2014 AVODAH Fellows
2014 New York Fellows
- Shana Bloom
Social Worker & Case Planner - Jewish Child Care Association
Shana is a social worker and case planner at the Jewish Child Care Association. She received her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College after completing her undergraduate studies at New York University. She loves people and is most fulfilled learning about and understanding people's individual stories and complexities. Shana's second love is dessert. A hot apple pie with ice cream does the trick every time.
- Erin Butler
Assistant Manager of Community Impact - City Harvest
Erin Butler is the Assistant Manager of Community Impact at City Harvest. She supports Agency Relations, Healthy Neighborhoods, Volunteer Services, Evaluation and Nutrition Education programs, as part of the team that supports City Harvest's agency network and works to transform the food environment in high need neighborhoods. Her professional work bridges two of her greatest passions of food justice and social justice. In her free time she volunteers with Achilles International, trains and races in triathlons, and is an avid reader.
- Bianca Duec
Special Educator - East West School of International Studies
Bianca is originally from Philadelphia and is overjoyed to call New York her new home. She graduated from Goucher College with a major in Literature and a minor in Latin American Studies. She joined the Urban Teacher Residency for the 2012-2013 program and now works as a Special Educator. When she is not lesson planning or thinking of hilarious jokes to tell her students, she likes to find different spots to read in (like the kitchen).
- Sarah Edelman
Family Therapist - New York Foundling
Sarah is a budding therapist working to make the world more harmonious one family at a time. She received her BA at Wesleyan University and her MA at NYU for Mental Health Counseling. She is currently employed at New York Foundling as a family therapist working to empower struggling families in Manhattan. She values connectedness, awareness, and empathy.
- Hope Eisdorfer
Program Director - Riverside Coming Home at Riverside Church
Hope works at Xavier Mission as Program Director for the Life-Skills Training and Empowerment Program (L-STEP) and its sister program, Riverside Coming Home at Riverside Church. Previously, Hope served as an intern at Riverside Coming Home, The Doe Fund Inc. and the Institute for Family Health, as well as completing a year of Americorps service at a re-entry facility. Hope holds a BA in Sociology from Rutgers University and an MSW from Fordham University. Outside of work, Hope enjoys traveling, eating cheese, and finding good deals.
- Rachel Freeman
Sandy Recovery Program Construction Logistician - NECHAMA: Jewish Response to Disaster
Rachel first caught the service bug in 2010 as an AmeriCorps NCCC Corps Member, working with organizations whose missions ranged from affordable housing to disaster relief to organic farming. Four years later, she is working on Long Island with NECHAMA: Jewish Response to Disaster as the Sandy Recovery Program Construction Logistician. Rachel served two more years with AmeriCorps, as a Habitat for Humanity State Member, and as a FEMA Corps Team Leader. Rachel is also a Bike & Build alumna, having cycled from Rhode Island to California in 2011, raising money and awareness for affordable housing.
- Natania Malin Gazek
Program & Administrative Manager - Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Natania Malin Gazek works for Planned Parenthood Federation of America as the Manager of Strategic and Business Intelligence. Previously, she worked as a Paralegal and Operational Change Manager for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Originally from California, Natania majored in Sociology at Vassar College and served as President of the Vassar Jewish Union. Natania serves on the board of the Vassar Alumnae/i Club of New York and enjoys singing and spending time with her sister.
- Sarah Krinsky
Rabbinical Student - Jewish Theological Seminary
Sarah is a first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she graduated from Yale University with a BA in May 2012 and then spent a year working as a Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. She currently works at the Rabbinical Assembly, managing their social justice and public policy portfolios.
- Lee Leviter
Attorney - Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP
Lee is an associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP, where he helps represent several major public-sector unions. He also represents rent-regulated tenants on a pro bono basis. Outside of work, Lee serves as a member of the NYC Affairs Committee of the NYC Bar Association, as well as the Labor and Employment Committee of the National Lawyers Guild. Lee also holds degrees from the New York University School of Law and the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
- Hannah Lieberman
Future Focus Counselor - East Brooklyn Community High School
Hannah was born in Washington, D.C. and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she studied Political Science and Sociology and was inspired by the individuals and organizations there. After moving to New York City, she worked as Legal Services Coordinator for The Family Center, an agency that provides both social and legal services to families affected by chronic illness. This year, she began working as a counselor at East Brooklyn Community High School and is loving it.
