Many of our Jeremiah Fellows at 2014's Heschel Vision Awards!
Our 2014-2015 Fellow bios are up to date as of Fall 2014
Aileen Heinberg is excited to be back in the D.C. area. She is a graduate of the Pardes Educators Program and completed two years of study in the Pardes Kollel. She also holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA. Previously, Aileen was a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit policy think tank. At RAND, her work focused on bridging the gap between education and real-world action, a passion she brings with her to the Jeremiah Fellowship.
Becca Freedman is the Grants Officer at the Arca Foundation, dedicated to advancing social equity and justice. Through her work at the foundation, she resources efforts in pursuit of corporate and Wall Street accountability, addressing issues such as student debt reform, foreclosure relief, nationwide disenfranchisement and the bloated Pentagon budget. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Becca worked to assess, enhance and enrich the language and literacy practices of early childhood educators in inner-city Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she has been a resident of the District since 2000. In her free time, she enjoys being with friends and family, touring art museums, engaging in local politics, and being outdoors whenever possible.
Beth Kurtz is a proud native Pittsburgher who first moved to her beloved adopted home of Washington, D.C., in 2006, and returned after her graduation from the University of Michigan Law School in 2013. Beth is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Children's Law Center, where her fellowship project, sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, focuses on connecting at-risk children in D.C. to needed mental health services through legal representation and advocacy. She comes to his role after a year as a law clerk on the D.C. Court of Appeals, the District's local appellate court. Prior to entering law school, Beth defended our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Daniel Michelson-Horowitz is a 7-year resident of D.C., and has proudly worked, studied, or lived in seven of the eight wards. Originally from Ohio, Daniel recently graduated from law school and now works for the federal government. Daniel has been an active member of Jews United for Justice since 2008 and is looking forward to becoming a leader of one of JUFJ's upcoming campaigns. Daniel participated in the Justice and Jewish Thought class in 2009 and had a formative experience as a volunteer with American Jewish World Service in Thailand. Daniel is on the leadership team of Tikkun Leil Shabbat, an independent Jewish community sponsored by JUFJ, and also attends Minyan Segulah. An avid traveler and sports fan, Daniel also enjoys cooking, ultimate frisbee, and exploring the D.C. area's parks and cultural attractions.
Erica Fein, a native of Chevy Chase, MD, serves as the Nuclear Weapons Policy Director at Women's Action for New Directions (WAND). In this role, Erica coordinates with her colleagues in the peace and security community to advance nonproliferation and arms control initiatives on Capitol Hill and with the Administration. Through her higher ed and professional experience, Erica has ties to Madison, WI; Denver, CO (and the state's Front Range); Southeast Michigan; and Barcelona, Spain. She is now pleased to call the Washington, D.C., area her permanent home and looks forward to meeting other passionate locals through the Jeremiah Fellowship. Erica resides near the Nationals stadium, which allows for frequent trips to the ballpark. Go Nats!
Geoff Silverstein is a founding partner of Friendly Design Co., a full-service brand and interactive design studio in Washington, D.C. Friendly helps Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profits solve creative problems with innovative solutions; build brands and develop dynamic user experiences. Geoff moved to D.C. seven years ago. He previously worked as the Assistant Dean of Marketing and Strategy for the American University Washington Semester Program, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Business Administration from American University, where he is currently a part-time instructor for an introductory web design course.
Jessica Marx moved to D.C. in May 2014 and currently works as a program manager for an environmental research center. A native of the land of the pines, Jessica graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Anthropology and from Lund University in Sweden with a MS in Human Ecology. Many of Jessica's professional interests have been influenced by her passion to work with communities faced with environmental issues exacerbated by social and political conflict. She has previously worked with Seeds of Peace and Friends of the Earth Middle East in Israel.
Jessica Zweig is a third generation Washingtonian, having grown up minutes away from the city. She attended the University of Maryland and holds a Bachelor and Master of Music in clarinet performance. By day, Jessica teaches music to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in D.C. and leads the Washington, D.C. based chamber music group, All Points West (APW). APW strives to make classical music more comfortable and accessible to a young professional audience by pairing the music with food and drink and playing in museums, biergartens and historic houses. Jessica is particularly interested in music as a vehicle for building communities and civil societies. When she's not playing clarinet, Jessica is running through Columbia Heights, improving her Spanish, cooking up treasures from the Columbia Heights Farmer's Market and playing board games with friends.
