Alumni Microgrants 2017-2018
Alumni Microgrants 2017-2018


Cafe Ivrit NYC

Jake Gillis

Jerusalove promotes a love for Israel and seeing Israel in a positive light. Each episode focuses on an area of life or a specific field (i.e. music, food, religion, entertainment, Jewish learning, etc.) and I interview a guest about their field. The people being interviewed are either Israeli or have a connection to Israel and share their own story, as well as their love for Israel. An episode comes out every Sunday (at noon). I introduce the week's topic and provide some background and current events, and then introduce the guest. I want to stay away from politics, and focus on other areas of life.

Jake Gillis works for the School for Creative Judaism, which brings Judaism and Hebrew education to unaffiliated kids around the city. Studying abroad at Hebrew University and completing an ulpan sparked a deep fascination with the Hebrew language. Mindfulness, food, adventure, one on one heart to hearts, and travel bring him happiness. He is grateful that so much Hebrew tv has come to Netflix, Hulu, etc. He's currently studying the rap lyrics of Ethiopian-Israeli rap duo, Cafe Shachor Chazak. Beyond grateful for this opportunity!

Tish and Nigunim in memory of Vered Aviyashar

Ezra Hausdorff & Mordechai Wolfson

Our project is to be a series of evenings centered around niggunim. Throughout daily life, there are few opportunities to reach the religious and spiritual heights that can come about through music and singing as a group. We hope to be able to provide such a setting, to make everyone feel comfortable, and simply to express our spiritual and musical connection to God, to Judaism and to each other. Student life is fast paced and hectic, so we will center the evenings around relevant dates of the calendar (19th of Kislev, Purim, Aseret Yemei Tshuva, etc.) and try and instill more meaning into the holidays of busy people.The evenings will be dedicated to memory of Vered Aviyashar, who was killed in a tragic car accident in Nepal on October 8th of this year. Vered was a talented musician who loved to sing and she played piano at such an evening just days before she flew to Nepal. We hope to be able to provide an opportunity for the people who loved her to continue to connect with her through music, and in turn, to memorialize something she loved.

Ezra was born in Boston and made Aliyah in 2000 to Hashmonaim, where he grew up. He currently resides in Jerusalem and works as an economist, and is completing a degree in economics and liberal arts.
Mordy was born in New York and moved to Israel two years later. He attended Yeshivat Maale Gilboa after high school, and currently resides in Jerusalem while finishing a degree in Archaeology and Biblical studies.
Ezra and Mordy both were in the first class of Kedma in 2016.



Hadar Alumni community in Be'er Sheva

Shai Wolf, Maya Tushinsky, Sara Levy-Stevenson, Ma'ayan Porat

Our project is to create a Hadar inspired community here in the student area of Be'er Sheva. We will meet for egalitarian Shabbat evening davening, and hold monthly Rosh Chodesh learning sessions.

Maya Basok Tushinski (summer 16’), 24, A student of geography, Jewish philosophy and public policy.
Sara Levy-Stevenson (summer 16’, Kedma 17’), 23, second year nursing student at Ben Gurion University.
Ma'ayan Porat (Kedma 17'), 24, is a film student at Sapir College
Shai Wolf (summer 16'), 24, medical student at Ben Gurion University


Monthly Beit midrash in Jerusalem

Maayan Porat & Avital Even-Ari

A monthly Beit Midrash for Kedma's and Hadar's alumni (and friends) in Jerusalem. We meet once a month on Friday mornings of Shabatot Mevarchin in order to create a community based on tefilah and limud (we will also eat breakfast together) .

Avital Even-Ari: Alumna of Kedma Jerusalem 2017. First year liberal arts student at Shalem College, lives in Jerusalem.

Ma'ayan Porat: Alumna of Kedma Jerusalem 2017. Third year film student at Sapir College. Lives in Be'er Sheva and works in Jerusalem.

Drawing Torah (An Artist's Guide to the Weekly Parsha)

Arielle Stein

My project is a visual depiction of the weekly parsha through drawing and painting. I am distilling each portion into an image, prioritizing the depiction of feminist content, characters and themes. I am covering the year-long cycle, and the finished project will be an editioned book. My project can be seen in progress on instagram, @RELSTEIN.

Arielle Stein is a Brooklyn-based artist. Arielle received her BFA from New York University in 2014. Originally from Long Island, Arielle has spent time in Israel, Germany and Greece, furthering her interests in visual art, Judaic Studies and activism.

