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

Shoshana Gibbor

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!

Heather Alper

IACT Coordinator at Clark University

Coming Soon

Zeke Parsons

IACT Coordinator at Boston University

Zeke Parsons is a recent graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with degrees in both Religious Studies and History. Zeke was involved extensively in Chapel Hill’s Jewish community and served as numerous positions on the UNC Hillel board, worked at UNC Hillel, and also taught Sunday School at a local synagogue. Additionally, Zeke was very active in the pro-Israel community on his campus by working with StandWithUs, Israel on Campus Coalition, and a variety of other pro-Israel groups. Outside of his Jewish involvement, Zeke was in the Marching Tar Heels and had the opportunity to travel around the country with various teams.   

Abigail Ripin

IACT Coordinator at Tufts University

 

As the new IACT Coordinator at Tufts University, Abigail is looking forward to engaging with students throughout their Jewish journeys and experiencing the adventures and big questions alongside students as their connections to Israel evolve. She recently graduated from Boston University where she studied French, linguistics, dance, and speech science. She also spent time interning at a theatre in Tel Aviv and later training at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Outside of work, Abigail loves traveling, sampling different eateries, and all things performing arts. She is currently on a mission to find the best French pastry in the greater Boston area.

Shira Hartman

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.

Tarryn Winik

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.

 

 

Mikhael Reuven
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.

Ali Bernstein
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.

 

 

Eliana Michelson

IACT Coordinator at University of California, Santa Barbara

 

Eliana is thrilled to be joining the IACT team at UCSB. Originally from San Diego, CA, but she spent a year in Orlando working for Disney World before joing the Santa Barbara Hillel Team. Eliana graduated from Chapman University with her B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies with Emphasis in Teaching and Learning in the Community. As well as having minors in Leadership Studies and Spanish. She also studied in Spain and speaks Spanish. On campus, she was involved as an Orientation Leader, Rho Gamma, working at the Fish Interfaith Center, Hillel, Greek life, and more. Eliana knew that she wanted to be working in the Jewish community and is looking forward to enriching the Jewish student experience both on and off campus!

 

Stephanie Bekerman

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! 

 

Cydney Goldberg

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!

 

 

Ashley Jones
IACT Coordinator at University of Florida

 

Ashley Jones is excited to be UF Hillel's IACT Israel Engagement Associate! Ashley was born and raised just outside of Chicago in Northbrook, Illinois. She has spent 9 summers at URJ Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) as both a camper and a staff member. Ashley recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University where she double majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. On campus, Ashley was an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity and Rutgers Hillel. Ashley studied abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem her junior year, serving as a fellow of the Nachshon Project. Israel is her favorite place in the world and she cannot wait to share her love for the land with students by traveling with them on Birthright.

 

Ryan Siegel

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.

 

Alexa Vecchio

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!

 

Ethan Widoff

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! 

 

Molly E. Alstodt

IACT Coordinator at Columbia University & Barnard University 

 

Molly Alstodt is excited to be part of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel team as the new IACT coordinator. Originally from Long Island, NY, Molly went on to receive her bachelor’s in Public Relations from Boston University (BU). During her time at BU she was a proud member of the women’s lightweight rowing team. Molly became involved in the BU Hillel community after going on Birthright during her sophomore year and interned for her IACT coordinator. After graduating from BU, Molly ventured to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to work for an adaptive sports program. Here she discovered how much she loved community building. As the new IACT Coordinator, she hopes to meet tons of new students, learn the best places to eat around campus, lead fun-educational Birthright trips to Israel.

 

Tatiana Uklist

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.

 

Sarah Granof

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!

 

 

Ashley Nalven

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!

 

 

Allyson Tazbin

IACT Coordinator at Brandeis University

Allyson grew up in NJ and she recently graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Education. In her free time, you can always find her cooking and baking various vegan and vegetarian foods. Allyson is excited to be joining the Brandeis community and looks forward to connecting students to their Judaism while helping them learn about Israel in their own way. She is ready to meet students where they are to help spread knowledge about Israel and Judaism with the Brandeis community!

