Alumni News

Mazal Tov to the following alumni on their recent accomplishments:

Miriam Ament (SSDS '85) is one of the JCC PresenTense 2014 Fellows, a group of young professionals who were selected to participate in an "intensive, cooperative six-month Fellowship." Read more in our March 28, 2014 bulletin.

Ruth Balinsky Friedman (SSDS '99) is one of three women who were ordained to be Maharat in the first graduating class of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution that ordains Orthodox women as clergy. Read more in our November 1, 2013 bulletin.

Rachel Braun (SSDS '05), a first year rabbinical student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, was recently named a T'ruah Rabbinical Fellow in Human Rights for 2014 (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights - North America). Read more in our February 28, 2014 bulletin.

Kol Hakavod to three Solomon Schechter graduates who were chosen to participate in Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago's inaugural cohort of Diller Teen Fellows. Rena Auerbach (SSDS '12), Leta Berkowitz (SSDS '11), and Emily Reisler (SSDS '12) are among 20 Chicago-area Jewish teens who are taking part in a 15-month international leadership program that includes a three-week trip to Israel. Read more in our November 15, 2013 bulletin.

Mazal Tov to the following alumni who have had babies since July 1, 2013!

Josh Anisfeld (SSDS '89) & his wife Talia (SSDS Staff) on the birth of their daughter, Shai Eva. She joins big brother Jonah.

Rebecca Russo (SSDS '99) & Rabbi David Russo on the birth of their first child, Natan Adir, on 3/6/14.

Debbie (SSDS ’95) & Ben Marks on the birth of their third baby, Ezra, on 2/24/2014. He joins big sisters Ella and Serena.

Jamie (SSDS ’01) & Manuel Gliksberg (SSDS ’97) on the birth of their baby boy on 1/31/2014

Molly (SSDS ’00) and Aaron Katz on the birth of their second baby girl on 1/15/2014.

Elissa (SSDS ’94) & Dan Goodman on the birth of Meira on 1/1/2014

Lauren Kahn (SSDS ’04) & Eitan Friedman on the birth of their baby boy on 11/12/2013.

Blair (SSDS ’99) & Brian Wolf (SSDS ’99) on the birth of their first baby, Darcy, on 9/13/2013.

Faye Trumbell (SSDS ’93) on the birth of Sonia on 8/1/2013.


Mazal Tov to the following couples who were married within the last few months!

Rachel Sacks & Michael Lehrer (SSDS ’98)

Rachelli Berkowicz (SSDS ’99) & Michael Soffer

Emilie Botbol (SSDS ’99) & Scott Berman

Lucy Kahn (SSDS ’00) & Brian Bortman. Lucy is one of our kindergarten teachers at Sager

Samantha Kopin Silverman (SSDS ’02) & Yoni Silverman

Naomi Cooperman and Seth Kennedy (SSDS ’03)

Melody Mostow & Avram Coven (SSDS ’04)


We wish the following couples best wishes on their upcoming weddings:

Uri Pachter (SSDS ’98) to Hollen Reischer

Franci Elkins (SSDS ’00) to Michael Kind

Ari Berkowicz (SSDS ’01) to Zahava Markovic

Alyssa Zeller (SSDS ’01) to Avi Lifschitz

Gina Phillips (SSDS ’01) to Ariel Gliksberg (SSDS ’99)

Samuel Besser (SSDS ’03) to Jayme Levine

Danielle Feinstein (SSDS ’03) to Bryan Rosenberg

Abigail Landis (SSDS ’03) to Jonathan Miller

Rebecca Finkel (SSDS ’04) to Binyomin Dauber

Eliana Swislow (SSDS ’05) to Bryan Wool.


If you have celebrated a simcha and don’t see it listed, please share your news. Email our Alumni Associate, Francine Ephraim,

Posted previously on 7/1/13


Kol Hakavod to Dr. Claire Sufrin (SSDS ’92) who was named as one of Oy!Chicago’s Double Chai in the Chi 2013 list of young leaders who are making a difference in Chicago! Click here to read about her:

We also want to congratulate Rabbi David Russo, the husband of Rebecca Russo (SSDS ’99) who was named to the list. Mazal Tov to all who were selected!

We will be updating our alumni news section soon and Schechter loves to share good news!
Email Francine with yours!

Posted as of 1/8/2013 Mazal Tov to the following inpiduals and their families!

Linda Knowlton Goldstein (SSDS ’79) is currently a film director and producer, and her latest film Somewhere Between is a film about identity formation, family, adoption, and race. It is being shown in theaters across the country right now. Read more about her and her new movie in the 12/21 Shabbat Bulletin. The movie is playing at the Music Box Theater in Chicago from January 11-17th.

