CJP is proud to announce the 2017 Chai in the Hub honorees! These 18 young adults are doing amazing things personally and professionally to better Greater Boston’s Jewish community!

Nominated by their peers, friends, and colleagues, this group of under-45ers is shaking up the scene with style. You can meet them in person and also hear from our dynamic new speaker, culinary expert, food writer, and permanent judge on BRAVO’s Top Chef, Gail Simmons, on Saturday, January 28, at the Royal Sonesta Boston. For now, check out their bios below!

Ariel Berger

Occupation: US Director, Senior Research Scientist, Real-World Evidence at Evidera
Describe your career in one sentence:
Health economics and outcomes research in support of the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Spending time with my family, playing basketball at the JCC, going to Patriots games, and cheering for Syracuse University sports teams.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • President of the Board of Directors, Cohen Hillel Academy
  • Member of Commission on Strategic Priorities and the North Shore Planning Committee at CJP
What inspires you to give back?
I want to make sure my family has a wonderful and thriving community in which to live. I also am inspired by the example of others in our community who have shown the positive impact of giving their time, energy, and passion to others.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Getting ready to send my oldest off to college and continuing to do what I can to make this a wonderful and thriving community.

Shari  Churwin

Occupation: Education Director, Temple Ohabei Shalom
Describe your career in one sentence:
I am passionate about creating authentic, spiritual community experiences for our children and families, lighting the way for them to embrace their own Jewish identities and find fulfillment in all that the Jewish community has to offer.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Playing with my puppy, Moxie, and hanging out with my three beautiful daughters.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • The Churwin Family (oh wait, you said organization!)
  • Lincoln School, Brookline
  • Camp Micah
  • Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Gateways: Access to Jewish Education
  • Union of Reform Judaism
What inspires you to give back?
Twenty years at Temple Ohabei Shalom and many summers at camp have revealed the importance of Jewish education and have reaffirmed what my parents taught me when I was a child: nothing is more valuable than your Jewish community. The rewards of sharing the joy of being Jewish and of giving children and families a toolbox for living a full Jewish life cannot be overstated.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I envision being part of a community-based Judaism that embraces modern life while preserving the essential values, teachings, and joy our tradition has cherished for millennia. Whether it is through the education programs of a synagogue or some other model that is being invented right now, working with a community who loves to learn and be together is where I belong.

James Cohen

Occupation: Director of Development at Keshet
Describe your career in one sentence:
After many years in the for-profit sector, I am honored to be able to help effect change in our Jewish community through inspiring philanthropy.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Spending time with my boys, Jason (12), and Reggie (21).
What organizations are you involved with? In Boston, I am the Co-chair of the Vaad Horim Parents Association at Jewish Community Day School. I also volunteer with Family Table at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, with Temple Beth Zion, with Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, as well as with the Boston Community Hevra Kadisha.
What inspires you to give back?
I am inspired by a vision of the world I want to leave my children—one in which there is more justice, more peace, and more opportunities for all people. I have been so blessed in my own life, with an amazing family, with wonderful friends, a terrific spiritual community, a meaningful relationship with HaShem, and the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to grow. Now it is my turn to use all these blessings bestowed on me to create similar opportunities for others.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to continue to serve the community in whatever capacity I can, either here in Boston or in Israel.

Jessica Achbar Coughlin

Occupation: Account Executive at WBUR
Describe your career in one sentence:
I have worked in marketing, event production, and sales for craft beer companies, food startups, and public radio.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Traveling, seeing live music, cooking, and hiking with my husband and our dogs—a corgi and a mastiff. I also enjoy writing about the culinary ethnography of music for my blog, Fest Food, @festfood on Instagram.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Jewish Arts Collaborative, for which I produce Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen, the annual celebration of Jewish food in Boston.
  • The WaterWheel Foundation, Phish's nonprofit organization, that raises awareness and support for social and environmental causes across the country.
  • Allandale Farm in Brookline, where I have staffed the farmstand and do photography for special events.
  • Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois, where I produce the color war games for 500 participants.
What inspires you to give back?
The power of tikkun olam (repair the world) to build community and foster understanding across cultures.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I will finally be done with my MBA from Questrom School of Business and hope to be passionate about my work in a role that involves leadership and organizational change.

Polina Dorosinskaya

Occupation: Mental health counselor and art therapist
Describe your career in one sentence:
Helping people to be the masters of their lives.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Traveling.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Center Makor
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service
  • Mishpuha Club
What inspires you to give back?
Mitzvot.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Psychotherapist / private practice.

Lara Freishtat

Occupation: HR Business Partner
Describe your career in one sentence:
The role of an HRBP is to cover the lifecycle of an employee, from the moment they join a company to the time they leave, trying to help them be the best performer they can be, which will ideally help the company reach their business goals.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
I don't think I have a favorite, but I love to travel, to explore new places, and to try restaurants.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • CJP
  • Jewish Arts Collaborative (formerly the New Center for Arts and Culture)
  • Anti-Defamation League
What inspires you to give back?
I've been very blessed throughout my life with a loving family, wonderful friends, and amazing opportunities. They have all shaped me throughout my life, helping me become who I am now; I hope that by giving back, I'm helping others get those same opportunities.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I honestly have no idea! But I'm sure I will still be here in Boston, involved with the Jewish community, and happy!

