|Staff and Board|
AMOS Fellows: Spring 2013
Daniel Atwood is in his second year at Yeshiva University, where he is an Honor's student majoring in Psychology and minoring in History. Originally from Teaneck, NJ, he spent a year studying in Yeshivat Shaalvim in Israel after graduating from Frisch High School. At YU, Daniel is the Chair of Social Sciences of the Student Academic Affairs Committee and on the board of the Psychology Club. Daniel has experience in social justice work from helping run a day-camp for at-risk youth in Dimona, Israel, and from tutoring students in Washington Heights. He is interested in pursuing a career in either law or child-psychology. His interests include Child Psychology, learning Torah, reading, Contemporary art, and exploring New York City. Daniel believes that the AMOS Fellowship will provide him with an opportunity to get more involved with social justice work both in the Jewish community and general society.
Zoe Schein is in her fourth year of studies in English Literature at Barnard College. Having recently completed her term as the Social Justice Coordinator on the student executive board of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Zoe is thrilled to be able to translate her love of social justice to her work at Uri L'Tzedek. In addition to her involvement in the Jewish communal world, Zoe is both a Barnard College Admissions Fellow and Writing Fellow. In her spare time, Zoe plans Barnard's most iconic events as President of Barnard's largest student group, the McIntosh Activities Council. She is honored to serve as an Amos Fellow and is looking forward to spreading the word about Uri L'Tzedek's incredible work.
Maddie Tavin is a true out-of-towner, hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. She spent last year studying in Israel at Sha'alvim for Women, immersing herself in Jewish studies and values. Maddie is currently a sophomore at Stern College where she intends to major in Political Science and is considering a career in medicine. Maddie enjoys public speaking and debate, and is Vice President of the YU Social Justice Society. She is looking forward to working with and contributing to the Uri L'Tzedek team as an Amos Fellow this year.
AMOS Fellows: Fall 2012
Justin Goldstein grew up in New York's historic Lower East Side. A Hasbara fellow and passionate advocate of environmental causes and Israel, he makes it his mission to help anyone he can. A graduate of Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Justin plans to further his desire to help people with his intended major in Psychology by pursing a career in social work. Justin loves reading, writing poetry, and just taking long walks just to think. He is excited about the Uri L’Tzedek fellowship, as it will allow him to further his thirst to help people. Justin also volunteers in his shul as a gabbai’s assistant.
After spending her first few years on the Upper West Side, Carmel Langer was raised in Riverdale, NY, where she is a member of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. She is now in her second year at Queens College, studying both psychology and early childhood education, as she plans to pursue careers in each of these fields. Carmel is actively involved in the Queens College Hillel, where she is a member of the board, serving as Social Justice Chair. Carmel is very much looking forward to her fellowship with Uri L'Tzedek. The Amos Fellowship will provide her with the training necessary to be an effective young Social Justice leader and to impact sustainable change on the causes she cares about. She is very thankful for the opportunity.
Eric Lawrence is a fourth year Hebrew Fellow in the Joint Program with Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is studying Rabbinic Literature, Yiddish Language and Linguistics. Eric is Business Director and member of Pizmon, the Premier Jewish A Capella group and Jewish outreach organization of Columbia University, which travels and performs across the world promoting Jewish identity through music. He is also Co-President of Lalekhet Partnership Minyan/Halacha and Modernity Group. When Eric isn’t learning Torah or speaking in other languages, he can be found on stage performing intheater. Eric is thrilled to bring Torah to life through working at Uri L’Tzedek.
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2012: New York City
Miriam Darnowsky grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended Machon Bais Yaakov Hilda Birn High School. This coming Fall she will continue attending Lander College for Women, as a junior, where she is majoring in Sociology and with a minor in Political Science. She is a member of the Honors Program at her school, and was recently elected Vice President of Student Government. Miriam enjoys reading, writing, interactive learning, philosophical discussion and helping people, especially on a personal level. She has worked in the offices of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush and Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, and plans on pursuing a career in the social services. Miriam is looking forward to participating in the Uri L’Tzedek fellowship this summer, and feels very privileged to have this unique opportunity to be directly involved in social justice work.