Judge Daniel Shanes (SSDS ’81) was re-elected as Judge for the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County this past November. Read more about his accomplishments in a recent Shabbat Bulletin.
Allison Kamen (SSDS ’86) and her husband Michael McElwee had their first baby this past summer. Molly Lillian was born on 8/7. The family resides in Evanston.
Abigail Pickus (SSDS ’86) announced the birth of her baby boy Boaz Wolfe on October 13th in Jerusalem.

Joshua Nathan (SSDS '87) and his wife Deborah Proper, announce the birth of their second child Eli Michael. He joins older brother Jared Ron.
Barbara (Winokur) Ratliff (SSDS ’93) and her husband Ray, announce the birth of Kaelyn Rose who joins bib sister Gianna who is 2 ½ years old.

Aviva Grumet-Morris (SSDS '94) & her husband Koby Tuby, announce the birth of their twin babies Ziv and Nurit in December.
Sam Rodin (SSDS '96) married Beth Avner in December, 2012.

Stacy Heller (SSDS ’96) recently married Kevin Friduss and the couple reside in Chicago. Stacy is the Director of the International Advisor Network for BBYO, Inc.
Adam Sales (SSDS ’96) and his wife Liliana, welcomed their first child, Amital Colores recently. They live in Albany, New York.
Sarah Gandalman Weil (SSDS ’98) and her husband Jason announce the birth of their first child, Noah Michael, on August 19th. The family resides in Chicago.
Josh Whisler (SSDS ’98) and his wife Sharona just had a baby girl in August. Her name is Willow.

Elana Goldsmith (SSDS '99) and her husband Neil, announce the birth of their daughter Dalia Ayelet on 1/5/13.


Petty Officer Third Class Aaron Hutnick (Class of 1999), is currently stationed at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, where, according to his mother, Felice Eckhouse, he came across the building of a sukkah, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate sukkot in Afghanistan! Read more in the October 12th Shabbat Bulletin.



Aliza Rudolph (SSDS '99) recently married Ben Scheier in December, 2012.

Danielle Gershon (SSDS ’00) teaches 7th and 8th grade math here at Schechter. She is also modeling a commitment to life-long learning for her students as a member of Schechter's cohort in the Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus. She is also working towards her Type 75 Administrative Certification from Concordia University. Read more in an article from our Shabbat Bulletin.
Lucy Kahn (SSDS ’00) is currently working as a kindergarten teacher at our Early Childhood Center (ECC). She is recently engaged to Brian Bortman. Read more in a recent Shabbat Bulletin
Lia Lehrer (SSDS ’01) is working at Temple Jeremiah in Northfield as the Membership/Development Coordinator. Lia is one of the founders and committee members of Windy City Minyan, an independent minyan in the Lakeview area for young adults in their 20s and 30s. They meet on the 4th Friday of the month for a Kabbalat Shabbat service, oneg, and occasional potluck dinner. They meet in party rooms, art galleries, apartments, or anywhere they can find enough space. Lia said it is open to new participants and welcomes other young Schechter alumni to attend. Lia is currently attending Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies to earn a Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies. Read more in a Shabbat Bulletin article.
Aviva Senser (SSDS ’02) made Aliyah in February of this year and is currently working as a recruiter for Israel Experience Ltd., which offers young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 life-changing gap year, study abroad, post-college and volunteer experiences in Israel, connecting them to programs that meet their interests, offering scholarships, providing expertise, and supporting them throughout the entire process. Aviva would LOVE to help any SSDS alum interested in any of the Israel Experience programs. You can email Aviva directly at   To read more about what Aviva is doing, check out our recent Shabbat Bulletin article.


Abigail Russo (SSDS '03) recently returned from Mumbai, India, where she spent a year working as a fellow with American Jewish World Service (AJWS). Read more in the 11/30 Shabbat Bulletin

Levi Yastrow (SSDS '03) graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in January of 2011. While he originally intended to major in photography, he said that pottery quickly captured his interest. He now has his own pottery studio, Levi Yastrow Ceramics, where he makes functional pottery such as dinnerware, planters, and mugs, as well as Judaica items such as seder plates. Read more in a recent Shabbat Bulletin.


Elana Abraham (SSDS '04) attended New Trier High School after Schechter, and recently graduated from Washington University with a degree in architecture and a minor in environmental studies. She is currently working as an Intern Architect at Eckenhoff Saunders Architects in Chicago. Read more in a recent Shabbat Bulletin.


