OLAM’s Jewish Service Alliance Study (JSA) Trip, powered by Repair the World, was for JSA members whose organizations are committed to making service a defining part of Jewish communal life. Participants explored models of global Jewish service, met OLAM partners and the community members with whom they work, and discussed how local and global service inform one another.
The trip took place January 17th to January 22nd, 2023.
A 6-day trip to Rwanda
Explore how local and global service inform one another
Pre- and post-trip webinars & surveys
Share your experiences with the broader Jewish community
Forge deep connections with fellow JSA members
Kaylin Berinhout has worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta as the Foundation Operations Manager for a little over a year, and is soon to be the Foundation Philanthropic Officer at the start of the new year. In her role, she is able to apply her passion for building community and driving impact as she creates and facilitates Teen and NextGen initiatives, cultivates relationships centered around family philanthropy, improves fundholder engagement through smart data systems, and co-leads the Atlanta Jewish Community’s JEDI (Jewish Equity Diversity and Inclusion) Initiative. Kaylin’s previous experience includes working for Women of Earth Institute, where she worked directly with a network of community leaders to globalize their film project and allocate impact capital for improved infrastructure for women’s health and environmental stewardship in Brazil. Kaylin was connected to this institute through her research with Rise Up and Care, a social enterprise founded upon a research project which aimed to find the most ethical and effective way to do global philanthropy. As a part of her research with Rise Up and Care, she contributed to the research behind the textbook: Reimagining Global Philanthropy, which introduces the Community Bank Model of Global Philanthropy. Kaylin is a second-generation graduate from Georgia Tech and pretty much a native Atlantan. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering locally with environmental non-profits and globally on various eco-farms.
Julie Finkelstein is the Senior Director of Field Services at Foundation for Jewish Camp. Julie works on initiatives that support Jewish camps and their leaders, particularly those aimed at enhancing the counselor experience. Prior to joining FJC in 2014, Julie was the Associate Director of Slingshot, where she managed a network of next-generation funders and entrepreneurs, the Assistant Director of Capital Camps, the Jewish community camp of the Mid-Atlantic region. Julie got her professional start with Hillel: at Maryland Hillel and at Hillel’s international offices in DC. Julie earned an MBA from the George Washington University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland. She is the winner of the 2016 JPRO Network Young Professional Award. Julie currently sits on the board of Camp Tel Yehudah, where her own Jewish camp story began. Julie, and her outrageously cute puppy, Penny, are based in Brooklyn, NY.
Ellie Gettinger has over a decade of experience designing creative Jewish educational experiences. She is Director of Digital Learning at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she makes the work of the seminary more accessible to broad audiences. She was the Education Director at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee (JMM), leading the Museum’s educational initiatives and content from 2007 to 2021. She conceived and curated JMM’s original exhibits, Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare and Stitching History From the Holocaust.
Ellie is active in both the secular and Jewish community in Milwaukee, WI. She is a board member of the Whitefish Bay Public Library. She earned a BA in Jewish Studies from Stanford University, and received her Masters in Jewish Professional Leadership from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. A mom of two daughters, Hallie and Nora, with her husband Mitch Nelles, she is an avid reader, who is also happy to help pick your next great read.
Erica Goldman has been an engineering linguist, a high school English teacher, and has taught Israeli dancing on four continents (so far!). In 2011, Erica joined the Global Jewish Education department at New Community Jewish (now deToledo) High School in Los Angeles and helped coordinate and implement their three-week and three-month exchange programs with Tel Aviv high schools. In 2015, she became an Educator for the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Cornerstone Fellowship and launched Ma’agal, an initiative to improve Israeli dance education at schools and camps across the nation. A two-time Brandeis University graduate, Erica holds an MBA as well as a Masters in Jewish Professional Leadership and is a grateful Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar and Ruskay Fellow. As the Deputy CEO of The Bronfman Fellowship, she helps the organization nurture intellectually-curious young Jews from Israel and North America to build a more dynamic and pluralistic future. She began at Bronfman after five years as Chief Program Officer at JPro, an organization dedicated to supporting all those who work for Jewish organizations across the US and Canada. Erica lives in Brooklyn, NY and eats a pint of ice cream every other day.
