The highly-qualified Masa Israel participants selected to participate in this fellowship will receive education and training from Kol Voice and the Israel Action Network to answer the key questions of Israel Activism. The fellows will gain insight into new and traditional media, effective networking for a common goal, building effective campaigns and other effective strategies.
Meet the Fellows below:
Zoë Baker is from Denver, Colorado and graduated from The College of Wooster last spring with a BA in political science and sociology. Zoë is currently participating in Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a 10- month post graduate program. During her time in Israel, she has worked with four different organizations that serve the asylum seeker population in Israel. These include a daycare for refugee children, an organization helping pregnant refugees navigate the Israeli medical system, the relocation team at the African Refugee Development Center and as a researcher for the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration.
Michael Benesch is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in a disadvantaged elementary school in Petah Tikva. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael was raised with a voracious appetite for learning, a sense of justice, and a desire to heal the world. These values inspired Michael’s passion for public policy and the Middle East, which he further developed as an Economics major at Pomona College. During his time at Pomona, Michael served on the boards of a variety of Jewish organizations, deepened his love for photography, and interned for the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. After his year in Israel, Michael hopes to return to California, get back on his road bike, work for a Jewish non-profit, and pursue a graduate degree.
Leah Breevoort is a twenty-two year old supporter of social change. After receiving her bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and Film Studies, she decided she was not ready for a nine to five. She left her life in Atlanta, Georgia to fly across the world and volunteer as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya, Israel. Leah’s passions include volunteering and videography. She often finds ways to merge the two through organizations like Camp Kesem, a camp for children whose parents have cancer. Leah also enjoys working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as a freelance videographer. She hopes to one day start her own non-profit in Israel. When Leah isn’t working she likes to enjoy the little things in life: running on the beach, uncontrollable laughter when something isn’t really that funny, and a great song coming on at exactly the right time.
Alyssa Dinberg is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion, assistant teaching English to an underserved population of elementary school children. A native of Atlanta, Georgia and graduate of the University of Alabama (roll tide), Alyssa is a lover of all things Crimson and White, spending countless hours in front of the TV during football season cheering on the Tide, and grew up attending Braves games in the summer. While attending college, Alyssa could be found managing the city’s largest arts and music festival or rescuing all the stray animals on the streets. Her love and commitment to the community can easily be seen in everything she does. Once stateside, Alyssa will attend graduate school for Community Development in addition to finding a super cool job in her super cool new city, Kansas City, Missouri.
Joline Faujour of Washington, DC is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Petach Tikvah, teaching English in a junior high school 20 hours each week. She spends the rest of her time learning Hebrew in Ulpan classes and volunteering at a refugee development center and at a women’s shelter. Joline came to Israel to learn about human rights and social/education policies. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, hoping to use her degree as a basis to help people. She believes that to help people you must learn about their cultures first, and avidly studies languages in order to truly immerse herself wherever she lands.
Kayla Globerson, 24, is from Orange County, California. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development and a Minor in Natural Sciences. The following year, Kayla went on to earn her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in the prestigious teacher credential program at CSUF. During her college career, Kayla was a 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday school teacher at her temple. She taught Hebrew, Jewish values, holidays, and prayers to second-grade students, and taught curriculum including Israeli geography and culture to third-grade students. When she returns home to California in July, Kayla hopes to return as the third-grade teacher to further enhance the Israeli curriculum from her experiences living in Israel, where she currently serves as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. Now that she has lived in Israel, Kayla hopes to find a career that combines her Jewish identity with her love of teaching.
Federico Gonzalez Waite is a graduate student working on his M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University. His specialty areas are conflicts triggered by scarcity of resources (predominantly water), economic development, conflict mediation and prevention, Is-Pal Conflict and Israeli Advocacy. He holds a Bachelor of Business in International Business and Marketing from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. Before moving to Israel he worked in International Development in the United Kingdom and Mexico. Federico was born in Mexico City and brought up between Mexico and New Zealand. He has lived in multiple countries during his adult life, providing him with a unique outlook of the world that makes him a true global citizen. He spends his days passionately exploring life in Israel and connecting to his Jewish heritage.
Ira Guberman of East Brunswick, NJ is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot, where he assistant teaches English at Ben Tzvi Elementary School and runs a bike club at Oshiyot Community Center. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware he developed a passion for international affairs, and his previous trip to Israel through Birthright inspired him to further study the country. Before Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, he completed his master’s degree in Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on the Middle East. He previously worked at the World Affairs Councils of America where he involved, educated, and engaged the American public on foreign policy. As a Masa-Kol Voice Fellow, Ira looks forward to strengthening his connection with Israeli society even further, and fine tuning himself into a better activist.
Olivia Joyce joined Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Petach Tikvah as an introduction to global education systems and teaching. While studying Psychology and Studio Arts at Union College, New York, she became increasingly interested and involved in child development, special needs education, and art therapy, and aspires to continue serving children as a psychologist someday. Olivia discovered her adventurous spirit while studying abroad in Vietnam in 2011 and—much to her mother’s chagrin—plans to continue living globally for the foreseeable future. Olivia spends her free time in Israel baking in her toaster oven, hauling home street-side furniture, and laughing/reminiscing at the blizzards blanketing her home in New England.
Taylor Jade King is a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya. Prior to moving to Israel, Taylor worked in a Bright Horizons daycare center in Boston, Massachusetts for five years as an Assistant Teacher to infants, toddlers and preschoolers and is a certified infant-toddler teacher. During her time at Wheelock College in Boston and Richmond University in London, Taylor interned in the Massachusetts State House for a state representative dedicated to education issues, interned for her congressman, participated in an international internship in London and volunteered for a variety of charitable causes. Most recently, Taylor served as a nanny for two years for two different families in Massachusetts and babysat for twelve others throughout the state. Taylor is a member of Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society in the social sciences, and is a Notary Public in Massachusetts. In her free time, Taylor enjoys reading, catching up on Tumblr and blogging for the Times of Israel.
