Federation Fellows


Get on board. Literally.

Originally created in 1990 and re-launched in August of 2010, Fed Fellows educates participants in nonprofit decision-making, cultivates relationships, and promotes a sense of belonging for up to 20 individuals to be the next leaders of the Jewish community. We envision a community with a safe and secure Jewish ecosystem, vibrant, diverse leadership, and a sense of shared responsibility for our future. The program aims to build diverse*, equitable, and inclusive Jewish communities throughout the Bay Area.


Gain a lifetime of leadership skills in our signature fellowship

Components Include:

  • Get a front-row seat to communal decision-making with the board of a partnering agency, or a committee of the Federation.
  • Connect with fellow participants to expand your network and understand your potential as a leader in the Bay Area Jewish community.
  • Workshops and site visits give access to leaders and professionals in the field, while simultaneously building leadership skills.
Throughout the program, you’ll be exposed to professionals, executives, and experts in the philanthropic environment, viewing first-hand all aspects of leadership roles in nonprofit organizations. From finance to history to community impact, you’ll get an understanding of how a board works to advance issues, determine solutions, and move a mission forward. Dive headfirst into Fed Fellows workshops, field trips, and networking.

After completing the program, participants will gain:

  • new recognition of your personal leadership style
  • strategies on how to build consensus
  • confidence in your public speaking ability
  • insight into nonprofit finances
  • understanding of the impact of your personal philanthropy
  • best practices in community building

Organizations will benefit from hosting a Fed Fellow by:

  • gaining fresh perspectives from emerging leaders
  • increasing diversity* on your board and committees
  • finding the skills and expertise your board is seeking
  • cultivating committed ambassadors
  • creating a secured leadership pipeline
  • receiving tools and support for on-boarding

*Diversity includes race, ethnicity, denomination, religion, socio-economic status, physical and cognitive ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation, among other identities.


With leadership comes collaboration and learning. Get a glimpse of our partners.

Graduates of the program serve on the committees/boards of:

Past speakers include:

  • Hallie Baron, Associate Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
  • Cara Buchalter, School Programs Manager, Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • Marc Dollinger, Professor, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair, San Francisco State University
  • Naomi Tucker, Executive Director, Shalom Bayit
  • Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund Speakers: Danny Grossman, CEO; Arthur Slepian, Board Chair; Holden Lee, CFIO; Joy Sisisky, Chief Philanthropy Officer; Debbie Berkowitz, Senior Philanthropy Advisor; Loal Isaacs, Deputy Director of Diller Teen Initiatives

Previous workshops:

Path to Philanthropy, Healthy Boundaries, Building Consensus, Your Leadership Styles, Nonprofit Finances 101, History of Californian Jews, Telling Your Story, Money Matters, Community Impact, Your Vision – Your Legacy, Personal Leadership Development, Partnership & Shabbat (with OneTable special guest), Leadership is Action at Urban Adamah


Who is eligible?

The program is open to anyone who displays an interest in the Jewish community and a desire to make an impact. Fed Fellows lead with curiosity, want to build their network, and are ready to share their voice and skills.

Eligible fellowship candidates:

  • Are 25 – 40 years old
  • Live and/or work in the Bay Area
  • Exhibit leadership traits in their personal, professional, or volunteer life
  • Are interested in nonprofit leadership processes and roles
  • Enjoy a collaborative environment 
  • Do not need past board experience

Federation Fellows 2022-2023 Cohort

Tal Bar-Or, he/him
Host Placement: UpStart

Tal Bar-Or

Tal is a Bay Area-born Israeli American living in San Francisco. He grew up in Sunnyvale in a Hebrew-speaking home, born to Israeli engineers who stayed in Silicon Valley longer than anticipated. Tal was deeply involved in the South Bay Jewish community growing up, from attending South Peninsula Hebrew Day School as a child to leading his AZA/BBYO chapter in high school. Tal currently works as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon for Echo Frames. He began his career as a mechanical engineer, designing head-mounted displays and brain-stimulation headsets before pivoting into product management. Tal graduated with honors with an MBA from the Wharton School and graduated cum laude with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, Tal enjoys exploring new places, whether it’s discovering a hike in the Bay Area or visiting a country abroad.

Johanna Brody, she/her 
Host Placement: Studio 70

Johanna Brody

Johanna grew up in California and is a UCLA graduate with a master’s degree from Teachers College at Columbia University. She began her professional career in Public Relations before transitioning into the realm of education. After spending approximately a decade as an elementary school teacher, she currently supports K-5 educators. Johanna has an appreciation for tikkun olam, knowing that her contributions to her community are constructive and beneficial. Johanna enjoys baking, photography, and crafts. She values adventures of all kinds with her family and loves being a mom to her two young sons (and dog).

Rachel Einstein-Sim, she/her 
Host Placement: Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

Rachel Einstein-Sim

Rachel grew up in Santa Monica, CA and Tucson, AZ. She is currently a Product Manager at Adobe, focusing on using artificial intelligence to solve unmet user needs. She previously spent 11 years in global marketing at Coca-Cola, where she had the opportunity to work with people in over 207 countries. Rachel attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned a business degree in marketing and economics. Some of her past leadership experiences in the Jewish community have included roles with AJC's ACCESS, Jewish National Fund, Friendship Circle, and traveling with JDC's Entwine. Rachel is excited to be a part of the Fed Fellows cohort and enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures, making delicious challah and babka, and exploring the outdoors with her labradoodle.

Daniel Gabay, he/him 
Host Placement: American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Daniel Gabay

Growing up in Los Angeles and in the home of a Jewish community leader, Daniel had the privilege of meeting many people and witnessing their stories. His parents are from Morocco, which helped him gain a different cultural context and learn that being Jewish can look differently to everyone. He studied at a yeshiva in Israel for two years and went on to complete a doctorate in clinical psychology. He finds fulfilment in his work and looks forward to his weekly Shabbat observance and celebration. He recently moved to Oakland for a fellowship and enjoys spending time in the nature of the Bay Area.

