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Meet Our Staff

Ilana McAfoos, Assistant Director of Jewish Learning

Ilana is new to Gainesville but not to being involved in Jewish life. Having recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Archeology with a specialization in Medieval Archaeology, Ilana’s background is rooted in Jewish engagement within her community. She has served as the first full-time Director of Programming for her home congregation at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, PA. She has also served as a Youth Services Educator at Beth Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at the Hillel Jewish University Center in Pittsburgh worked as the Jewish Spirituality and Learning intern. 

Ilana is also no stranger to Jewish camp, having grown up going to Camp Ramah in the Poconos as the child of camper staffers. As she got older, she also became a staff member and served as the Director for the Theater Arts Program. Having participated in USY as a teen, Ilana recognizes the importance of being engaged in Jewish life from an early age and making programs engaging and fun. 


Shiri Abramson

Shiri is a Junior at the University of Florida studying Religion, Sustainability, and Communications. She spends her summers working with children at Camp Ramah Darom and is so excited to bring that sense of fun and experience to Chavaya! Shiri grew up speaking fluently in an Israeli household in South Florida and is happy to put those skills to use!


Jamie Bielski

Hi, my name is Jamie Bielski and I am a Freshman at the University of Florida! Growing up I attended a Solomon Schecter day school, was heavily involved in USY, and went to Camp Ramah Darom (for six years as a camper and one year on staff). During the 2020-2021 academic year I was abroad in Israel where I interacted with locals and took Hebrew classes at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I've furthered my Hebrew learning since through my coursework at UF. I am thrilled to be a part of Chavaya and to have the opportunity to share my excitement for learning Hebrew!

















Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782