|Staff and Board|
Emily Pisem is from Brooklyn, New York and is currently a rising junior at Barnard College, where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in political science. At the Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Emily serves as the education coordinator for Yavneh, Columbia/Barnard's Orthodox student group, bringing in speakers and running education events. She is also involved in GlobeMed, a student-led global health group that partners with health organizations abroad to raise awareness about global health issues and inequalities. Emily has previously interned at the Orthodox Union, helping to coordinate the organization's Birthright trip and at ITIM, an organization in Israel that provides information about the Jewish life cycle and advocates for members of the population facing adversity. She has studied at Midreshet Nishmat in Israel and at the Center for Modern Torah Leadership in Sharon, Massachusetts. She is very excited to work at Uri L'Tzedek and spread awareness of and investment in important social justice issues to the Jewish community.
Miryam Steinmetz-Silber lives in New York City and is currently a senior at SAR High School. She is planning on attending Mechinat Beit Yisrael next year. Miryam volunteers at Lenox Hill Bikur Cholim and interned at the NYU Langone Medical Center in the social work department. Miryam is looking forward to being a part of Uri L'Tzedek's prison reform campaign, and hopes to be able to make a difference to this important cause.
Jordana Samot is from Scarsdale, New York and currently attends Queens College where she is a major in Urban Studies and a minor in Buisness and Liberal Arts. Jordana has always been passionate about giving back to the Jewish community and has been involved in Jewish organizations since Middle School. Jordana is the Queens coordinator of the Areyvut Mitzvah Clowning Program and volunteers for Gift of Life as well. She has also been to Austria and Germany in an effort to teach unaffiliated Jews about their religion and has gone on trips to Alabama and Pennsylvania to repair the homes of those in need. Jordana is currently doing an Independent Study on the different denominations within Judaism. She feels that by better understanding all types of Jews, she can have some part in creating more achdut.
Shira Albagli is a junior at Barnard College, Columbia University where she is a Theatre and Human Rights double major as well as an Athena Scholar, a rigorous interdisciplinary program devoted to theory and practice of women’s leadership. Shira has always been passionate about taking an active role in making a positive impact on her environment. Examples include her work as a fundraiser, in which she alone raised $20,200 in eight weeks for a year of community service, as a student leader at conferences including the Black Caucus Congressional Convention and the General Assembly of North American Jews conferring with such officials as President Perez, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Elie Wiesel, or as an Ein Gedi ranger working on environmental initiative projects. She brings a diverse skill set to the table through her multifarious experiences and expertise, such as, as a dancer as a part of a professional dance company, CityDance Select, fluency in French and Hebrew, and as a correspondent for Imprint-TV, a national web and media firm. Shira’s professional goals include a career based on political activism: in support of social justice through humanitarian work.
Shirley Aviad was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she taught Jewish history at various religious schools and worked at JCC summer camps. In addition, she worked as an office assistant for the Jewish Studies department and tutored students taking General Psychology courses at San Francisco State University, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology. Combining her passion for educating, supporting, and assisting adults and children within the Jewish community, she set out to Israel to further her studies, earning her Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After interning at Uri L'Tzedek, she plans to continue working with Jewish non-profit organizations focusing on development and communication.
Elizabeth Dembrowsky is Senior Associate for the Network of Independent Communities at the Jewish Federations of North America. She has a BA from Boston University and a Masters in Writing from the University of Warwick, UK. She attends Brooklyn Law School. She has recently finished her rough draft of her newest novel- To Save One. Her first novel -My Monk- was published in 2009 by Heliotrope Books. She is married and lives in New York City.
Asher Shasho-Levy is a rising senior at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, where he has been active as a voice for Orthodox and traditional students as Mazkir, or president of Jewish life, of the school, as well as President of the Jewish Leadership Board, a committee responsible for shaping the Jewish character of the school, and president of ‘The View’, a club promoting awareness of traditional Sephardi Judaism . An active member of the Los Angeles Sephardic community,Asher has worked for many years with LASHA, a Los Angeles organization promoting the well being of elderly Sephardim in Los Angeles, serves as a shaliach tzibur at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, where his father Rabbi Jay Shasho-Levy serves as Rabbi, and participated in a summer 2010 Sephardic Educational Center Leadership Seminar in Jerusalem. Asher has dedicated much time and energy to LimmudLA as a musician, organizer and teacher, where he met and was touched by the brilliant and courageous work of Rav Shmuly, who he is truly excited to be working with at Uri L’Tzedek.
Noa Stolzenberg-Myers is an eleventh grader at in . She lives in Pico Robertson. She is commited to Judaism and social action, and helped to start a tutoring program for children living at PATH, an East L.A. , with Ikar. She is excited about working with Uri L'Tzedek.
Ruchama Cohen was born and raised in South Africa, and recently moved to the United States. She has just completed her junior year at the Lander College for Women, where she is majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. Prior to that, she studied for a year at Michlalah Jerusalem College. As a Jew from South Africa, Ruchama is interested in social justice and the struggle for civil liberties. She hopes to eventually obtain a law degree. Ruchama is excited to be a part of Uri L’Tzedek’s team.
Emily Winograd is a sophomore in the Double Degree Program between Barnard College and The Jewish Theological Seminary, where she plans to declare majors in Comparative Literature and Talmud. At Columbia-Barnard Hillel, she serves as co-president of Lalekhet: Jewish Law and Modernity and co-founded the Jewish Education Workshop, an initiative to promote the knowledge of laining and tefillah skills and broaden the base of religious leadership within denominational groups. This past year, she volunteered with the Everybody Wins program and participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans orchestrated by Hillel and the CC/SEAS Office of Multicultural Affairs, in addition to working with Uri L'Tzedek to help spread the word about the Tav HaYosher.