Coming from a very politically active family, Jonah Keyak has seen what happens behind the scenes of events, counter-protests, and campaigning. Growing up in an observant and devotedly Democratic family, Jonah was raised with these two religions, both with the same goal - tikkun olam. Jonah was born and raised in San Francisco where he attended the local pluralistic Jewish high school, Jewish Community High School of the bay (JCHS). Maintaining his inner Zionist, he co-lead a student activist group, Student Alliance for Israel (SAFI) that advocated for a pro-Israel voice within the school and the greater community. He also participated on the school basketball team (Go Wolves!). From running Shabbos morning Kids’ minyanim to being a Mashgiach in the kitchen, he was fully dedicated to his shul. During his last year in high school and the summer following, he participated in a journalism fellowship, Write On For Israel (WOFI), where he learned skills to advocate for a pro-Israel voice in the media. After high school he continued his studies in Israel for two years, at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY).
Chana Messinger is a rising fourth year mathematics major at the University of Chicago. She has been involved in social justice projects since she started riding with the Hazon Jewish Environmental Bike Ride at the age of 11. She has continued to ride almost every year since, in addition to participating in the American Jewish World Service's Volunteer Summer program in Ghana in 2009. Chana identifies as a feminist, and is particularly interested in the empowerment of women and gender nonconforming people across the globe. She is additionally engaged in the project of defending social justice projects on economic and political grounds in addition to moral and humanitarian ones. Chana is a vegetarian, avid reader, and lover of New York City, despite not having grown up there.
Elizabeth Phillips recently finished her junior year at Northwestern University. She studies Comparative Literature, Spanish and Middle Eastern Studies. Not surprisingly, her passions lie with using language and literacy tools to promote social justice causes around the world. She spent the beginning of this year in Peru where she had the privilege of combining her loves of travel, language and literacy causes in working with girls living in one of the many shantytowns in Peru's capital city, Lima. At Northwester, she is very involved with Hillel and interfaith causes and is excited to work toward advancing the intersectional of Judaism and social justice right here in New York City!
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2012: Los Angeles, CA
Yitzchak Blank graduated Yeshiva Gedolah Michael Diller High School and spent the last year studying in Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem. He deeply believes that Judaism and Social Justice are interconnected, and is passionate about making the world a better place. He is looking forward to learning and changing as much as possible through the Uri L’Tzedek Fellowship. Yitzchak plans on returning to Israel after the summer to continue his education.
Meira Goodfriend graduated Yeshiva University Los Angeles High School for Girls in 2011 and subsequently spent a year studying Torah, talmud, and Israel-Arab studies at Midreshet Harova in Jerusalem. Her involvement in social justice began in high school when she heard about the mission of Jewish World Watch regarding the appalling existence of genocide in our time. She utilized her talent for art to get involved and she put on an art show to benefit refugees of Darfur and the Congo. She will be attending OTIS School of Art this fall, and hopes to find an issue through the Uri L'Tzedek program that will allow her to use her art skills to make the world a better place.
Sarah Rogozen recently graduated from UCLA with majors in English and Jewish Studies and a minor in Geography. In college she studied with the Orthodox Union's Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus and reported and edited for the Daily Bruin and UCLAradio.com. Today, Sarah covers pie for KCRW's Good Food program and she loves cities, singing, and storytelling. She's excited to work with restaurants through Uri L'Tzedek's Tav HaYosher effort to create positive experiences for employees and diners.
Katharine Skupsky, a native Coloradoan, is currently studying at AJU (American Jewish University). Katharine is majoring in Jewish Studies and plans to graduate in December 2012. In 2008, after graduating high school, she spent a year in Israel to explore her roots in Judaism through Young Judaea Year Course. In Israel she became aware of the Social Justice Issues within the Jewish community both in Israel and in America. As part of the Jewish community, she believes that it is important to maintain a relationship with Ramah. In maintaining this relationship, she spent the past 11 summers in Ramah in Wisconsin and then Ramah in Colorado as both a camper and then later a counselor. She believes that being aware of social justice issues is very interconnected with being both a Vegetarian and a Jew. When not being incredibly active in the Jewish community, Katharine can be found training for a Half Marathon, doing Krav Maga (Israeli Self-Defense), and immersing herself in creating paintings.
Rachel Sumekh is a proud recent graduate of UCLA with a degree in History and Human Complex Systems. As a Los Angeles native, she first entered the social justice world after witnessing the homeless problem first hand and soon began her work fighting hunger and homelessness. Rachel is the co-founder of the non-profit Swipes for the Homeless, and served as a campus intern for Repair the World this past year. She is driven by social change and is thrilled to join the Uri Ltzedek team this summer to create change in Los Angeles!
