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BRONFMANIM

The Alumni Magazine of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships 2008

byfi.org
Opinions expressed are those of contributors or
the editor and do not represent the official
positions of The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel.

The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel


163 Delaware Ave. Suite 102
Delmar, NY 12054
Email: ava.charne@byfi.org
Tel: (518) 475.7212

For more information about The Bronfman Youth


Fellowships in Israel summer program visit:
www.bronfman.org

For more information about BYFI alumni news


visit: www.byfi.org

For alumni related inquiries contact us:


Becky Voorwinde, Director of Alumni Engagement
The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel
375 Park Avenue, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10152-0192
Email: becky@byfi.org
Tel: (212) 572.7148
bronfman im

The Alumni Magazine of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships


2008

In these pages
A Letter from Rabbi Shimon Felix, Executive Director .................................................. 2

A Letter from Elijah Dornstreich, President of BYFI Alumni


Advisory Board & Becky Voorwinde, Director of Alumni Engagement.......................... 3

Picking Sides: Bronfman Alumni Canvass Voters, Dissect Obama’s


``Jewish Problem’’ in 2008 Presidential Race—by Joshua Goodman (BYFI ’93)............. 4
4
The Blessings and Burdens of Raising Jewish Children: Reflections
from BYFI Alumni and Staff—compiled and edited by Matti Friedman (BYFI ’94)......... 8

 The Communal Uterus by Matti Friedman (BYFI ‘94)


 Raising a Jewish Child by Leah Oppenzato (BYFI ’91)
 Down with the Upshurin by Rabbi Avi Katz Orlow (BYFI ’91)
 Growing With My Children: A Mother’s Reflections by Ava Charne (BYFI staff)

A Pluralistic Jewish Stance—by Professor Joseph Reimer............................................ 12

8 Turning the Outside In: Bronfman Alumni Comedians Discuss American


Jewish Humor—by Judy Batalion (BYFI ‘94)................................................................. 14

Amplifying Impact—The BYFI Alumni Venture Fund.................................................... 18

 Home Front Hearts—Randi Cairns (BYFI ’88)


 Keshet—Idit Klein (BYFI ’89)
 Faith Vote Columbus—Ari Lipman (BYFI ’95)
 Street Sights—Elizabeth Ochs (BYFI ’01)
 One to Watch: Jodi Meyerowitz (BYFI ’05)

18 BYFI Class Notes............................................................................................................ 21

Ava Charne, Administrative Director BYFI Executive Committee


Rabbi Shimon Felix, Executive Director Elijah Dornstreich (BYFI ’92)
B YF I Sta ff

Jeff Root, Web Development & Communications Ned Foss


Heather Smith, Accounts Manager Dana Raucher (BYFI ’89)

Becky Voorwinde, Director of Alumni Engagement Editorial Support


Barbara Widmann, Administration
Matti Friedman (BYFI ’94)
Becky Voorwinde (BYFI ’97)

BYFI.org
The Jewish community has always been one with some unique features. Back in
Egypt, when the Israelites were first organizing themselves into a nation, Moses asked Pharaoh to let
his people go into the desert for a few days to worship God. Pharaoh initially refused, but — after a
few plagues — came around and asked, “Who are those who shall go?” Moses responded: “We will
go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters…”

Not used to such inclusivity, Pharaoh doesn’t get it: “Not so; the men may go and worship God,
for that is what you request.” Since then, in a world that did not usually include everyone in the
community as a real member of that community, the Jewish people have insisted on welcoming
everyone into the tribe:

Rabbi Shimon Felix,  You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your leaders, your tribes, your

Executive Director elders, your officers, all the men of Israel. Your children, your women, and the stranger who is
within your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water. (Deuteronomy 9; 9).

 Assemble the nation; the men and the women and the children, and the stranger within
your gates (Deuteronomy 31; 12).

“BYFI remains Again and again, whenever the Torah wants to assemble and address the entire nation, it includes
everyone: men, women, and children, rich and poor, young and the old, the Jew and the “stranger
within your gates.”
committed The Jewish people have not always lived up to this standard of inclusivity. Often, we have behaved

to this more like Pharaoh, excluding the women. We sometimes forget the old and ignore the poor,
overlook the young, and ostracize the stranger. We do not always behave in the way the Torah

wonderfully demands of us, by failing to include all elements of the Jewish people in our plans, our concerns, our
hopes, and our dreams.

dynamic Since its inception in 1987, The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel has tried to model a community
that lives up to the words of Moses and to the inclusivity demanded by the Torah. This has been true

and diverse every year in our choice of a diverse group of Fellows, our pluralistic faculty, and even more so in our
expanding network of alumni.

community.” Our community becomes more multifaceted every year. If once you were all 17 year-old high school
students, you are now 18, 28, and 38 year old scientists, artists, academics, doctors and lawyers, rabbis
of all denominations, writers, musicians, comedians, dancers, teachers, businesspeople and so much
more. You are single and married, urban and rural, living among Jews or as the only Jewish person
for miles around. You’re in San Francisco New York, Haifa, London, and Buenos Aires, and voting for
Obama or McCain (OK, maybe I’ve gone too far with this diversity thing, but you get my drift).

BYFI remains committed to this wonderfully dynamic and diverse community. We have recently hired
BYFI alumna Becky Voorwinde (‘97) as Director of Alumni Engagement, to help keep the community
connected, coordinated, and, most importantly, active as a force for the good of American and world
Jewry and for the world beyond. It is in this spirit that we bring you this magazine, which provides
an opportunity for you to read about what your fellow Fellows are doing, hear what they have to say,
and, through the written word, come together as a community.

We hope you enjoy.

.
Rabbi Shimon Felix
This is an exciting time for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships as we work together –
the BYFI Alumni Advisory Board and professional staff, our funder, the Samuel Bronfman Foundation,
and our alumni, 573 strong and counting – to identify initiatives and programs that can maximize the
impact we make, individually and collectively, in the Jewish community and the wider world.

BYFI means participation in a lifelong Fellowship. We are a pluralistic group that can, in Edgar
Bronfman’s words, “model a different quality of discourse for the Jewish community.” The BYFI
summer program offered a Jewish lens through which to view our worlds. It immersed us in
stimulating text study, connected us with the people and stories of Israel, and encouraged us to take
seriously our responsibility to society and the Jewish people.

Many of us have found our Bronfman experience meaningful to our adult lives, not only because
of the way it shaped us as thinking people and Jews when we were impressionable teenagers, but
because of the personal and professional opportunities afforded us by participation in the BYFI
alumni community.

This magazine provides a perspective into BYFI’s greatest strength: the diverse and talented people
it can bring together. We hope the stories contained in these pages will inspire by offering engaging
perspectives and insights from alumni and faculty.

The BYFI alumni community is an outstanding place in which to find Jewish meaning, connection and
value in our lives. We invite each of you to join us in any way you wish to move this vision forward
– via comments on our website, listserv or by email.

We are grateful to the Bronfman family for their commitment to the BYFI summer program and their
investment in the ongoing work of supporting our alumni as they work to make a difference.
Becky Voorwinde,
Best,
‘97, BYFI Director of
Alumni Engagement

.
Elijah Dornstreich Becky Voorwinde
elijah@byfi.org becky@byfi.org

BYFI is conducting an important survey of


our alumni. For instructions on how you can
participate, check your email inbox or make
sure it didn’t go into your spam folder.
Elijah Dornstreich,
Contact becky@byfi.org with any questions. ‘92, President of BYFI
Alumni Advisory Board

BYFI.org 3
4 bronfman 2008
Picking Sides:
Bronfman Alumni Canvass
Voters, Dissect Obama’s

Jewish Problem ★

in Presidential
Race ✪ By Joshua Goodman (BYFI ‘93) ✪

Anyone who thinks Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t have “Because of my involvement in politics, I get a constant flow of
a Jewish problem hasn’t checked their e-mail in over a year. e-mails from friends and family asking me things like whether it’s true
that Obama went to a madrassa,” Magnus said. “Quite frankly, I find it
Whether it’s false allegations he attended an Indonesian madrassa, disappointing that Jews would believe, much less help spread, rumors
outrage over racial hatred spewed by a former spiritual advisor or that are clearly false.”
references to the praise heaped on him by Middle Eastern terrorist
groups, Obama has transfixed Jewish voters like few Presidential As Election Day draws closer, debunking the myths about Obama is
candidates have before. For Jewish voters, small in number but getting easier, despite their persistence in the blogosphere and around
traditionally among the Democrat party’s staunchest liberal base, the pinochle table at Jewish retirement homes across the country.
the controversy and hope he has inspired has exposed hidden
fault lines that cut across generational, political and religious lines. An on-line straw poll of Bronfman alumni ranging in age from 16 to
39 mirrored broader Jewish voting trends overwhelmingly in favor of
One Bronfman Fellow who has watched this trend from a front- Democrat candidates. Of the 116 respondents, 75 percent described
row seat is Adam Magnus. The 1996 Fellow is a partner in Shorr themselves as Democrats, and 87 percent said they planned to vote
Johnson Magnus, a Philadelphia-based advertising firm that creates for Obama. If the alumni poll is any indication, Obama’s relative
advertisements for Democratic candidates. inexperience in foreign affairs or allegations he would endanger Israel
appear to have lost traction. In fact, 57 percent of Bronfman alums think

BYFI.org 5
the Democrat candidate’s Middle East policies Isaac Dovere, a 1997 Bronfman Fellow who Middle Eastern policy the most important
would be good for Israel, compared to 35 edits two monthly papers on New York factor in their voting choice.
percent in John McCain’s case. politics, praised Obama’s attempt to tackle
Jewish anxiety head-on. The tidal shift is generational, believes Dovere,
Among the broader Jewish community support who has an MA in American intellectual history
for Obama is more tenuous. A September The candidate made headlines when he from the University of Chicago and interned on
poll of Jewish voters, by the American Jewish clumsily declared to members of the pro-Israel Capitol Hill as a high school student.
Committee, found Jews supportive of Obama lobby AIPAC that he supported an undivided
over John McCain by 57 to 30 percent with Jerusalem, a more hawkish stance than is “My mother, she loved it when John Kerry’s
13 percent undecided. For some, father was discovered to be
especially Jewish Republicans who Jewish in 2004. Or that Hillary
have conducted polls of their own, had Jewish relatives,” said
the lower numbers for Obama-- Dovere. “I’m 28, and though
compared to 80 percent support I’m certainly involved in the
for Al Gore and Bill Clinton, as Jewish community, those sorts
well as 76 percent votes for John of things don’t register with me.
Kerry in 2004--point to a credibility I’m concerned about issues that
gap among Jewish voters. Partisan affect me as an urban, middle-
groups like the Republican Jewish class resident.”
Coalition have tried to capitalize on
lingering doubts, real or invented, Margie Klein, a fourth-year
by canvassing retirement homes in rabbinical student at Hebrew
the swing state of Florida, where College in Massachusetts, also
Jews make up 5 percent of voters. rejects using a candidate’s views
on Israel as a litmus test. But that
Anat Maytal, a 2000 Fellow, has doesn’t mean her Jewish identity
found herself reluctantly supporting isn’t a core part of her political
Obama. During the primaries, she activism.
hung posters and badgered friends
into attending a speech by Hillary In 2005, she started the non-
Clinton at Boston University, where partisan Righteous Indignation
Anat is attending law school. When project, seeking to mobilize
Hillary bowed out, Maytal’s strong progressive Jews around issues
views in support of a woman’s such as the environment and
right to choose and ending fighting poverty. A book and a
discrimination led her to Obama. national conference later, the
(Clockwise from left): Eric Trager with former Massachusetts Governor
project – supported, in part, by
Mitt Romney; Anat Maytal with General Wesley Clark; Edward-Isaac Dovere,
Maytal, who worked as a legislative editor of City Hall and The Capitol a grant from the BYFI Alumni
intern for New York Democratic Venture Fund – has morphed into
Senator Charles Schumer after graduating favored by the Bush administration and many a small army of 200 Jewish activists registering
from Harvard, called Obama “unknown” and Israelis. He also jokingly referred to e-mails and educating voters in low-income, minority
McCain “unacceptable.” She explained, circulating about him, saying, “let me know neighborhoods.
“I know that doesn’t portray Obama in a if you see this guy named Barack Obama,
favorable light, but I’m not very happy with because he sounds pretty scary.” “Jewish voters, in large part, remain committed
both choices.” to the same social issues they’ve always been
Dovere said that was “exactly what everyone and will rally behind Obama,” says Klein, a
Maytal’s political conversion, albeit forced by concerned about Israel issues wanted to hear.” 1996 Bronfman Fellow. “Most of those who
circumstances, has been anything but tepid. don’t are single-issue voters on the right who
This summer she was on a host committee of a U.S. support for Israel appears unlikely to wouldn’t take a look at Obama anyway.”
Jewish Young Professionals for Obama fundraiser change anytime soon. But the intense concern
event in New York, successfully soliciting several for Israel held for decades by Jewish voters Even if the early anxiety caused by Obama’s
young friends to make a “double-chai” donation may be fading. Only 19 percent of Bronfman candidacy has subsided, the question persists:
of $36 to the candidate’s campaign. alums said they considered a candidate’s Which candidate would be better for Israel?

6 bronfman 2008
Obama’s statements on Israel so far have 20-year membership in a church that gave try to impose their will in the sputtering
been in line with the pro-Israel lobby, Klein an award to Louis Farrakhan, a man who negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
said. “Nevertheless, most progressive Jewish praises Hitler,’’ said Kanner, who was the
voters think the hawkish stance of the last target of obscenities while participating “What can any president do with a Palestinian
eight years hasn’t done so well at creating recently in a pro-McCain march in New authority beholden to Hamas and an unpopu-
peace in the Middle East. Because Obama York’s very Jewish, very liberal Upper West lar Israeli government holding onto power?”
is more accountable to progressive Jewish Side. The church later clarified that it was an said Trager.
voters who will have helped put him in office, affiliated magazine, and not the church itself,
there is a hope he will be more open to that granted the award. If McCain is elected, at least one Bronfman
recommendations coming from progressive Fellow may have an important say in how that
pro-Israel groups like Brit Tzedek policy is drafted. David Adesnik
v’Shalom and J Street PAC.” (BYFI ’94), spent four months in
Iraq as a civilian analyst with
For Eric Trager (BYFI ‘00), who took If the elections were held today, coalition forces before joining the
time from his PhD in Mideastern which of the candidates would McCain campaign as a foreign
politics at the University of policy and national security adviser.
Pennsylvania to canvass for
you vote for? He’s unable to discuss his work for
McCain in Republican-hostile West the campaign, however.
Philadelphia, Obama’s stance on
Israel is less than reassuring. Whoever wins, the emotions stirred
Response Response
by this election won’t easily fade.
Percent Count
Writing for Commentary’s Jews long ago stopped being a
“Contentions” blog in January, homogenous group whose vote
Trager said Obama’s “whispering mccain 11.0% 13 was determined on the bima (pul-
of sweet Zionist nothings” to pit). Still, ingrained in the American
Jewish voters underscores his naïve Jewish psyche is the image of Rabbi
acceptance of the pernicious thesis obama 86.4% 102 Abraham Joshua Heschel march-
that the U.S.-Israel relationship is ing with Martin Luther King Jr. and
a product of power politics rather the sacrifices made by many young
than strategic interests. independent 2.5% 3 Jews during the civil rights battles of
Candidate
the 1960s. Jews of both the left and
Then there’s the question of the right believe our role is to fight
Obama’s advisors, among them answered question..........................118 discrimination, not fuel it. Obama’s
Samantha Power. Before resigning skipped question........................... 0 historic campaign, depending on
as a senior foreign policy advisor your viewpoint —young or old,
from the Obama campaign in March hawk or dove, religious or secular—
Source: Political survey of BYFI alumni, September 2008
-- for calling Clinton a “monster” is either a fulfillment of longstanding
-- Power advocated ending military Jewish values or a threat to them.
aid to Israel in favor of economic development Trager is sanguine about his own candidate’s Never have our differences seemed starker.
for the Palestinians. Sound Middle Eastern chances of matching Ronald Reagan’s feat The wounds may take time to heal. n
policy would require “alienating a domestic in 1980, when he secured 39 percent of
constituency,” she was quoted as saying in a the Jewish vote, the highest tally since
2002 interview. Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. George W.
Bush captured 22 percent of the Jewish Joshua Goodman, a 1993
“These are the sort of things I’d hear in a vote in 2004. fellow, will be mailing his
mosque in Cairo, not what I’d expect from a absentee ballot to his
U.S. political advisor,” said Trager, who studied McCain, Trager said, is a “run-of-the mill” pro- swinging, home state of
in Egypt in 2006 on a Fulbright scholarship. Israel candidate, buoyed by his close associa- Ohio from Rio de Janeiro,
tion with former Democratic vice presidential where he writes about
Deby Kanner (BYFI ‘88), a self-described candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Although Latin American politics and economics for
pro-choice Republican, said Obama’s Gov. Sarah Palin displays an Israeli flag in her Bloomberg News. Prior to moving to Brazil
affiliation with Reverend Jeremiah Wright is Alaska office, Trager said her commitment to in May, he worked for The Associated Press
also worrisome. “It doesn’t make me a racist Israel was largely unknown. He and Dovere in Colombia and covered Argentina’s 2001
because I’m uncomfortable over Obama’s believe both McCain and Obama are unlikely to economic collapse for Business Week.

BYFI.org 7
The Blessings and Burdens
of Raising Jewish Children:
Reflections from BYFI
Alumni and Staff
Compiled and edited by With the Bronfman program getting on in years and more and more alumni
Matti Friedman (BYFI ’94) dutifully fulfilling the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, parenthood
has become another experience tying Bronfman Fellows together. Even
if they’re changing diapers and carpooling in very different places and
circumstances, many alums likely find themselves dealing with some of the
same questions. One example: in what ways is raising Jewish children as
part of a Jewish community a blessing? In what ways is it a burden?

The essays below emerged when we posed that question to four very
different members of the Bronfman family: to a father who finds himself
raising a pair of identical Israelis, a rabbi looking for new meaning in old
traditions, a woman who married a non-Jewish man and brought up Jewish
children, and a woman with a Jewish family beyond the boundaries of how
Judaism traditionally defined family.

