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Our mission is to grant Jewish students from different cultural backgrounds opportunities to come together. Bridging the Gap seeks to bridge the divide between Jewish cultural groups by incorporating Hillel’s core Jewish values: Chesed (kindness), Tikun Olam (Repair the world), Tzedaka (charity), Jewish Identity and Israel. Every event we facilitate embodies the theme of unity; embracing our differences and realizing that we are one people, with one mission, and one purpose.

“Bridging the Gap” Fellowship – is your chance to help us build a lasting and effective partnership between the NYC Hillels and our communities. The fellowship is creating a community of dedicated college students and narrowing divisions between diverse cultures of Jewish students. Bridging the Gap has served the Russian, American, orthodox, and conservative communities, helping students open lines of communication not otherwise possible.

Project of Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College funded by UJA-Federation of New York

When students become part of this leadership experience, they’ll be meeting new people, interacting with key professionals and philanthropists, gaining valuable experience, helping them in the future. In addition to professional experience they will receive a $1000 stipend.

During the spring semester, Bridging the Gap fellows are expected to attend one general interest meeting followed by three programming meetings. They will also organize two large city-wide events based on their own ideas and planning desires, incorporating Hillel’s underlying core Jewish values.
Each student leader will gain a portfolio of experience through their responsibilities which include:

• Generating interest for the initiative,
• Contacting students and active members from their universities
• Publicizing events
• Creating Social Media initiatives

Bridging the Gap’s dynamic summer programming consists of two events hosted and facilitated by the student fellows. These events produced for current and prospective students in New York City to give them a diverse taste of “summer in the city.” The themes explored will reflect the work done by the student fellowship board

During the fall semester, interns will return to the respective campuses with an “event planning & coaching certificate” through Bridging the Gap.
Fellows will assist Hillel staff and student board to plan and promote two large scale city-wide events bringing their new experiences and leadership skills to their local communities.

Become a part of Bridging the Gap: Unite and build a diverse, cohesive Jewish community.

For more information, email Tanya Gutsol at tanyahillel@gmail.com


Tanya Gutsol

Citywide events director


Tanya has been professionally involved with Hillel for 11 years; she grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, in a non-religious household. At the age of 17, while getting her B.A. in computer science, Tanya followed the insistent advice of her Jewish mother and discovered Kiev Hillel. After being professionally involved with Hillel for 4 years, she moved to Baltimore, MD to work on a college campus as an Engagement Associate, first at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus and then at the University of Maryland, a school with the largest Jewish student bodies in the country. There she developed and implemented engagement strategies to expand the student network, advised and grew several Israeli, Russian leadership and community service student groups. Tanya is a member of ROI community and a past founding resident of the Russian Moishe House, NYC. Tanya's current portfolio includes: development of student leadership groups, and the "Bridging the Gap" fellowship; increasing partnerships between BTG and Jewish communal organizations of North America.

Rozeeta Mavashev

Engagement Associate


is an Engagement Associate at the Tanger Hillel of Brooklyn College. Her Jewish Professional life started out with a simple Hillel internship that stemmed into countless Fellowships and her Israel involvement. She is very passionate about the young Jewish Millennial generation and devotes most of her time in engaging and guiding other young Jewish students. She loves to travel and is always interested in learning anything and everything that has to do with art and music. Two years ago Rozeeta discovered that she can sing and uses any excuse to share the music within her soul with the world; even if it means singing loudly in the shower. She also has this well-known addiction to staffing Birthright trips and has an ultimate goal to reach 30 trips before she turns 30. Overall she’s pretty funny, ambitious and talks too much, and in her presence you’ll never get bored, it’s a guarantee.



May 2015 - June 2016

We’re looking for a smart, motivated self-starter to be a member of our growing fellowship team!


Bridging the Gap is an initiative that grants Jewish College students from different cultural backgrounds opportunities to unite their diverse networks. Bridging the Gap fosters lasting connections between Jewish cultural groups by incorporating Hillel’s core Jewish values: Chesed (kindness), Tikun Olam (Repair the world), Tzedaka (charity), Jewish Identity and Israel. All our events embody the theme of unity; we embrace our differences, realizing that we are one people, with one mission and one purpose!


