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 2018Hornstein Alumni

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.

Students take a tour of the Brandeis University campus.

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