8 bronfman 2008
form by a frail woman of your family to something bigger can also
we met outside be unbearable.
a hospital in the
northern town of Afula God stayed Abraham’s hand and Isaac survived,
when our kids were as we know. But since then, the poet wrote, we
a few weeks old. She have been born with a knife in our heart.
looked approvingly at
the two babies in their
little red slings and
said: “Twins – that’s Matti Friedman grew up in
Matti Friedman and his family live in Jerusalem
very good.” Then, Toronto, was a Bronfman
(Bottom right): Leah Oppenzato and her family live in Brooklyn, NY
gesturing vaguely fellow in 1994 and moved
but ominously with to Israel the next year. Since

The Communal her hand, she dropped her voice and


explained why: “They’re going to outnumber
then, he has been a dairy
farmer, soldier, university

Uterus us,” she said, meaning our Arab neighbors,


the ones who made up half of the hospital’s
student and reporter. Today he works as a
correspondent in the Jerusalem bureau of the
By Matti Friedman (BYFI ’94) patients and half of the unfailingly competent Associated Press. He is married to Naama and
and patient doctors and nurses who had has twin boys, Aviv and Michael.
“Excuse me, one placenta or two?”
just treated her.
asked the grinning stranger from her car.
She had just stopped beside me on the
I am used to belonging to this raucous and
Jerusalem street where I was pushing Aviv and
problematic place, and when I moved here

Raising a
Michael, my 15-month-old twins, in a stroller.
from Canada 13 years ago it was my choice.
“Two,” I told her, having become used to
But being a parent means making a choice
such questions, “but they’re identical.” After a
few inquiries about amniotic sacs the woman
for someone else, which, it turns out, doesn’t
make me feel entirely comfortable.
Jewish Child
seemed satisfied, told me her daughter was By Leah Oppenzato (BYFI ’91)
expecting twins, and drove off with a friendly
This uncertainty must exist for most Jewish
wave when the light changed. My Catholic wife first suggested raising our
parents, and for every parent raising children
as part of a community, an experience that children Jewish. We were at a wedding of two
This was early this summer, and it was friends in which the wife had converted to Juda-
always means walking a line between comfort
– except, perhaps, for the “excuse me” ism. For the previous year or so, we’d been
and suffocation. The pressure cooker of life in
– a classic Israeli moment. My wife, Naama, dabbling in Unitarianism, thinking that perhaps
Israel is simply an extreme case that makes the
and I are regularly asked nonchalantly by its ecumenical approach would blend our tradi-
pros and cons starker.
strangers whether our twins are the result of tions in a comfortable way. On the contrary,
in-vitro fertilization, whether they were born the Protestant feel of Unitarianism left us – a
Here, especially for boys, belonging has darker
via C-section, and when we’re planning to Catholic and a Jew – both feeling alienated.
implications. It is assumed they will grow up to
have another child. We are also regularly told
be soldiers; if the collective is to survive, our
by people who stop us on the street how
sons will have to serve. This is joked about:
beautiful our children are, how lucky we are,
“straight to the Navy Commandos!” someone
and how we shouldn’t worry because it will get
will say as a child crawls ferociously or vaults
easier soon.
onto the dining room table. Naama likes to say
that by the time they’re 18 things will work out
People here are genuinely interested in
here and they will serve as peacekeepers on
children, and in your children, and expect you
Cyprus. But they won’t, and it’s not funny.
to be interested in theirs. It’s all taken in stride
The detail I remember most vividly from the
in a way that manages to be simultaneously
curriculum of my summer as a Bronfman
annoying and endearing. The kibbutz
Fellow is a poem. It was by the Israeli writer
movement may have faded, but in some ways
Haim Gouri, and it described Abraham’s near-
children here remain communal property.
sacrifice of Isaac, the ultimate moment when
Some of this is the nosiness and empathy
a Jew realized his son was not his alone.
inevitable in any group that sees itself as
Abraham had a covenant with God, which
sharing a history and a fate. Some of it is
wasn’t bad -- it’s nice not to be on your own.
more visceral and specific to living in Israel.
But it turned out early on, atop a hill in the
The latter type was expressed in its rawest
Promised Land, that linking your life and that

BYFI.org 9
Judaism, that I am Jewish not only because Research into the halakhic roots of the tradition
of my upbringing, beliefs, and practices, but got me even more interested. I discovered the
my curly hair, my Jewish mother, my Eastern links between upshurin and the agricultural laws
European lineage. I look Jewish; Jeremy looks of orla, which forbids harvesting from a fruit
Celtic. I am glad for this challenge, to be tree within its first three years, and pe’a, which
pushed past my own stereotypes. requires a farmer to leave a corner of his field
aside for the poor. Parallel to this, a boy’s hair
And yet Jeremy may find himself in places is left uncut for the same period of time (three
where he is not accepted as a Jew. I struggled years), and when it is cut we are required to
in my own adolescence with different forms of leave pe’ot, corners (sidelocks). At three years of
Judaism that were less than accepting of my age, like a fruit tree, a Jewish boy is considered
Rabbi Avi Katz Orlow with son Yadid, pre-Upshurin
own Reform/Reconstructionist background, or to have reached a landmark. With diapers out of
my lesbian identity, but no one can ever dispute the way, and with his consciousness developing,
So Colleen looked at me across the flower
my Jewish heritage. It’s my job to pass on my he is considered ready for learning, wearing
arrangement and said, “Let’s raise the children
strong sense of Jewish identity, just as my moth- tzitzit, and his first haircut.
Jewish.” We weren’t yet married (religiously or
er passed hers on to me; but unlike my mother, I
legally; we have yet to be married legally, as we
can’t give him the security of the bloodline. But I felt that interest alone in the custom was
live in New York State) and we certainly didn’t
not a good enough reason for us to perform
have any children. But that conversation was
Being a non-biological mother comes with a it. Would we even consider this if we had a
recognizably the start of our path.
host of challenges (different, in my situation, daughter? But then we began to think about
from adoption because Jeremy does have a how we could make the upshurin into a full-
We joined a small congregation that meets in a
biological parent). I need to pass my Juda- blown mitzvah that we would want to perform
church nearby. The shul is nondenominational
ism to him from my heart, not my blood or my for our children regardless of gender. For us,
and accepts – welcomes – non-Jewish partners,
genes or my curly hair. That is my challenge. mitzvot are not just doing what is right or not
even allowing them to be board members. Our
And I accept it fully. doing what is wrong according to some other
son has been attending Kolot Chayeinu since he
worldly law. Our ideal is to model commitments
was a bouncy little polliwog in utero, where he
that are personally meaningful, universally
danced to nigunim. He still loves the singing,
Leah Oppenzato ‘91 lives in Brooklyn, New relevant, and distinctively Jewish.
and crawls in the aisles. We had his naming
York with wife Colleen and 9 month old son
there and have felt the encompassing welcome
Jeremy. She teaches 7th grade at progressive That is how we got the idea to have Yadid
of Jeremy’s Jewish community.
charter school in Hoboken, New Jersey. She wait past his third birthday to get his hair
Our Reform rabbi (the congregation itself is non- is a member of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of cut. Yadid was going to wait until his hair was
denominational) said that, ironically, according to Our Lives, a non-denominational Jewish long enough to donate. Instead of a strange
the doctrine of patrilineal descent, she consid- congregation in Brooklyn. tradition performed by rote, it would become a
ers Jeremy a Jewish child. I function as the religious experience of giving.
Jewish father, and we plan to raise him Jewish.
However, we wanted to ensure that he would be I am not sure if he understood at first. But at

Down with
accepted as a full Jew in the wider Jewish world, the time he was undergoing the shift from mere
so we chose to convert him. Our first hurdle repeater to understanding being and Yadid
was finding a mohel who would not write “ben
Avraham v’Sara” on his bris certificate – however,
the Upshurin began to develop a language of altruism. At
the party we finally had for him when he was
as it turned out, our Reform mohel agreed with by Rabbi Avi Katz Orlow (BYFI ’91) three and a half, his grandmother gave him a
our rabbi that Jeremy didn’t even need to be as told to Matti Friedman tzedaka box, which he began to fill. I asked him
converted, and his certificate reads “ben Colleen why, and he said that when he had hair he gave
v’Leah.” His conversion won’t be accepted When our son Yadid approached the age it to someone who needed it, likewise when he
everywhere, given that the Bet Din was a trio of of three, I began to think about the Jewish had money he would give it someone in need.
Reform women rabbis, but we feel we have done tradition of upshurin, when a boy’s hair is cut for
what we can to give him a solid base in Judaism. the first time on his third birthday. I grew up in If I have to put my finger on what raising
a family where this was not practiced. But in my children as Jews means for us, it is this. The
Jeremy’s Judaism has forced me to grapple with own home, where an Orthodox rabbi (me) and community, its history and laws are not just a
my own understanding of what makes a Jew. I a Reform cantor (my wife, Adina H. Frydman) backdrop to the bedlam of parenting. In this
see my child as fully Jewish. And yet, I come are raising children in a loving Jewish mélange, case, they provided a way of getting Yadid to
from a family of “full-blooded” Jews. I still have a it started to look like a potentially amazing and think, before he was even aware he was doing
nagging sense that there is a racial aspect to meaningful ritual. so, about what it means to live a halakhic moral

10 bronfman 2008
existence. We look forward to repeating this Tina went to nursery school at our temple. One I think my experience reflects both something
ritual with his brother Yishama and some day Shabbat, she came home and said that she had of the price of living in a community, and its
if we are blessed, also with a daughter. Our flowers for our Shabbat table. I asked her where benefits. The rabbi’s harsh words that Rosh
upshurin has provided us with a platform for a our Shabbat table was, and she told me she Hashana showed to what extent Jews believed
discussion with a three-year-old about what it thought it was downstairs in the basement. It they must be exclusive to survive. The
means to be a mensch. amazed me that at her young age, she was okay community excluded people like Vince, who
with whatever traditions we did or did not have. aren’t part of it, and rejected the life choice I
made when I married him.
When Robyn was 4, I began to teach
Rabbi Avi Orlow ‘91 is a Jewish Educator kindergarten at our Sunday School. Tina and And yet at the same time, our community
for the Foundation for Jewish Camp. For Robyn would come with me without fail every offered my children so much, and made them
the past four years, Avi was the Campus Sunday morning. They continued to accompany the Jewish people they are now. I am very
Rabbi and Assistant Director of St. Louis and “assist” me until Robyn graduated from proud of Tina and Robyn, and very grateful for
Hillel at Washington University. Prior to this high school. I never imagined that they would the support of the Jewish community in which
experience he held numerous positions as go to a Hebrew day school, yet Tina began they grew up -- their synagogue, their day
Rabbi, educator, and youth leader. Avi spent kindergarten and Robyn followed, and eight school, and BYFI. n
17 years as a camper and then educator at years later they graduated.
Ramah Camps in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
and YUSSR camps in the Former Soviet We became more and more involved in
Union. Avi has a BA in religious studies from Judaism, and as the years went by, Vince Ava Charne is the Administrative Director
Columbia. He was ordained in the charter asked me if I made up Jewish holidays -- each for The Bronfman Youth Fellowships and
class at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the Open year there seemed to be more that we were has been part of BYFI since the fall of 1987.
Orthodox rabbinical School. Avi lives in White observing. Tina and Robyn got involved Ava is very proud to say that she personally
Plains with his wife, Cantor Adina Frydman, in Israeli dancing, danced with their Israeli knows all 573 Bronfmanim. Ava is also the
and their sons, Yadid and Yishama. dance troupe through high school, and even Executive Director of the Capital District
taught Israeli dancing when they got older. Women’s Bar Association. Prior to 1987,
They came with me to Israel for many of the Ava was the Training, Safety and Equal
summers when I was there with the Bronfman Employment Opportunity Specialist for the

Growing With Fellows. The winter retreats and reunions


were so meaningful to them.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary
Services. She holds her BA in political

My Children: Today, both of my daughters are very active


science and her Masters Degree in Public
Administration from the State University of

A Mother’s Jews. Both took part in Avodah, the Jewish


Service Corps, after college. Tina is a special
New York at Albany. She was born and raised
in Brooklyn, but has lived in Albany, New York

Reflections education teacher in Maryland, and Robyn


just got a job at the Jewish Community
since 1973. In recent years she has developed
a strong passion for playing tennis.
By Ava Charne (BYFI staff) Center in Newton, Mass. as a Social Justice
Youth Coordinator.
Before my daughters were born, I remember
being in synagogue with my father on Rosh
Hashanah. The rabbi was talking about how
intermarriage will be the demise of the Jewish
religion. I could swear he was looking straight
at me, and I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter.

Tina and Robyn are adults now. Their father,


Vince, is Italian. My children are a product of
intermarriage.

As the rabbi spoke, I remember thinking that


if and when I had children, I would go out of
my way to make sure they were Jewish, and
that I would not single handedly destroy the
Jewish people.

Ava Charne with daughters Robyn and Tina and their father Vince

BYFI.org 11
A Pluralistic Jewish Stance
By Professor Joseph Reimer

O
nce, when teaching at Stanford, I be- relating to niddah, the menstrual cycle, but also world religion. They sought an American Juda-
friended a local Reform rabbi. When for many healing rituals as well. Aliza talked ism that could proudly take its place alongside
he learned that I taught for the Bron- of her growing fascination and dedication to its sister religions. No beards, Yiddish accents
fman Youth Fellowships in Israel (BYFI), he told use of the mikveh and her delight at seeing and, for God’s sake, no ancient practices like
me he was angry at the program. I asked why, hundreds of Jewish women discover the power mikveh or chevruta. We’ve clearly outgrown
and he said it was because on BYFI a young of these traditions for themselves and their that need for rational reconstruction. In a post-
man from his congregation had been taught to daughters. Is Aliza using the mikveh to discredit modern world mikveh and chevruta can proudly
put on tefillin. What was wrong with that? His liberal Judaism? Hardly; her clientele and sup- take their place alongside back-to-nature health
response: it was an effort by Orthodox rabbis porters are overwhelmingly liberal Jews. practices and learning methodologies. We are
to discredit the Reform movement. free to reshape the great modern reforms.
Last year I sat on the doctoral committee of
That claim was disturbing. I was present when Orit Kent, who has completed a stunning study We are also free to think past conventional
this young man had asked to learn to put on of chevruta learning – a traditional method denominational boundaries. The denomina-
tefillin. He did feel badly that he had never of studying in pairs – among non-Orthodox tions are outgrowths of those modern reforms
been taught about tefillin. But do tefillin be- university students. Orit grew up Orthodox and have played important roles in giving
long to the Orthodox movement? Is wishing to and has dedicated her career to promoting organizational shape to 20th century American
learn more necessarily a negative comment on serious Jewish text study among all Jews. Her Judaism. But their capacities to play future
one’s past learning? Is embracing an age-old theory is that the yeshiva-based interchange shaping roles will depend upon their adap-
Jewish tradition a rejection of Reform or any of a pair of students working over a traditional tive strengths in responding to what we see
other religious movement? Jewish text has great power, when used wisely, every day: seeking Jews in search of deeper
in an array of learning contexts. Like Aliza, Orit meanings who do not care a whit about the
I thought of this conversation last week as I was sees the potential of unleashing the spiritual labels. They seek Jewish quality and meaning
listening to Aliza Kline describe how she, the power hidden in this traditional practice for wherever they can find it.
author Anita Diament, and other pioneers built the benefit of Jews who have never and would
Mayyim Hayyim, the pluralistic mikveh (ritual never venture into a traditional yeshiva. Jewish pluralism, to my mind, is not a move-
bath) in the Boston area. Aliza is a product of ment but a stance exemplified by Aliza, Orit
the Reform movement and yet has devoted her A hundred years ago modern Jews were busy and other outstanding Jewish teachers such
career to building a mikveh that is used not only reforming Judaism by letting go of many of the as Rabbi Danny Lehmann. Danny grew up in
for conversion ceremonies and traditional rituals traditional practices they associated with old- the Conservative movement, was ordained as

12 bronfman 2008
an Orthodox rabbi and was the founding head up in other movements. Second is the freedom devotedly open to the insights that await us in
of the pluralistic Gann Academy in the Boston to explore –intellectually and artistically – this radically new and unknown century. The
area. A few years ago Danny, a talented musi- beyond the boundaries of any one movement. Judaism that emerges will likely look very
cian, felt the Jewish community needed a different from what we have known. I suspect it
serious summer arts program that was kosher The first point seems obvious, but the second may look more like BYFI, BIMA and Genesis than
and Shabbat observant. He began BIMA at deserves more explanation. I have seen partici- the denominations of the 20th century. n
Williams College and pioneered something pants who have discovered a new approach to
new: not a Jewish camp with a subsidiary arts Judaism. They entered thinking their religion
program, but a serious arts program for Jewish was a circumscribed system embodied by their Joseph Reimer is associate
teens. It is perhaps not surprising that BYFI and synagogue, rabbi and youth movement. They professor and former director
its alumni were involved from the beginning, left seeing alternatives beyond those limits; of the Hornstein Program in
and that the Samuel Bronfman Foundation sup- they began to explore the nooks and crannies Jewish Communal Service at
ports BIMA through the Foundation for Jewish of our traditions and discover therein hid- Brandeis University. Dr, Reimer
Camping. Two years ago BIMA moved to Bran- den treasures not known to their parents and served as a faculty member
deis University and has taken its place alongside grandparents. We can explore these treasures on the Bronfman Youth Fellowships summer
its sister program, Genesis, a summer program and learn from them without rejecting our program for 4 years. His book Succeeding at
for high school students combining Jewish roots. We can expand our Jewish horizons by Jewish Education: How One Synagogue Made
studies, academics, the arts and humanities. reclaiming practices and ideas that have fallen it Work won the 1997 National Jewish Book
away under the rush of modernizing Judaism. Award. Dr. Reimer has served on the staff of
Watching those two programs closely and the Commission on Jewish Education in North
comparing them to the great denominational Beyond that, in a pluralistic stance we are free to America and on the boards of the Covenant
Jewish camps has been instructive. I know explore the wide oceans of knowledge and the Foundation, the Rashi School and the New
Jewish denominational camps that have arts depths of artistic possibilities and bring those Jewish High School. He currently chairs the
programs and learning methods of which we riches to bear on our Jewish lives. Jews have education policy committee for Birthright
can be proud. But they are not as strong in nothing to fear from developing their artistic Israel, North America. He lives in Brookline,
two crucial components that flourish at BIMA talents and exploring their intellectual curiosities. Massachusetts with his wife Gail Twersky
and Genesis. First is the opportunity for Jewish Indeed, the Judaism we are seeking is one that Reimer and their daughters Tamara and Ziva.
youth to get to know people who have grown is more deeply rooted in its full past and more

BYFI.org 13
t h e O u t s i d e I n :
Turn i n g
Bronfman Alumni Comedians
Discuss American Jewish Humo
r By Judy Batalion (BYFI '94)

The husband said: Close the window, it's cold outside.


The wife replied: And if I close the window, will it
make it any warmer outside?
- Old Jewish Joke
I began performing stand-up comedy in London at a time when my Jewish
identity was not on my mind, and certainly not in my set, which is why I was so
surprised when it was the first thing industry folk picked up. At early auditions,
they would say, as if helping me: ‘Go back to New York.’ Um, OK, I thought, but
I’m Canadian. Or, ‘Don’t worry, stick it out – the British public is slowly getting
used to Woody Allen.’ Or even, ‘You should really marry a non-Jew - your kids
will be much better looking’. I had to face the fact that some element of my
yiddishkeit (my pronunciations? gesticulations? attitudes? face?) must have been
inadvertently leaking onto the stage. I smacked of Jew. What until then I had
taken to be mainstream, as my unremarkable background – I actually did grow up
speaking Yiddish – was suddenly my main feature. Jewish meant difference, even
in, or especially in, the comedy world. I was being placed as an outsider, viewed
as ‘playing a character’, and told to get out.

14 bronfman 2008
This reaction, aside from making me aware of my delivery style were Jewish in any way. “Well, maybe,”
Judaism (doing a better job than most Jewish he thinks. “If there’s a brand of Jewish humor that is
organizations ever had), also got me thinking based in structural playing, and an emotional remove,
about the ways that outsiderness might be integral a dryness, a Talmudic twisting.
to the very Jewish humor that I was being accused
of using. All humor might be seen as coming from “You get Jewish comedians for the same reason you
an alternate perspective, but Jewish humor has get Jewish lawyers,” Dan says. “We like to play around
traditionally been known as the humor of the outsider. with laws, see things from different perspectives.”
Among their many attempts to characterize Jewish
humor, scholars consistently refer to it as the humor The probing attitude of Jewish study, where every
of members of an underclass making jokes in order point is re-questioned and re-interpreted, and in
to feel better about their position, to feel solidarity, which one is always taking on ‘outside’ positions,
to give their nebbish psyches confidence, and, also came up in conversation with comedy hip hop

: eventually, to overthrow the Tsar.

In America, a well-known brand of outsider-Jewish-


neurotic humor emerged in the 1960s, embodied by
comedians like Woody Allen and Joan Rivers. Their
artist Eli Batalion (BYFI ’97), who – among his many
accomplishments – also happens to be my brother.
Eli recognized that elements of a Jewish childhood
had an impact on his comedy writing. Biblical stories,
Freudian tales, self-deprecation, major tonal changes
senses of humor were based on self-deprecation and in the delivery of lines, and twists of logic that occur in
the discomfort of fitting into one’s own skin as well Talmudic reasoning all influence his lyrics. Eli and his
as into society; it’s a humor of neurosis, insecurity writing/performing partner Jerome Saibil often work in
and assessing position. Allen and Rivers are originally a dialectic way, taking on different sides of arguments
Konigsburg and Molinsky. which are later embodied by different characters.

But my hunch was that things had changed since the Hollywood scriptwriter Etan Cohen (BYFI ‘91) says his
1960s. Is current American humor post-Jewish? And experience of ‘difference’ came not from the studios
if so, how has the Jewish humor of the outsider been but from the Orthodox Jewish community where
accepted into and perhaps altered by America, the the idea of writing for raunchy cartoons was a touch
land of the immigrant outsider par excellence? suspect. His own insecurity about committing acts that
were asur, forbidden, and writing for treyf showbiz is
I turned to some Bronfman alumni who are also in the what led him to major in Yiddish at Harvard, where
comedy industry to find out if and how being a Jew he began freelancing for the MTV cartoon Beavis and
had catalyzed and affected their careers and their Butt-Head. “The famous Yiddish writers also grappled
senses of humor, and whether Jewish comedy – the with ethical contradictions involved in being religious
humor and the business – could still be considered and writing for the popular market,” he says. Etan
that of the outsider. found confidence in these stories, in feeling he was
part of a tradition that tussled with tradition.

Etan was, however, influenced by the Orthodox


Hip-Hop, Beavis, and Oysters community’s distrust for some elements of American
culture. Indeed, perhaps the intense examination of
With a completely serious face, eyes facing straight the rest of society by the Orthodox community is at
ahead and making no contact with the audience, the heart of Etan’s comedic perspective. Some of
stand-up Dan Mintz (BYFI ‘97) says into the mic: “My Etan’s earliest comedy work, he jokes, was scribbling
grandfather was actually a Holocaust survivor. And you parodies of commentary in the margins of his Talmud
can tell that it really affected him. Because, to this day, books at school, adding another humorous layer to
he still will not walk into a gas chamber.” the endless Judaic discussion.