- Ilana Maier
Freelance Progressive Political Organizer
Ilana currently works in New York City politics. She is also honored to volunteer with two great organizations, The Urban Debate League and The Summer Camp. She feels passionately about alleviating the causes and repercussions of poverty, both on an individual and a policy level. Her Jewish identity is very important to her and she loves exploring how it affects her professional and personal life.
- Ilana Newman
TEN Engagement Specialist - Food Bank for New York City
Ilana currently works for the Food Bank For New York City as an Americorps VISTA member after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Social Welfare and Public Policy. She has experience supporting organizations that strive for food justice, youth leadership development, and reproductive health access. Ilana moved to Brooklyn last year from California and is passionate about cooking, exploring, and sharing food!
- Cameron Rasmussen
Project Manager - The Justice Initiative
Cameron is a social worker and advocate, currently working at The Justice Initiative at Columbia University, a project working to reduce the US justice system’s reliance on incarceration through education, research and policy. Cameron is originally from California where he began his work with families and fathers as an Americorps member. In 2011 he moved to New York City to attend Columbia’s School of Social Work where he studied program development, fatherhood and the impacts of incarceration on families.
- Jordan Rubenstein
Communications & Corporate Relatons Officer - Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
Jordan is the Communications and Corporate Relations Officer at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest soup kitchen in New York City. Previously, Jordan was Communications and Outreach Associate at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. Jordan graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and was president of the LGBT student organization, ALLIES. As a freelance writer, Jordan has contributed to the Gay Rights section of Change.org and has written feature articles for Next Magazine.
- Elizabeth Saiger
Business Operations Manager - Success Academy
Elizabeth is a recent medical school graduate who is continuing her tikkun olam work in the field of education as Business Operations Manger at Success Academy in the Bronx. Previously, she spent time in Swaziland at a Pediatric AIDS clinic and helped create opportunities for informal play and education among the youth and teens. She is also currently involved in the New York Women’s Foundation and founded a production of The Vagina Monologues that is currently in its 5th year.
- Erika Van Gundy
Program Associate - NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
Erika is a Program Associate at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment. There, she works on tax preparation, asset-building, access to banking, and financial counseling projects for the diverse New York City community. Erika has her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from Cornell University. In her spare time, Erika enjoys cooking, playing amateur ukulele, and spending time with friends and family.
- Amelia van Iwaarden
Administrative Assistant of Programs - Bend the Arc
Amelia is the Administrative Assistant of Programs at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. Before joining Bend the Arc, she worked as a Community Organizing Fellow at the Poverty Initiative. Amelia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania , where she studied History and Religious Studies. Originally from Minneapolis, she enjoys making music, running, photography and exploring new places, and is excited to be part of this movement to create a more just America.
- Jessica Wagshul
Development Associate - Innocence Project
Jessica is the Innocence Network Development Associate at the Innocence Project. She earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University and her M.S. in Nonprofit Management with a focus in Fundraising/Development and Corporate Social Responsibility from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School. Jessica has been living in New York City for 5 years and loves to explore the city on her bike. Jessica is addicted to traveling and loves exploring all the different cultures and people of the world.
- Jenny Waxberg
Manager of Food Sourcing, Procurement & Logistics - City Harvest
Jenny is the Manager of Food Sourcing, Procurement & Logistics at City Harvest. She received her Bachelors of Science, Business Administration in General Management from Boston University, School of Management. She is an avid traveler and has been to every continent but Antarctica! Living in New York City for five years now, she has loved to explore all of New York’s dining and enjoys discovering all the city has to offer.
- Chriss Williams
Disaster Case Manager - Center for Independence of the Disabled New York
Chriss grew up in the small town of Weaverville, California. She spent her childhood camping in tipis, dressing up in buckskin and thinking Yom Kippur was an Irish man on her calendar. She attended The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City and worked for several years on an outreach team in Upper Manhattan assisting the street homeless with securing sustainable housing. Presently, she is a Disaster Case Manager for disabled Super Storm Sandy survivors. Chriss “discovered” Judaism five years ago and is currently working towards conversion.
- Sarah Zlotowitz
Special Projects Coordinator - Uncommon Schools
Sarah is the Special Projects Coordinator for Uncommon Schools, a network of free, charter public schools working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students. Sarah began her work in education as a corps member with Teach For America in Metro Atlanta. There, she had the honor of teaching social studies to the world’s greatest 6th and 7th graders. Previously, Sarah attended Boston University, where she studied Public Health and a capella. Originally from Baltimore, she is excited to be in Brooklyn, working to create more opportunities for kids to receive a transformational education.
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