The WUJS Secretariat
Yosef is the current Chairperson of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) since his election in December 2015. He grew up just outside London, UK where he was an active member of the Jewish community from a young age. In 2010, he was elected Chair of the Manchester Metropolitan University Jewish Society and went on to be elected and serve as President of the Union of Jewish Students of the UK & Ireland (UJS) for the 2013-14 academic year. Just three weeks after completing his term at UJS he made aliyah and promptly took up the role of Projects Director at WUJS.
Yosef holds a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Work from Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an alumnus of the European Union of Jewish Students UNHRC Seminar in Geneva, a graduate of the prestigious UJIA Lead Now Program and a graduate of the Moishe House Retreatology Connection Point. Yosef has also participated in programmes run by Livnot U'Lehibanot, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Limmud.
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Follow Yosef on Twitter: @jtaarsh
Congress Coordinator - Samantha Miretzky
Samantha Miretzky is the Congress Coordinator for the upcoming WUJS Congress (December 2017). Prior to this role she sat on the WUJS Board and served as the Chair. She grew up in Toronto, Canada and made aliyah in November 2011, immediately following her gap year spent studying at Midrasha in Israel. She graduated from Bar-Ilan University in 2015 and during her time studying there she was a founding board member of the The GSC - Givat Shmuel Community - Israel’s largest and fastest-growing community of English-speaking students, young professionals, soldiers, newly-married couples, and other ‘lone’ olim.
In her day-to-day life, Samantha is wife to her husband Ira and Imma to their daughter Avital and puppy Sam. Samantha has been on team for both WUJS Congress 2013 & 2017.
Email Samantha: firstname.lastname@example.org
WUJS Latin America Director - Wendy Chernicki
Wendy made Aliyah from Argentina inspired by her great passion for Israel, Zionism and Judaism. She loves community building and her personal and professional goal is to make a positive impact in the Jewish world. Working as a program coordinator for Destination Israel – MASA, every year she helps hundreds of young Jews from over 20 different countries to have a meaningful long term experience in Israel.
Wendy is an active member of the international community in the White City, volunteering with Tel Aviv Internationals and JNFuture. Before moving to Israel, Wendy studied for a BA in Political Science and was highly involved in the Jewish community working for the World Zionist Organization. In Israel, she has worked coordinating English programming at Tel Aviv University Hillel during her MASA journey and taught Zionism in the Machon L’Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz (The Institute of Youth Leaders from Abroad) for the Jewish Agency.
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RSJ Director - Michael Gonikman
Michael Gonikman has been the director of the WUJS Russian Speaking Jewry (RSJ) Department since it's founding in July 2016. Michael was born in Moscow, Russia and after making Aliyah, he become very active in many social activities for the Jewish community here in Israel. One of Michael's main projects will be leading our incredible WUJS Congress Russian expansion program for second year in a row. Michael graduated from a special course in Israeli Air Force Academy and joined the IDF during which he held a variety of positions.
Michael holds a BSc in Electronics Engineering and soon will begin his Masters degree. He is an alumnus of the European Union of Jewish Students UNHRC Seminar in Geneva and was part of the first cohort of the EUJS GENERATE program held in Brussels and Budapest. Michael is a long-time WUJS activist having now participated in four WUJS Congresses.
Email Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org
Knesset Affairs Officer - Yoseff Shachor
Yoseff was born in the United States and made Aliyah at the age of 18 in 2009. After serving for three years as a sniper in the Givati Brigade of the IDF, Yoseff began studying Communications and Political Science at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan. He is also an active brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, at the Hebrew University chapter.
In his day-to-day life, Yoseff works as a Special Advisor to a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Knesset. He is also a Vice President of an NGO (Justice & Unity in Mideast Policy) in the United States that advocates on college campuses and lobbies for human rights and progressiveness in the Middle East. Yoseff served as a delegate of Bnai Brith International to the World Zionist Congress (2015) as well as to the Zionist General Council (2016). Additionally, he writes feature articles that are published in the Jerusalem Post.
US & Canada Fieldworker - Misha Vilenchuk
Misha Vilenchuk is originally from Ohio but currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. In June 2017 he completed his Masters of Arts in Global Studies at Brandeis University, with a focus in non-profit leadership. During his undergraduate years, Misha founded the Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe - CAASE which first connected him with the International Jewish student movement.
In January 2016 Misha attended his first WUJS Congress as part of the first NETWORK delegation and subsequently founded the Network New England Chapter.
Misha's activism on behalf of human rights, often through a Jewish lens, has empowered numerous others to stand up against injustice. He is also a chess enthusiast; he has won numerous American state and national titles and coaches in the Boston area.
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