Founding story...

Project Zug was founded by Benjamin Ross, a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College, and Hagit Bartuv, Former Director of Midreshet, a Jewish-Israeli online learning platform. Benjamin and Hagit connected in 2012 in Jerusalem, and developed a shared goal of using Jewish learning to connect Jews in Israel and America.

Their vision became a reality, leading to more than 2,000 participants in Project Zug!


Project Zug is run by the Hadar Institute. 
Learn more about Hadar at


The Project Zug Team

Allie Conn Kanter, Director

Allie Conn Kanter is the Director of Project Zug. She has worked in experiential Jewish education for her entire career, including at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Michigan Hillel, Avodah, 92Y, and various summer camps. Allie holds an MA in Experiential Jewish Education from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Limmud NY. Originally from outside Philadelphia, she is a proud Penn State University alum and avid Philly sports fan. Allie lives in Manhattan with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Zoe.

Rabbi Avi Killip, Vice President of Strategy and Programs at Hadar

Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.


Jeremy Tabick, Content Manager

Jeremy curates Hadar's and Project Zug's online content. He is also pursuing a PhD in Talmud at JTS. He graduated from the University of Manchester (in the UK) with a Masters in Physics, and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hadar and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He has been involved in editing and producing educational resouces for Limmud, both in the UK and internationally, such as the Chavruta Project and Limmud On One Leg. He also teaches at the Ivry Prozdor High School.

Gabriela Geselowitz, Website Administrator

Gabriela Geselowitz is Hadar's Communications and Marketing Coordinator and Project Zug's Website Administrator. She has worked in Jewish media since she was a teenager, most recently as the editor of Jewcy. A former staffer at the New York Jewish Week, she has also written for publications like Tablet Magazine and The Daily Beast. She studied Theatre and Journalism at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. A lover of Jewish learning, she has also taught Hebrew School at the Kane Street Synagogue. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Executive Director of Hadar

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart. Click to watch a short video of Elie as scholar- in-residence at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.