Meet Our Leaders
The opportunity to serve on the Young Adults of Los Angeles (YALA) Board of Directors is a unique, rewarding and exciting leadership experience.
2015 YALA Board:
Sarica Cohen is chair of YALA’s Business and Professional Networks, and oversees the development of new and emerging groups that provide valuable and meaningful professional networking opportunities for young Angelenos.
Sarica has been involved in the Jewish community for most of her life. She has served on the board for many LA-based Jewish organizations and has experience running both small and large groups. Professionally, she is a pharmacist who works for a biotech company as a medical science liaison. She enjoys spending time with her dog, Lucy, as well as her family and friends.
Carly Einfeld is chair of YALA’s social programming. She is originally from Sydney, Australia and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television production, after working in music television, radio, and live event production in Australia. She is currently studying the craft and volunteers with the Paley Center for Media, Australians in Film, and Bob Bain Productions. Soon after arriving in LA, Carly became involved with the Jewish Federation and hasn't looked back since. She has been on National Young Leadership trips to Israel four times and chaired LA’s trips in 2012 and 2013. She also co-chaired the young adult bus for the LA Centennial Mission to Israel. You could say her passion for Israel runs deep. Carly joined the board in 2012, co-chaired our clusters when we launched them in 2012, and attended TribeFest in both 2011 and 2012. She has been involved in Jewish organizations her whole life and is driven by the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam.
Danit Grill is the YALA Valley chair, and recently become involved with the Federation through her passion for volunteerism. With great enthusiasm, she quickly grew more involved and became a member of YALA's social action committee, as well as co-chair of our Educators business and professionals network.
Danit was born and raised in Los Angeles, attended CSUN with a degree in liberal studies, and began a career teaching elementary school 11 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.
Eric Eagle Hartmans is co-chair of EMET, YALA's young legal group. He is a litigator at Bonne, Bridges, Mueller, O'Keefe & Nichols. After Eagle completed law school at Loyola, he and his wife, Sharon, moved to the Central Illinois town of Peoria, where Sharon attended medical school and Eagle served as a criminal prosecutor. On the first day Eagle and Sharon arrived in Peoria, they were welcomed to the Jewish community by the executive director of the local Federation. In Peoria, Eagle witnessed the tremendous impact of the Federation, which is the fabric of the local community. After returning to Los Angeles, Eagle found his way to YALA, and, as EMET’s co-chair, his goal is to continue the exceptional work of past EMET leaders by bringing together young adults for socializing, community development, and giving.
Jackie Koppell is co-chair of YALA’s Entertainment Network. Proudly from the Bronx but living happily in LA, she is a graduate of Cornell University and now has deep roots in digital entertainment. Jackie is currently the Executive News Director and a host at TheLipTV, which focuses on news & politics. Previously, she was Head of Talent at AwesomenessTV. Jackie is also a content creator herself and focuses on comedy. Prior to this role with the Federation, she was the co-chair for the Entertainment Track for CLI and loved it. She's a huge fan of traveling, staying active, and being spontaneous.
Deborah Levine is chair of YALA’s board. She has been involved with the Federation for many years, previously serving as chair of YALA’s Chai Society, and has been a member of our Ben-Gurion Society since 2012.
Professionally, Deborah is an interior designer for M. Design Interiors Inc., a residential and hospitality design company. A Los Angeles native, she received her undergraduate degree in Public Relations from Boston University and is currently completing a Masters degree in Interior Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Brandon Maslan is co-chair of YALA’s legal network. Brandon earned his law degree from the University of Maryland and served as a trial attorney for many years prior to moving to LA, where he became a legal and corporate recruiter. Realizing that his true passions lay in allowing others to fulfill their visions, goals, and dreams, he graduated from the Co-Active Training Institute and began a career as an executive coach. Brandon sees the best in others, which empowers them to see the best in themselves and those around them. Brandon sits on the executive board of several major charities in and around LA, and he is active with the Guardians of Los Angeles and the Federation.
Erin Maslan is co-chair of YALA’s donor strategy and previously served as co-chair of YALA’s entertainment professionals network. Originally from Northern California, she moved to Los Angeles to attend USC for graduate school.
