Meet our Staff
Rabbi Andrew H. Terkel, NFTY South Area Manager (TOR, SO, SAR, and STR)
Email Rabbi Terkel
Rabbi Andrew Terkel was born and raised in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and grew up active in his synagogue, NFTY-TOR, and URJ Greene Family Camp. His experiences with Jewish youth organizations inspired a lifelong love of Jewish communal work, songleading, and all things camp and NFTY related. Rabbi Terkel attended the University of Kansas for his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and International Studies, then worked as a traveling Jewish educator at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, MS before beginning his rabbinic studies at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem and Los Angeles. After being ordained in 2014 Andrew served as the first assistant rabbi at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) synagogue in Charleston, SC, it’s first assistant rabbi since its founding in 1749. There he focused on youth engagement, education, and NFTY, serving as NFTY-SAR’s Rabbinic Liason and on faculty at URJ Camp Coleman. In 2016 Rabbi Terkel moved to Dallas to serve as the Director of Year Round Programs at URJ Greene Family Camp, planning and running immersive Jewish experiences for all ages of youth, families, and adults, and enhancing the Jewish educational aspects of summer camp and year round events. In June 2020 NFTY reorganized and Rabbi Terkel became NFTY’s South Area Manager overseeing NFTY-TOR, NFTY-SO, NFTY-SAR, and NFTY-SAR from his home base in Dallas, Texas.
Rabbi Terkel is married to Hannah Rubin-Schlansky, a Jewish educator at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. They met during their HUC-JIR Year in Israel studies and now have two children, Avi and Micah, and a goldendoodle, Mollie.
Jessie Schwartzman, Atlanta Teen Engagement Coordinator
Jessie Schwartzman is an engagement professional excited to take on a brand-new combined position with JumpSpark and the URJ. She is a recent graduate of Florida State University’s school of communications and is excited to dive into the thriving Atlanta Jewish Community. Jessie worked at FSU Hillel as an Engagement Associate for the last 2 years and has spent 3 summers working at URJ Camp Coleman.
From camp to different youth organizations, Jessie’s true passion lies in learning the fascinating stories of today’s Jewish teens, and she’s very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the change that is youth engagement. In her Engagement Coordinator role, Jessie will be meeting with community members to learn new ways to engage Jewish teens. She is also launching a new URJ teen fellowship program funded by a Spark Grant that allows teens to learn important peer to peer engagement skills.