As Moishe House’s Director of Jewish Service Learning, Jessica Herrmann coaches community builders on “how to” create and plan Jewish Service Learning programs, and provides tips on content, pedagogy and programming. In partnership with the Jewish Education team and Repair the World, Jessica cultivates serious Jewish learning and a deep commitment to service across all of Moishe House programing including Houses/Pod, Moishe House Without Walls, and Immersive Experiences. She has lived in a Moishe House and a Pod, and is eager to help folks express their Judaism in any way that is meaningful to them! Jessica hopes to empower her generation to connect with Judaism through social causes, collaborate with diverse communities to build meaningful relationships, and create both formative and informative educational moments that foster social change. Jessica’s work experience includes serving as the Director of Experiential Education at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, and as a Food Justice and Team Leader at Repair the World in Philadelphia. She received her Master’s degree in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts from George Washington University.
Rachel Hillman joined the Northwestern Hillel staff as the Associate Director in July 2016 after nearly a decade of working in the Jewish community at a local and national level in Washington, DC. Rachel has a B.A. from Brandeis University, where she double-majored in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and History, an MBA from Indiana University, and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Rachel traveled to Rwanda in 2015 with JDC-Entwine and found the experience transformative. She loves traveling internationally with college students, helping them grow and explore their Jewish identity through immersive experiences.
Rebecca is the Senior Director of Field Expansion at Foundation for Jewish Camp, driving strategy to increase enrollment and capacity at camps. She manages FJC’s flagship One Happy Camper program, providing incentive grants for first-time campers and advancing the camping agenda across North America in partnership with federations. Additionally, Rebecca manages a diverse portfolio of programs including the Yashar Initiative to increase accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities at Jewish camps, the interest-free loan program to support capital expansion, Competitive Edge which launches specialty tracks at traditional camps JFAM: Jewish Family Camp initiative and FJC’s regional strategy. Rebecca is part of FJC’s strategic planning and leadership teams. Prior to joining FJC, Rebecca worked as the Director of College Programs at Jewish National Fund for six years where she created JNF’s signature Alternative Break to Israel program; a week-long immersion trip for college students and young adults. Rebecca currently sits on the executive board of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, is the immediate past president of the alumni association and is the 2018 recipient of the Alumni Leadership Award. She is a Wexner Field Fellow. Rebecca graduated from Tufts University in 2003 and has an M.A. in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
Samantha Kurgan is the VP of Innovation for the Federation of Greater Atlanta. Samantha works with a committee of volunteers to drive change and impact through funding initiates and creative approaches to addressing the gaps in the Atlanta community. In her role, she also manages the directors of the Leadership Development, and Making Jewish Places organizations. Samantha serves as the co-chair for the Atlanta cohort for the JEDI initiative of JFNA. Samantha spent five years serving as a lay leader for the Federation for the Jewish Abilities Alliance, and the Rising Up Allocation Committees. Samantha’s passion for the disability community led her to co-chair the Inclusion Program for the Maccabi Games and was selected as a parent advocate for the Georgia Center for Leadership in Disability. Samantha’s professional experience started in the field of Human Resources and Organizational Development working for companies like Target, Turner, and PwC. After having children, Samantha created a children’s summer art program. Her passion for social service and philanthropy inspired her to become the ED for The Packaged Good (TPG), giving her the opportunity to combine her passion for working with children, and creating philanthropic opportunities for families. Samantha helped merge TPG and the Solidarity Food Pantry and developed their educational programming around food insecurity, poverty, and hunger to further drive their volunteer experience. Samantha lives with her husband Paul and their three kids, Rachel, Adam and Romi. She has loved being a part of Atlanta’s thriving Jewish community for the past 20 years.
Dani Levine (she/her) is the Director of Social Impact at Hillel International. Dani was born and raised in Washington, DC and fell in love with the Jewish Social Justice community through Habonim Dror camps and programming. Dani has a BA in Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies from Oberlin College and received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Environmental Health and Policy from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Dani spent a few years in San Francisco and then New Orleans in the environmental non-profit, consulting, and environmental policy world, before finally succumbing to that still small voice calling her to full-time Jewish Professional life. Prior to joining Hillel, Dani spent a decade with Avodah, first as the local New Orleans Director and ultimately as the National Program Director, responsible for overseeing all Avodah programming across multiple cities and programs. Dani has also had the privilege of being a member of the IOWA Project Ovdim leadership cohort, where she studies Musar with other rad Jewish thinkers. Dani lives in the best city in the world, New Orleans, with her wife and three kids. When she’s not working or organizing with fellow congregants, Dani can be found on the parade route, at the fais-do-do stage, or cooking up some freshly caught fish.
