jury of the JCF Culture Committee, responsible for the annual allocation of a quarter of a million dollars towards the arts.

Trusted Advisors

Rob Adler-Peckerar

Rob Adler-Peckerar

Executive Director • Yiddishkayt • Los Angeles

Rob Adler Peckerar is executive director of Yiddishkayt in Los Angeles and former professor of Jewish culture at CU Boulder. His Ph.D research at Berkeley focused on the relationship between Yiddish and its neighbouring cultures. At Yiddishkayt, Rob creates immersive cultural expeditions, such as the Helix Project he leads to Central and Eastern Europe, incubates creative projects, and shares neglected pieces of Jewish cultural history — treating Yiddish in particular as a model of intercultural interaction. His site, yiddishkayt.org, was a 2016 Webby Honoree for Net Art.

Justin Korda

Justin Korda

Executive Director • ROI Community • Jerusalem

Justin has been with ROI Community since its inception in 2005. As a student activist growing up in Montreal, he led various grassroots initiatives aimed at making Jewish life more exciting and accessible for his peers. In 1999, he led the first Taglit-Birthright Israel trip from Canada. Justin then became the coordinator of follow-up programs for returning participants. Justin holds an MBA from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and a BA in political science from McGill University. While Jerusalem is home, he and his wife, Yael, currently reside in San Diego, CA, with their three children and dog.

Anna Hecht

Anna Hecht

Manager of Donor Relations • Beit Hatfutsot • Tel Aviv

As Manager of Donor Relations at Beit Hatfutsot, the museum of the Jewish people in Tel Aviv, Anna is responsible for fundraising to cover Museum operational and special activity costs, as well as ensuring new and old ``olim`` (immigrants to Israel) come to visit the Museum, while also helping the general cause through PR and social media initiatives. Originally from Australia, Anna lives in Herzliya with her husband and three kids. She is on a fascinating, mostly unmarked journey of being a new Jew and an even newer Israeli, while trying to get some balance and joy out of every day.

Honey Dresher

Honey Dresher

President • Culture.Diversity.Comunications • Montreal

Honey A. Dresher is a broadcasting consultant. Well-known throughout Canada for her work in promoting culture and cultural diversity, she has sat on 20 boards of directors, including the Société Générale du Cinéma du Québec, Unesco-Montreal World Book Capital and has chaired seven. She served as President of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Performing Arts and was President of the TVA Action Committee on Cultural Diversity. In 2006 and 2011 she wrote and directed an original performance called the Woumble/Farbengen, an intercultural celebration of poetry and song featuring Jewish and Haitian artists. She currently is an Executive Producer for DLI Productions.

Becky Voorwinde

Becky Voorwinde

Executive Director • Bronfman Youth Fellowships • NYC

Rebecca Voorwinde is Executive Director of the Bronfman Fellowships. Becky oversees the strategic planning for all aspects of the Fellowships in Israel and the US, including working closely with the global alumni community of over 1,000. Becky facilitates collaboration and networking among alumni, who serve as leaders in key positions of influence. Becky graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in American Studies. She serves on the Boards of JPro and Because Jewish. Becky lives in Brooklyn with her husband Michael and two daughters.

Eddy Portnoy

Eddy Portnoy

Senior Researcher & Exhibition Curator • YIVO • NYC

Edward Portnoy received his Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a dissertation focused on cartoons of the Yiddish press. He also holds an M.A in Yiddish Studies from Columbia, having written on artists/writers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler. His articles on Jewish popular culture have appeared in The Drama Review, Polin, and The International Journal of Comic Art. In addition to speaking on Jewish popular culture, he has consulted on museum exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York, Musée d'art et d'histoire du judaïsme in Paris, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.

Donors and Supporting Foundations

Our Sponsors and Ongoing Supporters


(Our fiscal sponsor)

JCF Montreal

Federation CJA and Shaping Our Future Grants

Natan Fund

Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

BYFI Alumni Venture Fund


Anonymous Donor

Irwin and Sara Tauben

Joel Segal
and the Segal Family