Hornstein Students




            Our students are experienced professionals who are searching for meaningful work...

  ...and choose Hornstein to become critically informed, highly skilled professionals committed to shaping the future of the Jewish community. 



Each year, 10 to 15 qualified future
Jewish professionals from all backgrounds are chosen to enroll in the Hornstein Program. A typical student has strong academic qualifications and several years of work experience in organizations such as Jewish camps, museums, Hillels and Jewish education; federations and JCCs; fundraising, community relations and start-ups; and work in overseas Jewish communities.

Some students are experienced professionals in other fields who are searching for meaningful work that brings their personal and professional identities closer together.

No matter what their background, our students chose the Hornstein Program to become critically informed, highly skilled professionals committed to shaping the future of the Jewish community.

The diversity of a typical class adds to its intellectual and professional excitement. Because graduates will be working in an increasingly diverse Jewish community, they confront tough questions about pluralism, tolerance and inclusion in their training. The educational experience at the Hornstein Program presents "living models" of good professional practice.



Meet Our Current Hornstein Students!

Class of 2017 | Class of 2018Hornstein Alumni


Class of 2017

Chen Arad Chen Arad (MA/MBA), originally from Hod HaSharon, Israel, is Subscriptions Marketing Manager in North America and a regular blogger for the Israeli daily Haaretz. Formerly, Chen served for three years as an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Foreign Press Spokesman, worked as a news editor for the popular Israeli website ynet, and ran a fundraising campaign for the Israel Cancer Association. Chen is a recent graduate of Brandeis University (2015) where he was a recipient of the Malkin Israeli Endowed Scholarship for Jewish-Arab coexistence and the relationship between Jews in Israel and the United States. His academic focuses were American History, East Asian Studies and Politics. While at Brandeis, he co-founded Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (bVIEW), a student-run grassroots movement and conference seeking to create a more constructive discourse regarding Israel on American college campuses. Chen is deeply passionate about promoting Holocaust awareness among non-Jews, and has worked with the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Center.
Mikhal Dicker Michal Dicker (MA/MBA) hails from the Philadelphia Main Line. In 2014, Michal received her BA from Barnard College, where she majored in religion with a concentration in philosophical theology. Her senior thesis, awarded with distinction, analyzed the agunah crisis through the prism of critical gender theory. Throughout college, she served as a campus fellow for the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She also ran and biked in a number of marathons, including New York’s ING full-marathon, and placed second in Barnard's annual oratory competition. Since moving to the Boston area, Michal has worked in the fashion and retail business at Nordstrom and is thrilled to be a part of the 2017 Hornstein cohort.
Mollie Feldman Mollie Feldman (MA/MA) graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2011 with a degree in Philosophy. Mollie’s senior capstone project addressed the question of what makes a group continuous over time, focusing her research on the continuity of the Jewish people. After her BA, Mollie worked for three years as youth director at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. In 2014, Mollie received a Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults from Hebrew Union College, joining a cohort of Jewish leaders passionate about professionalizing the field of experiential education. Most recently, Mollie was part of the Experiential Educators program at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Mollie’s love for Jewish experiential education is largely inspired by her 2009 participation in Brandeis Collegiate Institute, where she returned as a staff member in summers 2014 and 2015. Mollie is excited to expand her capabilities as an educator through a deeper understanding of Jewish history and the Jewish institutional landscape.
Leo Fuhrman Leo Fuhrman (MA/MBA) was born in Argentina. When he was three years old, he and his family moved to a kibbutz in Israel. He grew up in the city of Be’er Sheba where he became active in the conservative youth movement, NOAM. Leo went on to volunteer on Kibbutz Ketura and at a number of educational institutes in the year before beginning his service in the Israeli military. He served as a combat soldier and commander in the Nahal division. After his release from the army, Leo returned to Ketura to continue his volunteer work and traveled in the U.S. with his new wife. Leo returned to Israel to attend Ben Gurion University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Foreign Linguistics. He also returned to NOAM as a professional, starting and running a new city chapter of the youth movement and serving as the National Coordinator of NOAM’s counselor training program. Leo recently finished a year at High Q, a specialized language education and standardized test training institute, where he was as an English teacher. Leo used his fluency in Spanish to assist in the development of a new Spanish program. At Brandeis, Leo hopes to strengthen his management skills in informal “out of class room” education, passing on the same impactful extra-curricular experiences he had in his youth. 
Cara Gold Cara Gold (MA/MBA), originally from Ottawa, Ontario, graduated from the University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia with honors in International Development Studies and Spanish. She participated in Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, a program that cultivated in her a lifelong commitment to Judaism, activism and social justice. Cara worked at Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago, where she facilitated national advocacy and organizing campaigns. She participated in Eco Israel, a permaculture apprenticeship in Modi'in, Israel, where she studied land-based Judaism. Returning to Toronto, Cara founded Grassroots Shabbat, an alternative ritual community; launched Roots of Poverty, a program that explores local poverty issues through a Jewish lens; and co-founded a progressive Jewish investment and giving collective.