Sam Schwartz (SSDS '04) is beginning his graduate studies at Northwestern University's Engineering Design and Innovation program after having completed his undergraduate degree in Manufacturing Engineering at Northwestern University last year. His graduate program will train him to be equipped to design a product with customers' needs and wants in mind, to build a prototype, and to bring it to market. Read more in a Shabbat Bulletin.
Dashiell Bark-Huss (SSDS ’05) was recently accepted in Columbia College’s Comedy Studies Program, which is a semester off-campus taught fully at Second City. She was also elected Blood Ball Queen of Coumbia College and is President and Founder of the CCC Burlesque Appreication Organization, a student organization that studies comedy history and helps students put together interdisciplinary performances. Dashiell also recently spiritually adopted a 12-year old girl from Ecuador whose parents can’t afford to take care of her. She provides money for her care.
Rachel Garfinkel (SSDS ’05) currently a senior at University of Michigan where she is pursuing two degrees, one in International Studies and the other in Hebrew and Judaic Cultural Studies. Rachel spent her summer as an intern for the African Refugee Shelter in southern Tel Aviv. The shelter provides temporary accommodation to more than 350 African refugees. The volunteers take part in a variety of programs and services to help improve the living conditions in the shelters.  She worked in a women's empowerment project, which helps the women earn a living by giving them materials to make baskets. Read more in a Shabbat Bulletin.

Ron Schrag (SSDS ’05) recently completed his student teaching assignment here at Solomon Schechter. He did a special project on the election unit with our 5th and 6th graders. To read more, check out a recent Shabbat Bulletin.

Congratulations to Reeven Nathan (SSDS '07) on finishing the year as the top ranked triathlete in the United States. Reeven has represented Team USA in the Pan American Games and World Championships, and is currently ranked #1 in the USA for his age. Reeven has been recognized as an All-American by the USA Triathlon Federation. Reeven is currently swimming for Amherst College. Way to go Reeven!

Leora Balinsky (SSDS ’09) was selected to participate in the Bronfman Youth Fellowship Program in Israel (BYFI) this past summer. She is a senior at Ida Crown this year. To read more about her experience, check out a recent Shabbat Bulletin.
If you attended our Jubilee Celebration and had a chance to visit our Beit Café, you may remember Maxine Nusinow (SSDS '10) and her musical partner, Charlie Laughlin, who played a few Latin-style pieces on their flamenco guitars. Maxine has been playing guitar since she was five years old. She and her musical partner Charlie attend Glenbrook North High School, and they recently won the Northbrook Talent Showdown. Read more in a recent Shabbat Bulletin.

Ben Solomonow (SSDS ’10) is one of only six musicians throughout the country who were selected to perform The Dying Swan solo on the cello to open the performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet at Rosemont Theater. While he performed, a recording of the rest of the orchestra played and a ballerina danced to the music.  For more about Ben, check out a recent article in a recent Shabbat Bulletin.

The below items were posted as of 7/27/2012

Ron Goldstein (SSDS ’70) is a Professor at Bar-Ilan University in The Mina and Everard Goodman School of Life Sciences, and is president of the Israel Stem Cell Society.  Read more in a previous Shabbat Bulletin.
Lisa (Frydman) Barr (SSDS ’78) recently published her first book, Fugitive Colors. Lisa also writes a blog called GIRLilla Warfare: A Mom's Guide to Surviving the Suburban Jungle. Read more in the Shabbat Bulletin from 5/31/12.
Josh Nathan (SSDS ’87) is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at University of Illinois Chicago. He and his wife Deborah Proper, live in Northbrook with their almost two year old son, Jared. Read more in the Shabbat Bulletin from 4/27/2012.

Joey Sager (SSDS ’92) and his wife Angela welcomed their first child, a girl named Aria Rae, on July 14th. They live in the Miami area.
Jordy Kirshenbaum (SSDS ’94) and his wife Ally, had a baby girl, Lexi Ryan, on July 15th, 2012
Ellie Resnick (SSDS ’94) and her husband Dan Goodman, had a baby boy in March, 2012.
Amy (Fox) Fisher (SSDS ’95) and her husband Ben, welcomed their first child into the world on April 10th. Her name is Julia Miriam.
Jeremy Fine (SSDS ’96) and his wife Jessica relocated to the Twin Cities where Jeremy assumed the position of Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul. Jeremy was ordained at JTS in June of 2012. They just had their first baby, a girl named Annie Beth, on July 24th, 2012.
Elisheva Margulies (SSDS ’96) has recently relocated to Manhattan, where her
husband, David Levine is pursuing his residency in primary care internal medicine at NYU. Eli is relaunching her natural foods personal chef and cooking class business, Eat with Eli in New York and is excited for bring her health-supportive, delicious meals to families in the New York area. Find out more on Facebook.
Sam Rodin (SSDS '96) is Director of Informal Education at Congregation B'nai Tikvah in Deerfield. One of his responsibilities is to oversee the synagogue's youth programs (Makor, Kadima, and BTUSY). BTUSY recently was awarded Chapter of the Year by CHUSY. To read more, see our Shabbat Bulletin from 5/4/2012.
Danielle (Kozin) Sandler (SSDS ’97) and her husband Jay, had a baby girl named Liv in March, 2012.
Avi Buchbinder (SSDS '98) is a senior scientist at Honeywell UOP and lives in the Chicago area. To read more, see our Shabbat Bulletin from 5/11/2012.

