Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn You Tube Vimeo

Walking the Walk™ Alumni

Walking the Walk encourages its alumni to stay involved with the goals and mission of the Interfaith Center after they graduate from Walking the Walk. Alumni events, which are planned by a student planning committee, include service-learning projects, speaking opportunities at public events, and leadership workshops. Some alumni serve as Student Group Leaders, working as assistants for their Walking the Walk network, while others are involved with the Alumni Communications Team or other opportunities.

All Walking the Walk alumni are encouraged to get involved with this initiative! See the schedule of upcoming alumni events or apply to be a Student Group Leader below.

“Event though I had to sacrifice a couple extra Sunday afternoons, [being a Student Group Leader] was totally worth it. The increased knowledge and experience I gained from my year as a Student Group Leader has changed the way I think in a way that affirms the ideals of religious tolerance and understanding, two things that I now think are vital in finding your own true religious identity. Over all, being a Student Group Leader was an absolutely incredible experience for me.” —Anna, Walking the Walk Student Group Leader 2014-2015 , Philadelphia Network

Opportunities – Summer 2015

We are currently in the process of selecting the Student Group Leaders for the 2015-2016 Walking the Walk program year. In addition, there are two upcoming opportunities for Walking the Walk alumni:

Interfaith, Intergenerational Women's Workshop

MDRWHAT: Interfaith, intergenerational retreat for female Walking the Walk alumnae and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and/or other special women in their lives.

WHEN: Sunday, June 28th from 1 PM to 6 PM

WHERE: SHJC Province – 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont PA 19010

COST: $75/family group (scholarships available)

Click here to find more information and register!

Please contact Antonia at antonia@interfaithcenterpa.org or 570 972 7964 with any questions

FREE Walking the Walk College Essay Writing Workshop

WTW Essay Workshop Flyer - 4 June 2015

Transform your Walking the Walk experience into an essay for applications for college, scholarships, internships, and more! Doretta McGinnis and Ned Luce of Admission Logic, LLC provide expert advice to help students and their families successfully navigate the college admissions process.

WHAT: Essay writing workshop exclusively for Walking the Walk alumni, in which Doretta and Ned explain the importance of essays in the admissions process and how students can incorporate their Walking the Walk experience into their application essays. After the workshop, they will provide individualized feedback on students’ essay drafts
WHEN: Thursday July 23rd from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM (dinner provided)

WHEREMastery Charter School, Shoemaker Campus – 5301 Media Street, Philadelphia PA 19131

COST: TOTALLY FREE!

Click here to find more information and register!

Please contact Antonia at antonia@interfaithcenterpa.org or 570 972 7964 with any questions

Check back here for new opportunities for Walking the Walk alumni! If you are interested in or have questions about any programs, please contact Margie Scharf, Director of the Walking the Walk Youth Initiative, at mns@interfaithcenterpa.org.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The Walking the Walk Distinguished Alumni Award, presented annually at the Walking the Walk End of the Year Celebration, seeks to recognize and honor alumni of the Walking the Walk initiative who exemplify the Walking the Walk values and characteristics in their lives.

This year, the Walking the Walk Distinguished Alumni Award recognized two alumnae, both of whom have done a superb job of carrying the spirit of the Walking the Walk youth initiative and of interfaith cooperation far beyond their program years.

Please join the Interfaith Center in congratulating Suzanne Bernstein and Leena Mazid, the 2015 recipients of the Walking the Walk Distinguished Alumni Award!

Suzanne Bernstein

Suzanne Bernstein, one of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Suzanne Bernstein is a 2011-2013 Walking the Walk alumna currently at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently an intern in the Campus Entrepreneur initiative through the Jewish Renaissance Project on campus. As part of this program, Suzy and a group of 14 other sophomores involved with various campus organizations meet every week to discuss issues pertaining to Judaism and Jewish identity – ranging from marriage in the Jewish to community, to Israel, to the intersections of culture and faith, and much more. In addition, Suzy is trying to break barriers on campus to make people who identify as culturally Jewish feel comfortable with their identity. Suzy credits her genuine curiosity about the space of religion in people’s lives, her sympathy, and her eagerness to engage in constructive discussion on campus, to her experience with the Walking the Walk youth initiative.

Leena Mazid

Leena Mazid, one of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Leena Mazid is a 2009-2010 Walking the Walk alumna currently studying psychology at Goucher College. At present, Leena is working with the college chaplain at Goucher to build a multifaith center in order to make religious gatherings and prayer more accessible for students who wish to practice their faith regularly, especially in residential halls. Leena’s efforts were inspired by her experience in the Walking the Walk youth initiative, as well as advice from the staff of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. Leena credits the Walking the Walk youth initiative with giving her strong leadership skills, and is pleased that she has been able to continue to reach out to people from the Interfaith Center even after she graduated from the Walking the Walk youth initiative.

Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

For the past three years, the Interfaith Center and the Walking the Walk youth initiative have been proud to honor those outstanding alumni whose work and lives typify the goals of the Walking the Walk youth initiative. Past recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are as follows:

Dahlia Kenawy (2014)

Jessica Solomon (2013)

Nicole Kligerman (2013)

Claire Solomon (2013)

Baswweah Watson (2013)

What’s New

The Waking the Walk program for 2014-2015 ended with a great Year End Celebration on May 17th, 2015. Stay tuned for updates on the Walking the Walk 2015-2016 program year!

Check Out Our 2014-2015 Walking the Walk Photo Gallery!

“I have still found myself being challenged and taught by the insightful discussions we have had in the Walking the Walk sessions. There is always more to learn and uncover within our interfaith understanding.” — Mary Grace, Walking the Walk Student Group Leader 2014-2015, Philadelphia Network 

Student Group Leaders 2014-2015

Anna Luce, Philadelphia Network

anna luceMy personal favorite religious or cultural traditions are held during Hanukkah. I love making and eating potato latkes as well as playing dreidel with my friends and family. I also find the lights on the menorah beautiful and enjoy lighting them all eight nights. My favorite part of Walking the Walk was when we talked about pluralism and discussed how to achieve pluralism in today’s society. A fun fact about me is that I can make really good pizza and really good challah french toast.

In my first year of Walking The Walk, I learned more than I expected to about other religions and about my own religion. I couldn’t settle with only one year of such a positive experience, and figured it would be beneficial to become a Student Group Leader not just to learn about more religions, but also to increase my involvement in something that I’m very passionate about. As a Student Group Leader, you have more say in the structure of the discussions and have an opportunity to obtain more leadership skills. Even though I had to sacrifice a couple extra Sunday afternoons, it was beyond worth it. The additional involvement has inspired me to continue interfaith work, something I didn’t necessarily see myself doing before my first year of Walk The Walk. The increased knowledge and experience I gained from my year as an SGL has affected the way I think in a way that affirms the ideals of religious tolerance and understanding, two things that I now think are vital in finding your own true religious identity. Overall, being an SGL was an absolutely incredible experience for me.

 

Mary Grace Murray, Philadelphia Network

mary grace murrayA religious or cultural tradition that is important to me is Christmas. For me, Christmas is the one time of year my entire family comes together and we all take time to give back to others. My favorite part of Walking the Walk was our service learning project at Inglis House.  A ‘Fun Fact’ about me is that I play tennis for school.

This year I have had so many experiences as a Student Group Leader that I would not otherwise have had during High School. I had the opportunity over the summer to work with an intern from Penn to apply for and receive a grant. We received a thousand dollars to make lap blankets for the residents of Inglis House. This project has been ongoing throughout the year, as we have raised more money to make more blankets. It is very nice to know that I helped start something that will continue even after I graduate high school. I have had the chance to reflect in front of my entire school multiple times to tell them all about WTW and encourage the students to join. This has helped me tremendously with public speaking especially in front of a large crowd. Returning for a second year of WTW I have still found myself being challenged and taught by the insightful discussions that we have had. There is always more to learn and to uncover within our interfaith understanding. I strongly believe that programs like walking the walk have the potential to change the world one conversation at a time.

 

Husnaa Hashim, Philadelphia Network

husnaa hashimA religious or cultural tradition that is important to me is attending Islamic fall and summer camps in Maryland and Michigan. Camp is a way for me to experience my religious identity combined with a classic America tradition; I’m able to play sports without hijab, discuss relevant topics, be independent, and grow spiritually. It’s a time of true reflection and unity, the feeling of literally living with people you don’t know and letting them become your best friends. At camp I’ve met people who live in England, New Zealand, France, Scotland, Pakistan, Canada, and all across the USA. My favorite part of Walking the Walk was visiting different religious temples and observing their architecture. Stained glass, domes, scripture depiction, etc. A ‘Fun Fact’ about me is that I love tea, yoga, grapefruit, and Rumi poems early in the morning.

I have always been exposed to various cultures, yet I still had a yearning to know more. My initial experience with being a student in Walking the Walk satisfied that yearning and greatly transformed me and my understanding of this world. I have felt motivated to continue research on other faiths even further, as to not live in ignorance. There is a great individualistic variety of faith tradition and people in WTW, and this greatly appealed to me because I literally felt that I was learning from and with my peers rather than only hearing about how different people live different lives. Because of this, I actually noticed a lot more similarities than differences, and after all I learned in that short time I felt that I was meant to not only take something from this program, but to bring something to it: I got accepted for the position for Student Group Leader. This position is an expansion of what I’ve experienced last year, which has enabled me to take a more active leadership role in WTW. I have been able to contribute my ideas and personal previous experience with this program. I will forever be grateful for those I have met, and for the immeasurable knowledge we have acquired from each other, together.

