Blog  Introducing the NFTY-MAR Regional Board 2019-2020 Candidates

Introducing the NFTY-MAR Regional Board 2019-2020 Candidates

Introducing the NFTY-MAR 2019-2020 Regional Board Candidates 


One of the best aspects of NFTY as a movement is that we are actively teen lead. These 14 amazing candidates are our future and they will work in partnership with our adult leadership to develop and implement new contributions to our community. This is your movement. We encourage you to thoroughly evaluate each candidate’s ideas and visions for NFTY.

We highly encourage every MARite to review every document below each candidate. This includes their Letter of Intent, Program Summary, and Video Speech. Even if you won’t be present at Spring Kallah, use this to your advantage and voice your opinion with your voting body before they go to elections. If you will be present at election, it is to your benefit to watch them before you arrive. Although the speeches will also be shown at elections, the Meet the Candidates session will take place before they are played.

As you look at this page, please remember that every candidate met the same criteria to run, every candidate has made a huge commitment to our movement, every candidate should be judged solely on their platform, every candidate is strong, and every candidate is a NFTYite.


Candidates for NFTY Mid-Atlantic President

Brandon Schoenfeld Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, D.C. – WHECTY

I’m Brandon Schoenfeld (He/Him), from Potomac, Maryland. Typically, I go to Winston Churchill High School, but am currently spending this semester of Junior year at URJ Heller High in Israel. When I am not at NFTY you can usually find me taking photos for yearbook, fixing bikes, running stage crew for school shows, or most likely hugging a tree. Some of my favorite things are ENO hammocks, cherry tomatoes, and crisp high-fives.

What is your superpower? If I could have any super power, I would choose to see out the back of my head to make sure I never trip when I’m walking backwards, which happens far too often.

What item would you be on a salad bar? If I were a salad bar topping I think I would be a carrot. Not because I look like one, but I feel an indescriptible kinship to this delicious addition for any salad.

Read Brandon’s Letter of Intent
Read Brandon’s Program Summary
Watch Brandon’s Speech

*If not elected for Regional President, Brandon is planning to drop down and declare his candidacy for Programming Vice President

David Donze Temple Beth Shalom, Annapolis, MD – BAYTY

My name is David Donze (he/him), and I’m a junior from BAYTY in Annapolis, Maryland. When I’m not on  5 hour bus rides to see my friends, I enjoy backpacking through the Shenandoah mountains, playing elaborate Chopin pieces on piano, and trying every free sample at Costco (multiple times). In the future, I’d love to be a mathematician or a Subway pizza tester.

What is your superpower? Being able to make the face of any animal.

What item would you be on a salad bar? Crouton

Read David’s Letter of Intent
Read David’s Program Summary
Watch David’s Speech

Lindsey Fleishman Temple Beth Or, Raleigh, NC – RALFTY

Hi I am Lindsey Fleishman (she/her) and I am a Junior from Raleigh, North Carolina. This year I am running to be your NFTY-MAR President. I am currently President of my youth group RALFTY and a Spiritual Engagement chair of MAR, positions I have held for the past two years. When I’m not with NFTY-MAR you can find me on zoom calls, buying fun socks, or at a local Cookout.

What is your superpower? I can fall asleep in less than 10 seconds anywhere, anytime.

What item would you be on a salad bar? I would be a bowl because I’m just trying to be supportive!!

Read Lindsey’s Letter of Intent
Read Lindsey’s Program Summary
Watch Lindsey’s Speech

*If not elected for Regional President, Lindsey is planning to drop down and declare her candidacy for Religious and Cultural VP. 


Candidate for NFTY Mid-Atlantic Programming Vice President

April Springer Durham, NC – DRTY

Shalom MAR! I’m April Springer, and I’m super excited to be running for your Programming Vice President! I currently serve as DRTY’s PVP and tri-chaired theVent this year. When I’m not searching the Torah for some sick touchstone texts, you can find me doing environmental activism work at the Alliance for Climate Education, tutoring for b’nei mitzvot, or attempting (and failing at) the ukulele.

What item would you be on a salad bar? I would be a pair of tongs, because they’re the ultimate pick me up.

What is your superpower? A true superhero doesn’t always wear a cape, but they are always determined to do their best and think unconventionally. My superpower, with that in mind, is my dedication and creativity. It’s important to me that I’m always prepared with a new idea and the work ethic to make it happen. I’m also weirdly talented at memorizing TV jingles.