  • Build relationships with Jewish students on campus and maintain an ongoing contact
    • Create and implement events that help bridge the divide between Jewish cultural groups
    • Connect individuals to Jewish life on campus and across NYC

• Participation in trainings and workshops – biweekly team training sessions
• Events planning and implementation
• Organize events that relate to the five core Jewish values into every event: to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world), Jewish learning, and to support Israel and the Jewish people globally
• Hold a portfolio of responsibilities including: generating interest for the program, contacting students from local campuses, creating publicity, and collaborating with student clubs and student Life
• Build relationships with 40 Jewish students on campus and tracking their involvement
• Work collaboratively with BTG Fellows to organize and promote a minimum of 20 meaningful city-wide events
• Organize 2 campus based events between September 2015 and June 2016

  • BTG Fellows will work with the BTG staff (Campus Hillel staff if applicable) to ensure they meet all benchmarks and requirements of the BTG Fellowship.
  • BTG Fellow should be able to dedicate on an average of 5-7 hours per week to successfully fulfill the responsibilities.


  • BTG Fellows receive professional skills, improve their resume and make friends and in addition, $1000 is awarded to BTG Fellows for the period of May 2015 through June 2016. The stipend is paid in increments of two installments as the criteria for the internship is met. The results will be measured qualitatively and quantitatively.

• Currently enrolled as an undergraduate (sophomore or junior) in the NY metropolitan area
• Active on your campus, involved in Student life, and have networks both in your school and in the NY Jewish community

  • Have a basic level of: Jewish knowledge; Understanding and/or experience with engagement/follow-up; Programming (preferably with students-young adults)
    • Possess excellent interpersonal communication skills
    • Have excellent research skills
    • Desire to contribute to and learn from the experience


Fill out the application at www.bridgingthegapny.org/fellowship
Send resume to Tanya Gutsol at Tanya@bchillel.org

Bridging the Gap Fellows 2015-2016

Aryeh Laufer

Yeshiva University

hails from Lawrence, New York but likes to identify as a citizen of the world.  Fresh off the boat from a gap year in Israel, Aryeh is currently working towards a double major in psychology and Jewish studies at Yeshiva University. Aryeh loves learning from people of all backgrounds and having deep meaningful conversations on the spot. He is passionate about education, Torah values, philosophy, broadening horizons, the 7 habits of highly effective people, chassidut, relationships, and can sometimes get a bit too carried away with the miracle of existence. This aspiring Jewish educator truly believes that boxes are for dead people and labels are for clothing- and is downright giddy to be working towards the goal of bridging the gaps between the boxes and labels of denominations, politics, and social circles. Aryeh is looking forward to learning, sharing, and getting to know everyone on a deeply experiential level! 

Anastasia Velkov


is native New Yorker and a sophomore at The College of Staten Island. She is currently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business with ambitions of entering the field of I-O Psychology in the future. Growing up in a non-religious Russian household  her connection with Judaism and the Jewish community was never something that seemed to concern or intrigue her; until an impromptu and whimsical decision to take advantage of Taglit. The transition post Birthright opened up a new understanding of who she was. With transition came the assimilation into the Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College, a place that felt like a home away from home.  Becoming involved with the Tanger Hillel helped her come to an internal epiphany within herself and where she belonged in the Jewish community. By being a fellow for Bridging the Gap Anastasia hopes to pique the interest of those who were in a similar situation as she was and help them understand and integrate into a community that is open to all that are open to it.

Shanie Reichman

Queens College

is a fierce debater, determined understander, and ridiculous dreamer. She goes to Queens College, where she is Vice President of the political science club, and a social change fellow for the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding. Shanie is an active part of the Hillel, having started the first partnership minyan on Friday nights and working as a peer network engagement intern, before moving on to become a community organizing intern for the Hillel club, as well as their inclusivity chair, this coming year. She is responsible for all interfaith and LGBTQ+-inclusive events and plans on working her butt off to ensure she successfully creates an inclusive space. Shanie is looking forward to a year of awesome events and friendships with the Bridging the Gap Fellows and community. 

Greta Davidova

Baruch College

is a junior at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. Greta was born in Russia and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where her family moved only a few months after her birth. Being raised in a traditional Gorsky-Kavkazi Jewish home has allowed her to learn about the importance of Jewish traditions, as well as staying connected to her Jewish roots. With the majority of her family living in Israel, and given the opportunity to extend her stay there after her unforgettable Birthright trip last summer, she was truly astonished by the unity within Israel’s communities and the country as whole. Greta hopes that with Bridging the Gap she will have the opportunity to help form that same kind of unity between Jewish-Americans of her generation here at home in NYC, building a stronger Jewish community that will come to serve as a foundation for many more generations to come.

Rachel Waldman


is a junior at the College of Staten Island and is studying Business Management. She is the president of the Hillel club on campus and is hoping to make a difference for the jewish students on her campus. She is of Russian decent but is looking to learn more about her culture and background. In her free time, Rachel enjoys singing, playing piano, exploring and traveling the world.