After working as a children’s therapist for witnesses and survivors of domestic violence at Sanctuary for Families in Brooklyn, New York for two years, Jodie Rubenstein returned to Washington, D.C., in September 2013. Born and raised in the D.C. Metro area, Jodie received a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University and a Master degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2011. After completing her Master degree, Jodie spent five months living in Israel where she worked with the African Refugee Development Center in South Tel Aviv. Prior to becoming D.C./Southeast Organizer for J Street U in September of 2013, she served as the co-chair of the J Street Young Professionals Network in New York. Jodie is from Alexandria, VA and lives in Washington, D.C.
Katherine Cunningham grew up on Long Island, New York and has been living in Washington, D.C. for the past five years where she attended George Washington University as an undergrad. Since graduating, she has been working at Americans for Peace Now in an effort to learn more about the intricacies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her free time she plays the violin with a community orchestra, participates in an Arabic conversation circle, bikes in her favorite part of D.C. - Rock Creek Park, and attends as many foreign film festivals as possible.
Katherine's guilty pleasure TV is The Voice. When coming home late, she'll make tater tots with black beans, guacamole and sour cream for dinner. Her first musical acquisition was Britney Spears. She does not really remember learning to ride a bike.
Leah Greenglass has lived in D.C. for the past two years, in the Petworth and Penn Quarter neighborhoods. She grew up in Glastonbury, CT, and then attended Georgetown University where she studied Psychology and French. After college she lived in New York City for five years where she taught middle school in the Bronx and Harlem. She now works for D.C. Public Schools. Leah enjoys yoga, hiking, biking, attending events at Sixth and I, and finding new parts of D.C. to explore with her friends and dog, Teddy Roosevelt.
Linda Benesch first moved to D.C. in 2009 to attend college at American University, and loved the city way too much to leave after graduation. She is currently the Communications Associate at Social Security Works, an organization working to protect and expand our Social Security system. She first became involved with JUFJ in the summer of 2014 as a member of the campaign selection team. She recently joined a CSA and enjoys learning new vegetarian recipes.
Mara Kurlandsky is a Michigan native who crossed the border to attend college at the University of Toronto, majoring in Jewish Studies, Art History and Anthropology. Rather than get a real job, Mara opted to travel the world for 7 months and lived in Tel Aviv for a while, working as an intern at the Diaspora Museum. She decided to combine her love of art, cultures, museums and all things nerdy into a profession and moved to D.C. for a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. She now works at a design consulting firm that specializes in museum exhibits. She just started volunteer work with NARAL pro-choice and is excited to explore her passion for social and reproductive justice through a Jewish lens. When she's not working, she's either running, napping, at the 9:30 Club’s 90s music dance party, or making hummus.
Mike Friedman grew up in Indiana and then lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey before coming to Washington, D.C. He is currently a doctoral student at Georgetown University in the Department of Theology, where he studies Judaism and Buddhism, with a focus on the history of interfaith dialogue since the Second Vatican Council. Previously, Mike earned his bachelor's degree in Religious Studies from Yale and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. He is passionate about education and service learning, having taught World Religions and Ethics courses at a boarding school and having directed several summer trips for the American Jewish Society for Service. In his free time, Mike enjoys board games, woodwork, hiking, and travel.
Rebecca Schwartzman, a native of Northern Virginia, has lived in many places around the world, but is happy to call D.C. home. She graduated from IUP with a degree in International Studies and has put it to use in Botswana, Liberia, India, and Israel. During her most recent stay in Israel, she pursued her interest in Jewish identity and social justice issues. Rebecca comes to the Jeremiah Fellowship to place that interest in Jewish social justice in the context of her D.C. home and community. In her free time she likes to play ukulele for her cat, read dystopian novels, go on adventures, and make strong coffee.
Susanna Groves comes to the Jeremiah Fellowship with strong passions for public service and the Jewish community and excited about the opportunity that the Jeremiah Fellowship presents to unite these interests. She is an active member of Sixth & I and Adas Israel, where she completed an adult bat mitzvah in December 2013. Susanna holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University. A native New Yorker, she has lived in Washington, D.C., for three years and appreciates the city’s wide array of cultural offerings. Susanna enjoys terrible puns, long walks, and gardening.