Fellows 2013-2014

Julia Salazar


hails from the little beach-town of Jupiter, Florida. She is a senior at Columbia University, majoring in History and concentrating in Psychology and Jewish Studies. She is involved with KOACH at Columbia, Columbia’s Institute for Israel & Jewish Studies, and is the Chair of J Street U Columbia/Barnard. Julia is passionate about recognizing people’s natural gifts and talents, and encouraging Jewish students to use their gifts to serve and strengthen the Jewish community. She enjoys yoga, baking, writing, art, and exploring NYC.

Ariel Tidhar


is in her junior year of studies at Pratt in Brooklyn, NY. She is studying towards her BFA in fashion design. Ariel grew up in the Chicagoland area and made her way to NYC for college. She enjoys fashion, art and lots of coffee. A lot of her work is heavily influenced by her Judaic culture. You can follow Ariel’s own artwork on her website: www.arieltidhar.com. This is Ariel’s second year as a BTG fellow and she is heavily involved in Pratt Institute’s JSU activities. Raised in an Israeli-American family Ariel has deep Zionist roots and strong Jewish values.

Sonya Oshchepkova


Living all my life in the Ural Mountains, Ekaterinburg, Russia I have recently immigrated with my mother and the cat to the USA. We arrived at the JFK airport in NY on 12/12/12-which is a magic date. Back in Russia I was an active member of Jewish Agency for Israel and participated in Jewish summer camps. In June 2012 I was selected to take part in first-time educational program “Future intellectuals” which took place in Israel. Ever since arrival on American land i have achieved a lot :I graduated from High School, learned English, passed SAT, had been accepted to 5 of 6 CYNYs and decided to be Hunter College freshman. Now, I want school year 2013-14 to turn my and other students life to become more up to Jewish tradition.

Goldie Leibowitz


is a rising junior at LIU where she is perusing a major in Health Science and a minor in Visual Arts. Goldie has always taken an active role to make a positive impact in the Jewish Community and her campus. Goldie is passionate about helping children in need and has held fundraisers for organizations such as “Save A Child’s Heart” to raise money for children in need of heart transplants. She spends her summers as a lifeguard teaching underprivileged children how to swim and volunteers in hospitals assisting in patients’ quality of care. She has served as a member of the Jewish Leadership Association and has coordinated cultural and educational events for her community. She looks forward to bridging the gap between her peers.

David Krantz


studies Judaism and environmental policy at New York University, where he helps lead Yovel, the campus Jewish-environmental club, and Earth Matters, the school’s umbrella environmental club. He also serves on the university’s Sustainability Taskforce and on its Interfaith Advisory Committee. David is very excited to be joining Bridging the Gap!

Corey Schwartz


is a Queens College Junior studying Economics and Chinese. As far as outgoing goes, no one tops this funny fellow. Raised in an orthodox home, Corey has had the privilege to taste many aspects of religious life. Stemming from a Chassidic and Conservative background, this guy knows the ins and outs of every side. This dancing athlete knows many fun things to do, and is excited to be able to share it with the community

Sydney Seperis


attend Pace University and am the Hillel President on campus. I grew up living in a beach town in central New Jersey, where I was raised secularly but decided to convert to Orthodox Judaism. I feel that my contribution to BtG is my passion for learning and meeting new people!

Isabel Goldin


was born and raised in Brooklyn NY’s Jewish -Russian Community and now attend college in the heart of Manhattan. Ranked one of the best business schools by Forbes magazine, I am a junior at Baruch College studying Marketing Management . Through my Hillel at school, I was introduced to Bridging the Gap which is one of my most fun internship experiences so far! Bringing together students, networking with amazing mentors and planning events with the Fellows is an enriching and fun journey.

Inna Yushuvayeva


is a rising sophomore in the College of Staten Island, where she is majoring in psychology. She is an active member of the Hillel and an intern for PNEI, Peer Network Engagement Institute.she enjoys working with children and senior citizens with special needs and disabilities as it is her job in HASC. This year, Inna plans to get more involved in reaching out to more people, networking, and helping anyone in need; whether its fundraising, volunteering, or even organizing an event.

Dov Winston


grew up in Oceanside, NY. He attended the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach from grades 1-8 and then attended HALB’s high school, DRS. Following DRS, Dov spent about two years studying in Yeshivat Hakotel in the Old City of Jerusalem. Now in his senior year in Yeshiva University, finishing his double major in Psychology and Jewish Studies, Dov, plans on attending Rabbincal School in the years to follow. He hopes to make a career out of working in Jewish community building both on college campuses and beyond.

Lihi Elkayam


Lihi was born and raised in Israel. 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! .

Joshua Silnik


Brooklyn born, Joshua Silnik was raised not religious but grew up with love of chessed and tzedakah. He is a Philanthropy Chair of the Phi Theta chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. He chose to participate in the BTG fellowship to show how Judaism can be fun and giving. Joshua Silnik is a Liberal Arts major at Kingsborough Community College.