STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
Iryna Gubenko is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at the Areivim Philanthropic Group. Having grown up in Ukraine, Iryna has always found ways to be an active participant of the Jewish life. She started with working as an interpreter and a madricha for NCSY Jewish Oversees Leadership Training groups together with Israeli shlichim that conducted summer and winter camps for the members of the Orthodox Union Kharkov Jewish Community, and continued by working with the college students and organizing Shabbat dinners and Jewish holiday celebrations.
Iryna went to the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and obtained a Master’s Degree in History concentrating on World Jewish History. Upon moving to the United States, Iryna graduated from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, majoring in Jewish Community Organizing. Prior to joining the Areivim Philanthropic Group in 2016, Iryna was the Director of the BluePrint Fellowship at the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations and the Program Manager at the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation.
Iryna lives in New Jersey with her husband Ezra and their two daughters, Alice and Charlotte.
national director, kayitz kef
Sharon Schoenfeld comes to the Areivim Philanthropic group as the National Director of Kayitz Kef/Hebrew at Camp after more than 20 years with Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement. A product of its camps and programs in both the US and Israel, she held a variety of professional positions at Young Judaea in both programming and operations. Her love of the Hebrew language comes from her own experience as a camper and staff member at Jewish summer camps and spending time with amazing young Israelis excited to bring the Hebrew language and Israeli culture to American youth. Sharon completed her Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Theater at the University of Albany and studied for her Master’s in early childhood education at Queens College of the City of New York. She is currently studying for the MA in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language at Middlebury College. Sharon’s experience in becoming proficient in Hebrew during her 11 years in Israel combined with her many years working with camps has prepared her to help Hebrew at Camp reach as many American Jewish children as possible. Sharon lives in New York with her husband Gary and their cats, Zelda and Lucy.
director of hebrew programming, kayitz kef
Shira Ravin serves Director of Hebrew Programming for Areivim’s Kayitz Kef Hebrew at Camp Program. In this position, she develops and implements strategies and builds collaborations with stakeholders to professionally develop and expand the program. She oversees the planning and executing of individualized mentorship services for each camp and supports, plans, and implements seminars, training, and workshops. She created a national professional model whereby participants can learn and collaborate about teaching Hebrew as a second language, informal education, and pedagogy approaches.
With more than 15 years of experience in management positions in education, she has dedicated her career to improving the field of teaching Hebrew as a second language and helping to strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora. Over the years she has held leadership positions such as Vice Principal at Polanski High School, Jerusalem. After moving to the US, she served as the Hebrew director of the first Hebrew charter school in D.C. She has also volunteered as a member of the National Committee and Regional director at the National Association of Hebrew Teachers (NAHET). Additionally, she served as Chairperson of the DC branch of the Friends of Israel Scouts to preserve youth connection with Israel, and as the IAC-DC Co-Chairperson and board member to help Israelis in North America preserve their heritage, culture, and language. She currently serves as a committee member and a leader at Middlebury Hebrew Teacher Academic Network (MHTAN) to build a professional network for graduates and students. Shira holds an MA in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language from Middlebury College and currently is pursuing her doctorate in modern languages. She lives in Rockville, Maryland with her family.