Garrett Langfeld, he/him 
Host Placement: San Francisco Hillel

Garrett Langield

Garrett grew up in a conservative Jewish family in Alameda. He lived in Chicago for several years, where he was involved with Jewish organizations including the Jewish United Fund, Base Hillel, Moishe House, Windy City Minyan, and Anshe Emet synagogue. Garrett moved back to the Bay Area a year ago and continued his involvement with Moishe House, Chabad, and JFCS. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing golf, and watching sports.

Erin Malcolm-Brandt, she/her 
Host Placement: Shalom BayitErin Malcom-Brandt

Erin grew up in Gainesville, Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University. For over fifteen years, Erin has developed and implemented programs and strategic efforts to support local communities and build a clean energy future. Her interest in mission-driven efforts is largely influenced by her parents’ local and international civic work, and her grandparents’ dedication to educating youth and community members about the Holocaust. Erin resides in Marin County with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, Erin enjoys hiking and traveling with her family and playing poker with friends.

Lena Mikityanskaya, she/her 
Host Placement: San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living

Lena Mikityanskaya

Lena was born in Ukraine and moved to San Francisco with her family when she was nine. She is a geriatric social worker and is well versed in numerous governmental programs that are available to help the aging population. She enjoys being able to resolve crises for elderly individuals and their families, and feels fortunate to have a career that she loves and is passionate about. In her free time, Lena loves to travel, sculpt, and visit museums. She is excited to participate in the Fed Fellows program, build new relationships, gain new skills, and give back to the local Jewish community in a meaningful way.

Michelle Morad, she/her
Host Placement: Camp Ramah Galim

Michelle Morad

Michelle is a product attorney at Amazon where she supports the innovative teams that develop the Echo family of devices. She is a member of Beth Am and is looking for more opportunities to give back to the Jewish community. She served as Hillel president at UCLA in 2008-2009. Michelle would like to find ways to engage young families like her own with tradition and culture in ways that are meaningful for them, ensuring a strong Jewish future. She lives in San Carlos with her husband and two young sons, Noam and Matan.

Jason Rosenberg, he/him 
Host Placement: Jewish Film Institute

Jason Rosenberg

Jason is from Montreal, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from McGill University. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Chartered Business Valuator, and a graduate of the Leadership Development Program of Federation CJA. Jason spent 11 years working in public accounting and consulting, mainly with Ernst & Young, and is now the head of Risk Management at Autodesk, a software company in San Francisco. Jason was previously the chairperson of the Young Adult Division of Federation CJA, serving as one of the first openly gay chairs of a Federation division. He was presented with Combined Jewish Appeal’s Honorary Chairman’s Award in 2010. Jason sits on Keshet’s board and finance committee.

Laura Rubenstein, she/her 
Host Placement: JCC of San Francisco

Laura Rubenstein

Laura is a Vice President of integrated marketing at Edelman. She leads creative and marketing programming for corporate brands, focused on building client relationships and providing counsel in the digital marketing space. Laura is a proud graduate of the Ogilvy Rising Stars program, a leadership training program designed to develop high-potential employees. Laura also co-led the Ogilvy Women’s Leadership Professional Network of the West. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her spare time, Laura enjoys travelling, tap dancing, yoga, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Yelena Shapiro

Yelena Shapiro, she/her 
Host Placement: Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Originally from Almaty, Kazakhstan, Yelena and her family have lived in the Bay Area since 1995. She attended college at UC San Diego, followed by graduate school at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and then moved to Washington D.C. She has always been involved in her local Jewish communities. Yelena works in the financial crimes compliance field and lives in Castro Valley with her husband, their three young daughters, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback. Yelena is excited to be a Fed Fellow and to expand her involvement with the Jewish community.

Leo Stroe, he/him 
Host Placement: The Brandeis School of San Francisco

Leo Stroe

Leo was born and raised in the Sunset District of San Francisco and has always been grateful and proud of his family origins. His father’s family was originally from Romania and immigrated to the United States after spending 15 years in Peru. His maternal grandparents met in Mexico City and fulfilled the American dream in San Francisco. As a result, Leo grew up in a household where multiple languages were spoken at the dinner table and salsa was a likely addition to homemade chicken soup. He is eager to connect further with the San Francisco Jewish community and is excited to join Federation Fellows.

Yael Wulfovich Oberndorf

Yael Wulfovich Oberndorf, she/her
Host Placement: American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Yael Wulfovich Oberndorf is a Mexican American Jew and is passionate about fighting antisemitism, supporting Israel, and building strong Jewish communities worldwide. Yael has a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, where she was a Presidential and George Shultz Fellow, focused on Israel-related research. She has worked in Venture Capital and Management Consulting and is now a Product Manager at Amazon. In her spare time, Yael leads a book club and loves to swim, bike, and spend time with her loved ones.

Federation Fellows 2021-2022 Cohort

Allison Brenner, she/her
Host Placement: Contra Costa MidrashaAllison Brenner

Allison is a Midwestern girl at heart and in temperament, born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. She went to college in Missouri at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied chemistry with a minor in math. After a couple of years working in Chicago doing construction materials testing at a structural engineering consulting firm, Allison decided to move to the Bay Area to further her engineering education at Stanford University, where she received a master’s in Materials Science and Engineering. Allison has been working in Bay Area tech since then. In her free time, Allison enjoys baking (particularly scones) and reading (having been part of a book club with the same group of people for 3+ years).

