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2020-2021 Fellows

Rishon LeZion Fellows

Carina Pulver was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She spent her childhood in a small city called San Pedro and has been living in Rosario for the last 13 years. In 2016 she graduated from Instituto Superior de Educación 28 “Olga Cossettini” with a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Secondary Education. Since then, she has been working in English language schools teaching teenagers and adults. She is passionate about helping students acquire the skills they need to navigate in a globalized world, where English is the main language of communication. She sees Yahel Social Change Fellowship as a huge opportunity for personal and professional growth. She is looking forward to being immersed in the Israeli society and learning more about its complexity.

Reed Augen is a proud New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. As a second degree black belt, he has been practicing Tae Kwon Do for over 17 years. Through Tae Kwon Do, he discovered a passion for teaching and has taught the martial art for 10 years as well as working with the Afterschool program and acting as the head counselor during Summer Camp. He graduated from SUNY Delhi in 2018 with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and continued his education at Hunter College. Throughout High School and College he was involved in several extra curricular activities ranging from Student Government, Mock Trial, Model UN, Volunteering with Dorot (a Jewish based organization that works with and helps the elderly population), History Club (in which he was Secretary and Senator) and Hillel. Some of his hobbies include learning about history, watching/playing sports and taking long walks. In the last couple of years he has learned a lot about Judaism both religiously and culturally and is very excited to continue learning in Israel. He believes that everyone deserves a fair chance in life, free of hatred, persecution, injustice and can’t wait to continue his mission of helping others during the fellowship.

Miranda Singer grew up in Hamden, CT and completed her bachelor’s degree at Clark University in Psychology and Community, Youth, & Education Studies in May 2020, focusing on finding ways to close the academic achievement gap. She has spent years working with youth in Educational settings or for educational needs, specifically youth whose first language is not English or who are underprivileged. For many summers, she volunteered as a literacy tutor for underprivileged youth and assisted them with their reading and writing skills. Additionally, she did a Praxis project for an Education class in college, where she worked alongside an educator of a classroom consisting of underprivileged youth and implemented lessons to encourage student participation. When she was a junior in college, she studied abroad in Italy and taught English lessons in the Italian schools. After that experience, she decided she wanted to continue working with English language learners in educational settings. She continued with this when interning at the refugee center near her hometown, which entailed helping children who are refugees who recently arrived to the United States enhance their English language proficiency. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, knitting, and playing flute and guitar. After completing the Yahel Social Change Fellowship, she hopes to attend graduate school and earn her degree in either Applied Behavior Analysis, Music Therapy, or Developmental Psychology, where she would have the opportunity to work with children and youth.  

Vaishnavi Satyavolu is from Delhi, India. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Delhi University, and a Postgraduate diploma in Liberal Studies from Ashoka University. Having been an active volunteer and intern throughout her student life, she began her career in the non-profit sector last year by working as a Program Coordinator with an NGO in New Delhi. Here, she worked on women empowerment and girl child education, issues which are absolutely close to her heart. Before this, as a fellow in the Young India Fellowship program, she also worked on a project that focused on aiding social and emotional learning in children by using art. In her free time, she loves reading books, taking up DIY projects, and experimenting with food. She is also an avid traveler, and hopes to go around the globe. Taking forward her journey in the social sector, she is excited to become a Yahel fellow, where she hopes to draw upon her work experience to help the local organisations, and work closely with the communities she will be placed with. She is looking forward to learning how we can best help the underprivileged and minorities, and create lasting social change. 

Eliana Szwarc was born in Argentina and raised in Miami, FL.  She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at FIU in March 2018. She spent the last two years completing her Masters in Marriage and Family therapy while working at Promise with troubled youth, Kristi House with mainly sexually abused minors, and at f.a.c.e.s with families as well as divorced parents with children. Her experience interning at Promise allowed her to help children dealing with many adult issues such as homelessness, family violence, suicide, sexual abuse, etc. In Kristi House, she truly understood how resilient and strong children can be after going through such traumas. Lastly, in working at f.a.c.e.s she was able to teach parents communication skills and reunite families even if just for a moment. Being part of all the amazing agencies and programs, she was given a chance to become an advocate for a minor in times of stress and confusion as well as giving an insight to divorced parents. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, dancing, cooking, singing, watching series and meeting new people. Yahel Social Change Fellowship will give her the opportunities to expand her understanding of different people, different cultures, different traditions, different mindset and perspectives which will allow her to gain growth in her personal life as well as her career. 

