CJP is proud to announce the 2019 Chai in the Hub honorees!
These 10 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-40ers is shaking up the scene with style. You can meet them in person and hear from our keynote speaker, Lior Raz, co-creator and star of the award-winning Netflix series Fauda, on Saturday, February 9, at the Royal Sonesta Boston.
For now, check out their bios below!

Aliza Berger


Occupation: Rav Hazzan at Temple Emanuel

Describe your career in one sentence:
I build community centered on bringing the joy and beauty of Jewish practice into our lives, using spiritual connection, meaningful ritual, and stimulating learning.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Yoga

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Temple Emanuel
  • Jewish Community Relations Council/Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network
  • Hebrew College
  • Keshet

What inspires you to give back?
I am inspired by my family, friends, mentors, and teachers and want to do everything in my power to pass on their kindness, wisdom, enthusiasm, and love.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself continuing to support enlightened Jewish practice through my work as Rabbi and Cantor, and using my Jewish values to consciously raise a family, and promote a more just and compassionate world.

Danny Burkeman


Occupation: Senior Rabbi at Temple Shir Tikva

Describe your career in one sentence:
As a rabbi my job is to connect with people, to build community, and to make Judaism relevant for the 21st century.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Playing with my children and spending time with my family.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Temple Shir Tikva — rabbi in this warm, dynamic, inclusive, and innovative community
  • URJ Crane Lake Camp — serve on the faculty for a week in the summer
  • Jewish Family Service of Metrowest — engage in social action work through Temple Shir Tikva
  • Family Promise — engage in social action work through Temple Shir Tikva
  • Islamic Center of Boston — in partnership with Temple Shir Tikva
  • Wayland Interfaith Leaders Association — in partnership with Temple Shir Tikva
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis — member
  • Association of Reform Zionists of America — member

What inspires you to give back?
My first synagogue was a home away from home. It was a place of joy, love, and community; this is what I want to be involved in creating for my family and for the members of the synagogue that I serve. In today's world of disconnection and polarization, I believe that community is more important than it has ever been. The synagogue offers a unique community for people of all ages and welcomes them as members at every stage of their lives. People need community.

Alongside this, I believe that Judaism offers the answers to so many of today's problems and challenges. Judaism suggests starting the day with a moment of gratitude, it requires us to take a day each week for rest and reflection, and it offers a framework for turning ordinary moments into moments of blessings. These ideas, alongside so many other values, mitzvot, and traditions, provide us with the tools to live happier, more meaningful, and more fulfilling lives. I love the opportunity to share Judaism's ancient lessons in a modern context and framework.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to still be the Rabbi at Temple Shir Tikva, having made significant strides towards fulfilling our vision of making Judaism relevant in the 21st century and serving as the heart of Jewish living and practice in MetroWest.

Judaism's original call began with a journey of purpose: to travel to the Promised Land and to be a blessing. It is a never-ending journey. As Jews we are always travelling towards the Promised Land and searching for those opportunities to bring blessing into the world. In 10 years, I look forward to seeing how far we at Temple Shir Tikva will have traveled on that journey and reflected on a renewed vision of a Promised Land that we will continue working towards.

Jamie Darsa


Occupation: PJ Library Manager at JCC Greater Boston

Describe your career in one sentence:
My work with PJ Library is to create and support the many ways JCC Greater Boston can connect with families, regardless of what town they live in or how they relate to the Jewish community.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
I love the beach, whether it’s walking, swimming, reading, or building a sandcastle with my kids!

What organizations are you involved with?
  • JCC Greater Boston
  • The Rashi School
  • Temple Israel of Sharon
  • MuckFest MS Boston

What inspires you to give back?
Being part of an idea, resource, or space that has the potential for transformative impact motivates and inspires me. I am energized and fulfilled each day by my loving family and rewarding job. It’s an honor to work with a community that welcomes all people, a community that supports all people, and a community that is mine. It is an honor to work and volunteer for organizations that are making a difference in how people are finding meaning in their own lives.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself doing positive work that has a great impact on the way people live their lives. By surrounding myself with people who think differently, I can be challenged to grow and create new opportunities for people to find meaning and relevance in their own Jewish journey.

Joanna Feldman


Occupation: Development Officer, Gann Academy

Describe your career in one sentence:
Community engagement while supporting organizations with missions I fully support.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
I enjoy spending time with family and friends and doing a number of different things: bike riding, enjoying theater, adventure, cooking, and hosting Shabbat dinners.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • CJP
  • Community Cooks
  • Camp Bauercrest
  • Lake Attitash Association

What inspires you to give back?
From the time I was a little girl, my parents instilled the value of Tzedakah in me. I watched them give their time and philanthropic support to incredible causes. As children, my siblings and I were included in every activity. Learning from the ground up how every individual can make a difference has been something I have carried with me throughout my life.

It is my personal passion to be involved in the Jewish community. I thrive on the notion that we can all work together to do our part and make the world a better place. I also enjoy encouraging others to do their best. If I can be the friend that helps another in a time of need, and they can turn around and make the world a better place because they are happy, that is what I will do. I am constantly inspired by the people I am surrounded by and the great work they are doing; it makes me want to do even more, so I want to pay that forward.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself as a leader and advocate, working and volunteering for organizations that I feel passionately about and whose missions I fully support.