Allie Emirch, she/her
Host Placement: Shalom BayitAllie Emirch

Allie was raised in Ohio and moved out to the Bay Area after spending a year in Israel and traveling abroad. She has been working in the tech world for the past few years and has a passion for Tikkun Olam. Allie has spent most of her time volunteering on the ground in the food insecurity realm and is looking forward to learning more about how non-profit boards operate.

Yael Friedkin, she/her
Host Placement: Oakland Hebrew Day SchoolYael Friedkin

A Jewish upbringing instilled in Yael the principle of community service and has shaped her professional and personal pursuits. She embarked on a career in national security after receiving her master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University. Later, she served as a US Government intelligence analyst in Washington DC, NYC, and abroad. Her tenure with the USG was an incredible opportunity to funnel her passion for politics and international affairs into work that protected lives and communities at large. Currently, Yael serves as a Chief of Staff in Kaiser Permanente’s Office of Community Health where she works to help improve the total health of its communities and members. Three years ago, her family returned to California from the East Coast so her children could engage in a strong Jewish community close to her relatives. 

Emily Hirschman, she/her
Host Placement: Studio 70Emily Hirschman

Emily Hirschman is the Chief Operating Officer at UC Berkeley Hillel and is commonly referred to as “The Glue” on her staff. She is the instrument always on hand to help hold the staff and Hillel together. She works hard to make Berkeley Hillel run like a well-oiled machine and best serve the Jewish student community at Cal. Emily joined Berkeley Hillel in 2014 after spending a year in Ashdod, Israel teaching English and volunteering in a Masa program. She grew up in Oakland and lived around the Pacific Northwest for several years in a previous life working in environmental non-profits. Emily loves exploring the Bay Area and Northern California with her rescue dog, Maple, trying new restaurants, watching True Crime shows, and listening to as many podcasts as she can.

Adam Jakubowitz, he/him
Host Placement: Jewish LearningWorksAdam Jakubowitz

Adam grew up in Lafayette in the East Bay as a member of the Temple Isaiah community. He went to Tehiyah Day School for kindergarten through 8th grade. Having gone to middle school in El Cerrito, when he went to Acalanes for high school the only people Adam knew were the friends he had made at Temple Isaiah during Sunday School. Being a part of the community helped him transition to a new school where he knew so few people. Adam was so grateful for the support and became a teaching assistant for Sunday School to help other students have the wonderful experience he had growing up. Some of his best childhood memories are from experiences Adam had, being part of the Bay Area Jewish community. He hopes to have the opportunity to help better people’s lives the way this amazing community has bettered his.

Michael Kahn, he/him
Host Placement: JCC East BayMichael Kahn

Originally from San Diego, Michael fell in love with the Bay when he moved here for college at UC Berkeley. He was very active in the Jewish community at Cal through Hillel and the Jewish fraternity, and converted to Judaism while in college (half-Jewish, but raised Catholic!). Michael went to law school at NYU, and has practiced commercial litigation for the past decade. In his freshman year at Cal, Michael started dating his future wife. They have been married eight years and are raising two young boys in the East Bay. Michael is excited to be a Fed Fellow and to reengage with the Bay Area Jewish community.

Emily Kirsch, she/her
Host Placement: Wornick Day SchoolEmily Kirsch

Emily is a graduate of UC Hastings, College of the Law in San Francisco, originally from Southern California. In her time at UC Hastings, Emily had the pleasure of serving as President of the Hastings Jewish Law Students Association, among other memberships. Now with her JD, Emily works on the People Team at Benchling. Her hobbies include café hopping, pottering, and sewing. She loves disco music and jazz and has had Shalom Alechem stuck in her head since SF Hillel’s first Shabbat of the year… and she’s not complaining.

Maddy Klein, she/her
Host Placement: Board of Directors, the FederationMaddy Klein

Maddy Klein is a Bay Area native and a rising 3L at UC Hastings, College of the Law in San Francisco. After graduating cum laude from Scripps College, Maddy worked in legal operations at four venture-backed start-ups in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. She also solo-backpacked around the world for a year. At Hastings, Maddy has concentrated on corporate law, finance, and start-ups. She started four mentorship programs and is passionate about her work with the Tech and Law Society, Jewish Law Students Association, and Association of Youth Advocates. She is currently a Summer Associate at Gunderson Dettmer, a leading Bay Area law firm representing start-ups and venture capital firms. Her interests include photography, exploring new restaurants, standup comedy, and woodworking.

Korri Krajicek, she/her
Host Placement: JCC San FranciscoKorri Krajicek

Korri was born in rural New York, attended college in Western Massachusetts, earned advanced degrees in London, converted to Judaism in Florida, and recently moved to the Bay Area for work. Korri is a nonprofit administrator and a homebody full of wanderlust. She enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking.

Amanda Lurie, she/her
Host Placement: Hebrew Free LoanAmanda Luri

Amanda is an East Coast transplant: she grew up in DC, went to college at Columbia in NYC, and then studied at MIT for graduate school. Amanda made the move to California four years ago and doesn't miss winter at all. An engineer by training (Environmental and Systems Engineering), she started her career in customer operations, transitioned to strategy and partnerships at Flex, a $25B design and manufacturing company, and currently manages Strategic Initiatives for Intuit in the Live Platform business. She loves to play sports (basketball is her favorite, but her secret skill is skeeball), enjoys cooking and eating spicy food, and takes her role of Aunt to her seven nieces and nephews very seriously. She loves to travel and even spent a summer building car in Kenya! Amanda lives with her husband, Elias, and their cat, Sasha, in San Jose.

Sarah Miller, she/her
Host Placement: Community Impact Committee, the FederationSarah Miller

Sarah grew up in the East Bay, received degrees in Art History at Tufts (BA, 2009) and Boston University (MA, 2013) and moved back to San Francisco in 2017. She has focused on museums and the nonprofit arts world throughout her career. Sarah currently works at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco as an exhibitions coordinator, project managing permanent collection installations and assisting on major temporary exhibitions at both the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum. In her free time, she loves reading, visiting (other) museums and art galleries, and trying out all of the amazing food that San Francisco has to offer! Since moving back to San Francisco, Sarah has been searching for a Jewish community that reflects her curiosity and progressive values.

