Lauren Gendzier, Mackenzie Owades, Rachel Philipson, and Harris Wallack


Lauren, Mackenzie, Rachel, and Harris are the Co-chairs of the Young Adult Spark Committee. Together, they are overseeing efforts aimed at connecting and inspiring young adults to help build community among their peers for years to come. Spark, in the young adult space, is an initiative that brings partner organizations, young adults, and CJP together in several ways.

Under the leadership of these four volunteers, nearly 100 young adults will travel to Israel on the Spark Community Trip in April 2023. This immersive experience will help deepen participants’ connections with Israel, their Jewish identity, each other, and the Jewish community as a whole. Additionally, the Co- chairs helped launch Spark something, a series of four local events taking place from January to May 2023 that are open to the entire young adult community. These events, planned together with partner organizations, serve as the pre- and post-trip programming for young adult travelers and provide an opportunity for those not traveling to participate in this Spark initiative.

With the help of their Spark something committee of approximately 15 young leaders who are also passionate about increasing involvement and creating a sense of belonging among their peers, these Co-chairs are truly working hard to bring young adults together and build community. Each chair has demonstrated what it means to be a leader, and collectively, they have asked thoughtful questions, problem-solved in creative ways, and cultivated meaningful relationships with volunteers and external partners alike. We look forward to continuing to watch them lead the Spark experience over the year and know they will have a strong hand in strategic follow-up after Spark “concludes.”