Better Together

David Fain

Better Together is a program that facilitates creative intergenerational interactions where children and older adults build genuine relationships that support health, happiness, learning and growth. Everyone participates in learning conversations, and activities that create connections around our common humanity. Children learn from the older adults and gain valuable social and emotional skills, and older adults benefit from the energy, enthusiasm, and companionship of the children.

David Fain is a 4th year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. David learned in Israel and was a Jewish Educator in Chicago. He is grateful for his time learning at Hadar. His passion for creating intergenerational community is inspired by his dad and the strong relationships he had with his grandparents growing up. David is excited for the opportunity to create intergenerational community and believes we all have something to learn and teach each other. His dream is to change the Jewish community model of interacting with older adults from acts of chesed to building genuine relationships.

Advancing and Expanding "Yachdav", the partnership minian in Ra'anana

Kinneret & Alon Misgav

"Yachdav" is the only minyan in Ra'anana and the area which allows full partnership of women in Davening and Torah reading. the project's goal is to
allow the minyan to grow and reach additional audiences, and to expand and vary its activities, adding more lessons, open community events, etc.

Kinneret & Alon Misgav studied at Hadar at summer 2011, and today live in Ra'anana with their two children. Kinneret is a graduate of Midreshet Ein Ha'Natziv, Hold a BA in psychology from Bar-Ilan University and MA in cognitive Psychology from Tel Aviv University, and currently works as an educational psychologist in Ra'anana. Alon is a graduate of Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa, holds a BA in PPE from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and currently works as a team leader in Shaldor, a management consulting firm.

The Louisville Minyan

Michael Fraade

The Louisville Minyan is a monthly gathering for Friday night davening and dinner in Louisville, KY. Minyan gatherings include an egalitarian, song-filled prayer and a Dvar Torah, all led by lay members of the Louisville community, followed by a potluck. The minyan engages Jews of all ages, with a focus on young adults, and provides new experiences and leadership opportunities for members of the Louisville Jewish community.

Michael Fraade is the Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education Director at the Louisville JCC. He manages the JCC garden, runs educational programs, works on sustainability efforts, and coordinates the Gendler Grapevine Fresh Stop Market, a sliding scale local produce market, with local nonprofit New Roots. Michael was a summer 2011 Hadar fellow and has previously worked for several small farms (including as a livestock manager), Camp Ramah in New England, and the Rabbinical Assembly. He enjoys talking about okra and befriending dogs.

Queer Talmud Jerusalem

Hayley Goldstein

In a small shul in Nachlaot, every Wednesday night for 6 weeks, a group of queer women and gender nonconforming people come together to dive into the Talmud, specifically sugya Ben Sorer u'Moreh. For some people it's their first time ever learning Talmud, and for others it's their first time being encouraged to bring their full, Queer selves to Torah learning. Students learn to the point of memorization and recite at the beginning of shiur. It's truly magical, and we are so grateful for Hadar's help to make this class happen!

Hayley Goldstein (Summer 2011) is a fourth year Hebrew College Rabbinical student studying in Jerusalem for the year. Beyond Queer Talmud, Jewish Education, and Torah, her other passions include: acapella, puppeteering, pottery, cooking, yoga, and her fat, glorious cat, Yossi. She is so grateful to be accompanied by Tehila Levy in making Queer Talmud Jerusalem a reality.

Lecha Dodi: Learning Kabbalat Shabbat Prayers

Hadar Cohen

We will gather three times to learn the meanings of the prayers in the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Each session will focus on two or three songs from the service - we will analyze them textually as well as learn different melodies for the songs. We will conclude with a final Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night davening and meal.

Hadar is a community organizer and educator in the Bay Area. She teaches at various Jewish institutions and is currently a student at alt*div. She dedicates much of her time to the practice of loving God, creative expression through movement and language, and orienting our community towards a vision of justice.

Irreverently Yours, The Shushan Queens

Kiki Lipsett

A comedic, feminist, political, true-to-tale retelling of the book of Esther in the form of a musical cabaret. All original lyrics will be based on my own study of Megillat Esther and related Midrash. The show will include audience participation, including a text study right in the middle of the show.

Kiki is a musician, educator and prayer leader. She grew up at the intersection of musical theater and Judaism, and she finds much joy in working on wacky Jewish musical projects. When she's not writing songs about Vashti, you can find her leading soulful musical Shabbat services around the Bay Area, teaching voice and piano, and leading b'nai mitzvah ceremonies.