Gali Gordon


Occupation: Campaign Executive at the Jewish National Fund

Describe your career in one sentence:
I am making a difference for the people and land of Israel every day.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Running along the Charles.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Jewish National Fund
  • Tremont Street Shul
  • Temple Israel of Natick
  • Chabad of Cambridge
  • Orthodox Minyan Harvard Hillel
  • Israel Campus Roundtable

What inspires you to give back?
The history and heritage of the Jewish people inspires me every day to give back, and to bring old and new friends along for the journey.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see our CEO, Russell Robinson, retiring in 9 years, 11 months, and 30 days — and I see my name on his desk the next day, 10 years from now!

Rebecca Lurie


Occupation: Head of School, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston

Describe your career in one sentence:
Creating and sustaining organizational change by investing in talent, culture, and strategic thinking in for-profit and non-profit organizations.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Dance parties with my family and friends, and Shabbat meals with wine and homemade challah.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools
  • Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston
  • Washington Square Minyan — an independent minyan in Brookline

What inspires you to give back?
While the 15 years I worked in corporate America were invaluable in developing me to be capable to head Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, my transition to this role exposed me to an entirely different perspective on what it means to make a difference in the world. Only after being given the honor of this position did I realize how inspiring it is to watch and contribute to the development of children into smart, ambitious, and self-aware mensches (people). Truly, every ounce of effort I put into my job is returned to me on a daily basis as I see the children at school learn and grow. I am energized because I am both a spectator and contributor in the process of helping to create the future leaders of the Jewish world.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I couldn’t have imagined I would be in the position I am in now 10 years ago, so who knows what the future holds? I do know that I will prioritize my family (and three teenage children by then) and my community, and I will continue to make a lasting impact to the organizations in which I commit my time and energy.

Hadassah Margolis


Occupation: Lead Group Therapist, Spirituality and Mental Health Department at McLean Hospital, and Social Entrepreneur

Describe your career in one sentence:
I help people and communities transform themselves through dialogue, reflection, and common action.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Going to open studios and buying art from local artists.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Spirituality & Mental Health Discussion Series with Kitty Dukakis — supported by the Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project
  • Inspo:Expo — Brookline’s Social Action Fair
  • Welcome Blanket — craftivism, immigration
  • Pussyhat Project — craftivism, women’s rights
  • Brookline Town Meeting
  • Congregation Kehillath Israel
  • Boston’s Forgotten Felines — fostering cats and kittens

What inspires you to give back?
My nine-year-old daughter. For example, just after the fatal rally in Charlottesville, I found myself unsatisfied as I explained to my daughter why security cameras watched over our synagogue. I wanted her to see that while there is hate in the world, there is also good — and so I launched Inspo:Expo.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to have an established private practice focused on group and individual therapy in Brookline that combines elements of spirituality and mental health.

Larry Tobin


Occupation: Director, The Shapiro Foundation

Describe your career in one sentence:
After a meaningful and impactful decade at CJP, I now work with a brilliant and generous family creating more durable solutions for refugees across the globe.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Being outdoors: canoeing, cross-country skiing, and tailgating.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • Jewish Family Service of Metrowest — Board member, Development Chair
  • Rashi School — Board member, Development Chair
  • Brothers For Life
  • Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael

What inspires you to give back?
Giving back has been the Jewish backbone for 3,500 years. Our text clearly teaches us that giving back begins at home by taking care of the most vulnerable members of our own community, and then by helping the stranger among us. It gives me tremendous joy to give back to the Jewish community personally, as I find that too few in our generation are willing to prioritize the particular over the universal, while I get to simultaneously serve the broader community professionally.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As a parent at The Rashi School.

Nathan Vaughan


Occupation: Major Gifts Officer, 2Life Communities

Describe your career in one sentence:
I connect people with opportunities to engage their Jewish identity and put Jewish values into action.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
I love cooking for friends and bringing people together over a great meal, especially at large Shabbat and holiday gatherings.

What organizations are you involved with?
  • 2Life Communities (formerly known as JCHE) — where older adults can age affordably and live well
  • Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters — I was a Big Brother for two years and helped launch Project Dreidel
  • Eser — I participated in numerous rounds of Eser and served for two years on the Eser Committee
  • JDC Entwine — I have visited Jewish communities around the world
  • Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline — my wife and I are active members of this congregation

What inspires you to give back?
My mother taught my brother and I the importance of Jewish community at an early age. I grew up in southern Kentucky, in a town of 50,000 people with a Jewish population of around 50. For more than 10 years, we made a weekly 70-mile trek to Nashville, Tennessee, for Hebrew school. At home, baking challah and lighting Shabbat candles were weekly rituals, while our small local community held Shabbat services in members’ living rooms, led an annual Passover Seder for the local Catholic Church, and eventually established the first synagogue in town.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Spending a weekend with my family in the Berkshires, and planning our next National Park excursion. My wife and I have an ambitious goal of visiting every park together; so far we’ve made it to five.

Erica Weinstein


Occupation: Owner and Event Planner at Erica Paige Events and Parties

Describe your career in one sentence:
I help bring joy and excitement to my clients as I design, plan, and celebrate some of the most momentous occasions in their lives.

What is your favorite non-work activity?
Hot power yoga

What organizations are you involved with?
  • The Anti-Defamation League
  • CJP

What inspires you to give back?
I'm inspired to give back by seeing others giving back. It's our duty to support others less fortunate than ourselves. It is so much easier to support others, than to stand idly by. I believe that doing a mitzvah, or a good deed, brings positive impact and positive impact inspires more good deeds.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself continuing to plan some of the biggest and best bar and bat mitzvah bashes, weddings, and celebrations in Boston. And, I see myself still helping in the fight to end anti-Semitism and creating a hate free world.


Congratulate the Honorees in Person

 

CHAI IN THE HUB

Saturday, February 9, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
Royal Sonesta Boston
40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard
Cambridge

Register