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Monica Edelman, L.A. Network coordinator

Monica earned her B.A. in international business from San Diego State University in 2012. Since graduating, she has lived and worked in Argentina, Israel, and France. Monica moved to L.A. in 2016 and has become involved in the city's Jewish and Israeli communities, including membership or board presence in IAC Lead, IAC Action Ambassadors and JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa). She is a catalyst for bringing people together and enjoys learning about others' stories and dreams. Monica is currently earning her M.S. in organizational leadership and innovation at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. 

L.A. Board Members:

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Alexandra Altschuler

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!).

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Michelle Bielas

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 L.A.-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 L.A.

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Ariela (Ari) Cohen

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.

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Dara Edelman

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!

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Jaclyn Margolis

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.!

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Diane Motamed

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.

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Naomi Rich

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.

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Hali Simons

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!


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Apply here to join the L.A. Network board!


  • Each board member will serve from March to April 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.

  • We will have a monthly board meeting in Brentwood on the third Monday of each month. Each board member is expected to attend unless there is an extenuating circumstance. (Day of meeting can be changed if a new board member is not available.)

  • 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.

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