Jewish Heritage Alliance (JHA) offers our team and all those that support our mission the opportunity to have impact and help make a real difference, and possibly change the world as we know it. The team behind JHA takes great pride in the development and expansion of the platform's mission. The team members have the unique opportunity to take on a variety of responsibilities, the chance to jump in and wear many hats at once. In the traditional business world, employees are given a narrow set of tasks related to one area of business. Nonprofits, on the other hand, typically rely on a smaller team of people to handle the workload, resulting in more variety for employees. We solute our team as we pivot together into our next growth phase.
Jewish Heritage Alliance is the brainchild of Michael Steinberger. Michael hails from the tourism industry where he enjoyed over 4 decade's experiences. Michael brings his many years' marketing and operational experience to JHA where as Founder and CEO he developed the JHA model.
Michael's interest in Sefarad (Jews of the Iberian Peninsula) was motivated by the far-reaching events of this segment of Jewish and world history and the profound consequences this period produced, including today's converso phenomenon (descendants of Jews forced to convert to Christianity). Steinberger launched JHA with an underlying mission to deliver this epic story and all its consequences and effects to the public domain. To extend the scope and reach of the mission, Steinberger is created a strategic alliance partnering with organizations, institutions, and individuals, covering the private and public sectors, including religious, secular, historic, academia and governments.
Dr. Amon graduated summa cum laude with Highest Honors in Medieval History, with a focus on the Iberian Inquisition, before earning a J. D., LL.M in alternative dispute resolution and a J.S.D. (PhD in Law) in comparative law, criminal procedure, and legal history, all from Washington University in St. Louis.
In law school, he was awarded the Dagen-Legomsky Public Interest Fellowship to work at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague and served as a research assistant to the Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. With a background in international and comparative history and law, he studied at Utrecht University, Hebrew University, and the Sorbonne; lectured on criminal procedure, the Inquisition, and Sephardic history in the United States and Canada to professional and lay audiences; and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law to visiting students, lawyers, and judges. Most recently, he has been published in law review and professional journals.
A first generation American, Dr. Isaac Amon's paternal ancestors originated in 15th century Spain before leaving the Iberian Peninsula due to the Expulsion of 1492. Over the centuries, following their arrival in the Ottoman Empire, they served as Chief Rabbis, diplomats, and physicians to the Sultans.
Isaac brings his unique skillset to manage the Research & Project Development at JHA.
Gabriela Sánchez-Silva joined Jewish Heritage Alliance in August 2019 where from the beginning she focused on designing the strategies and developing the communication line of the organization to achieve the goals set. Gabriela is originally from Perú and has lived in the United States since 1998. Her professional career has been focused on the communications and business sectors. She began her professional career in the advertising industry in Lima, Peru, working as an Account Supervisor in important agencies such as MAYO GROUP and with leading national and international brands such as Nabisco, Kimberly Clark, AFP Horizonte. In the United States, she worked in the Education and Franchise industries as Director of FEDUSA, insurance agencies. Currently, she owns and manages ALLURE Marketing where she offers consulting and marketing and communications strategies working directly with organizations and entrepreneurs at an international level. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from NOVA Southeastern University, Sunrise, Florida; STARTUP QUEST Training Program at the University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Associate degree, Marketing from Austin Community College (ACC), Austin, Texas; and Certification in Advertising Sciences at the Instituto Peruano de Publicidad (IPP), Lima, Peru.
Steve Dworkin is Professor Emeritus (University of Michigan) of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Linguistics. He specializes in Romance and Hispanic diachronic linguistics, with emphasis on the evolution of the lexicon. His recent publications have dealt with internal structural factors which have led to changes (especially word loss) in the vocabulary of Medieval Spanish. He is currently working on the issue of lexical stability in the history of the Romance languages. He is actively involved in the preparation of the Dictionnaire Etymologique Roman,a collaborative international project.His two most recent books are A History of the Spanish Lexicon. A Linguistic Perspective (Oxford University Press 2012) and A Guide to Old Spanish (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Professor Dworkin is also interested in issues of Spanish diachronic phonology and morphology (both inflectional and derivational), as well as the application to Spanish and Romance historical linguistics of recent insights on language change afforded by typology, grammaticalization and sociohistorical linguistics.
Dr. Paul Finkelman is a specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, and race and the law. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and more than 30 books. His op-eds and shorter pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and on the Huffington Post. He was recently named the ninth most cited legal historian according to " Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings ".
He is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties, and the American Civil War and has written extensively on Thomas Jefferson and on Abraham Lincoln. Professor Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case and his scholarship on religious monuments in public spaces was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry (2005). His scholarship on the Second Amendment has also been cited by the Supreme Court. In 2002 he was a key expert witness in the suit over who owned Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball.
C-SPAN was on the Albany Law School campus in fall 2010 to tape Professor Paul Finkelman's two-hour class on the Dred Scott case. The program aired nationally and is now part of C-Span’s series on American History. He has also appeared on other C-Span programs, on PBS, and the History Channel.
Sam Richardson, M.Div., PhD, is an accomplished team leader with more than 25 years of experience in the education, technology, and non-profit sectors. He currently provides education and IT consulting services through his company, Jerusalem Data Services, and serves as Assistant Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, facilitating research on the institution of marriage in the US.
Sam began his academic foray taking on the discussion of Jewish identity and continuity. In 2017 Sam presented his dissertation and ongoing research project “The Generational Transmission of Jewish Values in Small Communities: The Utility and Magic of Thinking Small” at the University of Virginia. This work challenges contemporary, conventional thinking about Jewish institutions, communities, and identity.
Sam learned of his converso heritage after visiting Israel several times in his early years. Sam is proud of his heritage and is proud to share his profound heritage including his ancestor, Senior Hernandez, who became a conquistador and traveled to Mexico to flee the Spanish Inquisition. When the Inquisition arrived in Mexico City, Hernandez moved his family to the Chihuahua region of Mexico where they remained – keeping far from Catholics and passing as Protestant Christians – until his great-grandmother Concha Hernandez immigrated to California with her three children in 1925.