The Open Doors Fellowship is a new and innovative initiative of Gather the Jews, designed to help deepen social connections and further engage Jewish 20s & 30s in DC Jewish life. Our inaugural cohort of Fellows is excited to get to know you and help you connect to the Jewish community you are looking for!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a coffee date with one of our Fellows.
Applications for the next cohort will open this summer. Look for more info in our weekly newsletter.
Sasha works at Jewish Women International, the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls – through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of women’s leadership. She currently coordinates JWI’s Book by Book Capital Campaign, trying to build 100 libraries in battered women’s shelters around the country. Sasha was recently a Development Intern at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, an influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs who support international development and smart power. Previously, she was a Government Relations Intern at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs such as AmeriCorps.
A native of San Diego, California, Sasha moved to DC less than a year ago after graduating from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. During her time at the University of Michigan, she founded a performing group called The Smile Bringer Singers, a club that performs upbeat and happy musical numbers at nursing homes, homeless shelters, family centers, and various on-campus events. Sasha has been involved in several Jewish events thus far in DC including Gather the Jews Happy Hours, IMPACT DC, Young Women’s Leadership Network events with JWI, holiday services at 6th & I and GW Hillel, celebrated Shabbat dinners with Jewish peers, attended Mitzvah Mavens events, and more. Sasha can’t wait to help young Jewish professionals as they move to DC
A native to the DC metro area, Daniel hopes to use his knowledge of the local market to make a positive impact on DC’s young Jewish professionals. An experienced marketing and events professional, Daniel has been successful in the sports, media, political, education, corporate, and nonprofit industries. His strengths lie in promoting marketing campaigns and managing marketing plans from start to finish. Daniel has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and is hoping to create innovative solutions with the end result of a community that is more connected and engaged.
Outside of his professional experience, Daniel graduated from James Madison University with degrees in Sports Management, Business, and Music Industry. He is an avid soccer, basketball, and tennis player and enjoys travelling, skiing, and music. Daniel has volunteered in the community as a youth basketball and soccer coach as well. He believes strongly that bringing people together through events and other platforms sparks ideas and creates a world that works better.
Samuel Getz-Sheftel is a Senior Software Engineer at a DC based nonprofit which specializes in the development of college admission software. Prior to his career as a Software Engineer, Sam completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemistry at American University. As part of his graduate research, Sam developed a suite of software tools notable for their application to graph theoretical techniques to the study of receptor protein structure and dynamics.
Prior to moving to DC for college, Sam spent the first 18 years of his life in Chicago – which accounts for his preference for deep-dish pizza, and his occasional tendency to call soda “pop.” Growing up, Sam spent his summers at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), the URJ (Union of Reform Judaism) summer camp in Oconomowoc Wisconsin. In high school, Sam was active in NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth), and participated in their L’Dor V’Dor program, a 5-week long Israel trip. In his junior year of high school, Sam spent a semester studying in Israel as part of the Eisendrath International Exchange. In college, Sam continued his involvement in Jewish activities by serving as treasurer for the campus chapter of Kesher and by working as a camp counselor at OSRUI for two summers. Since graduating, Sam has become an active member of the DC chapter of JNFuture and has taken part in a number of Entrypoint DC programs including their Shabbat cluster program.
When not writing code or participating in local Jewish activities, Sam can often be found at his favorite Dupont Circle bar enjoying happy hour with friends or exploring the many art galleries and museums and other activities that DC has to offer. As part of his Open Doors Fellowship project, Sam plans to help expand the GTJs software platform in order to make it more user friendly.
Tiffany is from Seattle and has lived in France, Switzerland, Israel, Morocco, and now Washington DC. She attended Seattle University for her undergraduate studies. After completing 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, she attended Tel Aviv University for her graduate studies, where she earned an MA in International Security and Diplomacy. Tiffany worked as a program coordinator for the Fulbright Scholar Program, and is currently working as the Placement Specialist for Peace Corps’ Senegal Program. She is the Co-Chair of Shalom Corps, a resident of Moishe House DC (Adam’s Morgan), and the Director of YaLa Young Leaders USA, a MENA region-based Peace Advocacy group which has over 653,296 likes on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yalaYL).