Dan is known for his dead-pan delivery of non-sequitur Israel-based comedian Yisrael Campbell, who has
one liners, and his absurd twists of logic. Dan’s is an done shows for the BYFI summer program, also
intellectual comedy, with a logical, clear and concise comments on feeling excluded from the Jerusalem
writing style, and in which the passion is under- Orthodox community because of his career. He grew
wraps, in tension with the calm of the performance. up Catholic in Pennsylvania and converted to Judaism
Regardless of the content (this is one of his sole three times, each with a more stringent rabbi.
Jewish jokes), I wondered if he felt his writing and

BYFI.org 15
Not having been raised Jewish, is his sense cultural institution,” Eli says. “Unfortunately, it inside of the studios, stages and boardrooms,
of humor Jewish? Yisrael replied that he was is probably the most boring Jewish elements in a way that it hasn’t in England? Did today’s
brought up by a family of immigrants that which are received in this way, but that only American Jewish comedians think about
used to drive around and point out all the means there’s an opportunity for greater their Jewish identity on a daily basis, as I had
country clubs they weren’t allowed into. “I also Jewish comedy out there, to be exploited by a started to?
didn’t feel like the world was my oyster – or, Jewish filmmaker capable of spinning a classic
actually, I felt like it was, but I couldn’t eat it,” scene out of a tashlich sequence.” Dan is flummoxed by the question. While
he explains. In that sense, Yisrael says, he may growing up in Anchorage, he felt exotic being
have always had a Jewish sense of humor. Some American comedy characters are still a Jew. But since his Bronfman Israel trip - his
Jewish, but it appears they’ve gone from first immersion into saturated Jewish culture
- he has spent time at Harvard and
In the Out Culture lived in New York and LA, and has been
surrounded by Jews. His Jewishness,
Yisrael’s experience might demonstrate he says, has “become a background
the palpability of Jewish humor for element of my identity.”
Americans, and why it was so readily
adopted – partly because everyone Eli’s main experience of Jewish identity
was and is an outsider, a recent- outsiderness came from working in his
ish immigrant. Indeed, I wondered particular genre – hip hop. He is, after
how Jewish humor might have been all, a Jew in a do-rag. Though he never
absorbed into the American culture of indicates his religious background in
outsiderness – how easily was it taken press releases, many critics address
up, and how much has it affected and it. Eli, however, doesn’t feel awkward
been affected by the mainstream. about it at all. He takes the art form
seriously; his comedy is in his (Jewish-
Dan says there isn’t a new generation ish) lyrics.
of ‘Jewish’ comedians on the stand-
up circuit. “Woody Allen already did To Etan, being a Jew – even an
Woody Allen; you can’t repeat that,” observant, kippa-wearing one – is
he says. “Jewish humor is so absorbed not a big issue in LA, where there are
into the culture that everyone does it. kosher groceries at every gas station,
and TV station. Not only does it seem
“Jewishness is normal in the USA, to him that Jews work in all aspects of
you don’t have to be neurotic about it. the entertainment industry – writing,
Really, who could still talk about being Dan Mintz performing a stand-up routine directing, producing, acting – but
Jewish on stage? What would you say?” Jewish humor has so pervaded the
the neurotic to the parodic. Current Jewish American comedy industry that around the
Eli agrees: “Jews are more integrated, but Hollywood characters like Adam Sandler and writers’ table the only way Etan knows if a
consequently, I think they have less Jewish- Judd Apatow’s Israeli hairstylist Zohan have colleague is Jewish is by their last name. He
oriented material. To a certain extent, the traded the nebbish personality for sass and never feels self-conscious about his Jewish
Jewish stereotypes and jokes to harp on are punch. (Albeit, I add, as a caricature of an practice, he says, except a tiny bit during
somewhat clichéd – how many more jokes Israeli, just as Sarah Silverman, unlike Joan Pesach, when at lunch he pulls out a suitcase
are you willing to sit through about Jewish Rivers, plays a caricature of a Jewish princess filled with matza and Diet Coke.
mothers, or Jewish guilt?” confident in her sexuality and position.) Etan,
who is currently writing a Sherlock Holmes But isn’t writing with Jewish collaborators, like
But Eli thinks that though Jewish content film for Apatow, to star Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Stiller, a little different than writing with
might be less overt, American comedy says Apatow’s productions have Jew-heavy non-Jewish ones, like his mentor Mike Judge,
preserves some of its Jewish roots in different staffs, and they’re frank: No one is worried with whom he co-wrote the film Idiocracy
guises – Larry David’s nebbishyness, Seinfeld’s about being Jewish, and Jewishness is not and episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head and
style and the characters created by the Stiller/ the punchline. King of the Hill? No, Etan claims: He sees no
Rogen/Apatow cabal. difference in the writing, the sense of humor,
In the Industry or the ways of working.
“Watching Eugene Levy in the ‘American
Pie’ films suggests to me that America is Then it seems that Jewish humor, coming from Yisrael, however, says it was his religious
prepared to handle certain Jewish-isms like the outside, has found its way to the inside of observance and his sense of being an outsider
mazel tov greetings as part of the American American culture. But has it also made it to the in Hollywood that led him to Israel in the first

16 bronfman 2008
“Jews are more place. Unlike Etan, Yisrael faced problems
being observant in LA in the late 1990s,
especially when he didn’t want to film a
Israeli flag is a loaded symbol, pungently
political, and I’m already English enough to
feel self-conscious about showing it. I would

integrated, but commercial on the eighth day of Passover.


His agent thought he was crazy: “It’s cute
when you put on a kippa, but not cute when
now not wave an Israeli flag unless I was
trying to make a statement - and one akin to
appearing on stage holding a Starbucks cup,

consequently, you turn down work.” In 2000, Yisrael went to


Israel for a short reflective break. He ended
up studying at the Pardes Institute for several
wearing a red-white-and-blue T-shirt from Wal-
Mart, and beating up the infirm. (But, if I did
this, it would be as a parody of these typical

I think they years, and the re-emergence of his stand-up


career happened by accident: Pardes asked
him to talk about his personal experiences
statement-makers...).

Though I haven’t yet employed the I-flag, I

have less during a program on conversion, the audience


cracked up, and next thing he knew he was
performing this monologue to crowds in his
have started to address my Judaism in comedy
shows. Having been marked and excluded
because of it, my Jewishness has become

Jewish-oriented living room. It soon became a touring piece


in Israel and back in the USA, and he’s now
preparing for the Off Broadway run of his
something I want to talk about, and there seem
to be audiences who want to hear about it as
well. When there’s something at stake in Jewish

material. To a show ‘You Can Never Be Too Jewish’ – an


encouraging title that seems to summarize
identity, when it is a topic of taboo and tension,
it also becomes one of jokes.
the American industry.

certain extent, Rivers’ show, in which she mentions being


told early on that she was too Jewish to play
Stars of David anywhere outside New York, makes it pretty

the Jewish In Joan Rivers’ 2008 West End show, the


clear that her younger self probably wouldn’t
have used Israeli flags either. But her comfort
finale included an enormous cheese plate at doing so now (and how I envy it), seems to

stereotypes and covered with Israeli flags. The plethora of


blue magen davids made me gasp (as did
be the comfort of Dan, Etan, Eli and Yisrael
playing in America; it attests to how much the

jokes to harp on
the plethora of blue stilton). Wow, I thought, American comedy industry and mainstream
never in my life would I use Israeli flags in a culture has changed in the past four decades.
show. But, the reason behind this ‘never’ has

are somewhat
changed dramatically over the past years. In With outsider Jewish comedy now comfortably
my previous North American life, I wouldn’t insider, I wonder where it will go from here:
have placed the blue-and-white on stage Will it turn in on itself? Will post-Zohan Jewish

clichéd – how
because I wouldn’t have had much to say characters be blond supermodels doing
about it, despite (or perhaps because of) tashlich in picturesque brooks? And will
having gone to a Zionist high school. On the ‘Jewish’ humor now emerge only from

many more jokes other hand, in my current life in England, the cultures outside the land of free refills? n

Etan Cohen on the set of Tropic Thunder which he co-wrote with Ben Stiller

are you willing to


sit through about
Jewish mothers, or
Jewish guilt?”
—Eli Batalion ‘97

BYFI.org 17
Amplifying Impact–
The BYFI Alumni
Venture Fund
The BYFI Alumni Venture Fund enables that seek to promote BYFI’s core values of mother of four children ages 3 to 13 who works
alumni of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships to Jewish learning, pluralism, engagement with freelance jobs while her husband, Captain Ian
support their peers’ cutting-edge initiatives Israel, social responsibility or a combination Cairns, is stationed in Afghanistan training the
with funding and technical assistance. Since of the above. Afghan National Police. At the same time she
launching our fundraising campaign in 2005, is studying full-time towards an MS in Human
donations from alumni and their families have Projects that meet the funding criteria have Services and working to run and expand her not-
enabled us to award grants to 33 innovative included community service programs, for-profit organization, Home Front Hearts.
alumni-led projects that are helping to shape support for innovative Jewish communities,
the Jewish community and the wider world. conferences, publications and grants to not- For Randi, Home Front Hearts is literally a
for-profit organizations where alumni serve as labor of love. “My heart has belonged to a
The $74,850 distributed in small grants is formal and informal leaders. soldier for almost fifteen years. Supporting
only part of the story. More exciting is the his career, managing things in his absence
way the BYFI Alumni Venture Fund brings Below are profiles of five Bronfman Fellows and working with the families of his soldiers,
alumni together to share their technical skills who are making an impact. I’ve become personally acquainted with the
and expertise. In the coming years, we will challenges faced by military families,” says
continue to create opportunities for grantees Randi. Home Front Hearts provides support
to share successful strategies with one another Randi Cairns and resources to the families of deployed
and for alumni working in all disciplines to (BYFI ’87) service members, especially those from the
offer guidance that helps grantees grow their Home Front New Jersey National Guard or Reserves. It
initiatives and organizations.
Hearts works to increase public awareness of the
struggles and sacrifices of military families and
All members of the BYFI alumni community Randi Cairns (BYFI ‘87) is engages individuals and businesses in building
are eligible to apply. Grants support projects an expert multitasker: A a more military-friendly community.

18 bronfman 2008
Home Front Hearts has connected military fami- the story of a girl at a Jewish high school who for showing me that another kind of commu-
lies in a support network and found businesses campaigns to establish a gay-straight alliance. nity is possible.”
to offer them, pro-bono, services they need. It The film and accompanying curriculum have
has also sent over 300 boxes of school supplies been used across the U.S. and internationally. For more information visit www.keshetonline.org
to needy communities in Afghanistan at Randi’s Since its premier, the film has been screened in
husband’s request. several hundred communities, including a GLBT
film festival in Guyana.
The money from a BYFI Alumni Venture Fund Ari Lipman
grant enabled Randi to secure official 501c3 Idit’s work is highly personal. When in college (BYFI ’95)
status as a public charity. With this in place, at Yale, Idit experienced a sense of isolation
Faith Vote
Randi can focus on increasing the breadth of her and vulnerability when deciding whether to talk
organization and serving the needs of military about her sexual identity with leadership at the
Columbus
families. “The BYFI alumni community offers a campus Hillel. This anxiety was generated, she
Ari Lipman (BYFI ‘95) is
sense of belonging, a diverse set of skills and says, by the “complete absence of any signs of
an activist and organizer.
experiences, and a connection the likes of which GLBT life in the campus Jewish community.”
As founder of Faith Vote Columbus in Ohio,
I have not experienced in other communities to When she did come out, Idit was supported by
he is leading an interfaith coalition of religious
which I’ve belonged. Twenty-one years after a friends and staff at Hillel particularly Rabbi Sha-
congregations, neighborhood associations and
summer trip to Israel, it is still a community that I ron Cohen Anisfeld and Rabbi Jim Ponet (BYFI
labor unions committed to increasing voter
turn to and know that I will be supported.” faculty). But it concerns Idit that fifteen years
turnout in urban precincts.
later there are still many young people who
In Hebrew school, Randi learned about ideas have the same experiences of marginalization.
Faith Vote Columbus connects to 130 pre-
like tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzeda-
cincts, mostly low-income neighborhoods,
kah (charity). But her understanding of the im- The desire to create welcoming environments
where voter turnout in the 2004 presidential
portance of viewing our responsibilities for each is what led Keshet to develop the “Hineini
election was below 50% of registered voters.
other through a broader lens, one that extends Education Project.” Part of this project entails
Right now, they’re working with Ohio Secre-
beyond the Jewish community, deepened as a training and peer support to Jewish educa-
tary of State Jennifer Brunner to ensure that
result of being part of an interfaith relationship. tors and lay leaders throughout the country to
the November 2008 election runs smoothly,
“My husband and I are deeply committed to create safe schools and supportive communi-
without the long lines in urban precincts that
teaching these values to our children,” explains ties. Keshet is also working to strengthen the
marred the 2004 vote. His non-partisan orga-
Randi. “The best way I can do that is through capacity of Jewish GLBT organizations in other
nization hopes to maximize the political power
my own actions in advocating for others.” cities. Rather than replicate what Keshet cre-
of disenfranchised communities.
ated in Boston, they work to transmit curricu-
For more information visit lum resources and what they’ve learned about
Ari first developed a passion for social justice
www.homefronthearts.org organizing, coalition-building, and facilitating
as a student at Harvard, where he helped start
difficult conversations with other groups.
the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. “All of
a sudden,” he says, “I moved from a nice D.C.
Idit Klein Being awarded a BYFI Alumni Venture Fund
suburb to Cambridge. Twenty yards away from
(BYFI ’89) grant is important to Idit on a symbolic level
my dorm, people were sleeping on grates.”
Keshet – the funds provided come with the support
Working with the Greater Boston Interfaith
of the entire BYFI alumni community. “It really
Organization, Ari helped build a coalition of re-
means a lot to me to be supported in this work
Idit Klein (BYFI ’89) is ligious leaders advocating for social change in
by fellow Bronfmanim,” Idit affirms. Keshet’s
working towards a day Massachusetts. With the support of over one
mission of inclusion reflects BYFI’s ethos of plu-
when Jews will not fear thousand volunteers from Boston’s religious
ralism and open dialogue. With Idit’s involve-
they will be rejected by their community based communities, GBIO successfully pressured the
ment, BYFI hopes to bring programming on
on their sexual or gender identity. Since late Massachusetts government to enact state-
GLBT issues to alumni.
August 2001 Idit has worked as executive wide universal health care. In May of 2007,
director of Keshet, a grassroots organization the progressive alliance Take Back America
One of Idit’s proudest moments was a quiet
striving for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans- acknowledged Ari’s role in this work with its
one, sitting alone at her desk, when she re-
gender inclusion in Jewish life. Under Idit’s Maria Leavey Tribute Award.
ceived an e-mail from an 83 year old Jewish
leadership, Keshet has flourished.
lesbian who had just watched Hineini. Her
Ari believes that activism is deeply rooted in
e-mail read, “I have never felt welcomed in the
Based in Boston, Keshet first reached a national Jewish tradition. “The one thing that exists in
Jewish community. I couldn’t find a shul to say
stage with the release of a documentary the Torah that did not exist in any contemporary
kaddish in for my partner of 60 years after she
organization produced, titled Hineini: Com- religious code was the exhortation to care for
passed away a couple of years ago. Thank you
ing Out in a Jewish High School. The film tells the widow, the orphan, and the stranger,” says

BYFI.org 19
Ari, whose grandfather and great-grandfather Street Sights strives to build a community day school peers were not familiar with Jewish
were labor organizers. “It’s a role of the Jew- of people who, Elizabeth explains, “are not life outside of North America and Israel. In
ish community to critique governmental and defined by what they lack, but what gifts they college, she saw friends return from organized
religious authorities, and to bring them toward bring to the production.” The newspaper aims trips to Israel with a deep love of the land but
a more just vision of the world.” to empower its reporters. One writer who was little contact with Israelis. This concerned her.
homeless when he first got involved started According to Jodi, “connections based on
Ari, who now holds a master’s degree in theo- two columns, the “Humanitarian Award” and places are less sustainable than connections
logical studies from Harvard Divinity School, the “Rainbow Award,” that honor organiza- built through people.” Jodi’s experience as
credits his BYFI summer for helping him de- tions and individuals who change the lives a Bronfman Fellow taught her this firsthand.
velop the strong Jewish identity that guides him of homeless people in Rhode Island. Today, While on her BYFI summer, Jodi connected with
in his work with religious leaders. “If I walk into he has worked his way up to become the Israeli Amitim, a parallel cohort of Bronfman
an African-American Pentecostal church, I need magazine’s creative writing editor and is on his Fellows from Israel. She witnessed inter-Jewish
to know their tradition, and more importantly, way to moving into his own apartment. dialogue “without the antagonism.”
who I am and where I came from. That was a
big part of what BYFI did for me.” The BYFI Alumni Venture Fund grant helped Jodi plans to continue the pluralistic dialogue
ensure that Elizabeth could continue her work she witnessed on BYFI, choosing to pilot
With an election year approaching, Ari hopes with Street Sights. Elizabeth is grateful for Shomer Achi in the Pacific Northwest, a region
to build a significant voting bloc around so- this support. ”So many individuals in the BYFI where many Jews are unaffiliated. She hopes to
cial issues. Faith Vote Columbus has already community serve as inspiring examples of what connect them to Judaism through social justice.
seen success, working with Governor Ted it means to live out one’s values and beliefs,” Jewish American students from and the Uni-
Strickland to expand health insurance pro- she says. For Elizabeth, Street Sights is her versity of Oregon will engage in social action
grams to low-income Ohio residents. “If you way of repairing the world, living the Jewish projects with Israeli students from the Technion
can claim to hold 20,000 votes in Ohio,” Ari concept of tikkun olam; it is an expression of and Haifa University. Students will visit one
says, “that’s a big deal.” her Judaism and provides fulfillment. Elizabeth another’s countries, hear speakers, study Jewish
explains: “I am in awe of all the people I meet texts, and conduct community service projects
For more information visit www.ohio-iaf.org who find a way to better their lives and those related to immigration.
around them, even when they are struggling to
reach a stable place.” Jodi was recognized for her leadership by
PresenTense, a Jewish incubator program.
Elizabeth Ochs For more information visit www.streetsights.org Together with Shomer Achi’s co-founder Jamie
(BYFI ’01) Zebrak, she spent 6 weeks this summer prepar-
Street Sights ing the project and learning practical leader-
ship and organizational skills as a PresenTense
Elizabeth Ochs (BYFI ’01) One to Watch Fellow. Shomer Achi has also received seed
is dedicated to advo-
Jodi Meyerowitz funding from the BYFI Alumni Venture Fund.
cacy for the homeless.
Elizabeth is the coordinating editor of Street
(BYFI ’05)
Jodi is already getting a sense of what leader-
Sights, a monthly Rhode Island newspaper ship in the Jewish community entails: “em-
Jodi Meyerowitz (BYFI
written by people who are homeless, or were powering others,” and, she says with a laugh,
’05) is in her senior year
in the past. The newspaper serves as a forum “many early mornings and late nights.” n
at the University of Ore-
for the homeless and for advocates, students,
gon, but she has already embarked on an am-
state officials, and the general public to share
bitious project whose goal is no less than to
accurate and honest information about what
“create a unified Jewish community.” Jodi is
it means to live in the streets and how to help
co-founder of Shomer Achi, an entrepreneur-
the people who do.
ial not-for-profit aimed at fostering personal Donate to support
The newspaper was defunct until a little over
connections between college students in innovative projects
Israel and the U.S. through community-based
a year ago, when Elizabeth took charge. Since
learning. She balances her commitment to
through the
then, under her direction, it has grown to dis-
Shomer Achi with her studies in Economics BYFI Alumni Venture
tribute 2,000 copies a month to Rhode Island’s
senators and representatives, all major news
and Planning, Public Policy, and Management Fund:
and role as President of Oregon Hillel.
sources, and every major homeless shelter and www.byfi.org/donate
service provider in the Providence area. It also
When Jodi immigrated immigrated to Portland,
goes to bookstores, libraries and community
Oregon at the age of ten from South Africa, she
centers. The paper includes writing, art, news
was surprised to find that many of her Jewish
stories, and opinion pieces.

