Sasha Altschuler is the national manager of JWI’s Young Women's Leadership Network and coordinator of the National Library Initiative. Under her leadership, the Network expanded beyond its flagship chapter in Washington to New York and Denver. Active in the Jewish community in D.C., Sasha was chosen as a Gather the Jews’ Jewish Girl of the Year (2015), profiled in Washington Jewish Week’s “You Should Know” column, and served as an Open Doors Fellow. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where she focused her studies on non-profit management and political advocacy.
Vered Asta is co-founder and event specialist at Vela Events, where she plans and organizes corporate, non-profit, and milestone events. Previously she was the events and engagement manager at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital, where she managed special events, volunteer engagement, and alumni relations for the broader JPDS-NC community. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from American University, grew up New Jersey, and was born in Israel.
Jena L. Belinkie
Jena L. Belinkie is a vice president with CBRE, specializing as part of the landlord and tenant representation team in the Washington D.C. offices. Ms. Belinkie provides comprehensive strategic planning and implementation of brokerage services to her clients. Prior to joining CBRE, Ms. Belinkie was a manager of four departments at Macy’s department store in Washington, D.C. Ms. Belinkie brings over six years of sales and service experience, having worked for Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store and Tom James Custom Clothiers.
Sasha Bloch is the regional teen engagement director of Seaboard USY, USCJ's youth movement. In this capacity, she works with the teen youth groups at 30 synagogues in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, as well as facilitating multiple day- and weekend-long events for teens throughout the year. Previously, she taught middle school after receiving both her bachelor's and master's degrees from American University. Outside of her passion for youth work, Sasha is active in the Jewish Young Professionals community in D.C., an avid traveler, and a volunteer with Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority as an operations specialist. Sasha is thrilled to join the D.C. Young Women's Leadership Network after having participated in the 1-on-1 Mentorship Program last year and looks forward to working with other inspiring women to empower others!
Andrea Deck is the D.C. director of community engagement with Honeymoon Israel. Andrea joined the Honeymoon Israel team after kicking off her career in the Jewish community with Federations across the world, most recently as the senior associate in community planning and impact with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. She holds a M.S.W. from Columbia University, a M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College. Andrea loves dancing, knitting, and trying new things!
Ashley Emery is the outreach program manager within the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Political Department. She brings her experience in advocacy and coalition-building to the Young Women's Leadership Network. Ashley is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she received a B.A. in both international studies, with a concentration in Middle East affairs, and Spanish, as well as minored in history.
Originally from Seattle, Tiffany Harris has lived and worked in France, Switzerland, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and now Washington, D.C. After completing 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, she attended Tel Aviv University, where she earned an M.A. in international security and diplomacy. Currently, Tiffany works as Peace Corps’ country desk officer for Jamaica, Eastern Caribbean, Samoa, The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau. She was a resident of Moishe House Columbia Heights for 2.5 years. Over the course of her time with Moishe House she hosted 197 programs with more than 4,831 attendees. She is the founder of You Don’t look Jewish and the first female resident to sit on the International Board of Directors for Moishe House. Tiffany is co-chair of Shalom Corps (Peace Corps’ Jewish Employee Resource Group) and sits on Peace Corps’ Diversity Board and the Diversity Governance Council. She runs This is What a Jew Looks Like, a group for the multicultural and multiracial Jewish Community at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. Tiffany is currently studying for a professional certificate in project management at Georgetown University and her yoga instructor certification.
From Massachusetts, Sydney Rachael Levin-Epstein moved to D.C. to pursue a degree in political science at George Washington University. She now serves Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) where she focuses on Middle East foreign policy. Sydney's work in politics began with Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) and later in the offices of President Shimon Peres, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Rational360, and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Sydney is currently on the hunt for the best grilled cheese in Washington, please slide all recommendations into her DM.
Marina Rostein is the hub manager for OneTable in the DMV. Originally from Chicago and growing up in an Argentine family, she moved to DC to attend The George Washington University and never left. Prior to OneTable, Marina was the HR associate and talent recruiter for BBYO nationally. Her favorite things to do outside of work are visiting new restaurants, playing with her pup, Yofi, yoga, spinning, and slowly trying every kouign amann and pot de creme in the world. Ask her about the local food scene!
