Alexa Broida, Director
Email Alexa, 212-452-6576

Alexa Broida has been with Mitzvah Corps since 2010. She graduated from UCLA with degrees in Public Health and Developmental Psychology, and obtained a Master's in Business and Organizational Science from GWU. Currently living in Philadelphia, Alexa is passionate about discovering people and places around the world, and connecting others with life changing experiences.


Jonah FreelanderDirector of Strategic Partnerships & Development
Email Jonah, 212-650-4077

Jonah grew up in the Reform movement and was heavily involved in the NFTY and URJ Eisner camp communities through his time at Trinity College. Jonah has since dedicated his professional life to the creation and development of innovative educational experiences, designed to guide Jewish youth toward living meaningful Jewish lives in an ever-changing complex world. 


Jill Rubin, Program Coordinator
Email Jill, 212-650-4114

Jill Rubin is from Los Altos, California, and relocated to New York to join the Mitzvah Corps team. She graduated from Duke University in 2015 with a degree in History and Spanish, and is very passionate about social justice and its connection to Judaism. Jill grew up in the Reform Movement as an active member of Congregation Beth Am, and URJ Camp Newman alumna.


Dan Lange, Director of Youth Programs, URJ
Email Dan, 212-650-4078

Dan holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Leadership from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program, where he was named a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. He joined the URJ in 2014, and has overseen professional development, international staffing, safety, security, and other programmatic and operational aspects for our network of 16 camps and nearly 120 full time employees in our youth system. 

Mitzvah Corps is proud to introduce you to our summer staff! We take a great deal of pride in our staff members, who provide a stable and caring environment for participants throughout the duration of the program. Each year, we look for qualified, experienced, energetic, and passionate individuals to lead our groups. Collectively, they have a wealth of experience working with Jewish youth in various settings, and bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the team. Select a program below to read about the amazing staff we've lined up for this summer!

Beth Lipschutz, MSW
Program Director

Beth joins us from Denver, Colorado, where she works as the NFTY Missouri Valley (MV) Regional Director of Youth Engagement. Throughout the year, she mentors teen leaders as they plan programs for their peers and serve as resources to their networks. She also works to build relationships with the congregations, clergy and youth workers in the region to support them in engaging teens in different ways. Beth is most excited to help teens discover how they can use their Jewish values as motivation to positively impact the world around them!

Alex Rogers
Assistant Program Director

Alex is thrilled to join the Mitzvah Corps team for his third summer! He's previously worked with the Portland and Costa Rica programs, and can't wait to bring that experience to the group on the Civil Rights Journey. For the last four years, Alex has worked full time for URJ Youth Programs including NFTY and URJ Camp Newman. Alex is excited to road trip with the teens to explore first hand how the civil rights narrative of the south affects our personal and communal identity.

Thalia Halpert Rodis
Program Coordinator

Thalia is a student at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, studying to be a Rabbi and Jewish Educator. She was a participant at Urban Mitzvah Corps when she was in High School (2005 was a great year!) and staffed the Mitzvah Corps DC site in 2014. Thalia is thrilled to return to Mitzvah Corps as staff for the Civil Rights Journey and can't wait to dig deeply into America's civil rights history while eating some great Southern food!

Joe Winner
Program Coordinator

Joe Winner grew up in Hoffman Estates, Illinois where attended URJ OSRUI camp and was involved with NFTY's Chicago Area Region. Joe attended University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he was heavily involved with Hillel, watching sports, and the college radio station, WPGU 107.1. After graduating, Joe decided to pursue a career in Jewish Education and he now works with NFTY and Jewish Student Connection in Chicago. Joe loves music, cooking, and the Chicago White Sox.

Hannah Orlansky
Program Development Specialist

Hannah has worked with teens in URJ camps and programs for ten years. A summer staff member at both the URJ's Henry S. Jacobs Camp and Eisner Camp, she has also served as youth director at Beth Israel Congregation in Jackson, Mississippi, and as a youth worker at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Masschusetts. Though no longer a Jewish professional, she currently co-advises Beth Israel Temple Youth in Jackson. Ever the southerner and Reform Jew, Hannah is excited to practice some audacious hospitality this summer and looks forward to delving into the rich culture and complicated history of her native region with Mitzvah Corps.

