Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.

Alumni Spotlights

Heschel is proud to have alumni around the world with impressive accomplishments, both personally and professionally. We will be posting these spotlights regularly and encourage you to share your stories with us. Please contact us at alumni@heschel.org for more information or to send us your spotlight.

Tali Schulman ('11) currently lives in Tel Aviv and is the Operations Manager for Papaya Global, a full encompassing solution for global payroll and employment. Tali joined Papaya Global in 2016 and was the first employee hired. Over her three years with the company, she has seen the company grow to nearly 100 employees worldwide. Tali has built Papaya's data entry team from the bottom up, creating and implementing processes, recruiting, hiring, and managing all aspects of the team. She is also involved in product development and managing the company's internal growth.

After graduating Heschel, Tali joined the IDF and attended IDC Herzliya. She says that "Heschel taught me problem solving skills that helped me through my experience in the IDF, and have continued to be advantageous throughout my career. I continue to appreciate the way that Heschel educated me to think for myself and ask questions."

Jonah Chusid ('07) is the Vice President of Hotel Operations for Espresso Hospitality, the ownership and management company behind The William Vale and Condor Hotel. Jonah lives in Long Island City, Queens with his wife and "high school sweetheart, Sharone Kattan ('07). The couple met at Heschel.

As the Vice President of Hotel Operations, Jonah works with the executive committee of The William Vale and the General Manager of the Condor Hotel to ensure operational success and overall guest satisfaction. He also works on behalf of ownership to ensure that projects are completed within established budget, scheduled milestones, and standards of quality. Most recently, he stepped into the role of Area Director of Revenue Management on an interim basis, controlling and setting the rates for the hotels by analyzing booking trends and competitive data.

Jonah attributes the teaching philosophies at Heschel to providing him with the framework to be successful in his field and an independent thinker. He says that Heschel's "messaging was that you can do things your way, regardless of how out of the box or untraditional it was as long as at the end of the day you were able to reach your goals. Each step along the way since Heschel, be it college, my professional career, or my personal life, I have always done things my way and it's gotten me to a pretty amazing place. To this day, I credit my time at Heschel, rather than college, as the period of my life where I found out most about who I am and who I wanted to be."

Joshua-Marc "Josh" Bennett Tanenbaum (HS' 10) graduated from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a dual-Bachelors in Politics & International Studies and Sociology.

While in Australia, Josh founded LOCAL VIBES, a live music-oriented A&R firm that used fan data to differentiate its artists. The firm also empowered artists to become advocates for causes most meaningful to leveraging a mobile solution to raise funds direct from fans at showcases. The firm grew its presence across three continents.

After returning to New York, Josh sold the firm to an Australian music conglomerate, and he began angel investing in companies that had a "scalable social DNA". Simultaneously, Josh was interested in learning about the role of human capital in growing businesses. He joined Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, and was successively promoted to Senior Associate within the Global Asset Management & Alternative Investments Practice. During his tenure at Korn Ferry, he architected the firm's M&A capability for Asset Managers and served as a founding member of the Impact Investing Center of Expertise

Josh is now pursuing his MBA at Cornell, while also managing his early stage venture vehicle, Clearstone Enterprises. Josh says that "Clearstone seeks out companies with a scalable social DNA, meaning the more good it does, the more money it makes." Josh's focus has been supplying early capital and advice to startups addressing systemic issues facing society particular ones affecting the underserved, underbanked and small-to-medium businesses. He is particularly proud of helping SMEs become more investable using social credit factors, starting to move the needle in redistributing wealth in Bangladesh, unlocking reasonable debt capital for high achieving, low income students, and making mission-driven fixed income products accessible to the institutional investors market.

In addition to his busy professional and academic pursuits, Josh is the President of the Board of Directors for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Vice Chair of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents, a Board Member of the Polonsky Foundation, a Young World Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation, and an Advisory Board Member of Erb Institute at the University of Michigan Ross Business School.

Josh highlights Heschel's pivotal contribution to his underlying values: "Heschel largely influenced my worldview, teaching me how to respect and appreciate diversity of thought and background. It gave me the tools to be inclusive even if confronted with a diverging view. This holds true in business, volunteer work - quite frankly in any dimension of my life."

Siblings Suzanna (HS '08) and Matthew (HS '10) Grobman have taken unconventional career paths and are now running a family business together. One could say they flushed some of their initial prospects and created a bright (and more fragrant) future.

Suzanna graduated from Boston University after making a huge switch from Costume Design to a degree in Religion. While on her first vacation with her then boyfriend (now husband), Suzanna began to notice that he was frequently disappearing and re-emerging with gifts from the hotel lobby, and she became slightly suspicious of his whereabouts. After several days, he confessed that he was using the lobby bathroom. Inspired by the universal challenges of sharing a bathroom, and underwhelmed by the current crude-humored and mass market solutions available, Suzanna was determined to find a better option by creating a sophisticated and travel-friendly home fragrance for the toilet, which is when POTTYMINTS was born.

After graduating from NYU with a degree in Entrepreneurship and a short stint in Real Estate, Matthew joined the POTTYMINTS team. He now works side by side with his sister and has played an integral role in transforming this family business into a successful brand. POTTYMINTS is now available at over 3,000 retail locations including The Container Store, Urban Outfitters, Paper Source, and Ace Hardware.

Suzanna credits her ability to appreciate and learn from other people's ideas in both life and business to her experience at Heschel. "Heschel was an incredibly transformative experience, as it taught us to question everything and understand the reasoning behind making difficult decisions. Heschel taught us how to listen and how to value others' opinions, even if you didn't necessarily agree with them."

Matthew echoes Suzanna's statements saying that "Heschel helped define how I lead my life, and what I will leave for future generations."

Suzanna hopes to pass on the Jewish lessons learned from her time at Heschel to her 10 month old daughter, Rafaela!


Since graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Philosophy and a minor in creative writing, Reuben Dreiblatt (HS '14) has been working as a production assistant on an upcoming documentary titled "Hidden Heritage: A Jewish Awakening in Krakow."

This documentary, by renowned filmmaker, Slavomir Grunberg (Karski and the Lords of Humanity), describes the Jewish revival in Krakow, Poland that has been going on over the past 30 years. It is a character-driven piece that will tell the stories of the youth in Krakow, rediscovering their roots and finding ways to embrace and incorporate Judaism into their lives. Production on the film has begun and Reuben had the opportunity to attend the 29th Annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow this past June, recording audio and video of preliminary interviews and concerts.

Reuben credits some of his interest in this project to his time at Heschel. "By being exposed to creative opportunities like working on the purim spiel and launching a newspaper column, Heschel enabled me to believe in myself. Working on this documentary has been a tremendous chance to learn hands-on cinematography from a seasoned professional and provide an understanding of the cultural awakening happening in Krakow. The multi-faceted learning methods at Heschel shaped my thinking of how I wanted to spend my professional life and where I could make the most impact."

Reuben is also taking an active lead in working to raise funds through the help of grant foundations and private donations

To learn more about this film, visit: http://logtv.com/a-new-film-in-production/