2015-2016 Baltimore Jeremiahs

The 5776/2015-2016 Baltimore Jeremiah Fellows are...

Micah Brosbe is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and moved to Baltimore with his wife Laura in 2012. He attended college at Boston University and graduate school for psychology at Nova Southeastern University. He also spent a year studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Micah completed his professional training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and is now working as a child psychologist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital. Micah enjoys reading (fiction and nonfiction), hiking, swimming, traveling, spending time with his wife, friends, and family, and attending morning Talmud classes.

Ellie Brown fancies herself to become a long term resident in Baltimore. She moved to Hampden this past summer after completing her Master of Education degree at Goucher College. Currently, Ellie works as the Downtown Program Manager for the Greater Baltimore Jewish Community Center. She has been working in outreach and engagement for the past two years and is looking forward to learning about community organizing especially as it relates to social change. When not on the clock or learning with the Jeremiahs, you can find Ellie walking up and down The Avenue, salsa dancing, or out in nature.

Elad Firnberg was born and grew up in northern NJ to Israeli parents who had recently immigrated to America. Speaking Hebrew at home and making frequent trips to visit family in Israel, Elad has maintained an Israeli cultural identity. That identity has led him to question and explore what it means to be Jewish in today’s world—through different forms of religious and spiritual observance, identity, and mission. Raised by a science teacher and engineer, Elad gravitated toward the STEM fields, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The Cooper Union and a PhD in biomolecular engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Following graduate school, Elad co-founded a startup company aimed at developing better proteins with diverse applications from improving medical research and healthcare to producing fuel and chemicals in a green environmentally-friendly manner. Along those lines, Elad is passionate about improving health and the environment for people both locally and globally. He believes that growing entrepreneurship and businesses that stay here in Baltimore will help grow our local economy and benefit all our residents.

Lisa Firnberg came to Baltimore as a student at Johns Hopkins. During her time there, she was a student leader with Hopkins Hillel and the Hopkins Tutorial project, tutoring elementary school students throughout Baltimore City. After graduating with a degree in economics, she spent a year serving as an Americorps VISTA with a local nonprofit, implementing a civic engagement and community service program with middle school students. Since then she has spent 8 years in various roles at Social Solutions Global, a software company providing case management and outcomes management software to human services programs throughout the nonprofit and public sectors. Lisa has been a volunteer with Northwest Neighbors Connecting, Paul's Place, Habitat for Humanity, and a City Council campaign, and she is currently a member of the Board of Hopkins Hillel. Outside of these commitments, Lisa can be found at dance class or on the sand volleyball courts in downtown Baltimore. Lisa lives with her husband, Elad, in the Homeland neighborhood.

A lifelong Baltimorean and political junkie, Gregory Friedman is a graduate of Earlham College with a B.A. degree in Political Science. He currently works for the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, engaging Baltimoreans in an effort to make Baltimore a better place. Previously, he interned in the Maryland Transit Administration's Office of Governmental Affairs, where worked extensively with communities surrounding the West Baltimore MARC train station. Gregory has a strong interest in urban planning and transportation policy and the role they play with regards to social and economic justice.

Gracie Greenberg got her BA from Barnard College in 2011. Gracie has lived in Baltimore for over two years now and is an active member of her community. She works as a case manager for adults on the Autism Spectrum; at her job she supports people who are neurologically diverse in building and maintaining meaningful lives through life skills training, vocational support, and adaptive therapies. In Baltimore, Gracie has helped to facilitate a Feminist Writing and Support Group—a group of womyn who come together monthly to eat food, discuss current cultural trends related to feminisms, and offer support to one another in their individual and collective feminist struggles. She is also a member of Baltimore-Palestine Solidarity—a group of anti-zionist/anti-apartheid Baltimoreans working in their communities to build solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation through education, anti-racist organizing, prisoner support, and direct action. In her spare time, Gracie enjoys perfecting her recipe for vegan Matzo Ball Soup, trying to learn to dance like FKA Twigs, and smashing the patriarchy. Gracie is excited to be part of JUFJ’s Jeremiah Fellowship this year as she is eager to deepen her relationship to the Jewish community in Baltimore and further her knowledge of local movements and histories.

Rachel Kassman hails from Connecticut but is a committed Baltimore transplant. Having lived and worked in Baltimore for the past eight years, Rachel finds that she loves the city more every day. Rachel holds degrees in English and Women's Studies from the University of Delaware along with a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland. She works as the Development and Marketing Manager at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Jonestown (the oldest neighborhood in Baltimore!). Rachel has two fat cats, three amazing housemates, and a sort of dewy-eyed love for the city, reading books, and drinking hot chocolate by the bucket. When not at work Rachel’s main passion is feeding people; with her housemates, Rachel hosts a weekly taco night for friends and family, and her annual Pie Day Party is an event not to be missed!

