Baila Agishtein

Grant Writer

Baila is a talented grant writer who brings a fresh perspective as well as experience in higher education, where she worked as a program director. Her background in education and understanding of youth needs has greatly enriched the proposals she has worked on. Baila has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, and is currently working on her master’s degree in business administration.

Shoshana Agishtein

Grant Writer | Researcher

Shoshana is a gifted writer with extensive experience researching, writing and editing in a wide range of formats and creative venues. She has received multiple writing awards, including National Russian Essay Contest Winner and Certificate of Mention, Columbia Scholastic Competition. Susan is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature at Touro College and is proficient in Russian and Hebrew.

Reuven Feiner

Office Support

Reuven Feiner provides administrative and technical support to UCN’s operation.

Sarala Greenberg

Special Projects | Grant Writer

Sarala’s intuitive understanding of client needs, RFP’s and grant writing makes her a valued addition to the UCN team. Proficient in research and multiple software programs, Sarala combines a strong work ethic with creativity in order to create successful proposals. With a BS in Behavioral Sciences, Sarala looks forward to pursuing a degree in law.

Malky Leifer

Fiscal Support

For the last two decades,  Malky Leifer has provided expert fiscal support to UCN’s operation, allowing UCN staff to engage in their core mission of expanding the financial resources of their clients.

Shira Prince

Grant Writer | Editor

An attorney by training, Shira brings a strong attention to detail, an ability to parse documents with precision and honed writing skills to UCN. Her core legal skills include planning, drafting, negotiating and writing – all of which benefit UCN clients. Before joining UCN, Shira practiced as an associate in the areas of Trusts and Estates and Real Estate at large New York City law firms.

Estee Botnick

Executive Senior Grant Writer

Estee is a master grant writer with expertise in program development, budgeting and reporting. At UCN since 2003, Estee Botnick has written and coordinated many successful grant applications, securing millions of dollars in federal, state, city and foundation funding for nonprofits. Her ability to interpret RFPs and regulations is superb, as is her understanding of program design, funding strategies, timetables and budgets.

Aura Schiff

Director of Research | Senior Grant Writer

As UCN’s resident researcher, as well as a gifted grant writer and editor, Aura has an intuitive understanding of what is required for a winning proposal. Aura enjoys researching opportunities for clients, and strategically designing proposals that will further the client’s mission. Prior to UCN, Aura served as an administrator for the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and worked as a computer programmer. Aura holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Queens College and pursued her interest in Near East Sudies as a doctoral student at Brandeis University.

Debby Smith

Senior Grant Writer | Lead Editor

Debby brings many years of program design and proposal writing experience to UCN. For 33 years she served as the grant writer for the Board of Jewish Education, a major UJA-Federation of New York agency, where she helped secure funding for important education initiatives. A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, Debby has a master’s degree in community organization social work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, as well as a degree in coaching.

Tova Saks

Office Administrator | Graphic Designer

Tova brings a broad range of organizational, technical and creative skills to her work. Supporting an organization that routinely deals with strict deadlines and high-profile international clients and funders requires a keen understanding of timeliness, discretion and respect for confidentiality, as well as meticulous attention to detail. Tova’s leadership and organizational abilities, combined with her graciousness, are critical components of UCN’s success. Tova has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a certificate in graphic design.

Chaya Weinreb

Executive Assistant

Chaya’s research abilities, administrative know-how and organizational knowledge, together with her calm demeanor, make her a valued member of the UCN team. Chaya has an associate’s degree in business from Rockland Community College, as well as a teaching diploma from Machon Teacher’s Seminary.

Rivkie Feiner

Chief Executive Officer

Rivkie Feiner is a dynamic leader with a talent for identifying winning ideas and making them happen. Harnessing her intuitive grasp of people and programs, Rivkie has had a transformative impact on UCN and has helped clients secure hundreds of millions of dollars from government and private funding sources.

Coming to UCN in 1994, Rivkie’s superb mastery of multiple functions rapidly propelled her to vice president and chief financial officer, positions she held from 2001-2013. In 2010, she became a partner in UCN, and in 2013 was appointed CEO.

In addition to her duties at UCN, Rivkie has served as program director of the Overseas Aid Consortium, Agudath Israel of America, from 1998 to 2001; a Fellow in the Community Connections Program of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council in 2014-15; and a tireless advocate for children’s safety, health, financial literacy and quality education. A powerful motivational speaker and workshop presenter, Rivkie has been a panelist in forums on government and foundation funding at the annual President’s Conference of Torah Umesorah - National Society of Hebrew Day Schools, the USAID conference in Washington, D.C., Agudath Israel’s lay leader conclaves and the Jewish Women’s Entrepreneur conference.

Rivkie and UCN have been the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, including Honoree at the American Friends of Shaare Zedek Medical Center Women’s Division Luncheon; Avodas Hakodesh tribute from Yeshiva Darchei Noam; and the Tomche Shabbos of Rockland County Annual Dinner.

Ursula Lehmann


UCN Founder and President Ursula Lehmann grew a solo operation into an internationally recognized company that helps organizations worldwide access millions of dollars in aid. A brilliant visionary, she utilizes masterful strategic thinking and communication skills to help clients transform their dreams into tangible, fundable projects.

A magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of City College of New York, Ursula served as an associate professor and faculty advisor at Queensborough, Long Island University, LaGuardia, Rockland Community and Friends World Colleges. Ursula came to grant writing via her involvement in academia and community development. Success as Director of Development of the Rockland Community Development Council, combined with requests for representation by several prestigious organizations and compelling causes, prompted Ursula to become an independent consultant and to open her own grant-writing company.

With a passion for championing worthy causes, Ursula has designed and implemented numerous community improvement projects, and helped secure millions of dollars to create high-quality health, housing, education and community assistance programs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Among her achievements are writing grants to gain funding to support the nascent Jewish community in the former Soviet Union, and raising millions to help the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. A trailblazing community organizer and child advocate, Ursula was honored for her accomplishments on the Rockland County Youth Bureau, and was cited for her many contributions to the Rockland Consortium for the 21st Century.

Freelance Writers and
Graphic Artists

Freelance Professionals

UCN hires freelance professionals on an as needed basis.