Debra Sagan Massey is a Bay Area native who grew up closely affiliated with the Reform movement as an active member of Congregation Beth Am. URJ Camp Swig became her second home, where she was a camper, counselor, and CIT Advisor. After attending UC San Diego, she joined Otzma, a two-year leadership program, volunteering in Israel and serving the Jewish community. Upon returning from Israel, she returned to Beth Am to become Youth Director and Educator for new emigres from the former Soviet Union.
Debra went on to receive a joint masters in Jewish Education and Non-Profit Management from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She has since worked in a variety of Jewish organizations: URJ Camps Swig and Newman as Associate Director, The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland as Program Director, Keshet Israel as Marketing Director, Congregation Beth El in Berkeley as the Director of Education, and Tehiyah Day School as Head of School. Since 2017, she has served as Senior Educator at Jewish LearningWorks, focusing on its Teen Initiative and offering professional development to anyone who works with Jewish teens in the Bay Area and beyond.
Debra brings to Tivnu the perspective of a Jewish educator with over 25 years’ experience in the field. She believes deeply in the importance of gap years, having always felt that our young people need a year of service before heading to college. She is glad to be able to use her deep connections in the Jewish community to help connect more young people and their families to Tivnu.