Molly Bernstein came to love Israel when her parents made Aliyah when she was a baby. Her family moved back to the US when she was in 2nd grade, and Molly maintained her connection to Zionism through summers at Camp Galil, a Labor Zionist summer camp run by the Habonim Dror youth movement. Molly spent a gap year on Habonim Dror’s Workshop program living in Be’er Sheva and teaching English in Dimona before starting university. Molly’s experiences growing up instilled in her the belief that Zionism’s highest aspirations and social justice walk hand in hand.
Molly graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in College Park with a double degree in Arabic Studies and Government & Politics. She served as the president of the University’s J Street U chapter, which she built into the largest pro-Israel group at the University. Molly was also actively involved at the University’s Hillel; she worked as a CEI intern, where she engaged Jewish students across campus. Through Hillel, Molly also led an alternative winter break to Israel, where she strove to expose students to the country’s wonderful and terrifying complexities.
As part of her studies, Molly focused on mastering 3 dialects of Arabic, including a semester abroad with Middlebury College in Amman, Jordan. After graduating, Molly received a Boren scholarship to spend a year studying with the Arabic Flagship Program in Meknes, Morocco, where she interned at a women’s empowerment organization and a local AIDS clinic. Molly wants to dedicate the rest of her life to promoting a more just Middle East.
Molly is currently the Research and Policy Fellow at the Abraham Fund Initiatives, where she is working on a project focusing on Arab minority issues in the third sector, including workplace integration and social service accessibility issues.
Enbal Singer (Canadian Fellow) was born in Tel-Aviv and moved with her family to Canada as a child. Her fellowship year is the longest period she has spent in Israel since she was four years old. Growing up in a secular family, her connection to Judaism was primarily through being Israeli, celebrating Jewish holiday, and visiting her family in Israel. As an adolescent she struggled to balance her progressive views with mainstream Judaism. More recently opportunities to give workshops on the refugee crisis in Israel from a Jewish perspective and participation in KlezKanada have exposed her to a side of Jewish life that can be reconciled with her own beliefs. She spent the summer of 2010 in Israel volunteering with the African Refugee Development Center in Tel-Aviv. Through this she developed a strong interest in refugee issues in Israel and around the world.
Enbal recently graduated from McGill University in Montreal, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Honours Political Science with a minor in Canadian Ethnic and Racial Studies. During her time at McGill she worked to build various communities in the city of Montreal. She coordinated relations between students on campus and Projet Refuge, a local house for forced migrants. She held positions on the Political Science and Arts student associations where she worked to improve student life, promote equity on campus, and build an inclusive environment for first year students.
Enbal has also volunteered with the Canadian Council for Refugees on developing its Violence Against Newcomer Women Network and coordinated promotion for the Roma Community Centre of Toronto Opre Roma/Rise Up Roma Festival of Romani culture and arts. She plans to attend law school on her return from Israel with a focus on refugee and immigration law.
During her fellowship year, Enbal is working in the Refugee and Asylum seekers sector at Kav LaOved (The Workers Hotline). Her work involves educating workers on their rights and advocating on their behalf. She is also preparing English reports on Kav LaOved’s work for the US Embassy.
Sam Kuttner was raised in Brooklyn NY. He received a B.A. in International Relations and Cultural Anthropology from Boston University. After graduating, Sam joined Teach for America as an Economics Teacher at Kingsbury HS in Memphis, where he developed and implemented an Advanced Placement curriculum and where he created the Kingsbury College Pipeline Program, a curriculum designed to improve college placement among low-income high school students. His program increased the graduation rate by 20% and lead to 100% of his students being accepted into college. After 2 years in the classroom, Sam joined Teach for America staff as a Sam has been Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach for America in Memphis, where he was responsible for coaching and managing 26 first and second year teachers in low income communities. In 2014-2015 Sam was a Dorot Fellow in Israel working with migrants. Remarkably, Sam did not know Hebrew prior to his Dorot fellowship but quickly learned Hebrew and has fully immersed himself in Israeli life.
As a SHATIL Fellow, Sam is placed at Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, where is taking over the responsibilities of the Director of Special Projects. In this capacity he is working on research policy reports, interviewing clients to determine legal status, and creating content and strategy for social media engagement.
Harris Engelmann (Jay Orlin Fellow; 2nd year Fellow) was born into a progressive family with Israeli roots and raised in the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware within a small Jewish community that emphasized social justice and support of Israel. His Jewish identity was strengthened by summers at Jewish camps and by his extensive involvement in BBYO, which trained him in pro-Israel activism and the power of organizing in a Jewish context. Time spent in Israel on a family trip and on the BBYO Euro-Israel seminar connected him to the country and its people.
Harris studied German Literature and International Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, immersing himself in international politics and cultures, and spent a semester at Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany. During his time at Wash U, he was exposed to a variety of new and challenging viewpoints on Israel and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leading him ultimately to J Street U, where he spent two years organizing and building his local campus chapter and where he served as a member of the organization’s national leadership.
His commitment to a more tolerant and open Israel led him to intern for J Street’s Education Fund in the summer of 2013. He spent the past year at the Yahel Social Change program in Israel. tutoring English, working on community agriculture projects, working with at-risk youth, and learning about social change in Israel while living in a socio-economically challenged Ethiopian-Israeli neighborhood in the small town of Gedera and interning for a grassroots non-profit.
Harris is in his second year of working as the volunteer and outreach coordinator of the Social Guard, a grassroots organization working to increase the accountability of Israel’s elected officials through citizen-monitoring.
To read the bios from the 2014-2015 cohort of NIF/SHATIL Social Justice Fellows, click here.
To read the bios from the 2013-2014 cohort of NIF/SHATIL Social Justice Fellows, click here.
To read the bios from the 2012-2013 cohort of NIF/SHATIL Social Justice Fellows, click here.