Shira Cohen '16, President
Shalom y’all! I’m Shira, a junior in the History department from Charleston, South Carolina. You can usually catch me draaaawling and wearing gray, stripes, or both. I enjoy coloring in the lines, writing like Leonardo da Vinci, cooking industrial quantities of food, grits, and giving embarrassingly enthusiastic tours of the CJL. Fun fact: I was stung by a scorpion in Israel the summer before my senior year of high school :/
Josh Roberts '17, Vice President
Yoooooo. I'm Josh, the leading Canadian dairy cow expert on this side of the Mississippi. I am planning on majoring in either computer science or philosophy, and either way I will receive a certificate in procrastination (if I send in the form on time). I enjoy spending time at the CJL because it is one of the places on campus where I feel most comfortable, have the best conversations, and take the most naps (#TeamTVRoom). When I grow up, I want to be either the King of Westeros or the Headmaster of Hogwarts, despite the scary lack of job security. If you ever see me in the CJL or around campus, feel free to say hi -- or you can just scream "Hey Josh!" and chances are at least one person named Josh will be within earshot. I'm looking forward to getting to know you during the upcoming year!
Zach Stecker '17, Secretary-Treasurer
Hey everyone! I'm Zach, a sophomore from New York majoring in computer science, and I'm very excited to be this year's secretary/treasurer! (Secsurer? Treasurtary? Strecturtaryer? Email me with suggestions.) When I'm not half-napping on a CJL couch you can find me singing / doodling in the margins of my history readings / brainstorming terrible (I MEAN GREAT) movie puns for my weekly CJL listserv email / binge-watching 30 Rock / coding / digging for the best Dum Dum flavor in the bowl on the CJL reception desk. (Hint: it's peach mango. This is correct.) I am passionate about broad Jewish engagement and building pluralistic communities on campus and beyond, and I would love to talk to anyone about anything at anytime — please reach out to me whenever!
Josh Pitkoff '16, President Emeritus
Why hello there! Depending on who is updating the website, it may say above that my name is Joshua, but you can/should/must call me Josh. (subtle enough hint to say hello?) I'm a junior from Pound Ridge, Westchester, New York, USA and took a gap year in Israel two years ago. I'm also a vegetarian but counter-intuitively not on the social justice committee. Since we all know that only parents of 12th graders read these: yes, writing The Dark Knight as my favorite movie on the application turned out totally fine--your son/daughter can write it if they want to. I guess it also helped that my father founded the Pitkoff Company.
Just kidding, that's not real. But I bet some of you just tried to Wikipedia it.
Charlotte Sall '16, Education
Hi! My name is Charlotte Sall and I'm a junior from Newton, Massachusetts. Before coming to Princeton, I spent a year on the Bridge Year Program in Serbia which was INCREDIBLE, but I definitely had some separation anxiety from the Jewish world. Luckily, when I got to campus, I immediately felt at home in the CJL, and now I'm the secretary and head of recruitment! I send weekly emails called "The State of the Jewnion (ha--get it?) to Princeton's Jewish community and help organize events and visits for perspective students. Outside of the CJL, I'm a sociology major pursuing certificates in linguistics and Judaic studies. That said, a good episode of Scandal, geography fun-facts, or a Rubix Cube can easily distract me from getting my work done. I look forward to meeting you and helping you love the CJL as much as I do!
Talya Nevins ‘18, Religious Life
Hello! I'm Talya Nevins, and I am proud to join the lineages of both New York City and Bridge Year Program Jews on the CJL board. I spent last year in India and am now a freshman-- two wonderful but very different experiences. In case you're wondering, this picture is not arava for Sukkot. It is actually freshly picked sweet basil, and there is no particular reason why I am holding it up like antlers. Sukkot is my favorite holiday though, since I know you're wondering about that. As of yet, I have no academic concentrations or certificates, but hopefully by the time this bio is out of date I will have more to say on that topic. I am an oldest sibling, a coffee enthusiast, a die-hard Tina Fey fan, a rabbi's daughter, a Ramahnik, and a skilled napper. I'm also very friendly, so please come hang out with me!
Becca Kahn ‘18, Recruitment
Hi everyone! My name is Becca Kahn and I’m a freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio. Before Princeton, I spent nine amazing months on Princeton’s Bridge Year Program in Brazil where I taught at a preschool, learned Portuguese, tried every kind of Brazilian food I could find, and went to the World Cup -- not all at the same time, though. I love making puns and art, taking literature and sociology classes, and bringing people to the Center for Jewish Life for their first-ever CJL stir fry or Shabbat dinner. I can’t wait to meet you all this year and enjoy Princeton’s vibrant Jewish community together!
