Young Adult Leadership Committee
We host over a hundred events every year. How do we do it? Who comes up with all the ideas? The answer is the Young Adult Leadership Committee (YALC). These dedicated young adult volunteers are the brains and brawn behind our programs and events. They comprise a sample of our Young Adult Community: they’re in their 20s and 30s, they’re single and married, they’re women and men, they’re awesome! As such, the programs they create are just what you want to do. If you are interested in joining, please email Mike Amerikaner.
2012-2013 Young Adult Leadership Committee (YALC)
Mike has been Congregation Emanu-El’s Young Adult Community Coordinator since 2009. Mike was born in Los Angeles and grew up in San Luis Obispo. Prior to Emanu-El, he worked for the San Francisco Giants and their minor league team: the Fresno Grizzlies. He then worked for McKesson Healthcare before discovering a real passion for working in the Jewish Community. Mike became the Program Director at the UC Davis Hillel, and then joined us at Congregation Emanu-El. Mike has an International Relations B.A. from UC Davis, a Jewish Service Learning Certification, and he is currently studying for a Masters of Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco. When he is not working with YALC on planning events, you can find Mike urban hiking, eating out anywhere except chain restaurants, going to movies, and exploring new places in San Francisco.
firstname.lastname@example.org ~ (415) 751-2541 ext 124
Rachel Melman (Co-Chair)
Rachel embraced her inner “super-Jew” starting in 2011 as YALC co-chair after being on the committee for only a year. Originally from Los Angeles, Rachel first moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley before returning in 2009 after a four year hiatus in Southern California. In addition to embracing her inner super-Jew, Rachel has also embraced her inner nerd in both her personal and professional lives, competing in crossword puzzle tournaments, playing mahjongg with her girlfriends, and navigating the FDA’s regulatory maze in the world of biotech. She enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering at the food bank and fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She thinks she has a great sense of humor, so please laugh at her jokes, even though they’re terrible.
Jason Wilk (Co-Chair)
Jason joined YALC in 2011 and will be serving in his first year as co-chair of the committee. Jason is a native New Yorker, originally from Brooklyn then moved to Long Island in his freshman year of high school. He is a Cornell University alumnus of the Hotel School. Upon graduation, Jason was a Senior Development Analyst with Echelon Resorts, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming that was developing a master-planned, mixed-use destination resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Jason lived in Las Vegas for 3.5 years and can tell you some amazing stories! After Las Vegas, he moved back to New York, where he was a Gaming and Lodging equity analyst for a New York based institutional brokerage firm. Currently, Jason works at a California-based, real estate development / airport concessions company that operates in the San Francisco and Oakland International Airport and is expanding into Southern California. Jason has always been affiliated with temples throughout his life. He has a strong connection to Judaism and loves to socialize and meet new people (a.k.a he better find and marry a Jewish girl quick!). In truth, Jason's desire to join YALC stems from his desire to attract new members and continue to build relationships with the Community in the same way and spirit YALC has done since its inception. He looks forward to working with all YALC members to continue YALC's great tradition and contribution to the Bay Area.
Sean joined YALC in 2009 and is currently serving his second year as a co-chair of the committee. Originally from Memphis, TN, Sean lost his southern accent while getting his B.A. in Psychology at Dartmouth College and his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. Beginning his career at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Hillel International, he has since worked in product marketing roles at Amazon, Cisco Systems, and Salesforce.com. In terms of Jewish involvement, he attended Jewish summer camps for 9 years, was president of his NFTY chapter, did a semester abroad at Hebrew University, was president of the young adult group at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C., studied at Pardes Yeshiva, and has led five Birthright Israel trips. He currently serves on AIPAC’s LDP Executive Committee. While not “doing Jewish,” Sean enjoys hiking, swimming, rock concerts, and watching classic movies. It’s very hard to embarrass him; he dares you to try.
Jonathan Bloom first attended Temple Emanu-El's Late Shabbat in 2008, and was instantly hooked. After years of following his television news career through the small and largely Christian towns of Middle America, finding Emanu-El's vibrant and growing Young Adult Community was like finally coming home. It was the happy end to the first chapter of an exciting Jewish journey that continues to unfold here in San Francisco. A Temple member since late 2008, Jonathan has performed comedic roles in the Purim Follies since 2010, and has been a fixture at other Jewish social events, often as a volunteer bartender and unofficial event photographer. In 2012, after a career move that ended many years of working evenings and weekends, Jonathan took a long-awaited step and joined the Young Adult Leadership Committee, hoping to help shape this dynamic and one-of-a-kind community for his peers and the generations that follow. Jonathan can be found skiing the slopes of Lake Tahoe during the winter, cheering on the San Francisco Giants by summer, and performing pop-up concerts with the a cappella group Scales Of The City when you least expect it. Jonathan can also be seen most weekday evenings on ABC 7, reporting on the tech world's latest innovations, and the great Bay Area minds that create them.
