Meet The Team

Learn all about the IsraelNow staff below!

John Lowenstein

John Lowenstein

Chief Executive Officer

John Lowenstein is the Executive Director of the IsraelNow Education Foundation and is focused on the continued National expansion of IsraelNow. He is also Vice President for Campus Affairs and Student Engagement at JUF. Before joining JUF in 2012 as a professional, John held multiple volunteer leadership positions in Chicago related to his passions of Jewish continuity and pluralism. John has been to Israel more than 70 times, including three times during the pandemic. He is married to Amy and has five adult children; one lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and twins.

Jennifer Loeb

Jennifer Loeb

Chief Operations Officer

Jennifer Loeb is the Chief Operations Officer of the IsraelNow Education Foundation. Prior to IsraelNow, Jennifer was the Manager of Operations for Columbia College Chicago’s Department of English and Creative Writing. In her previous life, Jennifer worked in film and television production as an assistant director. Prior to her work in Film and TV, Jennifer was an assistant producer on National Public Radio’s CarTalk for many years. The hosts were even funnier in person! Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from University of Michigan – Go Blue! 

Larry Bender

Larry Bender

Director of Operations

Larry Bender is the Director of Operations of the IsraelNow Education Foundation. Prior to IsraelNow, he was the Operations Coordinator at Metro Chicago Hillel where he oversaw program logistics and assisted with the development of programming for college students and young adults. He holds a BA in Management with a concentrate in Organizational Leadership from Illinois State University. He is also a board member at Congregation Beth Judea. In his free time, Larry likes to hang out with friends and family, travel, and attend concerts and sporting events.

Scott Aaron

Scott Aaron

Educational Consultant

Rabbi Scott Aaron, PhD, is the Senior Associate Vice President for JUF Education of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago where he is leading the federation’s new communal investments in congregational education, early childhood education, Israel education and educational research and evaluation. Having overseen IsraelNow Chicago for a number of years, Scott now serves as IsraelNow Educational Foundation’s educational consultant. Scott has his PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago and his rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Scott is married to Rabbi Donni Aaron and has three adult children who are all fluent in modern Hebrew.

Shana Blinick

Shana Blinick

Community Operations and Engagement Associate

Shana Blinick is the Community Operations and Engagement Associate for IsraelNow. Previously, she volunteered in Israel as a Masa Teaching Fellow and worked as a midrachah for BBYO. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in International Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an active member of Base Andersonville and enjoys traveling, hiking, and practicing yoga. On Sundays, you’ll find her sipping cold brew coffee at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market.