YLC Board

The Young Leadership Council

Board members

in alphabetical order:




Rebecca Brückner holds a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies and Theology and works currently as a Junior Pastor (Vikarin) in Gemarke-Wupperfeld in Barmen, Wuppertal, within the Church of the Rhineland, Germany.  She has worked as an educator in the various fields in the past and got involved with YLC in Berlin in 2009 and has passionately created YLC conferences and projects ever since. She believes in the power of interfaith dialogue to create compassionate partners in social advocacy, and aims to foster understanding and community between people from different religious backgrounds as a vital component in building peace and creating a stable environment - even while the earth is shaking.


Mirjam Blumenschein is currently studying Jewish Studies in Potsdam, Germany.  She holds a BA in Protestant Theology and Intercultural Linguistics.  During an internship at the German Council of Christians and Jews, she had her first experience of Christian-Jewish dialogue and has striven to be active in this ever since. Since 2015, she has been Chair of the youth organization of the German Council of Christians and Jews. Also in 2015, she participated in her first YLC and ICCJ conferences in Rome, and she has been involved with the YLC since. 


Claudia Clemente-Meium is a research assistant and ecumenical coordinator at the Irish School of Ecumenics of Trinity College, Dublin.  She earned an MPhil in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies from the same institute, which helped nourish her passion for aiding dialogue, understanding, and acceptance between diverse groups.  This drive was also influenced by the three years Claudia spent living and working with adults with intellectual disabilities, a time she found immensely rewarding and profoundly impacting.  Originally from Minnesota, she has lived in Ireland the past 8 years and currently resides in Dublin with her husband, José Luis. Claudia first attended a YLC conference in Manchester in 2012, and has been part of the core team since 2015, helping to organise and run the Rome, Philadelphia, and Köln conferences.


Güven Cöcü is 27 years old, from Bergisch Gladbach Germany, a small town next to Cologne.  He was born in Cologne, and his ancestors are from Turkey.  He has studied social studies and philosophy on his journey to become a teacher.  He is involved in politics through the organizations the "Christian Democratic Union" and the youth organisation of the CDU "Young Union."  He is also involved in different activities of interfaith dialogue, such as being part of a work group of the "Cologne Association for Christian-Jewish Cooperation."  One of his hobbies is soccer, so he is also a referee in soccer.


Ercan Kahraman, 23 years old, is currently studying Physics at the University in Siegen, Germany, where he has also worked for two years in the University Prayer Room.  Additionally, Ercan has worked for three years in the Federation of Alevi Students in Siegen.  For the past six months, he has been part of the Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit in Cologne.


Betsy Katzmann lives in Philadelphia, where she teaches Spanish at Friends' Central School. Growing up in a mixed Jewish-Christian family and creating an even more diverse interfaith family with her wife Rachel, she is passionate about translating her lived experiences at the crux of religious and cultural divides. Raised Presbyterian, she now attends Green Street Friends (Quaker) Meeting and Kol Tzedek Synagogue.  During college, Betsy served on the board of the Council of Ecumenical Student Christian Ministries, and then continued her diverse religious engagement in Dublin, Ireland, earning a MA in Intercultural Studies from Dublin City University.  These experiences support her work as a teacher, developing students into empathetic global citizens.  She first joined the YLC team for the 2016 conference in Philadelphia and has been a part of the core team since.


Rachel Katzmann holds an MPhil from the Irish School of Ecumenics. She finds the insights from her degree in Intercultural Theology & Interreligious Studies allow her to manage effective communities. She now works in the field of property management as the Director of Facilities and Operations with the Pennsylvania Ballet. She enjoys facilitating the beautiful work envisioned by inspiring artists. Passionate about and involved in the Reconstructionst Jewish community, she frequently leads services and serves on the Religious Life Committee at Kol Tzedek Synagogue.


Sarah Marks is a trained youth pastor with a passion for people, coffee, and a good story told well. Her background includes a mixture of different Christian traditions (Lutheran, Baptist, Charismatic & Anglican). In 2009, she moved from Germany to the UK in order to serve young people. With her BTh (Hons) in Mission, community cohesion is at the heart of her volunteering in interfaith and in serving her local Christian community.  Although she does not practice youth work full time any longer, her commitment to supporting the next generation of leaders is not stunted. Sarah currently works as a Digital Strategist for a small PR agency and studies Digital Marketing at a professional diploma level. Sarah’s journey with the YLC began in 2012 at the Manchester conference and has led her to serve as part of the core team for Rome, Philadelphia, and then Cologne this year. 


Mohammed Rabai is a Middle East development professional. He has several years of experience in political development in Jordan. Mohammed holds an MBA with a focus on the role of international organizations in development. He has worked with youth and political parties on topics of democracy, political participation, good governance, interfaith dialogue and tolerance. It has always been an aim of his to widen his interfaith horizon and to combat extremism through shared values. Mohammed moved to Germany a year ago and is currently learning German.

Brad Seligmann

Brad Seligmann is a chaplain-in-residence at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He recently completed his coursework for an MA in Interreligious Studies from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. Previously he has worked with both high school and college aged youth to facilitate interfaith dialogue working with different organizations in Ohio, Michigan, and California. He lives in Washington with his wife Sara Seligmann and their dog Bess.