Margalit Rosenblatt , she/her
Host Placement: JCRCMargalit Rosenblatt

Margalit was originally selected as a Fed Fellow for the 2016-2018 cohort and was placed on the board of Camp Tawonga. She had to leave after the first year to attend graduate school in New York. Margalit had no intention of leaving San Francisco until she was accepted into the country’s best program in her field. She hopes to eventually rejoin and complete the fellowship as designed. Margalit was born and raised in San Francisco. Her parents and family are active participants in the Jewish community here and have been since they moved to the city in the mid-1970s. She attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree, earning bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Linguistics. More recently, she completed a master's degree in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. Although she has lived in many different cities and countries, she makes a point to connect with the Jewish community wherever she is. In her spare time, Margalit enjoys cooking/baking, hiking, camping, and has a small obsession with crossword puzzles.

Michael Rosoff, he/him
Host Placement: UpstartMichael Rosoff

Michael is a Los Angeles native that moved up to the Bay Area roughly four years ago. It's been a wild ride of starting companies and working/living up here. He quickly became very fond of San Francisco and would love to meet more Jewish thought leaders and settle down a bit more in the Bay Area.

Alystar Sacks, she/her, they/them
Host Placement: SF HillelAlystar Sacks

Alystar Sacks (she/they) currently works as the Program Manager of Young Professionals and Civic Engagement at the JCC East Bay. She has spent most of her professional life in the Jewish non-profit sector, and previously worked for Santa Cruz Hillel as an Ezra Fellow in the Springboard fellowship. Originally from the Bay Area, Alystar adores traveling, and lived in London while achieving her MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Alystar loves to geek out on ethics and is deeply invested in making the world a better place through Tikkun Olam. She spends much of her time either exercising outdoors or staying in to work on creative projects.

Isadora Shapiro, she/her
Host Placement: Sinai Memorial Chapel Chevra KadishaIsadora Shapiro

It is with great excitement that Dorie applies to be part of the Fed Fellows program. She would not be here in the Bay Area if it was not for her journey. Dorie began her career at the Arizona Friends of Foster Children and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in the Volunteer Management department, which kick-started appetite for the nonprofit sector. While in recent years her career has focused on the customer experience at for-profit companies, Dorie has dedicated her extracurricular time to organizing fundraisers and immersing herself in the Jewish community. As a mission driven individual, Dorie was struck by the leadership experience of this program as it would allow her to combine her professional expertise with her personal passions. She admires Federation Fellows’ innovative commitment to growing its community across the nation as a welcoming and inclusive place for all while providing leadership growth.

Sam Stone, he/him
Host Placement: JCRCSam Stone

Sam is a fifth generation Bay Area native who’s passionate about doing acts of Tikkun Olam. He is from Oakland, and currently works at St. Anthony's Foundation, managing volunteers that serve hundreds of daily hot meals to some of the Tenderloin's most vulnerable residents. Prior to becoming a Fed Fellow, Sam served on two non-profit boards, including the JCRC's Public Policy committee and as a founding board member for the Interfaith Council of Alameda County, which formed in 2016. Additionally, he is currently participating in the ADL's Glass Leadership Institute where he is learning all aspects of the work that it does. These experiences have strengthened Sam's desire to give back to his community and look for new ways to continue to deepen his understanding of his Judaism. As a Fed Fellow, he wants to become fully immersed in the decision-making and community building aspects of Jewish nonprofits and learn how he can help build a more just and equitable society. Sam believes this program will provide him with many avenues where he can explore these concepts while also building new relationships with peers. In his spare time, Sam enjoys going on long hikes in the East Bay Hills, sipping chai tea, playing guitar, and journaling.

Michelle van Tijen, she/her
Host Placement: JFCS East BayMichelle van Tijen

By the age of 7, Michelle was in three major natural disasters: 1989 San Francisco Earthquake, 1991 Oakland Fire, and 1992 Hurricane Andrew. From a young age she understood the power our environment had over our built environment and wanted to work to combat climate change. Michelle has focused her career on energy efficiency and currently manages PG&E's Residential Energy Efficiency programs that treat over two million customers per year. Community building, volunteering, and creativity are central to who Michelle is and how she spends her time in and outside of work. She is currently the President of the Temple Sinai Preschool Parent Committee and voting member of the Temple Sinai Board. Pre-pandemic, as an example, Michelle helped organize meal services at homeless shelters and during the pandemic organized lunch and hygiene kit donations to Northgate Tuffshed Community (Transitional Housing) to support the community and build community within the temple and her children's schools. Michelle loves building community through action-oriented activities.

Lauren Wall, she/her
Host Placement: Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic SchoolsLauren Wall

Lauren is a recognized convener, facilitator, and moderator in the global health space. Her 10 years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating global health programs in Africa, Asia, and the Americas has made her an excellent cross-cultural communicator and leader of diverse teams. Lauren received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a US Department of Education, Foreign Language, and Area Studies fellow in Brazilian Portuguese. She is a native speaker of English, fluent in Spanish, proficient in Portuguese, and is a skilled qualitative researcher in all 3 languages. Lauren is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), is currently completing her Registered Children's Yoga Teacher training, and is the Yoga Coach for Running for a Better Oakland. Lauren lives in Oakland with her partner and dog.

