Meet the Team
Meet our dedicated team of campus coordinators along with our team at CJP providing coordinators with resources, advice, and support.
CJP IACT Team
Senior IACT Coordinator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Shoshana Gibbor brings passion to the position of Birthright Coordinator by fusing together her love for Judaism and Israel with outreach and engagement programming. Her philosophy is all about meeting the student where he/she is at and walking side by side on their journey of discovery. Shoshana seeks out students interested in exploring more about their Jewish heritage, while connecting them with the opportunity of participating in a Birthright trip experience. Shoshana received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Community Health, and Dance, from Hofstra University, and a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth University. Although she hails from Toms River, New Jersey, some of her favorite things when spending time in Israel include: hiking in the Golan Heights, eating sabich, Fridays in Jerusalem, and swimming in the Dead, Med, and Red Seas!
IACT Coordinator at Clark University
Roy Büchler graduated from Brandeis University and concentrated in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Political Science. He recently finished a Government Fellowship, where he worked as a Fellow in the United Nations Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Throughout his time in Israel, Roy also developed leadership skills. He participated in the Masa Global Leadership Summit and the Masa Wilf Family Poland Program, where he met lay leaders in the community and discussed ways to promote positive dialogue about Israel. Roy also participated in the Masa Jewish Federations of North America Leadership Track and gained the proper tools to be a Jewish professional. He is eager to help connect young Jewish adults to their identity as the IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement at Clark University.
IACT Coordinator at Boston University
A Providence, R.I. native, Danielle Neeman has served as BU Hillel’s Birthright Coordinator since August of 2017. Danielle received her B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Syracuse University. While at S.U. she became deeply involved in the Hillel community after participating in the university’s Birthright trip. After college, Danielle embarked on a number of journeys, from conservation research in the Costa Rican jungle, to working in the Israeli desert as a research assistant at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Interuniversity Institute in Eilat. She was also a marketing intern for Livnot U’Lehibanot in the city of Tzfat where she had the pleasure of getting to know many Birthright participants! If shes not dancing along the way, she’s taking photos of unsuspecting wildlife.
IACT Coordinator at Tufts University
Rachel works with the Jewish student community and organizes the Taglit-Birthright trip. She recently graduated from The George Washington University where she earned her BA in International Affairs and Conflict Resolution. After working at a Jewish sleep away camp for six summers, Rachel knew she wanted to pursue a career working with the Jewish community. Originally from New York, Rachel loves traveling and exploring new places, which is why she is very excited to call Boston home.
IACT Coordinator at Northeastern University
Shira was born in Israel and moved to a suburb of Boston when she was five. Her love for Israel and Judaism started within her family where both her parents are Israeli and served in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).
Shira was also a counselor in the Tzofim-Israeli scouts movement throughout her high school years. That is where her strength to support and take action for Israel came to be. Throughout her college years, she worked promoting Birthright and Onward with Israel Campus Roundtable, and took the opportunity to be the social media and event coordinator at Simmons Hillel for her last year at school.
After graduating from Simmons University in 2016 with a Communication and Marketing B.A., she joined the International Relations Division of the IDF. On her free time Shira, loves doing yoga, traveling to new places, snorkeling, and taking an adventure to go to the most exotic beaches.
IACT Coordinator at Virginia Tech University
Tarryn was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and is very excited to work at Virginia Tech as the IACT Coordinator. She studied Community Health at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. After college she traveled to Israel and participated in Masa Israel Teaching Fellows. While there she taught English in a public religious elementary school in Petah Tikvah for 10 months. Tarryn is ready to be back state side and help students find their Jewish identities and help them learn about Israel. One of her favorite things to do is travel the world and experience new cultures and one day she hopes to go to all seven continents.
IACT Coordinator at Harvard University
Mikhael Reuven is an experienced Jewish educator with a passion for nuanced and informed Israel engagement. He is the product of graduate study at Brandeis University (NEJS, Hornstein), undergraduate study at the University of Cambridge (Philosophy & Mathematics), and lishma study at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Born and raised in London, England, Mikhael lived in Israel for several years before moving to Boston three years ago. His recent work includes graduate student engagement at M.I.T. Hillel, faculty support at Hebrew College, and research at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education.
