2019 Seminary Leadership Project Cohort

Loren Berman headshotLoren Berman is a fourth-year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Originally from Los Angeles (where he was a successful child actor), Loren is the East Coast Educator for Moishe House International, the supervisor of High Holidays programming at Rikers Island, and a former teacher of Torah in a rural Jewish village in Ghana. His education has taken him to Columbia University, Pardes, Drisha, and Yeshivat Har Etzion.

 


madeline cooper headshotMadeline Cooper is a third year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, studying in New York. She is also completing a Master of Arts in Jewish Non-Profit Management from the Zelikow School at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Madeline is serving as a Rabbinic Fellow at Temple Beth El in Augusta, ME through the Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College. Before matriculating at HUC-JIR, she served as Director of Education at the Upper Valley Jewish Community in Hanover, NH, where she administered the Hebrew School and developed family education programing. Originally from Lexington, MA and a graduate of Gann Academy in Waltham, MA, Madeline graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a major in History and minors in Religion and Jewish Studies. Madeline’s hobbies include spending time outdoors, reading, and volunteering for political campaigns.


ben dyme headshotBen Dyme, rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, started his 4th year fall 2019. He grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. After active participation in NFTY in high school, he went to University of Michigan, joined Hillel groups and took on leadership roles there. Ben worked as the program associate at UofM Hillel after graduating. Then he moved to Philadelphia, subsequently took administrative job at the University of Pennsylvania, and earned a masters in creative writing there. Since starting HUC in the summer of 2016, Ben has enjoyed coursework, volunteering, service learning and leading. Ben began his new internship at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) in early September 2019, and has found the High Holidays an exciting time there.


Tanya Farber headshotTanya Farber is a third year rabbinical student at Yeshivat Maharat in Riverdale, NY. A school teacher for nearly fifteen years, Tanya is eager to expand her skills beyond the classroom and into the community. Over the course of her teaching career, Tanya has taught Judaic studies in yeshiva high schools in NY and NJ, coordianted a high school beit midrash, and taught experiential Jewish education to fourth graders in Central NJ.  In the classroom, Tanya integrates traditional text study, with  improv and other creative modalities, and prayer  and liturgy with mindfulness meditation.

On weekends, Tanya works in Brooklyn as a supervisor in a shomer Shabbat group home for Jewish women with developmental disabilities. Originally from Arizona, Tanya has lived in Highland Park, NJ for over two decades and is now resettling into Washington Heights and is eager to explore the many neighborhoods in NYC. (Photo credit: Shulamit Seidler-Feller)


Lily Goldstein headshot. Lily Goldstein is a second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Outside of class, she teaches ninth graders at Congregation Beth Elohim and runs a family volunteer service corps at Central Synagogue. She graduated in 2016 from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism and American Studies. Prior to starting rabbinical school at HUC, Lily served as a teaching assistant with Blue Engine (an education equity organization), and then worked as a youth and family educator at Central Synagogue in NYC. She is so excited to be part of the JOIN community.


Talia Kaplan headshot. Talia Kaplan is a first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary who is passionate about meaning-making and social justice work in Judaism. Before moving to New York, Talia advocated and organized around immigration justice and facilitated experiential education programming for the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. She has also spent time at pluralistic institutions including T’ruah and Pardes. Talia graduated Phi Beta Kappa with high honors from Wesleyan University, where she helped create a new leadership structure for the Jewish community, advanced interfaith allyship on campus, and published writing on Israel education and collective memory, as well as the intersection of gender and Jewish ritual. Outside of the classroom, Talia can be found at used bookstores, community theaters, and ice cream shops.


Marcelle Hohl headshot. Marcelle Hohl is a second-career rabbinical student with JTS. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from JTS Kekst Graduate School. Before JTS, Marcelle studied at Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, Massachusetts. Marcelle is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has two daughters and a lovely grandson. Besides Brazil, she has lived in Switzerland and Germany. Due to her diverse background and rich life experiences, Marcelle is fluent in six languages. She is a sworn translator and interpreter in English and Brazilian Portuguese, and she worked as a private language instructor for international companies for twenty years.