Allie Lichterman '16, Social Programming and Outreach
Hi! I’m Allie Lichterman, a junior from Huntington Woods, MI (see me to learn how to locate it on your hand). When not occupying the TV room I enjoy baking, playing the violin and tabling in Frist about hot button issues such as the importance of calling fizzy carbonated beverages pop and how to tell if a CJL chocolate chip cookie is crunchy or soft with one eye closed and your hands tied behind your back. I’m hoping to concentrate in board game studies with an emphasis on Parcheesi and a certificate in DDR. If that doesn’t work out, I might make do with History and Urban Studies. I’m so excited to be a part of the CJL Student Board this year!
Elon Schmidt-Swartz ’18, Religious Life
My name is Elon Isaac Schmidt-Swartz, but I go by Elon, the Big-E, Swartz, or E-Swat (this last one is a rapper name that caught on when I was obsessed with Eminem between the ages of nine and eleven). Aside from my love for baseball, which has waned in recent years, I also take pleasure in Netflix, Ernest Hemingway novels, Broadway, and orange juice. When I am not in class, writing a paper, or studying for an exam, you can most likely find me talking to myself (I am probably learning Torah), reading Israeli news, or drinking black coffee.
On a more serious note, I am a freshman from Los Angeles who has yet to decide on an academic concentration (politics seems most likely at this point). In between my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a pluralistic Jewish summer program, and before starting Princeton, I took a gap year at Yeshivat Har Eztion, an Israeli institution of higher Jewish learning. I hope to bring my passion for community, Jewish ritual, and Torah study with me to the position of Religious Life Chair at the CJL!
Raffi Snow ’18, Social Programming and Outreach
Hello! I’m a freshman from New York City. I’m a big Knicks fan, even though they have lost 14 straight games (23 of the past 24 to go even further back) and are currently one of the worst teams on the planet. I’m also a big pizza (Tuesdays and Thursdays at the CJL), stir-fry (Mondays and Wednesdays), and hotdog fan (Fridays). Lastly, when I grow up I want to be a professional basketball player. On a more serious note, the CJL has been my home away from home, and I’m so excited to serve as a co-chair of social programming and outreach!
Mikhael Smits ’18, Recruitment
Hey! My name's Mikhael. I'm an Orthodox Jew particularly interested in the Middle East and Israel affairs, in addition to Jewish life around the world. I've spent time living in Istanbul, France, Jerusalem, Connecticut, California, Washington and Boston. At Princeton, I'm involved in the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, the Center for Jewish life, Chabad and other programs. I'm also a fellow in the James Madison Program and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination. I compete in debate and Model UN too! Life as a Princeton student is always busy, but please don't hesitate to introduce yourself!
Sam Maron '17, Student Liaison to the Board of Directors
Hey everyone! I'm a sophomore from the small town of Petersham, Massachusetts. This past year, I took a gap year through the program Kivunim (you should check it out) where I had the incredible opportunity to travel to countries across the globe and to study Hebrew, Arabic, and politics in Jerusalem. More importantly, I really like nachos, waffle fries, and lychee fruit (I'll see what I can do about getting some for lunch at the CJL). You can usually find me snoozing in/on Cannon Green/ Chancellor Green/Green Room. My favorite color is also green. I look forward to meeting you all!
Elan Sykes '18, Education
Hey everyone! My name is Elan Sykes and I’m a freshman from Jerusalem, Israel… or Chicago, IL. Or Atlanta, Ga. “Where I’m from” might be unclear, but what is clear is that I love Princeton and the CJL. I graduated from the fantastic Chicagoland Jewish High School in 2013 and spent last year on Nativ, studying at the Conservative Yeshiva (I can teach you anything you might want to know about Edim Zomemim, false/collusive witnesses, if you’re into Talmudic Criminal Law or that sort of thing), and volunteering at Gan Tamar, a religious kindergarten in Yerucham out in the Negev Desert. Along with many other exciting classes I’m taking Arabic here at Princeton and will likely concentrate in the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. I’m looking forward to working with the CJL to make sure this is a fantastic year; if you see me around, feel free to introduce yourself!