OTZMA XXII (2007-2008) had 47 participants from 23 different communities across North America.
Please see below to learn more about the group:
Aaron Sataloff (San Francisco, CA)
Aaron is a Political Science major at the University of Oregon. Growing up he was involved in BBYO and attended overnight Jewish camp. Aaron spent two summers as a camp counselor for his local Jewish Community Center Summer Camp. While at Oregon, Aaron was involved in AEII. Aaron previously spent one summer in Israel on a program called JAM.
Adam Kredo (Philadelphia, PA)
Adam applied to OTZMA having never been to Israel before. He is from Philadelphia and recently graduated from Boston University where he majored in Broadcast Journalism and minored in Religion. Adam interned throughout college in a variety of journalism positions and took several classes on Judaism during his time at BU. He was a youth group member throughout high school and attended Saginaw overnight camp. Adam frequented the Hillel house while at Boston University.
Adam Van Hart (Cincinnati, OH)
Adam grew up in Ohio and recently graduated from Ohio State University. Adam received two degrees in Journalism as well as Political Science. While on campus Adam was involved in AEII and was the Social Chairman and Recruitment Chairman of the fraternity. Additionally he was an active member of Hillel on campus. Adam has much experience in journalism and working for a variety of newspapers. Adam recently studied for and became an adult Bar Mitzvah and his celebration ultimately became a very special
Aileen McCarty (Rochester, NY)Aileen graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Psychology. She has experience doing research in the fields of clinical and social psychology, and was inducted into three honor societies including Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology. In addition to psychology, Aileen is interested in computers, hiking, international travel, music, and theater. Aileen not only attended school in Rochester but she is also from Rochester where she is a member of a Reform congregation, Temple B'rith Kodesh.
Alan Gerber (Boston, MA)
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Alan is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in psychology. He is committed to the practice of Orthodox Judaism, and previously worked as a fourth grade teacher and a personal tutor for an autistic child at Shaarei Tefila Congregation in Potomac, Maryland. Alan is interested in child psychology specifically and has spent time working as a research assistant in two labs.
Aliza Land (Washington, DC)
Originally from Laurel, Maryland, Aliza is a recent graduate of Goucher College, with a double major in Peace Studies and Sociology. During her time at Goucher, she founded a cultural awareness club called "Wreckage – Breaking Down the Barriers," as well as participating in various leadership positions at her campus Hillel. Aliza also spent a semester studying at the Rotherberg International School at Hebrew University; while there, she volunteered for Rabbis for Human Rights and learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through interviews with Arab families. She formerly worked as a counselor at Camp JRF and a Hebrew resource teacher at Temple Emanuel, and she is a well-versed member of the Reconstructionist movement.
Anne Alexander (Washington DC)
Anne is in the middle of her studies at the Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder where she is studying Religious and Film Studies. She is a skilled tennis player and has spent time as a tennis instructor, coach, and was a counselor at tennis camp. Anne comes to OTZMA from Fairfax, Virginia where she is a member of Adat Reyim synagogue. Anne previously visited Israel on Birthright during the summer of 2007.
Arielle Seiden (Metro West, NJ)
Arielle recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and was inducted into Phi Sigma Theta, a national honor society. She held internships at two local schools, worked as a campus tour guide, was an active member of the Alpha Phi sorority, and participated in numerous philanthropic events. Arielle has already spent a great deal of time in Israel through various visits and the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program. She is originally from Morristown, New Jersey, and is a member of the Conservative movement.
Beth Fingerman (San Francisco, CA)
Beth is a recent graduate of Sonoma State University with a degree in Sociology. She has been volunteering since 2005 at the local YWCA as a hotline operator as well as a co-facilitator of two support groups. During the summer of 2005, she lived in Costa Rica and organized a support group for women who are victims of domestic violence. She is originally from Berkeley, California, and is a member of the Conservative movement.
Charlene Naft (Las Vegas, NV)
Charlene graduated in 2004 from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in political science and recently received a certificate in public relations from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. She currently works as a marketing coordinator at Clark and Sullivan Constructors, and she is a former volunteer coordinator for the Jewish Family Service Agency in Las Vegas and is trained in improvisation performance. Charlene was an active member of USY, serving on various boards and programming committees, and currently serves as a youth group advisor for BBYO.
Daniel Rosenberg (Detroit, MI)
Daniel is a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Communication. He works as a student mentor for the Michigan Association of Secondary Student Principals, organizing events and enhancing the leadership skills of participants. He has volunteered at various elementary and middle schools and also works as an assistant photographer. He is a member of a Reform congregation in his hometown of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and is involved in his campus Hillel.
