The Well's Bucket List is comprised of volunteer leaders who are stoked about building vibrant, inclusive and meaningful Jewish community here in Metro Detroit!
ALYAH AL-AZEM is a lifelong Metro-Detroiter and for the past two years has been an active, excited resident of Detroit. While studying sociology at Michigan State University (Go Green!), Alyah was engaged in volunteer work and the campus Hillel where she combined her passions for social justice and Judaism. After a short stay in Texas after graduation, the Jewish community and warm weather brought Alyah back to Detroit where she joined Repair the World for two years of service as a Team Leader. Growing up Alyah was an active member of her Temple's youth group and BBYO, so it seems natural that she is now the Teen Engagement Director at Temple Shir Shalom. With Shir Shalom, Alyah works to engage Jewish teens in their youth group through social action and a sense of community. She enjoys concerts, Detroit's vibrant culture, and a reasonably priced glass of red wine.
AUDREY BLOOMBERG returned to Metro-Detroit in 2013 after spending 8 years working at four different Hillel Foundations across the midwest. Passionate about the Birthright Israel experience, Audrey staffed 13 trips in 8 years, and is currently a Birthright Israel Fellow focusing on the educational and community building aspects of trips. Committed to community service, Audrey is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association (a cause she is very passionate about), and served as the NEXTGen Liaison to Jewish Senior Life. She has found building community with The Well integral to creating a sustainable Jewish community for herself, and is excited and honored to join The Bucket List to help and inspire others to build community too! Professionally, Audrey works for Temple Shir Shalom as their Program Coordinator. A passionate Spartan (who has a graduate degree from UofM...), Audrey loves baking challah (just ask her Shabbat dinner group!), discovering new restaurants around town, traveling and occasionally running a half marathon or 5k.
DANNY ROSENBERG is a Metro Detroit native, who after years away made the move home with his wife, two kiddos and pooch Lulav. Online digital marketing and business development is his specialty, and LinkedIn has been the beneficiary of his talents in recent years. Danny is passionate about Israel, connecting with people from diverse backgrounds, and helping others connect to inclusive Jewish community. You'll find him at a Tot Shabbat, spending quality time with his crew, and enjoying being close to family (his two brothers and parents live here too)!
GEORGE ROBERTS is a downtown Detroit resident, committed urbanist, public space lover, and dedicated-but-inexperienced cyclist. George moved back to Detroit from New York City in 2015 to lead redevelopment and activation of parks and public spaces in Detroit for the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund. Prior to returning to Detroit, George lived in SoHo and worked on creating new public spaces in New York and across North America. George grew up in Birmingham and attended Wylie E. Groves High School before heading to the University of Michigan for an undergraduate degree in Urban and Metropolitan Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development. George is also a board member of Federation's NEXTGen, where he chairs the Israel Engagement Committee (he also staffed Teen Mission in 2010!). George is usually outside, typically in the city of Detroit, always carrying a book or paper, and is generally overdressed.
IAN GROSS is a native Metro Detroiter, a product of Hillel Day School and the University of Michigan, and after going away for law school to Wash U in STL, now practices law in the D, where he lives with his fiancee Erin. You can find Ian playfully arguing with others to hone his skills, cracking jokes, exploring the bourgeoning culinary scene in Detroit with Erin (they're major foodies), and taking advantage of all the cultural and sporting opportunities that Detroit has to offer! He also loves frozen burritos from Trader Joe's.
J. JACOB KRAUSE, a native Metro Detroiter, is a small business owner with a keen eye on community. Along with his husband, Steven Davis, Jacob owns Express Employment Professionals Royal Oak where his office works with job seekers to secure permanent employment with a variety of local industry partners. He is a member of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and proudly supports and sponsors such causes as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Forgotten Harvest, and The Early Music Festival of Detroit. With a degree in opera performance from the University of Michigan, he also has a professional singing and theater career focusing on making the arts accessible to all people in Metro Detroit. Jacob has a passion for working with LGBTQ organizations and has taken on leadership roles within KESHET, The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, NEXTGen Pride and more to create safe and inclusive environments for the LGBTQ Jewish community and beyond. Jacob is excited to join The Well’s Bucket List to help build a Jewish community he’s proud to call his own. In his spare time, Jacob loves to explore the emerging food scene in Detroit, singing and teaching with the Royal School of Church Music, entertaining at his Ferndale home and caring for his mischievous dog and cat, Serena and Xander.
KATIE WALLACE is a lifelong resident of Metro Detroit. As a student at University of Michigan, she became active at Hillel after participating in Birthright Israel. Her involvement influenced her career choice to work in the Jewish community by participating in the JOIN program and then later on working at Yad Ezra for nearly 4 years. While no longer part of the Jewish professional community, Katie has found a new community through The Well and is excited to contribute to The Well in a leadership capacity. Katie can be found playing Mahjong with the shared interest group she started and is looking forward to creating more groups in the future!
LAURA FELDMAN has been active in non-profit work since she moved to Detroit in 2013. She dual majored in Cultural Anthropology and Peace and Conflict Studies, which led to her obvious trajectory of a career in mortgage banking with Quicken Loans. She has been published in the Journal of Society for Humanistic Judaism for her research on African asylum-seekers’ migration to the State of Israel. Some of her hobbies include practicing yoga, noting memorable quotes, and traveling abroad. On any given day, you are most likely to find Laura mentoring at Detroit non-profit or public schools, boogying at El Club to some tasty jams, or at home reading with her fat cat and partner in crime, Paddy.
