All Team Members

Emma Ullman-Kissel

Emma was born and raised in NYC by two moms. At 18, she escaped her urban bubble for Lewiston, Maine where she attended Bates College and double majored in politics and anthropology. Her degree and thesis in anthropology trained her in ethical research, ethnography, and cultural sensitivity, conducting her own fieldwork across Israel and the U.S. with ultra-Orthodox women. The Covid-19 pandemic came the March of her senior year of college, and she decided to take a risk, picking up and moving to Tel Aviv in August of 2020. She worked at a museum as a tour guide, volunteered as a gardener on a kibbutz, and finally got a Masters degree in Global Migrating from Tel Aviv University. This past fall she found herself back in New York City, and back at the school she attended for thirteen years, but now as a coach and associate teacher.

Where did you grow up?
New York City

Where do you call home now?
New York City

Year started at Global Works?
2023, but I went on a GW trip as a student in 2014 to New Zealand and Fiji

What’s your favorite part about leading trips?
Really getting to connect with all sorts of people by sharing special moments.

What’s something you can’t live without while you are traveling?
Pen and paper

Tell us about a favorite memory from a trip you have taken

A morning spent hiking an hour outside of Jerusalem. We walked through green mountains for an hour, and past herds of all sorts of animals eventually arriving at a crystal clear river that cuts through sheets of rock. We swam, made Turkish coffee and dried off in the sun, turning around in time for a proper lunch.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?
Fire Island, New York

Fun fact, special talent, or favorite memory
I can ride a bike with no hands. I was a pitcher in high school and college but I tore my ACL twice.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Read, write, swim, listen to podcasts and increasingly leaning into yoga

What languages do you speak?
English, and I am conversational in Hebrew

If you had to give one piece of advice or words of encouragement to someone on their first travel experience, what would it be?
Give yourself the opportunity to grow! Fear of the unknown often holds us back from taking chances, but if we challenge ourselves in community the unknown is where some of the best experiences exist. Do it scared!

Tell us why you are excited for this year’s trip!
Ten-years-ago I went on a service trip to Costa Rica and to this day I feel that month continues to be one of the most memorable, meaningful, and enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had, and I have no doubt this trip will have a similar impact. That said, I am especially excited to be able to share this experience with others, to pass on the magic.