Staff

Entwine staff are dedicated to JDC's mission and the value of Jewish collective responsibility.

We are a diverse bunch - get to know us!

Sarah Eisenman, Executive Director

Sarah is both the Executive Director of Entwine and an Assistant Executive Vice President at JDC. In her role, she is responsible for the overall vision, strategy, and success of Entwine.

Sarah joined JDC in 2002 and previously was the Senior Global Program Officer in JDC’s Program, Planning, and Budget Department, where she played a key role in JDC’s annual global strategic review and planning process. Sarah has traveled extensively with JDC, including to India, Turkey, Haiti, Morocco, Ethiopia, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Sarah has received several honors; in 2011 she was named by the Jerusalem Post as one of ten young Jewish leaders for the future, and received the Jewish Communal Service Association’s Young Professional Award. Sarah is also an alumna of Kivun.

Sarah has a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford University, and a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on Jewish history in the Middle East and North Africa.

Naomi Sage, Managing Director

Naomi oversees all Entwine day-to-day operations, programs, and program staff. This includes developing new and high-level leadership programs to identify and train up and coming Jewish lay and professional leaders as well as ensuring the growth of both Entwine’s Learning Network programming and continuum of global service opportunities. Prior to her current role, Naomi created JDC’s model for short-term service, which has become the foundation for all service and study trips now offered by Entwine.

Naomi's work has taken her to diverse locations around the world, from Haiti to Kazakhstan, Argentina, Turkey, Israel and Ethiopia. Naomi has received several honors for her service to the Jewish community, including selection for the inaugural class of the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership and the Jewish Communal Service Association Young Professional Award. Naomi pursued her Masters through New York University’s dual degree program in Nonprofit Management and Hebrew and Judaic Studies and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University. She currently lives with her husband in Harlem, New York.

Andrea Siegel, Director of Jewish Learning

As Director of Jewish Learning, Andrea designs education strategy across Entwine’s programming. She focuses on Jewish civilization, service-learning, and peer-to-peer intercultural encounters. She is inspired by the risks and opportunities of a robust, inclusive ethic of Jewish global responsibility at a time of tremendous change in Jewish life.

Andrea earned her Ph.D. in Middle East, South Asian, and African Cultures at Columbia University in 2011. Prior to coming to Entwine, Andrea taught Judaic Studies at University of Michigan and was Acting Director of the Jewish Communal Leadership Program in the School of Social Work. Andrea has been a visiting faculty member at Pepperdine University and the State University of New York, Purchase College. She is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Dorot Fellowship in Israel.

Andrea was JDC’s 2008-2009 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in International Jewish Communal Service; during this time, she researched chaplaincy and family caregiver support programs with ESHEL in Jerusalem, led Hebrew poetry groups for Alzheimer’s patients in Tel Aviv, and crafted young adult leadership training with the Jewish community of Turkey. She and her husband (and their various foster cats) usually live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but they will be based in Los Angeles for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Jessica Bettelheim, Director of Research and Analytics

As the Director of Research and Analytics for JDC Entwine, Jessica Bettelheim manages alumni tracking, data capture and evaluation projects for JDC Entwine programs. A serious data nerd, Jessica's research approach uses a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in order to gain insight and answers to the most pressing organizational questions and inform program strategy. Her previous experience includes research consulting in the healthcare industry, working with companies listed in the Global Fortune 500, non-profit organizations, and on government contracts, and consulting with small business and academic research projects on a variety of topics. She is an active participant in the professional and academic research communities, has published on research methodology in industry journals, and guest lectures on research design at the local university. She is a returning Jointnik, having worked with the JDC from 2006 to 2009. Jessica has a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in History with a focus in Judaic Studies. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Shauna Ruda, Director of Leadership Development

Shauna Ruda is Director of Leadership Development of Entwine. In this role, she is responsible for our expanding leadership strategy and opportunities, including the Global Leaders Initiative and emerging academic partnerships with religious institutions like Hebrew Union College.

