inspiring jewish women

Masa celebrates outstanding women actively creating a brighter Jewish future on International Women’s Day.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global recognition of female leaders paving new paths for generations to come. This past year we have seen changes led by women in the Masa family who have reshaped businesses, redesigned strategic thinking and lent a helping hand where it was needed.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate community, advocacy, and leadership. It is important for us to publicly recognize these inspiring women who are working with and alongside our Masa community to build bridges as they aid in the promise of a strong Jewish future.

Masa Israel Journey salutes the achievements of powerful Jewish women leaders who have united Jewish communities worldwide with Israel by creating new programs and opportunities that empower the next generation. 

We have curated this list as a reflection of our values as a company and as a community, and we know all honorees are in great company alongside the fantastic women who make up this list of Jewish Women Working to Make a Difference. These remarkable Jewish women exemplify the mission of Masa—to enlighten minds and create opportunities for all—building an inspired, connected and engaged global Jewish community.

Amira Ahronoviz 


Amira Ahronoviz is CEO and Director General of The Jewish Agency for Israel—the world’s largest Jewish nonprofit. Tasked with bringing Jews to Israel and Israel to Jews around the world, Amira steered her organization through Covid-19, welcoming 20,000 immigrants from 70 countries in 2020! Not only that, she helped at-risk communities secure loans in a time of economic uncertainty. She helped launch, a place where Jewish communities battling Covid-19 share best practices for safely opening schools, promoting safe learning environments so youth can continue learning. Masa is stronger today because of her guidance with strategic planning and operations throughout Covid-19. As the first-ever female CEO of The Jewish Agency, Amira is a true leader and pioneer.

Liran Avisar Ben-Horin

Liran Avisar

Liran Avisar Ben-Horin is the Director-General of the Ministry of Communications. Under Liran’s leadership, Israel’s Ministry of Communications awarded three telecommunications operators with a license to establish a commercial 5G network. Additionally, she is working to identify opportunities and produce pilot programs that will accelerate the development of 5G to help grow the Israeli economy. Previously, Liran served as the CEO of Masa, where she launched the Masa Leadership and Impact Center—a first-of-its-kind initiative that works to cultivate and develop Jewish leaders from around the world—with a focus on improving gender disparity in leadership within the Jewish community. Throughout her roles within the Government of Israel and Masa, Liran has been an advocate for advancing the Jewish future by cultivating a new standard that provides women with tools and opportunities to secure leadership positions at organizations that our community depends on.

Danna Azrieli

Dana Azrieli

Dana Azrieli is a leading voice at The Azrieli Foundation, a philanthropic organization that is dedicated to strengthening Israeli society by advancing initiatives and programs in education, medical and scientific research, community, and culture. Dana has been an instrumental partner in supporting the Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship (MITF) program, which brings English-speaking college graduates to teach English in Israel’s periphery and bridges the gaps in Israel’s public education system. Dana ensures that leaders like Alex Sanchez (#7 on our list) rise to leadership roles with influence and visibility. We honor Dana for her pivotal role in elevating fellow women to leadership positions. Because of Dana and women like her, academics and the greater Jewish population don’t just survive, they thrive.

Rebecca (Becky) Caspi

Becky Caspi

Becky Caspi is SVP for global operations of the Jewish Federations of North America. Her team oversees hundreds of projects, missions, and Federation activities in Israel. So, when Covid-19 hit, she was in the position to create a support group for everyone running trips in Israel. With that, the Israel Travel Alliance was born. As head of the group, Becky gave each organization a place to explore ideas, share best practices, and connect with business professionals facing similar challenges. With Becky’s leadership, all of these players have convened for the very first time.

Debbie Goldsmith

debbie goldsmith

Debbie Goldsmith is the Co-founder and CEO of Aardvark Israel, a Masa program. Aardvark’s immersion programs introduce young Jewish people from around the world to Israel. Under her leadership, the program has doubled in size in the last year alone. This means more volunteers, internships, jobs, and meaningful cultural experiences. Debbie’s forward-thinking approach is changing lives—and the world. Masa shares her mission in creating opportunities for thousands of young Jews worldwide to come to Israel to develop as professionals and leaders.

Debbie’s impact in creating new programs for young adults in Israel demonstrates her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the global community’s lifelong relationship with the State of Israel. In an uncertain environment, Debbie doubled down and rose to the challenge—working with Masa—to innovate and reach new audiences by meeting the changing needs of diverse Fellows.