Dayna Greenfield (Pittsburg, PA)
Dayna recently graduated from Washington and Jefferson College with a degree
in business. She is very involved in all kinds of sports, and has been working
for numerous organizations as a basketball coach since 1998.
Eric Greenberg (Cincinnati, OH)
Eric was a Political Science major at Miami University of Ohio. He volunteered for the Jewish Community Relations Council for one summer and was a member and Vice President of Political Affairs for the Miami Students for Israel. Eric was also a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity where he served as the Rush Chairman. Eric has been to Israel one time prior to OTZMA as a participant on Birthright and he studied abroad in London for a summer.
Harrison Magy (Detroit, MI)
After completing his Bachelor of Arts in French Studies and International Affairs at Boston University, Harrison studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and received a Master's in International Affairs. He holds a certificate for teaching English as a foreign language and is fluent in French. Outside of his studies, Harrison has interned at the United States Embassy in Paris and worked as a chaperone and advisor to high school-aged participants at the Summer Study in Paris program.
Hope Silverstein (Detroit, MI)
Hope is a graduate of Indiana University and comes to OTZMA from Detroit, Michigan. While at IU Hope studied Sociology. Hope is interested in yoga, cooking, reading and enjoys classic rock music. Prior to OTZMA Hope was a participant on Birthright Israel and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Hope was a camper at Goldman Union Camp Institute and a member of BBYO. While at IU, Hope was a member of the Hoosiers for Israel and involved in Hillel.
Irene Tenenbaum (New York, NY)
Irene was born in Kiev, Ukraine. After graduating from Barnard College in 2006 with a degree in Biology, she worked as a research secretary at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While in college, Irene founded and served as president of the Barnard Pre-Health Students Association, and also worked as manager of the Barnard Babysitting Agency. She is a graduate of The Legacy Scholar Program, an invitation-only ten-week course on Judaism at the Jewish Enrichment Center in New York City and is an active member of the Orangetown Jewish Center.
Iva Litvak (Metro West)
Iva graduated in 2006 from Indiana University with a degree in Anthropology and Folklore. She participated in an archaeological dig at Tel Bet Shemesh during the summer of 2006, and has conducted research on the comparison between Ashkenazi and Sephardic folktales. She is the former co-musical director of Hooshir, her university's Jewish a cappella group, and has most recently been working in "Practicum in Folklore" for the Mather's Museum. Her family belongs to Oheb Shalom, a conservative congregation in South Orange.
Jacqueline Hurwitz (Chicago, IL)
Jacqueline is a recent graduate of Middlebury College with a BA in Classical Studies and Theatre. Putting her abilities to converse in French and Greek to use, she spent the last two summers guiding trips for teenagers through Europe as part of the Travel for Teens organization. She worked as a tour guide coordinator at her college admissions office and formerly worked as the marketing director at Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in Chicago. She was a member of her campus Hillel and her family belongs to a reform congregation.
Jacob Schamp (Rochester/Syracuse, NY)
Jacob is a recent graduate of the University of Rochester with a degree in psychology. He served as the president of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and has volunteered at an elementary school through Project Care. Jacob was a participant in Hillel and Chabad activities, and his family belongs to a conservative congregation.
Jason Oifer (Boston)
Jason is a recent graduate of Babson College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He has previously interned at the Children's Law Center of Connecticut and Pinnacle Capital Management Inc., and hopes to attend law school in the future. He is originally from Oxford, Connecticut.
Jennifer Carmen (New York, NY)
Jennifer is a recent graduate of Northwestern University with a double major in Communication Studies and English. She has held numerous marketing and publishing internships in the past, including St. Martin's Press, Hannacroix Creek Books Inc, The Broadway Theatre Institute, Fox 5 News, and most recently, Northwestern University Press, where she worked as an editorial intern. Although this is Jennifer's first time in Israel, she grew up in a conservative congregation that instilled in her a deep connection to Judaism and Israel.
Jennifer Keys (Baltimore, MD)
Jennifer is a recent graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York Univeristy, with a fine arts degree in dance. During the spring of 2007 she participated in the "Ideas that Move: The Jewish Learning Fellowship" at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at her campus, and volunteered in Israel as part of the "Leading Up North" trip. She spent two summers working as a dance instructor, and also volunteered as a tutor for at-risk children through the Go Project.