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2012: Yeshivat Hamivtar, Israel
After completing her studies at North London Collegiate School, Avital Berger spent a year in MMY, where alongside her Torah studies in Israel she enjoyed volunteering weekly at SHALVA Association For Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel and recently completed the Jerusalem Half-Marathon in aid of this wonderful organization. Avital has recently graduated from Cambridge University with a BA (Hons) in Theology and Religious Studies; her prime interests lie in Old Testament studies, Metaphysics and Jewish Philosophy. Avital is passionate about social justice and has been very involved in the Jewish community, through Bnei Akiva and CUJS, as well as the wider community, by pursuing interfaith projects and her voluntary work in the field of Occupational Therapy. Avital is very much enjoying the Uri L'Tzedek Fellowship in Yeshivat Hamivtar, which she has found both intellectually stimulating and profoundly thought-provoking.
Hannah Lopes is from Sao Paulo, Brazil where she studied Psychology at the Methodist University of Sao Paulo. This year Hannah is living in Israel where she is studying Judaic studies at Midreshet Devora and she is having an amazing experience at the Uri L'Tzedek summer program. She hopes to make aliyah next year.
Lizzy Stoops recently finished her first year of studies at the University of Manchester, where she is studying for a BS in Biology. Originally from London, UK, she attended the Jews’ Free School, and since then has also spent a year at Midreshet Harova in Jerusalem’s Old City. Her interest in zoology made for a fascinating year working at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo. She is excited to be participating in Israel’s first ever Uri L’Tzedek fellowship, after which she will be spending the rest of her summer volunteering as a medic for Magen David Adom.
After finishing secondary school, Hannah Waxman spent a year in Israel at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She also participated in an Israeli-Arab conflict run by StandWithUs. After her year in Israel she volunteered in Kolkata, India through a London based NGO, Tzedek. In Kolkata, she became familiar with the world of volunteering and NGOs working with several different small-scale self-sustainable NGOs focusing on improving the working conditions of women and vulnerable children. She has just completed her first year studying archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge and is very excited to be part of the Uri L’Tzedek fellowship this summer.
Joel Weiner, originally from London, UK, completed his studies at the Jews’ Free School of north London in 2010. He then attended Yeshivat Maale Gilboa in Northern Israel for nine months to further his Jewish education before returning to the UK to complete an internship in the House of Lords of the British Parliament. Last summer he made aliyah and since then has been working as an assistant to a Member of Knesset. This summer, after participating in the Uri L’Tzedek program at Yeshivat Hamivtar, Joel will be drafted into the Israel Defense Forces.
AMOS Fellows: Fall 2011
Jordanna Birnbaum Amsel is currently Director of Community Development for PJ Library in New York, a program of The Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Jordanna recently graduated from New York University, where she earned a B.A. in Public Policy & Social Justice at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study. Jordanna was recently named one of NYU's 15 Most Influential Students by the university's student-run newspaper. While at NYU, Jordanna served as President of Hillel, which was awarded the NYU Presidential Service Award. On campus, she was actively involved in Muslim-Jewish interfaith programming and co-founded the BRIDGES Dialogue Group, which brings together and engages Muslim and Jewish students from various New York colleges. For her work building community at NYU, she was awarded the Exemplar of Excellence award by the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life & The NYU President's Service Award. In her time off campus, Jordanna interned at MyJewishLearning.com, The Charter School Office of The NYC Department of Education, and Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser, a women's rights and worker's rights law firm.
Ethan Stein grew up in New York City and will be entering his freshman year at Brandeis University where he will study politics. Ethan graduated the Ramaz School in 2010 where was very active on the student government and on many chesed communities thereby winning the “18 Under 18 Award.” After graduating Ramaz, he spent a year studying at Yeshivat Eretz HaTzvi. Ethan is extremely excited to be an AMOS fellow and looking forward to making this world a more just place!
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2011
Jonah Eidman grew up in Englewood, NJ, and will be entering his
freshman year at Johns Hopkins, where he will study engineering. After
graduating from SAR High School in 2010, he spent a year in Israel,
studying in Yeshivat Maale Gilboa. Jonah's passions include reading,
hiking, baseball, and guitar. He looks forward to expanding and
implementing the Torah values he has picked up over the years this
summer as an Uri L'Tzedek fellow.