Elisabeth is the Deputy National Field Director for the Israel on Campus Coalition, where she supports ICC field staff efforts to unite the many pro-Israel organizations that operate on campuses across the United States by coordinating strategies, providing Israel-related educational resources, sharing in-depth research, and increasing collaboration. Elisabeth is a double alumna of Ohio University with an undergraduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology and a master’s degree in business administration. An advocate for singing and the performing arts, Elisabeth remains a close advisor to her college a cappella group and volunteers her additional time to the Honor Flight, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure. A proud native Clevelander, you can often catch Elisabeth cheering on a Cleveland sports team, or taking long walks around the monuments. She is looking forward to working with the board to promote JWI’s message.
Alyssa Weiner is delighted to be joining the D.C. Young Women's Leadership Network Board. She is the senior associate for the Department of International Jewish Affairs at the American Jewish Committee. A native of South Florida, Alyssa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs in 2014.
Marissa Freemangrew 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Emily Pevnick is strategist, globalist and activist. She currently serves as a Senior Account Executive for Resolute Consulting where she advises clients on public affairs, civic engagement and communications. Prior to joining Resolute, Emily was the Deputy Director for Strategic Partnerships and Global Affairs for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. During her time in Chicago city government, she strengthened the political, academic, economic and cultural ties between Chicago and its international partners. She helped manage numerous Mayoral trips abroad, including to China, Europe, Mexico and Israel. Emily started her career working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
Emily is a graduate of Indiana University where she received a B.A. in Philosophy and Jewish Studies, magna cum laude. She serves on the boards of CityPAC, Chicago Foundation for Women, Technion Innovators and a Jewish Community Relations Council Vice Chair.
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.
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.
Alexandra Altschuler is veteran television producer who recently transitioned into the exciting world of tech startups. After producing shows for entertainment giants like NBC, ABC and E! in New York and Los Angeles, Alexandra is excited to be facing a new challenge at the L.A.-based digital agency Operam. Leaning on her unique blend of project management and people skills learned in the producing field, Alexandra spends her days ensuring Operam's corporate culture thrives as the successful startup rapidly expands. Alex is a San Diego, Calif. native, and holds a communications degree from the University of Southern California (Fight On!).
Michelle Bielas was born and raised in a Mexican Jewish household in San Diego, Calif as the middle child between two brothers. After spending a year in Israel, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a degree in public relations at the University of Southern California and has since fallen in love with the city. Given her diverse background, Michelle is always seeking creative and exciting ways to bring together the multitude of cultures and eclectic passions she was exposed to at a young age. She has worked in special events at DreamWorks Animation, fundraising and development at USC Hillel and experiential marketing at Team One, an LA-based agency that services luxury clients such as Lexus. Michelle is excited to grow her career in marketing and help build a strong community for young Jewish women in LA.
Ariela (Ari) Cohen is a finance professional with a focus in impact investing. She currently works with TriLinc Global, a private investment company that invests capital in small and mid-sized businesses in developing economies globally through a series of impact-focused investment funds. Prior to this role, she was based in New York with experiences at The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and J.P. Morgan. Ari graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) from the University of Pennsylvania. Ari grew up in Los Angeles as the daughter of Argentinean-Israelis and the youngest of four. Her favorite activities outside of work include exploring the outdoors, singing, biking at the beach, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Dylan Dorenfeld just began her role as campaign associate for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Prior to her work with The Federation, she spent two years with AIPAC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is passionate about Jewish life, philanthropy and building a sense of community. Dylan is a Southern California native and a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (Class of 2015). She enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle and spends her free time hiking, running, practicing yoga and exploring new places.
Dara Edelman (soon to be Dara Biton in October) is a Chicago native who moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. She received a degree from Indiana University where she majored in Fine Arts and minored in Education. Dara has gained experience in all aspects of the entertainment field ranging from acting, writing, producing, and new media. She currently works at a production company, developing various television and film projects. When Dara isn't working, she can be found playing with her husky dog, Aurora, cheering on the Cubs, dreaming of new travel destinations, and spending time with family and friends!