Mimi Micner
Program Director

Mimi Micner is a second year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College in Boston. This past summer, Mimi was a Fellow with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and worked with The Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) to combat gentrification in the Lower East Side of New York City. Before attending Rabbinical School, Mimi was the Senior New England Campus Organizer with J Street U, where she organized college students for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an end to the occupation. Mimi was a JOIN for Justice Fellow from 2010-2011 and organized early childhood educators with the American Federation of Teachers. Mimi is from Vancouver, BC and now lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Yair Walton
Assistant Program Director

Yair is very excited to be joining the DC and Costa Rica programs this summer! He is an avid backpacker who loves to explore and travel, and is passionate about living sustainably with our environment, and using Jewish values to empower how we connect to the world. He is most excited about exploring Costa Rica and learning more about alternative energy, and using his background in politics to help effectively lobby congress in DC.

We look forward to introducing you to your Program Coordinator soon!

Eliot Weinstein
Program Director

Originally from Livingston, NJ, Eliot currently lives in Virginia Beach, and is a high school chemistry teacher.  He also coaches track and field, a robotics team, and serves as co-advisor of Ohef Sholom Temple Youth with his wife of 7 years, Amy, and their 18 month old son, Avi. An outdoor enthusiast with extensive informal Jewish education experience, Eliot is thrilled to be combining all of his favorite things with another trip this summer. This is his 4th year traveling to Nicaragua with Mitzvah Corps, and his first time leading a Mitzvah Corps experience in New Orleans; he’s also led Mitzvah Corps trips to Costa Rica! Mitzvah Corps is the highlight of Eliot’s summer.

Basha Goldstein Weiss
Assistant Program Director

After graduating from Mount Holyoke College and living in Amherst, Basha was excited to return to Boston! Currently, she spends her days teaching art at a school in Brookline, enjoying the outdoors, working on her own projects, and participating in Jewish communities. She is excited to spend the summer engaging with teens and social justice working while exploring a new part of the country!

Michael Wagner
Program Coordinator

Mike joins us from his hometown of Chadds Ford, PA. In his free time, he likes to play golf, snowboard, ride motorcycles, and read high fantasy novels. This will be his second summer with Mitzvah Corps, having previously staffed the Nicaragua and New Orleans programs. He is extremely excited to return to NOLA this summer to reconnect with the organizations that we work with, and to see the progress that they have made in the past year. Also, he cannot wait to get more beignets from Café du Monde (they are incredible)!

Frankie Zito
Program Coordinator

Frankie is originally from Arlington, VA where she was a leader in her local temple youth group as well as NFTY's Mid Atlantic Region, and has also been a camper and staff member at URJ Camp Harlam. She will be graduating from Tulane University in May 2016 with a degree in Environmental Studies. While in New Orleans she spent a lot of time volunteering, learning about the city and becoming a New Orleanian, and hopes to stay for a little longer working with environmental non-profits.  She is so excited to join the Mitzvah Corps family! 

Noah Benjamin
Program Director

Noah Benjamin is extremely excited to be the Program Director for this year’s Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest (MCPNW). This will be his second year working on the MCPNW staff and third year working with Mitzvah Corps. Outside of his role as MCPNW Program Director, Noah works at Temple Sinai in Washington DC as a teacher, fundraiser, and youth advisor for the synagogue’s NFTY youth group. What he loves most about Mitzvah Corps, and why he keeps coming back to staff each summer, is the opportunity to learn by doing.  He is looking forward to the amazing opportunities we will have this summer to have experiences most High School students never get to have!

Elliot Borg
Assistant Program Director

Elliot is thrilled to be spending his fourth summer with Mitzvah Corps! He’s been to New Orleans, Costa Rica, and Washington DC, on different programs, and can't wait to spend four weeks in Seattle. During the year, Elliot runs the garden at the school where he teaches in Washington, DC, is excited to learn about urban farming and sustainability. He’s looking forward to getting started!

Tamar Yanay
Program Coordinator

Tamar is a Seattle transplant, originally from Israel. For the last four years, Tamar has been volunteering at the University of Washington’s urban farm, which teaches students about sustainable agriculture, while she completes her bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and French. She has been a program member of Kids4Peace, which brings together kids of different religions and backgrounds, for the last two years, and looks forward to meeting and working with so many inspiring teens this summer with Mitzvah Corps!

Heather Shore
Program Coordinator

Heather Shore grew up in North Attleboro, MA and is currently finishing her last semester at Binghamton University where she is double majoring in Studio Art and Judaic Studies. After taking a gap year in Jerusalem, she will begin her studies at Hebrew Union College's Rabbinical Program in July of 2017.  A long time URJ Eisner Camp camper and counselor and a NFTY alumna, Heather is incredibly excited to start this new adventure by joining the Mitzvah Corps family this summer. She looks forward to channeling her passion for experiential education into meaningful programming for this summer's participants!

