JustCity Leadership Institute
A Precollege Program in Change Leadership
Aliyah Vinikoor, Program Director
Aliyah Vinikoor is the assistant dean of the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary, where she directs the JustCity Leadership Institute and the Fellowship in 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 served as the director of Margaret's Place, a teen antiviolence center in the South Bronx, and as a social worker at the victim assistance agency, 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 pleased to bring her extensive experience in and passion for Jewish leadership, education, and engagement in social justice to JustCity Leadership Institute.
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 is a member of the Social Justice Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly, and a consummate example of a Jewish leader.