Jordana (Labow) Elisha (SSDS ’99) and her husband Roee, welcomed a little boy into the world on July 13th. They live in Israel.
Rachelli Berkowicz (SSDS '99) and her fiancé, Michael Soffer, just announced their engagement. A 2013 wedding is planned.
Molly (Elkins) Katz (SSDS ’00) and her husband Aaron, welcomed a little girl into the world on April 24th. They live in Chicago.
Yael Fareh (SSDS ’01) is about to begin her second year as a veterinary student at University of Illinois. She is the Co-Chair of the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic  Read more in our Shabbat Bulletin from 3/30/2012.

Cori Zarem (SSDS ’01) graduated with her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in May, 2012. This summer she is doing some clinical work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Neurology and Orthopedics. Then she is headed to Melbourne, Australia for an apprenticeship in neonatal medicine. Read more in a previous Shabbat Bulletin.

Eli Miller (SSDS ’03) and Tamar Rock were married in June. They currently live in the Bronx.
Hannah Prosnitz (SSDS ’04) married Ofer Ecstein on July 3rd in Chicago.
Elli Cohn( SSDS ‘05) recently received The Women's Auxiliary of Muhlenberg College Pretheological Schlolarship which is awarded to a junior pretheological student for potential contribution in the ministry. Read more in a previous Shabbat Bulletin.
Charlie Schwartz (SSDS ’07) received the John T. and Lizzie Allen McGill Award from the Dean of Students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on April 4th. The award is given annually to two outstanding freshman and it is based on academic accomplishment, strong character and demonstrated leadership ability. Charlie is involved in his school newspaper, participated in Alternative Spring Break, is a member in Vandy Fanatics and is involved in numerous other campus activities.
Sophie Nathan (SSDS '09) was featured in a recent edition of the Pioneer Press for her humanitarian work helping children with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Read more in a past Shabbat Bulletin.

Posted as of 3-1-12.  Mazel Tov to the following inpiduals and their families!

Hanni Itah (SSDS '99) just announced her engagement to Andrew Moses.
Shera Benkovitz (SSDS ’99) recently married Michael Libraty on January 8, 2012. The newlyweds live in New York.
Tory Berkowitz (SSDS ’01) lives out in Arizona and works for the Department of Homeland Security.
Yarden Fraiman (SSDS ’01) graduated from Princeton in 2009 and then went to San Francisco from the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010 to work in pediatric cardiology research. In the fall of 2010 he started med school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is currently a second year medical student. 
Corey Hipps (SSDS ’01) attended Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, following high school and later graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering from University of Miami.  He is now studying intellectual property law.  Last summer he worked for Liu Shen and Associates in Beijing and he is waiting to hear what this summer will bring.
Sarah (Medvinsky) Hakim (SSDS ’01) moved to Israel and got her BA at Tel Aviv University in Political Science & English Lit. Since graduating in 2008 she has been working in marketing. She recently got married (November 2011), and lives in Tel Aviv with her husband Yuval and cat, Chaser.
Rachel Kesner (SSDS ’01) graduated from Indiana University with a BA in English in 2009 and then participated in OTZMA from 2009-2010.  She currently works as the Aliyah Coordinator for the Jewish Agency for Israel – Midwest office.
Brett Kopf (SSDS ’01) graduated from MSU and started, a communications platform that allows teachers and students to text each other reminders, comments and questions without ever sharing phone numbers.
Skippy Mesirow (SSDS ’01) is living in Colorado.  He founded Real World Reporting, an international news company, and is the acting CEO and COO. ( launching Q3/Q4 2012) Skippy is also helping to run a not-for-profit arts center in Haiti, Jakmel Ekspresyon He is responsible for long-term planning, fundraising and daily business operations.  You can also be on the lookout for his upcoming travel TV show, GoNE GoNZo. (Check it out on Facebook) When not working, he is skiing!
Michael Robinson (SSDS ’01) is working at Allstate Insurance in Northbrook as an Actuarial Analyst and is studying to become a licensed Actuary by taking Actuary Exams.   He is also attempting to train for a Half Marathon in September.
Jonathan Rosenblatt (SSDS ’01) graduated from Northwestern in 2010 with a major in history and a minor in African-American studies.  He moved to New York in July 2010 and works at a financial consulting firm, Orion Consultants.
Josh Rubin (SSDS ’01) is finishing his last semester of Law School at Loyola Chicago and hopes to practice law in Chicago.  He completed his undergraduate degree at University of Illinois, with a semester abroad at Tel Aviv University.
Victor Smith (SSDS ’01) is finishing his Masters in Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology while working for an architecture firm in the West Loop. 
Talia Spear (SSDS ’01) is the National Director of Habonim Dror North America.  She graduated in May 2010 with a Peace Studies Degree from Goucher College.
Adina Teibloom (SSDS '01) is finishing her second year of Teacher for America and completing a Masters in Urban Education at University of Pennsylvania.  She teaches in an emotional support classroom for students with behavior disabilities.