Juliana Wise, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish GatewaysJuliana Wise

Juliana is an executive-level program manager with 11+ years of experience in retail operations, marketing, product development, product launches, and experiential event execution. She has managed projects for a variety of fashion, jewelry, and tech brands and thrives at working cross-functionally to deliver successful projects. Juliana enjoys finding quick strategies to resolve problems and is at her best when finding ways to bring ideas to life. Having supported a variety of projects, she mixes technical project management philosophies with a creative, brand-driven, customer and team-centric approach. Juliana finds joy in caring for the people that count on her and leading the execution of exciting projects.

Etai Wolins, he/him
Host Placement: Urban AdamahEtai Wolins

Being a Bay Area native with Jewish and Israeli heritage, Etai's roots in the Jewish community are strong. He began his professional career at a Jewish non-profit as an educator. Taking pride in his leadership and communication skills, he soon transitioned to an assistant director role. After three years, Etai moved into the for-profit world at a tax consultancy and managed a team of business developers. He shares a love for gardening and farming, music production, exploring nature through camping and hiking. His greatest worry lies in the sustainability of our modern way of life, and the resulting climate crisis. Etai yearns to exercise his professional talents in an area that helps our communities arrive at solutions for the socioeconomic crises that confront us. In the end, Etai is looking to make a difference, live sustainably, and grow!

Federation Fellows 2020-2021 Cohort

Keren Asayag, she/her

Host Placement: The Federation (Teen Initiative Advisory Committee)

In 2012, Keren moved to the East Bay with her family from Israel. She holds a bachelor's degree in Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology (with honors) from Bar Ilan University. In Israel, she developed and managed educational and non-educational programs working with youth at risk, students, adults, new immigrants, actors, directors, donors, and volunteers. Keren implemented fundraising events for nonprofits and worked in the Quality Assurance Division of a pharmaceutical company as a Training Manager and Social Involvement Project Manager. Since arriving in California, she has been teaching Hebrew to children and adults in private settings, and at schools: Tehiyah Jewish Day School until it closed in August 2018, and currently at The Brandeis School in San Francisco. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, cook Shabbat and holiday meals, meet friends, and spend time with family.

Anna Bethlahmy, she/her
Host Placement: Contra Costa Midrasha

Anna is an east coast native, born and raised in New Jersey. After undergrad in Ohio at Miami University, she ventured west to be with her family. She works in technology with a focus on digital advertising. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, historical podcasts, and crafting. Anna is excited to get involved with the Fed Fellows to give back to the local Jewish community.

Katherine Erickson, she/her
Host Placement: San Francisco Hillel

Katherine (Kate) is a recent transplant to the Bay Area from New York City. She is currently a Strategy Director at Firewood Marketing, where she helps the world’s leading tech companies identify new growth opportunities via data-driven consumer and market research. Kate earned a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Outside of work, Kate volunteers with the League of Women Voters of San Francisco (LWVSF), which provides voter education resources to San Francisco residents, and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit that provides college counseling and mentorship resources to underserved high school students. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and listening to podcasts.

Becky Fenster, she/her
Host Placement: Shalom Bayit

Becky is a Marin County native. She attended the Marin campus of Brandeis Hillel Day School and returned shortly after college to be a full-time teacher. Becky taught at Brandeis for over a decade before she transitioned into a consultant for 3 years and now is a Board member. She sits on the Board Nominating Committee at Congregation Rodef Sholom and participated in the Sholom Hartman Institute for Emerging Leaders at the Marin JCC. She has two school-aged children, is now a stay-at-home mom, and spends her free time volunteering in local schools and for Jewish organizations.

Hannah Frankl, she/her
Host Placement: The Federation (Finance & Administration Committee)

Hannah is originally from Los Angeles, first moving to the Bay Area to earn her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Currently, Hannah works at Google as a Global Product Marketing Manager on the Google for Startups team, dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs around the world with acceleration programs, mentorship, connections, and resources. In addition to her core role, Hannah also develops and leads training on disability-inclusive marketing. Prior to Google, she worked in social entrepreneurship and innovation, with experience ranging from strategy consulting for nonprofit organizations to evaluating venture deal flow as a Product Manager at Microsoft Ventures (now called M12) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Outside of work, Hannah is a leader on the impact team of Minds Matter SF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting low-income high school students, and she runs an art community out of her home.

David Friedkin, he/him
Host Placement: The Federation (Board of Directors)

David resides in San Francisco and is President of Friedkin Property Group, a private real estate family office. Previously, he was an Associate at Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group in New York City. David has also worked as an analyst at Nonprofit Finance Fund, a national nonprofit and community development financial institution. He was selected as a StartingBloc Social Enterprise Fellow and received the World Partners Fellowship from the American Jewish World Service to spend a year in Mumbai, India, working for a local NGO. Before joining Ackman-Ziff, David received a Diploma with Distinction in Culinary Arts from the International Culinary Center in New York City. He went on to cook for a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the National Multifamily Housing Council. David graduated with a BSBA in Finance and Arabic from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Alex Goldsmith, he/him
Host Placement: The Federation (Teen Initiative Advisory Committee)

Born and adopted into a Jewish household in Los Angeles, Alex was raised with a focus on giving back. He spent his formative years traveling, volunteering with youth and animal charities and working at 20th Century Fox in communications where he fell in love with the art of persuasion. Alex studied business and liberal arts at UCLA (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.B.A). After school, he moved to San Francisco to work in communications at Cisco, IBM, and NetApp. Currently, Alex runs corporate technology communications at VMware. His hobbies include trivia nights, tackling an ever-evolving, lifelong bucket list, and studying languages including Chinese and Hebrew. Alex lives with his husband and their adopted chocolate labradoodle.

David Kiferbaum, he/him
Host Placement: Hebrew Free Loan

David grew up in suburban Chicago, and after 9 years of school and work in New York, he moved to San Francisco in 2013. After a brief stint at law firms, David joined Google in 2015 and is now in Business Development for Google Photos. He loves cooking, reading, learning, and spending quality time with his wife, Lauren.

Gina Kessler Lee, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish Gateways

Gina has lived on Huichin Ohlone land most of her life and is grateful to be able to call this beautiful area home. She is passionate about her work as a college librarian, enjoying the Bay Area with her husband and 1-year-old, and redistributing money to movements for racial, environmental, and economic justice. Until recently, Gina was president of her college’s local alumni chapter, and she was just appointed to a national committee for the Association of College and Research Libraries. She also sits on the board of her family’s foundation. When there isn’t a pandemic, she enjoys attending talks and street festivals, singing karaoke, and introducing her son to the many treasures of our community.

Melanie Levy-Hara, she/her
Host Placement: American Jewish Committee, Regional Board

Melanie was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a vibrant Syrian Jewish community. Her family decided to move to Toronto when she was 7, and she spent the rest of her childhood there. Growing up in the Ashkenazi Jewish community, she was involved in BBYO and her synagogue, and later in college, she made it a point to be part of the Jewish life on campus. Melanie studied Systems Design Engineering for her undergraduate degree and moved to the Bay Area to work at Facebook as a Program Manager in the Data center space. As a proud resident of San Francisco, she has gotten involved in multiple nonprofits inside and outside the Jewish community – she finds great joy in helping humans meet their basic needs. Melanie also spends her time cycling through the city and into the Marin Headlands.

Ellen London, she/her
Host Placement: Sinai Memorial

Ellen lives in Berkeley with her husband and three boys, ages 2, 4, and 6. They are members of Netivot Shalom, and their oldest son attends Oakland Hebrew Day School. They moved to California from New York four years ago and have loved getting to know the Jewish community here. Ellen is a partner at a boutique law firm, which she just joined after nine years working for the federal government. In her free time, she loves to bake.

Carla Mays, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish Community Relations Council

Carla is a San Francisco-based Smart Infrastructure & Disaster Resilient Mega Regional Planner & Researcher and an alum of San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley. She has been recognized by the California State Legislature, Alumna Next City Vanguard, and Singularity Global Impact Scholars Program for addressing fiscal viability, risk mitigation, emergency management, operations and maintenance for long-term smart city and climate adaptive projects, infrastructure, and investments. Carla was a 2018-19 Jewish Family & Children's Services Fellow and is a current fellow in the Federation’s Leadership 365 program working on Jewish congregational and organizational security and disaster/climate resilience.

Dima Mostovoy, he/him
Host Placement: The Federation (Investment Committee)

Dima was born in Russia and immigrated to San Francisco in 1990. He attended Hebrew Academy and UC Berkeley and is currently a Director at KKR & Co. Dima was actively involved with the Federation through young adult programming and the Business Leadership Council before moving to Chicago in 2011 to attend the University of Chicago’s Booth School ofBusiness. From 2013 to 2018 he was involved in Boston’s CJP and served on the Leadership Committee of their Young Financial Services group. Dima moved back to San Francisco in 2018 and is looking forward to getting involved with the Federation again. He, along with his wife and 9-month-old son are members of Congregation Beth Sholom.

Jacqueline Palchik, she/her
Host Placement: Shalom Bayit

Jacqueline lives in Alameda with her two children – Ariella, age 7, and Eyal, age 4. She is a Senior Financial Analyst for a company that provides mental health services for individuals with severe mental illness. She relocated to the Bay Area four years ago after having lived in Texas, Washington D.C., Boston, and Indiana (in reverse chronological order). Jacqueline is very involved in many aspects of her synagogue, Temple Beth Abraham, and enjoys reading, podcasts, and spending time outdoors.

Lauren Palmor, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Arts & Culture

Lauren grew up in the Bay Area and returned after receiving a Master of Arts with Merit in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Washington. Since 2015, she has been a member of the American Art department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where she contributes to publications and exhibitions and frequently supports institutional digital partnerships, working collaboratively to design new ways of sharing and experiencing American art with museum audiences. Lauren approaches her work as an art historian through a lens of social justice—a perspective forged by her Jewish identity, community, and culture. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, learning, baking challah, calling her grandmother, and spending quality time with her husband, David.

Richard Ralston, he/him
Host Placement: The Federation (Finance & Administration Committee)

Richard (Ricky) has lived in the Bay Area his entire life. Raised in Sonoma County, he came to San Francisco in 2011 and moved to Marin in 2018 where he currently lives with his wonderful wife, Rachel, and their cat, Minerva. He works in wealth management at First Republic Bank, helping high net-worth clients develop long-term financial goals and manage their investment portfolios. Ricky feels very fortunate to have a career that he loves and is passionate about. When not at work, he tries to spend as much time outside as possible – he loves camping, hiking, basketball, and snowboarding. During shelter-in-place, he’s picked up his guitar again. Ricky is nearing the end of his conversion to Judaism. The process has been years in the making, and he finds it very meaningful to find connection and spirituality in this community.

Tory Reiss, he/him
Host Placement: The Federation (Executive Grantmaking Committee)

Tory is a two-time founder of VC backed financial technology startups. Most recently, he was the Cofounder of TrustToken, the creator of the world’s first fully-backed USD Stablecoin, TrueUSD with ~$4B+ in avg. 30-day volume. TrustToken was backed by $30M from a16z, Founders Fund, and others. Prior to TrustToken, Tory co-founded Harvest, the first AI-driven debt management and refinancing platform meant to accelerate consumers’ journeys out of debt. Outside of business, Tory is an active advocate for criminal justice reform and financial literacy in public education. He's been teaching free financial literacy "boot camps” for over 7 years. He's also active in the Jewish community as a Bay Area  Reality hub leader and hosts monthly shabbos dinners for the community. Tory graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a focus on behavioral economics and entrepreneurship in emerging economies.