Jessica Freeman (Los Angeles, CA)
An aspiring social worker, Jessica is a recent graduate of California State University at Northridge with a degree in sociology. She has been working as a waitress at Weiler's Delicatessen for the last four years. She previously worked as a counselor at Camp JCA Shalom for three summers, and served on the chapter board of USY while in high school.
Jessica Goldshlager (New York, NY)
Jessica graduated in 2006 from SUNY Binghamton with a degree in Psychology, and is currently working toward her Masters in psychology at Queens College. She has worked as a volunteer counselor assistant for the Long Island Crisis Center, and as a weekend counselor at The Way Back, a residential house for youths with mental illness. She formerly tutored and mentored students in the GEAR UP program at Binghamton Middle School and The Adolescent Day Treatment program at a local health center.
Jordan Kwok (Los Angeles, CA)
Jordan is a recent graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. He has previously worked as a summer associate at LEK Consulting, and as an intern at Illinois Tool Works. During the summer of 2004 he received an undergraduate research fellowship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was the president and captain of the Northwestern Ultimate Frisbee team, and taught Frisbee workshops at the local YMCA.
Josh Blatman (Cincinnati, OH)
Josh recently graduated from Ohio State University where he studied Music Education. Josh was a Sunday School teacher and choir director at Temple Beth Tikvah in Columbus, Ohio where he went to school. Throughout his life Josh was involved in band and was a marching band member at Ohio State. In addition to music, Josh enjoys tennis and was the assistant tennis professional at a private club in Cincinnati, Ohio. Josh was a Birthright Israel participant and attended services at the Ohio Hillel.
Kassandra Grunewald (Boston, MA)
Kassandra is a recent graduate of Boston University with a degree in economics. She previously worked at the Mayo Clinic as a research assistant in the gastroenterology department, as well as a lifeguard and water safety instructor at the Rochester Athletic Club.
Kate Muskovitz (Detroit,
Kate is a native Michigan resident and a skilled hair dresser and cosmetologist trained by the Douglas J. Aveda Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kate was a participant on Birthright Israel in the winter of 2006 and has been itching to go back to Israel since the moment she returned to the US.
Lauren Katzerman (Memphis, TN)
Lauren is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in political science. She served as president of her campus chapter of Best Buddies International for two years, as well as an executive board member of Volunteer UGA. She has worked as a head counselor at two camps for people with disabilities, Friendship Ventures Camp Friendship and United Cerebral Palsy's Camp Live it Up.
Lauren Shuman (Boton, MA)
Lauren recently graduated from Boston University with a degree in Psychology and Business. Growing up Lauren attended Camp Pembroke. Lauren’s interests lie in real estate, psychology, travel, museums, and marine biology. While at BU Lauren was the Vice President of the Real Estate Club and in high school she created and implemented a marine biology club. Back home in Newton, Lauren is a member of Reform temple Mishkan Tefila.
Leore Jacobson (New York, NY)
Leore graduated from Emory University in 2005 with a degree in psychology, and then earned a Master's Arts in Social-Organizational Psychology from the Columbia University Teachers College. She has worked at the UJA New York Federation as an administrative assistant in the Institute for Day School Management, as well as a human resources intern at Donna Karan LLC.
Michelle Vaysberg (San Francisco, CA)
Michelle recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in psychology. While in school, she served as the executive vice president of the Jewish Student Union and a leader for the Hillel Engagement Council, a group for Jewish freshmen. She previously worked as a human resources intern for Bio-Rad Laboratories as well as a marketing assistant for the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team Blue Crew. Michelle is also an Israeli dance instructor.
Nicole Bodenstein (Central New Jersey)
Nicole is a recent graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Non profit management. During University, Nicole spent a semester abroad at Tel Aviv University. While in school Nicole was an active member of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority, she planned recruitment week and other events for the group. Nicole interned at various non-profit organizations planning, organizing and managing many tasks.
Nicole Feig (New York, NY)
Nicole is a recent graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in American Studies. She previously held internships at The Creative Coalition and the Sunrise Financial Corporation, and also worked as a head counselor at Westchester Summer Day Camp. During University, Nicole studied abroad at Tel Aviv University and was a participant in JESNA's Interns program.
Pepper Segal (Greensboro, NC)
Pepper was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. She attended Greensboro College where she studied Art and General Education. Pepper was a participant in March of the Living, and spent a number of years at Blue Star Camps. Additionally, Pepper attended Jewish Day School and is a member of Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Greensboro.