Alexi Vahlkamp (SSDS ’01) graduated from University of Illinois in 2010 with a B.A., majoring in English and Rhetoric & Creative Writing.  She is now at University of Chicago, finishing her MSW.
Cori Zarem (SSDS ’01) will graduate in May with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (with a research focus in pediatrics) from Washington University School of Medicine. After her clinical affiliation with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Neurology and Orthopedics, she will go to Melbourne, Australia to complete an apprenticeship in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Alyssa Zeller (SSDS ’01) graduated from Loyola University and participated in a study abroad program in Rome, Italy. Alyssa is currently working at JUF as a graphic designer and resides in the Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview. She specializes in designing flyers, business cards, invitations, and even her own line of sassy greeting cards.
***A special thank you goes out to Alyssa Zeller and Lia Lehrer, Class Reps for the Class of ’01 who reached out to their class and collected all of this great information.  Kol Hakavod!

Previously Posted Alumni News as of 2-7-12 

Robbie Bressler (SSDS '92) and his wife Jen, welcomed a baby boy, Evan Julius, on January 24, 2012.
Stephanie Magid (SSDS ’00)
announced her engagement to Yaakov Rothstein of Beit Shemesh.
Laura Magid (SSDS ’96)
announced her engagement to Yekutiel Aloni of Jerusalem. 
Brian Deutsch (SSDS ’00)
announced his engagement to Kelley Rothenberg.
Leah Chatzky Graber (SSDS ’00)
and her husband Josh, welcomed their baby girl, Adella Rose on January 12, 2012.
Hannah Berkowicz (SSDS ’03) and Brian Pogrund (SSDS ’03) 
just got engaged.  Hannah is a first grade teacher here at Schechter.  Brian works for Safco Dental.  Read more in the 2-17-12 bulletin.
Mia Temkin (SSDS ’11)
participated in the University Sunvitational Debate Tournament held at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL in December, 2011.  She is a freshman on the Niles North Debate Team and she and her partner placed third in the tournament.

Previously posted Alumni News as of 1-2-12

Gilbert Burak (SSDS '89) was recently married to Svetlana Milshteyn.  She has a Bachelors from U of I and a Masters in Psychology from Loyola. Gilbert is an electrical engineer from UIC. They both work in Chicago and currently reside in Evanston. They were married by Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg who was one of the first graduates of Schechter in Skokie.
Naomi Blumberg (SSDS ’90) and her husband, Joey Shapiro (SSDS ’94) live in Chicago with their 16 month old son, Simon.  Naomi is a curator and Joey is a middle school English teacher.  Read more in the 12-16-11 Bulletin.
Shana (Langer) Finkelstein (SSDS ’94) and her husband Ronny, welcomed their second child in June.  His name is Nathan and he joins Orly who is 2 ½ years old.

Sam Rodin (SSDS '96) announced his engagement to Beth Avner.  Sam is the Director of Informal Education at Congregation B'nai Tikvah in Deerfield and Beth is the Director of Education and Special Projects for NFTY.
Bryan Villano (SSDS ’96) recently married Janna Hoffman.  They live in Chicago.
Jacob Shapiro (SSDS ’96) is married to Mira Hart (SSDS ’99) and has his own business.  Mira is in her 4th year of medical school at Northwestern.  Read more in the 12-16-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
Lee Wolf (SSDS ’96) is currently working and living in Chicago for a hedge fund.  He is also studying for his MBA at University of Chicago.
Aaron Wolf (SSDS ’98) worked for three years as a Congressional Aid after graduating from University of Maryland.  He is currently working on getting his Master’s degree in Public Policy from University of Southern California.
Aliza Rudolph (SSDS ’99) is engaged to Ben Sheirer.  A December 2012 wedding is planned.
Jackie Lavin (SSDS ’01) is engaged to Matt Fischel (SSDS ’99).
Micah Shapiro (SSDS ’01) is a calligrapher and makes ketubot.  Read more in the 12-16-11 bulletin.
Joanne Wolf (SSDS ’01) graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in kinesiology.  She works in D.C. as a personal trainer.
Micah Swislow (SSDS ’03) recently received a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and is working as a paramedic.  He recently got engaged to Rebecca Steer of Deerfield.  A June wedding is planned.
Nathan Shapiro (SSDS ’04) is enrolled at University of Michigan and is pursuing an art degree.  Read more in the 12-16-11 bulletin.
Spencer Brasch (SSDS ’07) was accepted into the Honors Program at Yeshiva University and was granted a full academic scholarship for four years.

Previously posted Alumni News - 11/30/11

Nina Dudnik (SSDS ’90) is the founder of Seeding Labs, a non-profit which she started  in 2008 after finishing her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Harvard.  Seeding Labs sends surplus lab supplies from the U.S. to scientists in the developing world and also provides scientists in the developing world with other resources like advanced training and connections to colleagues around the world. Read more in the 11-11-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
Elisha Russ-Fishbane (SSDS ’93) is an historian of Jewish life and culture of the medieval Islamic world.  He is a Tikvah Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton and is also on faculty at JTS.  He is a recipient of the 2011 Templeton Award for Theological Promise.
Sara Dudnik (SSDS ’94) joined Vestas earlier this year.  In her job there, she manages the suppliers that make components for their wind turbine factory in the U.S.  While she has spent her career working in the manufacturing of various products, she said "I love that I'm helping to make a great, world-changing product." Read more in the 11-18-11 Shabbat Bulletin.

Jonah Levenberg (SSDS '94) and his wife, Toni, celebrated the birth of their first baby, Jaron Isaac, in October.  They live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jeremy Fine (SSDS ’96) and his wife, Jessica, recently moved to New Rochelle, NY where Jeremy is Rabbinic Assistant and Director of Congregational Learning.  He is finishing his Rabbinical program at JTS.
Matt Shapiro (SSDS ’98) and his wife, Sarah Barukh, celebrated the birth of their first baby, Jonah Shapiro.  They live out in California and are both about to graduate from Rabbinical School.
Katie Reisner (SSDS '99) graduated from Yale Law School in May, and moved to Phoenix in August to start a clerkship with a Ninth Circuit federal judge.  She will be splitting time between Phoenix and San Francisco for the year and then hopes to start working as a public interest lawyer in the fall of 2012, perhaps back in Chicago.

Jessa Reisner (SSDS '01) graduated from Brandeis in 2009.  After that, she did an urban teaching residency through the Academy for Urban School Leadership and NLU.  Then she began teaching at Wendell Phillips Academy High School, which is now in its second year of turnaround.  Last year she taught freshmen English with students who grew 3 years in English and Reading skills.  Over the summer, she rewrote the entire grammar and writing curriculum for the school  Now, this year she is teaching Juniors, and she is the Academy Chair.

Aviva Senser (SSDS ’02) moved to Israel about a year ago and is currently making Aliyah.  She has been working with a VIP traveler agency and assisting travelers from abroad with services within Israel such as transportation, tours, events, etc.
Eli Miller (SSDS ’03) is engaged to Tamar Rock of Baltimore, MD.  They met while at Brandeis University.  Eli is currently in his first year of medical school at Einstein School of Medicine in NY.

Previously posted alumni news - 11/1/11

Mark Semer (SSDS ’84) and his wife, Simone, celebrated their son Eli’s Bar Mitzvah in Israel this past August.
Jonathan Shanes (SSDS ’91) is currently serving as editor and orchestrator for the full orchestral score to “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” for publication and a world tour. Performances have already included The Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, The Tenerife Film Orchestra and Choir, the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, and more.  He lives in Los Angeles.

Caryn Peretz (SSDS '93) was awarded the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Young Professional in Jewish Communal Work on 9/20/11. Caryn currently serves as an Assistant Vice President/Director of Contributor Account Relations in the Administration Department of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Read more about her in the 9-23-11 Shabbat Bulletin.

Laura Magid (SSDS ’96) recently made Aliyah and is living in Jerusalem.  She works at Shaare Zedek Hospital as a certified clinical research coordinator in the Oncology/Hematology department.  Read more about her in the 11-4-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
Rebecca Russo (SSDS ’99) joined the Fiedler Hillel staff at Northwestern University as the Director of Engagement this past summer. As Director of Engagement, Rebecca oversees the engagement department, managing the Campus Engagement Corps (CEC) project, which impacts over 800 students per year on campus, as well as international immersion experiences including Taglit-Birthright Israel and Alternative Student Break (ASB) programs in Morocco, Cuba, and South America. Rebecca is a classical and jazz singer who loves hiking, traveling, and water sports, and lives in Lakeview with her husband, Rabbi David Russo, who is the Rabbi for Youth and Education at Anshe Emet.  Read more about her in the 10-7-11 Shabbat Bulletin.

Alyssa Zeller (SSDS '01) has recently been hired as a graphic designer at the Jewish United Fund. She designed the October 2011 cover of the "JUF News" monthly magazine titled “What’s Your Destination?”  Alyssa currently resides in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago.  Read more about her in the 10-28-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
Danielle Feinstein (SSDS ’03) graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an honors degree in liberal arts and is working as the Assistant Editor for Inside Counsel magazine. She plans to go to law school in the Chicago area in the next couple of years. 
Sam Schwartz (SSDS ’04) just started his 4th/5 years at college to get 2 degrees in biomedical engineering and manufacturing design at Northwestern University.  He spent last summer doing research for a cardiovascular surgery practice.

