Repair the World Staff
Repair The World has assembled an all-star group from across the land. Our staff, board and leadership council are all united in their passion for repairing the world. (want to join the team? check out our listings here)
David Eisner, President and CEO
A national leader in volunteering and service, Eisner brings vast experience in the nonprofit, for-profit, government and grant-making sectors to Repair the World. Most recently, he was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 2009 to serve as the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a museum, education hub and civic venue that engages all Americans in smart conversations about freedom and civic responsibility. In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Eisner CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) where he helped drive America’s national service programs, including AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. As a senior executive at AOL Time Warner and America Online, Inc., Eisner established and led the AOL Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to using the power of media and information technology to serve the public interest, with a focus on leveraging technology to spur volunteering and nonprofit effectiveness. Early in his career, Eisner held senior communications positions at Fleishman-Hillard Communications, Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill for several members of Congress. Eisner has served on many national nonprofit boards including Independent Sector, the National 4-H Council, Public Allies, Points of Light and Network for Good. He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from Georgetown Law.
Ilana Aisen, Vice President
Ilana leads Repair the Worldʼs work with the immersive Jewish service-learning field. Repair the World’s efforts to build a strong program field include grant-making, technical assistance and research on the impacts of Jewish service-learning programs. From 2002-2009, Ilana worked at American Jewish World Service, where she developed and coordinated service programs, trained educators, wrote service-learning curricula and led many service programs in Central America and West Africa. As a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar, Ilana earned an MPA in management and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic studies at NYU. Originally from Toronto, Ilana completed undergraduate studies at York University with certification to teach high school English and history. Her current and recent service includes committee work for a colleague organization, tutoring adults in functional math and serving on the leadership team of an independent minyan.
Aria Auerbach, Development Associate
Hailing from San Francisco, prior to joining the Repair the World team, Aria was a Client Services Administrator for the Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco and a Marketing and Communications Assistant for the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. In her semester abroad, Aria spent six months in South Africa studying multiculturalism and human rights, and researching the psychological effects of post-apartheid on adolescents. A recent graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology, Aria loves traveling, writing and playing soccer (not to mention burritos and sushi). Her volunteer activities include (but are not limited to) tutoring and mentoring adolescents and young adults. She has also created self-development, leadership workshops for underprivileged students in rural South Africa and she was a peer advisor for her Global Education Center at Wheaton. Aria is currently a paired buddy and mentor for Best Buddies International.
Will Berkovitz, Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President, Will develops partnership initiatives with organizations across the United States, aiming also to to cultivate dedication to service through a Jewish lens. Will works with and teaches at educational institutions – from universities to synagogues to student organizations and experiential programs nationwide and is also a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. He serves on the ethics committee for the Everett Clinic one of the largest medical groups in Washington State. Will has lived in Israel, England and in several cities around the United States and has lead immersive service experiences around the world. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife Lelach and their children Nativ, Idan and Ma’ayan.
Sophia Chitlik, Campaign Associate
Sophia Chitlik grew up in Los Angeles, where she first became interested in social justice. After running a field office in Virginia for the Obama campaign in 2008, Sophia became passionate about outreach and volunteer empowerment. Eager to understand how citizens can best become agents of change, she created her own major in Political Community Building in America at New York University’s Gallatin School. Sophia’s interest in politics and activism has lead to stints at the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Organizing for American, and the White House. In 2010, Sophia was honored to join the U.S. Department of Labor as one of the youngest political appointees in the Obama administration. Most recently, she handled scheduling for the CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools. Sophia is a very proud Coach for the Future Project, a book club organizer, a frequent dinner party hostess, and a Russ & Daughters evangelist.
Ben Falik, Manager of Detroit Service Initiatives
Our boots on the ground in Detroit, Ben’s a Detroit native who co-founded of Summer in the City, a Detroit nonprofit that has mobilized over 150,000 hours of service. Ben graduated with a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a Masters of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. In 2004, Ben received a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University, where he was proudly the food editor of the Columbia Spectator and hooker for the men’s rugby team. He is an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State and the University of Michigan. Ben is a columnist for Red Thread Magazine and community correspondent for Street Beat on the CW50.
Kate Forester, Vice President of Finance & Operations
Kate has spent the last 15 years managing aspects of non-profit operations in both professional and volunteer capacities. Before receiving an MBA from Yale School of Management, Kate lived in Seattle and worked in resource development at Solid Ground, a broad-‐based anti-‐poverty agency. In Seattle, she led Jconnect Seattle’s first Seattle Works monthly volunteering team, was awarded “star volunteer” by the Northwest Development Officers Association, and registered voters with the Statewide Poverty Action Network. She currently serves on the board of Challah for Hunger. Kate is a graduate of Cornell University and a native of Ithaca, NY.
