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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 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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Meet JFEW Scholar, Maggie Chen

Posted By Jamie Spence, Thursday, August 24, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018


Maggie is a Development Intern at Pure Earth, an international NGO dedicated to solving the world's pollution crisis. Maggie hopes to learn more about interpersonal and research skills during her her time with the NGO before finishing up her studies at Binghamton University next year! 

The best advice that she has received was, "Don't hesitate to approach and greet someone - building a connection is essential!"

Good luck, Maggie!

Tags:  Binghamton University 

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JFEW Scholar Elianny Espinal is interning at the Ford Foundation

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, August 21, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Meet JFEW Scholar Elianny Espinal from Stony Brook University!

Elianny is grateful for her opportunity to intern at the Ford Foundation this summer, and she believes the experience is allowing her to develop a strong idea of what it is like to work in the non-profit sector. Elianny explains, "Being at the Ford Foundation for a month, I cannot imagine being anywhere else. I enjoy what I do here and meeting the people that I am meeting. I hope to build a lasting relationship."

Tags:  Stony Brook University 

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Check out Maria Grima's summer internship

Posted By Jamie Spence, Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2017


JFEW Scholar Maria Grima from Stony Brook University is interning at Ocean Sanctuary Alliance where she transcribed the United Nations Ocean Conference!

She also creates maps for local and global marine research projects and assists on fish-tagging trawls and restoration projects. The best advice Maria received during her summer internship was "As long as you are learning, your time is not wasted."

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Tags:  Stony Brook University 

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