Jamie Kaye, President, Media Relations
Jamie Kaye is a single parent of two talented teenagers who are thriving in their Long Island high-school. Born in Israel as one of 13 children, Jamie’s family emigrated to the United Kingdom when she was 8. At 16, she graduated from Yesodei Hatorah High-School for Girls in London, and entered Gateshead Seminary for continued strict religious studies. Her forced and arranged religious marriage ended in divorce, offering Jamie a new lease on life, liberty, and pursuit of her passions. Despite being a recurring cancer survivor, Jamie started going to college as a single parent to study human services and psychology. A volunteer peer mentor at an LGBTQA+ center, Jamie is actively fostering financial aptitude in teens and young adults during their challenging life transitions. In her home life, Jamie does not take for granted that her children are exposed, and have access, to amazing opportunities. Jamie adores watching her daughter sing and perform with confidence on various musical instruments. Her son is training to prepare for a career in the tech industry and has his own business customizing computers for his personal and corporate clients. Jamie is now a real estate sales agent licensed in New York and cherishes the time she spends with family and friends.
Henny Kupferstein, Executive Director, Intake Coordinator
Henny Kupferstein is a doctoral student with a specialization on autism research. Henny was excommunicated from her chassidic Brooklyn home and alienated from her children when she wanted to get a GED. Her story was told in an interview with NPR. When she was a graduate student working on her master’s degree in Transformative Leadership, Henny was inspired to co-found Onkelos with others who have chosen a path of education and empowerment to circumvent their former community’s scare tactics. Henny’s activism has led to the Autism Action 2016 proposal resulting in the Autism Action NY legislative package to be introduced to the New York State Assembly: ACCES-VR (A.5141) communication support; Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board (A.8635); Autism Home Loan Program (A.8696); A Communication & Technology Bill of Rights (A.8708); Autism I.D. Card (A.8389). In her spare time, Henny presents on the subjects of music, perfect pitch, autism, and sensory integration.
Joel Zinger, Treasurer, Transition Counselor
Joel Zinger was born in Antwerp, Belgium to parents who lost immediate family in the holocaust. Joel had a Hassidic upbringing and was named after the late Satmar leader Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum. Joel has very strong contradictory feelings about his namesake’s ideas of rebuilding the shtetl life in America. At 15, Joel arrived in New York as a rebellious teenager in need of strict chaperoning by the Chassidic community in Boro Park, Brooklyn. After a painful divorce from his forced marriage, Joel searched for happiness and meaning in his life. He pursued a GED and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Business Administration from Kingsborough Community College when he was 26. At the age of 32, he joined the U.S. Army, where he finally found validation and self acceptance. He completed basic airborne school in February 2013 and became a parachute rigger that Spring. While on active duty in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Joel also filled in as the Jewish community lay leader for the chaplain who was deployed at that time. Joel was then accepted to the prestigious Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California to be trained in Iraqi Arabic for military intelligence. In Monterey, Joel also volunteered to practice Hebrew conversation skills with the students in the Hebrew language program. A veteran since June 2016, Joel has since earned his New York State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license, and is applying to nursing school. Today, Joel is a proud father of two boys and lives with his family in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.