Wandering Minyan Austin

 Rina Sadun

Wandering Minyan Austin is an independent, participatory, lay-led minyan that meets in members' homes. Services are egalitarian with conservative-style liturgy, with meals and singing afterwards. We have Friday night services on the first Friday of every month, and we’re working to start having quarterly Saturday morning services as well. Our goal is create a space for community-driven learning, singing, and conversation over food.

Rina was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She studied at Hadar in the summer of 2016.

As Full of Song as the Sea: An Album of Original New Music

 Louis Polisson and Gabriella Feingold

Gabriella Feingold and Louis Polisson are a married duo who compose original Jewish and spiritual music. Gabriella writes contemplative songs, grounded in nature imagery and simple, repeating melodies, that create an outlet for embodying and experiencing the depths of our emotions. Louis’ thoughtfully composed niggunim return to the roots of the traditional modes of Jewish liturgy and are a force for spiritual renewal. Together, they are thrilled to bring you this album in Fall of 2018 with the hope of providing new avenues for Jewish and spiritual life.

Louis Polisson is a rabbinical student at JTS and composes and performs music of all kinds, from hardcore punk to klezmer. He has studied Jewish music with Cantor George Mordecai, Alicia Svigals, Rabbi Greg Wall, Aaron Alexander, and David Chevan. Gabriella Feingold helps people whose lives revolve around others' needs to take care of themselves ( She also works at HIAS (, educating and involving American Jews in the global refugee crisis. Louis and Gabriella met in a Jewish a cappella group and continue to use their love of music to connect to each other and to spirituality.

Accessible Torah Shulchan

Aviva Fellman

I have been partnering between Congregation Beth Israel and a mechanical engineering class in adaptive technology at WPI to design an adjustable shabbat-friendly torah table that can be adapted for different height needs. This collaboration will yield a Shulchan that will allow members of our community in wheelchairs to read from the Torah and/or serve as gabbaim and work towards including our entire community into the ritual worship and practice of Judaism. This effort was initiated through an extensive effort to make our and other communities more inclusive and accessible.

Rabbi Aviva Fellman currently serves the Worcester community as rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel. She was a YH Summer fellow in ‘07 before beginning Rabbinical School at JTS. A former ambulance driver, certified scuba diver, and with a cameo appearance on Israeli Wife Swap (Ema Machlifa), she loves getting to learn and teach Torah full time. She is involved in Worcester Interfaith, Committees at City Hall including the efforts to end homelessness and address issues of race and inequality.
While studying in Israel, Aviva met her husband, Ari (YH ’11-’12) and they have 4 children- Hadar, Idan, Maayan and Noam.

Trad Egal Kol Nidre Service

Jana Loeb and Shira Atkins

A home-based minyan for around 80 participants for Kol Nidre/Maariv of Yom Kippur. The minyan is a traditional egalitarian service, incorporating Chabad and other chassidic niggunim and encouraging an atmosphere of worshipful song. Participants from all backgrounds and levels of observance are welcomed, and the minyan represents a cross-section of trad egal Jews, Jews with Orthodox backgrounds, Jews who don't speak or read Hebrew, Jews who hate shul, Jews who love shul, Jews who are old, Jews who are young, Jews who are any and all genders--what unites the service is a commitment to powerful davenning with song at its soul.

Jana Loeb is an attorney in New York City and a 2010-11 Hadar Fellow. She leads davenning in a variety of communities, and has led a trad egal Kol Nidre for seven years in various cities. She serves on the board of FASPE, organization that funds fellowships in professional ethics education for medical, law, business, journalism, and seminary students through the lens of the Holocaust.

Shira Atkins, a proud summer 2011 alum, runs a boutique brand strategy advisory in NYC, primarily working with companies that have social consciousness at the core of their business. In addition to her consulting work, Shira teaches yoga, and also serves on the board of an organization that brings yoga and mindfulness practices to kids living in rural villages around the world.

Minyan Shivyoni is an traditional-egalitarian, open community in Tel Aviv

Hannah Wasserman

We meet twice a month for Friday evening Tefillot in apartments around the city. Last year we began a partnership with a Masorti community, Havurat Tel Aviv, to have Shabbat morning Tefillot once a month, and have recently increased to two Shabbatot a month and several chagim. We are now working on adding more limmud in our community, including shiurim after kiddush, living-room learning sessions, and a dinner and learning event for Erev Shavuot.