Zina is Moishe House’s Senior Director, Jewish Education Department, and as a member of the Program Leadership Team, she oversees all global Jewish Education programming at Moishe House. In this unique position, Zina focuses on building upon and leading the Moishe House vision to enhance the young adult Jewish experience. She is inspired by Moishe House’s goal to help young adults shape their Jewish identity to become responsible members of their Jewish communities. Zina moved to the United States from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She holds a Masters of Arts in Digital Humanities from Saint Petersburg State University and a Master of Arts in Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service from Towson University. She has been involved in Jewish communal life since she was a teenager, making it all the way from camper to Educational Director of JAFI’s summer camp. She was the first Director of Jewish Programs and Community Development at the first JCC in Saint Petersburg. Before joining MH team, Zina served the Jewish Community of Baltimore as Director of Global Peoplehood Education. In her free time, Zina enjoys spending time with her husband and two little boys.
Anna Worrell (she/her) is the Program Manager of Social Impact at Hillel International. Prior to her current role, Anna worked in various sectors including Jewish service and learning through Avodah’s Service Corps, substance use prevention, victim/survivor services, and reentry services for previously incarcerated individuals. Connecting her dedication to social justice work with her Jewish identity has had a profound impact on the way Anna views the world and our responsibility in it. Anna holds a Master of Social Work degree with a Certificate in Global Human Rights from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Health Education and Health Promotion degree with a Special Award for Diversity Education from CSU Chico. She has a passion for exploring the interconnectedness of social issues (both global and local) and continuously works to address their root causes through centering impacted voices in order to create healing. Anna lives in San Diego, California where she can be found playing with her two cats, bowling with her family, and buying too many house plants.
Staff: CEO, OLAM
Staff: Director of Jewish Communal Engagement and Learning, OLAM
Tony Westbrook, Jr.
Staff: Director of Jewish Service Learning, Repair the World
Eli Greenstein Jacober
Staff: Director of Campaigns, Repair the World
JSA STUDY TRIP: Qs and As
OLAM is a network of 65+ Jewish and Israeli organizations working in the fields of global service, international development, and humanitarian aid. Inspired by Jewish values and committed to high ethical standards, OLAM convenes and mobilizes leaders and organizations to take meaningful action in support of the world’s most vulnerable people, in order to foster a more just and compassionate world for all.
The study trip is powered by Repair the World via the JCRIF Reset grant because both Repair the World and OLAM are committed to building a Jewish service movement that includes domestic and global service.
The trip will strengthen the connection between local and global service, and build a holistic movement that brings together Jewish organizations and individuals engaged in service around the world.
The JSA Study Trip will showcase a variety of Jewish and Israeli organizations in the field of global service and international development, including fellow OLAM partner and JSA member JDC Entwine. We will meet staff and participants of global service programs, and gain insight into the design of their educational components. Specifically, the trip will focus on the following areas:
Global service: Exposure to Jewish individuals and organizations serving in Rwanda, and exploring connection points between global and local service
Global responsibility: Exploring our responsibility as Jews to broader humanity, both locally and globally, and looking at various models for global service
Rwandan society: Learning about Rwandan history, its current growth, and the role of service in civil society
Implementing learnings: Working together to consider optimal ways to implement our learnings in our organizations
The study trip is designed for 16-20 senior-level professionals from JSA organizations (e.g., CEOs, senior Jewish educators, program VPs, etc.).
Ideally, organizations will send two participants:
1. The person directly responsible for implementing the organization’s service work and overseeing the JSA partnership.
2. A senior-level professional involved in determining the organization’s programmatic agenda and strategic plan.
* Please note we will not accept applications from organizations that have participated in OLAM study trips, unless there are demonstrated efforts being made in the organization to promote global Jewish service and international development. (Applicants who have already participated in an OLAM study trip are not eligible.)
