Who is Who

Dekel Houmash Executive Director

As arzenu’s lead employee, Dekel Houmash is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organisation. She joined arzenu after previously working for the Jewish Agency for Israel where she was responsible for the shilchim to URJ summer camps. Born and raised in Israel, Dekel Houmash holds an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University.

Rabbi Lea Mühlstein International Chair

Rabbi Mühlstein first attended the Zionist Congress in 2006 as a representative of the World Union of Jewish Students. Having served a term as vice-chair of arzenu, she was elected chair in 2017. Born and raised in Germany, Rabbi Mühlstein was ordained from Leo Baeck College in 2012. She works as a fulltime pulpit rabbi at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in London, UK.

Rabbi Jack Luxemburg Vice-chair

A founding member of arzenu’s constituent in the United States, ARZA – the Association of Reform Zionists in America, Rabbi Luxemburg was elected vice-chair of Arzenu in 2017. He was ordained from Hebrew Union College -JIR Cincinnati in 1976. Rabbi Luxemburg is the rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Ami in Rockville MD, where he served as senior rabbi for 35 years.

Susan C. Longo Co-treasurer

Susan C. Longo is President of Making Auditors Proficient (MAP), which provides consulting services to industry and CPA practices throughout the United States and Canada.  She has been associated with national, regional, and local practices in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and Texas.  She has expertise in compliance auditing for nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, employee benefit plans, HUD, financial institutions, broker-dealers, CIRAs and contractors.

Ellen Gordon Secretary

Born, raised & educated in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Majored in Film but left Art for Law School. Practiced law as a defence counsel initially in Winnipeg, Manitoba & then in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Appointed as a Judge to the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 2004. Appointed as a “generalist”’but sit mainly in the criminal courts. Have been a member of Temple Sholom in Vancouver for several years. Have co-chaired 2 of the last 7 annual fundraisers & otherwise permanently chair the synagogue’s Youth Tikkun Olam Award Committee.

Michael H. Laufer Member of the Executive

Michael Laufer is a retired business executive, attorney and CPA. He and his wife live in Manhattan and have two adult daughters. Michael has served on several not-for-profit boards and in leadership positions of many organizations, principally in the Jewish world. Michael represents ARZA and ARZENU as a member of the American Zionist Movement’s board and its Leadership Cabinet. He also serves on the board of the Reform Movement (URJ).

Zoe Dressner Member of the Executive

Zoe Dressner is studying in the Joint Program between the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. She is majoring in Bible at JTS and Religion at Columbia. Her first experience with Reform Zionism was in 2016 while studying on NFTY-EIE (now URJ Heller High). In 2018, she was an Emerging Leader with ARZA and has since attended two General Assembly meetings of the WZO and was on the ARZA slate in the 2020 WZC Elections. 

Yaron Shavit Vice Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel

Yaron Shavit has served as the chair of arzenu’s faction in the Zionist Institutions since 2010 and served as arzenu’s legal consultant. In 2021, he was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. He is one of arzenu’s representatives on the Executive Committee of the World Zionist Organization. He is an active attorney and a colonel in reserve within the IDF Central Command. Yaron Shavit is the former chair of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism.

Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman Chair of the Department of Irgoon and Israelis Abroad at the WZO

Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman represents arzenu as the chair of the Department of Irgoon and Israelis Abroad in the World Zionist Organization since 2021. She previously served as the Chair of the Diaspora Department. Her current department oversees the activities of Zionist Federations around the world and works with Israelis living abroad. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the WZO. Previously, Born and raised in Israel, Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman served as the Associate Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism.

Yair Lootsteen Vice-chair of Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael

Yair Lootsteen represents arzenu as a vice-chair on the board of directors of Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael. He is also the Chair of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). A lawyer, Yair Lootsteen served in the IDF’s Military Advocate General Corps for 23 years, completing his term of duty in 2007 with the rank of Colonel.