Carrie grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She received a B.F.A in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan, and while working as a graphic designer, she yearned to become a 3D artist. She earned her M.F.A in 3D Modeling and Animation at the Academy of Art University. She enjoys working for 2K Sports in Novato, where she is part of a team that develops award winning games that are sold and played all over the world. She loves living in downtown San Francisco, going to street festivals, listening to music and taking spontaneous road trips to the beach or to ski. Softball, tennis and volleyball are her favorite sports. Congregation Emanu-El is perfect for her as it helps her deepen her connection to Judaism and provides a community of terrific people and programs. She looks forward to being part of YALC for the personal growth and the opportunity to give back to the community that has so enriched her life.
Jennifer Goldstein was born and raised in Nashville, TN. She graduated from Indiana University in 2006 with a B.S. in Business Marketing. Shortly after graduation, Jennifer moved to San Francisco. In October 2008 Jennifer began working for AIPAC where she is currently the Assistant Area Director for the San Francisco area. Prior to becoming a "professional Jew," Jennifer was connected with Emanu-El through her Rabbi in Nashville, Rabbi Mark Schiftan, a former Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El. At her Rabbi's encouragement, Jennifer had her first encounter with the San Francisco Jewish community when she attended her first Late Shabbat in Spring 2008. In her free time, you can find Jennifer cooking, reading, cheering on the Tennessee Titans, and practicing yoga
Laura joined YALC in August 2011 and is excited to give back to the Jewish community. She has enjoyed many a Late Shabbat since moving to San Francisco in 2006. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Laura attended UC Davis where she earned her B.A. in Psychology with minors in Education and Music. After moving to the city by the Bay post graduation, she worked for several years in the field of education, both Jewish and secular. She went back to school at San Francisco State University where she attained her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and has continued work in education ever since. Laura grew up in a Reform temple where she had both her Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation in addition to serving as a madracha for four years. During high school Laura took leadership roles in BBG and was highly involved in both Hillel and ΣΑΕΠ at UC Davis. In the fall, she will start her eighth year of educating youngsters at a local Sunday School in the city. When not working with children, Laura enjoys photography; reading novels; exploring the bay area; attending music, dance and theater productions; tasting local cuisine; and paying her respects to the Golden Gate Bridge!
Phillip grew up in Central California's Salinas Valley, where he was a member of Temple Beth El. Phillip left the golden state and traveled to New York for college, where he attended NYU and immersed himself in the strong Jewish community of New York. This led him to join NYU's Jewish Heritage Program and participate in numerous events at NYU's Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. As part of this great Jewish community, Phillip traveled to Israel for the first time on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, where he further connected to his Jewish roots and discovered his insatiable love of hummus. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from NYU, Phillip returned to his home state of California where he now works as a brand builder and communications expert, helping brilliant people and companies achieve their communication goals. He joined YALC in 2013 to continue building his strong Jewish identity and to be a part of the great Jewish Community at Congregation Emanu-El.
Shira has worked in the US and Switzerland to develop and market medical technology, and in Uganda to build laboratory services for the public health system. She studied mechanical engineering and management at MIT and UC Berkeley, and is thrilled to be back in the bay area after four years abroad. She loves active outdoor fun, hosting small dinner parties, and organizing activities for friends and groups like YAC. Shira grew up in the forest in southern Illinois where the small, welcoming Jewish community established “cultural community” as her highest value in Judaism. She has tried to find or build a sense of this community everywhere she has lived, and she joined YALC in May 2012 after returning to San Francisco and finding it at Emanu-El.
Sara was born and raised in New York, NY and received a BA in Sociology from NYU. She previously worked in special events at L'Oreal and relocated to San Francisco to manage creative for Store Openings and Events at Sephora. Sara attended her first Late Shabbat in June 2012 and was instantly hooked. By July, she came back for her second Shabbat as a member of YALC. Sara is excited to meet the Emanuel community and is eager to blend charitable activities with social events in the YAC.
Cindy grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She joined Temple Emanu-El in 2008 shortly after moving to San Francisco and co-founded the Emanu-El Arts & Culture havurah in September 2011. She received her BA in International Relations from Tufts University and her MA in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. After college, she moved to China to be a cruise director on the Yangtze River. In the U.S., she has worked on Asia-related projects in both the non-profit and public sectors--as a program officer for international exchange programs in New York, and as a bank regulator in New York and San Francisco. In terms of Jewish activities, she spent many childhood Sunday mornings at Washington Hebrew Congregation and was also actively involved in Tufts Hillel. Her first exposure to California was spending a summer of college as a counselor at Camp Swig (previously part of the URJ camp network). Beyond involvement in YALC, she enjoys international travel, foodie excursions, practicing her rusty Mandarin, and seeking out music and arts activities in the Bay Area.
