Profile of OTZMA's Israel Teaching Fellows 2011-2012 Participants
OTZMA is very excited to be a provider of the pilot program Israel Teaching Fellows launched in cohort with MASA and Israel's Ministry of Education. OTZMA's teaching fellows are coming to us from diverse communities all over North America.
Please see below to learn more about this years group!
Ada Ruzer (East Bay, CA)
Ada recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA where she studied Comparative Sociology and minored in Art History. While in college she studied abroad in Fortaleza and Salvador, Brazil during which she worked on an independent research project on female empowerment and sexual health which furthered her interests in public health and cross-cultural education. Unfortunately, Jewish life was pretty nonexistent in college and so after a brief "hiatus" she is excited to learn Hebrew and reconnect with Israel while traveling and learning simultaneously. Most summers she can be found working at Camp Kee Tov, a Jewish Berkeley Day Camp. She loves the outdoors, dancing, and encountering new people, their ideas, and views on life.
Carla Musacchio (New York, NY)
Carla has recently graduated from the College of Staten Island, City University of New York with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. Throughout her college career she held an active role in student life on campus, from being a member to holding officer positions such as, Treasurer and Secretary, of the Psychology, CSI Hillel, and Israel Club organizations. She completed an Honors Thesis in Social Psychology involving the effect of Mortality Salience (awareness of one’s own death) on Jewish perspectives of Palestinian leadership styles. In January 2010, she had the privilege to go on Taglit-Israel Birthright trip, as she recollects the experience to be the most indescribable and life altering. Falling in love with Israel, she vowed to return shortly upon graduation to pursue the Jewish mitzvah of Tikun Olam, repairing the world.
Chris Harty (St. Louis, MO)
Chris is from St. Louis, Missouri. A member of the “Katrina Class,” he attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he studied Communication and Political Science. After graduating college, Chris joined Teach For America and taught first grade in the small town of Clinton, Louisiana. Chris traveled to Israel for the first time this past July, fell in love with the country, and is so excited to get the chance to live and work in Petach Tikva as a member of OTZMA’s Israel Teaching Fellows program. For the next ten months Chris will work as a teacher’s assistant in an Israeli public school, do volunteer work in his new community, and learn as much as he can about Israel’s society and educational system.
Dan Kassner (Boston, MA)
Daniel Kassner is from the boston area and a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Daniel gew up attending Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, NH and worked as staff memeber for 4 years. Daniel went to Israel for the first time in the summer of 2005 with Camp Young Judaea for 5 weeks. Daniel is committed to spending his year teaching English to Israeli youth and over joyed with the possibilities of traveling all over the country and experiencing everything Israel has to offer.
Erica Kase (New York, NY)
Hello! My name is Erica and I am so excited to be going on this awesome Israeli adventure! I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in English Literature. After I graduated I decided I wanted to pursue a career in desserts so I attended the French Culinary Institute in SOHO, NYC. Since then I have worked in the cooking industry and found that at least for now it is not for me so I am looking at other options. I love to travel and I love to teach and help others so this opportunity has come at the perfect time and I just can't wait to see where it goes! In addition to traveling I love meeting new people, reading, singing, anything to do with the beach, and all kinds of other stuff that is way to long to include here.
Jevon Tabar (Orange County, CA)
Jevon has just received his AA degree and is planning on transferring to the University of California Irvine where he is studying to receive his BA in English with an emphasis in teaching as well as a minor in Music. Jevon is a very down to earth and friendly person who loves to meet new people and have memorable experiences. In his spare time Jevon loves to swim, play basketball, jam with friends and volunteer at his local Jewish Federation and Family Services through his fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. Jevon has never been to Israel and is extremely excited for this program and spending time there. Jevon's goal is to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and their communities.
Julia Sobel (New York, NY)
Julia is a graduate of colgate University where she studied psychology and philosophy. Julia has visited Israel 3 times prior to Israel Teaching Fellows. Julia's most recent trip to Israel was on birthright this past March. Julia's love and connection to Israel was greatly strengthened during this trip where she expereinced Israel for the first time through the eyes of her peers. Julia is thrilled to be a part of Israel Teaching Fellows as this expereince gives her the opportunity to combine her love of Israel and her passion for teaching and education.
Katie Rein (Buffalo, NY)
Katie Rein is a recent graduation of Binghamton University where she double majored in Arabic and French with a Spanish and Global Studies Minor. While at Binghamton, Katie was an active Zionist promoting Israel on campus. Her love for languages and her understanding of proper language education made her want to teach others while living and giving back to Israel at the same time. She has dreamed to live in Israel and to teach children the necessary tools they need to live a successful and positive life. Katie enjoys playing soccer, traveling, speaking and learning different languages and helping others.
Michael Alexander (Philadelphia, PA)
Michael graduated from Washington College in 2009 with a degree in political science. In school, Michael was active in a number of organizations including Hillel and the College Democrats. He enjoys playing basketball, skiing, and hiking. Having been to Israel a number of times, he is excited to return for a longer stay teaching English in elementary schools.