Erin currently works as director of brand marketing and publicity for Twentieth Century Fox in its licensing and consumer products division. She has spent the last nine years developing and managing creative and strategic publicity and communication programs for top entertainment companies including CBS Entertainment, NBC Universal, Sony, and Dreamworks.
Her involvement with the Federation began as a participant in 2008’s Entertainment Industry Leadership Institute (EILI) and on National Young Leadership trips to Israel in 2013. Growing up, Erin spent many summers at Camp Swig in Saratoga, CA, where her mother was also the camp nurse. (If you’re wondering about her last name, her father is Irish.)
Shahrad Nahai is co-chair of YALA’s Real Estate and Construction professionals network, and began his work with the Jewish Federation in 2012. 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 14 years, and together they have become one of Los Angeles' largest privately held insurance brokerages.
Over the years, Shahrad has developed a dedicated spiritual practice, which includes Kundalini Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation. Shahrad obtained his Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification in 2011 and continues to build on his passion for spiritual nourishment and self-development. Shahrad also enjoys long-distance running and singing.
Jessica Naziri is co-chair of YALA’s Entertainment Network. A tech expert, online media personality, and accomplished journalist with a background in social media strategy for a variety of digital platforms and businesses, she is a self-proclaimed “chic geek” who turned her passion into a career. Covering all things tech, from social networking to smart phones, to the inner workings of corporate giants like Apple and Google, Jessica explores how technology is changing the way we work, live, do business and communicate. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN, Inside Edition, CNBC, USA Today, Yahoo!, Business Insider, and the Washington Post among other publications. Jessica is also a graduate of the Federation’s Community Leadership Institute and is thrilled to join the YALA board.
Marcy Newman is co-chair of YALA’s clusters. An LA native, she has been involved in the Jewish community since high school, beginning with her participation in BBYO. She has recently become more involved with YALA and is excited to play a more active role. Marcy currently serves as the Associate Director of Career Services for Mount St. Mary's University, where she also teaches as an adjunct faculty member. Additionally, Marcy runs a private career coaching business, where she supports twenty- and thirty-somethings and their career endeavors. Marcy earned her BA in Communication Studies from Cal State Northridge and a Master's in Education from USC.
Marcy is a yogi, soul cycler, and wine enthusiast who enjoys bringing people together and connecting over shared interests, which makes supporting diverse clusters an ideal fit for her!
Marlyse Phlaum is co-chair of YALA’s clusters. An LA transplant, she is very excited to serve on the board and greatly values the sense of community that the Federation provides. Her most passionate goals are to encourage Jews to get together in fun and engaging environments, and to create spaces where friendships can begin and blossom. Birthright introduced Marlyse to some of her closest friends and to the love of her life, and she became a Kahn fellow in the year following that unforgettable experience. The fellowship gave her a special opportunity to stay connected with her Birthright group through Shabbat dinners, volunteering, and other organized activities, and helped continue her engagement with, and enthusiasm for, the local Jewish community. She became a committee member of the Birthright Experience, as well as an REC cabinet member, and proudly maintains both positions. Marlyse’s passion for developing authentic relationships and friendships within the Jewish community makes her proud to be involved in such a fun and spirited organization!
Adam Riley is co-chair of newcomers outreach and engagement and is also the leader of the Wine Cluster. Adam works as the western region manager for Myomo, Inc., where he spends his time with medical distributors and hospitals. Myomo ("My Own Motion") manufactures a robotic arm brace for patients with paralysis. Adam enjoys speaking to patient support groups about the benefits of neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to rewire itself after injury.
Adam has also volunteered on the board of the Young Leadership Division at the Orange County Jewish Federation, helped start JewGlue, a group for young Jews to connect and socialize, and helped start the Orange County Moishe House in 2009. In 2010, Adam moved to Israel for six months, where he worked for a software company and volunteered at a high school teaching English. After leaving Israel, he explored Europe, and ended up working at three wineries in Spain and France.
