Mercaz Team

Lay Leadership


Dr Stephen Wolnek - President MERCAZ Olami

Dr. Stephen S. Wolnek became President of MERCAZ Olami in June 2010, taking over from Rabbi Vernon Kurtz.

Dr. Wolnek has long been active in the Conservative Movement, and is a former President of MERCAZ USA and a former International President of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Dr. David Breakstone - International Vice-President of MERCAZ and Masorti Olami

Dr. Breakstone is Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, a position to which he was elected following ten years as head of its Department for Zionist Activities and Herzl Educational Center of which he was the founding director. He is also a member of the Jewish Agency Executive and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. 
 
Before beginning his association with the WZO in 2000, Dr. Breakstone served as the Director of Ramah Programs in Israel. Prior to that he was the Associate Dean and Director of Education at The Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, a position he came to after several years as Director of Hebrew University's Pedagogic Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora. He has long been active in the Masorti/Conservative Movement and has served both as its chairman in Israel and its executive vice president internationally.
 
Dr. Breakstone has published numerous articles, books, and pedagogic materials on Jewish education, the teaching of Israel, Conservative Judaism, Israel-Diaspora relations, and Zionism. 
 
Dr. Breakstone earned his doctorate at Hebrew University in the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, specializing in the teaching of Israel. He made aliya from the United States in 1974, and performed his army service in the Education Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. He lives in Jerusalem, is married to an olah from Chile, and has three children and three grandchildren.
 
 

 

 

 

Professional Leadership


Rabbi Tzvi Graetz - Executive Director of Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami

Born in Israel, Rabbi Tzvi Graetz is a second generation Masorti (Conservative) Jew who grew up in all of the Israeli Masorti institutions. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with both a BA in Talmud and political science, as well as a master’s degree in administration of non-profit and public institutions. He was ordained in 2003 from the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.