Daniel Larson Daniel Larson (MA/MBA) was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In 2012, Daniel graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in anthropological archaeology, and sociology. Concluding his undergraduate degree, his major thesis dealt with the evolution of Zionist archaeological narrative. Throughout his time at the U of A, Daniel was involved with Hillel Edmonton, including serving as Co-President and Communications Chair. He also served on the national advisory board of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students, representing Hillels and independent Jewish Student Associations across Canada. After graduation, Daniel trained and served as a madrich with Canada Israel Experience, Canada’s national Taglit-Birthright Israel trip provider. Shortly thereafter, Daniel joined the team at The Jewish Federation of Edmonton as Director of Communications & Campaign Coordinator, in addition to capacities as Director of Hillel Edmonton and Festival Coordinator for the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival. While at The Jewish Federation of Edmonton, Daniel oversaw year-on-year campaign growth and partnered with J.CORE, Edmonton’s Young Adult Division, to establish a campaign for young professionals. Daniel is excited to join the Hornstein family as a FEREP fellow through The Jewish Federations of North America’s Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, and as a Rodkin Scholar through Jewish Federations of Canada-United Israel Appeal. Daniel is looking forward to the relationships and networking that will emerge from the Hornstein cohort, as well as studying the fundamentals and theory surrounding the evolving Jewish philanthropic landscape!
Natasha Nefedyeva Natasha Nefedyeva (MA/MBA) was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia). At the age of thirteen, she attended Jewish summer camp for the first time. Inspired to further explore her Jewish roots, and eager to share her newfound passion, Natasha went on to join several Jewish programs, eventually becoming a camp counselor. While pursuing her BA in Sociology at the University in St. Petersburg and a master's degree in European Sciences, Natasha continued to dedicate her time to Jewish informal education. Later she joined the Jewish Agency for Israel as a fundraiser and missions’ coordinator and then JDC where she currently coordinates community development projects and Public relations. Putting her personal and professional creative energy into action, Natasha was among the founding members of the first Moishe House in St. Petersburg. Even after moving away, she continues to stay in touch with the MoHo network through its Ambassadors Circle. 
Melanie Phillips Melanie Phillips (MA/MBA) was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2012, she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BS in Sociology and a minor in Social Welfare. During college, Melanie was very involved with Jewish life on campus serving as the Engagement Intern for Hillel and President of Alpha Epsilon Phi, as well as holding various positions at the Weinstein JCC. After graduating Melanie spent ten months living in Rishon Lezion, Israel as a participant on the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows: Israel Experience program. Immediately following the program she returned to Richmond, Virginia where she began working as the Director of Young Leadership at the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. During her two years there, Melanie participated in many different programs and conferences including presenting at JFNA's TribeFest 2014 and the inaugural Taglit Fellows conference.
Josh Satok Josh Satok (MA/MBA) was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, before moving to the U.S to attend Yale University. At Yale Josh majored in Religious Studies, writing his thesis on Jewish school and Jewish camp, and graduated cum laude and with distinction in the major. Josh has worked in a variety of settings in the Jewish world, particularly in formal and informal education. He has taught at Toronto's Montessori Jewish Day School, spent a year working and living at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, the world's only pluralistic Jewish boarding school, and taught at the Yale Hillel Children's school. Josh's greatest love is Jewish camp. He spent six summers as a staff member at Camp Kadimah in Nova Scotia, Canada, a Young Judea camp that he started going to after grade nine, serving as a counselor, sports staff, Section Head, and Program Director. This past summer he worked as the Program Director at Camp Ramah in Canada. He also worked for the Foundation for Jewish Camp in New York City as a Bildner Fellow. Josh is a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. He is very much looking forward to being a part of the Hornstein community and experiencing everything that Brandeis and Boston have to offer.
Tamar Shachaf-Schneider Tamar Shachaf-Schneider (MA/MA) is from Tel Aviv, Israel where she received a BA in Political Science and Communications from Tel Aviv University. In 2013, Tamar took a six-month trip around the world, starting in Thailand and ending in Canada with stops in Laos, New Zealand and the U.S.A. It was during these six months that she realized that working with young Jews from around the world is something she would like to pursue as a career. After participating in a Chicago-based conference dedicated to the meaning and future of Zionism and Israel Education, she realized that working with Jews from all over the world is not merely an interesting endeavor, but her true calling. She looks forward to participating in the Hornstein Program, learning from the best scholars in the field as well as from fellow students, in order to pursue her dream and give back to the Jewish education field.
Larry Tobin Larry Tobin (MA/MBA) is Associate Vice President, Major Gifts, at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation. Larry joined CJP in 2008 to focus on their annual campaign fundraising efforts, specifically working with donors within the financial services industry. Over his tenure at CJP, Larry has focused especially on building relationships with high-potential younger donors, on CJP’s Day School Initiative, and on Birthright Israel. In his current role, Larry leads a team of 12 staff charged with realizing the community's financial dreams through CJPs $55M+ annual campaign, planned giving and endowment raising. In his spare time, he sits on the development committee at his first alma mater, The Rashi School, and sits on the alumni board of his second, BU Academy. Larry lives in Needham with his wife Jesse.
Rina Wagman Rina Wagman (MA/MBA) was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware.  She graduated from Cornell University with a double major in Government and Near Eastern Studies. While at Cornell, Rina served as the Executive Intern at Cornell University Hillel. Since graduating, Rina has spent her last five years living in Boston working for Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). She started at CJP as a Planning Assistant and made her way up through the organization, serving as a key member of the staff team for CJP’s high-level Acharai leadership development program, and most recently serving as a Missions Officer. In this capacity, Rina organized Missions to Israel and other Jewish communities and worked closely with major donors to organize individualized trips. Outside of CJP, Rina manages the fundraising for and performs in the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston as well as co-runs a weekly Israeli dance session and annual Israeli dance camp in Boston. 

