2020-2021 Fellows


Sophia Blanchard

Sophia Blanchard is a junior at Loyola University Chicago, but spent the last semester studying in Prague. She is currently in a five year Master’s program, pursuing a bachelors in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master’s in Global Strategic Communications. She’s also obtaining a double minor in International Studies and Anthropology. Sophia is excited to work for JCUA because she is motivated to create a better Chicago where racial and economic barriers are broken down by assessing the root problem of the cause, understanding people by placing herself in their shoes, and communicating what their needs are.

Sarah Ferrara

Sarah is a student at DePaul studying philosophy. Sarah grew up in and around St. Louis, where Sarah was confronted with economic and racial injustice from an early age. As Sarah’s philosophical curiosities led Sarah to read the great modern Jewish philosophers, like Benjamin, Adorno, Levinas, and Scholem, Sarah became driven to connect more deeply with my Jewish heritage. Sarah would like to become closer to the Jewish community and way of life while also developing my organizing abilities in order to help bring about liberation from oppressive economic and racist structures. In Sarah’s free time, Sarah enjoys listening to and reading about music (of many genres) and playing with Sarah’s 2 cats, Naima and Coltrane.

Emily Rose Goldstein

Emily Rose Goldstein is a 4th year Film and Television student at DePaul University, and is currently pursuing her master’s in Journalism through DePaul’s Combined Degree program. A poet, media producer, and self-proclaimed “Nice Jewish Girl”, Emily aims to use both of her degrees in her work by creating media that is both reliable, honest, and relevant, as well as thoughtful and emotionally impactful. She applied for the JCUA Organizing Fellowship because she knew that it was a step in the right direction, and more than anything, she wants to help others create and live in a better, more just world.

Meredith Gottliebson

Meredith Gottliebson and I’m a third year at Northwestern University. She is majoring in Neuroscience and plan on declaring minors in Critical Theory and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of school, she works in an Alzheimer’s lab and participate in Planned Parenthood Generation Action and Peer Health Exchange. Meredith is so looking forward to working with the cohort on such important campaigns and is grateful for this opportunity to connect more deeply both to Chicago and to her Jewish identity.

Kate Hader

Kate Hader is a junior at Northwestern studying American Studies and Social Policy. She’s interested in pop culture and cheesemaking. Kate is excited to be a JCUA Fellow so that she can be engaged in social advocacy work in Chicago while reconnecting with her Judaism.



Emily Knopf

Emily Knopf is a senior at UChicago studying Psychology. During her time in Chicago, she has worked with kids and young adults on the south side and advocated for disability justice on her school’s campus and beyond. Emily is doing the JCUA Fellowship because she wants to connect with organizations fighting for justice for all kinds of causes around Chicago, develop the skills to organize and have difficult but necessary conversations in the Jewish community, and learn from a cohort of people who come from different backgrounds but share a passion for making Chicago a more equitable and compassionate city.

Jared Menegat

Jared studies film at Depaul. He has loved the arts (specifically theater and comedy) since high school, and recognizes their ability to cultivate change, but sometimes the work of uplifting other voices needs grassroots effort that art cannot aid fully. This cohort is a perfect opportunity for him to both access his Jewish identity and become a stronger member of the amazing social justice community in Chicago. 

Katherine O’Neill

Katherine is a fourth-year honors student studying at Loyola University Chicago. She is majoring in Advocacy and Social Change with a minor in Political Science. At Loyola, she has been involved with Hillel since the beginning of her academic career and is President of Hillel at Loyola. In 2019, Katherine spent a summer interning at Jewish Family Service in Metro Detroit, connecting her passion for Judaism and social advocacy. She credits her involvement with Metro Chicago Hillel and the wonderful staff with her path towards Jewish advocacy. Katherine hopes to have a career working in the Jewish nonprofit world. 

Sam Johnson

Sam Rose (he/him) is a recent graduate of Beloit College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Critical Identity Studies while creating universal design accessibility programs and helping to deplatform far right speakers. He has now moved on to teaching Judaica at a beit sefer and making zines, jewelry, candles, and Shabbos dinners. Sam currently doesn’t know what he “wants to do when he grows up”, but he’s prepared to be inspired by anything. He lives in Evanston with his girlfriend’s cat, Bandit.

Abigail Roston

Abigail Roston is a junior at Northwestern majoring in Legal Studies and American history. On campus, she helps run Northwestern’s Prison Education Program and Planned Parenthood Generation Action. When not at school, Abigail loves to hike and backpack around her hometown of Whitefish, Montana. She is incredibly excited to serve as an organizing fellow as a way to merge her love of Jewish values and social justice reform. She is particularly interested in police accountability projects and criminal justice reform. Abigail look forward to fighting for a more equitable and just city!

Shira Silver

Shira Silver is a second-year student at the University of Chicago, where she is pursuing a degree in Gender Studies and Comparative Human Development. Outside of class, she participates in student-run activist organizations including Fair Budget UChicago and UChicago Student Action. Shira spent her first year developing her skills in organizing and advocacy, and is excited to continue learning and growing with the JCUA. She hopes that this fellowship will help her better apply her Jewish perspective to the myriad of social justice issues that she cares so deeply about.

Abby Tzinberg

Abigail (Abby) Tzinberg is taking a gap year between high school and college, when she will attend Drexel University. She began her involvement with JCUA when she was a rising freshman in high school with the Or Tzedek program, and she is excited to continue her journey with JCUA as an adult! When Abby is not working with JCUA, she is a nanny and loves to read and bake.