Read April’s Letter of Intent
Read April’s Program Summary
Watch April’s Speech

Mica Maltzman Temple Sinai, Washington, DC – Sinaites

Hey MAR! I’m Mica Maltzman (she/her), and I’m junior from right outside Washington, DC. I’m a proud member of Sinaites (GO SINAITES!) and have served on my TYG’s board as PVP twice and President this past year. I am also currently serving as Programming Co-Chair on cabinet. When I’m not counting in eights and pointing my toes, you can find me editing my school’s newspaper, trying to make my dad’s shirts fashionable, or struggling to understand what my phone is saying in Spanish!

What is your superpower? I can fit into (and still wear) clothes from when I was six.

What item would you be on a salad bar? Tongs. Definitely tongs.

Read Mica’s Letter of Intent
Read Mica’s Program Summary
Watch Mica’s Speech


Candidates for NFTY Mid-Atlantic Social Action Vice President

Lee SmithTemple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church, VA – TRSTY

I’m Lee Smith (they/them), and I enjoy playing beefy diddles on the snare drum. In my spare time, I like to practice sign language and ponder possible accessibility improvements in everyday life. Playing in marching bands, indoor percussion groups, and ultimate frisbee teams are some of my favorite activities. I aspire to eat as much broccoli as possible and educate peers on the health benefits of the amazing vegetable.

What is your superpower? The ability to remember what everyone was wearing in every interaction I’ve ever had.

What is your favorite “Would You Rather” question? Would you rather wrestle a giraffe or an okapi?

Read Lee’s Letter of Intent
Read Lee’s Program Summary
Watch Lee’s Video


Candidates for NFTY Mid-Atlantic Religious and Cultural Vice President

Annie Joseph Judea Reform Congregation, Durham NC – DRTY

Shalom MAR! My name is Annie Joseph (she/her). I am a Junior from DRTY and I am running to be 5779-5780 Religious and Cultural Vice President. In that past two years I have served as DRTY President (5777-5778), Religious and Cultural Vice President (5778-5779), as well as a Vent Chair this year. When not at a MAR event, you can find me cracking jokes only I think are funny, listening to showtunes too loudly and running around the halls of my synagogue with my fellow DRTY girls.

What is your superpower? Being able to talk even when I don’t have a voice.

What is your favorite “Would You Rather” question? Would you rather have toes for fingers or fingers for toes? ( I think Fingers for toes would be useful!)

Read Annie’s Letter of Intent
Read Annie’s Program Summary
Watch Annie’s Speech

Noah SimonTemple Beth Shalom, Annapolis, MD – BAYTY

My name is Noah Simon (he/him), and I am a sophomore from BAYTY. I am a NFTY-MAR songleader and the RCVP of my Temple Youth Group. I teach music at my synagogue’s religious school to grades K-3. I’m a proud alumnus of URJ 6 POints Sci-Tech Academy, and am so excited to be attending URJ Kutz Camp this summer! In my free time, you can usually find me coding or playing video games with my brother, Eli. I’d love to get to know as many of you as I can; come up to me and chat anytime!

What is your superpower? If I could choose anything? Teleportation, so I wouldn’t be late to places all the time. 🙂 But if it has to be something I actually have, definitely perfect pitch; it helps a lot when practicing/playing music.

What is your favorite type of weather? Sunny with a light breeze, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and not too humid. Perfect weather for walking around outside!

Read Noah’s Letter of Intent
Read Noah’s Program Summary
Watch Noah’s Speech


Candidates for NFTY Mid-Atlantic Communications Vice President

Ari Cogen Temple Emanuel, Roanoke, VA – SCOTTY

I’m Ari Cogen, I’m 15 years old, my pronouns are he/him, and I love videography, photography, hiking, flips, and travelling. I am a very happy, outgoing person, and I like to have a lot of fun. I love being able to share my experiences through photo and video; I get to enhance the experience and add a sense of storytelling. My favorite thing is being surrounded by the people I love doing what we love.   

What is your favorite superpower? Being able to teleport anywhere I want at any given time.

What is your favorite type of weather? Sunny, little to no clouds, around 70-80 degrees, and little to no humidity.

Read Ari’s Letter of Intent
Read Ari’s Program Summary
Watch Ari’s Speech

Noah Volin Judea Reform Congregation, Durham, NC – DRTY

Hello NFTY MAR! My name is Noah Volin (he/him). I am a sophomore from DRTY in Durham, NC. I go to Durham School of the Arts where I focus on 3D art, like sculpture.. You may have seen me at some MAR events with a Kazoo; I love to bring ruach to the already energetic region. I love NFTY so much and am so excited to have the chance to run for your next regional board.

