Alisa Boymelgreen, one of Luria’s founding members, dreamed with her husband Sam, of creating an innovative Jewish school over a decade ago. Her vision of a warm inclusive environment where Jewish education is taught in creative and holistic ways to children of various backgrounds has made her experience as a parent and board member deeply rewarding. Her work in clinical psychotherapy with families and children has informed Luria’s approach of teaching to, and learning from children. “I think children are magical and often misunderstood; their schooling should be filled with magic and understanding.” Alisa graduated Wurzweiler school of Social Work, where she obtained her Master’s degree. She is the mother of 3 children, including Mila (Middle School) & Lev (6-9 Class) who are Luria students.
Sam Boymelgreen, President, co-founded Boymelgreen Developers, a family business and full-service real estate development & construction company, where he served as Chief Operating Officer from 1997 through 2011. In a single decade, the company developed & built more than 4,000 units over 36 residential and mixed-use projects. In 2009, Sam co-founded Greendel Energy, which specializes in the design, procurement, installation, and financing of large-scale solar-powered energy systems. Sam has entered a new professional chapter as he pursues today’s real estate opportunities. When Sam and his wife, Alisa, were pondering the education of their children they found there was a dearth of quality options in the Brooklyn neighborhood they had grown to love. Rather than uprooting their family, Sam and Alisa, along with Moshe Banin and Jacob Septimus, co-founded the Luria Academy of Brooklyn in 2006.
Revital Gazal joined the Luria family a year after its inception. She was drawn to its holistic, progressive views on education and religious study and its creative child-centered focus- values in perfect sync with her own personal passions. Revital began her career in the music and entertainment industry. After chefs training at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School in NYC, together with husband Victor- a musician and real estate broker- she opened a vegetarian café and juice bar in the early days of the burgeoning Williamsburg, Brooklyn scene. A self starter in constant pursuit of projects that align with her deepest passions, Revital began collaborating with local makers on custom design work and targeting hidden gems in the young growing Brooklyn real estate market. Following the extremely premature birth of her eldest son she dedicated herself fully to her most significant passion project, her family. With sons, Isaac and Micah, attending Luria Elementary, she has rejoined Victor in their family run real estate boutique where her passion for curating, real estate, design and collaboration have come full circle. Revital handles art direction, project design and consultation- currently expanding the design and lifestyle division of GBG.
Ronen Glimer, Secretary, is an experienced marketer and community-builder and has dedicated much of his professional career to creating innovative experiences and places in Brooklyn. Together with his wife, Amy Abrams, he is founder of Williamsburg-based Artists & Fleas, a weekend market created to provide local artists, designers and entrepreneurs a place to show, sell and market their work. He spent several years building and marketing consumer brands and developing a national marketing organization to support those products. He is a graduate of Columbia College. His children have been attending Luria since 2009.
Shannon Frank Green, Vice President, is General Counsel of Blue State Digital, a marketing and advertising agency. Previously she spent 10 years as a commercial litigator, and enjoys helping businesses solve problems large and small, with an emphasis on risk management and dispute resolution. She has JD and LLM degrees from Duke University School of Law. Shannon and her husband Isaac are Prospect Heights residents and proud parents of Luria students Rosemary and Solomon.
Rachel Goldstein, Treasurer, is the Vice President of Finance & Operations at Penguin Random House Publisher Services. Rachel is an experienced finance executive skilled in navigating organizations through periods of growth and change. Rachel has been on the Luria board for the past four years and is passionate about education, Luria, and the community that we are building together. Rachel holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the NYU Stern School. She and her husband Craig have two children both of whom love going to school every day.
Belle Guttman serves as Director of Development at Series Digital, a software development and web design company based in Dumbo, where she oversees the development of custom software for a wide range of clients. Belle’s expertise encompasses large integration projects, technically complex engagements, and the thrill of designing new systems. Luria Academy is what brought Belle to the neighborhood, and her daughter has been a happy and flourishing student here for the past four years. Belle serves on the board of the Prospect Heights Shul, and is part of a number of committees that have helped grow and shape the shul and its community.
Rick Kiley is a founding partner of SoHo Experiential, a 11-year-old marketing agency based in New York City, specializing in the development and execution integrated digital, social and experiential marketing campaigns. He has led the development of groundbreaking programs and events for clients such as Remy Cointreau, Edrington Americas, Citibank, Campari America, Sobe, Godiva, Green & Blacks and many more. Rick is one of the architects of Democratized Event ContentTM, the concept of letting a group of event participants guide an event through consensus based choices. Before embarking on his agency life, Rick worked as Managing Director of Mum Puppettheatre, an award winning Philadelphia based Theater Company. Rick is a magna cum laude graduate of Skidmore College with dual majors in Theater and Mathematics. He and his wife Meital are proud parents to two children, Asher and Lyla, who are currently attending Luria.
Soonae Sakow is Vice President of Operations and Administration for Zilkha Investments, where she has worked for over 10 years. She also owns Plaza del Castillo Development Corp., which develops and manages commercial real estate properties throughout the city. Soonae has a passion for and supports underprivileged children and at risk teens which is evident in the charities she works closely with. She and her husband moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn in 1996 and are raising three children, two of whom attend Luria.
David Salama is the CEO of FlyCleaners, a tech oriented dry cleaning and laundry service. After a career spent in both finance and technology, David is now focused on revolutionizing the way people clean their clothes. David, who had been a member of Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Leadership Council, and his wife, Evelyn, were looking for a school that combined unorthodox and modern teaching methods with a Modern Orthodox educational approach. Drawn in by Luria’s dedication to the unique education of each child, they enrolled their daughter Barbara in 2012 and are counting down the days till they can send their daughters Rhonda and Ruby as well.
Jacob Septimus is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law and is an attorney admitted to the New York Bar. After a short stint practicing intellectual property law, he left to found MIC Media, an entertainment company with music, television, film and Internet properties. Since leaving MIC in 2004 he has worked as a film and television director and producer and as the Creative Director for Berlin Cameron United (WPP). He currently works as Creative Director of Code and Theory in NY. He is the proud father of Ella (7) and Leonel (3) both Lurians, and baby Kol who has plans to attend someday.
Daniel Septimus, Co-President, Daniel Septimus, Co-President, is executive director of Sefaria, an organization launched in 2013 to create digital infrastructure for the future of Jewish study, commentary, and conversation. Daniel studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Manchester, and Yeshivat Har Etzion. He and his wife, Becky Porath live in South Midwood and have four children, including Lev and Eva who are current Luria students.
Mamie Kanfer Stewart is the Founder & CEO of Starling, a start up on a mission to help the world run effective meetings. Prior to founding Starling, Mamie consulted with non-profit organizations on staffing and strategic planning. She received an MBA from Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Mamie serves on a number of boards including Bend the Arc and InterfaithFamily (immediate past Chair). Previously she served on the boards of Moishe House and Slingshot. Mamie and her husband have two children who attend Luria.
Founders of Luria Academy