Participants and Leaders

Trip Leaders

Matt Steinberg: Delegation Head

Matt Steinberg was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. He went to Walnut Hills High School and Graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH with a Philosophy degree. He got his start at the JCC working as a counselor at the summer camp, and is now the Assistant Director of the summer camp, as well as the Teen Director, BBYO City Director, and MOTL Delegation Head for Cincinnati at the Mayerson JCC. Matt’s interests include old music and movies, cars and motorcycles, technology and hands-on building, painting, etc.

Judy Chessin: Trip Leader

Judy Chessin has been the rabbi of Temple Beth Or Dayton, Ohio since her ordination in 1984. She grew up in the only city in which the yarmulkes have ears, Orlando, Florida, and came to the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1979. She has lived here ever since. As a congregational rabbi she enjoys teaching the Temple High School and doing her own tutoring for each and every Bar/Bat Mitzvah student. She has led several congregational and federation trips to Israel. A highlight of her career was studying at the Yad Vashem School for International Studies in the winter of 2006. Her favorite part of being a rabbi is spending every single summer as a faculty member/ camp rabbi at the Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI -- a Jewish summer camp in Zionsville, Indiana). She can't wait to be a part of this amazing delegation!

Rick Lefton: Trip Leader

Rick Lefton, a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, graduated Walnut Hills High School in 1983 and The Ohio State University in 1987 with a BS in Marketing.
Rick now resides in Montgomery and is married to Betsy Singer-Lefton (from Canton, Ohio) who he met while they were both attending Ohio State. Together they have five children (Lilly-17, Claire-15, Nathan, Abby & Grace-11 year old triplets) who attend Sycamore Schools. Rick is an active member at Wise Temple and the JCC...serving in leadership positions on committees for both organizations. He has a passion for working with kids and has coached youth sports for many years. Rick is a Realtor and he works out of the Montgomery office of Comey & Shepherd Realtors. He is extremely excited and honored to be included in this incredible delegation!

Tour Guides

Peppi Dotan: Tour Guide in Poland

I was born in Buffalo New York but have lived in Jerusalem all of my adult life. I produced documentary films for 16 years. In addition to being a Holocaust guide to Poland I also guide at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and work for Israeli/American/Canadian Architect Moshe Safdie in Jerusalem. I have immensely enjoyed guiding the last 3 Cincinnati March of the Living tours and look forward to experiencing Poland with you in 2013.

Arava Gerzon Raz: Tour Guide in Israel

Arava is a freelance tour guide in Israel, working with Israel Experience.  "I hope to use my strong social services background, travel experience, and enthusiastic personality; along with the love I have for Israel, to show tour groups the best my country has to offer!"  She led the 2012 Cincinnati MOTL Delegation through Israel and is excited to meet this year's group!

Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education Staff

Sarah Weiss, Executive Director

Sarah joined the staff of CHHE in 2004 through a local AmeriCorps program, Public Allies. Sarah has taken on a number of roles as a staff member of CHHE, passionately and diligently endeavoring to establish a highly respected reputation and long-lasting community presence on behalf of the organization. In 2007, Sarah became the executive director and guided CHHE through its transition into a successful, independent 501(c)(3) organization and then in 2009, facilitated the move to Rockwern Academy. Throughout Sarah’s tenure, she has worked to formulate lasting partnerships with organizations and educational facilities locally, nationally and internationally. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati and is a graduate of the Teaching the Holocaust and Antisemitism course at the esteemed Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies and is also a Lerner Fellow after participating in an advanced course sponsored by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous at Columbia University. She has lead and traveled on educational journeys to Poland and Israel with students and adults. She is the 2007 recipient of the Public Allies “Changemaker” award and the 2011 Weston Avodah award presented by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Most recently, she participated in Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s We Lead Class 5. Sarah serves on the Ohio Holocaust Council, as a Commissioner for the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, and on the board of Bridges for a Just Community. Furthermore, Sarah brings a personal connection to this work as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.

Alexis Storch, Director of Educational Outreach

Alexis Storch, originally from a small town in New York, is currently the Director of Educational Outreach with the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Alexis served on the education team at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Alexis has Master’s degrees in European history and elementary education. In her free time, Alexis likes to travel, read and joke around with her nieces and nephews.

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