Shauna began her time with JDC as a Global Jewish Service Corps Fellow in Turkey working alongside Jewish community leaders to cultivate and develop young Jewish leaders and enhance community programming. Since then, Shauna has had a diverse portfolio at JDC; expanding Entwine’s Learning Networks across North America, working with asylum seekers and labor migrants in Israel with JDC’s Center on International Migration and Integration (CIMI); serving as JDC’s field representative in Nepal for six months managing earthquake recovery efforts; and most recently, overseeing Entwine’s Global Jewish Service Corps and the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership.

Prior to her time with JDC, Shauna studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa. She also interned at the Embassy of Israel and was International President of BBYO. She’s a proud member of the ROI and Reality communities supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for New Women New Yorkers. Shauna has a Masters in Migration Studies from Tel Aviv University and a Bachelors in Anthropology from American University.

Talya Greenspoon, Director for Networks and Engagement

Talya directs Entwine’s Global Learning Network programming in ten cities across the US and UK. In this role, Talya oversees the regional staff and programming for all Network areas, working to engage program alumni while simultaneously building entry points for new participants. She has been a proud Jointnik for over nine years and in her time with Entwine, Talya has staffed over fifteen service trips to communities in Hungary, Ukraine, Israel, and Ethiopia, to name a few. Talya received a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Yeshiva University, is a past participant in the Teva Seminar on Jewish Environmental Education and has lived and studied in Israel and South Africa. Talya attended New York University where she received her degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in Cultural Studies with a focus on Cultural Narratives and has called NYC, and now Brooklyn, home ever since (though she is more than willing to chat about growing up in South Carolina and Nebraska!)

Evan Rosenstock, Director for Global Immersive Experiences

Evan Rosenstock oversees all of Entwine's short- and medium-term global immersive experiences, namely our 25+ 7-10 day trips as well as our 1-2 month Multi-week Fellowships for college students and young professionals.

Evan joined JDC in 2011 after earning a Masters in International Relations from NYU, where he also founded the Jewish Student Association at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and was the Graduate Student Coordinator at NYU's Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life.

Prior to his graduate studies, Evan lived in Argentina where he was a founding resident of the Moishe House - Buenos Aires and was very active in the Latin American Jewish community, participating in ROI-Latin America and receiving a “Charlie Award” for his leadership in the int’l Jewish community.

Evan received his Bachelors in Business Administration from Emory University and originally hails from Syosset, NY. He is a founding Co-Chair of Moishe House’s Ambassadors Circle and is an active member of the ROI Community. Evan is also a Fellow of the inaugural cohort of the Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, their son Shai, and their French bulldog, Melvin, and enjoys filmmaking, running, jamming/preserving, and the New York Rangers

Leba Faigen, Senior Program Manager, Global Immersive Experiences

Leba is the Senior Program Manager for Entwine’s Global Immersive Experiences. In this role, she oversees all of Entwine’s Insider Trips for young professionals and college students and leads many of these groups to the diverse locations around the world where JDC operates. Leba joined JDC more than six years ago initially in the Program, Planning & Budget Department before transitioning to Entwine in 2009.

Leba has extensive experience in both formal and informal education with groups of diverse Jewish backgrounds. She recently earned a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education through Yeshiva University, an immersive training program that aims to strengthen and transform the field and its impact on Jewish identity. She has taught Hebrew School in New York City and facilitated learning sessions at Camp Simcha, a summer camp for chronically ill children, in addition to being the camp’s Drama Director. Leba graduated from Yeshiva University, Stern College, where she received her BA in Judaic Studies and also spent a year abroad studying in Israel. Leba completed a pastry course at the Jerusalem Culinary Institute and is an avid dessert producer (and consumer).

Gila Ward Menda, Senior Program Specialist, Global Volunteer Programs

As a Senior Program Specialist for JDC Entwine Global Volunteer Programs, Gila develops and enhances JDC’s long-term global service opportunities for young professionals, including the Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps (JSC) and Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship in International Jewish Service.She loves that her role is to inspire, train and support the many talented individuals serving worldwide with JDC.

Following graduation from Brandeis with a BA in Islamic and Middle East studies, Gila spent one year in Mumbai, India as an Entwine Global JSC Fellow, creating innovative community engagement programs in partnership with local leaders. She recently completed The Center for Leadership Initiatives' (CLI) Kivun Intensive, a 6-month skills training and career development program for Jewish communal professionals, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at NYU as a Lisa Goldberg Fellow in Philanthropy and Public Service.

