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Chicago Board Members

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Marissa Freeman

Marissa Freeman grew up in Kailua, Hawaii and, by way of Seattle, moved to Chicago for a new chapter in 2016. An alumna of Camp Ramah in California, Marissa studied Communications at the University of Washington. Now, Marissa spends her days (and Friday nights) as the Chicago Hub Manager for OneTable, where she guides young adult Jews in Chicago towards meaningful and unique Shabbat dinner experiences. When she’s not scouting for her next culinary experience, Marissa is a member of the The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago Gesher leadership cohort, an instructor at The Bar Method, and avid fan of The West Wing.

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Miriam Klaben

Miriam was born and raised in Upstate New York in Syracuse and then went to the University of Michigan where she majored in Education and Psychology. After graduating from Michigan, she moved to New York City and completed a Masters in Literacy at Columbia University. During her four years in New York City, Miriam worked as a 6th grade English teacher at a NYC public school. In July 2018, Miriam moved to Chicago and is currently continuing her career as an educator. In addition to being a passionate educator, Miriam enjoys running along the lake, trying out new restaurants, and being with friends!

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Kyle Goldhoff

Kyle Goldhoff is a TV and video content producer at Intersport and can be found in cities across America on any given day traveling for both work and pleasure. She settled in Chicago by way of growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio and studying at the University of Texas at Austin. Kyle found her Jewish identity and passion of leadership during her involvement in the B'nai Brith Youth Organization in High School. Through joining both Women in Film and Women in Sports and Events in Chicago, Kyle has become very well versed in the strengths and struggles of women in her industry and the support system an organization like YWLN can provide. She has also been involved in the JUF and is excited to become even more active in the Jewish community. Aside from travel, Kyle is a die-hard foodie, decent home cook and fitness fanatic.


Risa Hurwich

Risa Hurwich was born in Chicago, IL, and raised over the border in Munster, IN. She received a B.A. in Spanish from Indiana University Bloomington in adjunct with a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. She loves any opportunity to practice her Spanish. She moved to Indianapolis in 2012 to obtain her D.D.S. from Indiana University School of Dentistry. Four years later, Risa was very excited to rejoin her family and friends in Chicago to attend a pediatric dental residency within the University of Illinois Health and Sciences System, but she will always be an Indiana Hoosier at heart. Risa is currently a third-year pediatric dental resident and is working towards her Master of Public Health degree. Her dream is to be able to care for the oral health and well-being of as many children as possible in private practice and hospital settings. Risa spends her time outside of residency engaging in Chicago Jewish life, traveling, doing yoga, enjoying her wonderful family and friends and trying new Chicago eats! She is so very excited to be a part of the Jewish Women’s Leadership Network in Chicago

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Nisa Kwall

Nisa Kwall is a Chicago suburb native, now living in the heart of River North. Nisa went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she concentrated her studies in Financial Planning. This program helped Nisa transition into her professional career as a financial advisor, where she helps educate her clients on ways to identify their financial goals and implement a plan for them to achieve those goals through saving and investing. Nisa has a passion for networking and founded the Gold Coast chapter of BNI (Business Networking International) which she helped grow to over 20 members. Nisa is an active member of Chicago’s Jewish community and has been participated in various events and volunteering initiatives focused on this community- most recently, she is on the Business Professional Network (BPN) committee for the Jewish United Foundation’s (JUF) Youth Leadership Division (YLD) where she helps plan networking events for young professional Jews in Chicago.

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Sophie Macks

Sophie was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Educational Studies and American Studies. During college, Sophie co-lead the Macalester Jewish Organization, the only Jewish student organization on campus. After graduating, Sophie moved to Chicago to serve as a Service Corps Member with Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps. During her year of service, Sophie worked at Inspiration Corporation, a local social service organization. Currently, Sophie works for JCC Chicago in their J at School program where she runs the after school program at a Chicago public school. During her free time, Sophie loves to travel, eat good food, and be outside!


Marina Rostein

Marina Rostein is an Argentine-American raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She has recently returned to the city after 9 years in DC, where she attended The George Washington University. While in DC, she worked on the HR team at BBYO and later served as's first DC Hub Manager, growing the organization's DC-area presence. Currently, Marina focuses nationally on corporate partnerships and community philanthropy at OneTable. Marina loves international weekend trips in search of the best foods, spinning/trying new workouts, and wandering through farmers markets. She joined JWI's YWLN while in DC, and is excited to be a part of the incredible community of women in Chicago!

