D.C. Board members:
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 the events and engagement manager at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital, where she manages special events, volunteer engagement, and alumni relations for the broader JPDS-NC community. She is also the co-founder of Vela Events, a boutique event planning company. Previously, Vered worked as an account manager at a New Jersey-based events and marketing company, working with clients from initial idea creation through event production and execution. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from American University and grew up New Jersey.
Elana Banin is a policy and advocacy associate at PATH within the Multilateral, US and European team, where she leads research and policy initiatives on global health, with a focus on immunization and maternal and child health. She has built a career in international development, working in Asia and the Middle East as a policy researcher and project manager. Her roles have spanned think tanks, NGOs and corporations, acting as an advocate for varying global initiatives. She has an M.A. in security and diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and a B.A. from Muhlenberg College in international relations/business and media & communications.
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.
Ariel Bigio is a research analyst at Omnis, Inc. Prior to joining Omnis, Ariel worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the International Prisoner Transfer Unit and at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. From 2009-2011, Ariel lived in Israel, where she was an Otzma Fellow. Ariel also spent a semester in Ghana with the School for International Training. Ariel received her graduate degree in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University and her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland in 2009.
Sunitha Cohen is a proud military veteran after serving in the United States Air Force for six years as an Aerospace Medic in the 175th medical squadron. While serving, she completed her undergraduate degree in biology from The George Washington University, then worked at the Children’s National Medical Center doing research in endocrinology and as a program manager at the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine. Outside of her passion for medicine, Sunitha is active with Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, Jewish Council for the Aging, Jewish Community Relations Council, The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Miri Cypers is the director of federal affairs and partnerships at Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly. In her current position, she oversees ARS’ federal legislative agenda and works with Congressional offices, national partner organizations and women leaders to advance gun safety initiatives. Previously, Miri served as the director of advocacy and leadership programs at JWI, where she oversaw the organization's policy and advocacy efforts and founded and managed the Young Women's Leadership Network for young professional Jewish women. Before joining JWI, Miri served as a legislative aide to Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY).
Sophie Felder is currently the director of regional affairs, Office of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel. Previously, she was a Legislative Fellow at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center. She graduated from Yeshiva University and earned a bachelor's degree in political science and government, economics and Judaic studies.
Michele Freed is the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation fellow of the Washington, D.C. office, where she works to support the Foundation's national Jewish agenda of supporting organizations and initiatives that empower young Jews to embrace the joy of Judaism, build inclusive communities, support the State of Israel and repair the world. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Michele now holds a B.A. in Judaic studies and psychology with a minor in community action/social change.
Rachel Giattino is a program officer for Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies. She holds an honors bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Delaware, where she studied international relations and history, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Before joining EJF Philanthropies, Rachel served as the senior associate for leadership & engagement at Hillel at The George Washington University and was a Hillel International Ezra Fellow. Prior to Hillel, Rachel was the first ever director of Gather the Jews.
Rebecca Kaplan is the deputy director of It's On Us, a national campaign to change the culture around sexual assault. She manages the campaign's 95 partners by building unique and strategic integration messaging pipelines, customized creative content, and co-branded educational materials. Prior to joining It's On Us, Rebecca worked at Generation Progress, the youth arm of the Center for American Progress. She also served as an intern at the White House and worked for Mayor Bloomberg’s public-private partnership fund, The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Rebecca graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in policy analysis and management.
Katharine Nasielski is a graduate student in Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, pursuing her MSFS degree with a focus at the intersection of gender and global security. Previously, she served as the director of national initiatives at the Embassy of Israel to the US. Katharine graduated from Northwestern University in 2011 and is originally from Philadelphia.
Kayla Sokoloff is the Bronfman fellow at Hillel International serving as a special assistant to the president and CEO, Eric Fingerhut. Her work includes overseeing Hillel's inaugural student cabinet. Prior to this, she worked at Texas Hillel as their marketing and development fellow. Since moving to D.C. last year she has become increasingly involved in the Young Women's Leadership Network and is thrilled to be joining the Board. Kayla is originally from Sugar Land, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas where she studied government and business.
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.