Shai Held
Rabbi Shai Held, one of the most influential Jewish thinkers and leaders in America, is President and Dean of the Hadar Institute in New York City. Rabbi Held received the prestigious
Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the most influential rabbis in America and to the Forward’s list of the most prominent Jews in the world. He is the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence (2013) and The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion (2017). His new book, Judaism is About Love, has just been published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Rabbi Held has served on the board of The Open Medicine Foundation which focuses its research on both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Long Covid.

Aaron Kaufman
Aaron Kaufman is the Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs focusing on disability and poverty issues for The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Simultaneously, Aaron is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates where he serves on the Judiciary Committee.

Having Cerebral Palsy, Aaron feels he brings a unique perspective to his work in the House of Delegates and JFNA’s efforts on behalf of people with disabilities. Previously, Aaron worked at: Arc Maryland, lobbying for Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families; the offices of then Congressman (now Senator) Chris Van Hollen and former Senator Evan Bayh; Project SEARCH in Montgomery County, a job-training program for young adults with significant disabilities; and the Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs. Aaron volunteers on the executive committee of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (now named Makom) and the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He served on the boards of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, the National Association of Developmental Disabilities Council, Disability Rights Maryland, and the Union for Reform Judaism.

The Good Doctor accepted by David Shore
For seven seasons, ABC’s The Good Doctor has been a master class in demonstrating the importance of focusing on a person’s ability rather than disability, and showcasing what is gained when everyone is included, celebrated and utilized for the unique gifts they possess. The Good Doctor centers around a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who uses his extraordinary gifts to save lives and challenge skepticism. Matan is honored to present the Trailblazer Award to The Good Doctor during its farewell season with gratitude for the show’s impact on raising awareness about disability inclusion and belonging.

David Shore
Originally from Canada, and a former attorney, David Shore has been writing and producing television for more than 20 years. He currently serves as Executive Producer and Co-Showrunner on the hit ABC drama The Good Doctor, which recently completed its seventh and final season. Prior to that, he created and was showrunner on the groundbreaking medical drama House, which ran on Fox for eight seasons. Shore’s work on House earned him several Emmy nominations for producing, and he won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series,” as well as the Humanitas Prize, Peabody Award, and Writers Guild of America Award. Shore’s additional producer credits include Sneaky Pete, Battle Creek, Hack, Family Law, Beggars and Choosers, Law & Order, and Traders. He was nominated for two Emmy Awards as a producer on Law & Order and was part of the writing team for the Emmy Award-winning first season of The Practice.

Liz Friedman
Liz Friedman arrived in Los Angeles from Wesleyan University with almost zero connections and exactly one prize-winning sociology thesis, entitled Final Girls and Neighborhood Nightmares: A Feminist and Class-Based Analysis of Slasher Films. The thesis got her an unpaid internship at Sam Raimi’s Renaissance Pictures which led to a position as Raimi’s assistant, and later to a job as an executive. While at Renaissance, Friedman developed and produced Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Young Hercules. Later, she transitioned to writing and secured a position on the series Hack. After stints on The O.C. and Numbers, Friedman wrote and produced Fox’s hit show House for seven years, before going on to develop and co-write the pilot for Netflix’s foundational series, Orange Is the New Black. The script was nominated for Writers’ Guild and Emmy awards. She has also written for Elementary and Jessica Jones as well as created Conviction for ABC. Most recently, she joined The Good Doctor in the second season, serving as Executive Producer before stepping up to Co-Showrunner. Friedman lives in Los Angeles; she is passionately devoted to her wife, their two sons and two dogs.

Erin Gunn
Erin Gunn is Head of Development and Production for Shore Z Productions and Executive Producer of The Good Doctor. During her tenure at the Sony-based production company, she has produced shows such as The Good Doctor, Sneaky Pete, Battle Creek, and Houdini & Doyle. Prior to teaming up with David Shore, Erin spent a decade at Imagine Television where she developed and worked on shows such as Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, 24, and Arrested Development. Erin is a proud alumna of Amherst College where she serves on the Loeb Career Center Advisory Council. Erin also sits on the board for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Los Angeles. Erin lives in Pasadena with her screenwriter husband Brian Gunn and their two sons, Will and Ryder.

Saluting Eileen and Gerald Lieberman
Eileen and Gerald Lieberman’s commitment to the Jewish community is seen through their involvement with numerous Jewish organizations. Eileen, a current Matan board member, has been active in not-for-profit work focusing on the inclusion, accessibility and belonging of children with disabilities. She and Jerry served on the boards of Camp Ramah, the American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro, a center in Israel for children and adults with disabilities, as well as the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan. For over a decade now, they have been actively supporting Camp Ramah and its inclusion and Tikvah Program. Additionally, through the years, Eileen and Jerry have served on the boards of several synagogues and other communal and educational organizations. Professionally, Jerry has more than 40 years of experience in finance and management and is a retired president at AllianceBernstein.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

 Closter, New Jersey


The event will also be available via live stream. For further information on the event or questions, please contact Talia Horan-Block, Operations Manager, at [email protected].

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Thank you to our Event Leadership:

Event Chairs
  • Dr. Brenda Berry and Jonathan Lopatin 
  • Daniella and Jeffrey Wechselblatt
Event Committee
  • Suzanne and James Aisenberg
  • Vivian G. Bass
  • Gloria and Mark Bieler
  • Howard Blas
  • Rabbi Sharon Brous and David Light
  • Linda and Andy Burger
  • Liane Kupferberg Carter and Marc Carter
  • Rabbi Jaclyn and Joshua* Cohen
  • Farell and Colin Diamond
  • Ariela Dubler
  • Dina Karmazin Elkins and The Karma Foundation
  • Lisa Exler and Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
  • Andrea and Jonathan Feldman
  • Jeremy Fingerman
  • Sharyn J. Gallatin*
  • Jennifer Gallop and
  • Rabbi David Starr
  • Sally Gottesman
  • Rabbi Yitz Greenberg
  • Hana Gruenberg and Rabbi Aaron Brusso
  • Dr. Rachel Forster Held
  • Gail and Lyons Heyman
  • Allison Hoffman and Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
  • Nan and Joshua Kaufman
  • Dori Frumin Kirshner and Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner
  • Nancy and Paul Levy
  • Eileen* and Jerry Lieberman
  • Emily and Jason Lieberman
  • Miriam* and Ari Mark
  • Sally Mendelsohn and David Lowenfeld
  • Drs. Rachel* and Adam Orgel
  • Leslie* and Alan Pearson
  • The Plevan* Family
  • Nancy and Fred Poses
  • Tami Reiss* and Nadav Kadar
  • Harley and Eli Ungar

*Board Member

Committee in Formation as of 4/5/24