Amanda Kushner recently started working as a second grade teacher at North Bend Elementary/Middle School. Prior to this role Amanda worked for Hartford Public Schools as a district intervention specialist and also worked on the implementation of standards-based grading and reporting. In May, Amanda completed her master’s degree in reading and language arts. Amanda just moved to Baltimore from Connecticut last month and is enjoying learning a new city. She is excited for the opportunity to get to meet the other Jeremiah Fellows. In her free time Amanda enjoys reading, dancing and hanging out with friends.

Sam Novey is Director of Voter Contact Innovation for the Foundation for Civic Leadership where he is designing a certification program to celebrate colleges and universities that effectively engage their students in elections. He got his start in politics in 2006 as a field organizer and staff assistant for a congressional campaign. Later, he worked as social media director for statewide and senate campaigns. Bostonians know him as “Burgerman”—the marathon-running, burger suit-clad, Game Show Network-sponsored mascot for B.good burgers. His work inspired the “Burger Brigades,” which have raised over $100,000 for local Boston charities. He graduated from Harvard University in 2011 where he was elected first class marshal. Immediately before beginning his current project, Sam started the TurboVote college partnerships program in 2012 which has now grown to serve 95,000 students on over 220 partner campus.

As the son of a teacher and a social worker, Gabriel Pickus has been dedicated to social justice work since his childhood in Chicago. At age 11, he became a member of Habonim Dror (The Builders of Freedom/Liberty), where he cultivated his alternative educational approach and mindset and later grew to become a leader in the youth movement. He traveled to Israel/Palestine at age 18 where he did co-existence work in small Arab-Israeli villages. He made his own expression of “aliyah” to Baltimore where he studied Liberation Theology and Religion at Goucher College. Through his other studies in Capoeira Angola, African Dance and Drumming, and Studio Art, Gabriel became involved in volunteer work with youth in Baltimore City. After Goucher, Gabriel became a teaching artist, delivering his own arts-integrated conflict resolution curricula to youth all over the city. In 2012 Gabriel began studying to become a Healing Touch practitioner, and he became certified in 2015. In 2013 Gabriel founded the Baltimore Wisdom Project, which works to increase access to holistic health and holistic education for Baltimore’s youth.

Adrienne "Adina" Potter Yoe moved to Baltimore in 2012 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies and attending a midrasha (seminary) in Jerusalem. Adina hails from Maine, and is proud to come from an interfaith family; she enjoys cultivating cross-cultural and interfaith relationships that she has built. During her time in Baltimore, Adina has taught Hebrew school and worked at Health Care for the Homeless as a Volunteer Coordinator. She is currently the Director of Israel and Jewish Advocacy at the Baltimore Jewish Council. She is working on an M.A. in Non-Profit Management at Notre Dame of Maryland University and received a certificate in Volunteer Management from Carroll Community College. Adina has been involved in vegan-Jewish  activism and enjoys expanding the palates of those around her with delicious vegan food, especially during Jewish holidays. She is a proud Baltimore City resident.

Lizzy Solovey attended New York University for two years, before transferring to the University of Maryland, College Park to receive her B.A. in English Language and Literature. Having attended Jewish Day School from kindergarten to 12th grade (Reform as well as Modern Orthodox schools), she has a passion for Judaism as well as community service, which was always stressed throughout her education. In college, Lizzy found her niche by engaging in Jewish activities and furthering her knowledge of Judaism by taking classes through the MEOR program, as well as going on a JDC Alternative Spring Break trip to Ukraine. Throughout her college career, Lizzy contributed to the publication of Jewish newspapers and magazines, joined pro-Israel groups on campus, participated in Jewish "green" groups, and served as president of the Russian Jews of UMD group. Most recently, Lizzy returned from the JDC's first ever trip for Russian Speaking Young Adults to Argentina and is excited to travel with the JDC again to India in January. Lizzy has worked as Alumni Coordinator at Beth Tfiloh School and currently works at the Center for Jewish Education as a Project Assistant. She also teaches at Kesher Hebrew School in Baltimore. She is looking forward to continuing her Jewish learning and making an impact in Baltimore through the Jeremiah Fellowship and Jews United for Justice.

Sara Zisow-McClean is from the southwestern U.S. (New Mexico and West Texas) and has lived in Baltimore for six years. She loves Baltimore and has made it her permanent home. She is a Registered Dietitian in clinical dialysis practice as well as a food advocate with a focus on food insecurity as it relates to chronic illness. She recently married her awesome spouse, Jodie, and sharing life and practice with Jodie is a true joy for her. Sara and her wife live in an intentional community, the Red Clover Collective, located in Better Waverly in Baltimore City along with 4 collective-mates and two cats, Alfalfa and Sprout. Sara loves to read, pretty much anything from political thought and economy, health and health disparities, to sci-fi and comic books. She's been involved in struggles around anti-racist, feminist, queer and economic justice issues for most of her adult life and looks forward to learning from and growing along with everyone in the Jeremiah Fellowship this year.