Meet the Honorees

Navigate below to meet each of our 2020 Head of School Circle Honorees
Alina (Rekhtman) Kogan '01

Alina (Rekhtman) Kogan '01 applies business skills to advance social impact causes, particularly in education and international development. Alina started her career launching schools in Afghanistan and Mexico, and working with street children in Brazil. She consulted for international organizations and invested in innovative solutions for renewable energy and financial inclusion. Until recently, Alina was helping to expand quality and access to education by negotiating strategic partnerships for Pearson, a global learning company. She holds an MBA from Columbia and a public policy degree from Princeton, and is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Alina’s family immigrated to the US from Russia just a week before Alina started 9th grade at CESJDS. Her experience at CESJDS has taught her to dream big and to persevere in the face of changes and challenges. CESJDS instilled in her a belief that education is at the root of opportunities and inspired Alina’s career of helping those who are less fortunate gain access to opportunities.

Alina lives in Hoboken, NJ with her husband Joe, her two children, Benji (age 6) and Emily 
(age 3), and a Golden Retriever. In the midst of the pandemic, she looks forward to spending the next few months homeschooling her kids while taking them on sailing, skiing, and other adventures.


Daniel Lieber '04

Daniel Lieber ‘04 is a computational biologist who seeks to understand the genomic causes of human disease in order to identify potential treatments. He is currently Principal Scientist, Computational Biology at Foundation Medicine in Cambridge, MA. His work has focused on genomic profiling of tumors and diagnosing rare diseases. He holds a PhD in Systems Biology from Harvard University and a BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

Danny has three younger siblings who attended CESJDS, and is grateful to the School for instilling in him a thirst for knowledge and a belief that through hard work, we can discover something meaningful. He is appreciative of his Jewish education and the deep and lasting friendships from his time at the school.

At CESJDS, Danny was active in student government, the A cappella group Shir Madness, and the varsity soccer team. Danny’s wife, Rachel, works in health care communications. They have two children, Noah (age 4) and Ethan (age 1), and live in Needham, MA.


Avi Rubel '90

Avi Rubel ‘90 is the Co-CEO of Honeymoon Israel, an organization whose vision is that every committed couple with at least one Jewish partner will possess the basic knowledge, inspiration, support system, and sense of belonging to build a family with meaningful connections to Jewish life and the Jewish people, thereby enhancing and strengthening the Jewish community. Honeymoon Israel provides immersive trips to Israel for locally based cohorts of couples that have at least one Jewish partner. Since its inception in 2015, Honeymoon Israel has brought more than 2,000 couples to Israel and has a waiting list of thousands of couples.

Before co-founding Honeymoon Israel, Avi served as the founding North American Director of Masa Israel Journey for seven years, bringing more than 10,000 North Americans to Israel annually. Avi spent more than a decade working on Jewish community development in the former Soviet Union with Hillel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 

After college, Avi served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer for two years in rural Kyrgyzstan. Avi earned a BA from Binghamton University and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Avi lives in Tel Aviv and spends as much time as possible hiking and exploring the land of Israel.