20 bronfman 2008
BYFI Class Notes
1987 Collected by Deb Kornfeld NPR, which I continue to like a lot. I’m and teach and write for a living, and soon. Mark and I are living in St. Louis,
Randi Cairns My third-born starts heading up a team that will try to make now that I have job security, I am taking coddling my senile, senior dog and
Kindergarten which leaves one lone the global economy more interesting for a breath and enjoying my children even having lots of fun with his 4 year old
munchkin yet unschooled. That means non-business audiences. more then I was before (if that is possi- dog. I’m working in conferences and
we now have teens, tweens and toddlers ble). Last summer I traveled to Israel as a meetings for a national trade associa-
simultaneously. AGGGHHH. I am work- Jennifer Gerstel I just had a new Bronfman faculty member and enjoyed tion and Mark is an IT specialist with a
ing freelance from home, attending grad baby, Madeleine, at the end of July. She working with Shimon immensely. I even consulting firm.
school full-time and will have a Masters in joins our two year old, Alexandra. My got to spend some time in the last few
Human Services specializing in Nonprofit husband and I live in Natick, MA and I days of the trip with Avi (who is a Silver Ben Lowenstein We are here in
Management as of the end of the year. I am on the faculty at Lasell College, a Spring neighbor, although I never see Southern Maine. I am working as a
am anxiously awaiting the safe return of small college in Newton, MA. A very bor- him here). Shanah Tovah to everyone! Cardiologist between two hospitals.
my hubby from Afghanistan. I am also ing but rewarding suburban existence! I am both the Director of The Heart
starting my own nonprofit (Home Front Deb Kornfeld I was a Judaic director Failure Program for York Hospital and
Hearts) supporting military families (which Daniel Handler I’m in San Francisco this summer at camp chi in Wisconsin. It Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology
the Bronfman Alumni Venture Fund has with my charming wife Lisa Brown. I was fun to be at summer camp with my at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. I am
generously supported). I’m seeking will- have been travelling thither and yon, kids. My daughter chava is 9 and she had staying busy at work and home with
ing volunteers to offer services, expertise, performing a piece for narrator and a blast as a camper in a bunk all summer my wife Beth and my children, Ariella
etc. in terms of building the organization orchestra (not unlike Peter and the Wolf) and my son Elie who is 4 was with me (7), Annabelle (5) and Sam (2). We have
(www.homefronthearts.org). entitled The Composer Is Dead, which I and ran all over camp. It is also very nice enjoyed life on the ocean this summer
wrote in collaboration with a com- to be back home in Colorado where I trying to catch fish bigger than the kids.
Michael Colson In December 2007 poser, and I am at work on my fourth have lived for 18 years! My independent In addition, I am trying to be a good
I left Geneva, Switzerland, after living novel for adults. My wife, an illustrator, outreach nonprofit for interfaith and example to my patients and trained for
there for 10 years to move to Washing- published her second picture book this Jewish unaffiliated families is doing my first sprint duathlon/triathlon. We
ton, DC where I took the job as Director year, entitled Sometimes You Get What great. The need is huge in Boulder and hope to see people soon, and if you are
of Israel Programs for the Charles and You Want, and last year we published Colorado for meaningful Jewish educa- ever in Maine - give a buzz!
Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. our first book together, The Latke Who tion and experiences. Anyway I am still
My grant making portfolio includes Couldn’t Stop Screaming. Our other running mountains, teaching spinning Lauren Roth I am a psychotherapist
funding for the study of modern Israel collaboration, our son Otto, will turn classes, and biking with my kids. in private practice in Lakewood, New
at universities across the United States; five in October. His interest in trains can Jersey, where I live with my husband and
developing creative, engaging, and ef- generously be described as maniacal. Sarah Larson Rob and I are busy my 5 and 1/2 children! Yes, we are ex-
fective ways to teach about Israel in K-12 juggling school, career and family like pecting our sixth child in November, Gd
formal and informal educational institu- Dan Jacobson We have now been everyone else. At 46, Rob courageously willing! I homeschool my 10th and 8th
tions; and funding for high school and in Israel for 3 years, and living in our decided to get off the corporate grade sons for the secular studies por-
university Israel advocacy programs. And newly built home in the Judean hills for treadmill and pursue a PhD. It has been tion of their day. The rest of their day,
personally, I am, as I write this email, on one year. Our kids are happy, adjusted, wild to have a student in the house - an they are in yeshivas here in Lakewood.
my way to Israel where next week I’ll be speaking Hebrew fluently and speaking adjustment but also really great to have I speak in many different venues all
marrying a wonderful girl from Herzliya. English perfectly with a drip of an Israeli him home more. Aidan (5) is going to over the United States, about marriage,
accent (what can you do...). We are just Gan Ilan this year - a Jewish kindergar- parenting, healthful eating, and various
Reba Connell has been immersed wrapping up a mildly relaxing summer ten in Lafayette with a wopping 6 kids! Torah topics, and I love the travel and
in the study of mindfulness medita- of doing psychology work (and hanging He had a blast learning new sports truly enjoy meeting people from all
tion. She enjoys practicing yoga and is out with the kids during the month of and spending time with friends this different walks of life. After working on it
currently doing a teacher training for August which is dead here). Dassi and I summer. He’s super physical but gets for seven years, I finally finished a novel,
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. In are both busy with our psych. practices, his emotional insight and intuitiveness about the destructiveness of war and
her business, Center for Stress Reduc- and I’m enjoying and fulfilled by my from his dad. Julia (2) starts at Temple hatred, and the healing power of love.
tion, www.centerforstressreduction.com, rabbi/psychologist work in a “gap-year” Sinai’s Preschool this year so we’ll be I’ll start looking for agents and publish-
she does psychotherapy with couples, yeshiva program for American guys in doing a lot of schlepping to schools. ers after the baby is born. My husband
individuals, and teens, and stress reduc- Jerusalem. Our yeshiva is in...the Gold- She’s a real hoot - very dramatic, artistic, is a retinal surgeon and a Professor of
tion workshops in the workplace. She is stein youth village! Life in Israel is hectic, and independent. I’m still consulting Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson
also studying to be a certified Gottman sometimes frustrating, daily grindish like in organizational development and Medical School. Last but not least, I very
Method Couples therapist with John everywhere, and also a tremendous gift have been busy working at Dreyer’s Ice much enjoyed seeing everyone from ‘87
and Julie Gottman, who as it happens and inspiration. We have the good for- Cream (yum) and Levi’s this last year. I’ve at the 20th reunion!
are religious Jews. She loves finding and tune to live in one of the highest places taken on 3 “employees” so its been fun
teaching gems from Jewish tradition in Israel (Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion, to have partners to collaborate with in 1988 Collected by Ella Shteingart
related to healing. She helps to lead a just south of Jerusalem), where we see my business. All three are dynamic Jew- Laura Alperson recently moved to
Reconstructionist Havurah, Or Zarua, Jerusalem to the north, Jordan (Moav ish women - go figure. With all my free Albany NY with her husband, Boaz and
where she chants torah in Hebrew and mountains) to the east, the outskirts of time (hah) I’ve been enjoying all types of two children, Yoav and Matan. Prior to
translates into English from a present Hebron to the south, and the Mediter- movement and fitness experiences like the birth of her sons, Laura practiced
moment psycho-spiritual perspec- ranean to the west. It’s beautiful. Always Kinesis, spinning, hip hop, etc. We’re labor and employment litigation in
tive. She is open to a shiddach with a happy for any Bronfmanim past or pres- still loving Oakland and the “Nor Cal” Portaland Oregon. After staying home
wonderful woman...especially now that ent, Israeli or American who would be experience - i.e. being close to Tahoe, for a few years, Laura recently started
gay marriage is legal in California. She interested in joining us for a shabbat. beaches, culture, etc. Open invitation a job at the Albany Law School’s Office
has also been writing liturgy since she to folks who are passing through or live of Institutional Advancement as an
was on Bronfman. She recently had the Sheila Elana Jelen I am living in nearby. We do a hippie/dippy/interfaithy Advancement Officer. It’s a wonderful
kavod (honor) of re-writing the Sheva Silver Spring, Maryland with my husband shabbat so come on by. place to work and a lot more positive
B’rachot (7 blessings) in both English Seth and my three children, Malka (10), than litigation! Ronda Angel Ark-
and Hebrew for her friends’ lesbian Nava (7) and Akiva (2). I teach English Hallie Loeb It’s finally my turn to ing currently lives in Baltimore and
wedding. She chanted the blessings and Judaic Studies at the University of shriek, “I’m engaged!” Other than works as a freelance writer and editor
in Hebrew while others shared them in Maryland, College Park, and just got the groom’s name, Mark Neuman of for various educational and academic
English. The couple was legally married tenure in May. I am currently thinking St. Louis, MO, no details to report. publishers. She has three sons (Andrew,
in California as well as welcomed by our a lot about the way literature that was Mark and I have been together for 3+ 9; Jonathan, 7; and Jeremy, 21 months),
Jewish community. written in the pre-Holocaust period is years, and have known each other even who keep her VERY busy! Ronda’s been
read ethnographically (and not as litera- longer. Mark and a very close cousin of involved in founding a new synagogue
Adam Davidson I married the lovely ture) in the post-Holocaust period, and mine met at Aish in Jerusalem (though in Baltimore, Netivot Shalom, which
Jen Banbury in November, 2007. I’m still I am hoping to write about it in my next now rehabilitated), were roommates in espouses a liberal Orthodox philosophy,
a global economics correspondent at book. I feel blessed to be able to read Chicago, and g-w, will be cousins very and she’s also involved in the Jewish

BYFI.org 21
BYFI Class Notes
Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She is com- Kirkland and Ellis. Ella Shteingart like the Judaean Hills for a good work am. Executive Director of Keshet, a
pleting a Master’s degree in Bible from (Nadelson) is mother of three. Her out! non-profit that works for gay, lesbian,
Baltimore Hebrew University. oldest son just started middle school bisexual, and transgender inclusion in
Robyn Farber lives in Irvine Califor- this year (impossible to believe!) and the Charlie Buckholtz I am a rabbi Jewish life.
nia with her husband, Marc Kirshbaum, baby just turned 8 months. Ella works as in the East Village. Not the bad kind
and two amazing daughters: Zofia (5) a program officer at a private foundation of rabbi, though. The good kind. I just Michael Kumin I have been in
and Temma (2). Robyn is calling on all in NYC where she manages scholarship coauthored a book, you should read Boston for over six years, working for
Bronfmanim who have any expertise in programs enabling underprivileged it! It’s a good book. I, for one, enjoyed a local private equity firm. We’ve got
education or fundraising. She is trying women to attain higher education. it thoroughly. (http://www.inheavenev- a great 15-month old boy, Noah and
to get a “Jewish Montessori Pre-School Tanya Schlam recently completed erythingisfine.com/Book.html) Also, I’m are expecting another boy due in mid-
off the ground”. If anyone is interested her PhD in clinical psychology from engaged to be married. November.
in this project please contact Robyn. Rutgers and started a research post-doc
Maya Fischhoff works at Michigan at the Center for Tobacco Research Marisa (Dolinsky) Cahall Rachel (Lebowitz) Cohen I am
State University, and reports to be and Intervention in the University of After receiving a Ph.D. in Clinical Psy- part-time policy consulting and volun-
dating someone very nice named Ziad. Wisconsin School of Medicine and chology, I am now serving as an Adjunct teering. I joined an “open Orthodox”
She loves the Midwest and encourages Public Health. She lives in Madison, WI Professor and enjoying being a mother synagogue - while the services are con-
everyone to consider moving to Michi- with her husband Jordan Ellenberg who to Andrew (6-1/2) and Claire (3-1/2). ducted in the Orthodox tradition, there
gan where “there’s a kind of beauty in is a math professor at the University is a big range in the level of observance
flatness and people are very friendly.” In of Wisconsin and their 3-year-old son Jessica (Czarlinsky) Gregg We of the congregants (and the shul tries
her spare time she goes for long walks, Caleb. Jonathan Tepperman lives welcomed Sasha Anna five weeks ago to meet the educational and spiritual
volunteers at a homeless shelter, hectors in NYC and is the assistant managing (Aug 3). Big sister Zoe age 4 is a huge needs of all of its members). I partici-
her brothers and bakes unleavened editor at Newsweek International. Jona- help and handful at the same time. pated in the Behrend Institute, “which
bread. than is responsible for the Asia, Middle Charleston, SC is beautiful and definitely provides monthly seminars to help local
Aaron Hendelman just moved to East and Africa coverage. Joshua the South. community lay leaders work on skills to
Seattle with his wife and three children: Wallach and his wife are still happily help them better serve our community”.
Tess, Noah and Ella (!!!)! The Hendel- living in Brooklyn and are totally thrilled Jon Duke To flaunt my lack of regard The Behrend Institute reminded me so
man family splits vacation time between to be expecting their first child in Janu- for financial stability, I recently left much of my summer on the Bronfman
France, where Aaron’s wife is from, and ary. Josh currently works in the Mayor’s my high-paying doctor job in Atlanta program; it brought together Jews from
Texas, where Aaron’s family still lives. office on Lower Manhattan redevelop- to become a lowly fellow in Medical all branches of Judaism to share per-
Aaron continues to work as an intellectual ment, which includes the World Trade Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute spectives and help inform each other’s
property lawyer for a large technology- Center site and the neighborhoods in Indianapolis. I am spending most way of thinking about Jewish communal
focused law firm. Jeremy Hock- around it. Adam Zambilowicz will of my days dreaming up crazy uses of service. Like on the Bronfman program,
enstein and his wife, Rabbi Joanna be soon moving into a house in the technology in the health care setting. I’ll it was so nice to meet interesting people
Samuels, have a newborn son Natan. woods in a small town in British Colum- be doing a degree in Human-Computer who never stop thinking.
The family along with big sister Orli bia with his wife and 2 children, Sam Interaction along the way to keep things
who is now 2.5 years old live in NYC. and Sophie. Adam works as a podiatrist interesting. Hadn’t spent much time in Elizabeth Plotkin Simmons
On the work front, Jeremy is now work- and is also conducting research through the Midwest before, but we are enjoying I have been living in West Hartford, CT
ing full-time as CEO of the non-profit a grant from Pfizer. He splits his practice the pace and the wonderful people. and enjoying life in the suburbs. I work
company Digital Divide Data, which he between Sechelt and small isolated, part-time at the University of Connecti-
founded. DDD now employs 500 people coastal communities. Abigail (Heitler) Hirsch We are cut as an ophthalmologist specializing in
in Cambodia and Laos. Ari Kelman living on my Grandmother’s 15 acre farm medical retina. I am pregnant and due in
has settled in Berkeley California. He 1989 Collected by Amir Karger which is now in the middle of the city. I the beginning of November.
teaches popular culture and the media Amir Bar-Lev I was married on love babies, but I’m delighted to realize
in the American Studies Department at July 4th. My wife, Jennifer Bleyer, is that the post-diaper era has its own Shawn Ruby We just passed our 8th
UC Davis. Though Ari has been studying a journalist. I am a filmmaker living in wonderful surprises - like family trips aliyah anniversary. I am building the
and writing about contemporary Jewish Brooklyn. My last documentary, “My Kid that are actually fun! I have somewhat Zionist dream by helping my customers
culture, his latest research involves Could Paint That”, was released in the accidentally landed a 2.75M 5-year turn the desert into microchips. I am
contemporary Christian worship music. fall of 2007. I am currently working on a federal grant to make online marriage very involved in local community and
Look out for his books on the subject film about a football player turned Army educational materials. So, with 2 broth- Kadima party politics.
coming out soon. Ayelet Kuper lives ranger Pat Tillman. ers and a kid I used to babysit (Daniel
in Toronto with her husband Andrew. Berson, Bronfman ‘98) we’ve launched a Scott Savitz I have been analyzing
Ayelet is physician at Sunnybrook Health David Berns I am currently living in web-training company. It’s been a blast chemical, biological, and radiological
Sciences Centre. She is also a medical Cairo, Egypt where I work as a political finding myself as CEO of a start-up that defense (along with mine counter-
educator and an Assistant Professor at officer at the U.S. Embassy. Cairo is an basically has 5 years of no-strings angel measures and other areas) for the U.S.
the University of Toronto, where her interesting place, if a bit hectic. funding. www.poweroftwo.org gives a Navy. Immediately after 9/11, I went to
research focuses on the historical devel- mini-taste. Bahrain to support Navy forces in the
opment of legitimate knowledge within Steve Birnholz After a decade in Persian Gulf. My career has just taken
medical education research. Florida state government, I am currently Dana (Herdoon) Raucher I am an exciting turn; I’ve been lured away to
Michelle Lynn-Sachs is a proud the Research & Issues Director for the spending most of my time with my support the Department of Homeland
mother of a 9 month old daughter, Florida Council of 100, a group of husband, Yossi, chasing after our one Security. Recently, I discovered the love
Phoebe. She is currently an assistant top Florida CEOs, which advises state and a half year old son Eitan. We all live of my life, and we expect to get married
professor of Jewish education at the policymakers on a wide variety of public in NYC. in the next year.
Jewish Theological Seminary and lives in policy issues. Renee Stein I live in Decatur Georgia
Brooklyn NY. Joe Menashe Amir Karger By day, I help biologists with husband Gregg Shapiro, son Sam
and his wife Deborah Musher and Jenny Brenner I am a licensed use computers in their research. By (born August 2007), and two cats Oliver
children Molly 3 and Gabriel 1 live in Toenet Beit Din (the equivalent of a night, I’ve taken up songwriting. Cur- & Theo. I continue to work as staff
Dallas, TX. He is working as a rabbi at divorce lawyer in the religious court in rently co-writing a Purim “Popsical”. In conservator of the Michael C. Carlos
Congregation Shearith Israel. Israel). For the past six years I’ve been my spare time, I’m trying to figure out Museum at Emory University where I am
David Seligman Congratulations to home with my kids building with legos, what ‘Modern Orthodox’ means. also an adjunct lecturer in the Depart-
David Seligman who is getting married riding scooters, and doing math home- ment of Art History.
on Oct 4. David admits that his fiancée work. To keep my mind and body from Idit Klein After fulfilling my child-
Betsy, a former social worker and current complete atrophy I’ve been learning Daf hood dream and making aliyah at 21, Angela Warnick Buchdahl
yoga instructor, has gotten David to be Yomi (one page of Talmud a day) and I followed in my parents’ footsteps I am the Senior Cantor of Central Syna-
“involuntarily healthier”. David is still riding my bike (anywhere from 15-30 and came back to the States for ‘a few gogue, in Manhattan. I just returned
a restructuring lawyer in Chicago at km) a few days a week. There’s nothing months.’ Well, 11 years later here I still from Israel where I led a family trip from

