Class of 2016
Congratulations to the Hornstein Class of 2016!
On Sunday, May 22, 2016, 11 exceptional young professionals graduated with two degrees in a diploma ceremony at 2:00 p.m. at the Mandel Forum, Mandel Center for the Humanities. The ceremony was preceded by a luncheon and followed by a dessert reception.
The afternoon was highlighted by keynote speaker Ms. Anne Lanski, executive director of the iCenter and this year's recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence. (Read our press release announcing this award.)
Graduating students Ariel Hausman and Alena Gomulina chaired the student planning committee under the guidance of Prof. Amy Sales.
Class of 2016
Joel Abramson (MA/MBA), originally from Longwood, Florida, attended Kent State University where he received two bachelor’s degrees in communication and theatre studies. Prior to enrolling at the Hornstein Program, he worked as the community engagement associate for the Jewish Federation of Nashville developing the next generation of Jewish leadership. After graduation, Joel will be working as a development officer, fund-raising for the Jewish Federation of Atlanta.
Alyssa Bogdanow (MA/MPP) was born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2011, she 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. Before coming to Brandeis, Alyssa served as a Goldman Bridge Fellow in the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Washington Regional Office. 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 also previously served as the NFTY assistant coordinator of finance and event logistics at the Union for Reform Judaism. After graduation Alyssa will take a position as portfolio associate at Jacobson Family Foundation in Boston.
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. During her time at Hornstein, Rachel co-chaired the Hornstein Gender Initiative and the 2015 Hornstein Orientation, and served on the Community Time Committee and Kraft Shabbat Committee. Prior to Hornstein, she spent three years at Brown RISD Hillel as the senior engagement associate, meeting one-on-one with Jewish students, building strategic community relationships and supervising student leadership. While 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 graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies and History. At Vassar, she was active in the Vassar Jewish Union, and she worked 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. Rachel is interested in Jewish identity, gender and inclusion, education and community engagement. Upon graduation, Rachel will take the position of director of annual giving at Mayyim Hayyim in Newton, Massachusetts.
Erica Goldman (MA/MBA) grew up in Levittown, New York and Coral Springs, Florida. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts 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 year-round, 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 (now deToledo) High School in Los Angeles and 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 Goodman Camping Initiative for Modern Israel History. In 2015, she joined the education faculty of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Cornerstone Fellowship and launched Ma’agal, an initiative to improve Israeli dance education at schools and camps across the nation. Erica is a proud and grateful Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar.
Alena Gomulina (MA/MBA) is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and Davidson Scholar and former JCCA Merrin Fellow. Prior to graduate school, Alena spent more than a decade dedicated to JCC work in South Brooklyn where she worked with the Russian-speaking Jewish community. Having immigrated to the U.S. in 1996 from Russia, she is passionate about the continuity and engagement of the Russian-speaking Jewish community in the vibrant tapestry of American Jewish life. Most recently she worked on marketing, branding and community organizing projects at the JCC and at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. She hopes that her toolbox of professional skills will allow her to forge a career enhancing the professional Jewish field, giving back to her community and creating more entry points for the unengaged. Upon graduation, Alena will work as program manager at Leading Edge in New York City. She is an amateur graphic designer and fine-cheese connoisseur, and in her free time enjoys New York sports.
Ariel 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. Ari loves a cappella, ultimate frisbee and dabbles in music recording and production. After graduation Ari will take on the role of business director at Bnai Shalom in North Carolina.
David Korenthal (MA/MBA) is from Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Ithaca College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Upon graduation, David spent time living in Cairo, Egypt and then a year living, working and volunteering in Israel as a fellow on OTZMA 26. Prior to Hornstein, David worked as the engagement associate at UChicago Hillel and 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. While at Hornstein, David participated in the iFellows Master’s Concentration in Israel Education and served on the student organizing committee for the 2016 Kraft Seminar in Israel.
Eric Maurer (MA/MA) is from the Greater Boston area. While earning his Bachelor of Arts 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 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, Massachusetts. As a student in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership program, Eric has enjoyed integrating the study of Jewish history and culture into the realm of Jewish communal service. After graduation, he will assume the role of director at Jewish Teen Learning Connection (JTConnect) in Hartford, Connecticut.
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 Bachelor of Arts 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 Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with minors in music, religious studies, and Hebrew language and literature at Brandeis University. A native of Northern Virginia, 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 Fairfax, Virginia, interning at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and working for BIMA at Brandeis University, an arts program for Jewish high school students. Before Hornstein, 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. For her fieldwork last summer, Sara analyzed financial aid data, researched strategic human resources policies, wrote a Request for Proposals for student travel to Israel and contributed to Israel education curriculum development at Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts. At Hornstein, Sara has enjoyed serving on the Admissions Committee and co-chairing the Hornstein Gender Initiative.
Naomi Rosenfeld (MA/MBA) was born in Toronto, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she graduated first in her class and received the highest non-academic honor awarded by the university. Upon finishing her studies, Naomi became the Hillel director of Atlantic Canada where 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 one of the iCenter’s iFellows.