Our students are experienced professionals who are searching for meaningful work...
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!
Joel Abramson (MA/MBA), originally from Longwood, Florida, attended Kent State University where he studied Communication and Theatre. He has spent his last three years living in Nashville, Tennessee working for the Jewish Federation of Nashville. As the Community Engagement Associate, it was Joel’s responsibility to network with the young professional community as well as provide opportunities for leadership development and philanthropy. While working with the Federation, he rebranded the cohort to become NowGen Nashville, and developed a network of more than 600 young professionals who participate in over 150 programs a year. Joel enjoys network weaving and extols community cohesion. He is recently married to Felicia Abramson, whom he met at a Hillel Shabbat dinner.
Ashley Arnold (MA/MBA) is originally from Wichita, Kansas. Ashley will be completing the Hornstein Program in December. For her undergraduate degree, she attended Wichita State University where she studied Communication and Political Science. After graduation, Ashley worked internationally on social justice issues around the topics of nutrition, public health, and poverty alleviation. She spent six months living and working in Jerusalem for one of Israel’s largest food banks. In 2011, Ashley joined the United States Peace Corps working in Mali, West Africa. There she managed the introduction of a nutritious, sustainable crop to fight food insecurity through training small groups in four garden cooperatives. After her Peace Corps service in Mali was cut short by a coup d'etat, Ashley became a regional adviser for Saving Mothers, Giving Life, a U.S. State Department program aiming to reduce maternal mortality in Zambia. Since returning to the states, Ashley has worked domestically in civic engagement and leadership development in the communities of Wichita, Kansas and Roxbury, Massachusetts. In the summer of 2014, Ashley worked for JOIN for Justice (Jewish Organizing Institute and Network) to develop a strategic plan for the organization’s mentoring and consulting services focused on training the next generation of community organizers and Jewish leaders. In the summer of 2015, she went to the former Soviet country of Georgia with JDC Entwine, a program of the American Joint Distribution Council for young Jewish leaders seeking to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. Upon her return, she was hired by Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation, as a Development Officer in Women’s Philanthropy
Alyssa Bogdanow (MA/MPP) was born and raised in Lexington Massachusetts. In 2011, Alyssa graduated with honors from Wesleyan University where she used her double major in Anthropology and Religious Studies for a cross-disciplinary senior thesis that explored the anthropological aspects of religious conversion. Most recently, Alyssa served as a Goldman Bridge Fellow in the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Washington Regional Office. In this capacity, she oversaw ACCESS DC, AJC's young professionals’ initiative in Washington, focusing specifically on strengthening relationships with religious and ethnic partners, developing advocacy opportunities with younger members of the diplomatic community, and building a base of committed Jewish leaders. Prior to joining AJC, she worked for Israel Outdoors, where she facilitated the registration and pre-trip preparation process for Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. She previously served as the NFTY Assistant Coordinator of Finance and Event Logistics at the Union for Reform Judaism. In the summer of 2010, she was an AJC Goldman Fellow in Warsaw, Poland, where she worked with Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, a non-profit that fosters Polish-Jewish dialogue and reduces anti-Semitism in Poland. Alyssa is interested in studying the intersection of social policy, program management, and leadership development through a Jewish lens.
Zachary Bronstein (MA/MBA) was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Public Policy from George Washington University (GWU) in 2012. While at GWU, Zach served as a program assistant for Jews United for Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting Jewish values in the greater Washington, D.C. community. Upon graduating, Zach returned to his summer camp of 12 years, the Union for Reform Judaism’s Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he has served as Program Developer and Director of the Counselor in Training (Machon) program. Concurrently, Zach served as the Director of Youth Engagement for Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, New York; a marketing consultant helping to launch multiple new product lines for a beverage alcohol distributor in New Jersey; and as a private tutor for high school students. Zach is passionate about his work in the Jewish community and looks forward to using his skills to work with Jewish youth to enhance their experience and help them to explore their unique Jewish identity.