What is your superpower? My superpower is gift wrapping. I am oddly amazing at wrapping gifts, once at Barnes and Noble I had to wrap the book myself and the employees were impressed. Maybe I have a future at the B&N gift wrap table.

What is your favorite “Would You Rather” question?My favorite would you rather question is: “would you rather be able to talk to plants or animals?’ I would rather talk to plants, I feel like they have some stuff to say.

Read Noah’s Letter of Intent
Read Noah’s Program Summary
Watch Noah’s Speech


Candidates for NFTY Mid-Atlantic Membership Vice President

Avi Holzman Northern Virginia Hebre Congregation, Reston, VA – NOVTY

I’m Avi Holzman (he/him), I am a sophomore from NOVTY, and I’m running for Membership Vice President.  I spend my time thinking about NFTY/Judaism, watching Black Panther, playing basketball, and working at my synagogue.This semester I decided to study in Israel on URJ Heller High, which has changed my life and made me a more independent person. Overall, I love having fun at NFTY and fill my life with as many laughs and meaningful moments as possible.

What is your superpower? Having endless gatorade coming out of my belly button. If I had an endless amount of Gatorade I could play sports for forever and never run out of energy. I would also be able to make a statue of a Gator out of frozen Gatorade which is totally awesome.

What item would you be on a salad bar? If I had to be one item from a salad bar I would be the moistess vegetable, the cucumber. As a cucumber I would be green, which is my favorite color, and they are so moist that it would make my jump shot moist and therefore I would become as cool as a cucumber.

Read Avi’s Letter of Intent
Read Avi’s Program Summary
Watch Avi’s Speech

Jesse Macklin Congregation Beth Israel, Charlottesville, VA – BITY

Hey NFTY-MAR, my name is Jesse Macklin (she/her), and I’m a junior from BITY in Charlottesville, VA (go Hoos!). When I’m not bopping to the Jonas brothers at NFTY events or serving as BITY’s MVP, you can find me dreaming up new conspiracy theories, discovering new hiking trails, or squeaking up the band with my oboe. I also take great pride in having watched over 950 hours of friends. Come find me to test my knowledge!

What is your superpower? Invisibility – When using a public restroom I become invisible. The toilets and sinks do not seem to notice me.

What item would you be on a salad bar? Apples – Like an apple in a salad bar, I may seem a little out of place. However, apples taste delicious in a salad! They are sweet, crunchy, juicy, and can really enhance the salad. Like an apple in a salad, I can make a tense situation better and help make people feel more comfortable.

Read Jesse’s Letter of Intent
Read Jesse’s Program Summary
Watch Jesse’s Speech

Karyn Schy Judea Reform Congregation, Durham, NC – DRTY

Shalom NFTY-MAR! My name is Karyn Schy (she/her), I am a rising senior at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane, North Carolina, and I am running to be your Membership Vice President in the 5779-5780 year. When I’m not doing NFTY I can usually be found in the nearest coffee shop, running in circles with my track/cross country team, or listening to soft music with good pals. 🙂

What item would you be on a salad bar? I would love the honor of being the rogue pasta salad in the salad bar because it’s fun to switch it up lil 😀

What is your favorite type of weather? I’m a big fan of sun showers. When the storm recently passed and there is simultaneous beautiful sky and sun but a small drizzle. Just a nice mood.

Read Karyn’s Letter of Intent
Read Karyn’s Program Summary
Watch Karyn’s Speech

Owen Rice – Judea Reform Congregation, Durham, NC – DRTY

What’s up Jew Crew, I’m Owen Rice (he/him), and I am running to be your regional MVP. I have been very involved in MAR since my first event two years ago, and since then this region has pretty much taken over my social life. But I have other interests too. I love everything involving the outdoors, from hiking to climbing to biking, and I am a distance runner on my schools track and cross country teams. I love all animals, and I am a big fan of cuddle puddles. And lastly, I am very very excited to be running for MVP!

What is your superpower? My superpower is to make any situation into a fun one!

What is your favorite type of weather? A fire tornado, because they look super sick and are super rare.

Read Owen’s Letter of Intent
Read Owen’s Program Summary
Watch Owen’s Video