Bridging the Gap Fellows 2014-2015

Nadia Galpern

Queens College


is a New York native and senior at Queens College studying Psychology and looking to go into a career in social work in the future. She enjoys dancing ballet and musical theater. She is very proud of her Jewish roots and has been trying to get into the Jewish community. She is happy for her fellowship at BTG for helping her do just that.

Adam Gruber

New York University


is from the North Shore of Chicago and is a sophomore at New York University. He is double majoring in psychology and communications with a minor in French. He enjoys art, music, watching films, and exploring New York City. Deeply connected to his Jewish identity he attended Solomon Schechter Day School, was president of Israel Club at his high school, taught Hebrew school, and is an active member of NYU’s Hillel.

Jared Oriel

Pratt Institute


is a sophomore at Pratt Institute studying Communications Design, specifically illustration. Jared is from Pennsylvania and raised in a Jewish household. His work can be found on https://www.behance.net/JaredOriel. Jared prides himself on his Jewish identity and enjoys regular shabbat and holiday events on his campus. Jared is also the poster designer for Bridging the Gap.

Diana Esaiov

Brooklyn College


is a senior studying Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences at Brooklyn College. Diana has been an active member of the Tanger Hillel House since sophomore year and is currently on the board of the RJC (Russian Jewish Club) as Vice President. Being born into a traditional Israeli-Kavkazi family with strong Jewish values, she has always identified herself as a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. The Bridging The Gap fellowship gives Diana the chance to do what she loves (meet new people, network, plan exciting events) and give back to the community at large.

Nicole Liebman

College of Staten Island


is a senior at the College of Staten Island (CSI, majoring in Political Science and minoring in history. She is an active member in Hillel on campus where she was the PNEI intern, secretary and VP of social affairs. She plans to become more involved and work with other students on campus promoting Jewish life on campus, Hillel and Bridging the Gap.

Revekka Plotinskaya

Baruch College


Revekka (Vekka) Plotinskaya is in her sophomore year of studies as a Dean’s Scholar at Baruch College. She is double majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology with a minor in English. Vekka is an aspiring future doctor and hopes to focus on Dermatology. Revekka was born in Russia and moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2000 and identifies heavily with her Russian-American culture. Recently getting back from a Birthright trip to Israel, she feels even more connected to her Jewish roots, which she explores and promotes at the Hillel and around her campus.

Alina Migirov

City College in Manhattan


is a sophomore in Macaulay Honors at City College in Manhattan. She grew up in Long Island and Staten Island, and is thrilled to be living and learning in NYC now. She is an active member of Hillel and a volunteer for New York Cares. She loves to bake, travel, learn, and explore new place. Alina recently returned from an unforgettable summer in Israel, during which her passion for Jewish learning and serving the community grew tremendously. She strongly believes in the necessity for every Jew to be growth-oriented and inspired towards becoming better people, so she is excited to help encourage young Jewish adults to develop in the core Jewish values while having an awesome time doing it!

Lihi Elkayam

Long Island University - Brooklyn campus


was born and raised in Israel. She is a second year fellow. Graduated high school from Wingate Institute- the national sport institute where she played volleyball for the Israeli youth national team. She served for two years at the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and shortly after moved to Virginia where she completed her BA in psychology with a minor in biology. While studying at Hampton University she was playing for the university NCAA division I volleyball team. Currently, Lihi is a graduate student at Long Island University - Brooklyn campus, pursuing her doctorate of physical therapy degree (DPT). She is also a Birthright counselor- leading trips to Israel. She is very excited to be a BtG fellow and to reach out to other students while promoting the Jewish values of Chesed, Tikun Olam, Tzedaka, Jewish Identity and of course, Israel!

Erica Isaev

Fashion Institute of Technology


born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, is a sophomore at The Fashion Institute of Technology, and a first year Bridging the Gap fellow. She is studying Fashion Merchandising and Management, with a focus on textiles, and hopes to work her way up within the fashion industry. She was raised in a traditional Israeli-American-Azerbaijani Jewish home, and relates much of her Jewish ideals into her daily actions. Erica graduated the Yeshivah of Flatbush, and attended Emuna V’ Omanut seminary, located in Jerusalem, in the following year after high school. During that year, she combined her love for Judaism, music, design, and chesed (philanthropy), to obtain useful knowledge, and better serve her community. While living in Israel, she began to better understand what it means to be Jewish, and exist in a community of our own. She is also Vice-President of Chabad at FIT, providing opportunities, support, and community to the Jewish students on campus. Erica hopes that together with bridging the gap, she will be able to make a difference in the lives of Jewish college students and young professionals throughout NYC.

Pauline Margulis

Hunter College


grew up in Brooklyn, NY in a family that emigrated from Ukraine. She went to public school her whole life and received a very secular education; however, it was always stressed in her family the value of her religion. With these values instilled in her, she always felt very strongly about being Jewish and tried to get involved in as many Jewish youth groups as possible. Pauline currently is a student in the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College and she was recently elected to be the vice- president at Hunter Hillel. She looks forward to bring the Jewish population at Hunter closer together to really create a sense of community. She is on the Pre-med track but her many other hobbies include drawing, playing the piano, playing tennis, and dancing ballet. Pauline is so excited to embark on this incredible journey through Bridging the Gap to help make a difference by bringing Jewish students from all different backgrounds closer together and making friends for a lifetime.

Past Fellows


Bridging the Gap Fellows 2013-14                                                                         Bridging the Gap Fellows 2012-13