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Straus Scholar Alumni

The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought


Natan Ehrenreich









Natan Ehrenreich (YC '23) is a Communications and Government Affairs Fellow at the Becket Fund and a fellow at the Public Interest Fellowship. At Becket, he assists with research and analysis of legislation related to religious liberty and produces communications material for the organization. Natan graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University in May of 2023 as one of nine undergraduate valedictorians. He has participated in Summer fellowships at the Heritage Foundation, the Hertog Foundation, the Tikvah Fund, and the American Enterprise Institute. His writing has appeared in National Review, where he served as an editorial intern in the summer of 2023.

Michael Weiner









Michael Weiner (YC '21) is an M.A. candidate in National Security and Intelligence at the Texas A&M Bush School in Washington, DC. After graduating from Yeshiva University with a BA in Political Science in 2021, he served as a research assistant at the Hudson Institute, working for two former senior government officials writing books on the Middle East. He also interned for the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Eliott Dosetareh









Eliott Dosetareh (YC '20) is a law student at Cardozo School of Law and currently serves as a Civil Rights Law Clerk at The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. At Cardozo, Eliott serves as a staff editor on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, where he has researched multi-track diplomacy and the Abraham Accords. He is also an active member of the Jewish Law Students Association and Real Estate Law Association. Before starting law school, Eliott served as a research and executive assistant at the World Jewish Congress in New York City, where he analyzed legislation pertaining to anti-Semitism, Holocaust education, and bi-partisan support for Israel. Eliott graduated from Yeshiva University in 2020 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Psychology.

Penina Spearman









Penina Spearman (SCW '23) is currently studying in YU’s Graduate Program in Advanced Talmud/Tanach Studies (GPATS) program toward a master's degree in Tanach, and she is pursuing an M.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Jewish Classical Education through Tikvah's Lobel Center and the University of Dallas. Prior to studying at Stern College, she spent a year in Israel at Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY). Penina received a degree in philosophy as a Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW) scholar. Penina was a Tikvah Summer Fellow and worked on a project to help both with the editorial and research process for a book adaptation of essays by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik for Koren Publishing.

Eliana Wagner









Eliana Wagner (SCW '22) is a law student at Columbia Law School. She graduated from Stern College for Women in 2022 with a BA in political science. Through the YU Pre-Law Judicial Internship Program, Eliana had the opportunity to intern for Judge Ruchie Freier at the Queens County Civil Court and gained extensive insight into the legal process. In past years, Eliana has worked as a legislative intern with the American Jewish Congress and as an intern on a congressional campaign. On campus, Eliana served as the president of the campus Israel club and participated in student government. She also spent a summer in Washington, DC, as part of the Tikvah Fund's fellowship program. In her free time, Eliana enjoys playing basketball, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Benjamin Gottesman









Benjamin Gottesman (YC '23) is the associate director of high-school fellowships at the Tikvah Fund. He graduated from Yeshiva University in May 2023 with degrees in Political Science and Jewish Studies, and he was a participant in the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Honors Program. Benjamin also played a major role in student life, serving as the editor-in-chief of the YU Observer, one of the school’s university’s student newspapers. In the past, Benjamin has interned at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem and in the office of New York State Senator Kevin Parker.

Eli Perl









Elimelekh (Eli) Perl (YC '22) is a software engineer at Goldman Sachs. Elimelekh received his B.S. in Computer Science from Yeshiva University in 2022, graduating summa cum laude as both an Honors student and a Straus Scholar. He resides in Hillside, NJ with his wife, Yael, and their son, Bentzi.


Yonatan Kurz









Yonatan Kurz (YC '23) is currently pursuing semicha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and a graduate degree at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Yonatan graduated from Yeshiva College in 2023 as a fourth-generation student, majoring in Political Science and Jewish Thought and Philosophy with a minor in Psychology, where he was a Scholar at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought and learned in Rav Michael Rosensweig’s shiur. Prior to his time at YU, he spent two years in Israel at Yeshivat Sha’alvim. In his summers, Yonatan served as an NCSY advisor, a legal research intern for the Orthodox Union's general counsel, a participant at the American Enterprise Institute’s Summer Honors Program, and a Beren Summer Fellow for the Tikvah Fund. Yonatan is an incoming rabbinic intern at the The Jewish Center in Manhattan.


Noam Josse








Noam Josse (YC '22) is currently a law student at Columbia Law School. He graduated from Yeshiva University in May 2022. At YU, Naom was in the Mazer Yeshiva Program in Rav Shulman's Shiur and led the Yeshiva University chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society. He participated in summer fellowships at the Hoover Institution and the Witherspoon Institute and is fluent in French.

Yehuda Goldberg









Yehuda Goldberg (YC '22) is the Straus Center's Rabbinic Intern, pursuing semikha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and a graduate degree at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He graduated from Yeshiva College in 2022, and was class valedictorian. Prior to studying at YU, Yehuda spent two years at Yeshivat Har Etzion. He is interested in Jewish thought and the intersection of theology and political philosophy. Yehuda is the incoming rabbinic intern at The Jewish Center in Manhattan.