Alexis Kort
Program Development Specialist

Alexis Kort works with Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest to help establish partnerships with organizations, create itineraries, and set up logistics for the programs during the year. Alexis is the Director of Community Engagement at Temple Beth Am, a large Reform synagogue in Seattle, where she grew up. She is passionate about social justice and supporting innovative service-learning opportunities for Jewish teens!

Ira Rosenberg
Program Director

Ira is very excited to be a part of the Mitzvah Corps Southern California team in Los Angeles this summer, serving as the Program Director! He is currently a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, and is already working hard in creating a wonderful Mitzvah Corps experience. He has lots of experience working with teens, and creating and engaging teens in Jewish social justice work. Ira can’t wait to meet you all and spend the summer making real change in LA!

Adam Grosman
Assistant Program Director

Adam will be spending his second year involved with Mitzvah Corps, after spending last summer in New Jersey. He has a History and Secondary Education degree from Bradley University, and currently works for a school in St. Louis in a special education setting. This summer he will also be completing his 8th year at Camp Rainbow, a camp for kids with cancer and other blood related diseases. It is his passion and my lifelong goal to work with children, teens, and all ages of youth to help them become better young men or women and to help provide them with the tools they can use to become successful.

Emily Teitell
Program Coordinator

Emily recently graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. As a Colorado native, she developed a love for photography and the outdoors at a young age, and can't wait to bring that's enthusiasm to the Mitzvah Corps table! She was a counselor at Camp Rainbow and at Shwayder Camp, most recently as the Staff in Training Coordinator, mentoring teens to be the next generation of camp staff and develop their Jewish identities. She loves helping young people build better relationships with themselves and the world around them!

Hilly Haber
Program Director

Hilly is so excited to be back in New Brunswick this summer, returning to the role of Program Director for Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey (UMC). She is currently finishing her second year of the Rabbinic Program at HUC-JIR, and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Divinity School. Hilly has served and taught in Reform synagogues from Boston to Boulder, and can't wait to meet everyone in June!

Chelsea Ferguson
Assistant Program Director

Chelsea is so excited to be joining the Mitzvah Corps team for another incredible summer! Last year she was a staff member for Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey (UMC) and am so happy to be returning to staff two programs this year, both in New Jersey and Costa Rica. She has a background in Jewish camping and spent four summers working for URJ Camp Newman in Northern California. She is just returning from 7 months teaching abroad, and cannot wait to bring back all she has learned to the amazing teens at Mitzvah Corps!

Sam Waldorf
Program Coordinator

Sam Waldorf is originally from Yardley, PA and will be graduating from Lehigh University in May 2016. He is a member of Lehigh’s Global Citizenship Program and former Hillel president. Sam has also spent the last 4 summers as a staff member and assistant unit head at the URJ Camp Harlam. He was an Urban Mitzvah Corps participant back in 2010 and is excited to return to New Brunswick this summer as a staff member!

We look forward to introducing you to your other Program Coordinator soon!

Osnat Alef
Guide

Osnat was born on a kibbutz next to the Dead Sea and currently lives in the great neighborhood of Beit HaKerem in Jerusalem. She is a tour guide who loves to travel all over Israel, and especially in the South. Osnat graduated from university with a degree in Islam and the Middle East, although she admits it does not help her figure out what will be happening in the region over the next  few years! She is excited to be the tour guide for Mitzvah Corps this summer and can't wait to meet everyone!

Jordy Cohen

Program Director

Jordy grew up outside of Boston, MA, where she was a Prozdor student and involved with NFTY. She earned a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh with a certificate in Jewish Studies. Jordy has been staff on a number of teen programs including NFTY in Israel and Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest. Jordy is currently a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. She is so excited to work with Mitzvah Corps Israel participants this summer and explore the richness and diversity of Israeli society!

Caleb Alemany
Program Coordinator

Caleb is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in History, and has been involved with Reform Jewish youth engagement for most of his life. His foundation for his Jewish youth experience can be credited to the URJ Eisner Camp, which he attended for two summers as a camper and as a member of the staff for the past five summers. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Shalom in Newton, Massachusetts. He is most energized about returning to Israel to give back to the various and diverse communities living there!

We look forward to introducing you to your other Program Coordinator soon!