Mollie Flink is finishing up her last semester in the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, majoring in English and Comparative Literature and Bible. Throughout her time in college, she has volunteered as a “Big Sib,” as a reading mentor to children in 5th grade through the Everybody Wins program, and as a member of Take Back the Night. Last year, she had the privilege to participate in the Jewish Theological Seminary’s new Jewish Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship where she interned at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger and studied social justice within a Jewish framework. Mollie plans to pursue a career in social work and is excited to gain new skills and knowledge about social justice this semester through volunteering as a Program Intern at Uri L’Tzedek.
Aryeh Pelcovits is an Uri L'Tzedek Heschel Educator, and currently a senior at New York University pursuing a degree in philosophy and pre-medical studies. Throughout college, he has been involved in various Jewish activism, including working on the Orthodox Jewish Student Board, and participating in a multi-faith trip to New Orleans. This past semester he studied Public Health in Tanzania and Vietnam, encountering communities in desperate need of social action and social change. He hopes in his work with Uri L’Tzedek to learn how to make these changes, and to promote the use of Jewish values to inspire others to get involved.
Sara Ackerman is currently a sophomore at New York University, pursuing a degree in English and American Literature, with a minor in Creative Writing. This past summer, Sara traveled to El Salvador, on AJWS Volunteer Summer. It was this experience that inspired Sara to seek out an internship at Uri L’tzedek, which she was particularly drawn to because of the Tav HaYosher initiative. Sara is looking forward to a wonderful year at Uri L’tzedek, filled with a lot of learning, fun and great people.
William (Ze'ev) Sudry is in his fourth year studying history and Judaic/religious studies at CUNY-Brooklyn College. William, a graduate of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School, was a Meorot Fellow at YCT, and is a Shabbat counselor at a OHEL-Bais Ezra home in Brooklyn. He has traveled with Jewish and non-Jewish groups to the Far East, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. William became an Uri L'Tzedek intern in February, and is excited for the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.
Tzipora Hait is an Uri L'Tzedek Heschel Educator who grew up in Riverdale, New York. She graduated Brandeis University in May 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology. During her time at Brandeis, she created and organized a variety of alternative minyanim on campus, was involved in an interfaith dialogue group, and helped to create a Hillel group focused on issues of food justice. After graduating, she spent the summer studying at Yeshivat Hadar in New York. She is currently studying with the Drisha scholars circle.
Sara Fredman is a sophomore in NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and she hopes to create a major in counter-terrorism. She is the outgoing Secretary and the incoming Marketing Chair of Hillel at NYU, as well as the secretary of Gesher, the Israel club at NYU. In addition, she is the secretary of Shmutz, Hillel’s premier theatre group. Sara hopes that through her internship at Uri L’Tzedek, she can influence her friends and peers at NYU to get involved in social justice.
Yosef Lefkovitz is currently a freshman at NYU’s Stern School of Business, pursuing a degree in economics or finance. Before college, Yosef learned at Yeshivat Har Etzion for a year. His recent study of financial markets, including the non-profit sector has certainly piqued his interest in the Jewish non-profit arena. This interest has inspired him to join Uri L’Tzedek in the hopes of making a great contribution to the Jewish world.
Eden Glaser is a rising senior at Yeshiva University's Sy Syms School of Business, pursuing a degree in International Business and Pre-Law Studies. She serves as president of the Pre-Law Society and vice president of the business school's student council. She spent a year in Israel studying at Sha'alvim for Women. As part of the Uri L'Tzedek team, Eden hopes to promote social justice and ethics in the Jewish community and in the world.
Zoe Jick is a senior religion major at Wesleyan University. Before Wesleyan, Zoe participated on the first year of Kivunim: New Directions in Jerusalem, and has spent most of her summers in Israel. She is now beginning to study Arabic as well, with hopes to persue an active role in co-existence work between Israelis and Palestinians. An avid eater, Zoe is planning to write her senior thesis about the Jewish relationship to sustainable and ethical food. She hopes that working on the Tav HaYosher will help her gain insight on the new Orthodox movement toward ethical consumption, and she is very excited about helping out!
Jennifer Lopata is is a rising junior at Princeton University, where she is pursuing a degree in English. At Princeton's Center for Jewish Life, Jennifer serves as the president of Yavneh, the Orthodox student group. This past year, she participated in the Campus Entreprenuers Initiative, where she networked with students and worked to strengthen communal Jewish identity. Over the past several summers, Jennifer explored her wide-ranging interests and used her unique combination of organizational and creative talents at a variety of companies, from recording books on tape at the Jewish Braille Institute to assisting lawyers at a major New York firm. This summer, Jennifer is working as a development intern at Uri L'Tzedek, where she hopes to learn more about non-profits and social justice advocacy.
Pessy Katz is a political science major at Touro College. She interned for then Senator Hillary Clinton and for Congressman Jerrold Nadler, worked for an immigration attorney and created the teen program and teen newsletter for Sister2Sister, an organization servicing disadvantaged families. These, along with other experiences have provided and continue to provide her with the motivation and necessary skills to pursue an MPA (Masters in Public Administration), and to make social justice and public service a life-long project.