Gila grew up in Haifa, Israel and in Denver, Colorado, and often reminisces about these hometowns when running up Harlem hill in Central Park, near her current home.

Shaun Hoffman, Senior Program Manager, Israel

As Entwine's Israel Regional Manager, Shaun oversees Entwine's programming and initiatives in Israel, including the year-long and multi-week Jewish Service Corps Fellowships, and immersive experiences for college students and young professionals. Shaun works closely with JDC Israel staff in order to develop meaningful and impactful experiences across JDC's broad scope of operations in the Israeli social sector.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Shaun made Aliyah to Israel in August 2007. Before making Aliyah he completed his B.A. in international relations and Middle East studies at the University of Toronto, including a year in the Hebrew University's Honors Program in Middle East Studies. Shaun also holds an M.A. in Jewish professional studies from the Spertus Institute in Chicago, with a concentration in Israel education through the iCenter. After arriving in Israel, Shaun was drafted into the IDF and served in the Paratroopers brigade (despite a fear of heights) as a combat commander and platoon sergeant. He continues to serve proudly in the reserves with the Paratroopers' southern brigade. Before joining the Entwine team, Shaun worked for 3 years as Program Director for Canada Israel Experience, planning and coordinating all of Canada's Taglit-Birthright, March of the Living, and other Israel experience programs.

When not at work, you can find Shaun travelling, teaching, learning, and training for the Jerusalem marathon.

Elizabeth Kurtis, West Coast Regional Manager

Elizabeth moved from Washington DC to San Diego to continue to grow and deepen our West Coast Networks. She is a former JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellow in Gondar, Ethiopia where she worked on JDC projects focused on providing access to education, clean water and public health initiatives, with an emphasis on teaching English and leading programs at JDC-supported schools.

Upon returning from Ethiopia, Elizabeth was an active leader in the DC Entwine Network bringing with her an array of experiences and passion for JDC, Entwine, and global Jewish communities.

Most recently, Elizabeth served as Special Assistant to Hillel International President and CEO in Washington DC. She was a liaison to Hillel International’s Board of Directors managing daily communications and constant engagement with lay leaders and was also responsible for relationship management and external affairs.

Her most recent travels have taken her to Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey and Morocco. Previously, Elizabeth worked at Korn/Ferry International as a Knowledge Manager in their Corporate Affairs practice. Originally from Virginia, Elizabeth grew up in Potomac, Maryland and holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.A. in International Business from the University of Florida.

Georgina Bye, UK Coordinator

As UK Coordinator, Georgina supports Entwine’s Global Learning Network programming and alumni engagement in London. Georgina is originally from London and prior to joining JDC Entwine was the Leadership and Training Director for UJS (the Union of Jewish Students). She has been heavily involved in building inclusive, cross-communal community both through her work and through Moishe House London. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Leeds and is a seasoned Jewish educator, presenting frequently at Limmud conference. She is also involved with March of the Living UK, leading trips for young people to visit Poland to learn about the Holocaust. Georgina is also an alum of a JDC Entwine Insider Trip to Argentina. In addition to her Georgina's responsibilities at Entwine, she will also support the complimentary work of OLAM to engage young UK adults in global Jewish and humanitarian issues and to advance the global Jewish service movement.

Andrea Kovalsky, Resource Development Manager

Andrea is JDC Entwine’s Resource Development Manager. She works closely with the Executive Director, managing Entwine’s stakeholder relationships, including Entwine’s programmatic and funding partners and JDC Board Members.

Andrea grew up in Rochester, NY and is a graduate of the George Washington University where she studied Political Science and Judaic Studies. After college she worked for Close Up, a Non-Profit based out of Washington, D.C., where she led civic engagement programs for high school students.

In 2010 she headed to Israel as a volunteer, teaching English to high school students in Ashdod and ended up staying in Israel to continue her studies. In 2012 she completed her Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She came to Entwine from the University of Rochester where she was working in the development office of the Medical Center. In her free time she can be found running, baking challah and exploring NYC.

