Executive & Artistic Director
A Cincinnati transplant with local roots, Marie was born and raised in Indianapolis by interfaith parents (Italian Catholic and Ashkenazi/Sephardi Jewish) with her younger brother and sister. Extroverted and extracurricularly-inclined, Marie participated in various Jewish programs while balancing other school & community-based clubs, performing arts, and sports activities. Marie attended Ohio Wesleyan University graduating with a dual degree BFA in Painting, BA in Psychology, and a minor in Music. Marie met her husband while at OWU and followed him to Cincinnati after graduation... and has been in love with Cincinnati ever since.
Professionally, Marie brings a proven track record of success in the arts and community engagement. She began her career at ArtWorks, building an expertise in cross-departmental organizational management, marketing & development, administration and programming. With her feet firmly planted in the Cincinnati arts and Jewish communities, Marie was looking for opportunities to bring these two worlds together. After connecting with local artists, mentors, and long-time friend and then ArtWorks colleague, Rachel Rothstein, who was also deeply interested in creating a platform for local Jewish artists to sell their wares (Rachel took a concept for a Jewish marketplace called Ish through ArtWorks' creative business development course!), ideas were exchanged, concepts were married, and ish Festival was born in 2016.
Marie as lent expertise and creativity across a variety of Cincinnati-based organizations and programs including serving on the founding cohort of BLINK, and has held leadership positions in other community organizations including the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Congregation Beth Adam, MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, and the University of Cincinnati’s Alpha Tau Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Marie is Mom to two sons, a dog, two cats, and two snakes.
Programming & Development Coordinator
A Cincinnati native and community educator, Zak has spent his professional life in Jewish programming and development. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Judaic Studies, and is currently pursuing his Master's in Jewish Nonprofit Management. He has previously worked with the Jewish Women's Theatre in Los Angeles and currently works with OneTable in addition to his work at ish. Zak's passion for Jewish & Israeli arts & culture stems from his time at summers at Camp Livingston, learning and teaching at Adath Israel Congregation, and leading services at Cincinnati Hillel.
Zak lives in Cincinnati with his partner, his adorable Beagle, and a cabinet full of cookbooks to feed his love of entertaining.