2022 Hineni Fellows
Matthew E. Berger is Hillel International’s Vice President for External Affairs and Campus Preparedness, overseeing programs and supports that address antisemitism, anti-Israel activity and security concerns on college campuses around the world. He works with teams focused on educating and engaging Jewish students and broader campus communities on Israel and antisemitism, and responding to incidents targeting the Jewish and pro-Israel community. He also manages Hillel’s programmatic relationships with partners, including the Secure Community Network and the Jewish Agency Israel Fellows program, and serves as a spokesman for the Hillel movement. Berger joined Hillel in 2016 as Vice President of Communications and has nearly two decades of experience as a journalist and communications professional, with a focus on politics, Middle East policy and the American Jewish community. Before joining Hillel International, he served as senior director of communications for a Middle East policy think tank, placing scholarly research in the media and managing communication products and social media. Berger spent five years as vice president of Dezenhall Resources, a Washington-based crisis communications firm. He worked with clients in the corporate world, non-profit sector and in the Jewish community facing negative media exposure due to lawsuits, government investigations or product recalls. He advised clients on a wide range of media strategy, provided litigation support and trained corporate executives and spokespeople for media appearances, including on “60 Minutes.” He was a political reporter for NBC News and National Journal during the 2008 presidential campaign cycle, traveling with several candidates on their planes and buses, shooting video, reporting for blogs and appearing on NBC News and MSNBC. He traveled with vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin throughout her campaign, spent six months with Rudy Giuliani, and broke the news of Giuliani’s planned exit from the race to a national audience. He wrote extensively on the campaigns of Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton and blogged from John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express.” He is a former homeland security correspondent for Congressional Quarterly and spent more than five years as the national political correspondent for JTA, covering the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues on Capitol Hill. Berger holds a master’s degree in national security policy and a bachelor’s degree in political communications, both from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is a former board member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and resides in Washington with his husband, Jeff.
Luke Colaciello (he/him) is the Executive Director of Congregation Beth Evergreen, a Reconstructionist synagogue situated in the foothills of Colorado. With a diverse background in the arts, science, marketing, and advocacy, Luke brings a dynamic approach to organizational problem-solving. Since joining the congregation (first as a member and then as the executive director), Luke has facilitated two LGBTQIA+ allyship (Safe Zone) trainings for the congregants as well as led the congregation’s first ever Pride Shabbat. Prior to this role, Luke was the Brand Manager at a leadership development consulting firm, but his academic background is in the sciences. Luke earned his master’s degree in materials science from the Colorado School of Mines in 2017, during which time he also volunteered for two years on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of Out in STEM Inc., an international non-profit organization serving individuals at the intersection of queer identity and the STEM professions. Most recently, he has had the opportunity to join the adjunct teaching faculty at the Kabbalah Experience where he co-teaches courses on Tarot and astrology using a Kabbalistic lens.
Rachel Kipnis Curtis, Esq.
After spending five years as a Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney, Mrs. Curtis joined her current firm, Ratzan & Faccidomo. Mrs. Curtis focuses her practice on a multitude of criminal defense matters in state and federal court and has tried over thirty jury trials. During her tenure as an Assistant State Attorney, Ms. Curtis was a part of the sexual battery, child abuse, and traffic homicide units. In addition to her work in criminal defense, Mrs. Curtis has also developed a niche practice in bar and board defense. Born and raised in Miami, Mrs. Curtis is a proud Ransom Everglades alumni. Mrs. Curtis left Miami to attend Connecticut College before returning to the University of Miami for law school. While earning her juris doctorate at the University of Miami, Mrs. Curtis also obtained a Masters of Law in Taxation—an important part of her skillset as a criminal defense attorney. Outside of the legal community, Mrs. Curtis is active within her synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom. Mrs. Curtis also serves as a political candidate endorsement panelist for SAVE, she leads a committee in Miami-Dade FAWL, is a member of Miami-Dade FACDL, and on the Jurisprudence Committee for the Miami Chapter of the ADL.
