Announcing the Jews of Color Career Development Program Inaugural Cohort

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The Jews of Color Career Development Program supports and fosters the growth of young Jews of Color (JOCs), giving them the entrepreneurial tools, mindsets, and experience to create systems-level change in the Jewish innovation sector and beyond.

We are thrilled to announce the 8 bold JOC leaders selected to participate in the inaugural Jews of Color Career Development Program, beginning this October.

Aaron Carpenter

Aaron hails from Burlington, North Carolina and is currently a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He is double majoring in biology and psychology, and intends to enter the field of health policy so that he may advocate for rural communities and communities of color. Aaron enjoys hiking, reading the news, event planning, and being an advocate in his free time. He is extremely excited and humbled to be joining this cohort to network with young Jewish professionals, develop professionally, and work with other JOCs.

Aaron will be paired with UpStart.

Kayla Fleming

Kayla hails from Oakland, CA, and is currently working in education, teaching fifth graders in East Oakland. She feels strongly motivated to normalize and celebrate POC presence in the Jewish community, and would love to showcase the versatility and excellence the Jewish community possesses. She hopes to gain valuable professional skills and community connections while contributing to a welcoming program.

Kayla will be paired with UpStart network member, Dimensions Educational Consulting.

Liyah Foye

Liyah Foye is from Goldsboro, North Carolina and is currently a graduate school student at Johnson and Wales. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Asheville with her Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies in late 2019. She is a writer, activist, fashion lover, and floral designer. Liyah is especially excited to have professional community support with other JOCs.

Liyah will be paired with UpStart network member, Keshet.

Tiziana Friedman

Tiziana lives in Albuquerque, NM and currently works as an Advanced EMT at PresNow Emergency Room. She volunteers her spare time to running Albuquerque Moishe Pod with her husband, Eli and strives to create innovative and meaningful programs to engage and invigorate her young adult Jewish community. She loves being connected to the earth and spends her free time rock climbing, creating functional ceramics, and running with her rescue pup, Padfoot. As a proud Jew-by-choice, Tiziana hopes to show others passion can get you started, and that there is no minimum time as a Jew required to make a difference.

Tiziana will be paired with UpStart network member, Dimensions Educational Consulting.

Daniel Hershfield

Daniel is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a major in Political Science and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Growing up in Los Angeles, CA as a child of an Ashkenazi Jewish father and an Indonesian mother, his upbringing has fostered a deep pride for his diverse background and he remains committed to continue exploring the intersections of these identities. When he’s not reading historical fiction or exploring hiking trails, Daniel is deeply passionate about researching and advocating for traditionally marginalized communities, including JOC, with the goal of uplifting their voices to help create a more inclusive society.

Daniel will be paired with UpStart.

Anabelle Keimach

Anabelle was raised in Sharon, MA, and is currently taking a gap year before attending the University of Vermont next fall. She has a passion for creative expression, and strives to connect people and bring joy through her fiddling, dancing, and visual artistry. Through her work, Anabelle wishes to influence the way JOC’s are accepted and welcomed into Jewish spaces. She hopes to build longstanding relationships with other JOCs and gain leadership skills that she can carry forward in her future of community organizing.

Anabelle will be paired with Detroit Jews for Justice.

Sumner Lewis

Sumner Lewis (she/her) is enthusiastic about being enthusiastic. Some of her passions include learning and teaching about history, performing in any capacity, and everything Jewish. Previously, she has served as a URJ Biennial Ambassador and as president of her Hillel’s social justice board. This year, she was chosen to be a 2020-2021 Alma College Writing Fellow. Sumner is so excited to gain a network of other young Jews of Color with their own diverse experiences. She can currently be found composing acapella arrangements, posting about her Tevas, or writing for the internet from her room in Longmeadow, MA.

Sumner will be paired with UpStart network member, Advot.

Sharona Shnayder

Sharona Shnayder is a data analyst from Tualatin, OR, with an undergraduate degree in accounting and the co-founder of the global Tuesdays for Trash movement. Utilizing a passion for sustainability, she also serves as an environmental advocate by leading discussions on the issue of climate change and working with small businesses to aid in the consideration of the moral and ethical implications of their actions on the planet. Sharona hopes to gain a cohort of passionate peers wanting to bring innovation and diversity to all Jewish spaces.

Sharona will be paired with UpStart network member, Advot.


The Jews of Color Career Development Program supports emerging JOC talent in developing their skills as entrepreneurial leaders working toward system-level change in the Jewish community. A partnership between UpStart and the Jews of Color Initiative (JoCI), the six-week part-time paid program will nurture the growth of emerging JOC leaders, increase access to talent, and deepen investment within the Jewish innovation ecosystem to develop a thriving and representative Jewish organizational landscape.

The cohort-based program enables Jews of Color aged 18-25 to create new connections regardless of prior affiliation and to develop skills at the intersection of their multiracial and multiethnic identities. Fellows engage in 10 hours per week of project-focused work based on their interest, career aspirations, and skills. The fellows’ placements were sourced according to their interests and skills and matched accordingly from the large network of UpStart’s ventures and partners–all to create a pipeline of diverse and representative leadership necessary for a sustainable Jewish future.

The program’s leadership development sessions will bring the cohort together virtually for learning about entrepreneurship, the Jewish innovation ecosystem, and personal growth as a Jew of Color, leveraging Jewish wisdom to enhance their educational experiences. Fellows also will be mentored by a Jew of Color and will tap into a support system as they explore the intersection of JOC identity and experience in the Jewish community.

All participants are self-identified Jews of Color or people who are exploring the intersection of their identities as a Jew and a Person of Color.


The program includes:

    • Professional placement of Jews of Color at UpStart and ventures in our network at the intersection of their skills and interests
    • Leadership development focused on entrepreneurship, the Jewish innovation ecosystem, and personal growth
    • JOC mentorship that offers guidance and support based on wisdom and insight in the Jewish communal ecosystem


Our mission and values drive everything we do. Read more on what we’re all about here.

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Our purpose is to enable entrepreneurs to bring bold Jewish ideas to light. We help them reach Up to people in new ways that are meaningful, more inclusive, and create a brighter future for our Jewish community and the world we share.

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