Jina Davidovich works as a Program Associate in the Wiener Educational Center at UJA-Federation of NY. She received her BA in English Literature, with focuses in Poetry and Women's Studies, from Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. In the year after her graduation, Jina was selected to participate in Drisha's Beit Midrash program and Arts Fellowship, where she furthered her textual skills, knowledge of ancient and modern Jewish ideas, and fostered her poetry. She has presented her poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican, as part of the Slam Master Poetry Competition, and has taught poetry in a number of educational settings. Currently, Jina is a Global Justice Fellow with Advancing Jewish World Service (AJWS), and would love to talk to you about the amazing work they do in the Global South, or read you a poem, or both.
Daniel Fast is the Northeast Regional Director for NEXT: A Division of the Birthright Israel Foundation. Prior to NEXT, Dan has served as Planning Executive for CoJIR at UJA-Federation of New York and Senior Manager of YJ Impact Israel Programs for Young Judaea. Dan has a BA in English and Religious Studies from Lafayette College and was a 2012-2013 Community Connections Fellow through the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY. Dan is passionate about Israel and Jewish community work, live music, and sketch comedy. He currently resides in Astoria, Queens.
Julie Finkelstein is the Associate Director at Slingshot, where she supports and develops next-generation funders, innovative Jewish organizations and their leaders across North America. Julie earned her MBA from the George Washington University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During school, Julie developed change management strategies at Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters, traveled to and created marketing strategies to advance a social change organization in Ghana, and consulted for Sixth & I. Previously, Julie was the Assistant Director of Capital Camps, the Jewish community camp of the Mid-Atlantic region, where she oversaw programming, operations, staff recruitment and training. She continues to serve the camp community as a consultant and trainer with the Foundation for Jewish Camp.Julie got her professional start with Hillel: at Maryland Hillel, where she now sits on the Board of Directors, and at Hillel’s international offices in DC. Julie earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Kim Kaplan, AJP Board Chair, is the Deputy Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS), a 123-year-old organization that fosters economic self-sufficiency and security among New Yorkers in need, focusing on the Jewish community. Kim manages HFLS's loan programs and plays a leadership role in the organization's operations, including marketing, communications, strategic planning, and fundraising. Prior to HFLS, Kim was the Grants Manager at The Jewish Theological Seminary, helping maintain and grow a grants portfolio of more than $25 million. She worked with one of the Jewish community's most vulnerable populations as a Program Officer at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, where she managed grants to social service agencies that aid Holocaust survivors in Europe and North America. Kim has also held positions in fundraising, communications, and administration at NY-based Jewish organizations, and she taught Hebrew school at synagogues in NY, MO, and NJ for nine years. She holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Judaic Studies from New York University, and a BA in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Kim is a 2014-15 Jewish Community Relations Council of NY Community Connections Fellow and resides with her husband, an actor, in Brooklyn.
Yishai Mizrahi is the Program Director for Hunter College Hillel. Prior to Hunter, he worked as National Projects Associate at Birthright NEXT, managing young adult initiatives (including the NEXT Shabbat program) for Birthrighters as they returned from Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. Yishai has a BBA from Baruch College in Marketing, and was a 2013-14 Community Connections Fellow through the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, and 2010 PresenTense Global Fellow in Jerusalem. Yishai is passionate about new technology, Israel, Jewish Communal work, and Seattle sports (Go Seahawks,Sonics RIP and Mariners). Currently he resides in the hipster epicenter of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
A native of Newton, MA, Naomi joined ORT America in 2013 as National Director of Next Generation. Prior, she served as Chief of Staff of International Development at The Jewish Agency for Israel. She has also served as Senior Research and Program Associate for the American Jewish Committee’s Latino and Latin American Associate, in Washington, DC and legal clerk for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. An attorney, Naomi has practiced corporate litigation at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP . Naomi is a graduate of Brown University and the Georgetown University Law Center. Ever since her undergraduate days at Brown, Naomi has been a passionate advocate for Israel and the global Jewish community. Naomi has also served as a lay leader for several non-profit organizations, including AJC ACCESS, UJA-NY, and AIPAC. In her spare time, Naomi enjoys traveling the world, reading, spending time with family and friends, and staying active through yoga, biking, volleyball, and other sports. She is fluent in Hebrew and Spanish.
Justin Rosen Smolen
Justin Rosen Smolen is the associate director of the National Incubator for Community-Based Jewish Teen Education Initiatives at the Jewish Education Project. In this role, Justin works with the Jim Joseph Foundation as a consultant and thought partner to federations and community foundations throughout the country as they develop new strategies and initiatives for working with teens. Previously, Justin was director of program and strategy at PresenTense, where he oversaw accelerator programs for social innovators in cities throughout North America and developed trainings and networking opportunities for local partners. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Justin received his MPA from NYU's Wagner School of Public Service and his MA in Jewish studies at NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Justin also served as director of CLIP: The Collegiate Leadership Internship Program at NYU's Bronfman Center. Prior to graduate school, Justin was a fellow in Insight: The Schusterman Fellowship for Jewish community. As an undergraduate, Justin attended the dual-degree program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and Jewish thought.
Mark S. Young
Mark S. Young serves as Program Coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he is developing Masters degree and professional development programs in Jewish Experiential Education. Mark previously worked as the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Episcopal Social Services of New York (ESS), a child welfare, education and adult services non-profit and as both a Human Resource and Volunteer Programs Manager for the 92nd Street Y. Mark also spent fourteen summers at the Mandel Jewish Community Center’s Camp Wise Resident Camp in Cleveland, Ohio, serving for several years as Song Leader, Judaic Director and Staff in Training Director. Mark earned a BS in Psychology and Economics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and both a MPA in Non-Profit Management and MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University. Mark is an avid runner, songwriter and volunteer. He lives in Hartsdale, NY with his wife Mara, a Congregational Rabbi serving Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, NY. Mark served two terms as AJP Board Chair, from July 2012 through June 2014.