22 bronfman 2008
Central, bringing my children to Israel Susan Wolf Ditkoff lives in Divisions of Plastic Surgery for LSU and Yona. I teach Jewish history at the
for the first time. I passed by the Gold- Brookline, MA with her husband Tulane Medical Centers by helping train University of Washington and research
stein Youth Village and thought of our Joseph and two children, Anya and their plastic surgery fellows. In my free modern Jewish political thought. Seat-
great summer of ‘89, which still to this Zachary. Susan works at the Bridges- time I travel to destinations as close tle is a wonderful place to live and we
day, was the most influential summer pan Group, a nonprofit professional as New Orleans or as far as New York would love to encourage east-coast
of my life. services firm affiliated with Bain & Co. and Israel. I’m active with the Federa- oriented fellows to consider visiting/re-
that helps organizations increase their tion, UJC’s National Young Leadership locating to the Pacific Northwest!
Mikael Wolfe I will finally complete social impact. She focuses on strategic Cabinet and the JDC. I still enjoy water
my dissertation in Latin American planning and leadership issues for and snow skiing and running. Judith Rosenbaum I live in
History at the University of Chicago foundations and education nonprofits. Boston with my husband, Or Rose,
this year. I am also hoping to land a She was also elected to Brookline Rabbi Brett Krichiver is the new and our twins, Ma’ayan and Aviv, who
tenure-track job this year (any advice School Committee (also known as Senior Jewish Educator for UCLA Hillel will be two in November. I work as
is appreciated from those who have the school board) in May. Joseph is in Los Angeles. This pilot program the Director of Public History at the
one). When I teach college students Deputy Legal Counsel and ADA at the through International Hillel places Jewish Women’s Archive. In my spare
these days about the 1980s before Suffolk County DA’s office in Boston. educators on five campuses in North time (ha ha ha), I’m also in the early
most of them were born, I can say I Anya enjoys attending nursery school America to supervise student interns stages of a book project on definitions
was around and remember the first at Kehillath Israel, where Joseph is a and provide creative outreach to unaf- of “The Jewish Mother” in the 21st
Intifada, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rea- board member, and Zachary enjoys filiated students. Our goal is to expand century, which I hope to finish before
gan/Bush I, the USSR...scary thought. chasing after Anya. the concept of engagement beyond the century’s end. Our lives are filled
the walls of Hillel, and I am excited to with the wonder of toddlerhood, as
1990 Collected by Diana Bloom Yossi “Joe” Fendel I am living be a part of this new initiative. well as the challenges of the work/life
Diana Bloom I am living in Tampa in Berkeley, CA with my wife, Tamar, continuum.
Florida with my husband Aaron and and two children, Shoshana is five and Leah Mundell I recently relocated
our 4 1/2 year old twins Eliana and Ari is two. I’m working in Securities to Flagstaff, Arizona with my husband Dana Weinberger I have been liv-
Gil. I have been working as a trainer Lending Research at Barclays Global David and three-and-a-half-year- ing in Boulder, CO since August 2007.
and public relations ambassador for Investors, and I’m currently serving as old Madeline and eight-month-old I moved here with my partner who
Weight Watchers International for President of the Board of Directors for Gabriel. David has a faculty position in started graduate school at University
the past 10 years as well as traveling Midrasha in Berkeley, a community the physics and astronomy depart- of Colorado at Boulder. I am working
around the United States training Jewish high school program which ment at Northern Arizona University. for a pharmaceutical consulting com-
corporate executives in the skills and has produced many Bronfman Fel- I finished my Ph.D. in anthropology pany, enjoying the clean Colorado air,
processes that will increase pro- lows over the years, including myself, four years ago and since then have and doing a lot of biking and hiking.
ductivity and accountability in their Megan Lewis, and Lisa Inman! done some teaching at the University
companies. of Arizona and worked as a research Beth Zasloff The book I co-
Sema Bank Goldstein Our first consultant for a community organiza- authored with Edgar just came
Jonathan Bresman I am living girl (after 3 wonderful boys) Atara tion in Tucson, called the Pima County out--Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish
in Park Slope these days with my Rachel was born 5 months ago. I am Interfaith Council. My dissertation Renaissance. I live in Brooklyn and
girlfriend, Nellie Zupancic (in the same still practicing OB/GYN in Englewood focused on relationships between have two daughters, Gilana, age four,
building as Elissa Gootman!). By day NJ, but have recently changed prac- faith-based organizations and public and Naomi, sixteen months.
I’m a senior editor at MAD Magazine tices. My husband, Asher Goldstein, schools in Philadelphia, so I really
and by night I’m a grad student at has opened a 3rd pain management enjoyed working for an organization 1991 Collected by
Teachers College, Columbia University. practice location in Paramus NJ (in much like the one I’d spent so much Amber Levanon Seligson
I keep up with the Fellowship by being addition to those in NYC and Teaneck, time writing about. Hopefully I’ll be Greetings from the BYFI class of 1991!
on the Alumni Advisory Board (no joke NJ). Wishing I could attend more able to find similar work in Flagstaff. We have lots of good news to share
- even though as of this writing, my Bronfman events... from our cohort. Several of us are
photo and bio aren’t up on the web- Kim Van Naarden-Braun living in Israel, including Shira Reif-
site, it’s true!) and it never fails to freak Michah Gottlieb Our second I am still with the Centers for Disease man and Yair Silverman. Shira
me out that there are Fellows who daughter Jordanna was born at the Control and Prevention working pri- and her family made aliyah a year ago
weren’t born yet when I went on BYFI end of June, joining her older sister marily on the Epidemiology of Autism (July 31, 2007) and are now living in
back in 1990. Anyway, come visit me Gabriella who turned 2 in August. I’m and Cerebral Palsy (as well as other Yad Binyamin, a community about 40
at MAD sometime. I get tons of free starting my third year of teaching Jew- developmental disabilities). Josh just minutes west of Jerusalem. Shira has
toys and comic books here and can’t ish thought at NYU. finished his fellowship in Child and four daughters, Miryam (8 1/2), Hadara
give them away fast enough. Adolescent Psychiatry. We moved 3 (5 1/2), Tikva, and Chedva (twins, 3
Avi Heller We have 3 children and weeks ago to Westfield, NJ. He is still 1/2) all of whom are integrating beau-
Rick Brody I had a very busy sum- are living in Brookline, MA. I am the on-staff at Montefiore/Albert Einstein, tifully and, G-d willing, she is expect-
mer. In May, me, my wife -- Rachel Director of Jewish Education at the but is working full-time as a Child, ing to welcome her first Sabra child
Kobrin -- and 4-year-old daughter Noa Boston University Hillel and, along Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist at in January. Shira’s husband Daniel is
welcomed baby boy Adin Baruch into with my wife Shira, am part of the Jew- Morristown Memorial Hospital and has teaching at two Midrashot in Jerusa-
the family. I filmed as a contestant on ish Learning Initiative on Campus. I am started a private practice in Summit. lem and Shira is working for a small UK
“Are You Smarter Than a 5th-Grader” training for the Philadelphia marathon Sophie is now 3 1/2 and Sam is 17 based consulting firm called Secure
(they were looking for a rabbi!) -- air in November and starting an audio months and they are such fun. Prospects that provides PR, marketing,
date still undetermined. Rachel passed podcast that should be available from fund raising and management consult-
her Talmud exam that places her on iTunes, called the Weekly Dose of To- Joshua Neuman I am married to ing to non-profits in Israel. Yair and his
track for being ordained as a rabbi rah. If any Bronfmanim want to sign up Danyelle and we have two girls, Michal wife Ilana have been blessed with a
next May. And then I began a new for the email version, you can always is 4 years old and Eden is 15 months gorgeous and sweet baby girl named
full-time job at the Jewish Federation reach me at rabbiavi@bu.edu. old. We live in Manhattan and I am still Ashira Toda, born on March 3, 2008.
of Greater Los Angeles, overseeing at the same job I’ve been at for the Big sister Hadar (4) and brother Adin
young adult initiatives with a special Jonathan Kaplan I finished my last 7 years. I was with Bear Stearns (2) are loving her with great intensity.
focus on programs for LA alumni of plastic surgery fellowship at the Cleve- Merchant Banking but now that Bear Two years into their Israel move they
Birthright Israel programs. I continue land Clinic in June of 2007 - 12 years Stearns was acquired by JP Morgan, are still savoring the joys of Zichron
to serve part-time as the rabbi of of school and training after college! my group is spinning out to be its own Yaackov. In tragic but true Israeli fash-
Temple Ami Shalom and am also So I’m finally out in the real world. I private equity company. ion Yair is working at 4 jobs: building
teaching for the Florence Melton Adult moved back to Louisiana and started a warm open diverse community in
Mini-School. I’m working on finding up a practice jointly with a hospital Noam Pianko I am living in Seattle Zichron, directing the Young Leader’s
time to breathe. in Baton Rouge. I am also acting as a with my wife Rachel Nussbaum (BYFI Fellowship for YCT, teaching at the
Clinical Assistant Professor with the ‘93) and our one-year-old daughter, Hesder Yeshiva of Petach Tikva,and

BYFI.org 23
BYFI Class Notes
priming Israeli executives for social and Dalia are looking forward to when we got a beer downtown and passed Olivia off to each other
leadership. Also living abroad, Marta Amber having a new baby around Hal- caught up, which was excellent! backstage when one of us has exited
Weiss is in London with her husband, loween. Leah Oppenzato (formerly Starting with Warren, he writes “The from playing and the other is about to
Alex Paseau. Since July 2007, she Oppenheim) had a baby in December big news in our life is the birth, on perform. Music is a family thing with
has been Curator of Photographs at (Jeremy Angelo Oppenzato). Rabbi June 2, of our son Isaac Traylor us. I also am really involved in music
the Victoria and Albert Museum. She Avi Orlow is thrilled to join the Braunig, who was brought into the for young people and run two
finished her dissertation on Victorian Foundation for Jewish Camp. For the covenant on his eighth day before programs that are dear to my heart.
photography and received her PhD past four years Avi has been the Cam- family and friends. Isaac (Ike) was born One is Junior Chamber Music which
from Princeton in June 2008. pus Rabbi and Assistant Director of St. a healthy 8 lbs, 11 oz, and has brought puts talented kids in chamber music
Louise Hillel at Washington University. so much joy and love into our lives ensembles and gives them access to
In the US, Jake Dorman is starting Avi lives in White Plains with his wife, that we barely know what to do with it top professionals in LA who guide
his second year as a professor of Cantor Adina Frydman, and their sons, all. We are slowly settling into the them. The other project is called
African American history and American Yadid and Yishama. He is very excited parental routine and enjoying every ViolaFest that brings together
Studies at the University of Kansas in to reconnect with family and friends on minute of it. Lindsay and I are still hundreds of young violists from all
Lawrence, which he loves. Contrary the east coast. Jessica Zellner is living in San Francisco and working as over the area to experience a day
to popular opinion, Eastern Kansas is entering her fourth year as an Assistant attorneys. I had the fascinating devoted to all things viola. I also teach
not flat, and in fact he rides a bike to District Attorney at the Queens District experience of working on my first viola privately and really enjoy the one
work on top of a steep hill and sees Attorney’s Office. After spending one criminal defense case this past winter, on one relationship that I am able to
vistas once seen by pioneers on the year prosecuting domestic violence handling a judicial bribery case down develop with my students. Olivia is a
Oregon trail heading West, by John cases, she was promoted to a felony in Mississippi. Lindsay is on a lengthy riot and I just adore being a mom - she
Brown fighting the forces of slavery, trial bureau, where she prosecutes maternity leave but looking forward to has totally changed my life. Paul and I
and by a young Langston Hughes, major felonies - everything from at- returning to work next year. Otherwise, just celebrated our 2nd year
who grew up there in his mother’s tempted murders, burglaries, assaults, we’re just enjoying the California sun anniversary. We had a small wedding
hometown. Lawrence is a great col- robberies, and gun possession cases. and doing all we can to elect Barack with our families in Tuscany, Italy two
lege town like Berkeley or Ann Arbor, She couldn’t be happier with her deci- Obama our next president.” David summers ago. All in all, life is
and features lots of microbreweries, sion to leave private practice! Andorsky writes that “I am living in wonderful and full.” Sarah Flicker
cafes, book stores, record shops, and Los Angeles, in my third (and final) wrote: “I am a professor of environ-
live music venues. This summer Jake Daniel Silverberg We just bought year of my hematology/oncology mental studies at York University in
used research grants to visit Jamaica, a house in DC, which means my family fellowship at UCLA. (That’s my 6th year Toronto. I study teen sexual health and
Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, has delayed our triumphant return to of training since med school - I will be HIV prevention in Canada and South
San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New California by at least five years! I am a glad to be done.) I am married to Africa. I have a cat named Trouble. I
York, as he wrapped up the research lawyer on the Hill, and my wife, Sarah, Joanna Arch, as of March 18, 2007. can often be found biking around the
for his first book, to be published just came out with a Jewish children’s We recently completed a backpacking city and visiting interesting restaurants
by Oxford University Press, entitled book titled, “The Bedtime Sh’ma”. trip on the last section of the John and galleries...” Michael Brown
Chosen People: Black Israelites, Black Check it out on Amazon! Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada writes: “No marriage and no babies
Ishmaelites, and Black Orientalism mountains, ending on the top of Mt means not much to report! I’m a
from Reconstruction to the Renais- Dana Weinberg I am married to Whitney, the highest peak in the lower partner at a venture capital firm in
sance. The book traces the develop- Eugene Shuster, and we live on Long 48 states (14,500 feet.)” Jeremy Silicon Valley called Foundation
ment of an Orientalist stream of black Island with our two children, Michaela Perlman writes “I’m living out in Los Capital. Still living in San Francisco just
alternative religions that includes black (age 7) and Julian (age 4). I am an Angeles now. I’ve become somewhat above Dolores Park. Started a men’s
Jews, black Muslims, and Rastafarians, Assistant Professor of Sociology at of a Californian, having been here for choral singing group last November
tracing their rise to images of Islam, Queens College, and my research almost a decade. I’m a pediatrician. I called The Filmore Slims - we’re having
Judaism, and the Orient transmitted areas are healthcare workforce, work and teach in the Neonatal ICU at our first concert September 20th. I am
through freemasonry, Christianity, management, and organization. I am Olive View-UCLA hospital. My serving on the board of a non-profit
esoteric faiths, and popular culture up for tenure this year, and I am also girlfriend just started dental school at called TechSoup that provides
from the circus to film, world’s fairs, working in the City University of New USC, so we’ll probably be in LA for technology equipment, counsel and
and the Ancient Arabic and Egyptian York Office of the University Dean for another 4 years. After that, who community to 80,000 non-profits in
Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Health and Human Services as the knows? I spent a month in India last the US and globally. When not at
aka the Shriners. In many ways it was Director for Interdisciplinary Research. year travelling and doing medical work work, I’m learning to cook. Stop by for
the Bronfman summer when Jake was I also have a company that conducts with HIV-infected children, and am a meal any time all Bronfmanim are
seventeen that set him on the intel- program evaluations. working on setting up my next welcome!” Eliot Dobris writes “I’ve
lectual journey of comparing black and international medical venture. I’ve also been living in San Francisco for eleven
Jewish nationalisms that led him to 1992 Collected by gotten interested in real estate years now. For the past couple of
where he is, seventeen years later. Elijah Dornstreich investing, as a way to make money years, I’ve had my own public relations
Thanks to so many of you for apart from my medical work, which I’d practice, representing nonprofits and
Also in the US, Brett Abrahams responding with your updates! For my ultimately like to do for free.” Gina health care organizations. Having my
is a UCLA postdoc. He is enjoying part, I’m living in Philly as I have since (Warnick) Coletti writes “I am own business has been great. I live
LA, and even more so now that he college. I have a startup commercial living in Los Angeles with my husband with my boyfriend, Enrique, on one of
has been married for the past year. lending business on the side and I also Paul Coletti (also a violist) and 1 year San Francisco’s famously steep hills. If
He is looking for faculty positions. work full-time for a mortgage bank old daughter Olivia. Life is returning you happen to be at one of San
Etan Cohen welcomed a new son which specializes in government loans. somewhat to a resemblance of what it Francisco’s farmers markets early one
in March, Maccabee. He joined his I was on the founding board of A did before my daughter arrived but it morning and you see a guy who looks
twin sisters Dani and Beverly. Etan Chance to Heal www.achancetoheal. will never quite be the same - in a like me, looking for the sweetest
has a movie in theaters now, Tropic org, which advocates on behalf of good way of course. My life is being a peaches or the freshest greens, come
Thunder, and one coming in the fall, those with eating disorders, and I am mom, violist and wife. I am a freelance say “Hi.” Josh Fraidstern “and his
Madagascar 2. Julie Geller just an early member of The Idea violist so that includes playing for wife, Andrea Morrell, welcomed
left her day job to focus full time as a Coalition, which will bring together movie scores, with the Los Angeles Bernadette Shayna Morrell Fraidstern
singer/songwriter. New mp3s should young Jewish and African-American Philharmonic and in chamber music into the world on July 4th, 2008. All
be up at www.juliegeller.com in the political and business leaders in concerts among other things. My are doing well and learning a lot.”
coming months. Amber Levanon Philadelphia, and will have branches husband and I are both musicians and Michael Sugarman lives in
Seligson is a director in the New soon in New York and DC. I live in the that has allowed us to collectively Brooklyn and directs commercials.
York City Department of Health and beautiful Fitler Square part of center teach, perform and travel to many Dania (Bourkoff) Mattheos is
Mental Hygiene, focusing on studies city, and I welcome any of you to reach places all over the world and I am “living in Los Angeles with my
of incarcerated and homeless popula- out to me if you pass through - as really grateful we can do that together husband Peter and my sons George
tions. Gadi and their daughters Maya Warren Brauning did recently, as a family. Paul and I have literally (8-years-old), Thomas (6-years-old),

24 bronfman 2008
Nicholas (4-years-old), and Victor (2- nephrology (kidney) fellowship, I took anxious at the same time. I run when in November. Stephanie is now on
years-old).” Tamar Gordon writes: a job at the Center for Drug Evaluation I can (I’m trying to be more diligent). I maternity leave but continues to love
“My son Elisha is 9 months old and and Research (part of the Food and am working on writing projects -- both her work in real estate development
ready to roll - any second now he will Drug Administration). I like the job and poetry and a book project with two law, specializing in affordable hous-
be walking faster than me. Work-wise, it’s nice having more time to spend friends about faith, work and love. As I ing. We spent a wonderful Shabbat
I am a supervisor in a mental health with my daughters, Molly and Evelyn.” move further into my 30s feeling more recently with David and Rachel Milner
clinic in Yonkers, NY, and I have a small David Ponet writes, “I received my at peace and alive than ever before. Gillers who we see regularly in Boston;
private practice on the UWS. You can PhD from Columbia University in actually, David and Stephanie now
check out my website at www.cbt- Political Science in 2006 and am Avlana Eisenberg I just moved to work together.
therapy.com if you’re interested in currently the Head of Research at Ann Arbor where I’m pursuing gradu-
learning more about mental health or Public Insight LP.” Again, great to hear ate study in orchestral conducting. Wayne Jones For my part, I’m cur-
therapy. My husband Josh continues from everyone from our wonderful rently director of operations at Oracle,
to work on a PhD in Talmud at JTS, BYFI ‘92 year! Best, Elijah. Dan Freeman In August I returned the software company, where I have
and to run the Beit Midrash there.” to London from Hong Kong, where I been for nine years. I live in Arlington,
Sarah (Giller) Nelson writes 1993 Collected by Jessica Radin spent the last year, to take a new job VA with my partner of fourteen years,
“The last few years have been very Hey Bronfmanim! I was grateful for this in investment management. I’m trying Krista, and our very sweet cat Anna. I
busy. My son, Jack, will be 2 in opportunity to hear more about all of desperately to break my terrible habit am currently on the Alumni Advisory
December. He is at the point where he you and exchange an email or two. I of moving every other year! Board of BYFI, where I have the role of
is climbing, and running, and jumping, myself am still in NYC with my husband Chair for Technology and Communi-
and starting to string together words. Simeon who is from England but has David M. Gillers I am working as cations. I have also recently taken a
Most recently he said, “poo-poo bye- been here for 14 years. I have taught a commercial real estate lawyer in the position on the Board of Directors of
bye.” I am so proud. When I am not at Beacon, a public high school, for the Boston office of Goulston & Storrs, Ra- the Coalition for the Advancement of
chasing after him, I am working at past 8 years but this year I am excited chel is at the conflict management firm Jewish Education (CAJE).
Spertus Museum, a contemporary about taking a year off to take classes, Insight Partners, and our 16-month
Jewish museum in Chicago, where I do some writing, and take care of some old Yedidya said “I love you” recently. Talia Milgrom-Elcott This has
have been the assistant curator for the family affairs. I certainly want to go Granted, it was to his day care friend been a whirlwind of a few years. In
past two years. In other exciting news, back to teaching but it is nice to have Farouz, but we’re still pleased. We May of 2007, Aaron Dorfman and
last October my first book, Designing a short respite. I hope to see you all continue to actively participate in I got married (after a wonderful 15
the Good Life: Norman M. Giller and sometime in the near future. “Minyan Tehillah,” a shul we helped months of meeting and falling in love).
the Development of Miami Modern- found which was the happy recipient This past July, we had a baby, Oren
ism, was published by the University Allie Alperovitch I am living of a BYFI Alumni Venture Fund grant Milgrom-Dorfman, and in August we
Press of Florida. I wrote the book with in NYC with my husband, Yuri, and several years ago. came out to San Francisco for five
my late grandfather Norman M. Giller. daughter, Emma. Emma is now four weeks of babymoon, as our friends
The project took years to complete, and attends pre-K at Ramaz. We Josh Goodman Since May I have have taken to calling it. We’re living in
and along the way I had the pleasure recently finished renovating our been living in Rio de Janeiro, writing a cute cottage in the Mission and are
of getting to know an extraordinary apartment and hope to stay put for a about politics and economics for enjoying the good life before heading
man in a way I never could have while. Professionally, I am an attorney Bloomberg News. I have not taken up back to New York and work in late
imagined. Feel free to check out the at Ropes & Gray. In my “spare” time, surfing or futevolei (foot-volleyball) September.
press blog: www.designingthegood- I am a member of the BYFI alumni and must be the most sun-deprived
life.blogspot.com.” Rena (Davis) advisory board (and encourage other person living in Brazil. All the same, it’s Rachel Nussbaum I am still living
Nickerson “is Senior Brand alumni to get involved). I am also a exciting to watch up-close how Brazil in Seattle with Noam Pianko (BYFI ‘90)
Manager at the Campbell Company of board member of Darkhei Noam (an occupies the void left by America’s and my daughter Yona, who is turning
Canada, managing the Cooking Soup independent minyan on the Upper declining economic influence in the 1 this month. Like almost everyone
portfolio (no, none of them are West Side) and of JOFA (Jewish world. else in Seattle, I seem to have caught
kosher). She previously held product Orthodox Feminist Alliance). start-up fever, and two years ago I
management roles at Colgate- Andy Katzman I am living in San launched a start-up pluralistic Jewish
Palmolive and Heinz Canada, Robert Bryskin A lot of things Francisco and recently took a job at community called the Kavana Coop-
marketing leading household brands. have happened since we’ve last seen Yahoo as Director of Business Manage- erative. Things with Kavana are going
Rena lives with her husband Yehuda each other. I am married and have a ment for Corporate Partnerships. I really well - it’s exciting and gratifying
and their children (Tiferet, 9 and son who is about to turn three. We am also recently engaged to another to be in a position where I can think
Gavriel, 4) in Toronto, where she is an relocated to Jacksonville, FL about a Bronfman alum, Sarah Cowan (BYFI creatively about the Jewish future.
active board member and the month ago from NC and are trying to ’97). No other big news, though I
Marketing Chair of her local stay dry amidst all the storms. I work guess that counts as pretty big. Heather Sokoloff I moved back
synagogue, Ayin L’Tzion.” Nahanni as a pediatric anesthesiologist and am to Montreal, my hometown, two years
Rous writes that she is “still working busy with my new job and learning the Yehuda Kurtzer I have a lot of up- ago, to give birth to my daughter Talia
at Just Vision in the capacity of new location. dates to share; it’s been an extremely Rose Bukhman, after living in Toronto
Education Director, designing eventful year. About 3 weeks ago for six years and working at the Na-
educational resources that draw on the David Bell I have been working as a Stephanie and I welcomed our second tional Post, a Canadian daily, where I
stories of Israeli and Palestinian peace lawyer in NYC, focusing on corporate child into the world, a terrific little covered education, family issues and
builders from our documentary film, law, election law in various states in boy who we named Jesse Michael provincial politics. Jacob William was
Encounter Point, and Justvision.org, advance of the 2008 elections and Ives-Kurtzer. Noah is now 2.5 and is born this summer. I’ve been mostly
and working with communities and refugee law to resettle Iraqis who have very delighted to be an older brother. doing the mom thing as well as writing
educators to implement them. I am become targets in their own country We’re still living in Brookline, and I just lifestyle features on fun stuff like food
also loving being a family with Ned for assisting the Americans. Work has started my new position as a professor for the Globe and Mail, the other
our beautiful Shalvah, who is shedding been interesting, at times taxing, and at Brandeis. I’ll be teaching courses in national Canadian daily. I am loving
her babyhood and becoming a little New York always teaches me some- Jewish history and professional leader- being back in French Canada, where
kid before our eyes. We live in thing new, but I’m still searching for ship, and am writing a book for the maternity leave is extra-long, daycare
Washington, DC, where in my spare what comes next. next few years on “Jewish memory.” is subsidized and the work day ends
time I study textile design at the I was awarded this position after win- at 4pm.
Corcoran School and make custom Katherine Eckstein I live in New ning an unusual competition endowed
chuppot. (Check out my website at York City and work at The Children’s by Charles Bronfman in search of new Miriam Heller Stern I am current-
www.nahannirous.com.)” Last but not Aid Society doing education policy and ideas for the Jewish community, and ly Director of Curriculum and Research
least, Aliza Thompson writes that advocacy. I see Jessica Radin and David am extremely excited to actually be at the American Jewish University’s
she and her husband are “now living Bell frequently. I am hopeful about working after years of student-hood. School of Education. I finished my
in Washington, DC. After finishing my the upcoming election and incredibly I’m hoping to defend my dissertation Ph.D. in education at Stanford in 2007.