 

Jessica Lewis

IACT Coordinator at University of Texas at Austin

 

Jessica was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She attended URJ Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas for 13 years. During the course of her academic career, she studied abroad in Tel Aviv in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019, where she had the opportunity to learn about Israel firsthand.


Jessica graduated from Tulane University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in both International Relations and Jewish Studies. She was also awarded the Dr. Lawrence J. Kanter and Julie Kanter Award for her excellence and high achievement in Jewish Studies.

Jessica is so excited to be returning to Austin, and especially to be working with Texas Hillel students to create amazing birthright experiences. Jessica’s favorite food is sushi, her favorite holiday is Passover, and her favorite place is Israel!

 

Uriel Dison

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. 

 

Rachel Sasiene

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.

 

Emily Joachim

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!

 

Joe Blumberg

IACT Coordinator at Brown University

 

Joe Blumberg became the IACT Coordinator at Brown RISD Hillel after spending a year at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where he conducted research on comparative theologies of diaspora as a 2019 Fulbright Scholar. In addition to learning and researching, Joe volunteered with Women of the Wall and taught English classes for the asylum-seeking community in Jerusalem, learning a lot about marginalized voices in Israeli society along the way. A proud son of Lexington, Massachusetts, he is a passionate student of American history, and he graduated from Yale in 2019 with a BA in American religious history. At Yale, Joe spent most of his time at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life, where he led the Reform Chavurah, sang with Magevet (Yale’s Jewish choir), and organized Jewish life for the AEPi fraternity. He loves folk music, pluralism, hiking, Israel, Jewish journeys, the Talmud, and fermentation, among very many other things. 

Cassandra Perez

IACT Coordinator at the University of Delaware

Originally from Flower Mound, Texas, Cassie graduated from THE Ohio State University in 2017 where she studied Early and Middle Childhood Studies and Disability Studies.  As the IACT Coordinator at UD Hillel, Cassie is excited to learn alongside students as they continue on their Jewish journeys and can’t wait to explore Israel with students on Birthright! Cassie went on Birthright Israel her sophomore year of college with Hillel and it changed the trajectory of her life. She spent 10 months teaching English in Israel with Masa Israel Teaching Fellows where she discovered a passion for hummus, hiking, and all things Israel. When she’s not daydreaming about the falafel in Jaffa, you can find Cassie cooking, swimming, and cheering on the Buckeyes!

Isaac Minkoff

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.

Mina Fedderly

IACT Coordinator at Michigan State University

 

Mina Fedderly is the IACT Coordinator at Michigan State University (MSU) Hillel, where she focuses on engaging and supporting the Jewish Students on campus, as well as recruiting the students for Birthright Israel. Mina graduated from Bradley University with a B.S. in Public Health Education with a minor in Health and Management & Leadership. When Mina wasn't a Hillel Professional, she spent all of her summers at Jewish overnight camp (Beber Camp and Camp Sabra) for 13 years, and lived in Tel Aviv for 6 months. In her spare time, Mina loves to be active outdoors, teach yoga, and find more Jewish connections all over the world.

Allison Frieze

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!) 

Cheryl Aronson

Vice President, Israel Engagement and Immersive Experiences

Hillel International

Cheryl joined Hillel International in the summer of 2020. Prior to assuming her current position, Cheryl worked for Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and served in senior strategic positions. Over the course of her career with CJP which started in 1988, 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 IACT, the comprehensive Birthright Israel initiative to leverage the community's investment in Birthright. She designed, launched, and directed, a comprehensive and integrated Israel Advocacy strategy for campuses and an Israel infusion model for congregations. 

Upstart Ideas
Lead Strategists


Established in 2001 by Michael Eglash and Eric Esses, 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, direction, expansion and execution.

Upstart is very proud to be a part of the IACT initiative and of the important work Hillel does on and off campus to strengthen Jewish life.