Our Team

Marla GamoranMarla N Gamoran – Founder and Executive Director

Marla Gamoran divides her time between New York City and Jerusalem.

Born in Chicago, Marla completed a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Illinois, Champaign and a Masters in Business Administration from DePaul University.  She lived in Israel for two years after completing her BA, for a year on Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava and one year teaching English in the Negev development town of Sderot.

Following a career in non-profit management and workforce development , Marla identified the need for an organization dedicated to serving Jewish baby boomers who wanted to contribute to Israel by volunteering using their skills and experience.  Marla completed the PresenTense Global Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs in 2010 and soon after ignited  her lifelong passion for Israel by establishing Skilled Volunteers for Israel where she serves as Executive Director.

Telephone in USA 608-469-0458, Telephone in Israel 050-900-1376, email: mgamoran@skillvolunteerisrael.org

 

 

Judy Dvorak GrayJudy Dvorak Gray – Israel Operations Coordinator

She began developing the organization with Marla in March 2011 and thoroughly enjoys meeting the wonderful, dedicated volunteers from around the world and making successful shidduchim (matches) with our inspiring non-profit organizations and educational institutions. She is excited to share her ardent love of Israel with others.

Born in Philadelphia, Judy lived in Boston before making aliyah in 1977. She completed both her B.S. and M.Ed in Education from Boston University, and an M.A. in Judaic Studies from the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem.

She has had a diverse professional career including teaching in elementary schools, working with NFTY Youth Programs in Israel, informal education for the Masorti Movement in Israel, as well as Project Coordinator for Masorti Olami.

​​Judy also has a lifetime of experience as a volunteer. She has volunteered in the Abayudaya community of Uganda and is currently a co-coordinator of “Project Aynat”, a volunteer project in the Rehabilitation unit at Hadassah Mt. Scopus.

​Judy is married to Steve Gray and has three daughters, three sons-in-law and ​eight Sabra grandchildren. She currently divides her time between Jerusalem and Kibbutz Hannaton.

Telephone in Israel: 052-381-7163,   email: jgray@skillvolunteerisrael.org

 

Terry Cohen HendinTerry Cohen Hendin, Israel Volunteer Coordinator

Terry is a native of Hammond, Indiana (metropolitan Chicago!) and first visited Israel with a teen tour in 1967, followed by a year at Hebrew University 1971-72, a Hebrew Union College School of Jewish Communal Service seminar in 1974 and ultimately aliyah in 1975.

She enthusiastically joined the professional staff of Skilled Volunteers for Israel in February of 2014 as Volunteer Coordinator in Israel after years of informal consulting and brainstorming with Marla Gamoran and Judy Gray on various aspects of the program.

Terry holds a B.A. in Near East Language and Literature from Indiana University,  an M.S.W. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, and a graduate certificate in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College –  Jewish Institute of Religion in which awarded her an honorary doctorate marking 25 years of professional engagement.

Terry has worked as a program associate with Hillel in St. Louis,  a community worker with the Israel Corporation of Community Centers and in administrative positions at Hebrew University’s Public Relations and Development Department and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.  From 1991 – 2007 Terry  was office manager and director of student services for the Union for Reform Judaism  NFTY in Israel programs and has  since freelanced in editing, seminar planning and the coordination of research projects.

A community activist, Terry has  assumed  leadership roles in launching social justice projects reaching out to new immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and others.  She initiated a hospitality project for visiting Reform congregations from abroad with a local congregation and is a member of the Vaad Artzi  National Committee of affiliate organizations of the Israeli Reform Movement, the IMPJ.   An inveterate Zionist and enthusiast for hands on engagement with Israeli society, Terry has long coordinated and initiated volunteer social justice projects for adults and teenagers, individuals and groups living in Israel or participating in seminars or study abroad programs.  She is a born networker always connecting people, plans and projects.

Married to Ron Hendin, Terry is the mother of two adult daughters living in Jerusalem both professionally and voluntarily engaged in vital social policy issues in Israel.

Telephone in Israel:  050-735-8911,  email:  thendin@skillvolunteerisrael.org

Testimonials

“All of the children and the staff have given me such a warm welcome and I have never felt like a stranger in their midst. I can sincerely say that I have felt part of the volunteer team throughout the short time I have been here. I am very grateful to all of its members and am keenly aware that in other volunteer situations it can often take a much longer time to feel at home.”



Stay Connected

Email Updates