Toby Rubin | CEO & Founder |
In 2002, Toby joined the Bureau of Jewish Education staff to direct the ti-ke-a Fellowship for Educators of Jewish teens. While at the BJE, Toby conceived and established two groundbreaking projects for the Bay Area: the Jewish Service Learning Project, (dedicated to helping Jewish community professionals integrate service learning into their program mix) and the Jewish Professionals Co-op, the precursor to UpStart. From 2006-2008, Toby served as Associate Director of the BJE.
Advancement of the Rubin family (husband, Robert; daughters Rachel, Sadie, Eliana; and best pal, Jamba) has been the most successful venture Toby has had to date.
Barbara has over 25 years experience as principal of her own management consulting practice. As a business strategy consultant, coach, and facilitator, Barbara's expertise includes strategy development and execution, business planning and implementation, new ventures and affiliations, and organizational assessment and redesign. She is committed to helping clients develop tailored solutions to achieve business success. Barbara's clients are nonprofit and for profit organizations that include startups, healthcare organizations, and media.
Barbara holds a B.A. and an MPH, with a concentration in management and planning, from UC Berkeley. She serves on the Board of the Northern California Association of Strategic Planning (ASP) and Chair of the San Francisco ASP venue for sustainable business practices, the Board of Huckleberry Youth Programs, and the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves. Barbara enjoys tending to her vegetable gardens, keeps fit with hiking, cycling, tennis, and skiing, and treasures her time with husband Jim, her twin sons Danny and Alex, and beloved dog Toby (not to be confused with UpStart’s CEO).
Maya designs UpStart’s content, which fuses business learning with Jewish concepts, consults to UpStarters on their Jewish and educational programs, and to organizations on leadership and change initiatives, and writes UpStart’s blog on Jewish social entrepreneurship. Her expertise includes teaching, curriculum design, and leadership education.
Prior to her work at UpStart, Maya developed a unique approach to using Jewish text study as a tool for negotiating conflicts in schools and organizations. She served as the founding Regional Director of The Curriculum Initiative’s (TCI) New England and Bay Area Regions, supporting ethics and diversity education, and Jewish life, in independent high schools. Maya began her career in education working with the Jewish community in the Former Soviet Union, has written curriculum for a variety of formal and informal Jewish settings, and is a frequently published author, online and in print, in the field of Jewish innovation and social entrepreneurship.
A graduate of Midreshet Lindenbaum, a women’s Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Columbia University and Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Maya has lived and taught in Belarus, Germany, Israel, and China. She and her husband have three young children, and Maya blogs about the joys and challenges of modern motherhood for Lilith magazine.
Naomi's professional background combines the business and nonprofit worlds, while her volunteer work ranges from violin performance to adventure sports. She helped establish the Western Region office of American Jewish World Service and served in both fundraising and office management capacities. At Charles Schwab, she worked in corporate human resources, managing employee relocations worldwide. Naomi was on the grant making staff at Koret Foundation and the allocations staff of the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco. Outdoor activities include her work as program coordinator at the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP), managing all aspects of an adaptive cycling program for children and adults with physical disabilities. Naomi also volunteered as a sea kayak guide for Environmental Traveling Companions.
She studied at Brandeis and San Francisco State University and holds a B.A. in English literature and a graduate certificate in nonprofit human services administration. Naomi's lifelong hobby of playing violin/fiddle in orchestras, rock bands and jam sessions has given her a keen appreciation for the importance of ensemble play.
Most recently, Melissa served as the Development Officer for the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, where she completed her tenure as a Jewish Federations of North America FEREP Fellow (Federation Executive Recruitment Education Program). Melissa did her graduate work in Los Angeles where she earned a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from USC and a Masters in Jewish Communal Service (MAJCS) from Hebrew Union College. Melissa has fundraising and marketing experience with a number of Jewish organizations including the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Progressive Jewish Alliance’s LA office (now, Bend the Arc), and HUC's Office of Development.
Melissa’s journey toward becoming a Jewish Communal Professional began back in college when she was working as a Student Supervisor for the UCSD Telephone Outreach Program and simultaneously active as a volunteer with her campus Hillel’s fundraising efforts while earning her dual BA in Judaic Studies and Political Science. When Melissa realized she could pair her fundraising skills with her passion for the Jewish community, she decided to switch courses from pre-law in order to pursue a career as a Jewish Nonprofit Professional- and she hasn’t looked back ever since.
A native of Southern California, Melissa is excitedly discovering all that San Francisco has to offer including frequent bike rides over the Golden Gate Bridge. Melissa loves cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest, playing Mah Jongg with her girlfriends, and she isn’t embarrassed to admit that she is a total GleeK (fan of the TV show, Glee).
Aaron Brickman grew up in Houston, TX where he attended a Modern Orthodox day school. He moved to California to study at American Jewish University (AJU) and graduated with a dual BA in Jewish Studies and Political Science. While studying at AJU in Los Angeles, he was active with the Workmen's Circle where he developed secular Jewish programming and politically progressive events. Aaron also booked and promoted independent concerts to raise funds for a variety of social and economic justice causes.
Prior to entering the world of Jewish non-profits, Aaron worked in the Labor Movement where he organized airport staff, preschool teachers, and hospital workers. In his role as an organizer, he holds democratic decision-making and direct action as the most vital components in creating meaningful change that transforms individuals and communities. During his tenure in the Labor Movement, Aaron had the unique opportunity of helping found the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) where he participated in the largest private-sector union election in 70 years.
Aaron is also currently a participant in Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah Fellowship program where he is learning how to bring his skills as an organizer into the Jewish community. In his free time, he can be found tending to a multitude of plants that make up the indoor jungle that is his home in Oakland or taking in the amazing cultural opportunities the Bay Area has to offer.
Erik Ludwig joined UpStart as the Chief Accelerator Officer & COO in February 2013. He is responsible for operational efficiency (people, systems, and know-how) and ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace. He also leads the Bay Area UpStarter Program, consulting with social entrepreneurs to accelerate the development and implementation of their vision, build their infrastructure, attain fiscal sustainability, adapt to shifting needs and environments, and gain access to networks and resources needed to achieve a profound impact on Jewish life.
Erik’s structural expertise includes strategic planning, business reorganization, funding strategies, board development, human resource management, team building, financial reporting, accreditation, and project management. His 15 years of leadership experience in the Jewish community spans working in pioneering organizations like Be’chol Lashon and spearheading innovation in traditional institutions like Jewish Federations and Jewish Community Centers where he has held positions including program director, development director, chief operating officer, and executive director. These experiences provide differentiated frameworks to understand the multifaceted challenges in launching or reorganizing around the key concepts of making Jewish life accessible, relevant, and transformative. Erik has enjoyed consulting and coaching with for-profit and non-profit organizations including Siemens, Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Centers, and non-Jewish NGOs.
A believer in life-long education, Erik is nearing completion of his Ph.D. in Education, Culture and Society from University of Utah. He also holds a M.A. in Teaching & Writing from Humboldt State University and B.S. in Psychology from University of Utah. Erik lives in Oakland with his wife, daughter and two dogs. On Sundays, you can find him on the basketball court or ski slope.