YAD Ambassadors: Living Jewish, Giving Jewish & Leading Jewish

Nov 2, 2021

The Young Adult Department (YAD) builds an inclusive and connected community of young Jewish Coloradans (aged 21-45) through fun, relevant, and meaningful volunteer, social, educational, and philanthropic activities.

Introducing… your 2021-2022 YAD Ambassadors! Our ambassadors cover a broad spectrum of demographics, from new(ish) college graduates to young singles to couples and parents and all sorts of other identities, and they’re planning some super fun, super timely, and—of course—super safe activities just for you.

Hadassah Ayly graduated from college in 2017 and has been a Colorado resident for the last 16 years. Her knowledge of the community here in Denver stems from a career in the hospitality industry. When she’s not helping visitors and newcomers to the Rocky Mountain region feel welcome, you’ll find Hadassah hiking, exploring the vibrant local restaurant scene, and spending time with family and friends.

Madeline Booth is Denver native and a speech and language pathologist working in three Denver Public Schools. She lives for chai lattes and crisp fall mornings and loves watching professional tennis and thinking about the logistics of an infinite universe. Madeline can’t wait to connect with other young Jewish adults.

Adam Laarsen has been living in Colorado since 1992 and continues to love everything this state and the Jewish community has to offer. A CPA since 2013, he has been practicing accounting since 2008 and recently started his own firm. Adam loves live music (anything loud and fast), reading (mainly science fiction and economics), golfing (badly), and other more off-the-beaten-path activities. He’s been in leadership roles with JEWISHcolorado for several years and is looking forward to his All-Star Ambassador term: “Bringing people together in the community has never been more important.”

Nir Nagar was born and raised on a moshav not far from Tel Aviv. He moved to Boulder in 2008 and now lives in Denver, where he heads up information technology for a business travel company. Nir is the oldest of four siblings, and he has more than 75 cousins, so you know he can organize. He loves history and vintage collectibles and toys, and when he’s not attending the theater, you’ll find him hiking, skiing, or building stuff with his own two hands. 

Jackie Rutman and Eric Drucker are Colorado natives who recently got engaged and plan to marry soon. Jackie has been a teacher for nearly a decade. She received her Master’s degree in in early childhood special education (ECSE) and early childhood education (ECE) and is currently working in early intervention. A dancer and a singer, Jackie is a self-described performing arts nerd who loves travel, food, and Disneyland. Eric lived in California for 10 years before moving back to Denver. A local real estate agent, he loves sports and is a Nuggets and Avalanche fan, a beer connoisseur, and a music lover.

Michael Sheldon is originally from South Florida, but he always knew he wanted to live near the mountains. He moved to Denver four years ago and hasn’t regretted it for a minute. Michael loves snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and exploring the Great State of Colorado. He’s super excited to be a YAD Ambassador and is looking forward to creating events that foster lasting relationships and connect young Jewish adults in Colorado.

Chrissy Shkolnik is originally from the Orlando, Florida, area but has called Denver home for the past 16 years. As someone who’s always loved children and all things child-related, her work as a nanny means she has the perfect job. Chrissy has a 3-year-old son, Ezra, who is a fun, silly, adventurous little guy. In her spare time, Chrissy enjoys hiking new trails, catching an Avalanche game, and spending time with friends and family.

Rachel Silvestain is originally from Denver. She returned to her native city after several years in Chicago, and she loves everything Denver life has to offer: movies and concerts in the park, hiking, walking in Wash Park, and eating out. Rachel is an accountant at Xcel Energy and a longtime volunteer for local and international Jewish organizations. She’s looking forward to resuming her in-person life and to new adventures, both with and without Twix, her cat.

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