Study Trip participants and their organizations will gain many benefits, including:
Increased knowledge about some of the world’s most pressing issues, as well as the Jewish and Israeli organizations working on these issues
A cohort experience in which you can share experiences relating to service, Jewish identity, and global responsibility
Skills and knowledge to embed best practices into service programs
An expanded toolbox to show constituents the connection between their Jewish identities and the global issues that are meaningful to them
Relationships with other Jewish communal professionals committed to service
Ability to partner with and/or signpost young Jewish adults to global Jewish service programs and other opportunities
Participants are required to take part in five webinars – 3 before the trip and 2 after.
The pre-trip meetings will offer participants the opportunity to get to know one another, familiarize themselves with OLAM and Repair the World, and understand the goals of the study trip. We will also explore the concepts of service, Jewish values, and ethical best practices as we prepare to travel.
The post-trip webinars will explore how participants can integrate global service and responsibilities into their organizations’ programmatic agendas.
Please note: Participants who commit to the program must take part in all sessions. For extenuating circumstances, please contact OLAM staff as soon as possible.
The study trip will take place January 17-22, not including travel time to and from Rwanda.
The pre-trip webinars will take place:
Nov. 30, 2022
Dec. 20, 2022
Jan. 10, 2023
The post-trip webinars will take place:
Feb. 2, 2023
March 8, 2023
Each participant will be required to post on social media (personally and/or professionally) and share their experiences with their organization through a presentation or discussion. OLAM also encourages participants to publish op-eds or articles, either as individuals or co-authored with fellow study trip participants.
In addition, OLAM expects you to take action in one (or more) of the following areas:
Global service experiences: Creating (or scaling) a global immersive service trip and/or signposting relevant members of your community to existing global service opportunities. This includes, but is not limited to: running an opportunity fair featuring global service programs, regularly featuring global service opportunities in your organization’s communications channels, etc.
Connecting the dots between global and local service: This can include, but is not limited to: signposting local service alumni to global service opportunities, identifying special opportunities for global service alumni to partake in your local service or other educational programs, and incorporating relevant global themes into existing local service curricula.
Applying learnings from the JSA trip to your local service programs: This can include, but is not limited to: deepening the Jewish learning aspects of your local programming, developing sessions around ethical best practices, etc.
Global education and engagement: Creating and implementing a strategy to integrate education and conversations around global Jewish responsibility into your organizations. This can include, but is not limited to, the creation of learning circles, a lecture series, a comprehensive curriculum around global Jewish responsibility, Shabbat and Holiday programming, etc.
OLAM will continue to monitor Covid developments over the coming weeks and months. OLAM reserves the right to cancel and/or postpone the trip based on these developments and on and travel advisories.
All participants are required to purchase travel insurance that covers the cost of Covid-19-related travel extensions, or will not be permitted to travel.
Please see OLAM’s Covid-19 Policies and Protocols.
The OLAM Study Trip is heavily subsidized by OLAM and Repair the World, enabling us to offer this opportunity at a minimal cost. There is a non-refundable one-time processing fee of $50 (plus a $2.90 processing fee), to be paid by your organization at the time of your acceptance. See below for additional expenses.
Expenses covered by OLAM
Group tourist experiences
Travel expenses to/from Kampala (reimbursed) up to $1,500 USD
Up to $100 in medical insurance (reimbursed)
Mandatory expenses not covered by OLAM:
~$50 travel visa fee
$50 non-refundable processing fee
Cost of vaccinations or other medical expenses related to the trip. Please note – vaccines can be expensive. To understand costs, consult your doctor or your local Passport Health.
Travel insurance that covers the cost of Covid-19-related travel extensions
Please note: Cost of a telephone SIM card, food during free time (outside of group meals), souvenirs you choose to purchase, and any post-trip excursions or other add-ons are at your own expense.
OLAM does not want financial constraints to be the limiting factor of anyone’s participation in the Study Trip. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your financial situation further.
Yes. We can provide boxed lunches and dinners from Chabad throughout the study trip. Most meals will be eaten at restaurants and hotels where vegetarian options are available.
OLAM will close applications on Monday, October 31, 2022.