Rickie Golden

Occupation: Real estate developer
Describe your career in one sentence:
I create and develop large-scale, mixed-use urban development projects that include a strategy for providing public benefit.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Dancing!
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Co-chair, CJP’s Chai Society
  • Board of Trustees, Boston Society of Architects Foundation
  • Board of Directors, The American City Coalition
  • Development Committee, B'nai B'rith Housing
  • Co-chair, Gen2Gen Policy and Advocacy Group, B'nai B'rith Housing
  • Vice Chair, Urban Land Institute Responsible Property Investment Council
  • Development Committee, YouthBuild USA
  • Editorial Board, ArchitectureBoston Magazine
  • Co-Founder, JFresh, a Jewish real estate group
Is this a good time to say that I used to perform in Yiddish theater in NYC (The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene) and was in two Yiddish choruses? A life highlight!
What inspires you to give back?
I appreciate so much what has been given to me; it's a privilege to give it back.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Maybe ask me that question again in 9 years?

Rabbi Suzie Jacobson

Occupation: Rabbi, Education Director
Describe your career in one sentence:
I am passionate about ensuring that Jewish communities are inclusive and just, that our educational programs allow students to bring their whole selves, and that our prayer is meaningful, authentic, and full of immense joy.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
I love painting, writing poetry, singing, and spinning fire poi.
What organizations are you involved with?
I am proud to make my career and spiritual home at Temple Israel in Boston, an incredibly active, loving, justice-minded congregation. I'm also an active volunteer and supporter of Keshet, an organization that works for the full inclusion of LGBTQ Jews. I am proud to have Hebrew College as my rabbinic alma mater. I am deeply connected to the mission and vision of Hebrew College and have been shaped by their commitment to deep Jewish learning and pluralism.
What inspires you to give back?
I am deeply dedicated to making our world a better place. I think Judaism speaks powerfully to the issues of our day and I believe that it is my moral responsibility as a Jew to fight for a better world. I am an organizer, an activist, and a lover of peace, and I became a rabbi because I believe that Judaism teaches us to fight for justice.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to be a rabbi in an amazing congregation that is dedicated to deep Jewish learning, that fights for justice, and enjoys spiritual experimentation.

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Occupation: Educator, Orthodox rabbi, ethicist
Describe your career in one sentence:
Continually teaching, learning, connecting, and evolving.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Travel, cooking/baking, and anything outdoors.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • ALS Therapy Development Institute
  • American Society for Bioethics in the Humanities
  • International Fellowship of Rabbis
  • Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  • Mayyim Hayyim
  • Nitzan
  • Shalom Hartman Institute
  • Society of Jewish Ethics
  • The Sulam School
  • The Walnut Street Synagogue
  • ...more!
What inspires you to give back?
My late father lived his life very much in the service of others. His motivation and commitment to human rights and community guided by his Judaism inspires me daily.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today,” so I am going to focus on my work now and see where it gets me!

Leora Kimmel Greene

Occupation: Development Officer, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters
Describe your career in one sentence:
Raising the funds and engaging supporters to build and celebrate thriving communities.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Anything related to working out. Oh, and playing with my very cute and happy daughter.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies
  • Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston, Friend 2 Friend volunteer
  • Washington Square Minyan
What inspires you to give back?
I was brought up in a family where giving back and being part of the community was not just something we discussed; both of my parents practiced what they preached and continue to be leaders in their community. They have highlighted for me and my sisters the importance of being part of the solution, of involving our own networks in community engagement and philanthropy, and why our generation has to step up to the plate to create long lasting and sustainable Jewish communities. I hope my daughter grows up in a world with less hate and more compassion, less violence and more spontaneous dancing, less socio-economic divide and more empowerment to young generations to pursue their dreams.

We live in a world full of sadness, injustices, and unfairness. I hope that my very small acts can help make our world a bit kinder, happier, and healthier.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Managing some of the most successful fundraising events in the community, continuing to push non-profits out of their comfort zones, and probably running a marathon.

Matan Koch

Occupation: Inclusion consultant/speaker
Describe your career in one sentence:
I started out as a lawyer, became a government official, and eventually decided that I could do the most good as a consultant.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Spending time with people.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • CJP
  • Jewish Vocational Service
  • JCRC
  • Union of Reform Judaism
  • ROI Community
  • Congregation Kehillath Israel
  • Temple Israel of Boston
What inspires you to give back?
I find that in order to answer this question, I need to challenge the question. On one hand, I would be completely remiss if I did not acknowledge all that has been done and given by others to get me where I am. And yet, “give back” implies that I am obligated because of what I received. Rather, I believe that we are all obligated to do whatever is within our power to perfect the world, and I believe that I would feel this obligation even if I had not been so often the beneficiary of the generosity of others. Therefore, I'm not sure that “give back” makes sense.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope that I will more or less be doing what I do now. I hope that I have bigger audiences, more clients, and that I can look back on a greater record of change. But I'm pleased to feel like I've arrived, in some substantial measure in my life, and so I hope for more of the same, maybe with greater fulfillment in my personal life to match my professional.

