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Home > Pesach Project Fellowship > 2003 Fellow Biographies

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As student coordinator for Project Pesach 2003/5763, it is my pleasure to congratulate this yearís exceptional group of fellows! As a fellow on the program two years ago, I was deeply moved by the joy of two Jewish communities, continents apart, coming together to celebrate this holiday of freedom and unity. This year, I am truly honored to be leading such an incredibly talented group of young Jewish leaders who have shown such a commitment to Jewish life and the Jewish community. I am also extremely excited to welcome Julie Epstein, Hillelís new tzeddeck director, and her husband Asher Epstein, who will be working with us throughout the semester as we prepare for our trip and accompanying us to Ukraine in April. I know that as a group, together with our Ukrainian counterparts, our spirit, hard work, and love of Judaism will allow us to touch the lives of so many people this Pesach and be touched ourselves as well. I cannot wait to get started!

Sasha Lyutse
Georgetown University
Student Coordinator
Project Pesach 2003/5763

Sasha Lyutse is a senior studying International Politics in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine in the late 1970ís and she herself is a first-generation American. She is a native speaker of Russian and after spending her junior year studying abroad in Paris, France speaks fluent French as well. She has been involved with the Jewish Student Association throughout her time at Georgetown and was a Project Pesach fellow in 2001, the programís founding year in the greater Washington community. Her experiences with Project Pesach led her to immediately commit to being its student leader this year.

Julie Reisler Epstein will be staffing this year's Project Pesach through Hillels of Greater Washington. Julie currently works at Hillel's Schusterman International Center as the Weinberg Tzedek Hillel director.† Tzedek Hillel is an international effort to mobilize Jewish students to pursue justice and transform their communities.This initiative is dedicated to engaging and empowering students in meaningful public service and social advocacy work. Julie has worked with Hillel for 6 years; she started her career as the 1997-1998 Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at the University of Virginia, worked as the director of programs with the Jewish graduate students at Georgetown University for 3 years, and then as a consultant with Campus Strategic Services at Hillel's Schusterman International Center. Julie, originally from the Boston area, graduated from the University of Rochester in 1997 and received her certificate in Organization Development at Georgetown University. Julie has been married to her husband, Asher, for 3 1/2 years and lives in Chevy Chase, MD.

Jason Benkendorf is a junior at American University, where he studies political science. Jason served from 2000 to 2001 as the International President of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO). He has interned for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ), and the United States House of Representatives. Jason is President of AU Students for Israel and is an Israeli Embassy Fellow. He is actively involved with Hillel and UJC University Programs, and is an AVI CHAI Fellow.

Erika (Marika) Frumes is a sophomore at The George Washington University majoring in International affairs with a concentration in conflict and security. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Erika now resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She loves to travel, especially in Europe. Erika is involved in the Jewish community at GW and is an intern for the UJC as well as an Avi Chi fellow. Erika enjoys sports, exploring Washington, D.C., doing service work, and spending time with friends and family. She is especially excited and looking forward to participating in the Pesach program and traveling to the Ukraine.

Sarah Goldstein is a senior at Georgetown University, majoring in Government and English. She is currently applying to law schools and hopes to ultimately concentrate on public interest law. Originally from Trumbull, CT, Sarah has been heavily involved in the Jewish community at Georgetown, serving as the 2000-2001 Vice President of the GU Jewish Students Association. She has also held internships with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Sarah spent her junior year abroad in Paris, France, and canít wait to travel again with Project Pesach.

Shira Rosenwald comes to Washington, DC from Lower Merion, Pa. She is a sophomore at the George Washington University. She is a marketing major, with a minor in communications. She is involved in many different activities at GW, through Hillel, and through her sorority- Sigma Kappa. Shira has a long history of Jewish involvement stemming from the Bínai Bírith Youth Organization, and Harlam, a UAHC sleepaway camp which she has attended for the past 10 summers. Shira is very excited about this amazing opportunity to travel to a new place, and meet new people. She knows it will be an unforgettable and valuable experience.

Danielle Weiss is a junior at the University of Maryland, at College Park. She is majoring in American Studies, with concentrations in English and Music. Originally from Southfield, Michigan, Danielle is involved with Hillel, serving on the Jewish Leadership Council and being the Hillel Leadership Intern at the University of Maryland. She is excited about her trip to the Ukraine with Project Pesach and is ready to help others enjoy Pesach the way that she has enjoyed it all of her life.

Hal Brewster enrolled as a freshman this year at Georgetown University after graduating valedictorian of Boardman High School in Youngstown, Ohio last spring. During high school, Hal served as president of both his school's National Honor Society as well as the 300 member Boardman Band. In his senior year, Hal served as principal chair trumpet in the his high school's symphony orchestra and symphonic band as well as the Boardman Varsity Swim Team captain. At Georgetown, Hal has become involved in the Eta Sigma chapter of AEPI. He was also selected as principal chair of the Georgetown University Symphony Orchestra. Although currently undeclared, he is thinking of double majoring in government and economics. Hal was also awarded a four year scholarship through Army ROTC.

Abbye Weingram is currently a junior at American University studying Elementary Education with a minor is Jewish studies. She has spent the past three summers working at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. Originally she is from Huntingdon Valley, PA (right outside Philadelphia). Throughout highschool Abbye was active in United Synagogoue Youth, serving one year on regional board. She is active on campus and sister of Alpha Epsilon Phi, and brother of the community serivce fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

Erica Fishbein is a first-year student at the George Washington University and is currently searching for her perfect subject in which to major. From elementary school through 12th grade, Erica attended the Ramaz school, a jewish day school in New York. Erica is an active member of the George Washington Hillel, and is on the board of Koach, the Conservative studentsí group, but enjoys experiencing all denominations. She is currently in the process of creating the George Washington Film Club, and enjoys learning Arabic on the side. A city girl, Erica hails from Manhattan and loves the new experience of D.C. living, and aspires to one day play her clarinet well enough to play in the D.C. metro. Erica is excited to be a part of this great group.

Jordan Sternlieb is from Tarzana, California. He is a sophomore in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is majoring in International Business and Finance with a minor in Spanish. He is an active member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the national Jewish fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hockey, and movies.

My name is David Gregory Gutnik. I was born and raised a Russian Jew in Brooklyn, NY. In middle school, I attended the Rabbi Harry Halpern Day School, a conservative yeshiva. Since the first grade, I have led the Passover Seder in my home every year. In my junior year of high school, Poly Preparatory Country Day School, I founded Shalom, a Jewish Culture club.† This was the first of its kind in the 150-year history of my high school. That summer, I also volunteered 300 hours at the Sephardic Nursing Home. Currently, I am a student at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.† Last year, I founded Georgetown's first Jewish fraternity with twenty other guys. What is more, I am also currently working for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Only twenty three years ago, HIAS brought my whole family to America.

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