Lulu Belferder
Program Director, Session I

Lulu was born and raised on Long Island, NY.  She has a BA in Judaic Studies with a minor in Psychology and Fine Arts, and a Masters in Counseling. Currently Lulu is working as the Director of Residential Services at a non-profit serving Children and Adults with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities. For the last 4 years, Lulu has also been working at Temple Sinai of Roslyn, as a member of the youth/teen programs staff.  Lulu has staffed Israel Experience programs, with BBYO Passport to Israel, NFTY in Israel, Kesher Birthright trips. For the past two summers Lulu has helped to lead trips with Mitzvah Corps to Nicaragua.  She is very excited to be leading a trip his summer to Costa Rica.

Abby Solomon
Program Coordinator, Session I

Abby is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Biology. She will be spending the upcoming year applying to medical school and earning a certificate in Public Health, but in the meantime she is excited to spend her summer with Mitzvah Corps! As a NFTY alum, Abby is most looking forward to sharing her passion for learning from different cultures with her participants this summer.

Yair Walton
Program Coordinator, Session I

Yair is very excited to be joining the DC and Costa Rica programs this summer! He is an avid backpacker who loves to explore and travel, and is passionate about living sustainably with our environment, and using Jewish values to empower how we connect to the world. He is most excited about exploring Costa Rica and learning more about alternative energy, and using his background in politics to help effectively lobby congress in DC.

Chelsea Ferguson
Program Director, Session II

Chelsea is so excited to be joining the Mitzvah Corps team for another incredible summer! Last year she was a staff member for Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey (UMC) and am so happy to be returning to staff two programs this year, both in New Jersey and Costa Rica. She has a background in Jewish camping and spent four summers working for URJ Camp Newman in Northern California. She is just returning from 7 months teaching abroad, and cannot wait to bring back all she has learned to the amazing teens at Mitzvah Corps!

Emily Teitell
Program Coordinator, Session II

Emily recently graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. As a Colorado native, she developed a love for photography and the outdoors at a young age, and can't wait to bring that's enthusiasm to the Mitzvah Corps table! She was a counselor at Camp Rainbow and at Shwayder Camp, most recently as the Staff in Training Coordinator, mentoring teens to be the next generation of camp staff and develop their Jewish identities. She loves helping young people build better relationships with themselves and the world around them!

We look forward to introducing you to your other Program Coordinator for Session II soon!

Erica Santiago
Program Director, Session I

Erica is looking forward to spending her fourth summer with Mitzvah Corps! When not with us, she is the Manager of Network and Community Mobilization at the Food Bank for Westchester in Westchester, New York. Erica holds a Master of Social Work, and splits her time between Food Bank for Westchester and working as the Youth Advisor for Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT where she lives. Erica is an avid runner, cook and traveler in her free time.

Rabbi Peter Rigler
Program Coordinator, Session I

Rabbi Rigler lives with his wife, Rabbi Stacy Rigler, and their three children, Maya, Nathan, and Eli. He was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2002, and currently serves as the Rabbi of Temple Sholom in Broomall, Pennsylvania. He is an active board member for the URJ Camp Harlam, where he serves on the faculty for two weeks each summer. He is involved at the Broad Street Ministry homeless shelter and in many social action projects throughout Philadelphia. He is also a graduate of the Synagogue Transformation and Renewal Program and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Rabbis of Philadelphia and is the President of the local Clergy Counsel. Rabbi Rigler is on Sabbatical this summer and wanted the opportunity to help create a memorable Jewish experience for the teens of our movement!

Abby Backer
Program Coordinator, Session I

Abby's bio is coming soon!

Eliot Weinstein
Program Director, Session II

Originally from Livingston, NJ, Eliot currently lives in Virginia Beach, and is a high school chemistry teacher.  He also coaches track and field, a robotics team, and serves as co-advisor of Ohef Sholom Temple Youth with his wife of 7 years, Amy, and their 18 month old son, Avi. An outdoor enthusiast with extensive informal Jewish education experience, Eliot is thrilled to be combining all of his favorite things with another trip this summer. This is his 4th year traveling to Nicaragua with Mitzvah Corps, and his first time leading a Mitzvah Corps experience in New Orleans; he’s also led Mitzvah Corps trips to Costa Rica! Mitzvah Corps is the highlight of Eliot’s summer.

Abby Solomon
Program Coordinator, Session II

Abby is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Biology. She will be spending the upcoming year applying to medical school and earning a certificate in Public Health, but in the meantime she is excited to spend her summer with Mitzvah Corps! As a NFTY alum, Abby is most looking forward to sharing her passion for learning from different cultures with her participants this summer.