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Meet the 2019 Masa-Hillel Fellows

by Hillel News | Apr 23, 2019 |

Apply now! Hillel International and Masa Israel are partnering for Hillel Next, a new post-college experience. Participants are paid to teach English for 10 months in Haifa with Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, or spend five months interning in Tel Aviv with Career Israel. Learn more about these opportunities HERE, and join our growing community of Masa-Hillel Fellows.


We are so excited to welcome our sixth cohort of Masa-Hillel Fellows. The fellowship was a six-month professional development seminar designed to prepare current Masa participants for Hillel work. Through Hillel’s partnership with Masa, Hillel provided a Fellowship experience for current Masa participants who were at the Masa Israel Leadership Summit in November. The goal of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship is to build a talent pipeline and populate Hillel’s professional cohort with talented individuals and budding leaders who are actively exploring Israel and reinforcing their Jewish and Israel connections. Learn more about the Fellowship and the 20162017 and 2018 cohorts on our blog.

Sarah Kennedy

Sarah Kennedy is from Pittsburgh, Pa. She graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education, a minor in reading and a certification in special education. Sarah spent last year substitute teaching in Pittsburgh Public Schools and working at her local JCC's performing arts camp. Her hobbies include dancing, reading books on the beach, crafting and traveling. As a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, she spends her days teaching English to fourth through sixth graders at Sinai School, located in Rehovot, Israel.

Veronica Siegel

Veronica Siegel is from Lafayette, California. She went to Sacramento State University, where she received her degree in photography. Post college, Veronica worked as a tutor for children in low-income neighborhoods and volunteered with an adult ESL program. After participating in Birthright in winter 2016, she knew she wanted to spend more time in Israel. When she found out about the teaching fellowship program, she knew it was the perfect opportunity. Veronica is currently teaching in an elementary school in Bat Yam, Israel. In her spare time, she loves to travel and take photos.

Caroline Spikner

Caroline was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She recently graduated from Northwestern University in the School of Communications with a major in radio/TV/film and a minor in dance. Caroline conducted independent research in dance on screen and developed a number of live dance productions for young audiences. During college, she taught literacy in Chicago preschools through Americorps and dance in elementary schools. She is passionate about arts education and is enjoys bringing her creative background into her role as an English teaching fellow at Afikim B’Negev School in Beer Sheva, Israel. Caroline was recently hired as a Hillel International Springboard Fellow at Metro Chicago Hillel.

Emma Lorsch

Emma Lorsch is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied psychology, education and applied psychology. During her time at UCSB, she was actively involved in Santa Barbara Hillel as a social fellow on the student board for three years. During her time on board, she enjoyed planning inclusive Jewish events that brought the community together and sharing Shabbat dinners with her friends. After visiting Israel on Birthright, she realized she wanted to return and experience more of the incredible culture, people and of course, food. She currently lives in Rishon LeZion, Israel. As a teaching fellow, she's able to combine her passion for working with students and dream of living in Israel for a year. She’s excited to be a part of the Masa-Hillel Fellowship and to learn more about Jewish leadership and engagement in the community. When she’s not in the classroom, Emma can be found hiking, hanging at the beach, watching Netflix with her housemates or traveling. 

Alicia Rosenbaum

Alicia Rosenbaum is from Mount Laurel N.J. She graduated from Lafayette College with a double major in government and Jewish studies and a minor in philosophy. On campus, she was a part of Hillel, Planned Parenthood, the ice skating club and Literary Magazine. Now, she's an English teaching assistant in Rishon Lezion, Israel and she volunteers once a week at a youth center, playing with children and helping them with homework. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, cooking, trying new foods, and traveling around Israel.

Ben Stone

Ben Stone graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a bachelor's degree in history and political science, focusing on post-Soviet societies. He has a published academic journal article in the Carleton Review of International Affairs, discussing post-Cold War society and integration in former East Germany. Prior to becoming a Masa Teaching Fellow, Ben worked with several members of the Canadian Parliament and interned with the Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Parliamentary Internship program. Now, he's a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow with Israel Outdoors Next, working with third through sixth graders in Rehovot, Israel. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, he has lived in four countries — Canada, Belgium, Singapore and Malaysia.

Sandra Stonebraker

Sandy was born in Northern California, but grew up in Southern New Hampshire. She was enrolled in Hebrew School until she was "confirmed" in 10th grade. Sandy served as secretary, vice president and president of her temple's youth group in high school. She received her bachelor's degree from Skidmore College and her master's degree from Columbia University. Prior to arriving in Israel, Sandy worked as a high school math teacher in Boston. Now, she participates in Bina's Tikkun Olam program and volunteers with children with disabilities at the Holland Center. She also works with refugee children through the non-profit organization Mesila and serves as the tutoring coordinator at the African Refugee Development Center. In her free time, Sandy loves to read, hang out with family and friends, play games and explore new places.

Leah Trojan-Greenberg 

Leah was raised in Denver, Colorado and spent the majority of her adulthood in New York City. She worked as a clothing production coordinator at various fashion labels, including Ralph Lauren, American Eagle Outfitters, Vince Camuto, Madewell, 1.State, Cynthia Steffe and Chaus. In 2015, Leah received her bachelor's degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her major in fashion design was complimented by her focus on textiles, as well as her minor in art history. While in college, Leah inaugurated the Peer Advisors Program on campus and served as an orientation leader for three consecutive years. When she wasn't organizing school activities, she explored New York City and its various cultural institutions. Leah visited Israel for the first time on Birthright in February 2017. Enamored by the country, she decided to look for opportunities to live there. She's currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Petah Tikvah. In her free time, she can be found knitting, cooking Tex-Mex-inspired dishes, planning her next adventure or making messes.

Drew Balanoff

Drew grew up in Southern New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire. He graduated in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in outdoor education. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Colorado, where he ran a ropes course in the summer and worked various jobs in the ski industry in the winter. He enjoys rock climbing and skiing.

Not Pictured: Jackie Cohen

Jackie grew up in San Diego, where she attended Jewish day school and was involved in the Latin Jewish community. She majored in journalism and minored in leadership studies at Chapman University. Jackie was president of Panthers for Israel, editor of the award-winning campus paper The Panther, on the student board at Chapman Hillel board, a member of Pi Beta Phi and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She participates in Bina's Tikkun Olam program as an international marketing intern at Latet and volunteers in an after school program with refugees and an elderly center. During her free time, Jackie can be found at the beach or exploring new parts of Tel Aviv.

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