Hannah Deutsch, Philadelphia Network

hannah deutschBeing Jewish, I think Shabbat is an extremely important part of my religious tradition as well as my family life. My family celebrates by lighting the candles every Friday, having a nice dinner, and making it a priority to spend the night with all of us together.  My favorite part of Walking the Walk was packing Thanksgiving and holiday meals into boxes, which would be delivered to families later that week. I feel very passionately about helping others, and I also I loved the teamwork and team-building component. Since it was towards the beginning of the year, it allowed our group to bond by discovering who the natural leaders and followers were. A ‘Fun Fact’ about me is that over the course of my seventeen years, I have lived in four states, two countries, and eleven houses.

Maddie Garber, Philadelphia Network

Maddie GarberA religious tradition that is important to me is becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, which a big step in any Jewish person’s life. My favorite part of Walking the Walk was volunteering at Inglis House. It was great being able to meet and get to know the people there, and learn more about them. A fun fact about me is I really like writing, especially short stories. I once wrote a horror short story for an online course I took.

Jaron Teegen Case, West Chester Network


imageOne religious tradition I have in my family is to pray really long at dinner so we can enjoy the feast even more when the time comes. My favorite part of walking the walk last year was getting to know all of the wonderful kids in my group. Something that is kind of interesting about me is I like to sing and dance.

 

Past Student Group Leaders

2013 – 2014

  • Lev Boonin, Northwest Philadelphia Network
  • Sarah Elmongy, Suburban-West/Media Network
  • Quinia Evans, Northwest Philadelphia Network
  • Jami Gross, West/Central Philadelphia Network
  • Arman Hassan, Suburban-West Network
  • Elise Higgins, Suburban-West Network
  • Kyra Lesser, Suburban-West Network
  • Matt Newman, Wissahickon Network
  • Rogena Rezkalla, Suburban-West/Media Network
  • Nicole Thompson, Wissahickon Network
  • Mickey Viola, Suburban-West Network
  • Margot Weitz, West/Central Philadelphia Network

2012 – 2013

  • Dalia Al-Bataineh, Suburban West Network
  • Suzanne Bernstein, Suburban West Network
  • Quinia Evans, Central Philadelphia Network
  • Tal Gilad, Wissahickon Network
  • Sophia Gluskin-Braun, Northern Day School Network
  • MaryKate Glenn, Northern Day School Network
  • Sharika Maliha, Wissahickon Network
  • Hasinah Rahman, Central Philadelphia Network
  • Sam Slavitt, Northern Day School Network
  • Graham Small, Suburban West Network
  • Katrina Tacconelli, Suburban-West Network
  • Leah Zebovitz, Central Philadelphia Network

2011 – 2012

  • Sydney Fleekop, Matt Siegleman, Suburban West Network
  • Ricca Marx, Wissahickon Network
  • Sophia Waldstein, North/Northwest Network
  • Ilanit Goldberg, Wissahickon Network
  • Arin Ahlum Hanson, Suburban West Network
  • Rev. Rob McClellan, Day School Network
  • Rev. Lamont A. Wells, Northwest Philadelphia Network

2010-2011

  • Aniqa Hassan, Anisa Tavangar – Suburban-West Network
  • Miriam Jason – Cheltenham Network
  • Baseerah Watson, Mara Pliskin, Sheannah Conneen – West Philadelphia Network

2009-2010

  • Dahlia Kenawy, Hanna Elmongy – Havertown Network
  • Anneke Kat, Wyatt Smith, Isam Osman – Suburban-West Network
  • Sa’ood Abdul-Basit, Danny Garfield – West Philadelphia Network

2008-2009

  • Dan Siegelman, Halimah Bakillah, Yasmine Hadjar – Suburban West Network
  • Hannah Weilbacher, Hope Platt, Kamil Saeid – West Philadelphia Network

2007-2008

Past Green Team Leaders

2010-2011

      • Lisa Doi
      • Noah Kosherick
      • Hanna Elmongy
      • Sa’ood Abdul-Basit
      • Michael Klingerman

2009-2010

      • Allison Peiser, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
      • Emna Bakillah
      • Layla Tavangar
      • Leena Mazid
      • Michael Kligerman
      • Monique Smith
      • Noah Kosherick

2008-2009

      • Amanda Mazid
      • Dahlia Kenawy
      • Isam Osman
      • Layla Tavangar
      • Michael Kligerman
      • Sarah Claussen, The Lutheran Seminary
      • Qamar Muhaimin, Student Group Leader
      • Zia Islam

2007-2008

      • Halima Bakillah
      • Ibrahim Muhaimin
      • Ja’Milla Fitzhugh
      • Marjorie Scharf, Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia
      • Michael Kligerman
      • Michael Wanatik
      • Michael Pasek
      • Mikeerah Smith
      • Monique Smith
      • Qamar Muhaimin


There is a great individualistic variety of faith tradition and people in Walking The WalkTM, and this greatly appealed to me because I literally felt that I was learning from and with my peers rather than only hearing about how different people live different lives. I will forever be grateful for those I have met, and for the immeasurable knowledge we have acquired from each other, together.” – Husnaa, Walking the Walk Student Group Leader 2014-2015, Philadelphia Network