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Carrie Seleman

Carrie Seleman is a 2019 JD candidate at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, pursuing certificates in ChildLaw and Advocacy. Carrie was born and raised in St. Louis (go Cardinals!) and moved to Chicago after graduating from Indiana University. Since starting law school, Carrie has worked at the Office of the Public Guardian, representing children who have been abused or neglected, the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk, and the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. At Loyola, she is the President of the Jewish Law Student Association and the Editor-in-Chief of the Children’s Legal Rights Journal. Outside of pursuing her law degree, you can find Carrie sitting by the lake enjoying the sun or binge watching Gilmore Girls and The West Wing.

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Lindsay Singer

Lindsay Singer was born and raised in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan where her passion for policy and advocacy formed. From there, she attended the University of Michigan, receiving her bachelor's in public policy with a focus on racial and social injustices. Go Blue!! She found her home in the classroom after completing her two-year commitment to Teach for America in Detroit! Lindsay completed her master's in urban teaching at the University of Chicago. She now spends her days teaching 3rd grade bilingual students in the amazing Back of the Yards community. When she’s not teaching, she likes to read, workout with friends and see new movies! She has always found women's empowerment to be extremely important and is excited to be part of an organization that is founded on this principle. She is looking forward to becoming more involved with the Jewish community through YWLN and learning and growing along side other strong women.

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Eshley Spitzer

Eshley Spitzer is a mental health clinician with a passion for working with young adults, social justice, advocacy and building community. Eshley moved to the Chicago area in 2016 and worked at Response Center at Jewish and Child Family Services, serving adolescents and young adults before moving to her current position at Compass Health Center. She is an active member of the Chicago Jewish community and holds leadership roles within the Federation and the Jewish National Fund. Eshley grew up in Denver, Colorado, attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and graduated from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with her masters degree in Counseling and Human Services in 2016. Eshley is dedicated to empowering young adults by helping them find resources, build community and lead purposeful, meaningful lives by engaging in activities that are in line with their identified values.


Traci Stratford

Traci grew up in the Chicago suburbs and graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Jewish studies and nonprofit management, and has a master's degree in organizational leadership from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. After graduating from IU, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi where she worked as a synagogue educator, youth director and Jewish camp professional. After five years in Jackson, Traci spent three years in Boston before coming back home (sweet home) to Chicago in 2018! Traci works remotely for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools, a NY-based nonprofit organization where she consults with Jewish day school leaders on annual fundraising, endowment and governance. She works extensively with school boards advising them on strategic planning, the boards role in development and governance best practices. In her free time, you can find Traci at SoulCycle, picking up new books at the library, binge watching The West Wing, Reign or Gossip Girl, and planning her next travel adventure.

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Melanie Studnicka

Born in Chicago, raised in Scottsdale, AZ, Melanie Studnicka moved back to Chicago after undergrad because all she really wanted was a city with a cross-town rivalry. Professionally, she is graduating with a Masters in Social Work from UIC's Jane Addams in May 2018, and plans to begin a career in hospital social work. While not co-collaborating with the board of Chicago's YWLN, you can find her at Old Town Moishe House or trying out new vegetarian restaurants in the city.


Apply here to join the Chicago Network board!


  • Each board member will serve from June to July of the following year (a full year with one month for transitions) and then has the option to reapply. Board members will be selected by JWI staff.

  • Each board member will be responsible for chairing at least two events per year.

  • Each board member will be responsible for outreach and should bring at least two people to each event.

  • We frequently email to brainstorm, discuss events, organize, and discuss outreach, etc. Each board member must be comfortable with maintaining input on these chains as they are the main form of communication.

  • Board members are to attend at least 75% of all board events throughout the year.

  • The board will meet once a month - each board member is expected to attend unless there is an extenuating circumstance.

  • Each board member will pay a $180 fee in order to be on the YWLN board (Sustainer membership).

  • Each board member must be a member of JWI's YWLN and in good standing for the entirety of her term.