Kseniya Davydova

City College

is a sophomore Honors student at City College. She is majoring in Civil Engineering and aspires build the future of New York City, literally.  In school, she is an active member of both Engineers Without Borders, where she serves as treasurer, and member of the ever-growing City College Hillel. Kseniya was born in Uzbekistan and came to American at a very early age. She grew up in a tight-knit community in Queens, NY. After a recent birthright trip to Israel, she feels more excited and proud of her identity. She hopes that Bridge the Gap will give her the opportunity to unite Jewish people of all background and walks of life by sharing the values of education and community. 

Jeffrey Kogan

Pace University

Originally from Long Island, New York, Jeff now lives in Downtown Manhattan and is a student at Pace University where he studies finance. He is a driven individual and is active in several on-campus organizations including Zeta Beta Tau, Hillel, and several others. With parents from Donetsk and Moldova, much of his drive comes from his motivation of being a first generation American. Jeff obtained his first job at 15 in a New York law firm, commuting regularly from Long Island to New York City. In the future, he aspires to become the CFO of a non for profit organization.

Michael DeMartino

College of Staten Island

Born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Mike is a lovable goofball with who knows how to pull a smile out of everyone. He majored in Design and Digital Media through The College of Staten Island. Mike wasn't raised in a Jewish household even though his family is historically Jewish. His father, a devout Catholic, met and married his mother who was from a Jewish household. Mike wasn't raised with religion but he was loved and was gifted a good set of morals from both parents. Years later he fell back into Judaism after meeting some friends in the Hillel offices of The College of Staten Island. Seeing the love and trust and history of the Jewish religion was what pulled him back to his family roots. The realization was he was a Jew his whole life and he finally found a name for himself. Connecting with people, connecting with his community and forging a deeper connection with himself are all major goals for his joining this fellowship.

Rotem Noah

Brooklyn College

Rotem Noah is a freshman at Brooklyn College, and is majoring in International Business with a minor in Marketing. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Having Israeli parents, Rotem speaks English and Hebrew fluently. Rotem is currently the President of The Israel Club at Brooklyn College and the VP of a Jewish Sorority that she is founding on campus. Rotem is extremely passionate about Israel and Advocates for the country to the best of her ability. Furthermore, by founding the Jewish sorority, her goal is to bring Jewish girls from different descents together to form Sisterhood. Rotem aspires to be a young Jewish leader in her community so that she can spread her love for Judaism and Israel.

Our Events

Made possible by funding provided by UJA-Federation of NY:

 March, there was a Purim dance party in downtown Manhattan.
April brought a combined Earth Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Rosh Chodesh celebration in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
May gathered students and professionals around Shabbat table for “SHABAM” – Shabbat Across Manhattan.

What’s next?? Stay tuned!

October 6, 2016

Open Mic Night: Express Yourself

Join us at the Drom for live performances by famous poet and host Andrew Lustig and YOU! A night of self expressions for you and by you. Meet people city wide, enjoy […]
October 6, 2016

Paint Nite 2016

Join BTG for Paint Nite on Sunday, October 30th. We will be exploring the theme of, “Colors of our Heritage” by putting brush to canvas and bringing color to our […]
September 14, 2016

Social Media Workshop

Join BTG for our Social Media Workshop lead by Mllnnl and JSwipe founder, David Yarus. This workshop will focus on giving you the right tools you need to really utilize […]
September 9, 2016

Apple picking for the Jewish New Year

SUNDAY,  SEPTEMBER 25TH 10AM-6PM It is that time of year again! A new year with new beginnings. To make it a sweet one let’s keep tradition alive and pick fresh […]
August 22, 2016
btg summer summit

BTG Jewish Leadership Retreat

You are cordially invited to Bridging the Gap’s Jewish Leadership Retreat for student leaders from NYC. What is Bridging the Gap’s Jewish Leadership Retreat?     This weekend getaway will bring […]
August 2, 2016
Boat Party 2016 flyer 1

Tu B’Av All White Boat Party

This Tu B’Av, join Bridging the Gap as we set sail for a sunset cruise around Manhattan, celebrating the Jewish Day of Love! Set sail with us and let the […]
July 7, 2016

White Water Rafting Adventure

Join Bridging The Gap for a day of thrills and adventure!!!   Bridging The Gap is excited to invite you to our white water rafting adventure. Team up with a […]
June 19, 2016
Food Tour flyer

Lower East Side food tour

The streets of the Lower East Side tell the tales of struggling immigrants – Eastern Europeans, Russians, Germans, Puerto Ricans – who came to America in search of opportunity. They […]

Get Involved

Help us build a lasting and effective partnership between Hillels of NYC and our communities.

APPLY NOW FOR 2015-16 Bridging the Gap fellowship