Juliet Wishner is a New Yorker who has her heart in Israel. She just (virtually) graduated from the University of Michigan, with a bachelor of arts in sociology and international studies, and a minor in Middle Eastern languages and culture. Throughout her studies, she had an active role in the Zionist community on campus, and worked to develop intersectional partnerships with other cultural groups on campus. She enjoys having meaningful conversations, and fully believes that talking with people with different opinions than herself is the best way to fully understand the conflict. Juliet is extremely passionate about working with and educating children. She has worked for 6 years helping children with special needs play soccer, as well as serving as a Jewish cultural education fellow at a diverse camp last summer. This summer, Juliet has been very involved with the BLM movement, attending a plethora of events and even organizing a Juneteenth rally in her hometown. Juliet hopes to continue nonprofit work, whether in Israel or America, and cannot wait for the adventure Yahel will be!

Vic Moissis was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Primary Education in July 2019 and has since completed his -obligatory- military service in his home country. His senior thesis examined the perceptions of the students of his university department and school regarding the Jewish People, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism as a means to examine the impact of anti-Semitic speech on people who can potentially influence the future generation. His work and volunteer experience includes summer camps and day camps affiliated with the Jewish Community, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and other entities, as well as assisting at the Kabbalat Shabbat activities at the Children’s Center of his local JCC. Also an avid musician, Vic has performed with his guitar and/or his keyboards on numerous stages in his hometown and has also participated in many musical-theatrical performances with pedagogical content. He enjoys travelling, riding his bicycle and taking pictures with his smartphone, and is very passionate about learning Hebrew.

Pratiksha Balaji is from Delhi, India. She did her Bachelors in Sociology from Delhi University and recently completed her Masters in Development from Azim Premji University. Her thesis involved the role of minority communities in understanding the urban spaces. She was an active volunteer throughout her college life. During her Masters, she lived and interacted with religious minority groups, Tribals, and gave village level training to Dalit landless laborers who gave her different narratives of their lives and struggles through which she has learnt to construct and deconstruct her opinions on people, their beliefs and traditions. Being in both rural and urban setup with different people and their culture has added to her knowledge about the balance between theories and ground reality. Pratiksha is a trained classical dancer. She is an avid reader and loves to especially read  Rumi, Khalil Gibran, and Khaled Hosseini’s books. Her love for food has led her to taste different cuisines and she loves traveling especially if it involves spontaneous plans. Pratiksha’s passion for giving voice to all and create an equal space has led her to this opportunity with Yahel where she is excited to work with people of different cultures and learn from them. She hopes to learn from this experience and be part of the social change that she aspires to see.

Lev Paasche-Orlow is a recent graduate of Boston University where he earned his BA in Sociology with a focus on social network analysis. As an Undergrad, he was involved with restructuring the BU Hillel community to be more inclusive and facilitate a nuanced dialogue on American-Israeli relations.  Lev conducted a senior thesis mapping the offline organizational structures and networks of contentious social movements, titled; Organizational Techniques of Pro-life Picketers; An exploration of Boston's Anti-Abortion Movement.  More recently, he has worked for Boston Medical Center conducting Covid-19 treatment studies while also working in health literacy in relation to the ongoing opioid epidemic. Lev is currently applying for Ph.D. programs in Sociology for the year following Yahel and wants to continue studying alt-right conservative social movements. In his free time, Lev likes staying active whether through playing basketball, frisbee, or just getting out into nature to hike, ski, or just campout and meditate.

