About Us

Makor Educational Journeys with IGT

Makor Educational Journeys was established in September 2013 as a joint venture between Ezra Korman and IGT, Israel and Global Travel, with the intention of creating and implementing in-depth and educationally-oriented travel programs to Israel and other destinations of Jewish interest around the world. The synthesis of IGT’s outstanding travel and administrative infrastructure with Ezra’s vast experience in passionately developing and implementing unique and creative travel experiences to almost all points in the Jewish world puts Makor at the forefront of the educational travel field.

Be it a fun vacation for a family of five or an in-depth seminar for 100 people or more, our job is to work in partnership with you to create the best possible travel experience in which each participant can enjoy, learn, be challenged and most importantly enrich their lives.

As a division of IGT, Makor is fully integrated into the IGT administrative and operational structure. The IGT team covers all aspects of preparation and implementation of any type of project, from small groups of 5-10 people to very large operations involving multiple buses and tracks.

Makor means the Source – Come Journey with us.

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our team

Ezra Korman

CEO

Ezra Korman has lived in Israel for over 30 years and has been involved in educational travel for most of that time. In 2013, he founded Makor Educational Journeys, a division of Israel and Global Travel (IGT) to bring a vibrant, nuanced and creative voice to the world of educational travel in Israel. Over the course of the past 25 years, Ezra has helped people engage and explore Israel and many places with Jewish interest throughout the world. He has worked with people from all walks of life, foundations, federations, synagogues and churches, political and interfaith leaders, youth and individual families. A native of Ithaca New York, he grew up in the Young Judea youth movement and is a graduate of Cornell University and the Government of Israel Tour Guide school. Ezra’s wife Andy is a high school English teacher and he has three children and seven grandchildren.

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Keren Buchbinder

Program Associate

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Andrea Katz

Education Associate

Andrea (Andy) Katz grew up in Buffalo, NY. Her BA (NYU) and MA (Hebrew University) were in Jewish History and Jewish Education in the Diaspora. Andy made aliya in 1974 and began working with informal educational settings for overseas English -speakers such as Noar v’Hechalutz summer schemes, The Institute for Young Leaders from Abroad, Young Judea, BBYO. Through the Center for Study in Israel, she coordinated short-term academic programs for a variety of American university consortia visiting Israel, eventually becoming the Israel director of the Wesleyan College Israel semester program. In 1993, Andrea became a Mission Manager for the UJA office (later UJC and JFNA) Israel Missions Dept. At Makor, she writes educational tourism content for Makor and other IGT departments. In addition, Andy has a tour guide’s license and has been the director of cultural NGO’s for contemporary music and for Jewish art. To preserve her sanity, she is an amateur actress appearing each summer in Jerusalem’s “Theater in the Rough” Shakespeare productions and has created monthly humorous skits for children and adults on the weekly Torah portion. Andy is married to Hersch, an urban planner who moonlights as a clarinet player and curling commentator. They have 2 perfect daughters and sons-in-law in addition to a dog who thinks she’s a human being.

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Adam Landau

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Rabbi Misha Zinkow

Journey Builder

After 32 years in the rabbinate, Misha Zinkow stepped away from pulpit life in 2017 to build an encore career immersed in Israel education and advocacy. A long-time friend and repeat client of Ezra Korman, Misha joined the MAKOR team out of a desire to inspire his colleagues to bring more of their congregants on interesting and immersive educational experiences in Israel. He has traveled all over Israel, hiked its trails, stayed in its hostels and hotels, eaten more humus than he cares to admit, and is a 3-time alumnus of the Hazon Arava Institute Israel Ride. Misha grew up in Southern California and married a Minnesotan (Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson) and they have lived in California, Minnesota, Ohio and Jerusalem during their 36 years together. He roots for the Buckeyes, Twins and Vikings and hopes that someday his and Elka's four children, two daughters-in-law and one grandson will witness the Vikings in a Super Bowl.

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Rabbi Bill Berk

Educational Consultant

Rabbi Bill Berk grew up in southern California. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received his MA in Hebrew and a Doctor of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College. Rabbi Berk was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Rabbi Berk served for twenty-three years as the Senior Rabbi of Temple Chai in Phoenix, Arizona, growing its membership from 80-1,120 families. He has done pioneering work in the area of recovering prayer and Kabbalat Shabbat, adult learning, assisting Jews with special needs, developing the caring/healing congregation, and using retreats to strengthen community. He is a recipient of the 2003 Covenant Award which is given to three top Jewish educators in North America. In 2005 -2006 Rabbi Berk made aliyah to Israel and was subsequently named Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Chai. He has served as the Director of the Center for Rabbinic Enrichment at the Shalom Hartman Institute as a senior educational consultant and tour educator at Keshet educational travel. Today he works at Makor as Tour Educator and as Educational Consultant. He works closely with founder Ezra Korman creating trips to Israel for leading organizations and synagogues in North America. Rabbi Berk says that “Working at Makor is especially exciting because of Makor’s determination to create Israel experiences that are rich, deep, cutting edge, joyous, and designed to open up Israel to everyone.” Rabbi Berk is married to Batya and has five children.

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Sarit Avni

Operation Team Leader

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Yaara Newman

Operator

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Dr. Marcie Lenk

Interfaith Engagement

Dr. Marcie Lenk has devoted her intellectual life and career to organizing educational programs and teaching Jews and Christians (and people of other faiths) to understand and appreciate the basic texts, ideas, history and faith of the other. She lives in Jerusalem, where she currently serves as the Academic Director of Institute Saint-Pierre de Sion, Ratisbonne: Bat Kol Christian Institute for Jewish Studies. She teaches patristics at the Studium Theologicum Salesianum at Ratisbonne Monastery, and Jewish and Christian texts at Ecce Homo Convent, and the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. For the last six years she served as director of Christian leadership programs at the Shalom Hartman Institute. She received her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2010 with a dissertation entitled, The Apostolic Constitutions: Judaism and Anti-Judaism in the Construction of Christianity, and earned an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, as well as an M.A. in Bible and B.A. in Mathematics and Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University. Dr. Lenk has lectured in Europe, Israel, and the United States, and has taught Early Christianity, Hebrew Bible, and Rabbinic Literature at institutions such as Boston University and City College of New York, as well as at Jewish and Christian seminaries in Israel and the United States.

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