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Following graduation from the University of Arizona in 2006, Drew made Aliyah with Garin Tzabar in the middle of the Second Lebanon War. She served in the Public Relations branch of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit and the Foreign Relations department of the Civil Administration. During her service, Drew was “adopted” by Congregation Bet Shalom in Minnesota, where her uncle was the Rabbi. This congregation sent care packages, friendship bracelets, and letters of encouragement put together by the young students in the religious school. These items, while modest, provided a tremendous amount of strength and support to her during her service.

Following her release, Drew obtained a MA in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University. Since then, she has worked in a variety of Israeli and American Jewish non-profits such as the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Jewish Community Relations Council in Dallas, Hillel at the University of California, Irvine and recently taught Hebrew to the 6-7th graders at Temple Beth El of San Pedro's Torah school. In her work, Drew recognized the need to adapt her “adoption” during her service into a program that would allow for every lone soldier to be adopted by his or her home community. She is excited to bring together her passion for Israel and experience in Jewish non-profit to lead M'ever LaYam.

Drew Alyeshmerni Leach, President & CEO


Akiva Resnikoff, Vice President & Chairman of the Board 

In 2009 in his mothers' kitchen, Akiva Resnikoff launched his functional cookie passion project, which would later become The Cookie Department. With a certificate in pastry arts, a background in sales and promotions within the functional beverage industry, a full-time business development role at an artisanal bread company, and a vision of bringing innovation and functionality to packaged baked goods, Resnikoff became a one man cookie band. In his spare time, he formulated recipes, baked, packaged, marketed and delivered cookies to local cafes and retail stores. Today, Resnikoff is no longer in the kitchen or behind the wheel of a delivery van, but has evolved into a skilled CEO with extensive consumer goods industry knowledge. Resnikoff now spends the bulk of his time expanding sales and distribution to B to B and D to C retail and food service. Staying true to his roots, he still loves to whip up new functional cookie recipes.

David Leibman, Treasurer

David Leibman finished his  service in the IDF in 2016. He served in the Elite 77th Platoon, Malchot Herman, which is part of the 7th Brigade. Afterwards, he went on to study at UCLA and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelors of Science in Economics. Afterwards, David went on to work in the Business Aviation industry, climbing the ranks to Director of the Accounting Department. 

While equally passionate to support Israel, David spends considerable time supporting a multitude of passion projects, some of which involved aiding and assisting lone soldier veterans after they complete their IDF service, flying aircraft, extensively traveling the world, and active involved in the Jewish community 


Michelle Fryer, Secretary

Michelle serves the Director of the Barak Raviv Foundation and Executive Assistant to its founder. The foundation is dedicated to assisting the less privileged both locally in Los Angeles and around the world. She has worked with several Jewish organizations in providing support with events, campaigns and other large projects including an ambulance donation to Israel. In the past, she served on the Board of The Sirens Society, a unified voice of proactive women and men who positively influence our world through business and philanthropy as well as the Board of Directors of Love Cures Cancer as the Vice President of Community Relations & Digital Management, which has raised money and awareness for Children's Hospital LA.     

Nitzan Harel, VP Communications

Nitzan moved to the US from Israel in 2007. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts in Graphic Design from California State University, Long Beach in 2013. In 2014, she began working at the Jewish Federation of Orange County, where she held the position of Creative Director, managing design and communications across all departments. She departed the Federation in 20 to start her own business, Beyond the Box. 

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