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 volunteer congregation members 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, and they’re awesome!
Young Adult Leadership Committee (YALC)
Aaron is a San Francisco native, and passionate about all things San Francisco! Growing up just a few blocks from Temple Emanu-El, he used to attend summer school and various activities at the congregation. His family relocated to the North Bay at the age of 10, but Aaron’s love of Emanu-El and his Jewish heritage remained. Aaron had a Bar Mitzvah Jerusalem at the age of 13, and has continued to attend High Holy Day services at Emanu-El for years. After receiving his BS in Finance at Santa Clara University, he moved back to San Francisco and enjoys a career in residential real estate with his brother Michael. After moving back, Aaron discovered the various YAC programs that Emau-El had to offer, and was impressed to see how the programs have grown. After a year of attending events, he couldn’t wait to get involved! His first event was a home buyer seminar with a fellow YALC member, which was received very successfully, and is looking forward to contributing to the calendar of fun and original events that Emanu-El’s Young Adult Leadership Committee has to offer.
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.
Rachel is a native of Syracuse, NY, but a Californian at heart. After graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago and studying abroad at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she ditched her snow boots for flip flops and spent five years happily soaking up the sunshine in San Diego. She previously worked as an AmeriCorps Fellow, a Teach For America Corps Member, and an Educational Director at the Anti-Defamation League. Currently, she is pursuing her passion for education and social justice as a ninth-grade English teacher at Woodside High School and teaches at the Temple Emanu-El Religious School. She is so excited to be on YALC and looks forward to meeting you out in the community!
Amy grew up in New York and moved to the Bay Area in 2013. She currently works on autonomous systems in the tech industry. She also loves to cook and host dinners, travel, and explore SF in her free time.
Aaron grew up in Santa Monica, CA (Go Dodgers!), but his best friends will admit that he’s a NorCal convert and loving everything the Bay has to offer. He earned a BA in Political Science and Business from Brandeis University where he was Captain of the Varsity Golf Team. After graduating in 2009, Aaron moved back to Los Angeles and worked in Private Banking/Wealth Management as an investment advisor for several firms before taking the summer of 2014 off to backpack around Europe with a dear friend from High School. It was during this life changing trip that he decided to take the leap of faith and accept a position with a successful Fintech company in San Francisco.
After attending several Late Shabbat’s earlier this year, Aaron felt an immediate connection with congregants and members of the YALC board that are now some of his closest friends in the city. Aaron joined YALC in August 2016 after putting on an event at the Ping Pong Club, Spin SF and is very excited to work with the YALC leadership team in planning future events! He enjoys playing golf, travelling the world and learning new songs on his Ibanez AC-240 acoustic guitar.
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.
Wendi recently moved to the Bay Area in July 2015 is thrilled to be a part of the Emanu-El community. She immediately joined the congregation, after returning from Congregation Emanu-El’s Summer Camp in 2015. Back in New York, Wendi was also active within the Jewish community. After a memorable and inspiring trip to Israel with the Jewish Enrichment Center-Birthright Israel Next, she established a team of beginner triathletes within the Jewish community to participate in the NYC Triathlon, while fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Her goal is to bring that passion to our young adult community. Wendi is a third grade teacher at a private school in Portola. Her hobbies include triathlons, cycling, hiking, and running. Wendi joined YALC in February 2016 and is looking forward to her new role!
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.
Blake is a connector and takes immense joy helping foster meaningful relationships!
He grew up in Miami and went to college in Washington DC. It’s fair to say he fully lived the D.C. life! Interning at the Democratic National Committee and working in the nonprofit field for 5 years. Eventually, it was time for tech, which led him to the Bay working on creating the next generation of smart homes.
With regards to Judaism, Birthright was the powerful experience that brought a deep connection with his Jewish roots. After attending a late shabbat at Temple Emanu-El that same sense of pride of our people was rekindled. He knew he had to be involved.
A world class culture creator, Blake continues to lead and recommend culture building activities to one of the world largest companies, Samsung. Blake sees the immense value of strength in unity and shared values of compassion, love, and respect. He cannot wait to meet you!
Adam recently moved to San Francisco in December, 2015. He began coming to Late Shabbat at Congregation Emanu-El and felt inspired by the warmth and openness of the community, so he joined YALC to get more involved. Adam grew up in Boulder Colorado as a Reform Jew and moved to Connecticut in high school. He studied Manufacturing Engineering at Boston University and then moved to Orange County, CA.
Adam has also volunteered on the young professional boards of the Jewish Federations of Orange County and Los Angeles. He helped start the Orange County Moishe House in 2009. In 2010, Adam lived in Israel for 6 months, working for a software company and volunteering at a high school teaching English. After leaving Israel, he explored Europe, and ended up working at 3 wineries in Spain and France. Adam loves hosting Shabbat dinners and leading wine tasting events.
