Meet Our Leaders

Meet Our Leaders | YALA: Young Adults of Los Angeles

YALA’s board members are passionate about creating community in Los Angeles and developing exciting, meaningful, and diverse programs and events.

2017 YALA Board


Marlyse Phlaum
Co-Chair, YALA Board

Marlyse greatly values the sense of community the Federation provides. She is passionate about creating spaces where Jews can engage in fun environments and foster new friendships. Birthright introduced Marlyse to some of her closest friends and to the love of her life. Following this experience, she became a Kahn fellow, and, along with her board position, she is an REC cabinet member. Marlyse’s passion for developing relationships within the Jewish community makes her proud to be involved in such a fun and spirited organization!


Stephen Rischall
Co-Chair, YALA Board

Stephen is an award-winning financial adviser and public speaker. He is an active leader in the Los Angeles Jewish community, where he advocates for the economic and social advancement of other young professionals. In his free time, Stephen enjoys skiing, mountain biking, gardening, and golf.


Daniel Barkin
Chair, Clusters; Co-Chair, Valley Programming

Daniel’s involvement with the Federation began as a Kahn Fellow following an LA Way Birthright trip to Israel. He is grateful for the sense of community the Federation provides and looks forward to expanding that community with Jews from all walks of life. A graduate of USC, Daniel currently works as the Purchasing Coordinator for Groundwork Coffee Company and, in his free time, enjoys being an uncle, playing golf, vociferously cheering for his Trojans and Dodgers, and doing crossword puzzles.


Warren Coughlin
Co-Chair, YALA Donor Experiences

Warren is a Certified Financial Planner at UBS and works with entrepreneurs of significant means to organize, plan, and manage all areas of their wealth. He also leads the YALA Run Cluster and sits on his alma mater's board of directors, representing his class at alumni functions. In his spare time, he enjoys marathon training, surfing, and touring on his motorcycle.


Marissa Freeman
Co-Chair, New Member Outreach and Engagement

Marissa grew up in Los Angeles with the Federation as a big part of her upbringing, so she is thrilled to be making her mark on the YALA board. Marissa is Vice President of Branded Content at CBS Television Distribution, where she develops integrated content in TV shows and online. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and then moved to New York City, where she started her career in advertising before transitioning to entertainment marketing and moving back to LA.


Danit Grill
Chair, Community Service; Co-Chair, Valley Programming

Danit became involved with YALA and the Federation through her passion for volunteerism. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, and began a career teaching elementary school thirteen years ago. She is very excited to get more involved with the Federation and to continue to help young Jewish adults grow more involved in our community.


Rachel Grundy
Co-Chair, Emet, YALA’s Legal Network

Rachel is the Director of Business and Legal Affairs at Funny or Die. Previously, she was a music and entertainment attorney at MTV, where she negotiated scripted television agreements. During her time at California Western School of Law, she studied international law with a focus on human rights and cross-cultural negotiation. Rachel has a strong passion for the State of Israel and the young adult community in Los Angeles. 


Clare Koppel
Co-Chair, Entertainment and Media Network

Clare works at Creative Artists Agency, focusing on branded lifestyle for clients across all departments. Prior to CAA, she managed reservations and worked on social media and special events with the Mozza Restaurant Group in Hollywood. Originally from Minneapolis, she graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, and earned a Certificate in Entertainment Management from the UM School of Business Administration.


Lauren Maddahi
Co-Chair, Global Jewish Experiences

Lauren was born and raised in Los Angeles, and her family has been involved with the Federation for many years. After completing her Master’s degree in New York, she came back to LA ready to get involved with other young professionals in the YALA community and beyond. She works as a registered dietitian privately and at UCLA. In her free time, Lauren loves to staff Birthright Israel trips, drink great wine, and spend time with her miniature dachshund Dante. 


Shahrad Nahai
Co-Chair, YALA Donor Experiences

Shahrad began his work with The Jewish Federation in 2012. He previously served as the Chair of YALA’s Real Estate and Construction professionals network. Born in Tehran, Iran, Shahrad moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of one. After graduating from Boston University in 1999 with a B.S. in Business Management, Shahrad moved back to Los Angeles to begin a career at his family-run Nahai Insurance Services. Shahrad has worked as a managing director for more than 15 years, and together they have become one of Los Angeles’ largest privately held insurance brokerages.


Alex Plotkin
Co-Chair, New Member Outreach and Engagement

Alex previously served as Co-Chair of YALA’s Business and Professional Networks. Professionally, Alex is a project manager at VCA, an animal healthcare company. He is a Los Angeles native, received his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Denver, and is in the process of earning an MBA at UCLA. He enjoys golfing, cooking, sailing, skiing, hiking, and camping.


Ari Rumennik
Co-Chair, Real Estate and Construction Network

Ari made Los Angeles his home after graduating from USC and starting his career in accounting at PwC. He yearned for more meaningful activities outside of work, so he began exploring various Jewish-affiliated groups in Los Angeles. The Federation’s Real Estate and Construction group really stood out. Through conversations and experiences through the organization, he successfully transitioned from real estate tax compliance to real estate sales as a Broker at Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills. After more than a year of involvement, Ari took on a board member role with YALA and has enjoyed curating in addition to attending Federation events.     


Yoav Sarraf
Co-Chair, Real Estate and Construction Network

Yoav was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York soon thereafter, but spent most of his life and received most of his schooling in Los Angeles at institutions like Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy,Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles (YULA), and UCLA. While at UCLA, he co-founded the Persian-American Jewish Organization and was actively involved in Israel advocacy and Jewish causes. Professionally, he serves as Managing Partner and Director of Brokerage for Concord Real Estate, where he leads the firm’s Brokerage Divisions across all asset classes and plays an active role in the firm’s direction and growth.