Previously posted alumni news - 9/21/11

Helen Bloch (SSDS ’87) and her husband Avikram Hameiri welcomed their new baby boy, Ron Lev.   He joins big brother, Megill.  Helen is the principal of the Law Offices of Helen Bloch.
Becky Adelberg (SSDS ’92) was awarded the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Young Professional in Jewish Communal Work on 9/20/11.  Her current position is Manager of the JCC Sidney N. Shure Kehilla which she began in Summer, 2011.  Read more about her in the 9-9-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
David Elbaum (SSDS ‘95) and his wife Susan, had a baby girl in August.  Her name is Madelyn Cara.
Laura Stern (SSDS ’95) & her husband recently welcomed their first daughter and first child, Hallie Sophie.
Naomi Fox (SSDS ’98) was recently promoted to Director of Missions at JUF.  She previously worked in the Women’s pision, first as a Campaign Associate and then as a Senior Associate.  She started with JUF during college, working as an intern in the Events department during the summer between her junior and senior year at Indiana University.  Read more about her in the 8-28-11 Shabbat Bulletin.
Alise (Dobkin) Gold (SSDS ’01) and her husband Yoni, had a baby girl in August.  Her name is Ayelet Chana. 
Sara Blumenthal Hantz (SSDS ’03) and her husband Josh Hantz had their first son, Eliyahu Pinchas, in Israel on 08-10-2011.
Proud grandparents are Amy and Marty Blumenthal.
Proud Auntie is Lani (SSDS '01) and proud Uncle is Benjy (SSDS '07)
Abe Dube (SSDS ’07) is playing football at Brown University in Fall, 2011.
There have always been a significant number of Schechter alumni who participate in Write On for Israel, but in the group that went to Israel this summer, just over half of the leaders were Schechter grads from the Class of 2008! That group includes:  Rachel Aaronson, Noah Chasin, Hannah Dimbert, Max Flignor, Danny Hochberg, Alexa Horowitz, Ari Lowenstein, Ariela Kaiser, Jacob Magid, Naomi Michael, Zak Newbart, Rachel Rosenson, Adena Schmidt, Adam Schrag, Gabi Schwartzman and Anni and Max Subar.
When Sammy Botbol (SSDS ’08) left for Israel to attend the 2011 Maccabi Games with the Chicago delegation on July 24, 2011, winning the gold in the basketball pision was just a dream. However, on August 5, Botbol and his teammates, including Eitan Lupovitch (SSDS ’08), returned to Chicago with gold medals around their necks. What’s more, Botbol, was high scorer of the championship game – with more than 20 points.
Other Schechter alumni attending the Maccabi games include: Jack Koltin, Chase Nathan, Josh Newlander, Eli Schrayer and Josh Wolf (all SSDS ’11) who all played on the Philadelphia basketball team along with current student, Benji Salzman (SSDS ’12).  This team took home the Silver.  Evan Gorstein, Avidan Halivni, Josh Silverman, and Hillel Schwartz (all SSDS ’10) also played basketball in the Maccabi games in Springfield, MA. In addition, Rebecca Rosenberg (SSDS ’10) competed on the swim team and Rebecca Cohn (SSDS ’09) competed on the volleyball team. 




Thank You Schechter

Our son and his friends were sitting on the floor at the JCC waiting for their basketball game to start. They were telling a teammate that they get to practice Hebrew every day. Then the boys started talking about their Torah portions, which they had received a few days earlier. Each boy was SO excited and they all started chanting their portions. It was awesome to see how proud and excited the boys were about their basketball game and their Torah portions! Thank you Schechter.


- Dina Shiner

From Generation to Generation

I loved being a Schechter student, and I treasure my Schechter friends to this day. Now, as a parent, I have a deeper understanding of the gift my parents gave to me and my brother and sisters. We want our children to experience what I had as a child -- a strong foundation of knowledge guided by Jewish history, tradition, and values. No other school can do this like Schechter.


- Ellen Dorfman Nathan


Only At Schechter

Unlike other schools, only at Schechter do general studies and Judaic Studies come together as one. Some people say it's like two worlds where there is no contact between the two worlds. I'm telling you -- there is a connection! We are part of the American culture, but at the same time, we keep our Jewish identity. We have learned from two worlds which appear to us as one. It was all a part of our daily schedule. We learned to be good citizens and also proud Jews. This only happens at Schechter....