Carla Yael Olsztajn is a Lawyer and a Public Accountant. She has Master Studies in International Relations and Negotiations from the University of San Andrés, the Latin American Faculty on Social Sciences and the University of Barcelona. She has more than five years’ experience in international taxation working in big fours and large law firms, and also developed her writing and teaching skills by publishing articles in a specialized tax magazine on a monthly basis and teaching at the University of Buenos Aires. She has been recognized as Active Member by the Argentine Association of Fiscal Studies and the International Fiscal Association has recently published her research paper on international taxation. She has participated in the Ibero-American Youth Leadership Program in Europe sponsored by Fundación Carolina, Vital Voices' Mentoring Program with Women Leaders and WZO's Leadership Training Seminar in Israel. Carla currently participates in Masa Israel’s Israel Government Fellows program, through which she interns at the Legal Advisor's Office, Ministry of Economy of the State of Israel, handling international issues.
Boglarka Fanni Palko originally hails from Budapest, Hungary. She received her B.A. in International Public Administration and Law from the Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Budapest and her M.A. in European Studies from the University of Hamburg in Germany. Her Master's thesis and research focused on labor economics and international migration between the Middle East and the European Union. Before joining the 8th Session of Israel Government Fellows and starting to work as the International Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, Boglarka worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. Besides being an active member of the student body at her universities, Boglarka is also an active member of the Jewish community of Budapest.
Molly Radler recently graduated from University at Buffalo with a BA in Psychology, and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in social work. She currently participates in the Israel Service Fellows progam in Akko, teaching English at Manof Youth Village, and volunteering at Akim, an after school program for children with special needs. Molly also works in Yarka, a Druze village in the north where she teaches dance to young Druze teens.
Leah Rosenberg was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. She recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City where she studied Political Science and American History. Leah was president of the Columbia University Mock Trial team and a national competitor. She was also a teaching fellow with the Barnard Speaking Fellows, a program that teaches students public speaking skills. An avid learner and traveler, Leah studied at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she took Hebrew classes. That same fall she participated in the International Honor Program's “Cities in the 21st Century” where she studied contemporary urban issues in Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam. Leah has been actively involved in Jewish life since she was young; she attended a Jewish day school, went to a reform Jewish overnight camp, assistant taught at her synagogue’s religious school for seven years, and attended conferences and seminars on Jewish education and social action. In the summer of 2012 she served as a Goldman Fellow at Project Interchange in Washington DC, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee that brings global leaders to Israel for week-long seminars. Leah is excited to be back in Israel, this time for ten months, as a participant in Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a volunteer program that serves disadvantaged populations in Tel Aviv.
Nitzah Santiago-McRae grew up in Pennsylvania and earned her B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Millersville University, PA. Before becoming a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Ramla-Lod, she was a teacher in Greenbelt, Maryland. She enjoys painting, building, teaching, learning and finding methods to solve problems.
Eidan Schahaf of Los Angeles, CA has a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of California, Riverside. Prior to coming to Israel, Eidan worked alongside Israel advocacy organizations such as StandWithUs and AIPAC and founded and acted as president of the university’s first official Pro-Israel organization. Eidan is currently interning through Israel Government Fellows at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Civil Society Affairs Division of Public Diplomacy, working to combat anti-Semitism and the growing international boycott movement against Israel.
Layla Schwartz is an Israel Teaching Fellow in Rehovot where she teaches English in a middle school. She especially loves to share her love of history with her students and prepares whole lessons on American history and culture in addition to working with small groups of students on traditional lessons. Originally from the Chicago area, Layla received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Theater Arts (with a performance emphasis) from Lawrence University. She spent the last five years in Cleveland, Ohio where she obtained her Master of Education degree from John Carroll University. She taught Spanish and performed on most of Cleveland's professional stages before coming to Israel. In addition to education and theater, her greatest passions are travel, foreign languages, and reading non-fiction books and articles. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the Masa-Kol Voice Leadership Fellowship and to learn about the many facets of Israeli activism. Layla intends to continue being a fair and informed advocate for Israel in her Jewish community wherever the future takes her.
Anna Tzizik is currently an Israel Teaching Fellow in the southern city of Be'er Sheva, where she works with underprivileged elementary school students. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Ben-Gurion University-based group "Students 4 Refugees"--which works with Sudanese and Eritrean refugees in Arad, Israel. In the United States, she attended the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, where she majored in English Literature, and minored in Creative Writing and Music Performance. She was active in both her on-campus and regional community, helping to run blood drives, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, and seasonally visiting and caroling in local nursing homes. She also had the opportunity to do a musical tour of Andalusia, Spain with her University's most prestigious vocal group, the Chamber Singers, in 2011. A native New Englander, Anna is at once unreasonably excited and terribly disappointed to be missing this season's slew of debilitating blizzards.
Alisa Wills is a philanthropic entrepreneur, ballet dancer, dog lover, and passionate Jewish leader. She is from Tampa, Florida and a graduate of the University of Florida (Go Gators!), with a B.S. in Finance, and minors in Communication Studies and Entrepreneurship. She has worked in the startup world for over four years, beginning as an intern and progressing through to co-founding her first company. She is inspired by the ingenuity of her peers and thrives in an environment where there is no upper bound for achievement expectations. After spending a year in New York City and becoming active in the Jewish community there, Alisa decided to explore Israel and learn more about what the country means to her. During her time in Israel she is developing resources for entrepreneurs in the Galil by planning a multi-day entrepreneurship conference to energize the community and as a precursor in support of long-term entrepreneurship initiatives in the area.