Sofayia Levin hails from the land down under! Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Sofie has a love of adventure, culture and meeting new people from all walks of life. She has had the privilege of having studied at some of Australia’s best educational institutions. Whilst she dabbled in sociological and anthropological studies, Sofie ultimately found her passion in Early Childhood Education and has seen a fulfilling six-year career in early learning. Sofie decided to expand her horizons and is currently undertaking a Diploma of Community Services. Her decision to study community services has largely prompted her desire to take part in the Yahel Fellowship where she can put her life experience, knowledge and understanding into practice. She looks forward to recommencing her formal studies in future. Sofie’s passion lies with all things people, particularly our more vulnerable members of society, and is therefore stoked and humbled to be a part of Yahel Fellowship. Sofie has an appreciation for mental wellness and regularly practices gratitude, empathy and, mindfulness as she believes this combination is the key to balancing a healthy mind. As one of 9 siblings, Sofie has been part of a culturally and linguistically diverse family. Having a sense of belonging to such a big group has provided her with love, courage, and confidence. It’s also taught her extreme patience, grit and incredible resilience, all skills she looks forward to exercising during the program. Sofie loves to sing, loves chocolate, and perhaps most importantly, is definitely a dog person. 

Lod Fellows

Skylar Zakarin grew up in New York and recently graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she studied Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations. She loves to travel and her experiences abroad have shaped both her world views and her passion for immersive experiences. She has a background in conflict resolution, peace and conflict studies research, crisis intervention, and sociocultural exchange, gained through her work as a Cultural Ambassador, a Residence Advisor, and, through internships, including research placements with Cuso International and Amnesty International. In her free time, she loves reading, stand-up comedy, watching films, learning new languages, and dancing. Skylar looks forward to this opportunity to contribute in ways that reach beyond North American society. She can’t wait to meet new people, explore different cultures and identities, and help in any way she can.

Aliza Herzberg was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology/Geography at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a concentration in International Development and a minor in City and Regional Planning. At Cal Poly, Herzberg was elected to serve on the ASI Board of Directors representing the College of Liberal Arts, where she advocated for and wrote policy on issues such as affordable and inclusive campus dining options for students. She also served as the President and Chairwoman of Mustangs United for Israel. After graduating, she worked as an Outdoor Educator at San Mateo Outdoor Education teaching groups of fifth and sixth graders about ecological concepts, nature appreciation and sustainability in an integrated curriculum. She has a wide range of international experiences, ranging from studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand to completing a summer internship at Tel Aviv University with the Manna Center for Food Safety and Security. She has also served as an IsraAID Humanitarian Fellow in Berlin, Germany where she assisted with psychosocial support programs such as art therapy and leadership groups for refugees. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, yoga and hiking. She is looking forward to spending more time in Israel, learning about social changemaking and contributing to community-based service. 

Ethan Kahn is a rising senior at Princeton University from the small and confusingly-named town of Wyoming, Ohio. A concentrator in Near Eastern Studies, he has focused his learning on Jewish-Arab relations and social and political change in the Levant, and has spent the past two summers working in Jordan and studying Arabic in Morocco. His most recent research project involved investigating conceptions of identity and belonging among Iraqi Jews living in the United States. He also cares deeply about civic engagement, social justice, and advocacy: he spent nine months doing service work in Cochabamba, Bolivia before beginning college and has been deeply involved in connecting students to service while co-chairing a student board of Princeton’s Pace Center for Civic Engagement. He is proficient in Spanish and Modern Standard Arabic and is working towards proficiency in Hebrew.

Sarah Burgers was born and raised in the Netherlands. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Throughout her studies, she was an active member of the local chapter of the Dutch United Nations Student Association. Recently, she completed her Dual Master's Degree in International Relations at the University of Haifa, Israel, and the University of Warsaw, Poland. Her thesis and other research projects mainly focused on issues of identity (in)security and identity politics. Other academic interests include intercultural communication and multi-track diplomacy. Sarah loves to travel and to explore different cultures, religions, and traditions. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sailing, and scubadiving. During the fellowship, Sarah hopes to gain a more in-depth understanding of the various communities that make up Israeli society and to learn how to  best use her skills and knowledge to empower underserved communities. 