Hannah Wasserman (Hadar Summer '17, Kedma Jerusalem '17) lives in Tel Aviv and is a member of the Minyan Shivyoni Tel Aviv community.



Family Friendly Jewish Meditation Retreat with Or Halev

Hannah Kapnik Ashar

You are invited to the first family-friendly Jewish meditation retreat, nestled in the Colorado mountains. Through the morning and early afternoon, adults and teens will be in contemplative practice and teaching from world-class Jewish meditation teacher, Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels. Parallel children's programming in our Jewish camp setting will include rich Jewish content, art, sports, and getting dirty in the great outdoors. Families will be together in the afternoon and evening.

Hannah Kapnik Ashar is navigating the abundance of parenting, marriage, and work, and the yearning for rich spiritual practice throughout. Hannah is mother of Zivi (4) and Ayala (2), a Faculty Member and Manager of Fellowship Year Experience at the Bronfman Fellowship, and in her third year as Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Bonai Shalom in Boulder, Colorado. She has collaboratively developed several Jewish learning initiatives, including the Tefilah Retreat, a weekend of Jewish spiritual practice for young adults.

Tel Aviv: The Holy City

Raphael Magarik

I am teaching a four-day intensive course on cities using a mixture of classical Jewish texts and Tel Aviv as our learning tools. Land- and place-based Jewish learning often focuses on the agricultural and rural; yet Jews today and for millennia have lived and thrived in cities, and we have a rich textual heritage making sense of these places of density, multiplicity, and economic intensity. We aim to push a bit at the idea of the city as inherently secular, as well as to mix text-learning and place-based, experiential learning.

Raffi Magarik is a PhD candidate at Berkeley in English and Jewish studies; he teaches Jewish text for Kevah (and has taught at Hadar), and he co-founded Minyan Dafna, a traditional egalitarian prayer community in Berkeley. He has written for the Forward, The New Republic, the Daily Beast, and Haaretz.

Niggun Saloon

Gita Karasov

Niggun Saloon is a monthly Seduah Shlishit gathering that harnesses the community building power and spirit of the great Western American saloon, and imbues it with the soul of the Eastern European Shteibl. Anyone in greater Boston community is invited to join us for a meal of light fare and heavy spirit, and end Shabbat with contemplative melodies, reflective silence, and words of inspiration.

Gita is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College and a Hadar summer 2014 alumna. She is originally from Minneapolis, but currently lives in Cambridge with her husband Dan Buonaiuto. Dan is a Boston native pursuing a phd in plant ecology. He is happy to talk all things trees with fellow salooners! Gita and Dan are excited to open their home for the second year in a row to create a soulful seudah shlishit community. Gita is also coordinating the Cambridge/Somerville Hadar Beit Midrash which is launching in March 2018.

Explore ~ לך לך

Nadav Slovin

Our Dream: Every Jewish youth has an immersive experience - accessible & pluralistic - among Jewish pears and invested mentors who care deeply about the world.
Explore ~ לך לך - B'nei Mitzvah Adventure Week, is a one-week, one-time, affordable summer experience held in New England for the 90% of eligible 7th and 8th graders who do not attend Jewish overnight camp.
Explore empowers campers through our Outdoor Adventure and Creation Adventure tracks, focusing on Tikkun Olam in order to leave campers confident in their ability to contribute to our communities and our world.

Nadav Slovin is an enthusiastic educator, thirsty for adventure and learning. As Tikvah counselor at Ramah, farmer in the Rockies, Youth Director, outdoor Teva educator, Philosophy student at McGill University, and Torah learner at Yeshivat Hadar and Har Etzyon, Nadav has come to believe that rooting our youth in Jewish community and tradition is vital in order to bring the world to its full potential: a home for all creatures and a studio for expression, witnessing, and unabashedly loving ourselves and one another. Nadav is currently completing an Education degree at Israel’s Hertzog College and teaching in Yeshivat Orayta where he made aliya and served in the IDF.

הזמן השביעי

Rachel Rosenbluth

A Shabbat retreat in nature in Northern Israel - for Israelis and Anglos, secular and religious - to connect to the power of shabbat - through meditation, movement workshops, sacred song circles, prayer, and limud.

