As Rosh Hashana is here, I look back at a phenomenal year at NCSY Alumni. I can't describe for you in depth everything we do here at Alumni but here is a very brief and sweet taste!
Our Alumni staff focused on serving you doubled from 2 to 4. Besides my invaluable contributions;) Rina Emerson (Associate Director) is focused on adding alumni events and organizing existing events to include more alumni aspects, Avital Moss (Alumni associate, services) is in charge of all our communications (like this awesome newsletter) with you by email, snail mail and Internet and Ilan Heller (Alumni associate, data) in charge of gathering all the data on incoming college freshman and connecting you to great Jewish programs on your campus (we are currently connecting over 2800 new alumni)!
On the Birthright side of Alumni, in NY we have North American Program Director Scott Shulman who is the recruitment guru (we grew from 10 buses last winter to 17 this coming winter), Rachelle Furnagiev (Birthright associate) spending half her time advertising and half her time with the phone glued to her ear and Bassy Altman our Registrar extraordinaire! In Israel we have Israel Program Director Rabbi Menachem Persoff (King of the Bat/Bar Mitzvot having led over 2,000), Education Director Yael Tamari who has brought our staff training for both Israeli and American staff to new heights and Natanel Gibby Gibson who meets every Birthright participant personally and helps those who want to stay and learn more about their heritage as their personal concierge.
We also partner with over a thousand Jewish informal education professionals both in NCSY and on college campuses as well as many grass roots student led programs such as the JBN, our intern programs at Maryland, Rutgers, UCLA and York and many more. Among these partnerships is our relationship with our OU College Program JLIC on 16 campuses led by Rabbi Ilan Haber and the Heart To Heart program led by student leaders on about 20 campuses and Directed by Hart Levine working out of our offices.
Wow, there are tons more partnerships going on with Masa, Partners in Torah and the list never ends so I think I'll just stop here and thank the Creator of The Universe for all the blessings we've received and start planning the many more flights we will need I”H to bring all our alumni home to Israel speedily in our days!
Have an Awesome New Year,
Rabbi Dave Felsenthal
Director NCSY Alumni