Genna Levy is a recent graduate from Elon University with a Bachelors concentrated in Psychology with a minor in Human Service Studies. She was born in London and moved to New York in 2005 and has lived there ever since. Since she was 11 years old, Genna has been working with kids in classroom settings, individual homes, and in the gymnastics gym where she coached kids who were on the spectrum. In college she had the opportunity to intern at a social work office, where she was in charge of filling out forms for different ongoing cases. She also had the opportunity to help arrange a teen mom support group at the office by providing transportation for the mothers to the center. This support group is where the mothers were able to talk about their common issues or struggles and were provided with baby items that were donated to the office. Genna also had the opportunity to work at a family solutions center where counselors would work closely with kids who have been struggling with behavior issues and mental illness. Her job at the center was to call parents who needed help for their children and get a full report of the type of care that each parent needed, which would help the center best pair a counselor with the incoming families.  Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, hiking and rock climbing. After completing the Yahel Social Change Fellowship, Genna hopes to continue her education by attending graduate school to earn her degree in Social Work, where she would have the opportunity to become a counselor and work with juveniles in the justice system or work in family counseling.   

Daniel Cohen grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. He recently graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas with a BA in Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences and a minor in Jewish Studies. His academic interests focused on classical and modern Arabic, biblical and modern Hebrew, Israel/Palestine studies, and Jewish Mizrachi history and culture. He also worked with Middle East Research Fellow, Gilead Sher, researching Israeli political negotiations. Daniel was an active member of Rice’s Jewish community, serving as president of Hillel for one year and working to promote the Program in Jewish Studies. He also volunteered with the Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees, an organization that supports refugee youth in Houston. As a Yahel Fellow, Daniel hopes to gain a better understanding of grassroots organizing in Israeli communities and improve his Hebrew and Arabic skills.”

William Van den broeck  grew up between Paris, New York and Ostend, Belgium. He spent this past year living in Brussels, completing a master’s in political economy from Solvay Brussels School and Georgetown University. While living in Brussels, William reopened the local Moishe House (a non-profit that forms community spaces for young Jewish adults) and also worked with the Jewish Voice for an Inclusive Europe (CEJI) on the NOA project- Networks Overcoming Antisemitism. As a junior researcher, his work focused on evaluating the efforts Belgium has taken to combat anti-Semitism and promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue. In between his master’s and bachelor’s degrees, William first spent time teaching and tutoring in Milan and New York. Fun fact: one of his students was former Real Madrid Captain Raul Blanco (considered one of the greatest Spanish football players of all time). After teaching, William transitioned to the field of tourism, working with clients in English, French, Dutch and Italian. At the same time, he pursued a personal goal of high-level training in Judo. As an undergraduate student at Skidmore College, William mentored a young child growing up in underprivileged circumstances and saw first-hand how poverty exacerbates the consequences of mundane and routine childhood blunders. He is excited to use his mentoring and language-teaching skills to help children in Lod. While William considers the establishment of a modern Jewish state as a milestone and achievement for the Jewish people, he is disappointed by the lack of honest and nuanced conversations around Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within diaspora communities. He is looking forward to such honest engagement with the issues of Israel’s past, present and future while also taking part in the work of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by directly helping the local communities in Lod. 

Naomi Shifrin is a rising senior at Princeton University. Born and raised in New York City, she is studying Sociology and minoring in Statistics and Machine Learning, African Studies, and Philosophy. Prior to beginning her studies at Princeton, Naomi lived in Yoff, Dakar, Senegal, studying Wolof and French, teaching English at SOS Children’s Villages, and immersing in Senegalese culture and life with her host family. Naomi’s work has since centered around research and advocacy within poverty, inequality, and intersecting institutions, directed by and grounded in the lived experiences of those impacted. She has led committees fighting for carceral reform, motivated by her time tutoring those incarcerated and conducting qualitative research on mental health and healthcare in prisons. She currently works on the housing crisis with a research institute, the Eviction Lab, and recently conducted research on the impact of cash transfers on reducing global health disparities in the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis crises. These endeavors were grounded in Naomi’s work serving as a “compassionate companion” for the street houseless population in Boston. Naomi eventually hopes to weave quantitative and ethnographic research, policy, and ethics to effectively work toward large-scale poverty alleviation and wealth redistribution. Naomi stays closely involved with efforts by and for her communities in Senegal and is an avid singer, runner, reader, dancer, and meditator. She most enjoys spending time with her loved ones from across the globe. She is humbled and excited by the powerful learning to come as a Yahel Fellow.

