Ben Thwaites

Ben read Law at University College London before working at Herbert Smith until 2012. He spent four years in higher Jewish learning in Israel, and has been involved in community and leadership projects such as UCL Jsoc President, Ner Yisrael Youth Director, Har Etzion British Alumni Programmes Co-ordinator and informal educator for Immanuel College and Hasmonean. In his spare time, Ben continues to practice law and is the General Counsel for a number of Jewish charities, as well as running a family investment fund.



Rabbi Dr. Effie Kleinberg serves as Senior Educator and Program Director at Forum for Jewish Leadership and affiliated Jewish Futures Trust organizations focused on developing the next generation of ambitious future Jewish leaders around the globe. Rabbi Kleinberg holds a Masters in Education, Semicha and a Doctorate in Educational Technology from Yeshiva University. Rabbi Kleinberg worked as a Jewish educator in North America before making aliyah. He currently resides with his family in Ra’anana, Israel.

UK Project Coordinator

Sandra Nagioff

Sandra grew up in Essex and has worked in the Jewish charity sector most of her working life.  She organised trips and events for the Community Security Trust and Norwood, working with Jewish community leaders such as Gerald Ronson, Richard Harrington MP and Richard Desmond.  Sandra currently lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and son and is crucial part of the FJL team bringing extensive experience in arranging and delivering FJL programmes

Jewish Futures Project Manager

Yocheved Back

Yocheved has organized countless Israel trips, and she is passionate about making sure participants have the greatest experience. Although much of Yocheved's work is done behind the scenes, she is accompanying the program experiences every step of the way. Originally from Cleveland, Yocheved now lives in beautiful Ramat Beit Shemesh with her husband and five chidlren.

Program Co-Director

Raquel Horowitz

Raquel is originally from Miami, Florida and moved to Israel a year ago to live out her dream of creating a home in Israel. She graduated from Yeshiva University in 2020 with a degree in Business and Marketing. Previously, Raquel worked as a Development associate at Hatzalah, although has always been fueled by outreach and self-development. She is passionate about connecting people, learning from people, and creating meaningful and lasting relationships.

Program Co-Director


Emma grew up in Sydney, Australia and recently moved to Jerusalem. She graduated with a degree in Visual Communication and has worked for a community organisation in Sydney for over 4 years. She is a proud FJL Alumna, attending their New York trip 5 years ago. Emma is excited to do a full circle and now be part of the leadership team.

Director of Israel Partnerships

Dr. Shaena Abramowitz

Shaena holds a master's degree in special education and a doctoral degree in educational administration. Her doctoral research analyed the pyscho-social impact of volunteering and service learning on young adults. She is invested in growing and strengthening FJL's partnership with Birthright Onward Israel. Shaena lives on a farm homestead on the Judean frontier with her husband, Ari, and their children, Dvash and Shilo.