Born and raised in Boston, Jacob Levkowicz graduated in 2012 from Wesleyan University. He spent the last year living in Israel on the Dorot Fellowship. Over the course of the year, he spent time learning about the occupation and engaging with social justice issues. Prior to joining Dorot, Jacob worked at AJC – first with their young professionals program, and then as their campus liaison – and at The David Project. He’s been trained as a facilitator through Resetting the Table, participated in Encounter, and led trips to Israel. These experiences pushed Jacob to seek opportunities to engage with Israel and Israelis in a different and deeper way, and motivated him to engage with, and learn more about, issues related the Occupied Territories.
Jacob is the Jay E. Orlin Fellow. He will be spending his fellowship year working at Kav La’oved.
Joshua Leifer grew up in Northern New Jersey. He attended the Gerrard Berman Day School, Solomon Schechter of North Jersey for elementary school, before switching into the public school system. For high school, he attended the Bergen County Academies. In the summer of 2011, he went on the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel. Joshua spent a gap year in Israel studying at Mechinat Bina, the army preparatory program of the Secular Yeshiva in South Tel Aviv. He is currently finishing his senior year at Princeton University, where he studies history and political theory. He recently completed his undergraduate thesis on the intellectual history of labor organizing strategy in 20th century America. At Princeton, Joshua co-founded the Alliance of Jewish Progressives, a student group that combines traditional text study with social action, revived the Princeton Progressive, the university’s left-wing magazine, and served as editor-in-chief of the Nassau Weekly, Princeton’s alternative news magazine. He has worked for Harper’s Magazine and and written for Dissent. Joshua has also worked as a counselor at Hashomer Hatzair’s Camp Shomria, and as a facilitator for Givat Haviva‘s Through Others’ Eyes program.
Josh is the Nomi Fein and Leibel Fein Fellow and he will be spending his fellowship year working at +972 Magazine.
Ben Bendor was born and raised in Stanford, California, in a progressive family with a strong sense of Jewish cultural identity. Growing up, he spent several summers at Camp Newman, and attended Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in middle school. Coming from a very politically engaged family background — his grandfather was a civil rights activist, and political discussions were typical dinner table conversation while growing up — and with a longstanding interest in language learning, Ben has been oriented for much of his life toward international affairs, with a strong interest in combining this interest with his dedication to social justice.
Ben graduated from American University with a major in International Studies and a minor in Arabic. During the summer before his senior year, he served as a casework intern at the Arab American Association of New York, helping Arabic-speaking immigrants with immigration-related applications such as extension of residency cards and naturalization. After graduating, Ben interned at the D.C. office of the Critical Language Scholarship before participating in Achvat Amim, a five-month service and learning program in Jerusalem focused on shared society and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since then, Ben has interned at CET Academic Programs, a leading study abroad provider, and worked in Morocco, helping high school students apply to college in the United States. Ben is delighted to have the opportunity to return to Israel and dig deeper into issues in contemporary Israeli society.
Ben is the Rabbi Richard J. Israel Fellow and he will be spending his fellowship year working at Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights in Jerusalem.
* * * * *
Read the bios from other cohorts of the NIF / SHATIL Social Justice Fellows:
2021-2022 cohort | 2019-2020 cohort | 2018-2019 cohort | 2017-2018 cohort | 2016-2017 cohort | 2015-2016 cohort | 2014-2015 cohort | 2013-2014 cohort | 2012-2013 cohort