Class of 2018

Deryn Rae Harbin

Deryn Rae Harbin (MA/MBA) is a violinist and Jewish community organizer. A New York native turned Florida transplant, Deryn graduated with a dual BA in Music and Business from Florida State University in 2010. Having learned to read music before she could read words, a passion for creative expression developed early on. As a lifelong musician, Deryn's practice has led her to a variety of careers, from founding a student nonprofit music organization, to volunteering in Dresden, Germany as a teaching-artist, and later to Tel Aviv, Israel where she became active in nurturing Jewish identity and leadership. Most recently, she served two years as the Director of Registration for a Birthright Israel trip organizer in Haifa, where she facilitated the first journey to Israel of many American Jewish youths. She is now the part-time Engagement and Programming Assistant and IACT Coordinator at Wellesley College Hillel. Deryn is excited to join the 2018 Hornstein Cohort at Brandeis where she hopes to combine her love for music with that of Jewish culture and traditions into a meaningful career. Learn more about Deryn's musical career at her website. 

Gabrielle Hersch

Gabrielle Hersch (BA/MA) is originally from Fort Myers, Florida where she developed a passion for cultures and traditions that led her to Brandeis University. A rising senior in the Brandeis Class of 2017, Gabi is double-majoring in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies (NEJS) and Anthropology, and minoring in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) and Religious Studies. Through her time at Brandeis, Gabi has worked at URJ Camp Coleman as Ropes Course Director, served as a Brandeis Bridges Fellow and club president, became a Social Justice World of Work Fellow during her summer internship at the American Jewish World Service where she worked in the Office of the President, and studied abroad in Morocco in a program about "Migration and Transnational Identity." Gabi currently serves as a coordinator for the Brandeis Waltham Group, "Service Without Borders," and as an Undergraduate Departmental Representative for Brandeis' Religious Studies department. After a summer interning for PresenTense through the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) in New York, Gabi is thrilled to join Hornstein to learn more about the Jewish Professional world.

Dalia Krusner

Dalia Krusner (MA/MBA), originally from Toronto, Ontario, graduated with High Distinction from the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies at the University of Toronto. She grew up in the youth movement Hashomer Hatzair, and attended its summer camp in Ontario, Camp Shomria, for 15 years. Her involvement at camp gave her a strong foundation in Jewish experiential education, which she transferred to her position as Youth Leadership Manager at Ve’ahavta, a Jewish charitable social service organization. In recent years, Dalia has combined her background in Conflict Studies with her love of camp as Director of Heart to Heart, a program that brings Jewish and Arab Israeli teens to Camp Shomria every summer for dialogue programming. Dalia is proud to be an award recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship / Davidson Scholars Program and excited to join the Hornstein community. 