Jacob Rosenberg-Wohl, he/him
Host Placement: Congregation Emanu-El

A San Francisco native, Jacob is finishing up his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business where he is president of the Jewish Business Students Association. Before business school, Jacob worked in the SF office of Altman Vilandrie & Co., a strategy consulting firm that focuses on tech, media, and telecom. Jacob studied Egyptology and Statistics at Yale University, writing his thesis on the literary texts of Hatshepsut and her successor, Thutmose III. Jacob enjoys hosting murder mystery parties, whiskey tasting, board games, ultramarathons, and hiking.

Emily Simons, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish LearningWorks

Emily is the Development Associate for San Francisco Hillel. For the past 4 years, Emily has worked on SF Hillel's student life team, most recently as the Director of Student Experience. Prior to moving to San Francisco four years ago, she was living in Philadelphia studying Social Work at Temple University. Emily is passionate about Jewish experiential education, providing modern ways to connect to ancient ritual. She has facilitated over 15 various immersion trips, both domestically and abroad, for college students. When she's not working, Emily enjoys walking through Golden Gate Park with her tripod pitbull, Pumpkin.

Jen Vaughan, she/her
Host Placement: Jewish LearningWorks

Jen currently works at Assembled, an early-stage startup building customer support software. Before this, she worked at Stripe where she had the opportunity to see the company grow from 300 to 2000 employees. Prior to her career in tech, Jen worked at Bain & Company, consulting companies across Southeast Asia. Her favorite project was advising a telco operator in Myanmar (Burma) in 2014. It was there that she met her husband Jesse and discovered the power of connectivity and community. She is excited to have this opportunity to deepen her engagement with the Bay Area Jewish community as a Fed Fellow. Jen is originally from the Philippines and attended the National University of Singapore where she received her degree in law. She and her husband live in San Francisco and are currently looking to buy a long-term home. In her free time, she enjoys trying out new recipes with her cookbook club, baking bread, trail running, and writing her newsletter.

Nina Whitney, she/her
Host Placement: American Jewish Committee, Regional Board

Born and raised in South Florida, Nina has been passionate about Jewish life since her adolescence, leading in service trips to Israel, starting a Jewish sisterhood at university, and more recently through her participation in Congregation Emanuel’s Chuppah and Beyond Class. For her “day job,” she is a Business Operations Manager at LinkedIn where she helps drive strategy and operations for their go-to-market (sale and marketing) teams. Nina also leads the SF Women At LinkedIn Employee Resource Group which supports ~2k women and allies in the LinkedIn San Francisco office. In joining the Federation Fellows, she is looking to merge her interest in Judaism with her business acumen to develop additional skills (nonprofit operating models, leadership), meet other Jewish-minded people, and advance the SF Jewish community.

Federation Fellows 2018-2020 Cohort

Nicole Cruz
Nicole CruzNicole Cruz is a Southern California native currently residing in the Bay Area. She works at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center assisting with the implementation of their Salesforce-based database. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, outdoor activities, and participating in Jewish community events in the Bay Area. She is excited to participate in the Fed Fellows program and give back to the local community in a meaningful way.

Marina Eybelman
Marina EybelmanMarina grew up in Moscow, Russia and moved to the States in 2002. In college, she studied Jewish Literature and the Eastern European Jewish oral tradition. For the last 4 years, Marina has been working on Speak Memory Project and had multiple exhibits in New York City and San Francisco. She is a photographer working in a documentary photography style with a strong emphasis on storytelling; each photo tells a story (and sometimes a multitude of stories) that play out in the imagination of the viewer. Marina lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters. Her work can be found at www.marinaeybelman.com.

Noah Figdor
Noah FigdorNoah is a CPA who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating from college in 2014. Noah holds a longstanding commitment to the Jewish community and has a history of getting involved, in various capacities, in local causes in the cities he has lived in — from participating in local Jewish youth groups, raising money for various cultural causes, to spending weekends volunteering with Jewish families with brave children who navigate life with disabilities. Noah is excited about the opportunity to join the 2018-2020 Federation Fellowship cohort and is looking forward to becoming more involved within the local Bay Area Jewish community, and to learn from the community at large.

Sami Greenberg
Marina EybelmanBorn and raised in Chicago, Sami moved to San Francisco in 2013 to pursue her career in digital health. She cares deeply about providing more affordable and accessible healthcare solutions. Sami is actively involved with Congregation Emanu-El's Jewish community and is joining the Federation to expand her Jewish involvement in the Bay Area. She lived and/or worked in New York, Washington, DC, and London, and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a BS from Cornell University. In her spare time, she enjoys hosting Shabbat dinners, participating in her Cookbook Club, and hiking with her puppy and husband.

Laiah Idelson
Laiah IdelsonLaiah Idelson was born and raised in the Bay Area and has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and sub-Saharan Africa. She currently is the Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Lead at YTH, an Oakland-based nonprofit using technology to develop solutions to youth health and wellness. Laiah lives in Oakland with her husband. She enjoys spicy food, traveling to new cities, and a good book.

Michelle Peleg
Michelle PelegMichelle Peleg is excited to join the cohort of Federation Fellows. Originally from Los Angeles, Michelle spent her first stint in the Bay at Berkeley Law and has recently moved back to San Francisco. She is a corporate attorney at Cooley, working with emerging companies and venture capital firms. Michelle is thrilled to be back in Northern California and looking forward to diving into the Jewish community here.

Sari Bourne Kaplan
Sari Bourne KaplanSari is a rare native San Franciscan! She was born and raised in West Portal and attended Brandeis Hillel Day School. She moved to Short Hills, NJ in 7th grade, and returned back to the Bay Area to go to Stanford. After graduating, Sari spent a year working on the Hillary Clinton Campaign, working in various Jewish organizations, and went to law school. Most recently, she worked at two law firms, and just moved back to the Bay Area in January to work as an attorney at Genentech. Sari just got married to her wonderful husband, Matt, who works on the Public Policy team at Lyft, and they're very excited to be back home! She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing Jewish geography (and meeting people generally), and traveling.

