Kol Tzedek Fellows
Meet the 5773 Kol Tzedek Fellows!
Kol Tzedek: Voices of Justice Speaking Fellows serve as AJWS ambassadors to Jewish communities across the United States. As alumni of the Rabbinical Students’ Delegation, fellows translate their personal experiences in the developing world and their passion for justice into compelling sermons and teachings, spreading “AJWS Torah” nationwide.
The Kol Tzedek fellows can speak or teach in many different contexts in your community: perhaps you are looking for a scholar-in-residence, a college campus presenter or a conference educator. They also speak on many topics related to global justice issues, Jewish text and tradition, and AJWS’s current campaigns – particularly this year’s food justice campaign, Reverse Hunger: Ending the Global Food Crisis.
Dahlia Bernstein is in her fifth and final year of rabbinical school at The Jewish Theological Seminary where she is also pursuing a master’s degree in Jewish education. Hailing from Plainview, New York, Dahlia graduated from the Joint Program between JTS and Columbia University, where she earned two bachelor's degrees: one in Talmud and rabbinics and the other in anthropology. Between college and rabbinical school, Dahlia worked for the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York in their Intergroup Relations Department. In her second year of rabbinical school, Dahlia was granted the Schusterman Fellowship to participate in interdenominational dialogues about inclusion, synagogue management and visions of Jewish communal leadership. She worked with Metropolitan Jewish Hospice as a chaplain intern in 2010-2011. Dahlia served as the rabbinic intern last year for Orangetown Jewish Center in Orangeburg, New York, where she is currently completing an education internship. She is also serving as the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow of Congregation Emanuel in Statesville, North Carolina. Dahlia lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband of three years, Aaron Friedman, a stand-up comedian and children's entertainer.
Karin Fleisch is an independent food security consultant and a Dean's Scholar at NYU Wagner, where she is pursuing a master's degree in public administration. She has been immersed in the food systems/anti-hunger field since 2004, when she worked at Teachers College, Columbia University's LiFE (Linking Food and the Environment) Program, an award-winning, food-based science curriculum. Prior to beginning her full-time graduate work at NYU, Karin spent five years at the Food Bank for New York City, managing the team that monitors and supports NYC’s 1000+ food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Previously, Karin apprenticed at Hava V'Adam Ecological Farm in Modi’in, Israel, where she lived in a geodesic dome, learned and lived permaculture and grew vegetables. Post-farm life, Karin consulted for non-profits - including Leket Israel: Israel’s National Food Bank - in the fields of food systems, food security, and sustainability. In June 2009, she participated in the ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators and in June 2012 traveled to El Salvador with AJWS’s 13th Rabbinical Students’ Delegation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Uri L’Tzedek and on the Interim Steering Committee of the Brooklyn Food Coalition.
Leah Schechter is currently pursuing a master’s degree from the New School’s Milano School of International Affairs in Management and Urban Policy. Leah holds a BA in philosophy with a concentration in psychology from Boston University. Leah also spent a semester studying informal Jewish education at Leo Beack College in London, England. She currently works for Jewish Family Service in Stamford, Connecticut as an Outreach Coordinator. Previously, Leah was the assistant director of education and the director of youth programs at Temple Israel in Westport, Connecticut, where she organized and led three service learning trips to Nicaragua with Bridges to Community. She also led a service trip to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Leah participated in the first URJ Kesher Delegation to Argentina and the URJ Youthworkers Fellowship to Israel in 2007. In the summer of 2011 she led an AJWS Volunteer Summer group of high school students to Ghana for seven weeks. More recently, Leah traveled to El Salvador with AJWS’s 13th Rabbinical Students’ Delegation in June 2012. Leah lives with her sister, a chef, on New York City’s Upper West Side.
Jeremy Simons is in his fourth year of rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, California. As a rabbinical student, he has served pulpits in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Redding, California. Jeremy received a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Ohio State University, after which he spent four years working as a synagogue youth director in Boston, Massachusetts. In June 2011, Jeremy traveled to Senegal with AJWS’s 11th Rabbinical Students’ Delegation. In addition to his work with AJWS, Jeremy has worked closely with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism as a rabbinic intern. Jeremy completed naval officer development school and is interested in a career in military chaplaincy. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and cycling.