Bluth is a Jewish educator and talmida of Torah, dedicated to building meaningful, spiritual and sustainable Jewish communities. She lives in a plant filled home in Yafo, Israel. She devotes her time to learning Torah in the Beit Midrash Har’el Smicha program. She is currently the Program Director for Achvat Amim Ruchani, a five month volunteer program in Jerusalem, engaging with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - with Torah learning as the foundation for peace building work.

Hashkama Minyan


Community members gather weekly before work at 6:25 am to davven together b'minyan. By coming together, we show up both for our avodas Hashem as well as each other, giving each other a chizuk in the middle of the week and providing an early-morning, egalitarian option for mourners saying Kaddish.

YR Retig hopes to partner with friends and community members to deepen our avodas Hashem b'kehillah during the week, and to make our weekday communal davening an anchoring and centering presence in our individual and communal lives.

Text-based Spiritual Learning

Y.R. Retig

By coming together during the week to learn-- and sharing cholent, l'chaims, and davening along the way-- we can deepen our rukhnieskeit and commitment to our mesoyre. This project seeks to create an help create an opportunity for heymish, fun, spiritually-serious, growth-oriented Torah learning that will IY"H bring us closer to each other and our best selves.

YR Retig hopes to help increase the amount of Talmud Torah in our lives.

Minyan Atara

Amelia Wolf

Minyan Atara the only daytime egalitarian minyan in Crown Heights. We meet for shacharit and kiddush on the third Shabbat of every month. Minyan Atara is lay-led and draws from the diverse Crown Heights Jewish community for daveners, leyners, darshanim, and other volunteers.

Amelia Wolf is an alum of Yeshivat Hadar '15-16. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and currently works for Sefaria as Development and Communications Associate. She is thrilled to be an organizer of a minyan where she can daven as a full member of the tzibur.

The French Beit Midrash in Jerusalem - Le Beit Midrash égalitaire en français

Dr. Eliora Peretz

My project consists of the creation of a francophone beit midrash in Jerusalem. We started this program last year and it was a huge success. I aim to bring Torah study to an audience which has been so far removed from egalitarian learning in particular and egalitarian Judaism in general. This year I will be teaching sessions on core texts about Zionism from 1840-1948.

Dr. Eliora Peretz was born in Strasbourg and grew up next to Paris. She got her Ph.D in media sciences on media coverage of Holocaust assets restitution process in Europe from the Sorbonne, she made aliyah in 2010. She is an alumna of the Conservative Yeshiva (08'-10') in Jerusalem and the Yeshivat Hadar Summer Fellowship (08' and 09'). Since 2014, she has been coordinating a summer beit midrash in French at the Conservative Yeshiva, with the support of Massorti Olami. She is a co-funder and teacher at Beit Midrash Tashma a francophone independant Beit Midrash in Jerusalem. She is currently a first year Smicha program student at the Beit Midrash Harel in Jerusalem where she resides with her husband and daughter.

Morningside Heights/Harlem Morning Minyan

Yona Benjamin and Lily Brenner

Program Description: Morningside Heights/Harlem hosts JTS and Columbia University two institutions with large egalitarian Jewish populations. However, our community is not always as active as it could be. The organizers of the program were concerned that there were no egalitarian t'filla options on sunday mornings in our neighborhood. It was clear to them that the base to hold regular weekend morning minyanim was already present and that holding such a minyan could further empower others to become involved with egalitarian prayer community as well as service the already existing needs of others. This project will hold sunday morning minyan throughout the semester with the hope of setting the base for a strong minyan in the future. Further, the organizers hope that the knowledge gained during this semester about campus minyan organization will serve as a model for other campus and small neighborhood minyanim in the future.

Yona Benjamin is a sophomore in the JTS Columbia Joint Program studying Philosophy and Talmud. He is an alumnus of Yeshivot Maale Gilboa and Hadar. A Riverdale native, Yona enjoys exploring New York's many museum's and parks. In High school, he gave tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and now works in Hebrew school education as well as being a student. He is the chair of the supplemental Jewish Learning committee on the List college (JTS undergrad) student council which aims to further involve Torah in the lives of JTS undergrads. Yona is confident that this new minyan will result in a strong and vibrant prayer community.

Lily is a first year student in the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, her prospective majors are Sustainable Development at Columbia and Talmud or Bible at JTS. She grew up near Orlando, Florida and attended Ramah Darom as a camper and counselor. She is a graduate of the Hadar Young Leaders Fellowship (2016) and loves nature, tefillin, and poetry.