Founder & Executive Director
Yoshi Silverstein is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, designer, speaker, husband, and father. Selected as a 2021 “Grist 50 Fixer” building a more just and equitable future, Yoshi’s work weaves tapestries of embodied spiritual practice, somatics and antiracism, and nourishing the body and soul through meaning making, purposeful connection, and creative expression. Yoshi earned his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland with a thesis exploring Jewish landscape journey and experience, and holds certificates in spiritual entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, permaculture design, and environmental education. Yoshi sits on the Board of Directors for Repair the World as program committee chair, and is Cleveland community organizer for Edot: The Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity and Racial Justice Collaborative. He is also a cohort six Schusterman Fellow, and is currently learning with Resmaa Menakem in a year-long community consultation program on foundations in somatic abolitionism.
Prior to founding Mitsui Collective, Yoshi utilized his two+ decades of experience in both Jewish and secular outdoor, food, farming, and environmental education as Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon from its launch through its first four cohorts, through which he catalyzed the growth and leadership of over 60 emerging professionals working across the US and Canada in the realm of Jewish relationship to land, food, culture, climate, and community. Yoshi is an alumnus of M² Institute for Experiential Jewish Education’s inaugural Jewish Pedagogies Circle, of the Selah Leadership Program (Cohort 14, Jewish Leaders of Color) through Bend the Arc and current member of the Selah Advisory Council, was a founding member of the Repair the World NYC Advisory Board; and has been a cast member of Kaleidoscope Project’s “What Does Jewish Look Like to You” monologue series, an ELI Talks speaker, and a Dorot Fellow. He holds a 2nd degree blackbelt in Lotus Kajukenbo, and is an avid aficionado of Chinese Roast Duck.
Yoshi lives in the Cleveland area in Shaker Heights, OH on Erie-Mississauga-Haudenosaunee land with his wife and daughter.
Ariana Starkman is committed to the arts, the environment, social justice, healthy lifestyles, and building strong communities. She graduated with a BA in a self-designed major called Theatre and Social Change, built towards understanding and conveying pressing social issues to hasten change through theatre, which also allowed her to study acting abroad in Moscow, Russia and Arezzo, Italy. She moved to London, England in August 2021 with her parents and two cats and looks forward to finding Jewish community all over the world.