Rosa Kramer Franck

Occupation:Director of Development at the Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture
Describe your career in one sentence:
Helping to strengthen and enrich Boston's Jewish community.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Visiting the playground with my family.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • VP for Membership at Congregation Kehillath Israel of Brookline
  • Member of the Board of Directors, The Rashi School
  • Co-chair, PTO, The Rashi School
What inspires you to give back?
Being Jewish brings me so much joy and pride. It's very important to me for my children to live in a place with a vibrant Jewish community to grown up in, and for them to see me as a role model prioritizing Jewish communal work both as a chosen profession and a lay leader. Honoring those who came before us also inspires us to do what we can as individuals and as a family to enhance the community's strength and future.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing what I'm doing, and with an increased volunteer focus on pro-Israel organizations.

Mike Ross

Occupation: Attorney and occasional columnist for the Boston Globe.
Describe your career in one sentence:
Providing creative solutions for clients in a complex world.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Enjoying the company of family and friends.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Council Member, US Holocaust Museum
  • Central Board of Advisors, YMCA
What inspires you to give back?
My father's rescue from the Dachau concentration camp by U.S. soldiers, and his having been embraced by the American people when he came here with nothing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Part of a happy family with plenty of ski days and trips, possibly living overseas.

Shifra Schwartz

Occupation: Director at The Chai Center and YJP Boston
Describe your career in one sentence:
Continuously creating and improving a platform for young adults to connect with each other and Judaism.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Discovering new places to check out.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • The Chai Center
  • The Friendship Circle
  • YJP Boston
What inspires you to give back?
Feeling the void of Jewish inspiration that can easily be met with a smile and creative style.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On a beach in Tel Aviv.

Jonathan Shapira

Occupation: General Counsel of Cybereason
Describe your career in one sentence:
I am the General Counsel of Cybereason, a Boston-based cybersecurity software company founded by veterans of Israel's intelligence corps. We enable enterprises to detect and respond to complex cyber attacks.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and immersing myself in other cultures, especially while traveling internationally.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • Strategic Israel Engagement Commission, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)
  • Ben-Gurion Society Leadership Committee, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
  • Board of Directors, New England Israel Business Council (NEIBC)
  • Temple Israel of Boston
What inspires you to give back?
Working with business, government, and community leaders to enhance connections between the innovation economies in Boston and Israel. It is exciting to see the tangible results -- jobs created, dollars invested, and technologies developed -- of multiple government and business missions to Israel that I have helped organize in the past five years.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working as an executive at a technology company, serving as a community leader, and building a family.

Talya Sokoll

Occupation: Middle school and high school librarian.
Describe your career in one sentence:
I work to instill in youth a love of reading, empathy and care for the world around them.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Volunteering at Mayyim Hayiim.
What organizations are you involved with?
  • American Library Association
  • Jewish Big Brother Big Sister
  • Keshet
  • Mayyim Hayyim
  • Moishe Kavod House
  • Temple Israel
  • Yachad
What inspires you to give back?
The desire to see the world not as it is, but as it could be. I live by these words from Pirkei Avot, "It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Continuing the work I am part of now! Reading books, working with kids, educating the world about social justice and halfway through the second term of President Elizabeth Warren.

Jonathan Soyt

Occupation: Consultant
Describe your career in one sentence:
Improving the way businesses use information to make effective decisions.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Hanging out with my Little Brother, of course!
What organizations are you involved with?
Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters
What inspires you to give back?
My memories as a Little Brother are full of joy and meaning. Inspiring the same feeling in someone else is the most important thing I can do.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to increase my involvement in the Jewish community as I continue to grow and develop. If I can give back half as much as my Big Brother has, I'll be proud.

Georgi Vogel Rosen

Occupation: Attorney
Describe your career in one sentence:
A few years ago, I decided to pursue a second career in public interest law, and, having graduated law school in 2015, I'm now completing my second of two judicial clerkships--this one with the federal district court in Boston.
What is your favorite non-work activity?
Spending time with my dog, Ralph.
What organizations are you involved with?
I've been volunteering in some capacity with ReachOut!, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston's (JCRC) young adult community service program since it started six years ago, and I also am a member of JCRC's Board of Directors.
In addition, I'm a member of the Boston chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS), which I founded two years ago with the help of a CJP Venture Grant. SOSS's mission is to bring together Jewish and Muslim women of all ages and backgrounds for the purpose of building mutual trust and respect, dispelling stereotypes, and countering anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
What inspires you to give back?
I've always been inspired by a quote attributed to Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself in a law practice representing people who have suffered unlawful discrimination at work, in housing, and elsewhere.


Congratulate the Winners in Person

 

CHAI IN THE HUB

Saturday, January 28, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
Royal Sonesta Boston
40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard
Cambridge