Rebecca Corwin (New York, NY)
Rebecca is a recent graduate from Willams College with a degree in American Studies. She has worked and is a licensed Massachusetts EMT. She has been an active member of her Jewish Community in NYC.
Samantha Moskowitz (New York, NY)
Samantha is a recent graduate of Emory University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She spent a summer abroad studying Psychology in England. Samantha has interned at many places: Skyland trail- center for mental health and rehabilitation; working with Atlanta Braves Baseball team and more. Samantha has been to Israel as a participant in the Maccabiah Games with track and field. She returned to Israel with Birthright Israel in 2007.
Sarah grew up in Lexington, Mississippi and recently graduated from Indiana University where she studied Judaic Studies, Nonprofit Management, and Sociology. During her time in Bloomington, IN, Sarah planned IU Hurricane Relief Trips sending 300 IU students to the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Sarah spent the summer of 2005 volunteering on a Kibbutz in Israel. Additionally, Sarah was involved throughout her life in URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp and was active in Hillel at IU.
Serena Fishman (Los Angeles, CA)
A graduate of Northwestern University, Serena comes to OTZMA from Los Angeles. Serena received a degree in psychology. As a child, Serena attended Camp Alonim and grew up to work as a counselor for the camp as well. She spent her junior year of college abroad in Spain at the University of Seville. During college, Serena was an Alternative Student Break Site Leader where she organized and coordinated finances for a trip to La Casa Goshen and was involved in volunteer activities of painting and dry walling. Serena wrote for the Hillel: Schmooze Magazine and was the Holiday committee member of Hillel at Northwestern.
Simcha Cohen (Milwaukee, WI)
Simcha graduated from the University of Wisconsin and is from Milwaukee. He studied Heber, Jewish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies during his time at UW. Growing up, Simcha attended Jewish Day School and was a member of BBYO. Additionally, he attended and worked at Camp Interlaken JCC. During his junior year of college Simcha studied for a semester at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Simcha was the founding member of UW-Madison chaper of Israel Cultural Experience and a member of the Friends of Israel.
Sol Israel (Boston,
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Sol comes to OTZMA from Newton, Massachusetts. Sol majored in both Criminology and English and spent time as a volunteer English Instructor in Beijing China during the summer between his Junior and Senior years at Toronto. Sol was an active member of AEII while at Toronto. Sol is a member of a Reform congregation, Temple Beth Avodah, in Newton.
Sharon Lintz (Charlotte,
Sharon hales from Charlotte, NC. She attended the University of North Carolina and completed a degree in Political Science and a minor in Jewish Studies. Upon her graduation, Sharon became the Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at The University of Virginia. Sharon was a counselor at Camp Coleman, was president of her sorority, was the undergraduate rep for the Board for Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and was involved in Hillel.
Stephanie Fenio (Pittsburgh, PA)
Stephanie is originally from New Jersey and recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Stephanie interned at the National Jewish Book Council and participated in the Media and Journalism Birthright trip that the National Jewish Book Council offers. At the University of Pittsburgh Stephanie studied Media Communication with an emphasis on Corporate Community Relations.
Todd Zinn (Worcester, MA)
Todd graduated this past year from Goucher College where he received a degree in history. In high school Todd was the Vice President of WESTY, his local temple youth group and on campus he was involved in Hillel. Todd has been to Israel one other time before OTZMA in the summer of 1998 with a tour group. Todd group up in a family that encourages the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam” and participates in OTZMA as a part of his personal quest to help improve the world around him.
Tzeira Creditor (Richmond, VA)
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Tzeira is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a degree in Business Administration and Management. Tzeira grew up in the Conservative movement and attended a variety of Ramah camps in the Northeast. Tzeira was a participant of USW on Wheels and USY Israel Pilgrimage. Additionally, she was a member and board member of the Hillel on her campus and was also a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. Tzeira is interested in arts, plays the piano, and is a songwriter.
Read the blogs and articles below to hear about the OTZMA program directly from the past participants of the program!
Charlene Naft, OTZMA XXII Participant, Las Vegas
Sharon Lintz, OTZMA XXII Participant, Charlotte
Jenn Carmen, OTZMA XXII Participant, New York
Jackie Hurwitz, OTZMA XXII Participant, Chicago
Jordan Kwok, OTZMA XXII Participant, Los Angeles
Israel: Shabbat in the West Bank
Adam Van Hart OTZMA XXII Participant, Cincinnati