Aliyah Vinikoor, Program Director
Aliyah Vinikoor is the assistant dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies of JTS, where she directs the Fellowship for Jewish Social Entrepreneurship. Ms. Vinikoor earned a bachelor's degree in History from Barnard College, and worked in book publishing for seven years before receiving a master's degree in Social Work from Hunter College. She joined JTS after having worked as the director of Emergency Housing at the Ali Forney Center, an organization serving homeless LGBT young adults. She also previously served as the director of Margaret's Place, a teen antiviolence center in the South Bronx, and as a social worker at Safe Horizon. She currently participates on behalf of JTS in the Jewish Greening Fellowship, a program created by the UJA-Federation of New York to mobilize the Jewish community in response to climate change. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she is thrilled to bring her passion for Jewish education and engagement in social justice to JustCity.
Sara Miriam Liben, Program Leader
Sara Miriam Liben is from Natick, Massachusetts, and is currently a student of JTS's Joint Program with Columbia University, from which she will graduate with degrees in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies and Sociology in May 2013. Throughout her collegiate experience, she has been active in the Columbia/Barnard Hillel, where she served on the executive board as the social and cultural coordinator and is currently the development intern. Ms. Liben has spent four years actively engaging in social justice leadership with JTS's Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship and Columbia's Community Impact Leadership Program. These experiences, as well as her internships at UJA-Federation and the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York and staff experience at Camp Ramah New England, have solidified her desire to pursue a career in Jewish nonprofit management.
Sarah Mulhern, Course Instructor
Sarah Mulhern is a student at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, where she studies Talmud, Biblical Interpretation, and Jewish Law. Previously, she worked in the department of Experiential Education at the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), where she developed Jewish social justice educational resources, led service learning programs and trips around the world, and spoke widely on the topic of Jewish social justice education. Prior to joining AJWS, Ms. Mulhern taught at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and in the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies' Social Justice Track. She studied at Pardes from 2008 to 2010, and at Yeshivat Hadar in 2008. She holds a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University in History and Political Science.
Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, Course Instructor
Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay is the director of Alumni and Community Engagement at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. Prior to receiving rabbinic ordination and a master's degree in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary, she was the program director for Face to Face / Faith to Faith, a multifaith youth leadership and conflict resolution program of Auburn Theological Seminary. She has also served as the associate director of education at American Jewish World Service, and as a Jewish Service Corps volunteer in Bulgaria for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Rabbi Ruskay serves on the Social Justice Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly.