Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Deerfield, IL, and went to Deerfield High School. I have a bachelor’s degree in History from Elon University. Following college, I decided to make Aliyah to Israel through Garin Tzabar and served for two years in the Israel Defense Forces. Additionally, I love everything sports, and I’m a passionate Chicago sports fan, especially when it comes to cheering for the Bulls who will one day rise to dominance once again!
Why are you excited to be a Teen Engagement Specialist at Springboard?
Growing up in the Chicago Jewish community, I experienced just how impactful Jewish programs can be. I was highly involved with BBYO in high school, and this let me explore and grow as a leader, both in and outside of the Jewish community. My goal as a Teen Engagement Specialist is to help more teens to get involved in the plethora of Jewish organizations and activities that are available for teens throughout the Chicagoland area. My excitement for this role stems from a genuine passion for Jewish teen programming, experiencing it myself growing up and knowing how it can greatly impact others.
What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
First and foremost, I am a huge sports fan. I love everything sports and competition related. I am a die-hard Chicago sports fan. Additionally, after my experience in the Israeli army, I love to work out and participate in outdoor activities. Chicago is such a great place to be, especially in the summer, so I try and be outdoors as much as possible. Finally, being away for so long has made me appreciate family time that much more, so I love spending time at home.
What is your favorite type of food or cuisine?
Another thing anyone who meets me will quickly find out is that I’m a “foodie”. Both Israel and America are amazing places for food enthusiasts. Probably my favorite cuisine would be Israeli/Mediterranean. Authentic Israeli shawarma (sorry Naf Naf and Roti), is my kryptonite. There were many times when I was in the army that I found myself eating a shawarma on my way from or to base, at all hours of the day and night.
What do you hope to gain by being a Teen Engagement Specialist?
As cliché as it sounds, I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of teens throughout the area. I believe in the saying “You are a product of the experiences you’ve gone through". I understand the pressures of growing up in the Chicagoland area and for me, many of the experiences that shaped me were in Jewish programming. It is my goal to leverage my experiences to support high schoolers across the Chicagoland region.
What is the farthest place you have traveled and what was your experience like?
After I finished the army, I followed in the steps of many Israeli’s and went on a month-long trip! I traveled throughout Eastern Europe and India for several weeks. By far, India was the most different place I have been to. Whether it was the sites of over-crowded Mumbai or the flavors and tastes of food I never even knew existed, it was such an awesome experience from start to finish.
What is your favorite memory as a Jewish teen in Chicago?
Serving on the BBYO Greater Midwest Region Regional Board as the Outreach VP was an amazing opportunity for me. As the Outreach VP, it was my responsibility to grow and expand BBYO’s footprint in previously untapped areas. That included my physically driving out to the Southern and Western Chicago suburbs and to engage and attract Jewish teens from those areas. Seeing my successes was such a gratifying feeling, knowing that the work I did encouraged more teens to become involved not only with BBYO, but with Jewish programming in general!