Alona is an idealist and cancer “thriver” who is passionate about creating meaningful change in the world. A Los Angeles native, she started her career as a litigator at an AM100 law firm. During this time, she served on the boards of several local organizations and fell in love with the non-profit world. Just as she was considering a career change, Alona was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28. While she was in treatment, she started a blog with over 10,000 views, spoke at numerous events, and began fundraising for cancer support organizations. After being given a clean bill of health, she took a trip and ended up in Israel and in late 2013, she officially quit her job as a lawyer and moved to Tel Aviv. Alona served as the Director of Resource Development at Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center, which files lawsuits on behalf of terror victims. She then became Vice President of a social impact startup called CauseMatch, which is a digital fundraising platform for non-profits, where she spent a year and a half building the company from the ground up. In October 2017, she founded Thrivacious, whose mission is to create a community and supportive programming for women touched by cancer in Israel. Alona received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Founder, Chair of Board & Fundraising
Kathy has been a board-certified oncology Physician Assistant for the past 37 years with degrees from Cornell University in Microbiology and from Emory University in Medical Science. In addition to her clinical practice, Kathy has extensive experience organizing and facilitating support groups, patient workshops and staff educational seminars. Kathy made aliyah with her family in 2002 from Atlanta, Georgia. Personally, she has been the caregiver of her son, Benjamin, for the past 33 years who has been dealing with central nervous system tumors and disabilities resulting from his disease, surgery and radiation.
Daniella has been a part of the Thrivacious family since inception. An accomplished, two-time Breast Cancer survivor, she made Aliyah from South Africa with her Israeli husband and three beautiful daughters in July 2009. Currently self employed in the field of medical massage therapy and reflexology, Daniella supports the Thrivacious group through the peer connection program and is the Thrivacious facilitator and outreach coordinator in the city of Modiin , arranging workshops and events for those touched by cancer and their caregivers.
Retreat Coordinator & Chair of Modiin Programming
Prior to coming on Aliyah in 2015, Leah retired from serving as a controller for various non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area including the Association of Science Technology Centers, E-Health Initiative and Youth for Understanding. Leah's expertise includes finance and budgeting as well as non-profit governance.
During her career, Leah volunteered for Jewish community organizations in Boston and Sharon Massachusetts, Dallas, Texas and Silver Spring, Maryland. She served on finance committees for Maayan (Boston MA), where she was a member of the founding board, Providence Hebrew Day School, Sharon Mikvah Association (founding member and President), Akiva Academy (Dallas, Texas), and Mesorah High School (Dallas, Texas). While in Silver Spring, Leah was a board member of Tikkun Olam Women's Foundation of Greater Washington.
Leah is an ovarian cancer survivor currently experiencing No Active Disease and is excited to join the board of Thrivacious.
Chair of Finance
With a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Public Administration; Rachel has been both a secondary school teacher (social sciences) and worked in the field of climate change. Prior to making aliyah to Israel, Rachel lived in Paris and worked on renewable energy projects in developing countries for the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency. She also founded and ran a charity that created a community of support for friends and families of cancer patients, whilst raising funds for cancer research through event programming. Rachel has been a caregiver to both her mother and father and has faced the loss of her entire immediate family to different cancers; aside from her mother who has been fighting for 9 years now.
Co Chair of Community Engagement
RACHEL MARIE HODAS
Leanne is a trained midwife, marketing professional, voice-over artist, poet/performer, patient advocate, and author. Leanne published her first book this year, called I'm a Previvor – My Secret Legacy, a BRCA+ Memoir aimed at raising awareness and offering inspiration and support for Previvors around the world, which is currently available on Amazon. She has been a guest speaker for a range of events in London, Manchester, New York and Israel. Leanne moved to Israel in 2008 and is a single mum to three high energy boys. The "secret legacy" referred to in the title of her memoir relates both to her genetic destiny and to her mother who lost her battle with breast cancer at age 48. Her mother's inner strength and compassion inspired her to continue to reach out and offer words of comfort alongside "Love & Laughter" to patients and their families.
Chair of Special Projects
Micol made Aliyah from London in 2009 and has since then called Tel Aviv home. Micol joined the Thrivacious community after her surgery for thyroid cancer; she participated in an art therapy workshop series, which not only came at just the right time, but also, reignited her artistic sparks - and has been painting ever since! With a background in events management and non-profits (and a love of Excel spreadsheets!), Micol is supporting Thrivacious through programming a variety of workshops and events for women touched by cancer throughout Israel and to raise awareness.
Chair of Programming
Zo began working for the ice cream man when she was nine years old, and has since continued exploring various ways to deliver happiness. After graduating Monmouth University with a degree in business, Zo kicked off her journey in her hometown of Atlantic City, and decided that she preferred the Mediterranean cuisine over midnight buffets. She moved to Tel Aviv in 2010, and has worked in the Digital World of Marketing ever since, specializing in Community Building, Event Production, Experience Design, and Creative Strategy.
In 2014, she founded School of Shine, a women’s wellness community, based on her own need for creative expression, deep conversation and mindful connection. Zo has since facilitated and supported hundreds of wellness workshops, women's circles, expert panels, retreats and other powerful community learning experiences. School of Shine hosted the first English speaking breast cancer awareness events in Tel Aviv, and has supported Thrivacious since day one. School of Shine has empowered thousands to develop and renew their inner strength and belief systems in order to lead their own purposeful lives.
Director of Marketing
Prof Nathan I. Cherny, MD, was born and brought up in Melbourne, Australia. He studied medicine at Monash University Medical School where he graduated in 1983 with high distinction. He then completed his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians attaining specialist recognition in both Oncology and Palliative Medicine. In 1994 he completed a fellowship in Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York and then joined with Prof. Raphael Catane to establish the Oncology and Palliative Medicine Unit at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. He continues to head the Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Service and in addition, maintains an active practice in general oncology. Since 1997 Prof. Cherny has served on the research steering committee of the European Association of Palliative Care.