Growing up as a reform Jew in Boulder, Colorado (Adam's first "C" state), he began to develop a strong Jewish identity. He moved to Connecticut in eighth grade, and, after high school, attended Boston University, where he studied Manufacturing Engineering. There, he was the musical director of Kol Echad, BU's Jewish a cappella group, and was involved as a TA and Freshman Student Advisor in the College of Engineering. Completing his round of the "C" states, Adam moved to California after college.
Stephen Rischall is co-chair of YALA’s donor strategy. His connection to Judaism and passion for Israel was reignited through his participation on a 2011 LA Way Birthright Israel trip. Professionally, Stephen is the Vice-President and co-founder of 1080 Financial Group, a full-service investment advisory and financial planning firm. He earned his degree in Finance at California State University Northridge and continued post graduate education with the College for Financial Planning.
Stephen lives an active life. He enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, wakeboarding, and golf.
Yoav Sarraf is co-chair of YALA’s Real Estate and Construction professionals network (REC). Born in Tel Aviv and brought to New York soon thereafter, Yoav spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles, attending Hillel and YULA (like a good Jewish boy). Yoav first attended Hillel on a scholarship through the Jewish Federation, and remains forever grateful for that opportunity. While attending UCLA, he co-founded the Persian-American Jewish Organization and was actively involved in Israel advocacy and Jewish causes.
After graduating from college, Yoav entered the Real Estate business, and currently works as managing director of Concord Real Estate Services, where he leads the Brokerage Services division and plays an active role in the firm’s direction and growth.
Gavrielle Siegel-Eisman is chair of YALA’s Community Service and was previously chair of our clusters and co-chair of the Los Angeles delegation at TribeFest 2014. A native of LA, she has been actively involved in the Los Angeles Jewish community for as long as she can remember. The values in Tikkun Olam and mitzvot have been instilled in her from an early age. These values inspired her to found TOLA: Tikkun Olam Los Angeles in 2011. TOLA's mission is to give back to the LA community while bringing together young Jewish professionals who want to repair the world. TOLA has volunteered with numerous Federation partners, including SOVA, the Jewish Home for the Aging, and the National Council of Jewish Women. They have also participated in Federation Community Service Days.
Gavrielle attended the American Jewish University, where she earned her B.A. in Business. Gavrielle works full-time at OPI Products in photo shoot production and social media, and volunteers as their corporate social responsibility ambassador. Gavrielle enjoys spending her time planning events, hiking, running, traveling, volunteering, and hanging out with her friends and family.
Jocelyn Orloff is the Federation’s senior director of young adult engagement. Originally from New York, she has lived in Los Angeles for the past four years. Prior to moving to LA, she lived in Saint Louis, where she served as the BBYO director for four years. Jocelyn joins the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles from Sinai Temple, where she held the role of Atid Director in charge of all young professional programs for adults in their 20s and 30s. In 2011, she finished her MBA from Indiana University, as well her Masters in Jewish Liberal Studies and a Certificate in Informal Jewish Education from Hebrew College. She looks forward to continuing to serve the Jewish community of Los Angeles and share her passion for creating meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults.
Ari Naamani-Goldman is assistant director of young adult engagement at the Federation. Ari moved to Los Angeles from New York, where he served as president of the Alzheimer's Association's young professionals committee and led its outreach program development. He also worked as a sound designer and music programmer, and produced soundtracks for Lincoln Center, the United Nations, and American Friends of the Louvre. Previously, he was the managing editor of the Leo Baeck Institute's genealogical research journal. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College.
Brianna Fischer is YALA’s program coordinator and the Federation’s inaugural Fishel Fellow. She began her journey with a two-month placement in India with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Gabriel Project Mumbai, where she taught children living in slums and helped set up food programs. She then spent a year working with the JDC in Berlin at a center for young Jewish families, and organized programming for young Jewish adults from Berlin and throughout Europe. In addition, Brianna travelled to Moldova to see the Federation’s Caring for Jews in Need work in the former Soviet Union, played a large role in Limmud Germany, and attended multiple conferences for young European Jewish leaders. She also worked for three months in Israel at our Federation Israel office, at the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, doing social policy research, and at a center for adults with disabilities. Brianna grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA, where she studied anthropology and Middle Eastern studies.