60 Faces of NCSY

Often, a person has no idea of the impact he or she has made on someone else. 60 Faces of NCSY was created to change that. The people we feature every day were nominated by NCSY alumni and NCSYers to express gratitude to someone that inspired them.

Jon Ackerman

Associate Regional Director NY

Written and nominated by Miriam Moshkovski, NCSY Alumna


I have always been deeply passionate about Judaism and leading a Jewish lifestyle. It is important to me to play an active role in the Jewish community – as such, I had been chapter president and on regional council a number of years in high school. As an avid participator in NCSY, I lived for meeting new people who are passionate about Judaism and for the people who came looking to discover that passion with whom I could share my own enthusiasm for the beauty of Judaism.


Jon Ackerman had been a mentor for me in NCSY and a role model as someone who works for the greater good of the Jewish youth and future of Am Yisrael. As much as I am committed to being a proud Jew, I have had my days of questioning and doubt as does any average teenager. He was also the one who helped me see past those more confusing days at a critical point in my life.


Just as I was nearing the end of senior year, I found myself uncertain about what lies ahead and where I want to go. I had to make a decision about whether to go to seminary – to commit a whole year to torah learning and self discovery, or go straight to university. I remember one particular conversation on a shabbaton that year in which Jon helped me understand the importance of dedicating that year to my future. He helped me make a decision that became a remarkable turning point in my life.


That single decision of attending seminary which I made with Jon’s help and guidance led to a series of other events which have changed my life and brought me to where I am today. I am currently a Lieutenant in the Israel Defense Force working in the Education Corps to help young Israeli soldiers build a love and appreciation for the Land of Israel and a better understanding of its people by exploring our history – ancient and modern, traveling the land of israel, speaking of ethics and values, and volunteering around the country. It was Jon’s words to always think of a “5 year plan,” of where I want my life to go and what person I want to be 5 years from any given moment that stayed with me and rang loudly when I found myself face to face with real life decisions in that seminary year. It was Jon’s passion for Judaism and dedication to the Jewish youth that led me to a similar path of educating Israel’s youth in the Israel Defense Force.

I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today or the person that I am today without the values and experiences that I received in NCSY and from the people who were a part of that experience with me.