Judah Fortgang









Judah Fortgang (YC '22) is a quantitative sports trader based in Philadelphia, and previously worked at a private philanthropic foundation in New York City. Judah graduated from Yeshiva College with a degree in Political Thought in 2022. As an undergraduate, Judah was the vice president of YU's Alexander Hamilton Society and a Beren Summer Fellow at the Tikvah Fund.

Jonathan Fenster










Jonathan (Yoni) Fenster (YC '20) is an associate attorney at Alston & Bird in New York City. He has a law degree from Fordham University Law School. At Fordham, he served as an associate editor for the Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law and was a Fellow at the Center of Law and Information Policy. He also interned for the SEC in the enforcement division. Jonathan graduated from Yeshiva University in 2020 with a BA in Biology. He currently lives in Teaneck NJ with his wife and son.


Rebecca Aduculesi









Rebecca Aduculesi (SCW '23) resides in Israel, where she recently completed the Tagel learning program in Tanach and Halacha. She graduated from Stern College in May 2023 with a degree in Biochemistry. On campus, Rebecca volunteered as a teacher for START! Science and served as a mentor for College EDge. She served as a news editor for the YU Observer.

Ayelet Brown









Ayelet (Brown) Jarashow (SCW '23) is currently a staffing coordinator at Achieve Behavioral Health in Monsey, New York. She is also the Teen Director at Congregation Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn, NJ, where she also enjoys teaching upcoming bat mitzvah girls and their mothers. She is currently working as a research assistant in the Multi-Model Psychotherapy Research Lab at Ferkauf's Graduate School of Psychology. Ayelet graduated from Stern College in May 2023 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. She is pursuing graduate work at Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Reuben Hartman









Reuben Hartman (YC '23) is an assistant design manager at Landau Properties. He graduated in May 2023 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Architecture. In the summer of 2023, Reuben served as a resident advisor on the Tikvah Fund’s Tikvah Scholars Program for high school students.


Abigail Pinchot










Abigail Pinchot (SCW '22) is a project manager at OpenDor Media, where she oversees the development and writing of podcasts and conducts research for future projects in Jewish history and Israel education. Abigail graduated from Stern College for Women in 2022 with a major in English literature and minor in sociology. Abigail is passionate about the arts, has won awards for her art pieces, and continues to sell her artwork. Abigail served as an NCSY advisor and has led NCSY summer programs. Abigail assisted with the non-profit organization MyZuzah, whose mission is to deliver as many mezuzot as possible to Jewish homes throughout the United States.

Ezra Wildes









Ezra Wildes (YC '23) graduated from Yeshiva University in May 2023 with a degree in Computer Science and minors in Mathematics and Philosophy. At YU, he interned at Dicta, a data science company focused on democratizing Jewish and Hebrew texts and tools. After graduation, he interned at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Cost Anomaly Detection. He is currently pursuing semikha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).

Baruch-Lev Kelman









Baruch-Lev Kelman (YC '21) is currently pursuing a PhD in Jewish History at Bernard Revel Graduate School. He earned his BA summa cum laude in Jewish Studies with a minor in Architecture from Yeshiva College (‘21). Upon graduation, he received the Dean Bacon Award for Excellence in the Humanities and Jewish Studies and The Rosenblum Award for Excellence in the Study of Jewish History. As an undergraduate, Baruch-Lev served as the Glatt Research Associate at the Center for Israel Studies, contributing to the exhibit Samaritans: A Biblical People (Museum of the Bible, 2022). He has also attended the University of Urbino in Italy, researching Jewish contributions to the Italian Renaissance while serving on the Shoah Prize Committee of the San Paolo Vatican Press.

Avishai Samouha









Avishai Samouha (YC '22) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After spending a year at Yeshivat Sha'alvim in Nof Ayalon, Israel, Avishai began his journey at Yeshiva University and the Straus Center. At YU, Avishai was a board member of the Medical Ethics Society, a co-founder of an a capella group, and completed academic research in several areas. For his Straus thesis, Avishai focused on the foreign policy struggles related to Iranian nuclear ambitions. Additionally, he published a scientific paper and a review article related to the effects of Reovirus treatment on KRAS-mutated colorectal cancer.

Benjamin Atwood









Rabbi Ben Atwood (YC '20) serves as the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Atlanta, Georgia. He also serves on the Judaic Studies faculty of the Atlanta Jewish Academy High School where he is also the Boys Israeli Guidance Director. Rabbi Atwood previously co-created and co-directed OU-JLIC of Greater Atlanta. He has spent summers on the administrative team of the Tikvah Scholars Program and has been involved with Yavneh on Campus, Camp Moshava IO, NCSY, the Memphis Torah Fellowship, and the Shalhevet Jewish Educators Fellowship. Rabbi Atwood graduated from Yeshiva College with a BA in English, and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University RIETS in tandem with a certificate in Mental Health Counseling at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School of Psychology. Before college, he spent two years studying in Israel at Yeshivat Har Etzion.

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