Jaclyn Margolis is an assistant professor of applied behavioral science at Pepperdine University. She teaches classes on personal development, leadership, teamwork, and organizational behavior. Her research focuses on understanding team and group dynamics & has been featured in a number of management journals. A recent transplant to Los Angeles from Philadelphia, Jaclyn loves the weather and beaches of Southern California and is excited to meet new people through JWI's Young Women's Leadership Network of L.A.!
Diane Motamed is an L.A. native who is passionate about healthcare, education, and community engagement. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a major in psychology and a minor in applied developmental psychology, and earned her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Boston University. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked as a project coordinator for the Center for Policing Equity, where she worked on multi-site research projects that examined the perceptions and behaviors of minority populations in schools, community-based organizations, and other public settings. She currently works with children with various communication disorders in the public schools. In her free time, Diane enjoys hiking, exploring art museums, and practicing yoga.
Naomi Rich is a community organizer who believes there is power when people work together. After graduating from UC Davis in 2013 with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development, she spent one year working on a frontline Congressional race and then two years at a Los Angeles based Hillel. Naomi now works in marketing and communications for a local nonprofit organization, Students Run LA, which combines her passion for social justice with her love of running. In her free time, Naomi loves traveling, trying new ice cream shops, and spending time with her family.
Hali Simons, born and raised in Oak Park, Calif., made the move to Washington, D.C. to attend The George Washington University. She received her B.A in communications and journalism and has since migrated back to the West (BEST) Coast! She currently works at Pandora Music in ad operations. In her free time she can be found exploring Los Angeles or perusing the aisles of Trader Joe's, and is always looking for a new restaurant, fitness class, or snazzy rooftop!
Emily Ashman grew up in Chicago but moved to the east coast for law school. Been practicing as an attorney in a general civil litigation firm for the past five years. Lives in the city with her husband Andrew and loves taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. Emily is very happy and excited to be a part of the YWLN New York Board.
Erika Berger grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Washington University in St. Louis where she double-majored in marketing and human resources and minored in modern dance. Upon graduation in 2012, Erika moved to New York, starting her career in television as a NBCUniversal page. Erika is currently a consumer marketing manager at Bravo Media. Erika continues to dance and also enjoys exploring all New York City has to offer.
Sarah Dombergrew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and graduated from Hofstra University with a BBA in Legal Studies and Business. While in school, she was an active member of Alpha Phi International Sorority and served as director of scholarship and new member educator. Upon graduation, Sarah moved to New York City to pursue her dream in real estate. She is currently a project coordinator at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, focusing on the marketing and sales of luxury residential new developments. In her free time, Sarah loves hiking and exploring the city. She is also captain of her outdoor soccer team.
Amanda Paul is honored to serve as president of JWI's Young Women's Leadership Network in New York. She is a licensed real estate salesperson with The Katzen Team, one of the top 10-grossing teams at Douglas Elliman. She is also the junior sales associate at Elliman's New Development Project, Madison Square Park Tower. Amanda serves as Fuel for Truth's chair of Events and Alumni Engagement, is on the UJA Generosity Host Committee, co-chairs the Young Professionals Committee for the Children’s Hearing Institute, is a member of AIPAC Young Leadership, participated in the Jewish Leadership Initiative. Amanda hails from the sunshine state and is a graduate of Florida State University, with degrees in hospitality and creative writing.
Sara Wiesenfeld is a native New Yorker and graduate of Brandeis University, where she double-majored in theater & American studies with a minor in journalism. Immediately after graduation, she began her career as an NBC page in New York, where she worked on "The Doctor Oz Show," CNBC as well as audience work at "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." She currently works as a creative marketing coordinator at Oxygen Media, a perfect fit for a pop culture junkie like herself. A self-professed theater nerd, Sara is currently working on memorizing all lyrics to Hamilton.