Miriam Liebman, a native Detroiter, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008, where she earned a degree in Middle East and North African Studies. She spent a semester abroad at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Miriam was an AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps member in New Orleans where she worked as an Outreach Assistant at the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. In Detroit, Miriam worked as a community organizer with low-income tenants and faith-based communities and was an active member of her Detroit synagogue, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. She has also worked as an educator for Bend the Arc domestic service learning programs and worked as the Rabbinic Intern at the Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Miriam is entering her fourth year of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Rebekah Thornhill TOKATLILAR
Rebekah joined the Bronfman Center team in 2011 after graduating from NYU with a BA in History and Jewish Studies. While a student at NYU, she was an Eryk Spektor Scholar in Jewish Studies, a member of the NYU Purple and White Dance Team, and studied abroad with the pioneer group to NYU Tel Aviv. At work, Rebekah oversees student leadership development and the brand new NYU Global Center for Jewish Life. At home, Rebekah is pursuing a dual MA in Education and Jewish Studies with NYU’s Steinhardt School and the Skirball Department of Hebrew & Judaic Studies. Originally from Austin, Texas, Rebekah is the oldest of five and adores her family, Texas Longhorn baseball, the beach and coffee. She hopes to make aliyah someday and spends as much time in Tel Aviv as she possibly can. Fun fact: Rebekah was on the hit NBC series, Friday Night Lights in high school as a backup dancer!
Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi
Ordained from HUC-JIR, the seminary of the Reform movement, Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi is passionately dedicated to pluralist Judaism, feminism, and LGBTQ rights. She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard University and both an MA and a PhD in Performance Studies from NYU. She has taught in the Religious Studies, Performance Studies, and Expository Writing Departments at NYU and loves both formal and informal teaching. While she works intimately with the Reform and Queer Jewish communities, Rabbi Nikki also oversees the “big picture” and visioning for Shabbat and holidays here at the Bronfman Center. A convert to Judaism, Rabbi Nikki is particularly happy to discuss spiritual change, doubts, and questions… but she’s also happy to talk pop culture, science fiction, HBO’s Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Game of Thrones. Rabbi Nikki lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, with her wife Rachel and their sons, Ilan and Ethan.
Rachmiel is in his third year of Rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, NY. He is originally from San Diego, CA, and from there he has traveled many parts of the world including South America, Europe and Africa. Rachmiel loves learning texts from the mystical tradition and exploring the inner spiritual world. In his free time you can find him baking bread or hiking in the forest. He currently lives in Riverdale with his wife Joanna
Arielle is excited about making friends and asking big questions. As the person who gets to work on Student Life and Education at the Bronfman Center, she coordinates our Jewish Learning Fellowship, faciliates a bunch of fun internship programs, cheers on our Chavurah team, talks about what it means to be human, and giggles a lot. Arielle had her first spiritual experience at an Alanis Morissette concert when she was 15, and has spent ever since figuring out what it means to live a vibrant and fun Jewish life that includes Phish shows, empathy, and just the right amount of angst. Arielle is also a yoga teacher, a soon-to-be-social worker, and an enthusiast for her puppy, Frida.