LOWELL WEISS grew up in Bloomfield Hills and always knew he wanted to stay in the area. After graduating from The Ohio State University and Michigan State College of Law, he and his wife moved back to metro Detroit. After practicing law long enough to know it wasn’t for him, he transitioned to a role as a financial advisor and Certified Financial Planner designation holder. He is forever grateful for the support of his wife, kids (Ben and Bex), and Portuguese water dog (Harley). In his rare free time he enjoys cycling, running, and running his smoker for BBQs. He also enjoys a good American whiskey and planning trips to Disney World for friends and family. Over the years he has been honored to help raise money for Homes for Our Troops and Make A Wish and is thrilled to join the Bucket List to work with some of our community’s best and brightest!
MATTHEW ROSS grew up in West Bloomfield, MI and after pursuing business opportunities in New York and Chicago found himself following his heart/soul back to Metro Detroit. A graduate of West Bloomfield High School, University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and University of Detroit Law School, Matthew is a member of the Illinois and Michigan Bars and is now an associate with his family's legal practice, Ross Law, where he is grateful for the opportunity to spend time with his personal hero: his father. Matthew loves anything that gets him outdoors (which makes you wonder why he moved back to Michigan), with a particular appreciation for soccer, running and yoga, and is proud to have raised money for charities such as Paws for a Cause and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Grateful for the love of family and friends, he is excited to join the Bucket List to have a strong hand in continuing to build community here in Metro Detroit!
MIRIAM HORWITZ is fairly new to Metro Detroit, establishing herself as a Michigander in June of 2014. Aside from being married to Rabbi Dan (and thus co-hosting a significant number of The Well’s programs in their shared home), Miriam is a certified ASL-English interpreter who works in myriad settings. Appointed by Governor Snyder to the State of Michigan’s advisory council on Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing, she served a three year term. Miriam is now serving as an appointee on the Board of Interpreters for the State of Michigan’s Licensing And Regulatory Affairs department. In a previous professional life, she toured the globe as an actor and taught theatre, dance and literacy learning through the arts. Jewishly, Miriam started the Inclusion Fund for Moishe House to enable Deaf individuals in their 20s and 30s to attend Moishe House educational events. Miriam is passionate about the ritual of Rosh Chodesh (the ancient Jewish ritual of women gathering each month around the time of the new moon) as a vehicle to promote wellness, spirituality and community for women, and has helped to create and support numerous Rosh Chodesh groups in Metro Detroit. Miriam is a member of the ROI Community, and loves experimenting with new recipes, crafting and DIY projects, art-journaling and making music with her husband and their kiddos, Jonah and Micah.
NICOLE REICH grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. After finishing undergrad at SVSU, she decided to move to the Metro Detroit area where she manages a team at an online retail agency. After being the Vice President of Hillel while in college, Nicole wanted to continue to be involved in the Jewish community and found The Well to be a great fit. Nicole is excited for the opportunity to join the Bucket List and hopes to give back by helping others develop their Jewish identities. In her free time, she loves getting brunch on Sundays, traveling, and staying active. She currently lives in Royal Oak with her fabulous sister.
SAMANTHA FRIEDMAN moved from Manhattan back to Metro Detroit to build her own fitness business. She was able to convince her New York native husband to join her on her mission. Sam and her mom created Fuse45 - a 45 minute sustainable, high intensity interval training workout. It's the SHIIT. Sam had the privilege of working with celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels to refine the concept. The mother/daughter team currently has studios in West Bloomfield and Royal Oak and they are working towards continued expansion of the fitness concept. Sam has thoroughly enjoyed getting more involved in Detroit's incredible Jewish community by joining The Well’s Bucket List and plans to continue exploring her Jewish identity and roots through The Well's programs, especially with her growing family (Sam and her husband recently welcomed a new baby to their family). In her free time, Sam loves playing tennis, being outside, hanging out with family and friends, cooking, trying new restaurants, reading and traveling.
TARA SCHONBERGER is a native Metro Detroiter. A self-proclaimed science nerd and true Spartan, she has completed degrees in Medical Technology and a master’s in Clinical Laboratory Science from Michigan State University. Tara works at Beaumont Health in the blood bank and histocompatibility laboratories. Her involvement in the Jewish community started in college when her now husband, Keith, took her to her first Shabbat service at MSU Hillel. Since then, Tara has become intimately familiar with Jewish traditions, holidays, and food, and has really come to appreciate all this community has to offer. Tara has two boys, Eli and Adam, who keep her busy every day. In her free time, she enjoys being active outdoors, walking her dog, swimming, trying her hand at new crafts, and networking with other moms of babies and toddlers. Tara is excited to take a more active role in the community and in fostering the Jewish identities of her boys.
ZAC BERLIN is a native metro Detroiter, who moved back to the city in 2012 as an inaugural Challenge Detroit fellow. Zac has been actively involved in the Jewish Community since high school, where he was a leader in BBYO, and also supported the work of many Jewish organizations as an undergrad at the University of Michigan. He is now excited about continuing his involvement in the Jewish Community by joining the Bucket List. Zac enjoys watching Detroit sports (especially when they win), Michigan Football, and finding new places to eat and drink in Metro Detroit.