KAHAL Staff

ALEX JAKUBOWSKI

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Alex is the founder and executive director of KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad, which creates transformative Jewish experiences for students studying abroad. A native of Chicago, he graduated cum laude and with honors in Classical Languages and Civilizations from Northwestern University. Committed to human-centered design and innovation in the social sector, Alex was selected for the Core18 Leaders Lab fellowship and awarded the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize for Jewish Education in 2016. Alex is a founding board member of SketchPad: Chicago's Jewish Innovation Space. He and his girlfriend, Samantha, are active members of AIPAC, Alpha Epsilon Pi, JCYS, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Firefighters’ Association, the JUF, and various other Chicagoland Jewish organizations and synagogues. His passions include golf, college football, and every dog he’s ever met.

If you're travelling to Chile, contact alex@kahalabroad.org

ALEX JAKUBOWSKI

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Alex@KahalAbroad.org

BECCA FLYER

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Becca was first inspired by global Jewish peoplehood on a trip to Uruguay, volunteering alongside the Jewish community. She later led a college JDC Entwine trip to Ukraine, where the group visited homebound elderly Jews and met local Jewish students. These experiences, together with her time living in Israel, Cape Town, and London taught her of the transformative nature of studying, living, and traveling abroad. She currently works as the Chief Operations Officer of KAHAL, connecting study abroad students to Jewish experiences and communities worldwide. With KAHAL, Becca has visited Jewish communities around the world, developing relationships with community leaders, building a network of more than 700 partners in 40 countries. She previously worked in nonprofit fundraising specializing in donor relationship management and planned giving. When they’re not traveling, Becca and her husband reside in Washington, DC. They would travel even more often if they could bring their puppy, Frank along.

If you're travelling to Hong Kong, contact becca@kahalabroad.org

BECCA FLYER

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Becca@KahalAbroad.org

JOEY LESKIN

DIRECTOR: ABROAD EXPERIENCE

Joey is a Yemeni Jew from London, UK and has spent much of the last decade living and working abroad, visiting over 50 countries. He is passionate about exploring and educating on Jewish communities in Europe and minority communities in Israel. He has a Masters in International Relations and Global Development and cares far too much about his football team, Tottenham Hotspur.

If you're travelling to England, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, China (Beijing, Shanghai) or Russia, contact joey@kahalabroad.org

JOEY LESKIN

DIRECTOR: ABROAD EXPERIENCE

Joey@KahalAbroad.org

JESSIE GINDEA

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: ABROAD EXPERIENCE

Jessie is the Associate Director: Abroad Experiences at KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad. Before working with KAHAL, she taught in a myriad of Jewish environments, including several Day Schools, Israel programs, camps, and experiential adventures. Jessie earned a Master's degree in Jewish education and a Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies from the Pardes Educators Program in Jerusalem as well as a Certificate in Jewish Day School Education from Hebrew College of Boston. Prior to receiving her M.A., Jessie received a B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University. Jessie is married to Adam and is the proud mama of three-year-old Charlie Ruby and Nadi the Puppy. Jessie and Adam currently run Base Miami, an initiative to engage young Jewish professionals in the Miami area.

If you're travelling to Italy, contact jessie@kahalabroad.org

JESSIE GINDEA

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: ABROAD EXPERIENCE

Jessie@KahalAbroad.org

JOJO RUBNITZ

CAMPUS OPERATIONS AND MARKETING ASSOCIATE

Jojo graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a Bachelors in Human Development and Family studies and a certificate in Studio art. She had the great opportunity to study abroad in Florence where she studied art, and connected with KAHAL. She’s passionate about helping students find a Jewish community abroad so that they can feel a sense of home and belonging. Jojo loves to travel anywhere and everywhere, take pictures, sculpt clay, and meet new people.

JOJO RUBNITZ

CAMPUS OPERATIONS AND MARKETING ASSOCIATE

Jojo@KahalAbroad.org

MISHA VILENCHUK

MANAGER: CAMPUS OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT

Misha comes from a Russian-Jewish background and came to KAHAL shortly after graduating Brandeis University, where he got his B.A. in Russian, Judaics, and History, and an M.A. in Global Studies. Misha was moved by his experiences Jews in around the world, founded a campus organization to address European anti-Semitism and the American branch of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS). Misha is excited to help create transformative experiences for Jewish students studying abroad and introduce students to Jewish life around the world!

MISHA VILENCHUK

MANAGER:CAMPUS OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT

Misha@KahalAbroad.org

MIA YELLIN

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: EXPANSION

Mia graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences and is a Master of Liberal Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. She had a life changing study abroad experience at the University of Haifa where she was immersed in Judaism and coexistence. Mia has interned with the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Community Relations Council, but most recently worked for UPenn's Hillel on the Jewish Renaissance Project team. She's passionate about enriching student's lives by connecting them with the global Jewish community. Since she is new to London she is always up for exploring a new spot and meeting a new friend!

MIA YELLIN

DIRECTOR: STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Mia@KahalAbroad.org

TALIA GOLDMAN

ABROAD EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATE

Talia grew up in the UK based Masorti youth movement Noam, which has shaped so many of her Jewish and personal ideologies. She studied Philosophy at Birmingham University and after graduating, she worked in Noam’s head office and then with Marom, Noam’s sister movement for young adults. Since she was 18, Talia has have loved to travel the world and meet new people. She is so excited to be able to help Jewish students studying abroad have magical experiences! Talia is a passionate feminist, amateur photographer, keen writer, animal lover and nature enthusiast.

If you're travelling to Spain (Barca, Madrid, Sevilla), Israel (TA, Jeru), Denmark, Sweden, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, North Africa, Canada, USA, Argentina, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Senegal or India, contact Talia@kahalabroad.org

TALIA GOLDMAN

ABROAD EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATE

Talia@KahalAbroad.org

NAOMI SPUNGEN

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Naomi was born and raised in Highland Park, IL. After completing Boston University's American Studies program in 2015, Naomi moved to New Zealand where she worked as the Marketing Manager at Auckland's Basement Theatre. At the Basement Naomi developed an interest in standup comedy, and in 2017 she decided to return to Chicago to devote her time to writing and performing standup. Now Naomi produces and hosts Just Us Gals, one of Chicago's largest independent alternative comedy showcases, and can be seen performing all over the city. Naomi also teaches yoga serves as the the Operations Coordinator for Kahal.

NAOMI SPUNGEN

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Naomis@KahalAbroad.org

JOSEPH CLEMENTS

ABROAD EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATE

Joseph grew up in Birmingham and studied French and Spanish at University College London. For his year abroad he worked in Paris for six months and then studied in Santiago, Chile for another six months, after which he became a KAHAL intern during his final year at UCL. During his time at UCL, Joseph was education officer for the Jewish society, where he would put on weekly lunch and learn sessions for local and international students. His hobbies include travelling, learning about different cultures, meeting new people and the occasional trip to the theatre! “My year abroad was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life and I am so excited to help other students make the most of their time abroad.``

JOSEPH CLEMENTS

ABROAD EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATE

Joseph@KahalAbroad.org

ELLEN ROSENFELD

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Ellen received a B.A. in Art History and Psychology from Northwestern University, and earned a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. She followed her passion for art history and travel, to Florence, Italy, where she studied Art History and Italian. While the experience was undeniably rewarding and educational, she wishes she had found a welcoming Jewish community during her time in Italy. Prior to joining the KAHAL team, Ellen worked in operations for a grant writing firm for nonprofit organizations. Ellen recently moved back to the Chicagoland area from Washington, DC, and looks forward to getting lost in the Art Institute of Chicago.

ELLEN ROSENFELD

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Ellen@KahalAbroad.org

KAHAL Campus Interns

Abigail Ripin

Boston University

Major: French and Linguistics

Studied Abroad: Jerusalem, Israel

Bucket List Destination: Budapest

Abigail Ripin

Boston University

Amanda Sugar

University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign

Major: Kinesiology

Studied Abroad: Stirling, Scotland

Bucket List Destination: Iceland

Amanda Sugar

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

Amit Gerstein

George Washington University

Major: International Affairs and International Development

Studied Abroad: Nepal

Bucket List Destination: The Great Barrier Reef

Amit Gerstein

George Washington University

Angie First

University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Major: Business Administration and Computer Science

Studied Abroad: Semester at Sea

Bucket List Destination: Bali and Cappadocia

Angie First

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Ariel Hylton

Syracuse University

Major: Speech-Language Pathology and Spanish

Studied Abroad: Madrid, Spain

Bucket List Destination: Tokyo, Japan

Ariel Hylton

Syracuse University

Ben Newhouse

New York University

Major: Finance & Accounting

Studied Abroad: Tel Aviv, Israel

Bucket List Destination: Australia & New Zealand

Ben Newhouse

New York University

Chelsea Tepel

Penn State University

Major: Global and International Studies

Studied Abroad: Sevilla, Spain

Bucket List Destination: Greece and Thailand

Chelsea Topel

Penn State University

Daniella Roth

Washington University

Major: Applied Linguistics, Minor in Dance

Studied Abroad: Auckland, New Zealand

Bucket List Destination: Spain & Portugal

Daniella Roth

Washington University in St. Louis

Erin Wernick

University of Maryland

Major: Materials Science & Engineering

Studied Abroad: Singapore

Bucket List Destination: South America and Greece

Erin Wernick

University of Maryland- College Park

Goldie Davoudgoleh

Brandeis University

Major: Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Hebrew Language Track and Anthropology

Studied Abroad: Copenhagen, Denmark

Bucket List Destination: Greece and Thailand

Goldie Davoudgoleh

Brandeis University

Hannah Kolber

University of California- Berkeley

Major: Legal Studies

Studied Abroad: Semester at Sea

Bucket List Destination: Brazil

Hannah Kolber

University of California- Berkeley

Jamie Gottlieb

American University

Major: Jewish Studies

Studied Abroad: Jerusalem, Israel

Bucket List Destination: Australia

Jamie Gottlieb

American University

Jordyn Weinberg

Ryerson University

Major: Professional Communications

Studied Abroad: London, England

Bucket List Destination: Japan

Jordan Weinberg

Ryerson University

Lexie Rubin

Tulane University

Major: Psychology

Studied Abroad: Sevilla, Spain

Bucket List Destination: Buenos Aires

Lexie Rubin

Tulane University

Naomi Moskowitz

UCLA

Major: Cognitive Science

Studied Abroad: Morocco

Bucket List Destination: Australia

Naomi Moskowitz

UCLA

Melanie Holpert

University of Southern California

Major: Communication and History

Studied Abroad: Rome, Italy

Bucket List Destination: Portugal

Melanie Holpert

University of Southern California

Sophie Silvermintz

University of Maryland

Major: Early Childhood Education

Studied Abroad: Rome, Italy

Bucket List Destination: Singapore

Sophie Silvermintz

University of Maryland- College Park

Zoe Spiegel

Muhlenberg College

Major: Religion Studies and History

Studied Abroad: Vienna, Austria

Bucket List Central Asia

Zoe Spiegel

Muhlenberg University

Ellie Rothstein

Cornell University

Major: Food Science and Business

Study Abroad Destination: Dublin, Ireland

Bucket list Destination: Banff National Park of Canada

Ellie Rothstein

Cornell University

Danielle Wolk

Northwestern University

Major:

Studied Abroad: London, England

Danielle Wolk

Northwestern University

Maia Sepiashvili

Miami University

Major: Miami University

Studied Abroad: Semester At Sea

Bucket List Destination: Bora Bora

Maia Sepiashvili

Miami University

Michelle Lynn

Goucher College

Major: Psychology

Studied Abroad: Copenhagen, Denmark

Bucket List Destination: Thailand

Michelle Lynn

Goucher College

Gabrielle Marzouk

University of Illinois

Major: Music with business and leadership studies

Studied Abroad: Leeds, England

Bucket List Destination: Thailand

Gabrielle Marzouk

University of Illinois

Olivia Hazlett

University of Michigan

Major: Political Science and Sociology; minor in American Culture

Studied Abroad: Semester At Sea

Bucket List Destination: Australia

Olivia Hazlett

University of Michigan

Ellie Rothstein

Cornell University

Major: Food Science and Business

Studied Abroad: Dublin

Bucket List Destination: Banff National Park of Canada

Ellie Rothstein

Cornell University

Paul Schmitz

University of Michigan

Major: Business

Studied abroad: Sydney, Australia

Bucket List Destination: South Africa

Paul Schmitz

University of Michigan

Mika Bekkerman

UC Davis

Major: Sociology and Russian double major

Studied Abroad: Madrid, Spain

Bucket List Destination: Amsterdam

Mika Bekkerman

UC Davis

Jamie Gottlieb

American University

Jamie Gottlieb

American University

Serena Steinfeld

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Major: Environmental Studies and Journalism

Studied Abroad: Tel Aviv, Israel

Bucket List Destination: New Zealand

Serena Steinfeld

University of WIsconsin- Madison

Olivia Rome

University of Leeds

Major: Music and Spanish

Studied abroad: Málaga, Spain

Bucket List Destination: Japan

Olivia Rome

University of Leeds

Lexie Kay

Michigan State University

Major: Psychology

Studied Abroad: Tel Aviv

Bucket List Destination: Ireland

Lexie Kay

Michigan State University

Alexa Kapoor

Northeastern University

Alexa Kooper

Northeastern University

KAHAL Global Ambassadors 2019

Adir Tamir

Ariel University

Major: Civil Engineering

Destination: Hong Kong

Bucket List Destination: East Timor

Adir Tamir

Hong Kong

Jamie Miller

Northwestern University

Major: Political Science, Communication, and Psychology

Destination: Copenhagen

Bucket List Destination: Singapore

Jamie MIller

Copenhagen

Jill Friedland

Muhlenberg College

Major: Theatre

Destination: London

Bucket List Destination: Israel and Germany

Jill Friedland

London

Kelly Naar

American University

Major: International Studies

Destination: Paris

Bucket List Destination: Japan (for the sushi of course)

Kelly Naar

Paris

Rachel Zaff

University of Pennsylvania

Major: Political Science and Environmental Studies

Destination: Seville

Bucket List Destination: London

Rachel Zaff

Seville

Ronen Pink

University of Miami

Major: Business Technology, Management

Destination: Rome

Bucket List Destination: New Zealand

Ronen Pink

Rome

Sade Storthz

University of Virginia

Major: Youth and Social Innovation

Destination: Semester At Sea

Bucket List Destination: New Zealand

Sade Storthz

Semester At Sea

Rebecca Spagnoletto

University College London

Major: Economics

Destination City: London

Bucket List destination: Australia

Rebecca Spagnoletto

London

Tamara Settbon

Université Paris Descartes

Major: Psychology and Social Science

Destination: I haven't yet. I'm a born and raised parisienne.

Bucket List Destination: India and New Zealand

Tamara Settbon

Paris

“The best part of my abroad experience was interacting with the Jewish communities of all the places I visited and cultivating one between abroad students and locals within my own abroad city, Copenhagen, Denmark. Serving as a KAHAL Global Ambassador in Copenhagen and connecting with the KAHAL network as an abroad student gave me this unique opportunity. Thanks to KAHAL, I was able to connect with Jews from Florence, Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Paris, and more! This was an amazing way to hang out with locals, learn about their traditions, and have meaningful conversations about the differences between our communities! It was an unforgettable experience! I would highly recommend getting involved with KAHAL and especially serving as a KAHAL Global Ambassador to those going abroad!”

Lauren Grobois