The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute

Jewish Ethics. Heavenly Ideals. Earthly Compassion.

About Us: Leadership

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Founder & CEO

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Founder & CEO of Shamayim V’Aretz and the author of Jewish Ethics & Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century now available on Amazon. His second book Epistemic Development in Talmud Study is now availalbe on Amazon also. Currently Rav Shmuly 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. 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 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 baby Amiella live in Scottsdale, Arizona where he serves as the Executive Director of the Valley Beit Midrash.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.

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.



Board 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.

Lisa Karlan

Lisa Karlan

Board Member

Tikkun Olam, a concept of repairing the world, has guided the choices of Lisa Karlan. With a background in public health and nursing, Lisa volunteered with Operation Crossroads Africa after college, providing primary heath care in Ivory Coast. Next, Lisa spent the following 20 years coordinating the recovery of organs and tissue for transplantation and founded, Karlan Memorial Tissue Bank, the first non profit multiple tissue bank in California, and a tribute to her parents, who died during Lisa's 20's.  A few years ago, Lisa adopted a plant-based dietary lifestyle and experienced such dramatic changes that this compelled her to learn more about plant-based nutrition from experts across the country. Lisa is now a Heath Coach and Food for Life Instructor, certified by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Lisa believes that if she knew then, what she now knows, her parents might still be alive. Lisa's understanding is that most chronic disease: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and some autoimmune diseases are food borne illnesses. Lisa is repairing the world by teaching others how to prevent, reverse and stabilize chronic disease through dietary choices, while simultaneously creating a humane world for animals knowing that this will also have a positive impact on our environment and the Earth.

Tossi Quint

Yossi Quint

Board Member

Yossi Quint is currently a student at Princeton University. Prior to attending Princeton, Yossi spent two years in the Old City of Jerusalem studying Jewish texts. A vegan since the age of twelve, Yossi has experienced the ins and outs of being a vegan in the Orthodox community.

Yossi is in charge of the campus fellowship as well as a past intern. 

Don Goldman

Don Goldman

Board Member

Don Goldman is Executive Director and CEO of Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City. He spent much of his career in the business world first as a telecom executive and later an Internet entrepreneur. He switched to the non-profit sector about 7 years ago following a 5-year stint as a stay-at-home dad. He has a BA from the Johns Hopkins University in Political Economy and an MBA from the University of Chicago. His interest in veganism started when in the same week his vegetarian son bought him a copy of Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer and he saw Forks over Knives, a movie that emphasizes the health benefits of veganism, but also deals with the underlying moral issues of the death of the family farm. He became a vegan the following week and began to learn more about the sources of food in modern society.

Aaron Gross

Professor Aaron Gross

Board Member

Aaron S. Gross founded the nonprofit advocacy and consulting organization Farm Forward in 2006 and serves as a professor of Jewish studies in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Diego. He holds graduate degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of California, Santa Barbara's Department of Religious Studies. Gross co-chairs the Steering Committee of the American Academy of Religion's Animals and Religion Consultation, serves on the Humane Society of the United States's Faith Advisory Council, and collaborated heavily with Jonathan Safran Foer on Foer’s book Eating Animals. Gross’s new edited volume, Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies (Columbia University Press, 2012), provides what Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee calls "a richly intelligent mapping of the field" of animal studies and proves "accessible—even engrossing—to the ordinary educated reader." 

Tani Demain

Board Member

Shoshana Yanklowitz

Founding Member

Advisory Committee

Rabbis & Community Leaders

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
David Bookbinder, Student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Joshua Boydstun, Student, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College 
Rabbi Rick Brody 
Rabbi Sharon Brous 
Rabbi Nadav Caine
Rabbi Mychal Copeland 
Rabbi Boris Dolin, Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, OR
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
Sandra Lawson, Rabbinical student, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
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
Richard H.Schwartz, Ph.D, President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America 
Rabbi Adam Stein
Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi Lina Zerbarini

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
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,
Matthew Readdick, Orange County Hillel, UC Irvine
Aaron Relyea
Philip Schein, PETA
Roberta Schiff
Paul Shapiro, The Humane Society of the United States
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
Pauline Yearwood

The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute, a community of Jewish vegans, is working to create a paradigm shift in how the Jewish community views veganism.
Shamayim V'Aretz programing includes animal welfare, environmental, and health veganism.
The Institute works specifically to promote veganism within the Jewish community.

If you have any question please contact us at

website design: