Meet Our Board Members
Amy Oppenheimer-Abitbol, was born and raised in a vibrant Jewish home in New Jersey. Amy attended Jewish day school and spent significant amounts of time living and studying in Israel, particularly at Haifa University in 2006-2007 as an AJLI scholarship recipient.
Amy graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2007 with a BA in International Studies and Jewish Studies, and spent the following years working in Strategy & Operations as a management consultant for Deloitte and dancing with local performing arts companies. In 2009, Amy released her first Israel education curriculum and documentary film project (“Faces of Israel”) based on her time studying in Israel and spent the subsequent 5 years as a traveling Israel educator and public speaker at over 350 institutions in North America and Israel.
Amy followed her family’s footsteps and relocated to Jerusalem in 2013, where she worked as overseas director of Bat Melech: The International Jewish Women’s Shelter for the past two and a half years. Amy made aliyah in August 2014, married the love of her life David Abitbol in October 2014 and is currently enrolled in a graduate degree in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Amy moonlights as a yoga and acroyoga instructor, and looks forward to welcoming the new cohort of AJLI fellows to Israel!
Jonathan Goldberg lives in Oakland, California, with his partner and their 2 young children, where he is the founder and managing director of Gentico Consulting Corporation, a boutique consulting firm focused on internal audit and accounting services.
Keeping with his Jewish ancestral roots, Jonathan has lived a nomadic childhood (although there was no wandering in the desert). Raised in Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Texas and New Jersey, Jonathan’s family always made it a priority to connect with the local Jewish communities through celebrations of Jewish life, holidays and rituals.
While not traditionally observant, Jonathan was instilled from a young age with a deep appreciation for the traditions, culture and values that Judaism espouses. Jonathan was motivated to visit Israel in high school for a study abroad program, and later received one of the American Jewish League for Israel’s scholarships to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in a study abroad program. These study experiences in Israel were transformative and have deepened Jonathan’s appreciation for and commitment to Israel.
Rachel Balaban lives on the Upper West Side in New York City. She is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Civil Division. During college at Cornell University, she studied abroad at Hebrew University. Since that time, she has stayed active in Jewish life and affairs. She served as a board member of the New York region of the American Jewish Committee for many years, engaging in, among other things, diplomatic outreach on issues important to the Jewish community and Israel. She currently serves on the Children’s Residential Committee of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Born into a warm Jewish home in New York, Ariana grew up counting down the days to Passover, Tu B’Shvat, and Hanukkah each year. Raised in a lively family that values unwavering tradition, Ariana developed a love for Judaism that eventually motivated her to explore all that Israel has to offer.
In 2019, Ariana was earning her degree in Business Management at Hofstra University. Opting for a more exciting end to her junior year, Ariana attended Tel Aviv University’s Business and Entrepreneurship Study Abroad Program where she met lifelong friends and explored the meaning behind the nickname “Start Up Nation”.
After graduating on Zoom and leading growth initiatives for a fast-growing proptech start-up online for 1.5 years during the pandemic, it was tough not to daydream about Hakosem falafel and beautiful Tel Avivian sunsets. Thanks to AJLI’s generosity, Ariana earned a spot as a ‘21-’22 AJLI scholar and matriculated into Reichman University to earn her MBA degree.
These life-changing experiences reaffirmed what Ariana loves most about being Jewish – the community! She is passionate about passing on a similar experience for generations to come.
Sara Purvin, Board Member.