Jenette Axelrod, Program Specialist, Global Immersive Experiences

Jenette is Program Specialist for Global Immersive Experiences. In this role, Jenette manages all of Entwine’s Insider Trips for young professionals, focusing on the selection and pre-trip orientation of groups and itinerary development. Jenette also has the pleasure of leading these experiences, most recently to Morocco and Haiti. She feels the most rewarding part of her work is engaging with participants as they experience JDC’s community development programs and humanitarian efforts around the world. Jenette began working with Entwine as a Program Assistant in 2012.

Jenette is a participant in the inaugural cohort of the Taglit Fellows program, a leadership development initiative for Jewish experiential educators. Before joining Entwine, Jenette participated in the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program, where she taught English in an underserved school in Netanya. In additional to teaching, she planned extracurricular activities for her students, volunteered with at-risk youth in the community, and improved her Hebrew skills. Jenette is also passionate about sustainability and serves on the Young Professional Advisory Board of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).

She holds a bachelor's degree from the George Washington University in International Affairs and French Language and Literature. Jenette lives in Brooklyn and enjoys practicing yoga, playing tennis, and traveling. She is also an avid writer and enjoys writing short fiction.

Naomi Levin, Program Specialist, Global Immersive Experiences

Naomi manages the Mutli-Week Jewish Service Corps program, Entwine’s 3-8 week immersive volunteer experience. In her role, she develops programing, guides interested participants, as well as leads the selection and pre-orientation process. Naomi enjoys connecting young adults to meaningful service opportunities through JDC’s worldwide work.

Naomi has a Master’s degree in Community and Social Change with a Specialized Track in Community and Program Development from University of Miami. She was active in Jewish life and founded a Challah for Hunger Chapter at UM. Born and raised in the NY area, Naomi has also lived in Israel and Australia. Naomi has visited several Jewish communities around the globe including Turkey, Greece, India, Morocco, Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba. In her free time Naomi enjoys baking Challah, exploring the city and traveling the word. With a clear passion for culture and community, Naomi is proud to be working for JDC Entwine, combining her passions of travel, Judaism and impact.

Yael Zaken, Israel Program Specialist, Global Immersive Experiences

Yael is responsible for locating and developing significant short and medium-term service learning opportunities for Jewish young adults from around the world. These immersive experiences create awareness and emphasize JDC’s work concerning current social challenges taking place in Israel today.

In 1990 Yael made Aliya with her family from the San Francisco Bay Area, settling in Jerusalem. At a young age she embarked on her long journey to become a Jewish educator by joining the Israeli scouts. She was drafted in to the IDF at age 18 and filled the position of a basic training commander for new immigrant soldiers, primarily from the former Soviet Union. After completing her service, she was accepted to the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, focusing on social and political art practice in Israel, specializing in photography. Following her studies at Bezalel she completed her Masters in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2011, she became the Director of Informal Education at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, California.

In 2014, she spent a year in Rwanda as an Entwine Jewish Service Corps fellow working at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. At the village she managed the art center, mentored students and learned from the local Rwandan community. In her spare time she runs around the streets of Jerusalem, snaps pictures, bakes biscotti and busts a move to gypsy funk whenever she has a chance.

Rebecka Handler, Recruitment Specialist, Global Immersive Experiences

Rebecka is responsible for the recruitment of all of JDC Entwine’s oversea experiences, including 7-10 day Insider Trips for college students and young professionals, the Multi-Week and Year Long Jewish Service Corps Fellowships and the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship. Additionally, Rebecka manages a portfolio of partnered College Insider Trips.

Rebecka holds a BA in Rehabilitation and Human Services from the Pennsylvania State University where she was active in Penn State’s Dance Marathon and her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. After graduating in 2012, she moved to San Francisco to begin her work with BBYO as the Central Region West Associate Regional Director. While in San Francisco, Rebecka founded the Marina Moishe House with her peers. After relishing her time in San Francisco, she decided to move back to her hometown Memphis, where she continued her work with BBYO, as the Memphis City Program Director. Her passion for working with teenagers stems from countless summers at Camp Perlman in Lake Como, PA and trips to Israel with BBYO and Birthright. In her free time Rebecka enjoys traveling, Bikram Yoga, and watching the Memphis Grizzlies.

She is excited to live in New York and explore what this city has to offer!