Maital Friedman, Program Manager
Maital Friedman grew up in Westchester, NY and attended Princeton University, where she studied religion and African studies. As a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar, she earned a Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management with a specialization in International Development at NYU. Prior to joining the Repair team, Maital spent a year in Uganda establishing a library as the recipient of the Henry R. Labouisse ’26 Prize and then a year working as the Assistant to the Director of Youth Services at CASES, an alternative-to-incarceration, in NYC. In 2009, Maital lived in Israel as a Dorot Fellow, where she studied Hebrew and Arabic, produced a documentary film on religious ritual and identity, and volunteered with Yedid – The Association for Community Empowerment. Maital continues to be involved in the Dorot alumni community through her commitment to Hekdesh, a philanthropy collective of Dorot alumni. She has served on the grant-making committee and as secretary of the board.
Talya Gillman, Partnerships Manager
As Partnerships Manager, Talya helps coordinate partnerships with a range of organizations that engage Jewish young adults in local service-learning. Talya joined Repair the World in June 2010 after returning from India, where she spent fourteen months as a World Partners Fellow through American Jewish World Service. Living in Mumbai, Talya worked with an organization that provides treatment and care to street-based drug users and HIV-carriers, coordinating an income generation program for clients and developing a manual for the organization’s drug rehabilitation camp. Prior to her time in India, she worked for Seattle Children’s Hospital in the marketing/communications department, interned with an Israeli organization that combats sex trafficking into the country, taught at a local supplementary school for several years and volunteered as a parent-teen mediator. Talya currently volunteers as a mentor to teens developing social ventures through Ashoka Youth Venture, and with families recently resettled to the United States, through Jewish Family Service.
Amy Goldsmith, Program Assistant
Prior to joining Repair the World, Amy was a founding coordinator for Climate Summer, a program of Better Future Project. There she worked to establish an internship program that sends young adults into New England communities, exclusively on bicycle, to address climate change through local solutions. Upon graduating from Brandeis University with a B.A. in sociology and Middle Eastern studies, Amy spent a year in Jaffa, Israel with the program Tikkun Olam Tel Aviv- Jaffa. Through her volunteer work in mixed Arab-Jewish schools, she helped bring experiential-education opportunities to hundreds of under-served youth. Amy’s journey into service work began at a young age, as she spent many childhood weekends and vacations, volunteering alongside family members, building and rebuilding affordable housing. Originally from Boston, Amy is excited to return to the East Coast and looks forward to exploring all the gluten-free eateries New York City has to offer.
Laura Kassen, Campaign Fellow (Repair the World AVODAH Corps Member NYC)
Hailing from Westport, Connecticut, Laura was an American studies major and history minor at Dickinson College, where she developed her interest in social, cultural and political phenomena. In college, she served on the board of Asbell Center for Jewish Life, and was a founding member of the Dickinson Israel Group. Laura is a passionate volunteer, and especially loves working with children. She enjoys traveling, reading, and trying new things–especially new foods. Although Laura has spent a lot of time in NYC, she likes doing “touristy” activities in the Big Apple, including taking the Staten Island Ferry, walking across theBrooklyn Bridge, and ice skating in Central Park (or at least attempting to)!
Danielle Kirshenblat, Program Assistant
Danielle is a born and raised Brooklyn girl, who remained in “gorges” Ithaca, NY after college, where she worked as a Research Assistant and Lab Manager, publishing studies in Environmental Policy and Health Communication. Since returning to NYC, Danielle has worked as a freelance public relations writer and a television production assistant. She has also worked with DoSomething.org, where she assisted in the planning andimplementation of nationwide social cause initiatives including “Staples for Students” and the “Green Your School Challenge.” In her free time, Danielle volunteers with environmental organizations in the NYC area, and also works/plays as an actor. Danielle is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in Communication of Environment, Science and Health, and a minor in TheaterArts. She is thrilled to join the team at Repair The World!
Jillian Kornsweig, Digital Marketing and Design Manager
Prior to joining the Repair the World team in 2010, Jillian served as Operations Director and Senior Graphic Designer at Roads to Success for over three years. Jillian studied Graphic Design at Parsons – The New School for Design and holds a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from Boston University. When she’s not prettifying or strategizing for Repair, she works as a freelance designer in Brooklyn for other nonprofit and independent businesses.
Dara Lehon, Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Dara oversees Repair the World’s nifty brand. Before joining Repair the World, she served as the VP for Communications at Brooklyn Community Foundation, the borough’s largest philanthropic institution, where she managed the Foundation’s re-launch as a public charity and created the award-winning Brooklyn Do Gooder Awards. Previously, Dara held communications and management positions at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Lower East Side Business Improvement District, BSMG Worldwide, Channel One Network, and Smith Barney. Dara has consulted to nonprofits and small businesses like the historic Sixth Street Community Synagogue, where she helped develop programs for young adults. Her more fun professional memories include hosting International Pickle Day and flying to Copenhagen to play in a women’s street soccer event (with a bum knee). A graduate of Ramaz school, Dara earned her B.A. in Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University and her M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. She loves practicing her Spanish, strongly believes in two-wheeled commutes (with a helmet) and takes pride in her deep New York City roots.
Aaron Miner, Director of Volunteer Initiatives
Aaron joined Repair the World from NYC Service, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s initiative to increase service and volunteerism throughout the City of New York, where he was a served as one of the organization’s founding staff members. In his role as Portfolio Manager, he oversaw the program development and implementation of 11 initiatives that dealt with education and skills-based volunteerism. Aaron also served at City Year Boston, first as an AmeriCorps member and then as a member of the staff, developing and implementing organization-wide programs as well as managing community and local government partnerships and project teams. Aaron holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University (OH). In his spare time, he volunteers weekly for God’s Love We Deliver and spends a week each summer directing a music camp for youth in his native Ohio.
Siobhan Neitzel, Finance & Operations Associate
Prior to her work with Repair the World, Siobhan gained experience with various non-profits and for profit companies such as Abingdon Theatre Company and BlackRock, Inc. She grew up in St. James, NY and graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Educational Studies. Siobhan now lives in Manhattan and volunteers with New York Cares as a SAT tutor at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Queens.
Jamie Silverstein, Special Projects Manager
As the Special Projects Manager, Jamie manages the functions of the Executive Department, including working with Repair’s many stakeholders and partners to advance the organization’s mission. Jamie joined the Repair the World team in June 2010 after two years with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life serving as the Bronfman Fellow in the Office of the President at their International Headquarters and then as the Director of Engagement at The George Washington University. She has a passion for young adult leadership development and engagement and volunteers as a Membership Specialist for Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. In this capacity, she sits on a regional team, advising and training five schools in the areas of chapter growth and retention, recruitment and new member education. Jamie grew up in South Florida and earned a B.S. in Recreation and Event Management and a minor in Business from the University of Florida. She currently lives in New York City.
Mordecai (Mordy) Walfish, Program Manager
Mordecai (Mordy) Walfish is originally from Hamilton, Ontario. Prior to joining the Repair team, Mordy worked from 2008-2012 as the Content Manager and Assistant Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive. There he helped develop a comprehensive online database on North American Jewish life. He also spent 2011-2012 as a fellow at Alma: Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. As a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, Mordy completed an MPA in non-profit management from NYU in 2011. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University and a BA in Contemporary Studies and German from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While attending college, Mordy served as a volunteer mentor and tutor for youth with learning disabilities and was recognized by the office of the mayor for this work. He also served as the Director of Holocaust Education for the Atlantic Jewish Council and wrote a column for the Canadian Jewish News. Mordy has been a committed volunteer since the age of 12, with a particular passion for elder care and literacy.
Part-time Staff & Volunteers
Marci Soifer, Part-Time Operations Manager
Originally from East Lansing, MI, Marci earned a dual BA in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Michigan in 2004. Following graduation, she coordinated a youth relief effort called “Caravan 4 Katrina” (in response to Hurricane Katrina) and spent six months volunteering with at-risk youth in South America. Marci expanded her skills as an informal Jewish educator at Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake for over 11 summers, including serving as the full-time Assistant Camp Director for 3 years. Summer 2010 marked her 19th summer in Jewish camping and the completion of her year-long fellowship in the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yitro Leadership Program. She participated on an American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Rabbinical Students Delegation in Muchucuxcah, Mexico, worked as a group leader for AJWS Volunteer Summer in Kanchipuram, India, and served as an AJWS Kol Tzedek: Voice of Justice Speaking Fellow. She coached a PresenTense social entrepreneur, and served on the advisory board for Camp Kesem: Columbia University. Marci is currently completing her MPA in management and her MA in Hebrew and Judaic studies at NYU.
Leah Koenig, Contributing Editor, weRepair.org
Leah Koenig is a freelance writer and editor who’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Saveur, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Hadassah Magazine, Lilith, Edible Brooklyn and Beliefnet. She contributes a monthly column on food to The Forward and a bi-weekly column to Saveur.com. She is also the former editor of Hazon’s award-winning blog, The Jew & The Carrot.