IACT Coordinator at University of Central Florida
Allison Bernstein, originally from Pittsburgh PA. (GO STEELERS!) She is excited to be taking her talent down to Orlando, FL. As a 2017 graduate of Kent State University, with a major in Tourism Management, she loves to help students find their passion for Israel and travel. During her time at Kent State, she was an active member of Alpha Xi Delta, studied abroad through Semester at Sea, and she spent a summer in Tel Aviv with Onward Israel. Alli has had a strong Jewish upbringing and has spent many years attending and working at a Jewish summer camp which provided her with her very first trip to Israel. She is a birthright alum and had the privilege of leading two trips with the Central Florida Hillel this past spring. She is excited to bring this energy and knowledge back to the campus and onto future trips. She is honored and excited to join the team at the University of Central Florida.
Allison (Ally) Gerstley
IACT Coordinator at University of California, Santa Barbara
Ally is thrilled to be part of the Santa Barbara Hillel team as the IACT Israel Engagement Associate. Originally from Mission Viejo, CA, she is excited to be back on the West Coast in beautiful Santa Barbara. Ally graduated from Tulane University with her B.A. in English and Jewish Studies. On campus, she was involved as a tour guide and New Student Orientation Team Leader, as well as in the undergraduate performing arts society, Hillel, Greek life, and more. She then went on to earn her M.A. in Experiential Education & Jewish Cultural Arts from George Washington University. Ally loves experimenting with cooking, doing Zumba, and laughing so hard she cries. As a passionate advocate of Israel, experiential education, and pluralism, she is excited to help students discover their Jewish identities and connections with Israel.
IACT Coordinator at University of Maryland at College Park
Stephanie is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and graduated in 2015 from Tulane University in New Orleans where she studied marketing and management. During her time at Tulane, she was an active member of Sigma Delta Tau and the Greek community. After graduating, Stephanie spent two years working in corporate marketing and is excited to now move into the Jewish professional world as IACT Coordinator for University of Maryland where she can share her passion for Israel and Jewish life with the Maryland community. In her spare time, she loves dancing, traveling, and making latkes as good as your Bubbie’s!
Senior IACT Coordinator at Ohio State University
My name is Cydney Goldberg and I am thrilled to be part of the IACT CJP cohort at The Ohio State University. For the past two years I have worked as the Director of Israel Engagement with Penn State Hillel and I am so excited for the opportunity to continue this passionate work with emerging adults and Israel. I have led 5 Birthright trips, helped hundreds of students get to Israel, spent countless hours helping with Onward Israel registration, and still managed to find time to travel for pleasure, not just business. I have a huge family I love spending time with, shopping with friends is an activity I cannot turn down, and drinking coffee is what I do best. I've learned from my friends I am very loud and outgoing, and I look forward to bringing that side of me to Israel with the Buckeyes!
IACT Coordinator at University of Florida
Iara Dircie is a recent University of Florida graduate from Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelors in Political Science and Business Management and is currently pursuing her Masters in International Business. Born in Argentina, Iara has always taken an interest in the international world and has studied abroad in Israel as well as Spain. Her passions include travel, family, Judaism, and athletics and she also currently works as a group fitness instructor for RecSports at the University of Florida. Iara is very passionate about Israel and is excited to join the UF Hillel family as the IACT Israel Engagement Coordinator.
IACT Coordinator at Rutgers University
Ryan lives in Staten Island and is a graduate of Brooklyn College Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science. He has been to Israel eight times in the last four years, including as staff for five Birthright trips. He loves to talk about politics and law. One day he hopes to be a lawyer. He loves to travel and hopes to visit every continent in the future.
IACT Coordinator at University of Pennsylvania
Originally from South Jersey, Alexa spent her undergraduate career at Towson University, studying Early Childhood and Elementary Education. After graduation, she lived in Tel Aviv teaching at a gan (Kindergarten), which was one of the most memorable experiences she's had to date. Alexa loves Judaism and Israel, and has spent her summers as a unit head leader at the JCC Camps at Medford. Aside from her Israel adventures, Alexa is an avid sushi and Dunkin lover, and can most likely be found doodling (when not in the office). She's always down to try new things and meet new people, so feel free to stop by and say hello!
IACT Coordinator at University of Colorado at Boulder
A Colorado native, Ethan went to play baseball at Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) after graduating from nearby Cherry Creek High School (Greenwood Village, CO). After two years in Texas with the Pirates, he transferred to Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO) where he graduated with a BA in Economics with a specialization in Nonprofit Business and was a graduate of their Community Engaged Leadership Program. Ethan joins CU Boulder Hillel with a passion for public speaking, storytelling, and engaging young people on a path towards their highest individual potential; he is thrilled to get to serve as the IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement where he can build genuine relationships with CU students through a collaborative journey, including a trip to Israel together, to understand our collective and individual identity, heritage, and pride as Jews in this world. Ethan now competes in CrossFit and loves to ski, fly fish, and golf in the beautiful state of Colorado!