Dahlia Herzog grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey where she attended Ma’ayanot high school. After high school Dahlia studied at Nishmat in Jerusalem and is currently a rising sophomore at Brandeis University. She hopes to major in Near Eastern and Judaic studies as well as in anthropology although she is still deciding. Dahlia is excited to be involved with Uri L’tzedek this summer.
Rebecca Krevat is from New York City and is currently studying at the University of Maryland. She plans to graduate with degrees in English and Sociology. This past year she organized and led an Alternative Break volunteer trip to Chicago where the group focused on issues surrounding the theme of Urban Poverty. Rebecca also works at the University of Maryland's Writing Center where she helps students edit their papers and assignments. She is so excited to experience all that the Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship has to offer!
Alexander "Akiva" Lichtenberg was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He graduated the Frisch School in 2010 and afterwards spent a year studying at Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa. He will be starting his freshman year at University of Maryland, College Park this fall to study psychology and perhaps go pre-med. His interests include psychology, biology, law, history, American and Israeli politics, Jewish studies, and reading about all of the above.
Yael Malul grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and attended Rubin Wishkin High School near Atlantic City. She spent a year at Rutgers University before deciding to take time off and learn at Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya in Jerusalem. When she returned to Rutgers in the fall, she involved herself in different Jewish organizations such as Rutgers Hillel, Hadassah Leadership Academy, and Rutgers Jewish Xperience. She met many of her close friends at the events and shiurim at Rutgers Hillel, and she learned about Israel activism, history, and politics as a participant in Hadassah Leadership Academy. She also acted as Student Representative and President of the Student Board of Rutgers Jewish Xperience, an organization committed to Jewish education on campus. She helped the group gain official recognition from Rutgers University as a student organization, which was beneficial for fundraising purposes. She participated in several mentoring programs for DYFS-referred youth, such as the Foster Care Counseling Project at Rutgers University Graduate School for Applied and Professional Psychology, and Project Supportive Parent Aide Network at Middlesex County College. She recently completed her undergraduate education with a major in Psychology and a minor in Jewish Studies. She loves discussing personality theory and clinical applications of psychology, as well as philosophy, theology, and diversity of thought in Judaism. She is excited to work as an expedient of Jewish social action and become intimately involved with the problems facing the Jewish community. She hopes that she can channel her dual interests in a meaningful and positive way during the upcoming summer fellowship, as well as in her subsequent career.
Kendra Meinhard hails from Northern New Jersey and is currently studying Cultural Anthropology at Barnard College. After graduating this coming winter, she plans to spend a semester of Jewish text study. In her spare time, Kendra enjoys listening to and creating music, dancing and creating art. Kendra is excited to spend the summer exploring the ways in which Judaism inspires us to improve the world.
Tamar Schneck is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, and currently resides in Waltham, Mass. as I am a rising junior at Brandeis University. She is majoring in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Social Justice, Social Policy. In her free time she likes to color (with crayons mostly) hang out with my nieces and nephews and travel. She hopes to one day move to Israel and continue doing social justice work there.
Jason Strauss grew up in Lawrence, NY and attended DRS Yeshiva High School. He then spent a year studying at Yeshivat Shaalvim in Nof Ayalon, Israel. He is currently a senior in Columbia University, where he is majoring in Operations Research: Engineering Management Systems and minoring in Economics. Concurrent with his final year at Columbia, Jason will begin studies at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary this Fall. Jason is the Gabbai at Yavneh, the Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Orthodox group, and gave a weekly Talmud lecture in the Hillel’s Beit Midrash Committee this past Spring. He is a volunteer at Community Impact at Columbia University, where he taught math to adults pursuing their GED with the intent to attend college. He also taught 5th grade science at the Emily Dickenson School in the Fall of 2009.
Gideon Weiler grew up in Riverdale NY and graduated SAR High school in 2009. He spent two years studying at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa in Israel, where in addition to his study, he volunteered weekly tutoring at a youth center in Beyt Shean. Gideon has also worked at B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization based in Jerusalem and participated with Encounter, an organization that facilitates dialogue between young Jewish leaders and Palestinians. He will enter Stanford University in the fall of 2011, where he hopes to study philosophy, linguistics and English literature. In his free time he likes to do garden work, hike, read and study religious and heretical texts.
