Every year, a group of talented individuals from around the world join the Village to provide specialized skill sets and serve as ‘cousins’ in an ASYV family.


Stephanie blitzer

Service Learning Fellow

Originally from East Windsor, New Jersey, Stephanie is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, where she studied International Studies focusing on International Development and Global Health. Throughout college, Stephanie interned at various nonprofits, including United to End Genocide, HIAS, Youth for Understanding USA, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.  She most recently served as an advisor for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s JTeen Philanthropy program, and as a Traveling Educational Consultant for her sorority. Stephanie also participated in Young Judaea’s Year Course Gap Year program, during which she volunteered at ASYV. Stephanie is excited to start this new adventure!

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Hannah Busis

Public Health Fellow

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hannah is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where she studied International Studies and Gender Studies. While she was in college, Hannah worked for reproductive justice and other feminist causes with Planned Parenthood and the Israel Women’s Network in Tel Aviv, among other organizations and movements. After graduation, she moved to Nepal to pursue her passions for community development and gender equality with Tevel B’Tzedek, an Israeli NGO committed to the idea of Tikkun Olam. As a Tevel Fellow, Hannah lived in a village in Ramechhap, Nepal, where she worked to implement a social micro-entrepreneurship pilot program and led workshops on physical, mental, and emotional health with groups of women and adolescent girls. Hannah is thrilled to continue learning and growing through her work as ASYV’s Public Health Fellow.

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Deetza Elf

International Visitors Fellow

Deetza was born and raised in London, United Kingdom. She is a recent graduate of the University of Leeds, where she studied Philosophy, with a focus on feminist philosophy and the ethics of animal rights. At Leeds, Deetza played an active role in Jewish life on campus, working for the student Chabad center and developing her interests in women in religion, interfaith and social action. Deetza spent the summer of 2017 in Uganda, volunteering with a sustainable education organization in a rural village, and she spent the summer of 2018 interning with a Jewish international development organization based in London. Deetza loves a good book or television series, and she can usually be found listening to podcasts or musical theater soundtracks on a long walk. She cannot wait to spend the year in Rwanda at ASYV!


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Hannah greenwald

Youth Development Fellow

Originally from Armonk, New York, Hannah is a graduate of the University of Rochester, where she studied Psychology, Public Health, Legal Studies, and Brain/Cognitive Studies. During her time in Rochester, Hannah interned for several youth-focused organizations dealing with childhood trauma, reproductive justice, women's rights, and domestic violence. She also spent time overseas, developing a love for global health while conducting a three-week anthropological study on gender roles in Malawi in the summer of 2015, and by studying public health infrastructure, human trafficking, and genocide at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Hannah wholeheartedly enjoyed her first year at ASYV in 2018, when she served as the Village’s Public Health Fellow, and she is very excited to return in 2019 as ASYV’s Youth Development Fellow. Hannah is happy to work for an organization that combines her passions for empowering youth, global health, trauma, gender equity, and restorative justice.

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Kevin horst

Information Technology Fellow

Kevin comes to ASYV from Seattle, Washington via Montreal, Quebec, where he earned his master’s degree in Education and worked as a consultant for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency responsible for standards and recommendations for civil aviation authorities worldwide. Kevin has over thirty years of experience working in the technology sector, with roles and responsibilities including program manager, systems engineer, business analyst, and instructional designer and trainer. He is always seeking better, faster, and more sustainable ways of linking people, data, and technologies to build communities and solve important problems. Kevin loves to travel and arrives in Rwanda after yet another circumnavigation, this time including stops in Japan, Mongolia, and Greece. He is very much looking forward to working with the students, staff, faculty, and community of ASYV.

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Cicely Khoubian

Career Development Fellow

Cicely was born and raised in Bedford, England, but has spent the last four years living in the United States. After completing her undergraduate studies in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds, Cicely moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she studied for a Master of Education in School Counseling. Most recently living in Asheville, North Carolina, Cicely has been working in psychiatric residential treatment facilities with children who have experienced various forms of trauma and a variety of mental health challenges. Cicely’s interests include practicing yoga, watching live music, fitness, hiking, travel, and vegan baking. Cicely is very excited about the forthcoming year and looks forward to experiencing a new culture and traveling around a new part of the world!

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Seth moskowitz

Communications Fellow

Seth grew up on the central coast of California and graduated from Emory University. After college, he joined an Atlanta mayoral campaign doing communications and policy work. When the election didn’t go as planned, he stayed in Atlanta politics as an aide for the Atlanta City Council. Seth spent a semester of his junior year in Rwanda studying post genocide restoration and peace-building. It was the people - his host family, the school staff, and friends - that have had him working to find his way back to Rwanda since he left. Outside of work and school, Seth fits the California stereotype, spending his time surfing, mountain biking, and running. He also loves to read and write about about electoral politics — you can find his work here.

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Sarene Shaked

Career Development Fellow

Sarene recently earned a degree in Social Psychology from Cornell University, where she has spent the past four years exploring her interest in cognitive biases and human decision-making. At university, she became a leader in the 'Intergroup Dialogue Project,' an academic initiative designed to create community across social differences within the student body. She was also involved with Cornell's Prison Education Program, a program designed to provide GED and associate’s degree education in New York State prisons, as a teacher's assistant for the Advanced Latino Science-Fiction course at a high security prison. In her free time, you will most likely find Sarene at her rock-climbing wall or out at a live music venue. Sarene is beyond excited to spend the next year at ASYV and plans to hike as many trails as possible in Rwanda's beautiful nature.


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Taryn has spent the last three years working as an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher in Syracuse, New York. She holds a B.S. in TESOL and a minor in Linguistics from SUNY Oswego in Oswego, New York, where she also studied Arabic and Spanish. Prior to graduating, she spent time teaching at adult literacy centers and local college programs, wherein high school and college students from various countries – Uganda, China, Colombia, and Turkey – dove deep into language acquisition and development. Post-graduation, Taryn found she had developed a bond with the Syracuse/Oswego community. As a refugee settlement city, Syracuse is home to a unique mixture of cultures. The work Taryn will be doing at ASYV is a direct result of her life with these families and students, many of whom had come to the United States from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to teaching, Taryn is a singer-songwriter who just produced her first album. Her passions also include writing, kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

Taryn Surprenant

English Language Learning Fellow