- A Schechter Student

Our Schechter Community

For my Bat Mitzvah, I've decided to do a chesed project. With inspiration from a friend, I am making bracelets out of buttons called "button bracelets" that I am currently selling for $5 each. The money I am raising will go to my grade for our Israel trip fund. It is my hope that everyone will be able to go on the trip, because to me our Schechter community isn't the same without everyone included.


- A Schechter Student

A Love of Jewish Life

When I think about Schechter, I realize that Schechter not only provides a strong foundation of Jewish knowledge, it also fosters a love of Jewish life. As I get older, I realize the huge impact that Schechter has had on my life - who I am as a person and who I am as a Jew. Many of my closest friends are still my Schechter friends. It's great to see so many students today having the chance to experience what I had as a Schechter student.

Josh (Class of 2004) is pictured with one of his favorite teachers, Dr. Lena Kushnir, who is now principal of the Sager Elementary School.


- Josh Warshawsky

Our Community at Schechter

Our community here at Schechter is created by our connection to each other and to Judaism. At Schechter, we do not have all the same viewpoints or opinions about how to live life, practice Judaism, or affiliate politically. But community is not about sharing the exact same perspective as everyone else. Community is about having a safe environment in which everyone is able to share his or her own ideas without the fear that they will be judged or ridiculed.


- A Schechter Student

When I Think Of Schechter

When I think of Schechter, I think of my home, a place I feel comfortable and secure, a place where I feel accepted and understood, a place where I feel educated, and I place where I feel loved. Nothing can compare to the feeling that Schechter provides.


- A Schechter Student

A Strong Academic Foundation

As a Schechter graduate, I wanted my children to have the same intimate, nurturing environment that I had as a child at Schechter, as well as the strong academic foundation, connection to Israel, and love of Jewish life. It's wonderful to see how our children have thrived at Schechter and how well-prepared they are for high school. We are also proud of the people they have become -- their connection to Judaism and their values.


- Dr. Arica Feldman Hirsch

A Gift To Families

A Schechter education is more than a gift to our children, it is a gift to our family. The school provides a top of the line education in both general and Jewish studies. Every day students are challenged academically, and the nurturing atmosphere provides them with a sense of security and the confidence to excel.


- Susan Harris

Why I Love Schechter

In three words, Schechter is community, learning, and Judaism. Schechter is the type of community that promotes friendship, leadershipship, learning, fun, and most of all the love of being Jewish. Each day when I walk into school, I am greeted. Whether it's a security guard, a parent, a teacher, and sometimes even a student, I know that I'm starting my day in a community way.


- A Schechter Student

The Friendships Are Everlasting

The frienships that I have developed individually and as an entire grade have created bonds that are everlasting. Together we have shared life events -- receiving our first siddur, reading Torah, births, deaths, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and many others. The love and support of my classmates has helped to mold me into the person I am today. Schechter is like a second home to me. All the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned here will stick with me forever.


- A Schechter Student

Seems Like Yesterday

It was such a special moment when we witnessed our twins read from the Torah for the first time, along with their third grade classmates. It seems like only yesterday that they all were in kindergarten. It's been wonderful watching them develop these skills and to see their love for reading Torah.


- A Schechter Student


Community | Kehillah

SSDS is a community of students, families, educators, donors, and volunteer leaders who support
each other through times of joy and sorrow, forging life-long bonds of friendship
based on a shared commitment to each other and to Jewish life and learning.

Responsibility | Achrayut

As Jews, we are all responsible for one another. This sense of responsibility begins with, and extends
beyond, our SSDS community and includes giving tzedakah and improving our world.

Joy | Simcha

A Jewish life is a joyous life. SSDS provides a joyful learning environment for children,
families, and educators. Jewish holidays and life cycle events are an opportunity for everyone
to come together to celebrate and experience the richness of Jewish life.

Israel | Yisrael

Through Hebrew language education and immersion in Israeli culture, SSDS personalizes for its students
the American Jewish connection to Israel, instilling a passionate, lasting commitment to, and a sense of responsibility
for, the State of Israel.

Journey | Masa

SSDS welcomes and partners with parents to encourage and support their children and families
throughout their Schechter journey. We also promote a love of learning in our students, and create
opportunities for children, parents, families, educators, and volunteers to engage in life-long learning and growth.

In the Image of God | Btzelem Elohim

SSDS values the uniqueness and worth of every individual. Our school emphasizes respect, dignity,
inclusiveness, and compassion. We nurture the health, safety, and well-being of every member of our community.

Exemplary | Dugma

SSDS is committed to providing an education that weaves the best of General studies and Judaic
studies in an integrated program that is the benchmark against which Jewish day school programs are measured.

A partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. We appreciate the generous assistance provided by the Bernard Heerey Family Foundation Seventh Grade Scholarship Program for our Schechter families. Solomon Schechter Day School accepts students and parents of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.


Administrative Office: 3210 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 | 847.498.2100
©2014, Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago