Rabbi Melissa Weintraub is a social entrepreneur, educator, and thought leader who trains leaders and builds programs at the intersections of Israel, Jewish thought and conflict resolution. Among other projects, Melissa is currently building the Jewish Council for Public Affair’s new national Civility Initiative, working to transform communal norms around Israel and other charged issues from tension and avoidance to productive deliberation across political divides. Melissa was the founding director of Encounter, an organization dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the Jewish people to be agents of change in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Melissa built Encounter from the ground up to an internationally recognized organization, and was awarded the Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize honoring individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment in effecting social change. Melissa has lectured and taught in hundreds of Jewish communal institutions, universities, and forums, and is a faculty member for the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University.