Rachel Eisen (MA/MA) grew up in New York and Maryland. She graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Jewish Studies and History, earning departmental honors and the Sherman Book Prize for Distinguished Accomplishment in Jewish Studies. Rachel was active in the Vassar Jewish Union, serving in various student leadership roles, including president and co-editor of the Jewish culture magazine. Rachel worked both as a Jewish educator at a local synagogue and as a public school Holocaust educator through the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Prior to Hornstein, Rachel spent three years at Brown RISD Hillel as the Senior Engagement Associate, meeting one-on-one with Jewish students, building community relationships, and supervising student leadership. During her time in Providence, she also served on the board of a new Jewish young professionals initiative, (401)j, and organized a Rosh Chodesh women's group. Rachel is interested in Jewish identity, gender and inclusion, education, and community engagement.
Erica Goldman (MA/MBA) grew up in Levittown, New York, and Coral Springs, Florida. After receiving her BA in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from Brandeis University, Erica went on to work in software development in the Boston area until the summer of 2004, which she spent as Director of Dance at Camp Alonim in Los Angeles. That began an incredible new career of teaching Israeli dance full-time, both in the U.S. and internationally, always returning to camp for the summer. In 2011, Erica joined the Global Jewish Education department at New Community Jewish High School in Los Angeles and has helped coordinate and implement both their three-week and three-month exchange programs with Tel Aviv high schools. In the summers of 2013 and 2014, Erica was the Goodman Educator for Camp Alonim, working to expand and improve Israel education at camp as part of the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and the iCenter’s Goodman Camping Initiative for Modern Israel History. In 2015, she joined the education faculty of the FJC’s Cornerstone Fellowship and launched Ma’agal, an initiative to improve Israeli dance education at schools and camps across the nation. Erica is a newly-minted Wexner Fellow (Davidson Scholar) in the class 28.
Alena Gomulina (MA/MBA) was born in Russia, raised in Brooklyn, New York and is an active member of the Russian-speaking Jewish community in New York City. Growing up at the Marks JCH (a Jewish Community Center in South Brooklyn) fostered her passion for work with Russian-speaking youth. During her undergraduate years at Baruch College, where she received a BS in Public Affairs, she was involved with Hillel and BARS (Baruch Association for Russian Students). These influences laid the foundation for a career as a Jewish Professional. As a JCCA Merrin Teen Fellow and former camp madricha, she considers her biggest accomplishment to be igniting the spark of Judaism in the hearts and minds of the youth in her community. Alena is the recipient of a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She has volunteered in Jewish communities in the Former Soviet Union and in Russian-speaking communities in Israel, running cultural programs in camps, coordinating holiday celebrations, and teaching dance. Alena is an avid N.Y. sports fan, an artist, and an amateur graphic designer.
Ari Hausman (MA/MBA) is from Concord, Massachusetts and is an alumnus of both Gann Academy and Ramah Palmer, the two institutions to which he attributes much of his interest in working in the Jewish field. He is interested in the widespread implementation of pluralism, and in southern Jewish communities. Ari received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and in Judaic Studies from Binghamton University in 2012. After graduation, he spent two years living and working in Greensboro, North Carolina where he founded the alumni association at the American Hebrew Academy and taught music at B’nai Shalom Day School. While at Brandeis, Ari will be working at Temple Emunah in Lexington as the United Synagogue Youth advisor and Madrich Ruchani for the Hebrew School. Ari loves a cappella, ultimate Frisbee, and dabbles in music recording and production.
