WUJS Israel
post-college Israel programs

Staff Bios
Mike Mitchell Dr. Adi Rom – Director
Adi was born in Israel and grew up in a modern orthodox family in a religious Kibutz. After graduating high school, Adi served in the IDF as a teacher soldier for the Society of Protection of Nature in Israel. Like many Israelis, Adi spent a year traveling to Africa and South America, after which she got her first degree in Communication and Journalism and in Literature and then a second degree in Literature from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem. Adi spent a year as a Young Judaea Shlicha to the southeast region of the USA. When she came back she moved to Beer Sheva to teach at Ben Gurion University and attain her Ph.D in Hebrew Literature. Adi worked for the Short Term Programs Department of Young Judaea, was in charge of The Young Judaea Mishlachat and has been the Director of Merkaz Hamagshimim. Today Adi lives with her family in a moshav Shafir (near Ashkelon).

Amy Gross Amy Gross – Program Recruiter
Once an enthusiastic birthright participant and now an olah chadasha (new immigrant), Amy grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She spent many wonderful summers as a camper, counselor and supervisor at Tamarack Camps. She attended Michigan State University where she received a B.A in English Literature and Jewish Studies. While attending university she spent a semester abroad at the Hebrew University Rothberg International School. For the past two years she has worked as a recruiter for Young Judaea’s Israel programs in Miami, FL. She is thrilled to be part of the WUJS Israel team and looks forward to seeing many of your fabulous faces on the WUJS program. When Amy is not working hard recruiting for WUJS, she can be found at the gym in Tel-Aviv with her fiancée Avishai.

Ricky Yihye Ricky Yihye – Tel-Aviv Program Coordinator
Ricky was born and raised in Moshav Netua in the Western Galilee and grew up in the youth movement of the Moshavim. At age 18, Ricky moved with her family to Nahariya and was drafted to the IDF where she served for two years as an instructor in the Golani and Combat Engineer units. Following the army, Ricky traveled in South America, North America and Africa before returning to Israel to her studies in Art History and Theater at Tel-Aviv University. Following the completion of her B.A., Ricky served as a Shlicha in New Jersey where she worked with Jewish schools, the Israeli Scouts, university students and the JCC. Upon her return to Israel, Ricky began her position on the WUJS Israel program.

Yonit Schacher Yonit Schacher – Jerusalem Program Coordinator
Yonit made Aliya from the United States in the spring of 2007. Growing up, Yonit spent a lot of time in Israel and knew that one day it would be her home. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from NYU and continued on to receive her masters at Columbia University. The majority of her social work experience has been working with youth at risk. After working for two years as a social worker for youth at risk in the South Bronx, Yonit decided it was time to leave her life in the States and experience life in Israel. She participated in a pre-Aliya program where she worked as an intern for the mentally ill and lived in an absorption center in Jerusalem. The experience of working in Israel and living among new immigrants confirmed to Yonit that Israel was the place for her. Yonit can’t be happier with her decision and is excited to share her experiences with the WUJS participants.

Shoshana Newman Shoshana Newman - Jerusalem Counselor
Shoshana was born in Jerusalem but raised in the town of Meitar, just outside Be'er Sheva. In her early teens Shoshana spent two years in Canada with her family as her father was teaching in his field of political science in both Calgary and Toronto. After graduating high school in Israel, Shoshana spent a year as a volunteer in Kibbutz Alumim after which she did 2 years of National Service. This involved working in a children's home in Jerusalem followed by a year on shlichut in Manchester, England. Shoshana has a degree in Educational Counseling and Jewish Oral Law from Bar-Ilan university and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Educational Counseling. Shoshana grew up in the youth movement Bnei Akiva and has spent many a summer as a counselor at various summer camps and Israel programs. Shoshana was introduced to WUJS as an Israeli participant and resident on our Jerusalem program and has since made the great step of joining the WUJS staff.

Roy Grinapell Roy Grinapell – Tel-Aviv Counselor
Roy was born and raised in Herzliya on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. As a teenager his life was all about basketball as he was selected to play for the Israel National Youth team. This had to take a backstage role as Roy was drafted into the army after high school where he served in an intelligence unit for three and a half years. Released from the army after being injured, Roy decided to turn his mind to business and set up his own company providing events management services. Roy recently spent a year in Washington DC where he started his own fashion label and even managed to find time to work at a summer camp in Texas. As well as his work as a counselor on the WUJS program, Roy is studying part-time for his degree in law and accounting.

Ofra Zucker – Arts Program Teacher
Ofra was born and raised in the centre of Tel-Aviv. Following her army service and year of volunteering in the Jewish community on the former Soviet Union, Ofra began her career in Young Judaea in 2003 as a counselor on the Year Course program. Since then, Ofra has held a variety of positions in the movement and today is the coordinator of the Young Judaea Year Course Olami program as well as the curator of the Hadassah Art Gallery. Ofra holds a BA in Jewish Philosophy and Art History and is close to completing her MA in Art History from the Hebrew University. Over the last 3 years Ofra has overseen 18 art exhibitions involving more than 80 artists and has exhibited her own work in galleries around Israel and the United States.

Rachel Goldberg Rachel Goldberg - Judaism Teacher and Mentor
Rachel was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Jewish Day Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University in both Near Eastern Judaic Studies and Sociology. After a year of graduate school at The New School for Social Research in New York, Rachel studied at the Pardes Institute for four years, while also learning at Matan and Yakar's Women's Beit Midrash Program, all in Jerusalem. Her teaching experience includes Judaic Studies at the Oakland Hebrew Day School and at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, California. Rachel also taught for the "Endangered Spirits" program, an Outward Bound inspired outdoor adventure and survival program in Northern California. She was a lecturer for Hebrew University's Florence Melton Adult Mini-School in Richmond, Virginia. Two years ago, Rachel and her husband Jon Polin, made aliya with their three children, Hersh, Leebie, and Orly. Currently she teaches Judaism classes for the WUJS program in Jerusalem and loves every minute of it!

 

WUJS Israel Programs
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Staying in Israel
Over the last 40 years almost one third of all WUJS participants have remained in Israel after the program and made Aliyah. Should this be the path that any of our participants are following, the WUJS program will do their utmost to help facilitate that process. As part of the Young Judaea and FZY network in Israel, WUJS participants can enjoy the benefit of meeting our in house Aliyah counselor who can advise on immigrant rights, future employment, housing, education and more.