Gabrielle Richards grew up in the hills of Vermont on the territory of the Abenaki / Wabanaki peoples. She later moved to Ottawa, Ontario, the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe peoples to study at the University of Ottawa. She earned her degree in Anthropology and Sociology. While in Ottawa, Gabrielle had the privilege of working with First Nations communities in climate change and health to support Indigenous stewardship of their lands. In an effort to work more closely with her own community, she moved to Jerusalem for the summer of 2019 to work with Kids4Peace, an interfaith youth dialogue movement that she has been involved with since childhood. Upon her return to Ottawa, Gabrielle helped start a JTeen program for Jewish teens to support their learning about, and taking action, on social justice issues. She is also a passionate yogi and certified 200hr Yoga Teacher. Gabrielle is thrilled to be returning to Israel and working with and learning from communities during Yahel.

Soren Barnett grew up in central New Jersey, USA and recently graduated from Skidmore College with a double major in International Affairs and French and a minor in Music.  After spending two months interning in Haifa through Onward Israel Diversity and Social Justice in 2018, Soren went on to spend their junior year in Paris, France.  There, they took all classes in French, held an internship, conversed with people across the city, and spoke exclusively in French (except to help lost tourists). Over the course of their undergraduate studies, Soren became increasingly interested in the histories of French colonialism, the treatment of and silences within those histories, French racial ideology and racism, and global marginalized and vulnerable populations. Their studies culminated in an International Affairs capstone project titled “’Not quite foreign and not quite French’ : Negotiating Antillean Identity Through YouTube” and a French thesis that analyzed three powerful songs by the French rapper Kery James. Soren enjoys playing viola (they have practiced viola/violin every day since 18 March 2013!), learning languages and about linguistics, exercising and nature, huffing people (except during Covid...), learning about the world, conversing with strangers, and listening to international music! As a Yahel fellow, Soren seeks to use their knowledge, skills, and privileges to be able to serve the Lod community productively and humbly, learn about further complexities of sociopolitical issues and the mechanisms by which they can be effectively addressed, and make profound emotional connections with community members and other Yahel fellows. Through the Yahel Fellowship, Soren also hopes to gain a stronger sense of what trajectory they may want in an anticipated international career centered on helping people and helping solve problems. 

Adam Fogelman Chanes (he/him/his) was born and raised in New York City, and graduated from Northwestern University in 2019, where he majored in History, minored in Religious Studies, and pursued Arabic language studies, including six months studying in ‘Amman, Jordan. After graduating, Adam returned to Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa on an enchanting mountain Northern Israel-Palestine, where he studied Torah, observed nature, and was a counselor for yeshiva students on the autism spectrum. Adam is a research assistant with Northwestern’s history department, studying late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Hasidism, complementing his intellectual and spiritual passion for Jewish and world mysticisms that ground him in his personal life. Adam also freelances as a Hebrew-to-English text and video translator, most recently for a documentary on the politics of Jewish settlement, archeological tourism, and Palestinian displacement and disenfranchisement in East Jerusalem. Having one foot in the Arabic-language world and another in Israel’s religious Jewish spaces, Adam sees the urgency to promote and build on coexistence, shared society, and interfaith endeavors between communities in conflict such as those in Lod, rooted in restorative justice-oriented and therapeutic approaches, sensible policy-analysis, and the Jewish obligation to pursue equality and just society. Together with his mystic and inner learning, you might find Adam praying, meditating, reading novels and poetry, singing, dancing, and laughing.

Alana Deluty is a 27 year old clinical researcher from Rhode Island, USA. After graduating from The College of Wooster in 2015 with a degree in philosophy, she spent a year teaching in Malaysia on a Fulbright Award, and for the past 3 years, she has conducted research in pediatric oncology and adult neuroscience. In her free time, she loves distance bicycling, swing dancing, language learning, and trying out new recipes. Alana loves trying new things, so she is incredibly excited to have new experiences in Israel, expand her professional abilities, learn some Hebrew/Arabic, and spend lots of time eating hummus!

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