Her greatest passion has always been Judaism, and she and her family were very active lay leaders  at Comunidade Shalom, a vibrant Conservative synagogue in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Marcelle is especially interested in liturgy and sacred music. Her main goal as a future rabbi is building communities where people can share meaningful Jewish experiences through study, prayer, and lifecycle celebrations.


David Lerner headshot. David Lerner is a fifth-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He currently serves as the Rabbinic Intern at Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, where aside from a variety of rabbinic roles, he focuses mainly on young family engagement and community building. David has prior synagogue experience in his hometown of Detroit, where he worked as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Programming at Congregation Shaarey Zedek and as a spiritual and ritual leader at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. As a father of two, David feels passionately about issues surrounding Jewish family life and looks forward to connecting to families (as well as congregants from all demographics for certain!) as he looks toward landing in a congregational pulpit next year.


Allen Lipson headshot. Allen Lipson is thrilled to learn together with the JOIN team. A traditionally rooted advocate for compassionate Jewish community, he arrives at JTS after professional stints organizing for the interreligious coalition Faith in New York and the hotel and food service workers’ union UNITE HERE. Previously, he developed leadership skills as a financial consultant for AXA, a global insurance company.

Allen is a former year fellow at Yeshivat Hadar and an alumnus of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude with dual bachelor’s’ degrees in Rabbinic Literature and Economics, respectively. His thesis, pending publication in the Review of Rabbinic Judaism, examines the market for Torah scrolls in the Mishnaic period. A Rockland, New York native, Allen considers himself an avid reader and occasionally successful cook.


ndrew Mandel headshot. Andrew K. Mandel is a passionate proponent of values-based leadership for a more just world. He  has taught seventh grade in a South Texas public school, led leadership development design at Teach For America for 16 years, received his doctorate in adult learning and leadership at Columbia’s Teachers College, and co-founded an educational advocacy organization in his hometown community in Rockland County, New York. Now a second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in New York, Andrew is currently leading a team to develop a new holiday, Yom HaTzedek, to rededicate ourselves annually to the Jewish call for justice. He has served as a Froman Fellow at the New Israel Fund, a coach for the Schusterman Fellowship, and a Rabbi Andre Ungar Scholar. He lives in Long Island City with his partner, Mozart, and attends Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.


Levi Mastrangelo headshot. Levi Mastrangelo grew up in Denver, CO. He earned a B.A. in Religion from Boston University, after which he spent a year learning at Yeshivat Darche Noam/Shapell’s and received smicha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Levi held internships at Young Israel of Toco Hills, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, DOROT, S.A.R. High School, and Congregation Orach Chaim. In his free time, Levi enjoys singing zmiros, learning mishnah, solving puzzles, and reading print journalism. In the upcoming year, Levi will be working as a Chaplain Resident at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.


Gloria Nusbacher headshot. Gloria Nusbacher is entering her 4th year at Yeshivat Maharat and expects to receive semikha (ordination) in June 2020. She earned a B.A. from Barnard College (with a double major in psychology and political science) and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Before coming to Maharat, she had a career of over 30 years in corporate law, including almost 20 years as a partner at one of the 100 largest U.S. law firms. Gloria co-founded and led her community’s women’s tefilla group and has served as a board member and officer of her synagogue. Gloria has given Torah classes in her local community (West Hempstead, NY),  has served as a rabbinic intern at Congregation Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C. and at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and has completed a chaplaincy internship at The Allen Hospital.


Leah Nussbaum headshot. Leah Nussbaum is a third year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Leah was born and raised in Framingham MA, outside Boston.  She grew up at Temple Shir Tikva of Wayland, a Reform community, where her education and prayer experiences were integral to her development as a Jew and as a person. In college, she found her home at Hillel of Syracuse University, where her Jewish identity and community involvement intersected with her interest in interfaith work and disability rights.  Following college, she served as a Fellow with Repair the World Philadelphia, facilitating community action, education, and volunteering.  This past year, she took some time away from HUC to live in Jerusalem, and spent each of her days immersed in a serious (and fun!) Jewish text study environment at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She also completed two units of pastoral care training the past two summers at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, and Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia. 