Arielle Sokoloff, Program Coordinator, Global Volunteer Programs

Arielle manages the logistics of Entwine’s yearlong global fellowships including the Jewish Service Corps and Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership. Her time at JDC began as a JSC Fellow at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda where she oversaw the short-term service trips, ran tours for visitors, and mentored students.

Arielle holds a BA in Political Science from Binghamton University where she was active in Hillel and served as the president of the Jewish a cappella group. After graduating in 2011, she dove into the world of international development and spent 6 months volunteering in Nepal with Tevel b’Tzedek. Her passion for working with teenagers stems from countless summers at Camp Ramah in Berkshires and over 10 trips to Israel with Birthright, USY, Nativ, and other youth groups. In her free time Arielle enjoys taking and editing photos, hiking, traveling and exploring New York City.

Maya Shpancer, Program Coordinator, Global Immersive Experiences

Maya is originally from Columbus, Ohio and currently lives in Washington Heights, New York. She holds a Bachelor in Psychology and Education and is currently pursuing a Master degree in Nonprofit Management. Maya has spent two years living in Jerusalem, Israel. She has also spent time in Uganda, Africa as part of Volunteer Summer through American Jewish World Service (AJWS). After traveling to Uganda she created a small volunteer-based nonprofit called Soap and Bubbles, which brings soap and hygiene education to a rural village in Uganda; She has since been back to Uganda 3 times. Maya previously worked as the Assistant Director of Columbus NCSY, a national Jewish youth group teaching teenagers Jewish values and traditions, as well as leadership skills. In her spare time she enjoys photography, touring the city, traveling, and exploring the local slam poetry venues around New York City.

Shawna Dolinka, West Coast Program Coordinator

Shawna is very excited to be joining the Entwine team as the West Coast Program Coordinator. She was born and raised in San Diego and received her undergraduate degree from UCSB. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Community Development from the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked for one year in Israel as a Young Judaea Year Course Madricha.

Her passion for travel and community development was solidified when she volunteered with Tevel B’Tzedek in Nepal, working in organic agriculture and youth empowerment. Shawna also worked for an Israeli NGO called Fair Planet Seeds in Ethiopia. There she helped run the farmer’s pilot program, coordinating the farmers’ reception of top quality tomato plant varieties. She has traveled in India, Europe, Fiji, and New Zealand. In her free time, Shawna enjoys art, hiking, and kayaking.

Beckie Hamroff, Program Coordinator, Networks and Engagement

As a Program Coordinator, Beckie Hamroff works closely with the Director of Networks and Engagement to implement programming and trainings throughout the Network cities. Beckie also works closely with Entwine’s Executive Director on administrative tasks.

Beckie is a recent graduate from New York University, where she majored in Global Liberal Studies and minored in Spanish and Multi-faith Leadership. There, she was an active member of NYU's Bronfman Center and in various Multi-faith communities. She was fortunate enough to spend the entirety of her Junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain. In Madrid, she worked at a governmental center for refugee resettlement. Most recently, Beckie held an Assistant Program Manager position at NECHAMA-a Jewish Response to Disaster. There, she organized logistical and curriculum based pieces for domestic service-learning projects. Beckie is also a proud NFTY and URJ Eisner Camp alumnus. In her free time, Beckie enjoys watching foreign films, yoga, and traveling. She originally hails from Chappaqua, NY. She is thrilled to be joining the JDC Entwine team as a Program coordinator for the Learning Networks.

Samantha Shokin, RSJ Project Coordinator

Samantha is Entwine's RSJ Project Coordinator, planning and staffing a series of overseas trips and local educational events for young Russian-speaking Jews from throughout North America.

A Brooklynite for over a decade, Samantha graduated NYU Gallatin in 2012 with an individualized concentration in Literary Journalism, and is now pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Baruch College. Her articles and essays have appeared in a variety of publications and blogs, including VICE and Tablet Magazine.

Samantha is a former COJECO Blueprint Fellow and occasional singer-songwriter. In 2014, as part of her Blueprint Fellowship project, she composed an album of original music titled "Fabula/Syuzhet," an exploration of identity in two languages. She speaks Russian and is excited to satisfy her lifelong wanderlust with JDC.

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