BYFI.org 25
BYFI Class Notes
My husband Jon and I live in L.A. with Engineer/Stage Manager/Production Post WWII American Judaism. David November, so I am beginning a cycle
our three year-old son Elijah and we Manager for a touring musical theater Nir just celebrated his second wed- of HGH and Andro to get in shape for
are expecting number two God willing productions and regional arts festival. ding anniversary to Mary Catherine that. And then an evening of my short
in December. This is perhaps unsurprising for the Nir (nee Campbell) of Cleveland, OH. plays starts a run at the Flea Theatre,
Bronfman Fellow who was never far The two are living in New York City downtown, in February. Unfortunately,
Max (Kayla) Strassfeld I live in from his guitar. What might be more and practicing law. Mary is in-house this will mean neglecting all of my
San Francisco, where I’ve been the last surprising is that after that he attended counsel for a hedge fund and David babies and wives.”
ten years, with my partner. Michael law school and has settled down in does intellectual property litigation at
Paley came to our commitment Madison WI as a tax lawyer. He mar- a large firm. Sara Klein Eisenberg 1995
ceremony and gave an amazing drash ried Nora, an actress he met during just finished a clerkship with Justice Alyshea Austern Things are going
in shul for the ufruf. I’m currently in his touring years, and they now have a Stevens on the Supreme Court and really well here in Brooklyn. The big-
the third year of a doctoral program in “little fireball of a 2 year old” named moved to San Francisco where she is gest news (and the kind that usually
Religious Studies at Stanford, studying Stella. Dara Horn reports that her interviewing for jobs. She got married goes into these updates) is that I’m
the androgynous and tumtum (roughly family is doing well and growing. She on September 7th – mazel tov – and getting married in November. Dan
corresponding to contemporary trans- and husband Brendan Schulman have is currently honeymooning in Hawaii and I met in law school and are living
gender and intersex categories) in the two children, Maya, 3, and Ari, 16 for two glorious weeks before start- in Cobble Hill. In the “Small World”
Talmud. Oh, and I go by Max now. months, and they are expecting a third ing work in October or November. category is the fact that we will be
child in February (Dara requests that Sara Schwartz Chrismer, her married by Rabbi Ponet . . . Dan and
Tanya Trakht I live in Manhattan I insert evil-eye discouraging idioms husband Noah, and daughter Emma David Ponet (Bronfman ‘92 are close
with my husband David and my two here). After an 8 year stint in New York (age 2) are living out the suburban friends from college). Otherwise, I’m
(almost three) year old son Isaac. I am City, they are moving to New Jersey dream in Lower Merion, PA. Sara just still working as a litigator in the City
a lawyer and presently work at a law this winter where “our children will no completed her doctorate at Harvard’s and spending my free time in search of
firm called Debevoise & Plimpton on longer have to be accompanied by an Graduate School of Education this the ideal chocolate chip cookie.
the Upper East Side. adult in order to look at a tree.” Dara past spring. Dr. Schwartz Chrismer is
now has three novels, In the Image currently interviewing for part-time Lauren Chernick I am living with
1994 Collected by Shira Fishman (Norton, 2002), The World to Come jobs in the field of educational policy, my husband Aaron Fischman on the
The Bronfman class of 94 is doing well (Norton, 2006) and All Other Nights research, and/or evaluation. Noah is Upper West Side and am in the middle
professionally and personally. There (Norton, 2009) which will be arriving in his final year of a joint program at of my Pediatric Emergency Medicine
were lots of exciting events to report. this March in bookstores. The third Penn’s Design School (Masters in City Fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian.
A number of the 94 fellows wrote novel is about Jewish spies during Planning) and Wharton (MBA). Emma,
updates from abroad. Matti Fried- the American civil war with many who was born in Boston, just began Corey Datz-Greenberg I am
man is currently living in Jerusalem characters based on historical figures. her first year of part-time pre-school at working as an organizer with UNITE
where he is a correspondent for the Dara received her PhD in Hebrew the JCC. She enjoys reading, talking, HERE Local 2, the Hotel workers union
Associated Press. Although he mainly and Yiddish literature from Harvard in singing, painting, and generally acting in San Francisco. I was previously with
covers local news, he recently had the 2006 and although she was teaching crazy. After five years in DC, I, Shira UNITE HERE Local 19 in San Jose for
opportunity to report from Georgia on at Sara Lawrence College she tells Miller-Jacobs Fishman, moved 4 years. I also volunteer at the Gay
the conflict with Russia. He is married us that currently her literary analysis to Wynnewood, PA this summer where Men’s Health Collective as a volunteer
to Naama and together they chase skills are mainly used for “interpreting my husband is a radiology resident at medic. I am not married, nor do I have
around 16 month old identical twins, the picaresque adventures of Curious Albert Einstein Medical Center. I am kids. I do have 2 godchildren and one
Aviv and Michael. Judy Batalion George.” Ariel Adesnik shared with finishing my PhD in psychology at the nephew who are playing the part for
lives in London where she is writing us the exciting news that he is getting University of Maryland and writing my the time being.
and performing. She recently got married next may in Washington DC. dissertation on social exclusion and
engaged to Jon Lightman. Mazel tov His fiancée Susanna has just begun the attraction to terrorist organizations (no Lisa Exler I just moved to Washing-
to Judy and Jon. Ilya Fischhoff conversion process and amazingly, it field work required). We have a little ton Heights with my family, Elie and
sends his regards from Kenya where has been a learning process for Ariel girl, Orly, who is five months old and Maytal (10 months), and would love
he is doing biology fieldwork until as well. When he isn’t studying Torah keeps us smiling all the time. Since to have visitors! I’m still working at
November. He is working on zebra in preparation for the conversion, Ariel moving to Philly I have been able to American Jewish World Service in the
behavior and conservation. He writes, spends about 60 hours a week as part reconnect with Sara as our girls attend education department.
“it is nice to be back watching animals of the McCain ’08 team. He sports a the same pre-school! Sara Meirow-
in-person, and not only as numbers McCain ’08 kippah which had to be itz moved to Jerusalem two years ago Michael Frazer I am living in
on the computer. I had forgotten how purchased by his mother because (fall of 2006) on a Dorot Fellowship, Somerville, MA. My wife Coral and I are
cute baby warthogs are.” He is disap- the campaign does not distribute leaving behind Cambridge, MA, and expecting our first baby any day now.
pointed to be voting absentee in the religious paraphernalia, as far as he the world of academic publishing. I’m employed as an Assistant Professor
elections but he gets his election news knows. Jonathan Bluth lives with She is freelance editing, teaching and of Government and Social Studies at
from the Kenyans at the field station his wife Katherine in New York. They studying Jewish texts, and spending Harvard University. My first book, The
who quote him Obama speeches. welcomed their first child, Jackson, a whole lot of time drinking coffee in Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice
After he returns from Kenya, Ilya will in February and Jon still can’t believe cafes. She would love to see other and the Moral Sentiments in the Eigh-
be living in Hamilton, Ontario (near To- he is already 6 months old. He says, BYFI alumni in Israel. Alisa Mall left the teenth Century and Today, is forthcom-
ronto) and looking for a postdoctoral “he is the most precious thing we’ve West Coast and the practice of real ing from Oxford University Press.
fellowship for the next academic year. ever seen.” When not ogling over estate law and is now am living in New
Anyone who is in the area is invited to Jackson, Jon is working at Cowen and York working for Tishman Speyer. She’s Abraham Levitan I am closing in
visit him. Speaking of Toronto, Jacob Company in health care investment still doing lots of triathlons and trying rapidly on my eight-year anniversary
(Dickman) Sadikman wrote in banking and Katherine, in her “spare” to be outside as much as possible. of being a Chicagoan. Last year, I
as well. He and his wife Samara live time, is getting her MBA at NYU. From Finally, but certainly not least, Itamar founded a music-teaching group,
in Toronto with their 16 month old Brookline, MA, Itia Shmidman Moses wrote in an update. As Piano Power, that operates in the
daughter, Yaffa. They are expecting a Roth writes in to tell us about her two expected, it is too funny to change so Chicago suburbs. Meanwhile, my
second child in late December. Jacob kids, Emma, 3, and Joshua, 1, who in Itamar’s words, here is his update: band, Baby Teeth, is in the process of
is still working as an energy lawyer at keep the Roth family very busy. Itia “I am living in Brooklyn, with my six swelling to five members (recession?
the law firm of Osler, where he has is still lawyering at Goodwin Proctor wives and eighty-five babies. No, wait, What recession?). Finally, I will be mar-
been for the past four years. Now and Menachem, her husband, is still with my zero wives and zero babies. rying the love of my life, Lara Marsh, in
to the US…Although he lost touch straightening teeth (as a dentist). Also And I’m writing plays. My new play, the summer of 2009. We have a happy
briefly with BYFI, Jed Roher is back in Boston, Rachel Gordon is living BACK BACK BACK, which is about home life with our two cats, Jason
in the loop. He reports that things in Cambridge and working on her steroids in baseball, will be my third Priestley and Luke Perry.
are going well for him. After college doctorate in American religious history play to appear off-broadway, when it
he spent four years as an Audio at Harvard. Her dissertationis about opens at Manhattan Theatre Club in

26 bronfman 2008
Ari Lipman I’m living in Columbus, of seeing Matthew Rascoff ‘96 on a Aron Goetzl I graduated from law Sheila Nazarian I have been
OH, home of Wendy’s, Abercombie regular basis. school in 06 and have been in New married to Fardad Mobin, neurosur-
& Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Nationwide Orleans clerking for two federal judges geon, for 3 years tomorrow! I have a
Insurance (life comes at you fast!), Jimmy Davis After graduating from since then. I will be getting married in 13 month old daughter named Leila
Ohio State University football, a major college, I lived in Israel for 3 years, November. These last two years I have and am pregnant with a baby boy due
league hockey team you have never completing smicha at Yeshivat HaMi- basically lived the life that Adam Mag- Halloween. I have finished general
heard of, and ground zero for the 2008 vtar (where R’ Shimon Felix formerly nus should have lived in his hometown surgery, and I am taking two years
presidential election. I’m running a taught and R’ Avi Weinstein formerly if he hadn’t abandoned it for greener for craniofacial research at Children’s
non-partisan interfaith voter mobiliza- studied). Since then, I returned to pastures in Washington. Hospital Los Angeles before starting 3
tion organization (www.faithvoteco- Cambridge to attend Harvard Medical years of plastic surgery at USC. Also, I
lumbus.org), and on Friday evenings School and graduated medical school Susanna Goldfinger I live in am applying to USC’s Marshall School
I play clarinet at one of the three this past June. However, the best part Brooklyn and work in advertising which of Business for a Masters in Medical
Reform synagogues in town. Even of my post-Bronfman years, by far, has is not really as glamorous as it looks Management.
after living and working here for two been meeting Stephanie Goldglantz in the movies but still a lot of fun. In
years I wouldn’t quite yet call myself a while I was a medical student and my free time I swim with a master’s Sophie Oberfield I can say that
Midwesterner -- my East Coast roots she a dental student. We married 2.5 team, salsa, write short stories, and try after four years teaching, English and
run a bit too deep -- though for what years ago. For now, I am doing my to escape the city--I recently returned Environmental Studies at the High
it’s worth I now drive to any destina- intern year at Tufts Medical Center, from a hiking trip in the Italian alps. My School for Environmental Studies (NYC
tion more than two blocks away. contemplating if I will head into in- favorite activity of all is bumping into public school), I have moved to Stuyves-
ternal medicine or surgery. Stephanie Bronfmanim, and I am happy to report ant High School (NYC public magnet
Melissa Mann I am living in Brazil, is in her final year of orthodontics this happens fairly often. I am looking school, alma mater of many Bron-
writing lots, cooking lots, and opening residency. We still live in Cambridge forward to our next gathering... fmanim, the best NYC public school
an organic coffee lounge fused with and welcome all visitors who may be I did not attend). I’m teaching ninth
an antiques shop in an old house from happening to pass on through. Tali Griffel I am living outside of and tenth grade English, and I’m very
the 1940’s. Haifa with my ‘chusband’ Mitch, our excited about the move. Also, I’m work-
Yoni Engelhart reports: Talia and I spectacular daughter Shakked, who just ing part-time on an MA in Theater at
Noam Milgrom-Elcott It has have moved to Brookline, MA and our discovered the pleasures of solid food, Hunter College. I’m working on a paper
been a big year. I turned thirty, got a daughter Yakira turns 18 months this and our Canaanite hound Yupa. I’m fin- about two plays that allegorize political
job (assistant professor of modern art fall. I’m beginning my first year of MBA ishing my last year of Physical Therapy conflicts using romantic relationships,
history at Columbia University), almost at Harvard. I recently joined the BYFI at Haifa U right now. We love guests! one of which genders the Israeli-Pales-
completed my doctorate (from Princ- alumni advisory board on the fundrais- tinian conflict in surprising ways.
eton), and am engaged to Julie Ehrlich. ing and projects committee. Ariel Groveman Weiner What
can I say? I am busy being a mom Matthew Rascoff I am living
David Salvay I am currently living in Dan Greenspahn Having gradu- to Ilan, 3.5 years old, and to Yael, 11 in Boston, where I recently started
Chicago and working to finish my Ph.D. ated from George Washington Uni- months old. I am still working at The my second year at Harvard Business
in Chemical & Biological Engineering. versity Law School in May, I’m living in Samuel Bronfman Foundation and School. Just this afternoon I had the
My research focuses on the use of Washington D.C. with my wife, Karen living in NYC. pleasure of having lunch with Yoni En-
synthetic polymer-based scaffolds as Berenthal, and started clerking for a gelhart, who just started his first year
platforms for cell transplantation and judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Marisa Harford I married Russ Ag- here. I spend my free time doing let-
gene delivery with a special emphasis Claims in late August. I recently wrote dern, a political and labor organizer, on terpress printing at the Bow & Arrow
on the role of the extra-cellular micro an article on a right to an education September 2, 2007, and we are living Press in the basement of one of the
environment on mediating transplanted and co-wrote another on outsourc- in the Bronx. (BYFI ‘96 was represented undergraduate houses, and helping
pancreatic islet cell survival and func- ing, both published in law journals at the wedding by Adina Gerver and to lead the Social Enterprise Club at
tion. After defending my dissertation and available online at www.ssrn.com. Margie Klein.) After seven years of HBS. I had a magical July and August,
later this year, I’ll return to medical In early August, Karen and I had the teaching and working as a professional interning for the Google Book Search
school and hope to complete my M.D. pleasure of hiking and camping in na- developer for the NYC public schools, project in Mountain View and living
by mid-2010, after which I plan to enter tional parks in Washington, Montana, I have accepted a job as the Program in the paradise that is San Francisco,
a surgical residency program. and Wyoming. Director for a new teacher preparation where I spent many lovely hours with
program, the Urban Teacher Residency. Bronfmanim Sarah Cowan (BYFI ’97),
Sonya Schneider married her Adina Gerver I left the Skirball Cen- The Urban Teacher Residency aims to Ruth Kaplan (BYFI ’95), Andy Katzman
Stanford sweetheart, Stuart Nagae, in ter at the end of May to study full-time, integrate graduate coursework with (BYFI ’93), Yaacob Dweck (BYFI ’95)
2004. They currently reside in Seattle, first at Yeshivat Hadar in NYC, and now a school residency to support the who was visiting from the East Coast,
WA. Sonya worked for four years at IN- at the Pardes kollel in Jerusalem. My development of proficient, reflective, and others. Please look me up if have
TIMAN Theatre, and has since left to goal for the year is to learn and write- and collegial teachers. If anyone is plans to be in the Boston area.
pursue playwriting full-time. Her play, -two early loves that I’ve abandoned interested in becoming a teacher in
WAKE, was produced in April 2008. in recent years. The professional home NYC (or knows anyone who is), contact Michal Scharlin I just moved to
She and Stuart are expecing their first of my writing projects will be www. me and I will be excited to describe the NYC from Jerusalem and am enjoying
child in October. adinagerver.com. (By the time you get program in more detail. being closer to family and friends.
this, it may finally be completed.) In While a little overwhelmed by the city’s
Michelle Sternthal I am currently the meantime, I am beginning work as Margie Klein Life is good here in “muchness”, I’m excited to work in this
living in Somerville, MA. I just finished an American Jewish World Service Lisa Boston. I’m taking a leave of absence psychotherapy metropolis, exploring
my PhD in Public Policy and Sociology Goldberg Memorial Writers’ Fellow. for the semester from Hebrew College endless options for further training.
from the University of Michigan and You can subscribe to my work and that rabbinical school in order to direct the
am starting a post-doc at Harvard of my peers at www.ajws.org/parshah. I Righteous Indignation Project, which is
School of Public Health. was also very gratified to receive a BYFI organizing Jewish communities to voice Miriam Sheinbein I had a baby in
Alumni Venture Fund grant to begin social justice and environmental issues the end of December, 2007. I gradu-
1996 Collected by work on Borei Hoshech, a project fo- as religious community priorities in the ated from medical school in May. My
Mathhew Rascoff cused on the interface between tefillah ‘08 election. The project is related to an husband (Yaron) and I moved to San
Adam Christian I am now happily (prayer) and mental health, especially anthology I co-edited called Righteous Francisco where I started my residency
married to John Volturo. We tied the depression. My aim is to launch this Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice in family medicine.
knot this summer in Los Angeles. I project as my own, with the goal of (Jewish Lights). In addition, I am still liv-
am currently finishing up my urban making it collaborative shortly. All in all, ing in the Moishe/Kavod House, which Dan Smokler I am living in New
planning program at Harvard and will things in my life are very good. I would is the hub of an amazing community of York, working as the Educational
be done in June of next year. Here love to hang out with any Bronf-folk creative and tikkun olam oriented Jews. Director for Hillel International’s E3
in Cambridge, I have the pleasure who find themselves in Jerusalem. project. I’m based at NYU. But most