Sarah is thrilled be joining YALC and grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow with such a strong team of professionals in the community. Sarah grew up in Massachusetts and moved to San Francisco in 2013 for a start-up job in Education-Technology. A passionate educator and former tech camp director, Sarah is always looking for new ways to engage learners and foster the love of learning in children and adults. As a life-long learner herself, Sarah spends her time outside of the classroom writing, biking, hiking, running, playing tennis and in the dance studio. Sarah is also a certified children’s yoga instructor and loves getting to share her practice with little ones.
Misha is a native San Franciscan that grew up in the Sunset and graduated from Lowell High School. He studied Aerospace Engineering at UCLA, after which he earned a Master’s degree at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. His professional career started at NASA Ames working on small satellite technologies, and he currently works at Planet Labs launching satellites into space to help humanity better understand our planet. Misha joined YALC in May 2017 and is honored and delighted to serve on the committee.
While Cara was raised in New Jersey she always had a sense for adventure and knew she wanted to travel the world. Having always had a passion for international service, after graduating from Hobart and William Smith colleges in 2011 she made plans to travel abroad. In addition to being a Peace Corps and AmeriCorps alum, she has lived and worked in seven countries where she facilitated and oversaw community development and outreach. On returning to the United States she moved to Portland, Oregon where she received a masters in International Development and Service from Concordia University. Having fell in love with the west coast, upon graduation, she moved to the bay area in 2016. Throughout her time abroad she always was able to find a jewish community to welcome her in, so when she moved to San Francisco she knew she wanted to help facilitate and strengthen the community here. As soon as she attended her first Late Shabbat at Congregation Emanu-El she was inspired by the friendliness and compassion if everyone she met and knew she had found something she wanted to be a part of. She is so excited to be on YALC and looks forward to meeting you out in the community!
Anna was born in the Ukraine and grew up on the Peninsula. During her college years at UC Berkeley, Anna worked at Hillel and was a co-founder and president of the Jewish Business Association.
After receiving her BS in Business Administration, Anna lived in the East Bay and worked in financial services, helping thousands of clients obtain residential mortgage financing and educating first time homebuyers. In 2014, Anna moved to San Francisco and discovered the welcoming, warm community and interesting programming at Emanu-El. Anna currently works as an Operations Manager at a leading FinTech start up in San Francisco and enjoys spending her spare time exploring San Francisco, working out, cooking, and planning/attending Emanu El events.
After a few years of attending events, Anna joined the 2016 Young Adult Summer Camp Committee and loved planning camp. Anna became a YALC member in late 2016 and is excited to plan fun, enriching events and getting to know members of our thriving young adult community.
Aaron Weisinger has been an Emanu El congregant for the past five years along with his wife Erica. He lives close to the temple and has been on the YALC since 2014. Aaron grew up in Danville and attended UCSB for his undergraduate degree before obtaining his MBA at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. He enjoys spending weekends in Tahoe where he enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, fishing and relaxing.
Tal was born in Israel and grew up in Cupertino, CA. She became very involved in Jewish life in high school as an active participant in the Israeli Scouts and BBYO. She attended U.C. Berkeley where she continued immersing herself in Jewish life. She served as the Vice President of Programming of the Jewish Student Union at Hillel and the co-founder and president of the Jewish Business Association. After graduating Tal moved to San Francisco and worked in finance analyzing mutual funds. Her finance career was put on hold when the economy collapsed in 2008 so she went backpacking across South America for 6 months. While travelling she was able to further strengthen her connection to Israel as she had the opportunity to meet many fellow Israeli travelers (post army travel is very common in Israel and many young adults travel to South America after their service). Tal returned to San Francisco with a strong connection to Israel and instantly became involved in the Jewish and Israeli scene. She loves planning and attending Young Adult events.
Alina was born in St. Petersburg Russia and immigrated to Boston when she was five years old. She became very involved with Hillel at the University of Rhode Island where she studied International Business and Spanish. The opportunities that Alina was granted through her involvement in Hillel sparked her passion for the Jewish community, leadership, and travel. After graduation is when Alina’s real adventures began. She spent a year teaching English in Spain and then four years in Chicago. Although Alina loved the windy city, after surviving the Polar Vortex, she decided to chase the sunshine and moved to San Francisco (where she learned there was more fog than Sunshine but she still loves it).
Alina works as a commercial real estate broker, and in her spare time enjoys meeting new people, exploring all the CA has to offer, creating art, and being involved in the community. She is extremely excited to be part of YALC and to help plan great events for the community.