New York City Team
To read the letter of introduction from the 2012 City Team, click here.
Bekah, born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, graduated a very long time ago from Penn State University with a double-major in English and French and since then, has held various positions in the rare book trade. She recently moved back to New York after a 4-year stint in Connecticut where she worked as a Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Yale Center for British Art in the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts. Though her deep-seated Anglophilia was satiated during her New Haven years, she began to feel a greater pull to community work as a result of her extensive volunteer experiences with New Haven Reads and The Young Men’s Institute Library. And so, after almost a decade in the rare book world, she quit her job this summer, moved to Brooklyn, and decided to volunteer with organizations to whose missions she felt personally connected. Bekah just completed an internship at Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in their development department and continues to serve as one of their volunteers in Borough Park as a Homework Helper. She was a Temporary Development Associate at American Jewish World Service this past year and is very much looking forward to City Team adventures. She does rare book work on the side, from time to time, dreams of London frequently and occasionally speaks in a Cockney accent.
Shulie grew up in Palo Alto, California and has been a New York transplant since the end of 2009. Shulie graduated in 2008 from Brandeis University, and moved to a small city in Gujarat, India, where she worked for almost a year with a local women’s rights organization as a World Partners Fellow of American Jewish World Service. After returning from India, she worked at the Millennium Cities Initiative, a project of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where she co-authored a gender needs assessment for a city in Ghana. Most recently, Shulie spent a year at American Jewish World Service as the first Presidential Fellow, accompanying the president of AJWS, Ruth Messinger, on her professional travel and helping to encourage Jewish communal engagement on global justice issues. Come September, Shulie will be starting graduate school in public health. Shulie loves anything chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and traveling around the world. And, though she does love New York City, she often yearns for the sunny California beaches.
Emily strives to live a life of radical amazement and gratitude, while maintaining awareness of and working to heal a world mired in suffering. A student at Cardozo Law School, she thinks a lot about whether she can be a more effective advocate for social justice working to reform established structures, or building new ones. She is a proud alum of AVODAH NYC 2010-11 who spent her program year at Neighbors Together, a community organization in Brownsville, where she did advocacy work around welfare and housing. Before that, she attended Wesleyan University, where her conception of the relationship between social justice and Judaism began to develop in a class called Contemporary Radical Jewish Thought. Emily grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and now calls Central Brooklyn home. She loves live music (watching and making it), potluck dinners (eating and making them), and spending time with people who appreciate her jokes.
Jodie is a student in the Dual Masters program at NYU in Education and Jewish Studies and just moved to Brooklyn this past August. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Though a proud Badger/Wisconsinite, she is still unable to withstand the cold weather. After completing her B.A. in Psychology, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew and Semitic Studies, Jodie moved to Haifa to intern at Isha L’Isha, an NGO that works on anti-trafficking initiatives. She then spent a year studying at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. Prior to New York, Jodie spent two years in Washington, DC planning youth and family programs at Ohr Kodesh Congregation. She was also a participant in the first DC cohort of the Jeremiah Fellowship through Jews United for Justice. This past summer she spent time traveling in India and volunteering with Tibetan monks.
Justin currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Goddard Residential College at New York University in which he works with first year students. He loves how much fun he has every day! He previously worked as the GLBTQ Outreach and Engagement Program Director at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center as well as a part-time therapist at So Others Might Eat (SOME). He is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the State of New York and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, DC. He holds a BA in Psychology and an MSW from Washington University in Saint Louis. He is currently enrolled in the part-time Executive MPA program in nonprofit management at the Wagner School of Public Service. Justin was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He loves discussing the intersectionality of identities within social justice work. Justin is also passionate about vegetarian food, math, budgeting, walking, meditation, board games, theater, yoga, and anything outside.
Dana is a fifth grade teacher in a diverse community in downtown Brooklyn. After five years of interacting with students and their families, Dana has come face to face with the realities of hunger, racism and economic inequalities that plague so many of her public school students. Witnessing the importance of social justice in the lives of her students has led Dana to Pursue! Dana has become more attuned to social issues after a volunteering trip to Israel in 2003. For four weeks she lived in an Absorption Center with recent immigrants from Ethiopia, and taught English to inner city children. Dana is an active member of the Park Slope Food Co-op, where she shares her passions for environmental sustainability and the importance of supporting locally sourced products. Dana has most recently become an activist to help mobilize and educate parents and teachers about the fight for public education. Dana received her Bachelor’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Rutgers University, and her Master’s Degree in Special Education and Childhood Education from New York University.
Andrew J. Rosenthal
Born and raised in Brooklyn New York, Andrew has both a personal and professional interest in a multiplicity of religious traditions and spiritual practices. In 2009 Andrew graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York with a Masters of Divinity degree focusing on inter-religious dialogue. He has worked as a public school teacher, an archivist, a bartender and a hospital chaplain. Under his pseudonym, “Andrew J Genco,” he is a produced playwright and photographer. He is currently working toward a master’s degree in social work at Hunter College and expects to graduate in May 2012. Andrew’s goal is to build and implement social justice programs in partnership with religious communities.