Robert Kaufman
Robert KaufmanRobert Kaufman grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA, and studied political science and business administration at the University of California, Berkeley. Robert currently works for FTV Capital, a growth equity firm in San Francisco. Prior to joining FTV, Robert worked for The JBG Companies in Washington, D.C., Hellman & Friedman, and Hall Capital Partners in San Francisco. Robert is president of the board of Berkeley Hillel, a member of AIPAC's National Council, and a Birthright Fellow. Robert enjoys playing basketball, snowboarding, hiking, and traveling the world.   

Jessica Kocen
Jessica KocenJessica Kocen was born and raised in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia, and made the big move out west to San Francisco in 2016. All of her life she has been passionate about social impact, volunteerism, and philanthropy and has been involved in leadership positions with a variety of Jewish organizations including BBYO, Hillel, Joint Distribution Committee, and most recently the Jewish Federation. Jessica works for Airbnb and helps drive hotel supply growth on both the HotelTonight and Airbnb platform. As a side project at work, Jessica serves as a Social Impact Champion for the Airbnb SF Campus.

Shijia Bobby Lu
Shijia Bobby LuShijia Bobby Lu is a regional planner with the Bay Area’s metropolitan planning organization. His current work emphasizes understanding regional economic trends and coordinating local and regional economic development efforts. He is also a liaison to Marin and Napa Counties and manages grants that fund local planning projects in these counties. Bobby grew up in central China and majored in Sociology at Renmin University of China in Beijing. He came to the United States in 2012 and received his Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He believes strongly in the power of people’s relationships with each other, as well as with the cities and communities to transform them into thriving places where people live, work, play, and feel happy and proud. Bobby moved to San Francisco in 2014, and has been enjoying cycling and swimming in this beautiful city.   

Josh Mitrani
Josh MitraniOriginally from Miami Beach, Florida, Josh is a second-year MBA candidate at Stanford. Before business school, Josh worked at Long Ridge, an NYC-based private equity firm, where he invested in and worked with high-growth companies. Prior to Long Ridge, he started his career as a strategy consultant. Josh graduated from Cornell University with a double major in English and Economics and wrote his thesis on Shakespeare’s sonnets. Josh enjoys lifting weights, reading nonfiction books on Shabbat, and cooking (and eating) spicy food with his wife Ariel.    

Danielle Nemzer
Danielle Nemzer Danielle Nemzer is so thrilled to be joining this cohort of Federation Fellows. She's lived in San Francisco for a little over three years now, but is originally from Santa Monica. Danielle has worked in management consulting ever since graduating from Johns Hopkins. When not at work, you can find her teaching spinning classes, cooking, or spending time with family and friends!

Rachel Nilson Ralston
Rachel Nilson RalstonRachel is a Bay Area native who is thrilled to join Federation Fellows! By day, she serves as San Francisco Hillel's Assistant Director, empowering students across the city to create meaningful Jewish communities. She's passionate about inclusion and innovation, which is why she's especially excited to learn to better serve our diverse and cutting edge corner of the Jewish world. In her spare time, Rachel can be found exploring coastal hiking trails, museums, or trying out new recipes.    

Yelena Ostrovsky
Yelena TrubinOriginally from the Former Soviet Union, Yelena immigrated to the US with her family in 1989. Since then, she received a DDS degree from the UOP School of Dentistry in SF and now lives in San Francisco with her husband and 2 children. 

Irad Ratmansky
Irad RatmanskyIrad grew up in Israel and came to the Bay Area to work at Facebook. He has a baby daughter and therefore asks himself what kind of Jewish community and values he would like her to grow up in. That drove him to look for community involvement opportunities, such as signing up for the Fed Fellows program and being an ENGAJ fellow. His hobbies include programming video games, books, sports (running, swimming, etc) and coffee (roasting beans and drinking it fresh).

Hannah Schlacter
Hannah SchlacterHannah moved to San Francisco in August of 2017. Originally from Chicago, she moved to the Bay because of her passion for tech and love of the outdoors. Growing up, she was active in the Chicago Federation, so it was important for her to become active in the SF Jewish community—including the Federation. During the day, she spends her time working in management consulting, advising different clients across industries. In her free time, she likes to build her community blog, Life Hacks for Women. She also enjoys skiing, running, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Donna Solen
Donna SolenOriginally from Miami, Florida, Donna eventually moved to Washington, D.C., where she met her now-husband. They had both always dreamed of living in the Bay Area and made those dreams come true about 5 years ago. After [too] many years as a lawyer, she made a career change a couple of years ago and is now loving her new life as a real estate agent in SF. Donna and her husband live in the Excelsior neighborhood with their daughter Lois, a 3-year-old Shih Tzu. 

Adina Wollner
Adina WollnerAdina grew up in San Diego and graduated from UCSD. She has been involved in the Jewish community in San Diego both on and off-campus through Hillel, the JCC, and the SD Jewish Federation. However, before college, she spent two years in Israel serving in the IDF and living on a kibbutz. Adina moved to San Francisco a year ago and currently works as a security engineer. She lives with her two cats and enjoys biking around the city, Israeli folk dancing, and going to see musicals in the theater.

Greg Zale
Greg ZaleGreg Zale grew up in a big, active Jewish family in Dallas and has been looking to join an organization like this, where he can make a positive difference in the Bay Area. Greg speaks German and has traveled independently through over 60 countries on 6 continents. He also loves taking advantage of living in Northern California, whether it's tubing down the Russian River or skiing around Lake Tahoe. Greg recently had his first child and is looking forward to introducing her to the community!