Please welcome our new 2013 Eco Reps and learn a little more about them!

Alan Avitan

AlanI am from Cleveland, Ohio and am a rising senior at Yeshiva University. I am involved in various student leadership initiatives on campus including being treasurer on the YSU student council, student ambassador for the office of admission, vice-president of the Israel business club, as well as working as an advisor for the West Coast NCSY region. I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in marketing with the intent of going into the entertainment and television industry. I am interested in the Eco Rep program because of the importance of sustainability, energy conservation, and renewable resources in our ever expanding world but most importantly learning what I can do to give back and how I can make a difference.

Irene Goldman


My name is Irene Goldman.  I grew up in Deal, NJ, where I attended Hillel Yeshiva. After high school, I went to Midreshet Harova to study for a year. When I got back from Israel I came to Stern, where I am currently a Sophomore. My family has always recycled, so when I left home and saw how many people don’t, I realized that many people are unaware of our responsibility to keep the earth in the best condition possible. This program is about getting the information out there, and I’d like to help.

David Goldrich

DavidI am a senior at Yeshiva University, dual-majoring in Biology and Political Science.  As a pre-med student, I hope to attend medical school in the coming years.  I am very involved on campus, serving on the boards of the Medical Ethics Society, the Student Life Committee, and YUPAC, among others.  I also enjoy playing guitar and rooting for the New York Mets.  Having spent the previous year as an Eco-Rep, I hope to continue to provide student programming and initiatives toward raising energy and environmental awareness at YU while mentoring and assisting this year’s Eco Rep program.

Rebecca Gross

GrossMy name is Rebecca Gross, and, ever since a childhood spent in the leafy tree-filled suburbs, conservation has been my passion! Indeed, I’m looking forward to joining the Eco-Rep program to draw awareness to saving those trees. I’m a junior in Stern College for Women, majoring in Biochemistry and interested in medicine. After doing early admission in SUNY Rockland and spending a year in Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim in Jerusalem, I came to Stern, and am excited to be starting my second year here! I enjoy reading, kayaking, doing puzzles, and hiking, and I’m looking forward to doing good work this year as an Eco-Rep!

Oren Herschander

OrenAs the great master Yoda once said, “Always in motion is the future”. Vague and fuzzy, our future is unclear. Who knows what it will hold? Like the static snow of a broken television, the years to come are difficult to interpret. Being a responsible citizen of this great planet, I consider it my duty to help improve it for the future generations to come. The future cannot be predicted because it hasn’t been written yet. As an Eco-Rep, forward thinker, admirer of all living things and a concerned environmentalist, I gladly take it upon myself to help write a beautiful and sustainable future for planet Earth. “With great power comes great responsibility”, and I fully intent to not shirk my obligations.

Rachel Khaldar

RachelI’m 19 and currently spending my first year on Campus at Stern College for women, after having spent a year studying in Israel at MMY. I grew up in Maryland, and went to Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, where I had the privilege of obtaining both a Jewish and secular education. Using sustainable and reusable energy to the best of one’s abilities has been a value influenced upon me not only by family, who taught me from a young age the self-evident aphorism “waste not, want not”, but also by the facts of the finite world around me. Human beings have high potential intellect, and are aware of the alternative energy sources in the world, both of food and of shelter, he can use and not cause excess waste. As a representative of a greater group of representatives for the intellectual and Jewish world, I look forward to major success and accomplishments this year in the goal of enhancing sustainable and reusable energy at Yeshiva University!

Matt Lubin

I grew up on Long Island, and before coming to YU spent two years in Israel studying at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh. I have very wide academic interests, and have taken courses in biology, chemistry, math, philosophy, and computer science, with the hopes of making a career out of research in biochemistry. The underlying goals and philosophy behind my interest in scientific research are both a natural and deep seated curiosity about how the world works, but also a burning desire to make it a better, and more sustainable, place to live.

I’ve always been careful about it myself, and I knew that I would one day hope to make an impact on the way other people see these issues as well. Last year, in my first year in YU, I would notice practices by both the students and the institution, which upset me very much because they seemed so easy to change (such as using double sided printing to save paper) and it would be in YU’s best interest to do so, for economic as well as environmental reasons. After many conversations with the president of the Environmental Society, I discovered that many of the students and staff are simply unaware, or not conscious of the issues and how easy it is to do better. I decided to join the Eco Reps in hope that I will be able to learn for myself how to save more effectively, as well as how to best advocate and raise awareness among my peers for environmentally friendly practices.

Gavriella Pearl

GavriellaI live in Brooklyn (NY) and spent last year in Israel, studying at Nishmat. I volunteered on an organic agricultural farm for part of the summer. I love baking (if you’re ever craving parve Reese’s…), art, sewing, graceful dancing, and ice-skating. One of my favorite books is The Giver and my favorite band is Rascal Flatts. I have 2 brothers and my favorite game is Jungle Speed. I have been vegetarian for over four years. I am (actually) allergic to cold weather. I intend to major in either math or pre-engineering and hope to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. My goal to share my passion for holistic health and love of nature with other YU students through my education in this program and hope that we can make YU a better place for its students and the Earth.

Riva Tropp

RivaHi, I’m Riva. It’s hard to pin oneself down in just a few words, but I’m curious, passionate, and easily amused. I absolutely love hikes, music, and reading books of all genres, except for romance and perhaps horror. I might major in English, but it’s too early to be certain. In the meantime, I’m looking forwards to being an eco rep this year, and hope I can help make a difference.

I’ve loved nature ever since I was a kid and spent many great Sundays hiking with my father. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the dangers the environment faces, and have wanted to get involved. It seems to me that actual facts about global-warming are few and far between, and it’s easy to get caught up in a mess of propaganda and politicizing without realizing that the environment affects all of us, and we can affect it back, if we chose to try.

Jason Vessal

JasonThere is so much to be said about Jason Vessal, yet at the same time there is nothing to be said at all.  According to legend, when the doctor took him out of his mother’s womb, the young Jason spanked the doctor first in a preemptive strike.  He has been known to disappear for great lengths of time, reachable only by carrier pigeon.  In many parts of the southern hemisphere, the chanting of his name is thought by many to bring about bountiful rains.  He has been banned for life from entering Trinidad and Tobago.  What is it exactly about this figure that makes him so enigmatic?  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop™?  The world may never know.  His interests/hobbies are backgammon, playing the violin, Judo, and traveling to name a few. Jason embraces the opportunity to save money for Yeshiva University through the implementation of financially sustainable ecological policies.  Because he loves the earth, he also wants to do whatever he can to make YU a more eco-friendly school, so long as there is no significant economic or academic sacrifice of any kind.



Comments are closed.