David Wachs, President
David is the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors and has been active with 3GNY since 2005. He joined the group to connect with others who have a similar background and to carry on his family's legacy. David took on a leadership role in 2010 in planning and organizing events. He is an avid traveler and has been to his grandparents' hometowns and seen many concentration camps across Europe. David earned a B.S. in Information Systems from Lehigh University and works full time as the IT director of a hedge fund in Manhattan.
Daniel Brooks, Vice President
Daniel Brooks is the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors and the founder of 3GNY. He started this group because he was seeking a forum where he could explore his grandparents' legacy and meet others with similar family backgrounds. Daniel has a B.S. in communications from Boston University. He is a certified Holocaust educator, and volunteers as a gallery educator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. Daniel is also active in Israel education and advocacy. He is an HR professional at a law firm in Manhattan and lives in Astoria, New York.
Brooke Alexander Yakin, Marketing / Communications
Brooke is the grandchild and grandniece of four Holocaust survivors, Judy and Ben-Zion Gulkowich, Frances and Murray Berger and fondly recalls summers in Catskill bungalow colonies and Seders in Brooklyn. She’s deeply passionate about projects that create connection, compassion and enhance community by combining empathy and education. As a writer, she explores these topics and enjoys bringing them to life in the classroom, engaging students by volunteer teaching in the New York City Public Schools through 3GNY's WEDU program. Brooke has over fifteen years experience in tech, media and entertainment ranging from creative development to financial transactions. She founded a boutique consulting practice that provides creative and strategic services to early stage companies, ranging from business ideation to execution. Brooke earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Applied Economics and Management with a minor in Communications from Cornell University. Brooke also serves on the Young Friends Board of the Museum for Jewish Heritage.
Farah Kraus, Finance
Farah is the grandchild of two Holocaust Survivors, Eva and Harry Kostre. She initially become involved with 3GNY in 2010 to participate in the WEDU program. She is continually amazed at the insightful and thoughtful responses from the students she speaks to. Farah majored in Finance and Business Economics at Indiana University. She currently works in her family accounting practice and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Michelle Bernstein, Events
Michelle Bernstein is the granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, Eva Holub Glaser and Herbert Glaser. Her grandparents survived Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, among other camps. Michelle feels fortunate she was able to travel to her grandparents' birthplace - Prague, Czechoslovakia - with her family and grandmother, at which time they visited Theresienstadt. From an early age, Michelle felt the great importance of carrying on her family’s legacy, which led her to become involved in her high school's yearly Holocaust Remembrance Assembly. She was very proud to have her Abuela be one of the guest speakers at one of the annual assemblies. In 2008, following a six-week course about the Holocaust, Michelle traveled to Poland and Prague with the JEC, which included visits to Auschwitz and Majdanek. Michelle graduated with a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA in Real Estate and Finance from the University of Miami. Today she owns a general contracting company, Miter Construction, which focuses on interior renovation of commercial spaces. Michelle is extremely passionate about Holocaust education and making sure that the stories are kept alive and passed on to future generations.
Joshua Hackel, Strategic Partnerships
Josh has been an active member of 3GNY since 2009 and has played an integral role in the organization's strategic growth, fundraising, and educational initiatives. The grandson of two Holocaust survivors, Josh is personally connected and deeply committed to Holocaust remembrance and education. Josh fondly recalls spending summers as a child with his grandparents at their Catskills bungalow colony among a tight knit community of Holocaust survivors. He muses that only later in life did he realize how profoundly these experiences shaped his sense of identity which became the foundation of his efforts to always remember and to teach lessons of tolerance. Josh has toured concentration and labor camps with survivors and joined a pilgrimage to Poland to restore and rededicate a Jewish cemetery in the shtetl where his grandfather was born. Currently, he and his family oversee a scholarship program at the local high school that is dedicated to remembering Jewish life before the war. Josh and his wife Alana live in Manhattan with their two daughters Audrey and Bella.
Shannon Saks, Fundraising
Shannon is the granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, Mania and Samuel Saks. Growing up, Shannon was highly involved in Yom Hashoah Commemoration Programs in her hometown of Staten Island, New York. Shannon and her father previously traveled throughout Poland to visit her grandparents' hometowns of Sosnowiec and Bendin, as well as concentration/extermination camps Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and Treblinka. Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in interdisciplinary studies (Communications, Legal Institutions, Economist and Government) from American University, in Washington, D.C., and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Brooklyn Law School. She is a senior litigation associate at a Manhattan defense firm and presently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog Roxy.
Alexis Fishman, Education
Alexis is the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, Paul and Elizabeth Fischman and Irene and Elemer Berger. Born and bred in Sydney, Australia, she has lived in New York since 2008. She holds a M.A. in International Relations with a focus on Holocaust and genocide studies. Alexis is an actor and singer and was nominated for a Helpmann Award (Australian Tony Award equivalent). She has also performed for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and performs a one woman show about a Jewish cabaret star set in Berlin 1933. Passionate about Holocaust legacy and education, Alexis is thrilled to be involved with 3GNY and is proud of its impact.
Laurie Klugman, Education
Laurie is the maternal granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, Marek and Regina Stanek, and has a close extended family of survivors. The impact of their experiences and legacy of loss, survival, and rebuilding greatly influenced Laurie throughout her life, and later led her to seek out the 3GNY community. Compelled to help keep our individual family stories alive, further holocaust education and remembrance, and inspire more tolerance and compassion in the world, Laurie has been a WEDU speaker in NYC public schools since 2011. She is proud to now take on a leadership role to further the reach and impact of this educational initiative. Laurie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Cultural History and English, and a Minor in Film; and has completed a certificate program in Personal Leadership from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. A long-time New Yorker, Laurie is a Sr. Vice President and Licensed Real Estate Broker at a large NY real estate firm. She also has a diverse professional background working in film, television, and magazines; and regularly does freelance work in innovation/creative consulting and film production. Laurie isa life-long learner, explorer and traveler, and has always been an active volunteer in her community.
Founding Board Members
Julie Cohen, Leora Klein, David Polen, Rachel Spring, Gayle Steinweis