Director of Mensch Academy and Family Programs
Ilana graduated Brandeis University with a BA in both Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and English and American Literature. She spent three years living and studying in Jerusalem, where she was a Pardes Fellow at the Pardes Institute and a member of the inaugural cohort of the Melamdim Teacher Education MA Program at the Shalom Hartman Institute and Tel Aviv University. Before launching Mensch Academy, Ilana taught Talmud and Tanakh at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in Deerfield, IL, and at the Heschel High School in Manhattan. Ilana also taught Judaic Studies at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim, and the Beit Midrash Program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Jewish Education at JTS and received the 2018 Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation. She is passionate about feminism, pop culture, and Torah, and loves combining all three. Ilana grew up in Skokie, and after backpacking through 30 countries with her husband Daniel Bloom, they returned to Skokie, where they live with their three kids.