Alyah Al-Azem, 28, graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in sociology with a specialization in peace and justice. During her time at MSU, Hillel became a home away from home; a place to study and have Shabbat. Shortly after graduation, she spent two years as a Repair the World fellow, then team leader, igniting a passion of working with Jewish youth. From there, she became the teen engagement director at Temple Shir Shalom, creating a place to help teens discover their own Jewish identity, inspiring them to continue their journey once they go off to college.
She has spent the last four years on the Bucket List for The Well, driven by her love for the community the organization has built. The idea of celebrating Judaism, specifically the holidays, in a way relevant to our lives today, is what keeps her coming back. After spending her summers at Tamarack, Alyah recently joined Tamarack’s Youth Advisory Board and is a Moishe House Without Walls host.
Alyah was born and raised in Metro Detroit. Thanks to her late mother, Irene Al-Azem, she was immersed in the Jewish community from the beginning. “Without her, I wouldn’t have the incredible sense of community I do today,” she said. “I continue to live everyday with her in mind. I know how proud she would be.”