Programming

The Slifka Center offers a variety of opportunities led by both staff and students. Explore the categories below to learn more!

Meet Our Jewish Agency Israel Fellow – Keren Marsha

We spotlight Keren Marsha, Slifka Center’s Jewish Agency Israel Fellow (JAFI), who has supported students and broadened their understanding of Israel since 2022.

As an Israeli of Ethiopian descent, Keren has an important perspective on minority groups in Israel and how they thrive. Through her leadership of the Yale Friends of Israel (YFI) undergraduate group to her learning fellowships and more, Keren is dedicated to celebrating all forms of Judaism and everyone’s unique Jewish identity, emulating the diversity of Israel.

During this time of crisis, we are thankful to Keren for teaching students about the history and evolution of the Israeli people and the joy of being Jewish.

Sadly, this is her last semester at Yale as her JAFI assignment concludes. To salute Keren’s impact, we share some of her personal journey, student engagement efforts, and upcoming plans to educate Yale students on Israel’s peoplehood.

Please watch our interview with Keren here and read more about her below.

Keren graduated with a bachelor’s degree of Business Administration – Human Resources in 2018 and a master’s degree in Global Logistics and Distribution in 2020 from Ruppin Academic Center in Israel.

At the height of the pandemic, Keren worked as an HR Coordinator and became eager to find ways to give back to her Jewish community. She remembered she had a connection to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) as a teenager, so she reached out for potential fellowship opportunities in the U.S. Keren soon became a fellow at Kent State University in 2021, and lucky for us, joined us at Slifka Center in 2022.

She hasn’t missed a beat since she got here.

While Israel Fellows typically support academic projects such as Birthright and Hebrew language courses— which Keren does — she has gone the extra mile, leading several student groups and creating ways to make Israel a focal point at special events and activities.

Last year, for example, Keren helped plan YFI’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration with Israeli food, a DJ, and more. In our interview, she asked, “Who could’ve imagined that outside of Israel, we would celebrate Israel’s Independence Day?”

Keren also guides the Peace and Dialogue Leadership Initiative (PDLI), a 10-month long fellowship of top students from Yale and West Point who later explore Israel for 10 days. They not only take an incisive look into the Israeli and Palestinian society, culture, politics, and security, but they also meet people of different ethnic groups living in Israel.

Keren is proud that Slifka students come to explore their Judaism from different perspectives. That’s why she curates different programming, including the KOL Yisrael fellowship, a six-week program where she dives into hot topics in Israel society. Last year, she taught students the history of different people in Israel, from Ethiopian Jews to Russian Jews and people who moved to Israel after the Holocaust.

Keren also seeks partnerships across the university with students who have never visited Slifka. Last year, she brought new groups of students to attend a screening of an Israeli film and a talk-back with the director. The event was a success.

Thanks to Keren’s strength and kindness, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox Jews, Jews of color, and students of other religious and cultural backgrounds alike — have someone to go lean on and never feel judged.

This year, Keren is looking to expand her reach while looking deeper inward. In this time of conflict, some people want a crash course on Israel’s history and the timeline of the Israel-Palestine conflict to get up to speed. Keren wants to focus more on the people in Israel instead — more of the “who” and less of the “when.” She will also dive into the Jews’ resilience in Israel, as well as the meaning of antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Israel rhetoric.

We are looking forward to another semester of riveting conversations with her.

Watch our interview with Keren to learn more about her experience at Slifka — and a report from her trip to Israel during winter break.

If you are interested in helping us find our next fellow, please email us at slifkacenter@yale.edu.

Learning

Learning

Slifka classes and learning opportunities.

Social Justice

Social Justice

Volunteering, service projects, and learning opportunities.

Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Exhibitions, Artist Residency, programming, and arts funding.

Israel

Israel

Travel, education, arts and culture, and student groups.