BYFI.org 27
BYFI Class Notes
importantly, I am getting married, Gd in October of 2007” to Andrew Koss you’re Chinese. I’m not kidding. They which opened in April 2008. The
willing, on November 2nd to Erin Leib. and that “married life has been totally have plans to start teaching Mandarin Museum looks at American Jewish his-
wonderful so far”. Another longtime in one of the Universities.” Meantime, tory through the lens of the Milwaukee
1997 Collected by Zina Miller New Yorker (although still boasting Tova Serkin has just marked four community.
I’m proud to report that the ‘97ers that famed southern charm), Anya years living in Israel and was married
are up to their usual impressive tricks. Kamenetz, continues to give talks in March to Yair Yehuda, “an amazingly Sarah Krainin I just graduated from
Over the past couple of years, we’ve and make media appearances in kind, smart, funny man”. She is the CalArts with an MFA in scenic design,
had several marriages, three babies connection with her book Genera- executive director of KolDor - a global and am continuing my freelance career
(although, to be fair, those were all in tion Debt. In addition to covering the network of Jewish leaders and activists in both New York and L.A. as a set
one family), rabbis ordained, lawyers sustainable economy as a staff writer (write to her for more information). She designer for theater, and production
admitted to the bar, documentaries for Fast Company magazine, Anya explains that “When I’m not doing the designer for film. I have also started de-
filmed, scandals reported…. Well, recently celebrated her second wed- ‘Peoplehood thing’, I try to find time veloping some large-scale, interactive
we’re a busy bunch. Jonathan ding anniversary. And lest you think to bake, hike, watch bad Israeli reality sculptures and installations that deal
Gribetz is currently living with his Anya has cornered our year’s market TV (only to have something to mock), with space and scale and landscape,
wife Sarit in Princeton, where Sarit is on journalism, Isaac Dovere is and play competitive Scrabble.” Based and are based on my previous work in
beginning her second year of a Ph.D. the founding editor of two monthly in Canada, Eli Batalion has toured object theater and puppetry.
in religions of late antiquity. Jonathan political magazines focused on New the world as one of the two stars of
continues to write his dissertation, York Politics, City Hall and The Capitol. the Sable & Batalion performing duo Emma Kippley-Ogman I have
tentatively titled “Muslims, Christians, Isaac lives with his girlfriend Sarah a and just got his MBA. And speaking of finished my fourth year of rabbinical
and Jews in the ‘Arab-Zionist’ Encoun- cool “seven blocks from the apartment rock stars (metaphorical and literal), for school at Hebrew College in Boston.
ter: A Study of Mutual Perceptions in where I grew up” and has had an the last five years, Dan Edinberg Following a summer of truly enrich-
Late Ottoman Palestine”, and teaches exciting year covering everything from has toured internationally full-time as ing hospital chaplaincy work at the
modern Jewish history for Hebrew Hillary and Rudy to “Elliott Spitzer’s bassist of the indie-rock band Zox. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, I am
College’s Me’ah Program. Jonathan prostitutes, the budget crisis, several Zox has finally called it a quits, so taking a year off from school to work
has just been joined in Princeton by smaller sex scandals, and a couple of Dan will move to NYC in October to with Breaking the Silence in Jerusalem
David Wolkenfeld, his wife Sara, incumbents losing primaries”. He’s a pursue film/TV/commercial scoring on a social justice fellowship from the
their son Noam, and new arrivals in busy man. Finally moving outside New opportunities and to continue working New Israel Fund.
the form of cute twin boys. David was York, we find more 1997ers scattered as a freelance bass player with groups
ordained in June as a rabbi by Yeshivat around the country. Donya Khalili in and out of the New York area. As to Ari Weisbard After graduating
Chovevei Torah (YCT), and he and Sara graduated from the University of your faithful reporter, I (Zina Miller) from law school at Yale this past May,
have begun work as directors of the Pennsylvania Law School and currently finally finished my JD/MA, miracu- I spent the summer romping around
Jewish Learning Initiative at Princeton lives in Philadelphia while she works as lously passed the New York bar, and New York, where I ran into Rachel Kort
University, a partnership between the a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas promptly fled the country. I’ve just ‘98 twice in Brooklyn, once with her
Orthodox Union, Hillel, and Torah O’Neill of the U.S. District Court of returned from a difficult and fascinat- husband in tow. Then, after seeing
m’Tzion. And as if we didn’t already the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. ing year in Israel/Palestine working as Emma Kippley-Ogman ‘98 and Sarah
know what good taste YCT has in She also serves on the American Con- a Visiting Researcher at the Minerva Beller ‘98 at the National Havurah
students, they also boast Steven Ex- stitution Society Board of Directors. Center for Human Rights at Hebrew Institute and my friends’ wedding in
ler, who will be ordained come June. Sarah Cowan, a graduate student University and am now a Visiting Boston (Emma officiated!), I moved out
Steven says that he had a “wonderful in a PhD program in Demography Fellow at the Watson Institute for In- to Phoenix, AZ. I’ll be clerking here for
summer job” teaching at Yeshiva Ha- and Sociology at UC – Berkeley, lives ternational Studies at Brown University Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge
dar in Manhattan and is now working in San Francisco and will marry Andy in Providence, RI. Which just means: Michael Daly Hawkins. It’s shaping up
as Associate Rabbi of the Hebrew Katzman (BYFI ’93) in May. Sarah tells apparently I enjoy visiting places. to be a wonderful year, but there are
Institute of Riverdale—“a wonderful us that her program means she “uses precious few Bronfmanim out here, so if
job in a wonderful community”. In statistics to study how and why popu- 1998 you’re looking for a home base in driv-
his spare time, Steven hangs out with lations change.” She also extended an Asher Auel I am in my 5th and final ing distance from the Grand Canyon,
his niece Maytal (daughter of Lisa ’95 invitation to anyone who would like to year of the Ph.D. program in Math- Las Vegas, Sedona, or perhaps the
and Elie Kaunfer). A few months ago, come visit her in San Francisco. Also ematics at the University of Pennsyl- artist/hippy colony of Bisbee, AZ, don’t
Steven had the pleasure of attending on the West Coast is Dan Mintz, vania. I’m applying for post-docs and be afraid to look me up.
Elisheva Glass’ wedding to Conan who is doing standup comedy and other academic jobs for the upcoming
Yuan, which was Elisheva’s big update writing a pilot for NBC while living in year. I just finished a productive sum- Joshua Wnuk Still working on
as well, of course. She enjoyed the Los Angeles—although visiting New mer research stay in Manchester and my doctorate in chemistry at Johns
sheva brachot organized by Becky York to see his girlfriend. A little farther Bordeaux, and I’m back in Philadelphia. Hopkins University. My research topic
Voorwinde, who has joined the afield, Taylor Krauss is still in is electron and ion beam induced de-
BYFI professional team as Director Rwanda working on Voices of Rwanda, Sarah D. Beller After studying position processes. I married my wife,
of Alumni Engagement. After several an NGO he founded to record and Arabic and traveling in Egypt for two Danica Horrell-Wnuk, on September
years working for the accounting firm preserve testimonies of Rwandan months this summer, I am starting the 1st, 2008, at B’nai Israel Congregation
Ernst & Young in their Corporate genocide survivors. He reports that: second year of my masters at Ameri- in Baltimore, MD. We met on j-date
Responsibility group, Becky is enjoy- “Some might think I’m marooned in can University in Washington, DC. My two years ago. Danica is working
ing “getting to know all the BYFI Rwanda, but when I run into friends thesis research is on evaluation and on her doctorate in Cellular and
alums out there and growing in my and celebrities on the street it tends best practices for arts-based conflict Molecular Medicine at Johns Hopkins
understanding of the issues facing the to feel more like Brooklyn than I bar- resolution initiatives. I’m still enjoying University as well. Bought my first
Jewish community today and what we gained for. I’m continuing work with life in DC and trying to get in as much house and just finished spending the
can do to make a difference.” Becky VOR, but to keep myself afloat I pick biking, dancing, and music-making as past year remodeling. Moved in three
lives in Brooklyn with husband Michael up freelance shooting jobs. Some of possible. weeks before the wedding. Currently
Voorwinde, a civil engineer working on the projects I’ve had a chance to shoot Shelli Farhadian I am in my fifth preparing to present my research at
the design of the 2nd Avenue Subway for recently include pieces for NOW year of a combined MD-PhD program talks in Boston and elsewhere this Fall
in New York City. Unsurprisingly, it on franchise hospital clinics in Rwanda, in NYC. My clinical interest is infec- with the hopes of finishing my degree
turns out quite a few other ‘97ers are and women in Rwandan parliament; tious disease, and my research focuses by next summer.
in New York these days (what, Jews covering the horrific stories of sexual on insect behavior.
in New York?!), including Alison violence in Congo for Eve Ensler’s 1999 Collected by
Hornstein, who is entering her sec- Vday; and this week’s celebrity visita- Nick Fitch I am in my second year of Rachel Ann Burstein
ond year as a litigation associate in the tion to bring attention to (RED)’s work an Art History PhD at Columbia. With almost a decade gone by since
New York office of Simpson, Thacher with The Global Fund. If anyone wants our Bronfman summer, the class of
& Bartlett. Alison wrote to say she is to visit please let me know, Rwanda Ellie Gettinger I am the Educator 1999 is flung far across the country
“delighted to report that I got married has an open door policy, especially if of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, and the world. Annie Rosenzweig

28 bronfman 2008
wins the award for the furthest from program at NYU law school where Liz York Graduate Center and teaching two a criminal justice reform NGO. I’m
the States among those who respond- has a Root Tilden Kern D’Agostino Fel- sections of world history at Brooklyn “advocating” (exact job description in
ed to my plea for class notes submis- lowship in Women’s & Children’s Ad- College. Invitations are out for anyone process) to improve discharge planning
sions. She reports that she will be in vocacy. As Liz reports, “we’re keeping who wants to deliver a guest lecture! for mentally ill offenders leaving prison
Iraq for the next five months, working the Bronfman love alive downtown.” (e.g., enrollment in Medicaid, disability
on the upcoming elections and on She completed a fantastic 14 months 2000 benefits, transitional housing). After fin-
civic engagement programs as part of abroad, as a Fellow at the Auschwitz David Cohen I am attending the ishing at Brown in 2006, I worked for a
an embedded Provincial Reconstruc- Jewish Center in Oswiecim, Poland, a Postbaccalaureate Premedical pro- medical school bioethics department in
tion Team in Fallujah city district. After Dorot Fellow in Jerusalem, Israel, and gram at Bryn Mawr College, studying Syracuse, NY and tutored a GED class
that, you’ll be able to find Annie in a backpacker in Central America. Liz, science and preparing to apply to at a nearby prison. This past summer, I
Washington, back at the Pentagon. Erin and Rachael Wagner are all medical school. indulged myself with a hedonistic (but
Rebekah Hart lives in Montreal with members of BYFI’s alumni advisory low-budget) trek through six countries
her husband of one year, Gil-ad Ara- board. Rachael is helping open Lion Hannah Farber I moved to in Southern Africa.
ma. Gil-ad has become a professional Capital’s first New York office and is Berkeley in August to begin a PhD in
bread-baker and Rebekah is studying pleased to report that the office now American history. I’m still blogging at Elisabeth Cohen reports: Warren
Hakomi (mindfulness-based, body- has desks, computers and chairs! On jspot.org. Tusk and I were married this summer.
centred psychotherapy). She coordi- time off before starting her new job, We’ll be living in Philadelphia for the
nates a grassroots workshop/speaker Rachael went to the Beijing Olympics Yakov Frydman-Kohl Living in next year, while Warren finishes up law
series called the Earth Dialogue, and where she became an accomplished Jerusalem and studying law and phi- school. I’ve finished my coursework at
teaches workshops in deep ecology spectator, if not an Olympic contender losophy at Hebrew University. Exchange Princeton, and in the next year hope
-- helping people uncover their sense herself. In her rare spare time, Rachael student at Georgetown Law in Washing- to pass my general examinations and
of power to take part in the healing of is helping on her mom’s campaign for ton DC for the fall ‘08 semester. begin work on my dissertation. I’m still
our world. She’s also applying to do a the lieutenant governor in Virginia. studying medieval Arabic poetry, with
MA program in somatic pscyhology or (The campaign website can be found Michael Gensheimer I am current- secondary interests in medieval Hebrew
drama therapy for next year. Hannah at www.jodyforva.com.) The BYFI ’99 ly taking a break from medical school poetry and modern Arabic poetry.
Sarvasy and Elina Segal are both Boston crew approaches the New York at Vanderbilt to do radiation oncology
living on the West Coast. Hannah just group in size. Joseph Berman just research in Boston for a year. Melissa Korn I have been in New
got back from Sierra Leone where she moved to Jamaica Plain where he’s York City for a little over two years
was part of a research team docu- been enjoying green spaces nearby, Danny Greene I am now living in now, first for grad school (Columbia
menting endangered languages in baking bread and reading fantasy and San Francisco, working for Current, a Journalism) and now working as a copy
coastal fishing villages. When at home kids’ books. With summer over, he’s global television network and social editor with Dow Jones Newswires.
with her husband in Alameda, Hannah starting up with his fourth year of rab- news website founded by Al Gore. I I write headlines on market-moving
works as a cartoonist. You can see binical school at Hebrew College and also recently discovered a third place to equities news and write features about
some of her work at www.hannahsar- preparing for his first yamim noraim call home (other than the place where I the intersection of business and educa-
vasy.com. Elina is also happily married gig at the Ottawa Reconstruction- grew up and Israel): Black Rock City. tion (student loans, for-profit colleges,
and spends many happy evenings ist Havurah. When he’s not studying philanthropy, etc.); definitely an exciting
cuddled up next to her husband in and learning, Joseph is involved in Anat Maytal I will be graduating time to be a business reporter. Busy
their Los Angeles home. Elina works building Jewish-Muslim relations in this year from Boston University School with friends, family, and a little freelanc-
for a real estate developer, where she the Boston community. Lev Nelson of Law with my J.D., Concentration in ing...life’s good.
enjoys wearing her hard hat. Moving is also at Hebrew College, beginning Litigation and Dispute Resolution. I
east across the continent, Aaron rabbinical school as a Wexner Fellow. plan to move back to New York City to Rachel Lauter I have been working
Orkin is living in Thunder Bay, On- Both Joseph and Lev are excited to work as an Assistant District Attorney. for the City of New York for the past
tario, completing a medical residency be in reunited with Sharon Cohen two years, most recently as the Senior
in rural family medicine. When he’s not Anisfeld who now serves as Dean of Alice Phillips I am in the fourth Policy Advisor to the Commissioner of
working, Aaron enjoys canoeing and the Rabbinical School at Hebrew Col- year of the philosophy Ph.D. program the Dept of Small Business Services. In
is considering embarking on further lege. After a three year stint consulting at Cornell and will probably finish in my free time, I was one of the primary
studies in the history and philosophy at McKinsey and Company, Shira 2010; my dissertation is on the role of organizers of Brooklyn for Barack, the
of medicine and public health. The Simon is also in Boston, pursuing self-sufficiency in the Stoic conception grassroots organization for the Obama
next furthest east Bronfman contingent a joint MD/MBA degree at Harvard of happiness. And my boyfriend (who campaign in Brooklyn. I also founded a
who sent me replies is in New York. University. She is living in her old col- was introduced to me, incidentally, by new political organization in Brooklyn,
Josh Foer is living in Brooklyn with lege dorm of Leverett, but this time Michael Gensheimer) and I are plan- called New Kings Democrats which
his wife Dinah, and continuing to write as a Resident Tutor. Judd Kessler ning to get married next year, after his recruits and helps people run for local
for National Geographic, Esquire, and is doing a PhD in Business Econom- conversion to Judaism is complete. elected office. Check out our website:
other magazines. Look for his first ics at Harvard University. He studies www.newkingsdemocrats.com. And
book, about the science of memory, worker motivation and effort. He Liba Rubenstein and Micah finally, I just started at Harvard Law
to be published by Penguin Press next recently started living part time in Los Fitzerman-Blue We just finished School - I’m sad to leave New York
year. Matthew Goldberg is also Angeles, CA where he is conducting year two in our Los Angeles adven- (temporarily), but excited for the new
in New York and taking a year off from dissertation research at a small inter- ture. Micah is slogging through his first adventure.
his fourth year of medical school to net start-up. Susan Pultman just feature screenplay assignment, and his
undertake melanoma cancer biology moved from New York to Philadelphia, production company, 5432 Films, just Noam Lockshin I am engaged to
research at Mount Sinai School of in order to pursue an MSW and an wrapped up a new web series. Liba Etta Abramson of Toronto, whom I met
Medicine. He recently started road M.Ed in Human Sexuality at Widener still runs the non-profit and political at York University. After graduating from
biking and trying his hand at gluten University. Her goal is to become a programming on MySpace - with a York with a degree in math in 2007, I
free cooking. Josh Platt lives far sex therapist, though she still dreams torrent of activity around the election. moved to New York where I am work-
uptown in Manhattan and works at the of opening a juice bar/cafe. When A litte vacation is long overdue. ing at Sanford Bernstein as a research
Butler Library at Columbia University not at school, Susan is the Director of associate in the oil and gas group.
in addition to taking some classes. Programming and Marketing at The Eric Trager I married Alyssa Saun-
He is flirting with entering Columbia’s Collaborative, a social group for Jewish ders on May 25th, and we live in Phila- Ben Magarik I have been working
MFA fiction program next year. Erin people in their 20’s and 30’s. She’d delphia. I am a PhD Graduate Student for Digital Divide Data, a non-profit
Scharff is starting her first year of “love to be in touch with any Bron- in Political Science at the University of that uses a business model to break
law school at New York University and fmanim in Philly!” As for me, I’m living Pennsylvania. the cycle of poverty in Southeast
living in Brooklyn after an eventful in Brooklyn (where being a Red Sox fan Asia. I spend two-thirds of the year
summer on the Obama campaign is a bit lonely) with my fiancé, Jeremy. 2001 Collected by Ben Magarik living in the East Village (of NY), and
in Iowa. Liz Kilstein and Erin are in I’m working on a PhD in American Eli Braun I am working in Cincinnati the other third in Cambodia and Laos.
the same section and public interest History at the City University of New for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, Life in Cambodia is a pretty wild ride,