IACT Coordinator at Columbia University & Barnard University
Brooklyn is a proud Bruin and pancake connoisseur from Los Angeles. She enjoys telling stories about her crazy family, beatboxing, and laughing at puns about her name (#BrooklynInManhattan). After attending boarding school at the American Hebrew Academy, she became deeply passionate about Jewish learning and decided to pursue a student leadership role in Hillel at UCLA. As Shabbat Chair on the Student Board, Brooklyn helped build a community for Jewish students of all backgrounds. She loves making Judaism engaging by creating programming that students can relate to no matter what their experience with Jewish life has been; from board-game nights to outdoor adventures, Brooklyn is always up for some great community bonding activities. As the IACT Coordinator at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, she hopes to meet tons of new students, lead fun-ducational Birthright trips to Israel, and learn the best places to eat around the city!
IACT Coordinator at Cornell University
Born and raised just outside of Houston, Texas, Tatiana is incredibly excited to join the team at Cornell University. Tatiana is a recent graduate of the University of Houston with a degree in Economics and Political Science. After returning from a super eventful Birthright trip her freshman year, Tatiana dove into Jewish life and Israel on campus and in the Houston community by taking on various board positions in Hillel and with her Israel on-campus group and mentoring high school students in the StandWithUs High School internship program. When Tatiana isn't connecting people to Israel, she enjoys exploring whatever city she's in, re-watching The Office, and petting all of the puppies she sees.
IACT Coordinator at University of Vermont
My name is Sarah, and I'm the IACT Israel Engagement Associate. I'm so excited to be supporting UVM students while exploring beautiful Burlington. Raised in the Midwest, it's wonderful to once again be living in a cold, snowy environment, surrounded by kindness, social activism, and farm-fresh food. After working in Israeli politics, it's immensely satisfying to now help others discover their own connections and relationships to both Israel and activism. I love coffee and conversations, so please feel free to reach out!
IACT Coordinator at University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Ashley grew up in Indialantic, Florida and is very excited to move to the Northeast working at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as the IACT Coordinator. During her time at Florida Atlantic University (Go Owls!), she was heavily involved as a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and her Greek community. After graduating, she took a flight to Israel as a participant on Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Rishon Lezion. During her 10 months in Rishon, she taught English at an elementary school, which is one of her most rewarding experiences to date. Ashley is ready to get back stateside to help students find their Jewish identities and share her love of Israel!
IACT Coordinator at Brandeis University
Born and raised in Stony Brook, NY, Sydney is a graduate of Ithaca College with a B.A. in Writing and Jewish Studies. Her first and formative Jewish experiences were at Stony Brook Hillel and she spent many summers at URJ Eisner Camp. At Ithaca she was active in Hillel, Chabad, and Israel student organizations. These experiences shaped her Jewish identity and enforced Jewish values in her life. When she's not leading Shabbat services or advocating for Israel, Sydney can be found traveling, reading and baking. She is excited to facilitate Birthright trips and is passionate about creating opportunities for students to discover their personal connection to Israel.
IACT Coordinator at University of Texas at Austin
Ashira grew up in Baltimore and then moved to Parkland, FL. She attended Jewish Day School and spent a semester abroad attending NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. Her favorite place to spend her summers was URJ Camp Harlam, where she spent 7 summers as a camper and 3 as a counselor. Ashira graduated from Florida State University in 2017, where she studied Family and Child Sciences and minored in Social Welfare. Following graduation, Ashira worked at the Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach as an Engagement Associate. She has traveled to Israel over 10 times and can't wait to continue her travels to Israel alongside the amazing Texas Hillel students. She looks forward to pursuing a career in the Jewish world and interacting with a variety of incredible individuals. In her free time, Ashira enjoys having picnics in nature, trying new restaurants (especially sushi places), spending time with family and friends, being at camp and playing with puppies.
IACT Coordinator at New York University
Uriel Dison was born and raised in Israel. He graduated from the Hebrew University with a degree in Philosophy, Economics and Political Science. He served as a soldier in an IDF Intelligence unit, work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem and in the Influencer Marketing field in Tel Aviv. He is eager to help connect and inspire young Jewish adults to their identity as the IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement at New York University.
IACT Coordinator at University of Miami
Rachel has just returned to the US after teaching English for one year in Bat Yam, Israel through MASA Israel Teaching Fellows. She graduated in 2018 with degrees in Jewish Studies and History from the University of Texas in Austin. Besides the Jewish state, Rachel loves dogs, reading and exercising. Born and raised in Houston,Texas, she's very excited to continue working in the Jewish world in warm and sunny Miami.
