2017 Volunteer corps

Lauren Gross

Lauren Gross

Communications & Visitors Coordinator

Originally from New Jersey, Lauren graduated from George Washington University in 2012, with a B.A. in International Affairs, concentrating on International Development Studies and minoring in Sociocultural Anthropology. While in college, Lauren studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, working at a TB clinic, sparking her interest in global public health. After living in New York City for two years and working in healthcare marketing, Lauren moved to Israel to explore its biotech scene, culture and engage in its dynamic community. She worked at Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company, providing affordable medicines and health solutions to patients around the world. In this role, she served as project manager in the development in the company's global public health strategy. In her free time, Lauren is dedicated to volunteering, focused on helping the homeless and poorest communities. She brought Flames of Giving, a gift-giving program matching needy individuals with donors, to Israel. As the Israel program ambassador, she worked with the Ethiopian Absorption Center in Nahariya to provide families with clothing and computer tablets. Lauren also founded Helping Hands, an empowerment initiative to help mobilize people to give back to those less fortunate. Blog: http://laurenvgross.wixsite.com/throughmyeyes

Taylor Landay

Taylor Landay

Public Health Fellow

Taylor Landay is a Pittsburgh native who attended the University of Maryland to study Public Health. She previously interned for Innocents at Risk and has worked for the Children's Inn at the National Institute of Health. Taylor has a certificate in Globalization and has taken courses relating to international affairs. Throughout her studies, Taylor also served as Membership Vice President of Maryland's Jewish Student Union, the largest in the USA. During her sophomore year at college, Taylor spent one month studying at the University of Manipal in Mangalore, India. She also spent the spring semester of her junior year studying abroad at Bond University on the Gold Coast of Australia. After college, Taylor worked as a Cardiology research assistant at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, focusing on Rheumatic Heart Disease in Uganda. Taylor hopes to one day earn her Master's in Public Health and practice a career in international primary healthcare. She also has experience working at a Jewish sleep away camp and it was there that she fell in love with being a counsellor. This past year, Taylor served as a JDC fellow at ASYV, working as the service groups coordinator and with visitors from all around the world. Taylor is a passionate, enthusiastic and outgoing young woman who loves being around other people and exploring new parts of the world. In her spare time Taylor enjoys painting, basketball, and reading. BLOG: https://rwanderingaroundblog.wordpress.com/

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Peter Lee

Video - Photography Trainer



Peter is a Korean-American freelance filmmaker who has spent the last 7 years living in San Francisco. He grew up near New Orleans, Louisiana, and went to study business at the University of Houston. Looking to gain some international experience under his belt, he moved to France to attend graduate school at the American University of Paris where he studied Global Communications for 2 years. The desire to express himself creatively led him to San Francisco where he studied the craft of photography and digital filmmaking and went on to teach and work on a variety of video related projects. He’s collaborated extensively with Skyship Films, an expedition documentary film company, and recently edited a feature length documentary about wolves in the pacific northwest. He is passionate about collaborating with others and storytelling through still and motion picture.


International Visitors Coordinator

Marie-Claire grew up in Jacksonville, FL and and spent the last year in Hamburg, Germany working as an Au Pair. Marie-Claire graduated in 2015 from Florida State University with a B.A. in International Affairs with concentrations in Portuguese, NGOs, and Emergency Management.  Marie-Claire started working at age fourteen at the same Jewish preschool she attended and later went on to teach swim lessons there.  Marie-Claire also held jobs through several departments at FSU including Housing, Campus Recreation, and Sustainability.  One of Marie-Claire's main activities for the last decade has been volunteering for and participating in CISV programs. CISV is an NGO dedicated to building global friendship through cross-cultural interactions.  She has served on various committees and has represented the USA as a delegate to international camps on five different occasions. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, travelling, cooking, reading, and playing with her German Shepherds. Blog: emmceee.blogspot.com

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Program Assistant

Darren Rabinowitz is an educator, cultural diplomat and performing artist. He holds a B.A. from American University in interdisciplinary studies that focused on theatre, dance and international relations. He has been engaged in Jewish education with American University's Hillel hosting workshops for college students pertaining to religion, ritual, performance and identity. Darren spent 6 months in South Africa, studying at the University of Cape Town where he conducted research for his one man show senior thesis 'Baggage Claim' which was awarded the Best Oral Presentation or Performance in the Performing Arts by a Junior or Senior at the 25th Annual Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference. This performance relied on the history of his mother's family and how this history manifests itself within him. Darren continues to investigate how identity, family and history can be viewed through performance. Darren is a flying trapeze instructor at Trapeze School New York in DC and has performed at the White House. In addition, he is an experiential Jewish educator at Temple Micah in Washington D.C for 6th graders. He considers himself to be a jack-of-all-trades and enjoys walks in nature, having deep conversations over tea and playing music with his brothers.

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Shayna Saliman

Monitoring & Evaluation Fellow

Originally from San Francisco, CA, Shayna graduated in 2016 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Peace and Conflict Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. An active member of her Jewish community, Shayna worked in the kitchen at Hillel and regularly attended her local Israeli Dance session. She also spent a semester living in Israel during her sophomore year of high school. Eager to learn about public service, Shayna worked as a US House Page during her junior year of high school. In college, she interned at the US State Department where she assembled diplomatic briefings for new officers. Shayna later studied abroad in Edinburgh, interning at the Scottish Parliament. There she helped with the Scottish independence referendum campaign, worked on constituency casework, and satisfied her travel itch by backpacking across Europe. Passionate about social justice, she interned at a variety of nonprofits throughout her time in college, such as Not For Sale, an organization that combats human trafficking. Shayna hopes to pursue a career in international development and is thrilled to learn all that she can from her placement in Rwanda. She loves reading, dancing, learning, cooking, outdoors adventures, and exploring new places.


English Enrichment Fellow

Naomi Stanway was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico but spent most of her childhood in Ocean Township, New Jersey. She grew up spending summers at URJ Camp Harlam as both a camper and a waterfront staff member. Naomi graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2013 with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology. While in college, Naomi worked as a student ambassador through the Office of Admissions. She also worked as a kindergarten teacher in a local synagogue. After graduating, Naomi joined Teach for America and served as a 2013 corps member teaching second grade in southern New Mexico. BLOG: https://wherethesidewalkendss.wordpress.com/

Mary Mantei

Mary Mantei

English and Career Development Fellow

Mary is excited to continue her work in community education and empowerment. She started meeting members of the East African refugee community in Columbia, Missouri five years ago and enjoyed her time making memories with them and learning more about life outside of the U.S. She started her work in Rwanda as an English instructor at a women’s cooperative just four months prior to accepting her position with ASYV. She is happy to work in a position that combines all of her past professional experiences in planning and administering community based programs, performing community outreach and education, as well as using strengths-based case management to empower families. Mary feels blessed by all the opportunities she has received in life so far and is filled with hope that she can also help others find success, as well.