BYFI.org 29
BYFI Class Notes
I’d love to have BYFI fellows visit me Talya Kagedan graduated from 2003 Collected by Anna Hutt Fredman recently
while I’m there. Brandeis last year (and misses it a Anna Hutt Fredman graduated from Brandeis Univer-
lot!). She spent the summer traveling, Inessa Ayzenberg graduated from sity, where she studied Psychology,
Yonina Murciano-Goroff is including staffing a birthright trip. She Babson College this year and moved Hebrew, and a bit of Arabic. She has
currently on fellowships at Oxford just moved to NYC and started a doc- back to Moscow, Russia. She is work- begun a master’s program in speech-
University, where she is completing her toral program in school psychology at ing for Renaissance Capital in Moscow. language pathology at the Massachu-
doctorate on the history of cancer. She St. John’s University. setts General Hospital (MGH) Institute
looks forward to returning to Harvard Ben Bokser After three years at Yale of Health Professions.
for her M.D. degree. Yonina is espe- Anya Manning is currently living studying Ethics, Politics, and Econom-
cially interested in international health in Brooklyn and working as an Insight ics, Ben Bokser is taking a semester Peter Ganong is starting his last
work, and continues to be thankful to Fellow. She will work in three different off to participate in Tevel b’Tzedek, a year at Harvard, concentrating in eco-
Bronfman for the many lessons that New York City Jewish non profits over Jewish/Israeli study and volunteering nomics and math and hoping to do a
she learned about global cooperation. the course of two years. program in Nepal. The program’s focus thesis on either education or crime. He
is on social and environmental justice / spent the past summer doing develop-
Gabriel Rosenhouse I am living Sarah Marcus currently lives in DC sustainable development. He plans to ment research in Chennai, India. At the
in Chicago, entering my third year as and works for The Israel Project. She return to Yale for a final semester after- end of the summer, he and Ben Bokser
graduate student in the Committee just returned from the Republican and wards and graduate in the spring. ’03 traveled around Kerala, where
on Neurobiology at the University Democratic National Convention. they were the ninth and tenth men
of Chicago. My research is, gener- Leah Breslow After four years of for Shabbat services at a 300-year-old
ally speaking, about how neurons Hannah Mayne is living in Canada, having a go at living in Israel, Leah synagogue in Kochi. The head of the
exchange information - “synaptic figuring out the next step. Breslow decided it was time to head synagogue told them all about the
transmission” in the jargon of the field. back to Canada to finish her B.A. at shul’s history, complete with crowns for
More specifically (and jargon-y), I’m Naamah Paley recently graduated York University. She’s looking forward the Sifrei Torah given by maharajas in
studying the molecular mechanisms from the University of Michigan Hon- to completing her B.A. in Humanities, the 1800s, and they learned about the
of vesicle fusion at the cell surface ors College and is now spending her especially since it will be taught in Jewish community in India in general.
membrane. I hope to have a paper out year on a Dorot Fellowship in Israel. English! Leah Jordan I graduated this past May
within the next year. After studying four years of Arabic in from the University of Kansas with a
Michigan, Jerusalem and Cairo, she is Nerissa Clarke just graduated from BA in English and minors in History
Adam Schwartz I just returned from now working on and studying issues of Binghamton University with a major in and French. I’ve just started my first
a summer of public health research in Arab and Arabic education in Israel. International Development and minors year of five in Hebrew Union College’s
rural India to begin my second year of in Economics and Business. She is now rabbinical program. I’m really looking
medical school in New York. Yoni Pomeranz I am studying in living in NYC, working for this coming forward to this first year in Jerusalem
Jerusalem this year at the Conserva- year at the Samuel Bronfman Founda- and then to the four years after that
Alex Sherman I am in Boston, tive Yeshiva and beginning a M.A. at tion, as the Foundation’s Fellow. back in the States!
working in architecture for high-end Hebrew University.
residential design, working towards my Jonathon Feinberg recently Alana Kinarsky I have graduated
Professional Accreditation in Leader- Nick Renner graduated from Duke moved to Davis, CA, where he is work- from Loyola University of Chicago with a
ship in Energy and Environmental and spent last year studying Hebrew at ing for Environment California, trying degree in International Relations. Now
Design and completion of the AIA’s Ulpan Akiva in scenic, sunny Netanya, to get the state to amend the nation’s I am looking for employment or great
Intern Development Program. On the in preparation for starting rabbinical first statewide and industry-wide cap experiences abroad. In the mean time, I
side, I enjoy riding my bike, running, school at the Reconstructionist Rabbin- on global warming. He is considering live in Chicago and enjoy the days!
rock climbing, volunteering for the cal College, in the Philadelphia area. pursuing a PhD in Environmental Policy.
Massachusetts branch of the US Green He is currently living in Philadelphia Hannah Sufrin After spending the
Building Council, freelance graphic and has begun his first year at RRC. Rachel Firestone graduated from summer following my college gradu-
design work, sporadic cartooning, and Wesleyan in May and is excited to be ation studying Mandarin in Beijing, I
design competitions. Kate Rosenberg graduated from traveling to India, where she will be am now settling into and exploring my
Whitman College in Walla Walla, starting to work with Ujjivan, an Indian- home for the next two years, Guang-
2002 Collected by Anya Manning Washington in May 2008 with a de- run Grameen-based microfinance insti- zhou. As a Yale-China Teaching Fellow,
Ben Amster since graduating from gree in Politics. She now lives in Wash- tution in Bangalore. She has wanted to I am teaching courses on famous
Princeton in June 2007, I’ve been living ington, DC and works at The Aspen return to India to do social justice- American orators and Election 2008 at
in New York City and working as a Man- Institute, a DC based think tank, in the based sustainable development work Sun Yat-sen University.
agement Consulting for Accenture. Energy and Environment Program. since her junior year abroad in Varanasi,
India. At Ujjivan, she will be managing Nathan Stall I just graduated from
David Back is trying to start a clean Jaclyn Rubin spent last year and implementing social programs to McGill this past spring (‘08) with a
energy company. He recently moved studying at Drisha and this year is go along with loans, such as public B.Sc. in physiology. I spent this past
to Washington DC. working full time for Mechon Hadar, health seminars, entrepreneurial train- summer working with AJWS in Ghana
an egalitarian yeshiva which provides ing, communication skills training, and on the volunteer summer program.
Sandra Di Capua is living in Wash- resources for independent minyanim. Hindi and English teaching. She is also I just started medical school at the Uni-
ington, DC, where she works for Joan Hadar has been the recipient of sev- hoping to connect with the Jewish versity of Western Ontario (UWO)
Nathan, a cookbook author and food eral BYFI Alumni Venture Fund grants. community of Kochin, India.
journalist. In addition, she writes restau- 2004 Collected by
rant reviews and does freelance consult- Jacob Stoil just finshed a research Elisha Fredman is currently pursu- Hannah Kapnik
ing for a nutritional consulting firm. fellowship in Zagreb, Broatia with the ing a double-major in Psychology and Danny Cohen Four years on from
Croatian Ministry of Defence. He also Neuroscience at Brandeis University. Bronfman, after spending a gap year
Kate Frommer is in her second year volunteered as a cantor at one of the He recently finished a summer of as part of the halutzim who founded
of a doctoral program in School and local synagogues. He is currently living volunteer experience with the Depart- the Bronfman Bayit- a year of living in
Child Clinical Psychology at Yeshiva in London. ment of Mental Health of Massachu- Jerusalem with Bronfman chevre, filled
University. She is currently interning setts for young adults with schizophre- with learning, volunteering, Hebrew,
at a private school in the city, working Alana Weiss is enjoying San Fran- nia. This year he is serving as one of Israelis, exploration and growth- I
with 3-10 year olds. cisco life and working in Learning and twelve university Roosevelt Fellows am now back in Israel, spending a
Leadership Development at Google. (academic advisors to underclassmen), semester continuing the cultivation
Abby Friedman is living in Boston She got to have lunch with another working in a neuroscience research of my (religious) identity at Yeshivat
and working at the Harvard Public Bronfman alum, Matthew Rascoff (BYFI lab, and leading a weekly student Maale Gilboa, a fascinating and color-
Health School doing global health ’96), many times this summer! chavura (study group) about Neviim ful place, characterized by a wonderful
research. Rishonim, the Early Prophets. combination of warmth, openness,

30 bronfman 2008
intensity, and sensitivity. At the end of Ariel Pollock I am starting out my politics, culture, and Jewish affairs Yitz Landes I am currently finishing
the semester, I’ll return to my beloved junior year of college with a semester (www.columbiacurrent.org). The Cur- up advanced training as a tank gunner
University of Pennsylvania, where I’ve abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. In rent is a recipient of a BYFI Alumni in the IDF, and will most likely be start-
spent the past two years meeting peo- addition to having a generally enrich- Venture Fund grant. This past summer, ing commander training later this fall.
ple, learning, exploring, and growing. ing and amazing experience so far, I I interned for two months with Dr. I’m living in Jerusalem, but spending
I’m very involved in Jewish life there, am especially interested in researching Michael Oren at the Shalem Center, almost 100% of my time in the desert
also in the promotion of Academically Jewish communities and Jewish life a regular speaker on BYFI summers at a base twenty minutes north of Elat.
Based Community Service, in the cul- during the apartheid era. So far my and author of two New York Times
tivation of a cadre of socially-oriented research is proving to be fascinating bestsellers. Jodi Meyerowitz I currently live in
business students, and in getting to and complex. I also just spent a week Eugene, Oregon and am in my third
know all kinds of people. I also spent traveling around Namibia, a country I Elisheva Goldberg is currently year at the Clark Honors College at the
last summer founding a project with highly recommend to anyone looking beginning her sophomore year at University of Oregon studying Econom-
a friend called LendForPeace.org, an for an adventure. I would love to meet the University of Pennsylvania where ics and Planning, Public Policy, and
online site which allows you to lend up with any Bronfmanim traveling she has decided to double major in Management. As a Freshman Interest
directly to Palestinian micro-entrepre- through South Africa! History and Near Eastern Languages Group Assistant in the Residence Halls,
neurs to help facilitate the economic and Civilizations (NELC). Last year she I co-teach a class about credit and mi-
stability needed for peace. In the Michael Pomeranz I am a senior went on an Alternative Spring Break crolending for first year students, help
longer term future I hope to spend at Yale majoring in Religious Studies trip to Honduras through the American them adjust to college, and Residence
some time consulting in the social and writing a senior thesis on the Jewish World Service where she Life. As the student board president of
sector in Israel, though my ultimate intersection of religion and politics, helped a group of Penn Hillel students Oregon Hillel, I am often found there
passion and aspiration is to work in perhaps in the use of religion in Ameri- build a storage facility for sustainable talking with staff, students, planning
education, through some combination can schools for the purpose of creat- agriculture. As she calls Seattle home, programs, and running meetings. I am
of the worlds of Judaism and positive ing citizens. Last summer I worked for she spent the majority of the 2008 sum- extremely passionate about these two
psychology. I look back at Bronfman as the American Council of Trustees and mer there, interning for JTNews, the organizations and positions, however
a huge catalyst in my life, forever grate- Alumni, a higher education non-profit, Jewish newspaper of Washington state the endeavor that I’m most excited
ful for the opportunities, worlds, and and am seriously considering work and taking a class in Ancient Greek about is Shomer Achi - a year-long
relationships to which it’s opened me. in education policy, either higher ed. Philosophy at the University of Wash- tzedek and Jewish-identity based pro-
or K-12. I am editor-in-chief of the ington. She also spent three weeks in gram that connects Israeli and Diaspora
Benjamin Epstein I am in my BYFI Alumni Venture Fund-supported Israel on a Partnership 2000 program Jewry - that a friend and I developed
junior year at MIT studying Biological Fiat Lux: A Journal of Religion at Yale in Philadelphia’s sister city of Netivot this summer at the PresenTense Insti-
Engineering, and have spent the past (www.yale.edu/fiatlux) and the short- before joining her family for their hik- tute in Jerusalem. We’re grateful for
two summers at the Mayo Clinic in stop on the Yale Club Baseball team. ing-filled and stunningly scenic vacation the support provided through a BYFI
Rochester, MN doing research related in glorious Mount Rainier National Park Alumni Venture Fund grant.
to immunology and multiple sclerosis. Ariel Werner I am starting my before returning to Philadelphia. She
Senior year at Brown University, where is the MASA intern on Penn’s campus Kaitlin Nemeth Hey everyone! Last
David Zvi Epstein I just moved I am concentrating in Political Science this year in addition to being a member year, I had a Grinspoon Internship for
back to Toronto to finish my degree in and writing an honors thesis on recent of Hillel’s Education Committee as well Israel Advocacy with Hillel Interna-
philosophy and religion at the Univer- developments in the politics of crime as an active member of many campus tional. My focus was on Israel travel
sity of Toronto. and incarceration. I lead a group of organizations. She hopes to study and I organized events such as benefit
Brown women in teaching arts and abroad next year in an Arabic speaking concerts and other fun activities, in-
Hannah Kapnik I am starting my writing workshops in Rhode Island’s country. She would like to wish the en- cluding a Jewish and Christian Alterna-
junior year at Wellesley College, where minimum- and medium-security pris- tire Bronfman community a Shana Tova tive Spring Break trip to Israel. After I
I’m majoring in Art History. Last year, I ons, and I’m working with one of my U’Metuka (a good and sweet new year). completed my internship, I decided to
was one of the cofounders of the Beit professors to research the 1993 case of study abroad in Israel. Currently, I’m
Midrash at the campus Hillel, for which a man we believe is wrongfully incarcer- Molly Hoisington I am looking at Tel Aviv University. I’ll be back at
I now coordinate weekly learning ated here for a murder he did not forward to starting my sophomore year Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA
sessions. I organize Yamei Iyyun/study commit. I’m also organizing on campus at Northwestern University this fall. sometime in January.
sessions for Boston-area students as and in Rhode Island for Barack Obama, It will be my first as a member of the
an intern for The Center for Modern and I’ve been traveling the Northeast fencing team (sabre squad). I will also Ariela Rothstein I am entering
Torah Leadership and am the market- since last September trying to share the be volunteering in the pulmonary divi- my third year at Yale, beginning the
ing director for The Milk and Honey love. This year I was honored to receive sion of a local hospital, and will further Teacher Preparation Program there,
Press. BYFI has continued to be a the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which explore various majors compatible and continuing on as coordinator of
really important part of my Jewish put me in touch with a community of with the medical field. Community-Based Learning through
identity and community. individuals dedicated to lives of public Dwight Hall, Yale’s Center for Public
service and will help me significantly Aaron Krivitzky I am a senior at Service and Social Justice. I’m looking
Daniel Marans I am beginning my as I journey towards law school. I’m Middlebury College; a dual Philoso- forward to meeting all the entering
junior year at Johns Hopkins University planning to move to New York after phy/English major. I just finished con- Bronfmanim, a new POTUS, continu-
in Baltimore where I am continuing graduating, where my boyfriend just sulting and co-writing a Hunter Press ing a Bronfman tradition of support
my studies for a degree in History. I started NYU Law. I look forward to publication: “Educational Opportuni- for New Orleans, and hosting dinner
will be studying in Paris next semester, taking part in the many New York area ties in Integrative Medicine”. It’s a parties in my new apartment!
where I hope to become fluent in Bronfman alumni activities. reference guide to the various career
French. This past semester I interned opportunities in holistic medicine Masha Shpolberg I’m currently a
at a trademark licensing agency where 2005 and the emerging field of integrative junior at Princeton, studying Compara-
I got first hand experience in a niche Ariel Fisher I just got back from medicine. I am beginning my two tive Literature in Russian and French,
corner of the marketing world--and being the counselor on this past term senior thesis on Existentialism and getting a “certificate” (Princeton’s
realized it probably wasn’t for me. summer’s Bronfman trip. I am now and Nihilism in Literature. I also just equivalent of a minor) in painting. I
Around campus I am the president a sophomore at the University of finished a summer of intensive Hebrew also just got back from a wonderful
of Jews in Greek Life and the Jewish Pennsylvania where I am majoring in at Middlebury. My reggae/rock band, summer studying film in Poland and
Identity Chair for my fraternity (AEPi). Urban Studies. Yuzimi, is on the upturn. http://www. am seriously considering continuing
I am also the programming director of yuzimi.net/music.html if you want on in film studies. For some reason, I
the Hopkins College Democrats with Jordan Hirsch I am now a Junior to listen to a soundboard recording found myself thinking back to Bron-
which I will be working avidly to elect at Columbia majoring in Modern of our last show. I plan to travel to fman quite a few times during the trip,
Barack Obama. European History. This past spring, I Israel in December on family trip. I am particularly during the Jewish cultural
became editor-in-chief of The Current, always looking for work in the non-fic- festival in Krakow. I hope everyone’s
Columbia’s journal of contemporary tion expository writing venue. doing well, and send all my love,

BYFI.org 31
BYFI Class Notes
2006 Contact Nat Gardenswartz 2007 Collected by Yael Zinkow Yale in 2009. Isaac Wilder will par-
Mateo Aceves Last year I spent a After diplomas were finally handed out ticipate in a cultural exchange by living
semester living in the Bronfman Bayit in early summer, the 2007 Bronfman with a Maharaja in Udaipur.
and learning in yeshivat eretz hatzvi. fellows all embarked on their own
I started at Brandeis University in the separate journeys, beginning the next 2008
Spring where I returned a few weeks important phases in their lives. Eliot Tobah Aukland, Tamar Blanchard, Zach
ago. This summer I interned at Blue- Abrams spent this past summer Bleemer, Briah Cahana, Aaron Clayton-
Star PR, a pro-Israel non-profit in San staffing the Wheeling, IL Ramah Day Dunn, Serena Covkin, Julie Cronan,
Francisco, and attended two AIPAC Camp, bringing a bit of the Bronfman Jack deTar, Alana Fichman, Kayla
conferences, one with the Samuel spirit along with him. And this fall, he Foster, Benjamin Friedman, Jacob
Bronfman Foundation. is starting at the University of Chicago Grunberger, Alixandra Heiman Kriegs-
as a potential Economics and Philoso- man, Jacob Hutt, Jana Kozlowski,
Gabe Greenwood lived in Jerusa- phy double major, but the school is so Rebecca Margolies, Elie Peltz, Andreas
lem for a year with the Bronfman Bayit close to home that he plans on return- Rotenberg, Daneel Schaechter, Justin
and is now a freshman at Princeton. ing and spending the High Holidays Shechtel, Jake Spinowitz, Shira Telush-
with the family. Gabe Frieden is at kin, Samuel Telzak, Grace Wallack,
Rivkah Blutstein lived in Jerusa- Princeton where he has eight room- Aaron Weinberg, Olivia Wind
lem for a year with the Bronfman Bayit mates, six of whom are Asian, one of
and is now a freshman at Barnard. whom is also named Gabe. He’s plan- Yozma
ning on studying math or some sort
Madeleine Levey lived in Jerusa- of science. Rebekah Judson, who Sara Heitler Bamberger is
lem for a semester with the Bronfman graduated high school in the spring currently the Director of the Religion,
Bayit, worked for a semester at home, of 2007 spent the year volunteering Politics and Globalization Program at
and is now a freshman at the Univer- at a public school in the Bronx with UC Berkeley (rpgp.berkeley.edu). She
sity of Michigan. City Year, a non-profit organization lives in Berkeley, California with her
dedicated to improving education in husband, Kenneth Bamberger, who is
Tova Nadler reports: last year New York City schools. Ben Schen- a law professor at UC Berkeley’s Boalt
I spent two semesters studying in kel was selected as a Presidential Hall School of Law, and their three chil-
Midreshet Lindenbaum, a midrasha Scholar and spent two weeks traveling dren, Max (5), Isaiah (4) and Niva (2).
for advance women’s torah study in through China and living with host
Jerusalem. This year I am a first year at families while on the Student Leaders Judith Shapero is the Head of
Barnard College in New York. Exchange. Now he starts at Yale. the Department of Jewish Thought at
Anya van Wagtendonk is also TanenbaumCHAT. She teachs Jewish
Jonah Fisher spent a year at a at Yale, taking wonderful and exciting Ethics, History and Women’s Studies
Mechina program in Israel. He is now a classes, meeting incredible people, and is a lecturer in the Religious Stud-
freshman at Brown. and, she reports, “trying to take full ies and Linguistics departments at York
advantage of all the opportunities, University. She is living in Toronto and
Nathaniel Gardenswartz Jewish and otherwise, that come married to Darren Phillipson with two
This past year, I lived in Jerusalem as my way.” Ari Atkins, also a 2007 children, Marni (6), and Jacob (4).
part of the Bronfman Bayit. It was a graduate, spent the year traveling
phenomenal experience. Now I am a around Europe, South America, and
freshman at Princeton... an exciting India. Jordan Yadoo is at Cornell
change! University, where he plans to pursue Send us your updates: ava.charne@byfi.org
a degree in Industrial and Labor Rela-
Shani Rosenbaum spent a year at tions, with a minor in Law and Society.
Midreshet Lindenbaum, also known He spent a week of this past summer
at Brovenders, in Israel. She is now a in Washington DC to attend AIPAC’s
freshman at Brandeis. summer Saban leadership seminar,
which included forums with Senators
Emma Sokoloff-Rubin I just Barbara Boxer and Jon Kyl, congres-
started my sophomore year at Yale, sional representatives Robert Wexler
where I’m enjoying taking classes in as and Mark Kirk, as well as White House
many areas as possible and meeting Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. The pro-
new people every day. My days here gram enhanced his understanding of
include a mix of new and old interests: the situation in Israel and the Middle
I’m still playing clarinet and ultimate East and developed his skills in the
frisbee whenever I can, and I’ve also area of political lobbying. He was also
started learning salsa and serving on one of roughly fifty incoming freshmen
the ed board of the undergraduate in- to be named a Hunter R. Rawlings III
ternational affairs magazine. I spent the Presidential Research Scholar. As 5769
summer researching race and domestic begins, a good number of the 2007
violence in Northeast Brazil, a project fellows will head off to some of the
that will continue as I incorporate my country’s top colleges, including Yale,
research into coursework and magazine Brown, Stanford, and Cornell to pur-
articles this year. sue degrees in a broad range of fields.
Some of the other fellows will embark
Benamy Yashar After an amaz- on international adventures. Eliana
ing, life-changing year spent in the Roberts Golding and Elyssa
Bronfman Bayit in Israel and traveling Kaplan will spend the year in the
Europe, I am starting my first year Bronfman Bayit in Jerusalem, studying
of studies at Stanford University and doing community service. Eitan
with focuses on math, science, and Lefkowitz, Noah Lindenfeld,
engineering. Arielle Lewis, Julie Meyer, and
Hody Nemes are also returning to
Israel to study in Yeshivah, he starts

32 bronfman 2008
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