Alumni Network Weavers


  • Benjamin Altshuler (CHI 2013-2014)

    In the pursuit of Jewish communities, Benjamin Altshuler has traversed frigid stretches of Minnesota, palatial synagogues in Budapest, urban streets of Washington DC, and tortuous rivers in Wisconsin. With a degree in Cognitive Science from Carleton College in hand, Benjamin’s Jewish journey brought him to AVODAH in Chicago where he began work in a community of visually impaired adults. Today he continues this work in addition to teaching religious school. Benjamin looks forward to biking through the Chicago winter. In lieu of migrating to warmer climes, he travels to the library.

    To contact Benj, please e-mail here.

  • Elli Krandel (CHI 2011-2012)

    Elli, a native of Woodstock, Illinois [home of Groundhog Day (the movie)], came to Chicago in 2011 to be the Volunteer Coordinator at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter as an AVODAH corps member. After a two-year foray into philanthropy, Elli is reconnecting with her roots in Jewish camping as the Development Associate for Beber Camp, a Jewish summer camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. When she isn't busy making s'mores, Elli enjoys baking pies, churning ice cream, and scooping cookies; and when Elli runs out of sugar, she reads a book.   

    To contact Elli, please e-mail here.

New Orleans

  • Alysse Fuchs (NOLA 2013-2014)

    Alysse was born and raised in Los Angeles. She studied Sociology and Latin American studies at Colorado College, and was active in the Labor Zionist youth movement, Habonim Dror. She moved to New Orleans in 2013 to participate in AVODAH. Outside of being a network weaver, Alysse works at a restaurant, a food truck, and teaches Religious school at Touro Synagogue. Her other interests include, but are not limited to: labor history, eating eggs, yoga, not driving a car, and bragging about how New Orleans is the best city in the world.

    To contact Alysse, please email here.

  • Alana Himber (NOLA 2012-2013)

    Alana is originally from Brooklyn, NY and received her undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University. Alana’s AVODAH placements was at VAYLA-Vietnamese American Young Leaders Assoc. Currently, Alana works at AVODAH in NOLA as a program and development associate and as a lay leader.

    To contact Alana, please email here.


New York

  • Julie Finkel (New York 2010-2011)

    Julie is back to weave some networks! Julie received her MSW from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and works in the Functional Family Therapy program at JCCA. She loves working with and empowering families all over Brooklyn, although she loves it a little less when she makes home visits in the rain. Julie is passionate about food justice and spends her free time cooking for friends and family. She lives in Crown Heights and goes to as many potluck Shabbat dinners as she can.

    To contact Julie, please e-mail here.

  • Ariela Lovett (New York 2011-2012)

    Ariela works as a Housing and Benefits Advocate at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a community-based social services agency on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In this capacity, she advocates for neighborhood residents who are facing eviction from their homes as well as low-income people who need assistance navigating the public benefits system. Ariela completed her AVODAH corps year in New York in 2011-2012, working as a case manager at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, an alternative sentencing court. Ariela grew up in Livingston, NJ, and attended Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts, where she double majored in Critical Social Thought and Spanish. In her free time, Ariela enjoys reading the New York Times, trying new restaurants around the city, and hanging out with her beloved former AVODAH housemates.

    To contact Ariela, please e-mail here.

  • Hilary Neher (New York 2010-2011)

    Hilary is from South Orange, NJ and graduated with  Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2010 but has called Brooklyn home since moving to the city for AVODAH. During AVODAH, she worked at The Urban Justice Center in what is now called the Safety Net Project doing public benefits advocacy for low-income New Yorkers. After completing AVODAH, Hilary stayed on at UJC for another year and a half before returning to school in the Fall of 2012. Hilary has since received an MSW from Hunter College and is currently working as a Social Worker The Center for Family Representation in Manhattan. CFR employs a team-based model to provide legal representation to parents in abuse and neglect cases in family court. When she’s not working, Hilary enjoys eating and drinking and everything that is Brooklyn plus travelling and spending time at the beach whenever possible!

    To contact Hilary, please e-mail here.

Washington, DC

  • Sarah Brammer-Shlay (DC 2012-2013)

    Sarah worked at Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) as a Community Organizer during AVODAH. She believes that as an American Jew we are called to be leaders for justice in our communities. She currently works at National Nurses United. She also founded a feminist collective, "Real Life Athena", continues to organize with JUFJ, volunteers with the DC Abortion Fund and does organizing work around Israel/Palestine. Sarah is a proud native of Minneapolis and still lives in Washington DC with other Avodahniks from her year.

    To contact Sarah, please e-mail here.


  • Amanda Wilson (DC 2013-2014)

    Amanda is originally from Haverton PA and attended the University of Pittsburgh.  After graduation, she moved to DC to participate in AVODAH, and worked as a programs associate at Thurgood Marshall Academy.

    To contact Amanda, please e-mail here.

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