Lisa was born and raised in the DC metro area and is so happy to call DC home again. You can most often find Lisa at one of the amazing independent coffee shops around town, the 9:30 Club for a show, or Sixth & I for a class or Shabbat. But because she’s a local, Lisa knows a lot of great places to cozy up, chill out, get energized, or just experience something new. From 9 to 5… well, she doesn’t really have a 9 to 5 per se. Lisa started her own marketing consultancy and now helps non-profits and other socially responsible organizations raise money and achieve their business goals. And her flexible schedule means she can meet for coffee any time!
Kelley Kidd currently works at Temple Micah as their Communications & Engagement Fellow. She strives to create programming for Temple Micah’s 20s-30s community that lets people feel welcome, inspired, and engaged. Prior to joining Temple Micah’s team, she spent a year as a corps member of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. During her time in AVODAH, she worked as a Case Manager at Miriam’s Kitchen, a local social service organization dedicated to ending chronic homelessness. She also became deeply invested in social justice, Judaism, and DC as a place to call home and to create change.
Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Kelley attended Georgetown University, where she studied International Relations and participated in theatre as a designer. Outside of the workplace, Kelley loves to dabble in theatre, writing, and design. She also tries to constantly explore the free-in-DC scene, searching in particular for opportunities to learn, find great music, explore the arts, and eat good food.
Rachel is a Miami native and University of Miami alumna whose love for everything media and politics brought her to the nation’s capital. She is currently a graduate student at George Washington University studying media and public affairs, focusing on online journalism and digital media. Rachel also works for the GW School of Media and Public Affairs communications department. She likes to call herself a health nut and running enthusiast at heart, but she’ll never turn down a good rugula.
David is originally from southeast Pennsylvania and moved to DC in late 2011. When he is not working, David likes to read, kayak, and hike. He is goal oriented and has set multiple goals for the coming year. For example, David plans to complete a half marathon in less than 2 hours and finish a certification in data science. He also looks to be more active in the Jewish community which is why David is thrilled to be a part of the fellowship. The idea of creating a positive welcoming environment for Jews new to the city is exactly what the community needs.
Georgia is a lifelong learner and native Oregonian. After receiving a graduate degree in International Relations from UC San Diego, Georgia moved to DC to embark on a career in public service. Since coming to the DMV, Georgia has become more involved in DC Jewish life through volunteerism. When not attending services at Sixth & I or volunteering at the DCJCCC, you will find her biking around the city to her next gastronomic adventure.
A recent DC-transplant from New York City, Rachel Towne is excited to become an Open Doors fellow and welcome more Jews to the DC community. Upon moving here, Rachel found the Jewish community of DC to be warm and welcoming, and she wants to make sure that others have a similar experience, whether they too are recent transplants to the DC area or just new to experiencing Jewish life here.
Rachel currently works in sales for a software company, primarily consulting with hotels to help them better market themselves. She enjoys consulting and helping solve her customers’problems. As an Open Doors fellow, she hopes to use this interest to help others find the kind of Jewish experience they want in the DC community.
When not working, Rachel enjoys running and indoor cycling, as well as trying new restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in DC. She just returned from a DC-based Birthright trip and had an amazing time. She currently resides in Arlington, VA.
Ari Weiss is thrilled to participate in the inaugural class of Gather the Jews’Open Doors Fellowship. Ari is the East Coast Consultant at the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), where he provides consultation services to support and advance the pro-Israel movement on American college campuses.
Ari earned his B.A. in International Studies from John Hopkins University where he was a leader in the campus pro-Israel and Jewish communities. Ari served as President of the Hopkins American Partnership for Israel (HAPI), President of the Jewish Students Association (JSA), and Jewish Identity Chairman for his chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Ari has a passion for Middle East policy and pro-Israel activism and has interned for Foundations for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Want to get to know one of our fellows? Email email@example.com to set up a coffee date!