Simon Klarfeld, Executive Director of Young Judaea, Zionist Spring Slate Member
Simon Klarfeld is an expert in the fields of experiential Jewish learning and informal Israel education. He has served as vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, executive director of Columbia/Barnard Hillel, and as founding director of the Genesis program at Brandeis University.
Early in his career, he was director of both the British and California Soviet Jewry movements, including serving “hard time” in the Soviet Union. Simon has consulted with organizations including iCenter, the Joint Distribution Committee and Taglit-Birthright Israel in communities ranging from Australia to Ukraine on best practices in youth engagement, informal education, Jewish peoplehood, and leadership.
Simon received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Keele in England and his Master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University.
Julia Smirnova, Havurah Program Manager, Zionist Spring Slate Member
Julia Smirnova was born in Nizhne Novgorod in Russia. She immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1992 with her family. Julia spent 5 years in Israel as a teenager, and considers herself Israeli at heart.
Julia worked at Tanger Hillel House at Brooklyn College. In her role as Program Coordinator, she facilitated in volunteer programs, community service missions and social events, working closely with Jewish Russian-speaking young adult communities. Julia worked at the Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO) as a Jewish Educator in Russian day care centers. Julia completed the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University, receiving her MBA in Non-Profit Management and MA in Jewish Professional Leadership. She was the recipient of the Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry fellowship.
Julia now works with Havurah at Camp Tel Yehudah since its inception in 2009, progressing from Counselor, to Supervisor, and then to Rosh Machane in just four summers. She is now the Havurah Program Manager, an organic progression in her work with Tel Yehudah. In her spare time, Julia enjoys scrapbooking, yoga and cooking.
Joel Srebrenick, National Senior Advisor - National Mazkirut, Zionist Spring Slate Member
Joel Srebrenick is currently a senior at the University of Maryland studying government and politics. He began his Young Judaea career at the age of 8, attending Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake and continuing in a wide array of YJ programs through the end of high school and culminating with Young Judaea Year Course in Israel.
For the past several years, Joel has served as a supervisor at Camp Tel Yehudah as well as the National Senior Advisor to Young Judaea's National Mazkirut. Joel's role has been directly involved with the current and rising leaders of Jewish communities around the globe, fostering the spirit of Pluralism, Cooperation, and Innovation which brought the first World Zionist Congress together over 100 years ago.
Joel is looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the Zionist Spring and pave a way forward towards a congress which brings Jews together.
"Young Judaea instilled in me a strong sense of pride and ownership over the Zionist Enterprise in the State of Israel and all around the world, and it's for that reason that I'm thrilled to be serving on the Zionist Spring's slate for the World Zionist Congress."
Naomi Solkowitz, Young Judaea National Mazkira '13-'14, Zionist Spring Slate Member
Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Naomi has been a part of Young Judaea since the day she could. Currently on Young Judaea's Year Course, Naomi will attend Binghamton University in the fall.
An alumna of Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake, Tel Yehudah and Young Judaea year round activities, Naomi's position on the Zionist Spring slate is emblematic of her commitment peer leadership. She has held a leadership role throughout her experiences in Young Judaea on both the regional and national levels.
Passionate about the future of the Zionist movement and excited about being a part of the dialogue, Naomi hopes to further the Zionist Springs platform, especially the creation and expansion of programs encouraging leadership, activism and Zionist ideals for youth.
"I have been, and still am fortunate enough to participate in programs like these, and think they are vital to the continuation of youth leadership and the Zionist movement as a whole."
Yael David, Young Judaea National Mazkira '11-'12, Zionist Spring Slate Member
Yael's Young Judaea career began at CYJ Sprout Lake, where she spent four summers as camper and continued through Camp Tel Yehudah, Machon, and Young Judaea Year Course in 2012-2013. During her year in Israel, she was a part of the Activism Track and help found Tzeva Kachol, a campaign to aid Israeli victims of terror.
After returning to the US and working at Tel Yehudah for three summers, Yael is now looking forward to being a Merakezet at CYJ Sprout Lake. Additionally, Yael has advised various Young Judaea high school delegations to AIPAC conferences in Washington DC.
Currently a junior at Binghamton University majoring in Judaic Studies and double minoring in Education and Israel Studies, Yael serves as the president of Bearcats for Israel, and previously co-chaired their Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration, one of the largest on American campuses.
Thrilled to be representing Young Judaea on the Zionist Spring slate in the upcoming WZC election, Yael is eager to be a of the World Zionist Organization to better the State of Israel and strengthen diaspora Zionism.
"I look forward to being part of a group that will work towards so many values that are important to me and Young Judaea as a movement including youth empowerment, pluralism, and unity of Israeli and diaspora Jews."