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2010
Tali Adler grew up on Long Island, where she attended HAFTR high school. Following high school, she spent a year in Midreshet Harova, a seminary located in the Old City of Jerusalem. She is currently a sophomore in Stern College for Women where she is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Economics. (This may change when she finally decides what she wants to do when she grows up.) Next year, in addition to her studies, she will begin working as a writing tutor in Stern’s Writing Center. Her interests include reading, writing, Tanach, politics, Central Park, various campus clubs, and short biographical statements.
Noa Albaum is a rising junior at Brandeis University, where she studies English Literature, Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and Music. At Brandeis, Noa plays the cello in a chamber group and is an active member of the Labor Coalition. Noa teaches Sunday school for the Boston-area Jewish Education Program. In her free time, Noa likes growing food, hanging out with children and sacrificing sleep for good conversations. She aspires to opening a kosher vegan bakery cafe that will pride itself on upholding sustainable labor and environmental practices.
Eta Feuerman was raised in Queens, NY. She is a Senior majoring in Psychology at Lander College for Women, in NYC. She is planning to attend a Master's program in Social Work leading to an MSW degree. Eta currently volunteers on a helpline for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Eta is looking forward to combining her jewish values with her passion for social justice, at Uri L'Tzedek.
Kelila Kahane graduated from SAR High School in 2009 where she was involved in debate and community service volunteering. She studied at Migdal Oz in Israel, this past year and will enter Barnard College in September. She hopes to go pre-med and major in Linguistics.
Talia Kohen was born in California and raised in New York. She attended Ramaz for highschool. She studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell, and worked for 3 years in industry in Boston. Talia participated in the Israeli Academy for Leadership and will be studying at Drisha.
Benjamin Muller Benjamin Muller was born and raised in France and is about to start his fourth year at Yeshiva University where he is pursuing a double-major in Marketing and International Business as well as a minor in Political Science. Benjamin has been involved in many associations on campus including the school’s radio station and its board of directors, the James Striar School student board, and most recently the Student Academic Affairs Committee and the Shiva Minyan Association. Aside from being active in the student life on campus, Benjamin enjoys house music and art, and has a strong interest in pursuing a career in law.
Molly O'Glasser recently completed her third year at the University of Oregon. She is studying Journalism and Judaic Studies. She currently serves as Oregon Hillel's Student Board President. She is passionate about programming and served as the Programming Vice President on Hillel Student Board last year. Additionally, she has worked as an Israel Activist on the University of Oregon she spent the 2006-2007 academic year studying in Israel on Nativ, The College Leadership Program in Israel. She is looking forward to an incredible summer with Uri L'Tzedek.
Noam Parness currently hails from Pittsburgh, though he spent eighteen years growing up in Edison, New Jersey. After high school Noam attended Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi, where he studied for two years. He is currently a sophomore at Queens College, majoring in Jewish Studies and Philosophy, and possibly minoring in Art History. Noam enjoys reading, thinking, writing and drawing and is excited to be involved with Uri L'tzedek this summer.
Elianna Pollack just finished her sophomore year of the Stern College's Honors Program after spending an incredible year at Shaalvim for Women in Jerusalem, preceeded by 15 years at Ramaz. She is majoring in Judaic Studies with a minor in psych, and plans to go to Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. A native of Manhattan, Elianna prefers to be snowboarding in Colorado or strolling somewhere in the suburbs, but staying in NYC for the summer is worth it for Uri Ltzedek! Elianna is heading to Germany in June with YU's Center for the Jewish Future and cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!
Jesse Rabinowitz is a sophomore at the University of Maryland College Park majoring in Environmental Science and Policy. He is the president of Am Ha’Aretz, UMD’s Jewish Environmental Group, and a counselor at the campus peer counseling and crisis intervention hotline. Jesse was brought up in a world of social justice and is currently focusing on sustainable development in Africa as well as the preservation of American civil liberties. In his free time he is an avid musician and photographer.
Erica Rothschild just finished her second year at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is designing a self built major called Social Action through Diversity, concentrating on developing alternative education curricula using diversity education for a greater purpose of social justice. In school she is Vice President of Student Alliance for Israel, Educational Coordinator and Director of External Affairs for the Orthodox group in the UMass Hillel. She also enjoys air guitaring and watching Freaks and Geeks in her spare time.
Emmanuel Sanders, is currently a senior in the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College. After having graduated from the Ramaz Upper School, Emmanuel spent two years learning in Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel in order to further his Talmudic studies. He is currently enrolled in the Mazer Yeshiva Program in the morning and is majoring in Philosophy and Jewish History in the afternoon, finding that all these areas of study broaden and deepen his understanding and appreciation of Judaism. He immensely enjoys tackling controversial issues both in his personal life and as a staff writer for Kol Hamevaser, Yeshiva University's Jewish thought Journal. As a student of the late Edith Wyschogrod and a self-proclaimed Levinasian, Emmanuel finds ethics and social justice an integral part of being a Jew and a decent human being and hopes to learn more about social justice this summer with Uri L'Tzedek.
Eliyahu Winkler has just received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yeshiva University he plans to continue his education in Hunter School of Social Work this fall. While at Yeshiva, he worked hard in the Tolerance Club, promoting an atmosphere of diversity and understanding within the Orthodox world. Ely plans to continue his work with the Jewish community through Uri L'Tzedek this summer, and by focusing on community organization while at graduate school. When not working in the community, Ely very much enjoyed his time in the Yeshiva College Dramatics Society, president of the Stone Beit Medrash program, and looks forward to a productive summer filled with growth and perspective on the multiple aspects of social justice.
Uri L'Tzedek University Fellowship 2009
Bernie Hodkin is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in History and minoring in Jewish Studies, and she's really excited to bring Uri L'Tzedek to Baltimore. Previously, she has been involved with Habitat for Humanity and co-chaired the Tzedek Committee within Hillel last year. She is also an intern for the JLIC, a JOFA fellow, and the Jewish Students Association/Coalition of Hopkins Activists for Israel liaison. She is looking forward to expanding the social justice initiatives and opportunities on campus and within Hillel.
Hody Nemes hails from St. Louis, Missouri. He spent a year studying at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa and is currently a sophomore at Yale. He's hoping to major. Hody is an active member of Yale's Jewish community and serves on the board of the undergraduate Muslim-Jewish dialogue group. He is also deeply committed to safeguarding the environment and is involved in environmental activism on campus.
Jessica Youseffi is a British expat currently residing in sunny Los Angeles and loving it. She is a senior at the University of Southern California studying Print and Digital Journalism, with minors in Communication Design and Urban Planning. While living in South Central, Jessica became acquainted with the harsh reality of life in her neighboring community. Soon after, Jessica became active in various service projects, taught classes at neighborhood elementary schools, and was a community organizer intern for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Jessica is also interested in Muslim-Jewish relations and is currently working on creating sustainable programs between the faiths on campus. Journalism takes up most of Jessica’s days, and she’s most likely to be spotted frantically running around LA with a voice recorder, notepad and camera on hand. Her other interests include chavruta learning, concert-going, yoga, hiking, painting and good wine.
Elissa Shevinsky is a digital media exec, currently enjoying her role as Chief Operating Officer of SilvaTech Media. As of fall 2010, she is in process of expanding the company's (already shomer shabbat) digital marketing offerings to include green and fair trade services. A graduate of Williams College, Elissa is currently enrolled in the Masters in Entrepreneurship program at Baruch's Zicklin School of Business. With respect to social justice and Judaism, Elissa is particularly interested in women's issues (expanding opportunities for Orthodox women within halachic guidelines) and the intersection between kashrut and environmental/ethical concerns (GMO crops, factory farming, etc.)
Sara Miriam Liben grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and attended Maimonides High School in Brookline. She is currently a sophomore in the joint program with Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she is studying sociology and women and gender studies in Judaism. Sara's love of social justice began when she saw the difference she was making while teaching Hebrew School for kids with special needs in high school. She currently teaches Hebrew School for kids with learning disabilities in Manhattan, runs a community service leadership group at Columbia, and is very active in the Columbia/Barnard Hillel. Sara is most energized when she works with the Jewish community, and believes that there is always room to make a difference in the world.
Melissa (Mel) Stanger identifies Jewishly through her involvement in social justice work. She is an active member of the Hillel at Sarah Lawrence College and is currently working to bring the Tav HaYosher to Westchester County. She is the co-chair of SadieLou.net, her college's online magazine, and volunteers weekly at Iglesia San Andres, an afterschool program in Yonkers. Mel is a senior concentrating in social work and creative writing, loves baking vegan cookies, and is a big fan of Groucho Marx. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
Gavi Barnhard grew up in the Bronx, NY and is currently a freshman at Princeton, planning on
majoring in Near Eastern Studies and getting a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. He is a board member of the Center for Jewish Life, where he helps coordinate various aspects of the Jewish holidays on campus. He is also a facilittor in the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue and a fellow on the Religious Life Council. He spent last year studying in Israel at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa and volunteered at a drub rehabilitation center for teenagers in Malkishu’a.
Uri L'Tzedek Summer Fellowship 2009
Shifra Steinmetz-Silber graduated SAR High School and will be learning in Israel at Midreshet Ein HaNatziv in the upcoming year. At SAR she was involved with the literary journal and several chesed projects. She enjoys writing and singing in her free time.
Hadas (Dasi) Fruchter is a rising sophomore at the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College. She is studying Media Studies and Urban Studies. She is active in the Hillel Social Action group and STAND, the anti-genocide club at Queens College. She recently began a Challah for Hunger Chapter on campus. She is looking forward to developing engaging Social Justice programming on her campus throughout her college career!
Shlomo Bolts is a rising Columbia College senior with a wide-ranging interest in Tzedek, especially in international affairs. In the past, he has worked with groups such as American Jewish World Service and Amnesty International. He looks forward to an inspiring summer as an Uri L'Tzedek Fellow, and after that, to completing his final year of college as a Political Science-Sociology double major.
Josh Jerusalmi is a rising junior at Brandeis University where he is studying Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and Film. Just as important as his academic life is his involvement in the university's community service organization, where he both volunteers and coordinates a program that sends university students to teach and mentor in local public school classrooms. Josh became intersted in Uri L'Tzedek after reading about their efforts in the New York Times magazine, and seeing the direction it was leading Judaism.
Alana Tenzer is currently in the midst of finishing her BS in Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Maryland. She just came back from a whirlwind of a semester at the Arava Institute, for environmental studies and coexistence living. Alana derives her passion from contemporary issues, successive rounds of coffee, and the people who surround her.
Morris Breitbart is a student at Princeton University, where he plans on majoring in either History or Politics. Before University, he spent a year studying at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem. He is involved with Israel Advocacy on campus, and traveled to Guatemala on an Alternative Spring Break trip with the American Jewish World Service this year. He is very much looking forward to meaningfully contributing to Uri L’Tzedek this summer.
Donna Iken is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis where she is majoring in International Studies and minoring in Political Science and Arabic. While not studying, she divides her time between organizing Israel advocacy programs on campus and volunteering at the local public middle school. Donna has experience in working for non-profits and Jewish educational organizations and is excited to combine the two in a way that can bring more justice to our world.
Alex Schraub grew up in La Jolla, California and moved to New York City this past year to begin her first year at Barnard College. She is now a rising sophomore planning to major in English Literature and minor in Human Rights.
Alex Luxenberg is from Manhattan, New York . He attended Ramaz High School and spent his year in Israel studying at Yeshivat HaKotel. He is rising junior at Yeshiva University, where he studies in the Mazer Yeshiva Program in the morning and Majors in English in the afternoons. He enjoys writing thought provoking articles on various topics of Jewish academia as a staff writer for YU's Jewish Thought newspaper. Alex is the founding Co-President of the Amit Future Leadership Board.
Laura Berger is the Strategic Development Officer for Uri L'Tzedek after spending the summer as an Uri L'Tzedek fellow. She is currently in her first year of law school at Fordham University. Last year, while studying Jewish philosophy and traditional texts at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Learning in Jerusalem, she served as a development and grant-writing intern for The PresenTense Group. She also spent several months volunteering with Bema'aglei Tzedek, including working on their flagship project, the Tav Chevrati. She graduated from New York University in May, 2008, with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Latin American Studies. She grew up in Rochester, Minnesota.
Talia (Cottrell) Furleiter, originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, is going to be a second year student at the Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva University. She has given lectures in a number of different venues, including The Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at New York University, Mount Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights, and others. Talia got married just a few weeks ago to Matthew Furleiter of Brooklyn and we are both very excited for this fellowship (Matt is jealous and wants to quit his job to join).