JCLP Student and Alumni Profiles
Jewish Communal Leadership Program Class of 2014
Samantha Cutler is a native of West Bloomfield, Michigan and a graduate, in psychology and Judaic Studies, of the University of Michigan. Sammi was president of her BBYO chapter, a counselor at Camp Tamarack, and took a lead role in raising over $100,000 for the CommunityNEXT efforts of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Work with elderly residents at Jewish Senior Life Fleischman Residence and her work with Holocaust survivors as a part of Michigan Hillel’s Conference on the Holocaust, have shaped her professional goal of bringing compassion, insight, and energy to work with Jewish geriatric populations.
Sarah McEwan grew up in Mason, Michigan. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Marian University in Indianapolis where she majored in psychology and minored in global studies. As a San Damiano scholar, Sarah devoted hundreds of hours toward working with local refugees in Indianapolis. As a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, she worked for a year at St. Margaret’s Shelter for women in Spokane, Washington. Most recently, she spent a year working with Native American students at St. Paul’s Mission Grade School on the Fort Belknap reservation in Hays, Montana. Sarah comes to JCLP hoping to further expand her immersive cultural experiences and knowledge and model cross-cultural sensitivity within the context of faith-based professional work.
Raised in the Twin Cities, Avital Ostfield attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she combined a major in Family and Human Services with a minor in Judaic Studies. Avital was an active member of Oregon’s Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, with responsibility for programming, budgeting, and outreach to the broader Jewish community. Her involvement in local schools in Eugene included leading a major fundraiser for a school serving at-risk students. For the past two years, Avital taught in the Detroit public schools as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member. She participated in the Samburg and Schusterman Foundations’ Reality Israel Experience in the summer of 2011. Avital comes to the Jewish Communal Leadership Program with the goal of balancing and combining her commitments to Jewish community and the broader society.
Robert Siporin is a native of Huntington Woods, Michigan and a graduate of Michigan State University, where he majored in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy. Bobby spent three years teaching in New Orleans schools as a Teach for America [TFA] corps member and participated in the Reality Israel Experience, offered by the Schusterman and Samberg Foundations. A recent recipient of a Repair the World grant to instigate a Jewish service learning initiative in Detroit, Bobby hopes, through JCLP, to become a part of connecting Jews and Jewish communities to the nation’s most pressing urban and social challenges.
Jewish Communal Leadership Program Class of 2013
Jess Alper is an avid rock climber, a fledgling bicycle mechanic, and an endlessly curious Jew. After graduating cum laude from Kalamazoo College, she fled the Midwest to join Americorps in Southern California. Jess spent the past four years in San Francisco managing health care service programs for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and teaching teens about gender and identity issues in a pluralistic Jewish education program. Jess also facilitated youth retreats with the Jewish Federation and helped lead its month-long youth tour of Israel last summer. Jess was honored with the Elaine Bachrach Teaching Excellence Award as well as the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum's LINK fellowship. As the global Jewish community strives to respond to a changing world, Jess is excited to work with JCLP to explore the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Molly Dehrey grew up in the Los Angeles area, attending Jewish day schools. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she majored in Hebrew and Human Development and Family studies with a concentration in psychology, and spent a semester at Tel Aviv University. Molly was a counselor at Camp Ramah in California for three summers and for the Ramah Israel Seminar. Fluent in Hebrew, Molly spent a year in Israel volunteering at the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma in Jerusalem, which treats victims of trauma from all religious and ethnic backgrounds. She also worked for the Jewish Agency's B'yachad program, Masa's Building Future Leadership Conference, the March of the Living's Los Angeles Delegation, and, back in Los Angeles, with the Bureau of Jewish Education on a community service program for teenagers. Molly comes to JCLP committed to strengthening the vitality of the Jewish people while being responsive to the challenges of a complicated world.
Shayna Beth Goodman
A native of Farmington Hills, Michigan, Shayna Beth Goodman is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan where she majored in psychology. Shayna was an inaugural student in the U-M School of Social Work's Community Action and Social Change minor, which she helped to shape as a member of the program's Student Advisory Board. As a participant in the Metro Detroit Jewish Occupational Intern Program, Shayna worked at Coville Assisted Living Apartments in Oak Park, organizing supplemental activities for residents. She has also volunteered at the Fleischman Residence, Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit, and the Ann Arbor Jewish Community Center. Shayna hopes to build skills that will enable her to address the needs of socially and economically disadvantaged members of the Jewish community.
Shayna Elizabeth Goodman
Shayna Elizabeth Goodman graduated from Ramaz High School in New York City and from Sarah Lawrence College where she focused on Jewish Studies and Creative Writing, completing a senior thesis on “Masculinity and Modernity in Jewish Autobiography.” Her studies included a year at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During college, as a Lipper intern at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Shayna taught public school students about the Holocaust. She has worked or volunteered for a wide array of Jewish institutions and publications including Lilith Magazine, Habitus: A Diaspora Journal, Hadassah, and YIVO, where she worked with original Yiddish and Hebrew source material. Shayna comes to Ann Arbor eager to fold her academic understanding of Jewish history into active engagement with Jewish community and to be a part of creating meaningful dialogue and understanding within and across diverse communities.