David Korenthal (MA/MBA) is from Chicago, Illinois, and graduated in 2010 with a BA in History from Ithaca College. Upon graduation, David spent time living in Cairo, Egypt, and then spent a year living, working, and volunteering in Israel as a fellow on OTZMA 26. For the past two years, David has worked as the Engagement Associate at UChicago Hillel. He also served on the Masa Alumni Committee of Chicago. David spent 14 summers as a camper, counselor, and unit head at Camp Interlaken JCC in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
Eric Maurer (MA/MA) is from Greater Boston. While earning his BA in Judaic Studies from the University of Hartford, Eric served on the Hartford Hillel board and was president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the premiere Jewish fraternity. During his studies, Eric interned for the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), worked as a religious school teacher, and served as a docent for the Sherman Museum of Jewish Civilization. Eric was honored both as the Jerome E. Caplan Scholar of the Year and as a Fishman Fellow in American Jewish History and Jewish Communal Leadership. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Eric worked as a full-time synagogue educator at Temple Emunah in Lexington, Mass. Eric is eager to integrate the study of Jewish history and culture into the realm of Jewish communal service.
Teri McGuire (MA/MA) is originally from the New York City suburb of New City, New York. The granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, she was raised to take pride in her Judaism and contribute strongly to the community around her. Teri strengthened her Jewish identity through her involvement in United Synagogue Youth (USY) where she gained an informal Jewish education and important leadership skills. Her involvement in USY inspired her to spend a year studying and volunteering in Israel after graduating from high school. Following her gap year program, The Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, she enrolled at Binghamton University and earned a BA in Judaic Studies. Teri is excited to be a part of the Hornstein Program and hopes to gain the skills and knowledge needed to give her the ability to work in the Jewish nonprofit world and give back to the Jewish community.
Sara Miller (MA/MBA) received her BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with minors in Music, Religious Studies, and Hebrew: Language and Literature at Brandeis University. As an undergrad, Sara participated in the Hillel community, running Hillel Orientation for new students, performing onstage with the Hillel Theater Group, and coordinating the Brandeis Reform Chavurah (BaRuCH), for which she was awarded the Brandeis Student Life Award. She also served the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS) department as an Undergraduate Departmental Representative (UDR). Sara spent a semester abroad in the spring of her junior year at the University of Haifa’s International School, and spent summers as a music specialist at the JCC day camp in Northern Virginia, interning at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and working for BIMA at Brandeis University, an arts program for Jewish high school students. Raised in northern Virginia, Sara was active at her synagogue and with the pluralistic youth group BBYO. Most recently Sara spent three years as the Senior Israel Engagement Fellow at Brown RISD Hillel, where she engaged with students in Providence through Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, advised the pro-Israel groups under the Hillel umbrella, and mentored leaders of the Reform community. While at Hornstein (and after!) she is looking forward to deepening her knowledge of the Jewish professional world through a multiplicity of lenses.
Naomi Rosenfeld (MA/MBA) was born in Toronto, Ontario. Naomi graduated first in her class from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario where she was involved in many extra-curricular activities. It was her work as chair of Holocaust Education Week that ultimately led to her receiving the highest non-academic, non-athletic honor bestowed upon any Queen’s student. Upon finishing her studies, Naomi became the Hillel Director of Atlantic Canada where, as a single professional, she spearheaded innovative Jewish programming on university campuses spanning four different provinces and a landmass larger than the state of California. Naomi is completing the Hornstein/Heller program as one of the Jewish Federations of North America's FEREP graduate scholars, and as such, is also currently working at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Boston’s Jewish Federation, using her research experience to help CJP develop a comprehensive system of measurement and develop new innovative programming.
Larry Tobin is a Major Gifts Officer 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. Larry continues to manage the Financial Services Group, and additionally focuses half of his time on CJP’s Day School Initiative, Birthright Israel and CJP’s own Birthright follow-up program—IACT. Lastly, Larry focuses a great deal on high-potential younger donors and has crafted a strategic philanthropy curriculum for young major donors. Larry lives in Newton with his fianceé Jesse. In his spare time, he sits on the development committee and chairs the alumni committee of the Rashi School, sits on BU Academy’s alumni board, and serves as a mentor through Year Up. Larry is an avid Red Sox and basketball fan—he attends about 25 games/year, and most of BC’s basketball games.
|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.|
|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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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.|
|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.|