Dr. Maria Nadakka

Dr. Maria Nadakka

Dr. Maria Nadakka is a Senior Scientist at Sonovia. Born in Russia, Maria made Aliyah at age eight and went on to serve as a Commander in the IDF’s Communication Forces before receiving her BA and MA in chemistry from Bar Ilan University. She participated in multiple postdocs in Italy, Germany and the UK.

Through Covid-19, Maria has been laser-focused on innovation and research, developing a unique formula that kills bacteria and destroys viruses like COVID-19. She and her colleagues at Sonovia created a cutting-edge reusable anti-pathogen mask that neutralizes 99% of viruses and bacteria. With her guidance, hundreds of thousands of SonoMasks have been distributed worldwide to protect people against the novel coronavirus.

Maria helps inspire a new generation of female leaders in STEM, and the Masa Fellows and alumni working at Sonovia benefit from having such a strong mentor. We are very proud of Sonovia and the members of Masa engaged in their groundbreaking work.

India Persaud 

India Prusad

India Persaud is a Digital Content Producer and Host at i24 NEWS. At 22, she is Masa’s youngest honoree. After completing film school in Georgia, India sought to further her career through a Masa Career internship at i24 NEWS. Like many, her path was derailed by Covid-19. During her forced hiatus, India focused on developing her YouTube channel. Her videos went viral and she was hired as i24’s official blogger. Her media experience and technical know-how make her an inspiring and visible leader for young women everywhere. 

Alex Sanchez 

Alex Sanchez

Lecturer Alex Sanchez is a Trans Advocate and an English Teacher at the Ministry of Education in Israel and College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion. As a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow alum, she delighted in speaking English with her students whenever they met outside school. Alex found a new home during her immersive experience in Israel. Her weekly Shabbat dinners with every family on her street brought her closer to the community that she has helped shape through teaching and advocacy. She has done so much to move the needle toward equality—including speaking at the Knesset hearing on LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy and advocating for LGBTQ+ Olim. As the first ever openly trans teacher in Israel, Alex has been featured across Israeli news for her commitment to champion gender equity. Her favorite thing about being in Israel, she says, is building a classroom environment where her students get excited about learning. This is the kind of loving, confident voice that makes Alex an incredible changemaker.

Nikki Schreiber

Nikki Schreiber

Nikki Schreiber is the founder of Humans of Judaism, an online Jewish storytelling platform nearing 200,000 Instagram followers. As a well-known and rising female Jewish influencer, she is an expert storyteller showcasing the human side of Judaism, connecting Jews of all ages and walks of life. Nikki’s reach bridges contemporary Jewish lives with stories from the past and hopes for the future. Through Covid-19 and beyond, her voice celebrates and strengthens the Jewish community.  

Caroline Spikner

Caroline Spikner

Caroline Spikner is a Springboard Fellow. She currently works as a Jewish Life Associate at Loyola for Metro Chicago Hillel. Caroline strives to bring diversity and inclusion to her work on campus. Through Masa, she taught English in a Hebrew-speaking classroom and helped develop individualized classes for kids from grades 2 to 6. As a Springboard Fellow, she has taken the initiative to develop educational programs—displaying commendable leadership.

Marjorie Tolsdorf

Marjorie Tolsdorf

Marjorie Tolsdorf describes violence prevention as her sense of purpose—specifically gender-based violence. At Columbia University, she was recognized for developing a system to prevent child abuse and gender-based violence through elementary education. A Fulbright Scholar, Marjorie was moved to act after volunteering in a Bedouin community and seeing the stark inequity that led to femicide. After completing her Yahel Social Change Fellowship, she continued her dedication to pursuing violence prevention. Her active response to tragedy demonstrates real leadership.

Marina Yudborovsky

Marina Yudborovsky

Marina Yuborovsky is the CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group. Elected unanimously, Marina is one of the youngest women in history to lead a major Jewish organization. During Covid-19, she helped organizations secure emergency aid grants, while assisting partners to shore up their infrastructure. In a time when so many were forced to innovate, Marina excelled at responding with action.

A Birthright trip to Israel inspired Marina to champion Jewish causes, especially those that support and connect to Russian-speaking Jews. Under Marina’s leadership, Genesis’ partnership in Masa ID—a four-day intensive trip around Israel—empowers thousands of young Jews from the Former Soviet Union with an opportunity to reconnect to their heritage and find their role in the international Jewish community.


Masa Israel Journey is so proud to honor and acknowledge these women for the strides they are making and the change they are driving. Their work makes possible the vibrant Jewish community that we at Masa envision for the world. 

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