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Our JFEW Scholars impress us endlessly with their ambition and drive. Their creativity and tenacity are an inspiration, and we are so proud to celebrate their stories and successes. If you are a current JFEW Scholar and would like to share your recent accomplishments, please email us at info (at) jfew (dot) org!


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Top tags: Binghamton University  New York City College of Technology  Stern College  Stony Brook University  SUNY Geneseo  City Tech  Baruch College  Hunter College  SUNY International Relations Scholar  College of Staten Island  JFEW Roosevelt House Scholars  Leadership and Career Development Scholars  Queens College  UJA CUNY Hillels Program 

JFEW Scholar Brianna Ferranti radiates optimism

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, March 5, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 11, 2018


Brianna, a senior at Queens College studying to be a medical speech pathologist, has decided that she is fed up with all of the negativity in the news and politics of today. She says, “If I’m being honest, I can’t hear any more of it. I felt like I needed to take people’s minds off what is going on right now.”

Brianna spent this past December organizing a Christmas toy drive. She collected more than 300 toys that were brought to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Saint Mary’s Hospital for Children. Afterwards, she was overcome with the amount of love and support that she had received and she decided to turn her event into a philanthropic club. Brianna launched the Facebook group Acts of Kindness, that is dedicated to organizing two giving events per year with a mission to spread love and hope to those in need. Currently, she is working on an Easter basket drive that will be given out to the homeless and needy community in New York City this April.

We are so proud and inspired by the amazing work Brianna is doing to bring love and hope to her community. Like Brianna, JFEW believes that acts of kindness can change the world!


** Please follow and like Brianna's Facebook page, Acts of Kindness to get involved or donate a toy!

Tags:  Queens College 

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JFEW Scholar Vera Pertsovskaya is a stellar student-athlete

Posted By Jamie Spence, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Vera is a member of the Hunter College Women’s Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor Track & Field Teams, as well as a Biology and German major. She uses cross country and track as a way to organize her busy schedule, and she says, "you have to be self-motivated and disciplined if you want to do well."

In addition to being a scholar-athlete, Vera is a Democracy Coach for the Generation Citizen program where she works with 11th graders in the Bronx. Vera believes it is important for young people to be a part of the decisions being made in Albany and Washington, D.C., and her goal is to help students solve the critical issues their communities are facing. Her current class is focusing on a way to implement more college scholarship opportunities for low-income students. 

This summer she had the opportunity to intern with the NYC Health and Hospitals Division of Correctional Health Services. While there, she assisted in defining a utility value of incarceration for individuals in New York City's jails. Vera says, "This experience gave me an understanding of the health care available to New York City’s incarcerated population, and also led me to consider a career in social medicine.”

Vera, we can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next!

Tags:  Hunter College 

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Meet our Scholar, Talia Sanieoff

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, November 20, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018


Talia is a senior at Stern College studying biology, and she is an active member in a variety of clubs. She is currently the president of the Yeshiva University Sharsheret Club, which is dedicated to funding research to find a cure for cancer. Talia said she was initially drawn to the club because of the enormous presence that it has on Sterns’s campus, and since joining she has been inspired by the work they are doing. As president, she is beginning to prepare for the club’s major event, Cake Wars, which will be held this February. The event brings in around 300 to 400 people annually!

In addition, Talia is also a member of START Science, which is a club at Stern that seeks to get younger children excited about learning science. As a member, Talia makes trips to public schools in the area to teach and inspire younger students to get involved in her passion.

Talia will graduate from Stern this spring, and is planning on applying to physician’s assistant programs. Good luck, Talia!


** Talia is pictured here with her friend, and fellow JFEW Scholar, Tzip Roffe!

Tags:  Stern College 

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JFEW Scholar Penelope Morales is an inspiration

Posted By Jamie Spence, Thursday, November 16, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Penelope is a Radiologic Technology Scholar at City Tech, and is a five year cancer survivor. Recently, she graciously shared with us what inspired her to enter the medical field:


"Being a cancer survivor has given me a newfound purpose in life, and a part of that is my desire to work in the medical field. I know this is the right career path for me because I have the empathy this job requires. I have been in a similar situation and can personally relate with the patients that I encounter every day. During my treatment, my medical care team left an imprint on my heart, and they have inspired my involvement in the patient and health care field. 

Continuing my career in medicine will allow me to help encourage and support individuals who are trying to find reasons to fight their sickness. Additionally, with further education, I am interested in advancing my career into other diagnostic modalities such as CT, MRI & Mammography.

To those interested in the radiologic technology field I would say, stay focused and motivated and remember why you chose this career. It won’t be easy but, like the saying goes, ‘Nothing worth having comes easy.’”


You inspire us, Penelope!

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Tags:  City Tech 

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Check out our Scholar, Abigail Dietz

Posted By Jamie Spence, Friday, November 10, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018


Abigail recently served a year as the president of the Student Undergrad Research Group Exchange (SURGE) at Stern College. As president of SURGE, she helped to orchestrate events for students to present their scientific research in non-stressful situations, allowing them to learn the correct format for presenting, while also gaining confidence in their skills. Abigail recently presented her own research project that she completed this summer.

Abigail assisted with research for the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers University, on a project to record the sleep cycle of fruit flies in order to learn more about circadian rhythm. Abigail worked with of Dr. Isaac Edery, who assisted in the lab of Dr. Michael Rosbash, one of the three winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine this year!

