Meet the 2015-2016 Daner Fellows @ Yachad

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker My name is Amanda Parker and I have just graduated from New York University (NYU) double majoring in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health with a minor in Hebrew and Judaic Studies.  I am originally from Los Angeles, California, but have been living in Englewood, New Jersey since I was eight. I am the eldest of four children. At NYU I was very involved in the Hillel Jewish community, as well as being involved in my academic department particularly as a peer mentor.  In my free time I love hanging out with my friends, exploring NYC, and traveling. I look forward to being a Daner Communal Fellow at Yachad.


Rachel Samuels

Rachel SamuelsHi! My name is Rachel Samuels and I was raised in Roslyn Heights, New York and have recently graduated from Binghamton University. I majored in Human Development and double minored in Education and Judaic Studies. I was very involved in campus life including being a peer advisor and participated in both Binghamton’s Hillel and Chabad. I applied to the Joel Daner Fellowship because I have always been passionate about inclusion. I accepted the fellowship because I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to weave my Jewish beliefs and values with my passion for advocating and providing resources for people with special needs. In my year serving as a Daner Communal Fellow, I hope to gain the skills to further educate our greater community about individuals with special needs, and teach others how to advocate on behalf of families who not do so for themselves. I am excited to be a part of Yachad’s mission in making sure everyone feels a sense of belonging within the community. I am looking forward to a great year!


Yossi Szpigiel

Yossi SzpigielMy name is Yossi Szpigiel and I have recently graduated from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, majoring in Chemistry as a Pre-Med student with a double minor in Math and Media Studies. I live in West Hempstead, New York, where I grew up with my parents and four siblings. They’re pretty cool, as far as siblings go. I’ve served as JLIC (Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) intern at Queens College for the past two years and am very involved in the growing Jewish community on campus. I spend most of my free time engaged in my more nerdy tendencies ranging from indie video games to Doctor Who to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Essentially, if something has a passionate engaged fandom, I’m probably a member of it. I very much look forward to spending the year at Yachad working as a Daner Communal Fellow before heading on to medical school.