IA Speakers Bureau

To book any of our speakers for an event, class, conference, etc. or to apply to join the bureau please contact us at internalachievement@gmail.com



Debbie Akerman is a licensed social worker specializing in the areas of addiction, recovery and trauma. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Welfare and brings her own dramatic personal experience of trauma, loss and betrayal to her work as an inspirational speaker. Debbie is a mother to eleven biological children and eight additional children through her second marriage. She has a natural ability to connect with a diverse range of audiences and move them to laugh, cry, and cheer. She speaks with an engaging style and an expressive vocabulary that deeply stirs the listener’s imagination, heart, and soul.


Building on Jewish philosophy intermingled with critical social and psychological truths, Debbie not only inspires but also instills the powerful message that all of life’s obstacles and challenges can be overcome through accessing one’s inner strength and undertaking the personal commitment to lifelong growth and success.


Debbie speaks on a large variety of subject areas such as:


  • Living with Active Addiction

  • Surviving the Death of a Loved One

  • Life in the Aftermath of Divorce

  • Achieving Dignity in the Face of Public Betrayal

  • Accessing Your Inner Strength

  • Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Positive Parenting

  • The Business Deal: Navigating Negativity




Rachel Cohen is an attorney at an international law firm based in New York, where she specializes in the tax consequences of domestic and cross-border business transactions. She speaks for multiple Jewish organizations and has been a contributing author to several publications and blogs, including Jewish Action and Mishpacha Family First magazines.


Rachel has an open and candid speaking style, and welcomes spontaneous dialogue and discussion. Her writing and speaking topics focus on issues related to character development and the nexus between feminism and contemporary spirituality. She lives in New York with her husband and daughter.


Rachel speaks on a large variety of subject areas such as:


  • Women and Leadership: Redefining Power and Personal Fulfillment

  • Reclaiming the Self in a Body-Conscious Culture

  • Building Meaningful Relationships in a Virtual World

  • Maintaining Inspiration and Maximizing Potential through the Busy Routine

  • Recognizing and Leveraging Feminine Strength

  • Reframing Conflict in Relationships as Opportunities for Growth

  • Finding Purpose and Connection in the Work Environment




Rabbi Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of the Aish Center in Manhattan and the founder of Internal Achievement. He was born and raised in New York and has lived in Boston and Jerusalem, where he received his rabbinic ordination. He completed his B.A. in music from Brandeis University and has a Masters of Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory. His writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, the Algemeiner Journal and on Aish.com.  He is the author of two books, 128 Reflections and The Forgotten Light and was recently featured in a documentary film entitled Kaballah Me.  Rabbi Jacobs now lives in “the burbs” with his wife Penina and their children.


Rabbi Jacobs speaks on a large variety of subject areas such as:


  • Emotional Balance and Control

  • Effective Decision Making

  • Theological Issues in Contemporary Society

  • Evidence for God, the Soul and the Spiritual World

  • Ethics and Morality

  • Jewish Philosophy

  • Kaballah and Mysticism

  • Dynamics of Marriage and Family Relationships




Paula was born in Los Angeles, CA and lived in Vancouver, Canada, New York City and Jerusalem before settling in Passaic, NJ with her husband and five children. In Israel, she studied Jewish law and philosophy at EYAHT, Aish HaTorah’s College of Jewish Studies for Women, following completion of an M.A. in Education from New York University.  Paula possesses teacher certification in English, Theater and Elementary Education and is actively involved in teaching, coaching and consulting to education and non-profit organizations. She has been a contributing writer on household organization and management, dating, parenting and relationship issues for Aish.com, the Ahavas Yisrael Project, Hamodia and the Five Towns Jewish Times.


Paula speaks on a large variety of subject areas such as:


  • Streamline Your Life

  • Arts and Creativity Across Educational Content Areas

  • Dating for Marriage: Becoming Mrs. Right

  • No Stress, No Mess: How to Cook with Five Ingredients or Less

  • Creating and Maintaining an Organized Home

  • Raising Children to Become Responsible Adults





Miriam Manela is the author of the groundbreaking new parenting book, The Parent-Child Dance: A Guide to Help You Understand And Shape Your Child’s Behavior. In it, she shares insights, advice, and proven techniques from her work with thousands of families, educators, and therapists.


She is also the founder of Thrive Occupational Therapy LLC, where she specializes in helping children, their families, and educators with pediatric behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and physical challenges. Miriam uses a creative, integrative treatment approach and works closely with parents and teachers to help them achieve a healthy, responsive, and mutually satisfying parent-child or teacher-student relationship. In order to make therapy more effective for her clients, Miriam designed a unique sensory gym that gives children a safe space where they have the freedom to explore and grow.


Miriam conducts interactive educational workshops and presentations for educators and counselors, college students, health professionals, and parents at numerous venues including Kean University, Touro College Graduate School, NJOTA Annual Conference, Head Start programs, High Schools, HASC programs, elementary schools, and more.  Her workshops are solution-oriented approaches to predicting, preventing, and managing behavioral problems.


She has received advanced training in Attachment Theory and Reflex Integration, Sensory Integration, Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT), and is also certified in Therapeutic Listening™.  Her workshops incorporate her knowledge and experience of school-based OT, as well as her training and work experience in education, addiction prevention, substance abuse, and in a variety of special programs. She is the legislative co-chair of the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Association and the former representative for the representative assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  In 2013, she won the CBS Radio women’s achievement award.


Miriam Manela’s popular blog, OTThrive.com, is followed by thousands of parents, educators, and health professionals and she has been interviewed on WCBS Radio and at PsychCentral.com.  Miriam lives in New Jersey.


Miriam speaks on a variety of subject areas such as:


·   Attachment Theory and Practice

·  Understanding and Shaping your Child's Behavior

·  Sensory Integration - Theory and Practice

·  How to Catch Up from a Developmental Delay

·  Achieving Your Goals and Intentions 




Rose Marchick and her husband Clint reside in Overland Park, Kansas and have been foster parents to more than 150 special needs children, in addition to raising five children of their own. Marchick holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Northcentral University as well as an M.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies.


Rose has been publishing within the field of health and psychology since 1997, writing and presenting research at conferences such as the Western Psychological Association, radio shows such as Adoption Voices, and is an active contributor to numerous online publications. Marchick specializes in fostering teens with psychological disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorders.


Rose has a fluid and conversational speaking style that makes her accessible to any audience.  She engages her listeners with thought-provoking ideas and questions, while challenging them to step outside themselves and consider how they can make a positive difference in the world around them.


Rose speaks on a large variety of subject areas such as:


  • Fostering Teens with Psychological Disorders

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  • Reactive Attachment Disorders

  • Having Fun Managing a Large Family

  • How to Have Meaningful Impact on the Lives of Others