Greetings to everyone! I’m on board to help further our mission that stands for reconciliation and peace …
As the new US director for ARSP, I am looking forward to directing the volunteer program, working with our project partners, and building trusting relationships with the “American Friends of the ARSP.” Fortunately, I can build on strong bonds that my predecessors established; in particular, I am indebted to Mark McGuigan who has been an enormous asset for this position. He leaves behind close to five hundred volunteers whose lives he shaped, a strong organization, and even deeper friendships with our partners, friends, and supporters. Thank you, Mark! Your stance for justice, your endless patience with volunteers, and your bike fundraisers will be missed.
A bit about myself: I have lived in the US for the past twenty years. Originally, I am from Brasov (Romania) but I grew up near Stuttgart in Germany. In terms of education, I have a PhD in German studies from the University of Minnesota and taught German at different universities throughout the US. Early on, I have been interested in gender and social issues. I gained my volunteer experiences working for non-governmental organizations in Costa Rica and Perú that were highly invested in educating and empowering women and men from disenfranchised backgrounds and eliminating poverty.
Therefore, I understand myself as an educator, mentor, and bridge builder over the Atlantic but mostly as a lifelong learner. What really counts for me is not a “perfect” assignment but an understanding of it as a meaningful journey. My job is a process in which the experience of growth goes hand in hand with a deep commitment to working towards reconciliation. Moreover, I am a firm believer in ARSP’s mission to continue the close dialogue with Jewish organizations and to interact with complex, disturbing, and contradictory ideas that shape Jewish-German (memory) culture. Lastly, my inspiration comes from the dedicated work with our partner organizations who fight against racism, discrimination, and social exclusion. You move the world. You are the true heroes.