Rose Levenson

Rose Levenson (MA/MBA) is a south Central Pennsylvania native, hailing from the sweet town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. She recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts with a degree in Psychology and Education. Through a process of self-directed learning and progressive education, Rose found the bridge between her academic work and her passion: overnight Jewish summer camp. After five years working at URJ Crane Lake Camp, Rose is overjoyed to pursue degrees that will deepen her understanding of the field of Jewish Professional Leadership. 

Jacob Markey

Jacob Markey (MA/MPP) is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the last few years, his journey has taken him to a wide array of places. He spent ten months in Israel as a volunteer in the Otzma program, and was previously the Coordinator for Israel Engagement at the Hillel at Brandeis. Most recently, he worked for the Union for Reform Judaism as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel.

Kayla Reisman

Kayla Reisman (MA/MBA) is the product of several Jewish Day Schools in Baltimore, Maryland, where she grew up. After high school, Kayla spent a year on the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, and graduated from Dickinson College magna cum laude with a degree in Judaic Studies, Sociology and a certificate in Jewish education. From there, she worked for Hillel at Ithaca College from 2014-2016 as the Senior Engagement Associate and Director of Jewish Student Life. Kayla brings to Hornstein many years of experience in Jewish Experiential Education and Jewish Communal Service, and looks forward to continuing at Hornstein in the footsteps of her grandfather, Bernard Reisman, founding director of the Hornstein Program.

Mikhael Reuven

Mikhael Reuven (MA/MA) was born and raised in London, England, and studied for his M.A. in Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Mikhael is a graduate of the Liberal Zionist youth movement LJY-Netzer, for whom he worked after graduating, and an active volunteer for Limmud, for whom he currently co-chairs the publications team. Since making aliyah to Israel, he has spent time learning Hebrew at ulpan, studying Jewish text at the Conservative Yeshiva, tour guiding for NFTY, and volunteering as a goat farmer on Kibbutz Neot Semadar.

Jenni Richton

Jenni Richton (MA/MBA) comes to Brandeis after eight years as a Jewish communal professional in Boston and New York. Most recently, she was the director of the Eser program at Hebrew College where she led the growth and expansion Eser, a young adult Jewish learning program. Prior to Hebrew College, Jenni was the Director of Professional Development and Evaluation at NCSY, where she founded a leadership development program and created operational guidelines for organizational standards. Jenni earned her B.A. with honors from Stern College. She is most passionate about bringing different communities of people together to participate in meaningful Jewish experiences.

Herschel Singer

Herschel Singer (MA/MBA) was born and raised in Albany, New York. He is a 2016 graduate from the Yeshiva University Honors Program, in which he majored in Psychology and minored in Business and Management. His thesis focused on employing quantitative methodologies to assess the efficiency of Jewish camp at fostering lasting Jewish values. While at Yeshiva, Herschel was a statistics peer tutor and volunteered at local public schools. His excitement and dedication to the Jewish non-profit world stem from his experiences at Camp Yavneh, a pluralistic camp in southern New Hampshire at which he has spent the past 14 consecutive summers as a camper, counselor, unit head, and assistant head of boys. He has also worked at the Mannis Foundation, an educational foundation dedicated to improving the learning and lives of learning-challenged people, and for the Foundation for Jewish Camp. He is very much looking forward to becoming part of the Hornstein community, and learning from and with some of the leading Jewish educators in the field.

Joanna Spyra

Joanna Spyra (MA/MA) was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from Jagiellonian University and Cracow University of Economics where she completed two Master’s theses entitled "The image of the JCC as a Jewish Organisation in the US and in Poland—A Comparative Study of JCC Manhattan and JCC Kraków” and "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” While at college Joanna earned academic scholarships to study abroad in Seville (Universidad Pablo de Olavide), Chicago (Roosevelt University) and New York City (Columbia University). Before coming to Brandeis, Joanna worked at the JCC Kraków where she helped enrich cultural and educational programing and coordinated JCC Global international environmental project, Adam Adamah, between three Jewish communities: Milwaukee, Kraków, and Jerusalem. She also has work experiences as an intern in the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Polish Tourism Organization in Berlin. Joanna is interested in studying the contrasts between American and European Jewry. She speaks fluent Polish, Spanish, and English and has growing language skills in Hebrew, Yiddish, and German. In her free time Joanna enjoys dancing flamenco and traveling abroad.


Hornstein classes 2017 and 2018, orientation 2016, Brandeis University

Hornstein Classes 2017 and 2018 officially joined forces at Orientation 2016, August 21, 2016.

Students take a tour of the Brandeis University campus.

A tour of Brandeis campus was among the orientation 2016 activities.