Nathaniel Goldman is a Certified Public Accountant and serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the American Friends of Rambam Medical Center. He started his career working in tax at EY and PwC in Atlanta and now lives in New York. Nathaniel holds a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and devotes much of his time to working with nonprofit organizations. Active in the American Jewish Committee, Nathaniel serves on the Executive Council and as Chair of ACCESS Global, AJC’s Young Professionals network. He also works with the LGBT community as treasurer of Jewish Queer Youth (JQY). Nathaniel has also viewed countless Jewish films while on the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival evaluation committee.
Matthew A. Greenberg
Matthew is a corporate attorney based in Houston, Texas. His experience includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity and general corporate representation in the energy industry, with a particular focus on transactions involving electric power generation or transmission assets. Prior to becoming an attorney, Matthew worked as an economic consultant in Washington, DC assisting electric utilities with analysis of power and transmission markets. Matthew currently holds several lay leadership positions in Jewish organizations. He is a member of the board of directors of JDC, serving on the Latin America committee and the advisory committee for JDC’s social mobility programs in Israel. He also serves on the Houston Jewish Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee and as Houston’s representative on the national advisory committee of the Israel Religious Expression Platform (iRep), a JFNA initiative supporting religious pluralism in Israel. Matthew participates in the Jewish LGBTQ Donor Network and Kavod, a gay men’s giving circle initiative. Matthew is a graduate of American University (international relations and economics) and the University of Texas School of Law. He speaks Spanish, Hebrew and a little bit of Danish.
Randy Katz has served as a federal prosecutor for over fifteen years at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Randy has prosecuted a variety of significant economic crime, violent crime, and child exploitation matters in addition to arguing cases numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 2008, Randy received the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his role in Florida’s largest health care fraud prosecution. He received the 2010 Timothy Evans Memorial Award, given to the top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Florida. In 2017, Randy and his team were awarded the Assistant Attorney General’s (AAG) Award for Distinguished Service for what the Department of Justice remarked was one of the most significant Bank Secrecy Act cases in DOJ’s history. Randy was selected by 30,000 federal agents nationwide as the 2018 United States Prosecutor of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association for serving as the lead trial prosecutor in a $20 million financial fraud trial. That same year, Randy received the Service to America Medal for Law Enforcement and National Security from the Partnership for Public Service for his work on the largest global criminal case against a money service business resulting in over a half billion dollar financial penalty distributed to fraud victims. Randy served as Acting Chair/Vice-Chair of the Florida Supreme Court Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Panel and is currently Vice-Chair of a Florida Bar Grievance Committee, a Florida Bar Leadership Academy Fellow (Class VIII), General Counsel for an international non-governmental organization working with abused, abandoned, and neglected children, and he volunteers as a pro bono counsel with the Holocaust Survivors Justice Network. He is a graduate of Duke Law School, with high honors, where he served on the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal. Before government service, Randy clerked for the Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and worked as a litigation associate at a national law firm. Randy also serves as an adjunct Professor of Law, teaching legal writing and appellate practice, and he wrote Saving Scruffy, an award-winning children’s book released in 2021.
Jonathan comes to the Hineni Fellowship with experience on the boards of local and national non-profits, a passion for Jewish philanthropy and over a decade working in customer experience, corporate operations and business process outsourcing for leading Bay Area tech companies. Currently, Jonathan is living in Portland, OR working on Real Estate investment and property management with his husband Philip. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling extensively, specifically seeking out new SCUBA destinations, and exploring different cultures through unique and innovative types of local cuisine. Jonathan is excited to be a part of this fellowship and to find new ways to represent our community.
Tracey Labgold, she/her/hers: Tracey is the Florida Education & Training Manager at Keshet, an organization that works for the full belonging of LGBTQ Jews and their families in Jewish life. A childhood target of bullying, Tracey has spent her career as an educator and facilitator dedicated to creating safe spaces. Whether it be through facilitating anti-bullying and diversity awareness workshops, helping others to understand the impacts of implicit bias or promoting LGBTQ inclusion in Jewish spaces, Tracey loves to engage people in meaningful conversations about the possibilities available when each of us is safe to show up as our full self. Tracey taught Hebrew School at her shul for 13 years where she also co-chaired The Torah Project, a project that commissioned the writing of a new Torah scroll and traveled to Israel to donate a scroll to an Ethiopian congregation in Jerusalem that did not have their own Torah. Tracey chaired ADL Florida’s Regional Board and ADL’s National Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force. She and her wife, Michelle, have 5 children. Tracey loves to read, run and practice yoga when she has spare time.