Kate joined YALC in 2013. Born in Russia, Kate immigrated to the US in 1990 and grew up in San Diego. Kate attended UCLA, where she began her Jewish involvement by being on the board of the university's Israel activism organization, Bruins for Israel. She then began her career as an IT Consultant for Capgemini and traveled around for until until starting a long term project back in San Diego. There, she became involved with the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation and participated and led programs for the San Diego community for two years. In June of 2010, Kate quit her job and moved to Europe to attend IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. After two fun and challenging years filled with international colleagues, a rigorous academic program, and extensive travel, Kate decided to move back to California. In August of 2012, she got a job with Salesforce.com and moved to San Francisco. Kate attended her first Late Shabbat in September of 2012 and has been a regular ever since.
Deborah joined YALC in January of 2011. She had regularly attended Late Shabbat and other YAC events since she moved from LA to the Bay Area a year prior, and wanted to take an active role in planning YAC events and shaping the YAC community at large. Deborah is originally from Santa Cruz, California and has BA's in both Mathematics and Economics from UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, Deborah began as an actuary for Kaiser Permanente but ultimately left this role to pursue a career in the fitness industry. She currently works in the Operations Department for Crunch Fitness. When away from Crunch and YAC, Deborah loves playing sports, especially flag football and volleyball, running, hiking, and traveling
Allie joined Emanu El after moving back to California in 2012 and wanting to get connected to the Jewish community in San Francisco. Allie grew up attending a Reconstructionist synagogue in Orange County. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and then ventured into the political world working on the 2008 Obama campaign and moving to Washington, DC. After dabbling in politics, Allie decided to pursue a passion for public health and got her Masters in Public Health from George Washington University. After graduating, she moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in public health and works at UCSF in adolescent health. Allie joined YALC in June 2013 after attending many late night shabbats and other YALC sponsored activities in the city. Her family hails from San Francisco and she grew up attending Bar and Bat Mitzvah's and family reunions at Emanu El. Allie is an expert people watcher, a dog enthusiast, an avid reader and experimental crafter.
David joined YALC in 2013. After being born and raised in Los Angeles, David ventured to St. Louis to attend Washington University. He quickly returned to the warmth of the west coast to help launch a new 200 store grocery chain for the world's 3rd largest retailer, Tesco. After that he moved up the bay to go to graduate school at Stanford. David received his MBA in 2011 and spent his summer working for IDEO where got to help invent new consumer products. After school, David began investing and creating new technology startups at Harrison Metal Capital, the seed stage venture capital fund behind Admob, Aardvark, Cafepress, Birchbox and Heroku. David was a NFTY board member in highschool, camp counselor at Camp Alonim, active in AIPAC and is the grandson of holocaust survivors.
Mathew has been active in the Young Adult Community at Temple Emanu-El since 2005. He was born and raised in Santa Monica and moved to the Bay Area to attend college at UC Berkeley. Mathew works as an investment banker at Wells Fargo Securities covering the internet & digital media sector. He enjoys the outdoors - playing volleyball, biking, running, and hiking in Marin.
Alexis grew up across the bay in Piedmont, and is excited to be back in the Bay Area and part of YALC. Alexis has served as a leader in her Jewish community throughout her life--from serving as a counselor for local Hebrew High retreats and chairing a Jewish teen seminar in Mendeleev, Russia when she was in high school to serving on the Executive Board of her Hillel at UC Santa Barbara and the Jewish Graduate Student Network in Philadelphia, when she attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A California attorney by trade, Alexis is a personal development writer, speaker and media personality. Alexis is at work on her first book, and contributes personal essays to publications including Forbes.com and Cosmopolitan magazine, blogs for The Huffington Post, and writes an advice column with her family in the J. Alexis is a cast member of the upcoming Oprah Winfrey Network television show, One, and makes regular appearances on local and national radio, including NPR. She is also a national speaker and workshop leader. Alexis loves connecting with people and being a part of a strong Jewish community. She loves the warm, welcoming Emmanuel family.
Ron is originally from the Bay Area. He joined Temple Emanu-El in 2011. He is an alumnus of U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University. After working as a financial analyst at a hedge fund in New York, he moved back to the Bay Area to work as a software engineer/project manager first for a startup and most recently for the State of California’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP). He was attracted to YALC in order to help attract new members, build community and help facilitate outreach. Outside of YAC, he enjoys playing in amateur Shakespearean acting, playing in improv sketches, running and telling confusing jokes.
Anat joined YALC in 2013, soon after becoming a member of Congregation Emanu-El. Anat grew up in a small town in the north of Israel. She moved to the city in 2009, to get a BFA in Animation and Web Design from the Academy of Art University. Anat has always considered herself "collaterally" Jewish, but had to move all the way to San Francisco to find her religious connection through Emanu-El. Anat loves cooking, writing , creating art and talking about Israel.