Originally from East Lansing, Michigan, Alice Mishkin is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in English Language and Literature. During a year off from college, Alice joined the staff of the Save Darfur Coalition and was instrumental in planning the 2006 anti-genocide rally in Washington, DC. After graduation, Alice worked for two years as executive assistant for Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service. Alice spent the last year as a Dorot Fellow working in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for two Israeli human rights organizations. Alice comes to the Jewish Communal Leadership Program eager to build upon her ever-deepening commitment to the possibilities of the Jewish community.
Rachel Freedman-Doan, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, received her Bachelor of Arts from Albion College where she majored in Religious Studies and Spanish and was president of the campus Hillel. She also spent a semester abroad in Bilbao, Spain. For the last two years Rachel has served, as part of AmeriCorps, as the Director of Interfaith Action at the Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan. This work of facilitating campus conversations and service across divides of faith and ideology builds upon her undergraduate experience as an interfaith dialogue coordinator. Rachel seeks to advance her ability to enrich Jewish communal engagement within broader social and religious contexts.
Jewish Communal Leadership Program Alumni
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Talya Gates-Monasch graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality and minors in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Math. Formative experiences for Talya included participation in the Young Judaea Year Course in Israel, a summer as a volunteer with the American Jewish World Service in Ukraine and Hillel leadership, and work with the East Bay Jewish Community Federation of Oakland, California. As a JCLP student, Talya had the opportunity to work with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit and UpStart Bay Area. She is currently completing a joint degree MSW/MPH degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Joshua Kanter is from Huntington Woods, Michigan and a graduate of Michigan State University, where he majored in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy with specializations in Jewish Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. Josh's JCLP experience included work with Bend the Arc, staffing the Detroit Community Leadership Initiative, and with the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor. Josh also helped in creating the "What Is Jewish Detroit?" 2012 JCLP Communal Conversation. Josh is now pursuing his commitment to Jewish community and the city of Detroit through his new role as with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Liz Kohn, from Evergreen, Colorado, is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, where she was active in Hillel, participated in hurricane relief work on the Gulf Coast, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Prior to her enrollment in JCLP Liz spent time volunteering at a homeless shelter in Salamanca, Spain and at a children's hospital in Petach Tikva, Israel. She also worked as a development assistant at the 92nd St. Y in New York City. While a JCLP student, Liz had the opportunity to work with Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County and on environmental and food justice issues with Hazon in New York City. She was also part of the team that created "What Is Jewish Detroit?" JCLP's 2012 Communal Conversation. Liz is pursuing her commitment to a more just and sustainable food system in her current role as Project Manager and Associate Director of Development with the Fair Food Network in Ann Arbor.
Originally from Oakland, California, Ariel Pearl-Jacobvitz majored in psychology at American University in Washington DC. While in DC, shevolunteered for Everybody Wins DC and interned with Leadership Initiatives, where she developed and led complex fundraising and lobbying projects. As a JCLP student, Ariel worked with Kadima, a Metro Detroit organization focused on services for those with mental illnesses. She also interned with JVS Detroit, working on career programming with the homeless individuals in downtown Detroit with JVS's. Ariel also helped to organize "What Is Jewish Detroit?" JCLP's 2012 Communal Conversation. She is now a Program Officer for the Covenant Foundation in New York City.
Ilana (Schuman-Stoler) Harrow
Ilana (Schuman-Stoler) Harrow grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in social welfare. Ilana was a camper and counselor at Habonim Dror Camp Tavor in Three Rivers, Michigan, for which she has also been active as a member of its volunteer board and as a staff trainer. She was a co-founder of the Chicago Moishe House, where she lived for two years, building an engaged community of young Jewish adults through vibrant public programs and service projects. While a student in the Jewish Communal Leadership Program, Ilana interned at the Jewish Council for Urban Affairs in Chicago and spearheaded "What Is Jewish Detroit," JCLP's 2012 Communal Conversation. She is now working for the Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Health and Wellness, which is partnered with the Illinois Eye Institute
Sara Shvartzman grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in Sociology. While at the University of Denver, she became deeply involved in Hillel, serving as its student president. She also spent a semester studying in Budapest, helped found an a cappella singing group, and received a Profile of Excellence Senior award from the Center for Multicultural Excellence. Sara's work as an activities assistant at the Shalom Park Senior Residences in Denver has sharpened her awareness of the urgency and reward of working with elderly Jews and led her to pursue further study in Jewish community and leadership. Sara is now serving as Arts and Culture Coordinator for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore.