Meet The Team

Our dedicated staff is here to help you navigate the vibrant landscape of programs available for Chicagoland teens. We connect teens and parents to amazing Jewish education, leadership and community building opportunities. For general questions, email Springboard@juf.org

Sarina

Sarina Fogel Gerson

Director

Sarina Fogel Gerson is passionate about building communities and connecting people to meaningful experiences. She is a lifelong supporter of immersive Jewish experiences and deeply appreciates the role those experiences played in shaping her Jewish identify.  Sarina’s primary responsibilities include planning, development, and evaluation of existing and new initiatives that will help more teens find exciting and meaningful ways to get involved in the Chicagoland Jewish community.

Her professional background is in strategic planning and leadership development, and she has a wealth of experience supporting non-profit organizations, businesses, camps and synagogues to develop innovative approaches to engagement. Sarina received her BA from Indiana University and her MBA from the University of Maryland.  She is also a graduate of the M² Senior Educators Cohort. In her free time, Sarina can be found sharing her love of music with her husband and three children, cooking and traveling.

Brittany

Brittany Abramowicz Cahan

Assistant Director

Brittany is proud of the diverse Jewish opportunities available in the Chicago area and is thrilled to be working on programming designed to help teens and families find meaningful Jewish opportunities. Growing up in Highland Park, Brittany was lucky to be able to participate in a number of Jewish communal programs. As a teen Brittany took on leadership roles in USY and was a counselor at JCC Camp Chi. These experiences inspired her to pursue a career in Jewish education and programming.

Brittany earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois. At U of I, she was very active in Hillel and served as president her senior year. After graduation Brittany continued her studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Eilat, Israel. Prior to working with Springboard Brittany worked as the Outreach Manager for Habonin Dror Camp Tavor and was a youth advisor at NSS Beth El. Brittany also holds an MA in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute for Learning and Leadership.

Rachel

Rachel Alter

Project Manager

Rachel has always been passionate about seeking out Jewishly oriented opportunities in order to celebrate and expand her Jewish identity. From a young age, Rachel spent her summers as a camper at Camp TEKO in Minnesota and Herzl Camp in Wisconsin and later as a counselor at Herzl Camp. In high school, she was a member of USY in Minnesota and spent an educational and eye-opening summer in Israel through USY Pilgrimage where her passion and love of Judaism and Israel continued to flourish. In college, Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a certificate in Educational Services from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

During her time in Madison, Rachel was involved with Hillel and Chabad and greatly enjoyed the Jewish connection with which it provided her. Rachel traveled to Israel through Birthright and spent a summer study abroad program at Tel Aviv University in Israel, one of her favorite places in the world! Through these experiences, Rachel cemented her desire to connect teens to opportunities in Jewish communities around the world in order to help them to develop and grow their Jewish identities. Rachel is ecstatic to be helping teens with the vast and incredible Jewish opportunities in Chicago and worldwide through Springboard!

Naomi

Naomi Looper

Teen Engagement Manager

Naomi believes Jewish orientated opportunities that are focused on community and leadership, such as youth group and Jewish summer camp, are opportunities that allow teen to find their voice, develop lifelong and meaningful relationships, and discover their Jewish identities. Prior to working with Springboard, Naomi worked at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). During her time at the URJ, she worked as the OSRUI Assistant Director, NFTY Chicago Regional Director, and as the NFTY Midwest Area Manager. Prior to the URJ, Naomi worked at Temple Jeremiah in Northfield as the as the Youth and Family Engagement Director.

In high school, she was a member of NFTY Chicago and active in her home synagogue, Oak Park Temple. In college, Naomi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Naomi is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. During her time in Madison, Naomi was highly involved with Hillel and enjoyed the connections and opportunities for leadership development that Hillel provided her. While in college, Naomi worked as the youth group advisor at Temple Beth El in Madison, WI. That experience of working directly with teens reinforced her desire to support and mentor teens to help them find their Jewish community and develop their own Jewish identity. Naomi is thrilled to continue her work with the Jewish community in Chicago through Springboard!

Kobe

Kobe Friedman

Engagement Specialist

Kobe loves supporting students, making connections, and the Jewish community in Chicago! They are passionate about matching students with experiences and resources that complement their personalities and inspire lifelong involvement in the community.

Kobe completed a B.A. in History and focused his research on the Jewish diaspora and its effects on communities in the United States. As a student, Kobe worked in two school systems, taught swim lessons, loved camp each summer, and served as a Hillel leader during his junior and senior years. Originally from New York, they are loving life in Chicago and are ready to explore the city!

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