SPA DAY 2023 – Faculty



Michal Cohen earned her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University. As a highly successful and respected clinician, she has helped countless individuals discover better paths in their relationship struggles and in dealing with mood disorders, anxiety and OCD.  For over three decades she has served as the Rebbetzin at Chicago’s Congregation Adas Yeshurun, and she spent 30 years teaching brides through the Daughters of Israel organization. In addition to running her own private practice, Michal devotes one day a week as a clinician at the Mozes and Helen Stern Upward Counseling Center, which empowers youth by creating safe spaces dedicated to fostering connections and building resilience, while supporting parents and educators as they navigate the challenges of raising children into healthy adults.

Pamela Cohen was described as the “the general of a fighting army” and “a hero” by the formerly jailed Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky. As an activist in the American Soviet Jewry movement in the 1970s and as the national president of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) from 1986-1997, Pam established networks for transferring information to and from Refuseniks throughout the U.S.S.R. and maintained regular contact with activists during the darkest days for Soviet Jewry. The grassroots movement she led played a major role in the eventual freedom of millions of Soviet Jews. Pam received numerous awards, including the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award, in recognition of her achievements on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

Esti is Director of CTN’s Women’s Programming, a mentor and role model to women of all ages and backgrounds, and a much sought-after adviser about relationships, parenting and spiritual growth. A popular and highly respected speaker, with a special passion for inspiring Jewish brides as they begin their Jewish homes, Esti has been invited to speak at Jewish adult education venues in cities around the country on a wide variety of topics. In addition to being a Jewish educator, Esti was an IT Consultant for over 25 years, and enjoys a fulfilling career as a Relationships and Life Coach – but her favorite role is that of a wife, mother and grandmother to her family.

Allison Josephs is the founder and executive director of Jew in the City, a nonprofit that advocates for better representation of Jews in media. She launched the first and only Jewish Hollywood Bureau, which advocates directly to studios, and was named by Variety as an advocate for inclusivity in the entertainment industry in 2022. Jew in the City’s programs help Jews lean into their Judaism, create Jewish pride, and reduce antisemitism. Allison is also the Partner in Torah mentor to actress Mayim Bialik, has been quoted or written about in numerous publications, and lectures all over the world.

Basya Kovacs, the founder of BKCoaching (and BKSnacking, coming soon) is a health and wellness coach. For the past 14 years Basya has helped hundreds of clients reach their health and wellness goals. She currently sees clients 1:1 as well as in group setting via Zoom. Basya can be reached at bkcoaching2023@gmail.com or via her website mybkcoaching.com.

Tamar Livingstone is a clinical therapist working with adolescents and adults in Maryland, has helped train staff at schools, camps and synagogues in mental health awareness and abuse prevention, and is a popular speaker on parenting and relationships. In addition, Tamar has been successfully engaged in multifaceted Jewish outreach efforts with college students, young professionals and families for over 20 years, in a number of cities including Chicago.

Aliza Rosenbaum is a celebrated educator in Chicago, having won awards for her dedication to her students and creativity and clarity in the classroom. In addition, Aliza teaches and coordinates events for J-Life, bringing Jewish identity, knowledge and pride to young Russian Jews in Chicago and the suburbs.