Stroum Center Staff

Aliyah Vinkoor smiling against backdrop

Aliyah Vinikoor, Associate Director

Aliyah joined the Stroum Center in 2024, coming from the UW School of Social Work, where she served as assistant director of the Master of Social Work program for seven years.

She previously worked as a mental health counselor at Jewish Family Services Seattle, a program manager for student activities at UW Bothell and an associate dean of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Also in New York, she worked as director of emergency housing at a center for LGBTQ+ homeless youth and program director of a school-based program serving trauma survivors.

Aliyah holds a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College and a bachelor’s degree in history from Barnard College. She grew up in Seattle deeply rooted in the city’s Jewish communities, and her family has contributed to the Stroum Center’s Sephardic archives. She looks forward to working with Stroum Center students, faculty, staff and community supporters – and fostering deep connections between them.

Email address: aliyahv @ uw dot edu

Grace Dy smiling, outdoorsGrace Elizabeth Dy, Event & Outreach Manager

Grace Elizabeth Dy is excited to return to the Stroum Center as the Event and Outreach Coordinator, after completing a B.A. in comparative religion with a minor in Jewish studies and B.S. in biology with a minor in education at the University of Washington. Their other work focuses on equitable teaching practices, culturally responsive mental health, LGBTQ+ Jewish language, and the intersection of science and religion. In their free time, Grace Elizabeth likes reading autobiographies, baking, traveling, and learning new languages.

Email address: dyg @ uw dot edu

Portrait of Jenny McCullumJennifer McCullum, Sephardic Studies Assistant Director

Jennifer McCullum joined the Stroum Center as the Assistant Director of Sephardic Studies in 2022, after having served on the center’s Advisory Board since 2018. Jennifer works closely with program chair and Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies, Devin Naar, to advance the mission of the Sephardic Studies Program through global community engagement and events, as well as to support the continued development of the Sephardic Studies Digital Collection, one of the largest online open-access repositories of Ladino books and Sephardic artifacts in the world.

A Folio ‘Eddie’ award-winning journalist, Jennifer comes to the Stroum Center with a background in editorial and communications, most recently holding positions with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GRAY magazine and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Jennifer received a B.A. in English with a dual concentration in literature & psychology and Hispanic studies from Trinity College. Her passion for Sephardic culture and education stems from her family’s matrilineal roots in Salonica, Greece, and she was recently granted Spanish citizenship per the 2015 restorative legislation for Sephardim whose ancestors were expelled during the Inquisition.

Email address: jemccull @ uw dot edu

Kara SchoonmakerKara Schoonmaker, Web & Digital Projects Manager

At the Stroum Center, Kara Schoonmaker enjoys editing and formatting all kinds of writing, designing new features for the website, and honing her skills in videography and video-editing. When not working for Jewish Studies, she teaches English, writing, math and technology skills at Seattle-area community colleges. In her free time — when she has it — Kara reads voraciously, works on film and other storytelling-related projects, and tries to improve her speaking and writing skills in the Thai language. She holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies in the humanities from the University of Chicago and master’s degree in education from the University of Washington.

Email address: kschoon @ uw dot edu