Contact Us

For all NFTY in Israel questions: 
1 W 4th St
New York, NY 10012 
212-452-6517 
Email our registrar!

Meet Our Team in North America

Erica Barish
Assistant Director
EBarish@urj.org

 

Erica holds a Bachelor's degree in Youth Development from Indiana University. She joined the URJ in 2019, after working and living in Washington, D.C. Erica is an alum of Camp Harlam, NFTY in Israel, and Heller High. She loves to travel and has been to over 20 countries.

Daniel Garwood
Coordinator
DGarwood@urj.org

 

Dan has been a member of the NFTY in Israel team since 2009, serving as the registrar before moving into his current role. He holds a degree in Jewish studies and philosophy from McGill University in Montreal. In his spare time, Dan enjoys cooking, ultimate frisbee, and reading about physics and space. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Amy, and their cat, Archer.

 

Ilana Schear
Registrar & Communications Coordinator
ISchear@urj.org

Ilana graduated from Goucher College with a degree in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Political Science. Throughout High School she was actively involved in NFTY and was a participant on NFTY in Israel and Mitzvah Corps. Since joining the URJ Teen Travel Programs team in 2016, Ilana has enjoyed sending thousands of teens to Israel for the summer of a lifetime.

Paige Kohn
Bursar
teentravelbursar@urj.org

 

Paige been working in camping and youth programming for over 24 years now. More than half of those years were spent with the URJ between URJ Eisner Camp and helping open three new specialty camps. She holds a degree in Mathematics and minored in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Paige has been a member of the youth finance team supporting all the non-camp URJ Youth offerings since the fall of 2017.

Meet Our Team in Israel

Rabbi Rich Kirschen2Rabbi Richard Kirschen
Director
RKirschen@urj.org

 

Rich Kirschen was ordained as a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1996. Before making Aliyah (moving) to Israel, he served as the executive director of the Hillel Foundation at Brown University in Providence, RI. Prior to that, he was the associate director at the University of Michigan Hillel in Ann Arbor, MI. For Rich working at NFTY in Israel brings together a lifelong commitment to Zionism, Reform Judaism and Informal Education.

Ruby Sommer2Ruby Sommer
Associate Director
RSommer@urj.org

 

Ruby was born and raised in Israel. He served in the IDF for 4 years in a Commanders position for a special unit. Following his service, Ruby became a certified tour guide. Ruby has worked for NFTY in Israel every summer since 1984. In 2000, Ruby became the Director of Operations & Budgets, before becoming the Associate Director. He is married with two kids.

Yudit Burkowitz
Office Manager
YBerkowitz@urj.org

 

Yudit has served URJ Teen Travel Programs since 2012. After graduation from Barnard College, she made aliya to Israel. She has held varied administrative positions over the years and finds great satisfaction in sharing her love of Israel  with cohorts of our future leaders and members of the American Jewish community.