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Wexner Field Fellowship

Leadership development for Jewish Communal Professionals in the field

Meet Our Field Fellows

Meet some of our Wexner Field Fellows

To see the rest of Class 1, click here.    

Rachel Berger

Class 1
Field Fellow

Rachel has dedicated her career to building Jewish organizations that serve the underserved, advance justice, and deepen the connections between Jewish communities and their neighbors. As the Director of Community Engagement at Footsteps, which supports and affirms those making the transition from within ultra-Orthodox communities to the secular world, Rachel oversees Footsteps’ community building and leadership programs, large scale and public events, and she also manages Footsteps’ foundation relationships. Rachel completed her MSW at Columbia University, with a concentration on social enterprise administration, and her BA in Fine Art at Stern College. Previously, she worked at Bend the Arc. In her role as the Director of Grantmaking, she managed Bend the Arc’s grants program that supported grassroots organizations nationally, with a special focus on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, post Hurricane Katrina. As part of that role, Rachel also sat on the board of the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing. Today, Rachel lives in New York City with her husband, Joshua Frankel, and their daughter, Nella. Rachel was a 2011-12 Dorot Fellow, is a board member of HEKDESH, the Dorot alumni giving circle, and is a trained soferet.

Shira Koch Epstein
Class 1
Field Fellow

Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein is the Executive Director of the 14th Street Y in Manhattan.  Born in the Bronx and raised in New Milford, Connecticut, Shira received her BA from Wesleyan University and has also attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Birzeit University in Ramallah, and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.  Rabbi Epstein received her rabbinic ordination and MA in Religious Education from HUC-JIR. Prior to the Y, Shira worked to redefine Jewish educational engagement and community as Associate Rabbi and Director of Youth and Family Education at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Shira has served various Reform Congregations, Jewish youth groups and summer camps as an educator, is a certified Storahtelling "Maven," and has studied improvisational comedy and acting in various programs including the Upright Citizens Brigade.  Shira was named one of the Feminist Press 40 Under 40 and is an inaugural recipient of the Pomegranate Prize for Jewish Education from the Covenant Foundation. Shira lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband, Dr. Jason Epstein and their sons.

 

Graham Hoffman
Class 1
Field Fellow

Graham Hoffman is Deputy Director of Development at AIPAC and Deputy Director of AIEF, where he oversees major gifts and grants processes, develops activist engagement and stewardship strategies, and empowers regional development staff to secure new and increased commitments to advance the organization’s strategic growth plan.  Graham has lived in Washington, D.C., for over 13 years.  A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School, he began a successful career in consulting at Accenture, specializing in organizational change management, operations improvement, and strategy. Prior to AIPAC, Graham spent a decade at Hillel International in senior strategy roles, ultimately as Associate Vice President for Strategy. Graham was responsible for pioneering and advancing Hillel's engagement & education strategies including Hillel's Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative, engagement internships, and Senior Jewish Educator projects.  Graham’s passion for Israel has grown exponentially over the past ten years as his experiences in Israel and fostering global Jewish peoplehood in South America, the FSU, Europe, and the U.S. have demonstrated the unique, central, and pivotal role Israel plays in securing the Jewish future.

Erica Rothblum
Class 1
Field Fellow

Erica Rothblum began as the Head of School at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles, an ECC through 8th grade Day School serving just under 500 students, in July 2014.  Before coming to Pressman, Erica worked as the Head of School at Beth Hillel Day School and before that as the General Studies Principal at Beth Hillel. She began her career with Teach for America, teaching for three years in Compton, California and taught at both public district schools and charter schools, as well as in the university setting, before entering Jewish education.  Erica holds a BA from Barnard College, a Masters in Teaching from Loyola Marymount University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from UCLA.  While she loves travel, reading and theater, Erica’s first passion is her family – her husband, Daniel (whom she met at Hebrew University on their Junior Year Abroad), and their three children, Maya, Jack & Nomi.

 

 

 

Stephanie Tankel
Class 1
Field Fellow

Stephanie Tankel serves as the Director of Religious Education at Washington Hebrew Congregation. She joined WHC in 2009 as Assistant Director of Religious School Education and became the Director in 2014. Prior to her arrival in Washington, DC, Stephanie was the Principal Educator at The West London Synagogue of British Jews in London, England. She also worked as Director of Education at Finchley Progressive Synagogue and at the Movement for Reform Judaism while in the United Kingdom. Previously, Stephanie was the Family Educator at Central Synagogue in New York City. She also currently serves as the Course Coordinator for "Bridging the Great Divide," an online course exploring the intersection of Judaism and Islam at American University. She earned master's degrees in Jewish education and modern Jewish studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature, Hebrew, and Jewish studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her husband live in Northwest DC with their rescued mutt, Honey.

Mark Young
Class 1
Field Fellow

As Managing Director of the Leadership Commons at The Davidson School of JTS, Mark builds relationships across the continent to create spaces where “thinkers, doers, and visionaries” from all corners of Jewish education come together to learn, create, and collaborate for the common good of a strong Jewish future. Mark previously served as The Davidson School’s Director of Alumni Engagement and Program Coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative, launching the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI) for JCC professionals and developing the school's MA program in Jewish Experiential Education. Mark has also served as Assistant Director of Human Resources for Episcopal Social Services of New York (ESS), Human Resources and Volunteer Programs Manager for the 92nd Street Y, and Head Song-Leader and Jewish Educator for the Mandel JCC Camp Wise in northeast Ohio. Mark serves on the board of JPRO Network and regularly publishes on best practices to retain our Jewish professionals, including his $54,000 Strategy articles on eJewishPhilanthropy and 2016 ELI Talk: Mah Tovu. Mark holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from NYU, and a BS in Psychology and Economics from McGill University.

 


 


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