Alicia Post, aka The “Connector”

sizzler meBy Abigail Pickus

It’s not everyone who has a Facebook page dedicated to their powers as a connector.

But then again, Alicia Post is not everyone.

“I’m a self-proclaimed ‘Jewlebrity,” said the 36-year-old New Yorker with a laugh. After all, because of her prowess as a networker, connector and general helper of all Jews interested in doing good in the Jewish world, a friend set up a Facebook page in her honor called, “Six degrees of Alicia Post.”

“I am convinced that every Jew in the world, or at least NYC, can be connected within 6 degrees to the awesome amazing Alicia Post. She’s the Kevin Bacon of Jews!” writes Adam Broidy, her friend who started the group. “Please join the group if you are Jewish, or not Jewish, know Alicia, or don’t. Just join regardless!”

So far, the page boasts over 2,500 members who use the platform to share their projects, publicize their events and invite people to be part of their community.

“It’s a place for everyone to find their connection,” said Post.

Which is kind of what Post tries to do every day of her life.

“You can come to me for everything – from finding a job or a way to volunteer or get involved or even for a fun party on a Saturday night. This is what I love to do,” she said.

Professionally, Post is currently the Director of the Northeast Region for the Bnai Zion Foundation, a 100+-year-old New York based organization that supports humanitarian projects in Israel.

“We support so many wonderful projects,” said Post, including two that she particularly passionate about: a new protected underground emergency department at the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa and a variety of programs supporting at-risk youth at Ahava Village for Children & Youth in Kiryat Bialik.

Post happened upon this new career opportunity after volunteering at one of their events. Soon afterwards she found out that they were hiring. She applied and got the job.

It’s been a good fit.

“My passion is helping Jews connect to their Judaism and to their Zionism by supporting Israel,” she said.

Post was born and raised on Long Island.

“I didn’t grow up knowing very many Jews. People say, aren’t you from Long Island? but I went to public school and most of the Jewish people in my neighborhood went to day school,” she said.

While she didn’t grow up in an especially observant home, her parents were passionate Zionists and committed to the Jewish people.

“My first memory was going to Soviet Jewry rallies and fighting for the rights of the Jewish people and Israel,” she said, adding that is not a coincidence that she ended up working for the Jewish people.

At age 16, she went on a Poland-Israel trip through USY, the conservative youth group.

The nine days in Poland visiting death camps followed by the six weeks in Israel changed her life.

“I’ll never forget landing in Israel from Poland. I was so excited, I got off the plane and there were tears in my eyes, I was so emotional,” she said.

Post became a baalat teshuva, an observant Jew, which she said was a bit complicated because her father ran a non-kosher food business – although her family adjusted.

After graduating from Ithaca College, all Post knew was that she wanted to “make the world a better place.” She wasn’t necessarily thinking the Jewish world, but a family friend called her up and said that a position had opened up at a brand new organization called Birthright Israel.

“Suddenly, there was this spark of, ‘I can work in the Jewish world!’ Now it seems silly with so many Jewish communal professionals out there but for me, this was a new concept,” Post recalled.

She worked for Birthright for over seven years and loved it and later worked for the Jewish National Fund, Aish HaTorah, and for a short stint at the Avi Chai Foundation helping with social media.

All the while, Post kept up a hefty amount of volunteering for the community. She sat on the regional board of Hadassah, helped found her synagogue, Downtown MJE (Manhattan Jewish Experience) and ran a young leadership board for the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled.

She is also a member of the ROI Community, a network of young Jewish innovators from around the world. As an ROI Fellow in 2009, she represented Artists 4 Israel, which she co-founded, to empower artists to express their support for Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.

Personally, Post is what she calls “happily single.”

“I’m open to meeting someone but I’m not looking,” she said.

What she is committed to is living a life of Jewish values.

“To me there is nothing better than helping others find their Jewish connection. Using social media has enabled me to bring many people to great causes,” she said.