Phoebe Ana Rabinowitsch headshot. Phoebe Ana Rabinowitsch is a student at Yeshivat Maharat expected to graduate in 2022. She grew up in South Florida, and earned a B.A. in Religion and Anthropology from American University (Washington, DC). Phoebe Ana has completed various internships including at Hillel International and a national voter registration campaign. Phoebe Ana studied at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Middlebury College Language Schools. She has studied Torah at Drisha, Hadar and Pardes, where she was involved in organizing a weekly partnership minyan. She has experience teaching English as a Second Language to adult learners and Hebrew and Judaic studies at various religious schools in New York City. Phoebe Ana participated in 92Y’s Jewish Innovation Fellowship and was a summer fellow with T’ruah, and continues to intern with her placement site at New Sanctuary Coalition. Phoebe Ana is an active participant in a monthly women’s rosh chodesh group that brings together text to discuss health and wellness and the relationship to being a Jewish woman today. Phoebe Ana is committed to exploring how beliefs and practices can help create supportive and nourishing environments and is interested in further exploring the field of chaplaincy and pastoral education. She lives in Washington Heights, New York.


Kyle Savitch headshot. Kyle Savitch is in his third year of rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah from where he anticipates receiving rabbinic ordination in 2021. He currently lives in the Harlem Moishe House and is working to build a vibrant, diverse, Jewish community in Harlem. Kyle received a BA in Judaism in America along with a minor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester and has spent time post-college in the batei midrash (houses of learning) of Pardes and Hadar. One of Kyle’s passions is experiential education and he hopes to provide more opportunities for such education in the Jewish world through his rabbinate.


Eliza Scheffler headshot. Eliza Scheffler is a 3rd year Rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She also serves as the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth Elohim. As a Rabbinic Intern, Eliza is building community among young Brooklynites looking for a connection to Jewish culture, time, and ritual. Prior to rabbinical school, Eliza worked in charity evaluation at GiveWell, primarily in global health and development. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies. Eliza enjoys climbing mountains, eating challah, and meeting her neighbors.


Ben Varon headshot. Ben Varon is beginning his third year of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He grew up in New City, New York, but currently lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Before moving to New York, he attended the University of Maryland where he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Government and Politics. Before starting Rabbinical School, he worked for United Synagogue Youth, first as a Program Coordinator for their summer programs and then as the Regional Director for the New York Region. When he is not working or studying, he likes to hang out with friends, travel, watch sports, and meet new people.


Aron Wander headshot. Aron Wander is an organizer, writer, and first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before starting rabbinical school, he worked as the Northeast Campus Organizer with J Street U for two years. While living in Boston, he also served on the Coordinating Team of Kavod, a community of young Jews dedicated to Judaism and justice. Prior to moving to Boston, he worked in data science and political consulting in New York City, where he also volunteered as an organizer with IfNotNow. In his spare time, he enjoys making eggs, collaging, wandering around used book stores, and blogging about Torah, Jewish institutions, and Israel/Palestine.


Danielle Weisbrot headshot Danielle Weisbrot is a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she is a co-leader of the student-run HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen. Danielle also currently serves as the student rabbi at the North Fork Reform Synagogue in Southold, NY. Before enrolling at HUC-JIR, Danielle worked at an education and performing arts nonprofit in East Harlem. Danielle earned her B.A. at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, in 2006, majoring in English and minoring in Judaic Studies. Danielle has been active in Jewish life for many years, filling roles as a Hebrew school teacher, a b’nai mitzvah tutor, a volunteer English teacher for Israeli adults who separated from the Haredi community, and a volunteer at JBI (formerly the Jewish Braille Institute); she remains an active congregant and occasional lay leader at her home congregation on Long Island. As she continues her rabbinical studies, Danielle is excited to add to her knowledge and experience, as well as to expand her engagement with the broader Jewish community.