Randi Reed (She/her/hers) is a lover of all things that sparkle, and is a person with a passion to make you always laugh. Randi combines her love of art, theater, and her summer camp work experience with her passion for creating safer, more inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ community as the Bay Area Education and Training Manager for Keshet a national Jewish non Profit working toward LGBTQ Equality in Jewish life. Prior to joining Keshet, Randi helped build LGBTQ teen and community programs for the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. She also managed volunteers, community programs, and donations for Covenant House California, the largest youth shelter in Northern California. When she’s not in the office, Randi and her wife just welcomed a baby boy into the world in the summer of 2021. She is delighted with the rollercoaster of being a mom. You can either find her on an adventure with her family or in the San Francisco Bay with her Whale Boat Team, West Coast Rowing.
Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Esq: Attorney, Activist & Author. Since 1997, Elizabeth Schwartz, author of Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay & Otherwise (The New Press, 2016) has been practicing law and advocating for the legal rights of the LGBTQ+ community. She is board certified by the Florida Bar in Adoption Law. While her Miami-based firm works with all clients in matters of family formation (insemination, adoption and surrogacy as well as nuptial agreements) and dissolution, estate planning and probate, she has been on the forefront of providing crucial legal protections for LGBTQ+ families before and since the arrival of marriage equality, including name and gender marker changes for trans and nonbinary individuals. Elizabeth served as counsel on cases challenging Florida's marriage ban and Florida's ban forbidding gays and lesbians from adopting children. In 2011, she obtained the first marital dissolution for a same-gender couple in Florida. She is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Also a certified family mediator and a member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, she treats the law as a therapeutic profession, facilitating relationship dissolution with minimal investment of emotional and financial resources. A Miami Beach native, Elizabeth received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1997. A lefty and a Scorpio, Elizabeth lives with her wife, writer Lydia Martin, and their rescued Havanese, Gracie Kenisha de la Caridad, in Miami's urban core.
Yaron Schwartz is an Associate Director of Private Sector Partnerships at the Tent Partnership for Refugees, the personal foundation of the CEO of Chobani, where he is responsible for mobilizing the business community to support refugees worldwide. Yaron has led Tent’s efforts to motivate companies in the United States, Latin America and Jordan to support refugees, its advocacy engagement in Malaysia to help refugees gain the legal right to work and its initiative with the Human Rights Campaign and Stonewall to encourage companies to mentor LGBTQ refugees in North America and the UK. Prior to joining Tent, Yaron worked at Deloitte in a consulting and public policy role focused on projects related to corruption, youth unemployment and immigration. He has a BA in International Studies and History from Yale University and a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He formerly served as an UJA Shapiro Family Fellow and an Atlantic Council LGBTI in Foreign Affairs Fellow.
Daniel Wein is co-founder of the Center for New Data, a civic tech non-profit building cutting-edge products that improve our democracy. A stubborn optimist and political junkie, he's previously led strategic communications for Facebook's Education Modernization team, Van Jones' Green For All initiative, and the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Daniel is deeply involved in the Jewish and LGBTQ communities, where he serves in the Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps) of the World Jewish Congress and Chair of the San Francisco Jewish Pride Fund, an LGBTQ giving circle. He received his B.A. in political science from George Washington University and currently lives in San Francisco's Mission District.
Aryel will be acting as a staff member (Hineni Fellowship Coordinator) as well as a fellow for the 2022 Hineni Fellowship Cohort.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Aryel Abramovitz serves as an environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in Washington, DC. As a member of the Compliance Policy Staff, Aryel specifically works on policy related to the enforcement of environmental laws and statutes which allows for increased compliance nationwide. Prior to joining EPA Headquarters, Aryel worked in the Philadelphia regional office of EPA where he field- investigated Clean Water Act noncompliance, developed cases, and monitored corrective action to ensure return to compliance. Aryel has experience working for an air pollution exposure startup company in Tel Aviv, working with a Baltimore Synagogue in their Jewish Outdoor Education Program, and has been a visiting human water rights researcher in Brisbane, Australia. Aryel is a 2015 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. He loves to travel, try new types of cuisines, and loves hiking, camping, and biking .