In addition to her great work conducting and facilitating scientific research, Abigail has also been the captain of the soccer team at Stern for the past two years. She says that she embraces the challenge of balancing all of these activities at once, and that she performs better when she is working to make it all fit in her schedule.

Abigail is a senior, and is preparing to graduate this January with a bachelor's degree in biology.

Tags:  Stern College 

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JFEW Scholar Elena Sedova shared her story with us

Posted By Jamie Spence, Thursday, November 9, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2018


We asked Elena to give us a summary of what inspired her to become a dental hygienist, and she shared an inspiring story:


"A long time ago, before I emigrated from Russia to America, I volunteered for an organization serving the geriatric community in my hometown of Yekaterinburg, Russia. Through this experience, I met dentists and dental hygienists who served the needs of older adults. At the time, I saw these dental professionals work magic. They were able to, on the spot, make older people healthier, physically and emotionally. In Russia, working with the geriatric community does not bring prestige, or money. It is something people do because they want to help the most unprotected stratum of our society. Seeing this for myself, I realized how wonderful it could be to be able to help geriatric people in the same way. It inspired me. 

A few years ago, due to circumstance, I emigrated from Russia and resettled in the United States. To achieve my goal of becoming a Dental Hygienist in this country, I began intensively studying English. Afterwards, when I enrolled in college, I was placed on the Dean's honor list and earned an award for best overall student. During this time I worked as a Dental Assistant for approximately two years.

Currently, I am a Dental Hygiene student at the New York City College of Technology. The reason I chose to work in a service profession is because I believe success is made up of the smallest details. A successful society is composed of the well-being of each individual. As a Dental Hygienist I know I that am just an individual, but I can help build a healthier society, and do my part to make it better.”


We thank you for sharing your story with us, Elena. We are so proud of you!

Tags:  City Tech 

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JFEW Scholar Goldie Gross is a successful curator

Posted By Jamie Spence, Thursday, November 2, 2017
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2018


Goldie is a sophomore at Baruch College, and a prominent curator for the Jewish Art Salon. Goldie was given her first independent exhibition, Sukkahwood, which featured six artists who interpreted Jewish traditions through sukkah installations earlier this fall. She has also had the opportunity to collaborate on the Jewish Art Salon’s exhibit at the Jerusalem Biennale, Jerusalem Between Heaven and Earth.

Most recently, Goldie curated the exhibition Natural Instincts which featured 28 artists who worked to showcase harmonious multiculturalism and inter-religious unity. In addition to curating the event, Goldie also arranged a collaboration in which a piece of her work was featured! The event was aimed at bringing people from diverse cultural backgrounds together.

Goldie is dedicated to providing opportunities to other young aspiring artists, working with the Jewish Art Salon to create a student fellowship. This fellowship gives budding artists the chance to network and showcase their work alongside artists farther along in their careers. She says, “I want to make it something that more young adults want to be a part of.”

Goldie is studying art and business at Baruch. After graduation, she aspires to fuse the two together by working at an auction house, museum, or as a professor. We can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes!

Tags:  UJA CUNY Hillels Program 

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JFEW Scholar Sofia Villalon is connecting her community through food

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, October 30, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018


Sofia, a senior at SUNY Geneseo, was recently awarded the Frank Vafier ’74 Ambassadors Grant in Leadership, and with it she brought to life the Credo Kitchen.

The Credo Kitchen brings local immigrant and refugee chefs to the SUNY Geneseo campus in order to bridge cultural gaps, and foster a community of love, acceptance, and learning. So far the Credo Kitchen has featured chefs spanning from Ethiopia to Pakistan, and more! Sofia believes that, "Food can be used as a political tool, and a tool for love and learning. If we use food strategically it can be an important part of our peace process." Check out this video about the Credo Kitchen’s first event!

Sofia was also invited to attend the 10th Annual Clinton Global Initiative conference to represent SUNY Geneseo this October.  Sofia says that the sessions she attended taught her a lot about how to facilitate conversations surrounding a variety of social, educational, and political issues.

Sofia says, “Whatever I do moving forward, it will be something that I’m passionate about.” Sofia is adamant about finding experiences that will enrich her, and give her new opportunities to learn. She is looking for opportunities to continue to use the culinary arts as a way to bring about social and political change, and to foster a community of inclusion and acceptance.


** You can find updates on Sofia’s Credo Kitchen by following her Facebook page, Credo Kitchen: destination dinners!

Tags:  SUNY Geneseo  SUNY International Relations Scholar 

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JFEW Scholars are starting the academic year off right

Posted By Jamie Spence, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018


Our first cohort of JFEW Leadership and Career Development Scholars at Binghamton University has recently kicked off, and they did it in style with a team-building ropes and zip-line course! The Scholars were pushed out of their comfort zone and are really learning how to work together as a team.

We can't wait to watch their progression throughout this year, and we wish them luck on their journeys!

Tags:  Binghamton University  Leadership and Career Development Scholars 

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Check out our Scholar, Marlene Teroro

Posted By Jamie Spence, Friday, August 25, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018


Marlene, one of our JFEW Scholars studying at New York City College of Technology, is interning at Kings County Hospital as a dental hygienist this summer. Throughout this experience Marlene hopes to gain clinical knowledge and learn to be more comfortable working with patients and co-workers.

The best advice Marlene has received during her internship experience is, "Have your own set of principles that are good for the patient and yourself. There will be different people and scenarios that will come and go; some might be good and some might be bad, but always stick to what you believe in."

Tags:  City Tech 

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