IACT Coordinator at University of Southern California
Emily Joachim is originally from Danville, CA but spent the last four years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo majoring in Art and Design with a concentration in Graphic Design. While in San Luis Obispo, Emily served on the board of various Jewish organizations including Hillel of San Luis Obispo. Her connection to her Jewish identity was discovered in college and prompted her interest in working at Hillel. Emily just got back from her first time in Israel this past summer and is so excited to be the new Birthright Israel Coordinator at USC Hillel. Emily is so excited to be working closely with students to recruit as many people as possible to go on Birthright trips with her in the winter and summer!
IACT Coordinator at Brown University
IACT Coordinator at the University of Delaware
IACT Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh
As a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Isaac is excited to return to the Steel City to serve at Hillel JUC. As an undergrad, Isaac was a double major in Philosophy and Communication Rhetoric, with a minor in Religious Studies. Isaac is was born and raised in North Jersey, right outside of New York City. In 2018, Isaac won 1st Prize in the University of Pittsburgh’s Annual Oratory Competition with his original speech on the Holocaust. When Isaac isn’t meeting with students on Pittsburgh’s various college campuses or planning the next Birthright Israel or Onward Israel trip, Isaac enjoys quality food, good company, film, martial arts, cycling, and gaming.
IACT Coordinator at Michigan State University
Nate Strauss is the IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement and the Director of Jewish Student Life at Michigan State University (MSU) Hillel, where he focuses on building Jewish community and creating dynamic Israel experiences. A proud alumnus of BBYO, K-12 Hebrew school, and numerous travel trips to Israel, Nate learned the importance of living a Jewish life at an early age. Nate graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in comparative cultures and politics and a B.A. in journalism with a minor in Jewish and Israel studies. When not at work, he spends his free time cooking, practicing yoga, and watching sitcoms from the 90’s.
IACT Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis
Born and raised in St. Louis, Allison Frieze is excited to start work back in her hometown with the WashU Hillel team. She just recently graduated from Missouri State University with her Masters in Global Studies with a focus in National Security. During her time in school, Allison studied abroad in Spain as well as participated in a Birthright Israel trip. Her passion for both exploring the international world, including Israel, has led her to her new position as an IACT Coordinator for WashU Hillel. She is excited to share her love for Israel with the students at WashU and help them experience everything this amazing country has to offer! When Allison isn’t traveling to Israel, she is either eating an enormous amount of French fries, hiking with her dog, Rory, or cheering on her favorite hockey team (Let's Go Blues!)
Vice President, IACT, CJP
Cheryl has worked for Combined Jewish Philanthropies since 1988. In her current senior strategic position, Cheryl is responsible for driving results for IACT locally and nationally. Over the course of her career, Cheryl created several national and area initiatives including Ikkarim, a pioneer program of adult learning for parents of young children, the Camping Initiative, the Follow Me to Israel Institute and CJP’s comprehensive Birthright Israel Initiative, including post-trip follow up efforts. She designed, launched, and directed, a comprehensive and integrated Israel Advocacy strategy for campuses and an Israel infusion model for congregations. She supervises senior Israel staff in Boston and in Haifa, as well as senior Jewish education staff and program.
Associate Director, Campus Services, CJP
Matt Lebovic is the senior campus program officer at CJP, where managing IACT operations is his focus. He began the position in 2007 after completing an MA in Society and Politics of Israel at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Prior to that, he held positions at Boston Cares and the Jewish Community Relations Council, and completed the ten-month Project Otzma fellowship in Israel. In 1999, during his last year as a Public Relations major at Boston University, Matt participated in the first round of Taglit-Birthright Israel, going with the BU Hillel trip. In addition to his work at CJP, he enjoys writing, teaching and travelling around the world - but mostly to Israel.
Coordinator, Israel Campus Roundtable, CJP
Matt Hoffman works with the Israel Campus Roundtable, a group of organizations convened by Combined Jewish Philanthropies to inspire students on college campuses across New England to engage in Israel education and Zionist activism. Additionally he has been working with the Boston Onward Israel program since 2012. Matt believes that bringing young people to Israel is the best way to secure the Jewish future and help make the world a better place.
Established in 2001, Upstart Ideas has been instrumental in helping Israel-oriented and Jewish organizations establish, grow, and maintain their connection to Israel. From the outset of IACT's creation, Upstart has taken a leading role in its development and implementation.
Upstart is very proud to be a part of the IACT initiative and of the important work CJP does in the Jewish world.