I was born on the 12th of October, 1990 in Los Angeles, into a mixed Ashkenazi, Okinawan, and Anglo family. On the Hebrew calendar, my birhday was in the year 5751 on the 23rd day of תשרי Tishrei. This is the holiday of שמחת תורה Simchat Torah — a happy celebration where the annual cycle of תורה Torah readings is completed and restarts. Like that day, my life has centered around community, ethics, and new beginnings.
As a child, I started college in 1998 when I was still seven years old. Struggling to find an appropriate placement for me, I spent several years between the K-12 system and the community college system, until I graduated high school in 2001 at age ten. Several years later, I enrolled at UCLA in Winter 2004 and settled on Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) as my major.
Facing financial hardship, I experienced great difficulties as a teenager. Finding money to enroll in school was a challenge, and I was forced to drop out for several years. At several points, I experienced homelessness and housing instability, and gained lifelong lessons about institutional challenges facing marginalized people. I was eventually able to succeed in spite of the great toll of these setbacks.
Thankfully, as a young adult I was able to return to university. Piecing together my tuition each quarter was difficult. Several quarters, I had to enroll at commmunity college, and take one university course at a time as a non-student with a community college discount. Eventually, I graduated with my major in MIMG, but had also added on a minor in Near East Languages and Cultures.
Upon graduating, I moved to the Kurdistan Region, a decision I wrote about in a post. When I first settled in the Kurdistan Region, I worked for a school as a teacher. At the end of the school year, I went to work for YouGov.
At YouGov, I worked in strategic communications. Initialy, I was directly involved in campaigns management, but I transitioned to social media analytics and built bespoke software that handled millions of data points for clients.
Over time, I was able to buy an apartment and become an active member in the community. Through this, I became involved in heritage issues, and in 2019 became a consultant for ARCH on its renovation of the Shrine of the Prophet Nahum. In 2020, I became a consultant for the National Association of Jews from Kurdistan in Israel. That same year, I incorporated Foundation of Ours to organize my museological and spiritual efforts.
In 2020, amid the COVID pandemic, I survived an attempt on my life by antisemites in the Kurdistan Region. This traumatic event changed every detail of my life. Thankfully, I have been able to continue focusing on what I love, and shine a light on antisemitism. Currently, I am finishing my master's degree at Pennsylvania State University in Applied Demography.