Rabbi David Adelson has been the spiritual leader of East End Temple in NYC since 2000. He has trained and served as a hospital chaplain and as a spiritual director, and participated in a rabbinic cohort of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He currently provides spiritual direction to rabbinic and cantorial students at Hebrew Union College. East End Temple is a member of Manhattan Together and Metro-IAF, and Rabbi Adelson is a leader in Just Congregations.
Rev. Kellie Anderson-Picallo is the Director of Media and Education at Auburn and the coordinator of the Auburn Media Training program. A former Emmy-Award winning producer for PBS and Discovery, Kellie is a Presbyterian minister and active teacher and preacher.
Ilana Berger is Co-Director of the New Bottom Line, a national alignment organizing to hold the big banks and Wall Street accountable to our communities, and to build an economy that works for ALL of us. Ilana has been organizing for over 15 years, beginning in 1996 with Californians for Justice, fighting the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209. She served as Lead Organizer with People Organized to Win Employment Rights in San Francisco, organizing families in welfare-to-work programs. From 2000-2010 Ilana was the co-founder and Executive Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, organizing low-income families in Brooklyn. She has consulted for local and national organizations including Caring Across Generations, National People’s Action, Teachers Unite, the North Star Fund, and Health GAP.
Heather Booth has been organizing for social justice and tikkun olam for forty years. She began this work in the civil rights and women’s movement and was the founding director of Midwest Academy, a leading training center for organizers. She has worked on electoral campaigns and was the Democratic National Committee’s Training Director. In 2000, she was the founding director of NAACP National Voter Fund that helped to increase African American turnout by nearly 2 million votes. She was the Acting Director of AMOS: A Jewish Social Justice Partnership, designed to move social justice to a more central role in the Jewish community. She was the lead consultant for the creation of the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In 2008, she was the Director of the AFL-CIO’s Campaign for Health Care Reform. In early 2009, she ran the campaign to pass the Obama Budget. She was Director of Americans for Financial Reform that organized to win the Dodd/Frank Bill to begin to hold Wall Street Accountable. She is now working with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to build a field operation on those issues. She has been a consultant working with such groups as MoveOn.org, Campaign for America’s Future, USAction and Center for Community Change. She is in Democracy Partners.
Amy B. Dean is a fellow of The Century Foundation and principal of ABD Ventures, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm that works to develop new and innovative organizing strategies for social change organizations. Dean is co-author, with David Reynolds, of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement (Cornell Press, 2010). Dean has worked for nearly two decades at the cross section of labor and community based organizations linking policy and research with action and advocacy. She is Co-Chair of the Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, board member of Temple Sholom of Chicago and a Wexner Heritage Alumna. She can be followed on twitter @amybdean.com, or she can be reached via www.amybdean.com.
Rebecca Ennen is the Communications and Development Manager at Jews United for Justice, where she works to make JUFJ’s campaigns clear and accessible to its 7000 leaders, volunteers, and supporters, and to expand the role and voice of Jews in key struggles in the Washington, D.C. region. As a professional facilitator (trained by Jewish Dialogue Group), she helps Jews engage with integrity in thorny conversations. Rebecca has taught and led programs on issues ranging from mixed heritage Jews to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Sri Lanka, worked in professional theater and community organizing in Philadelphia, studied classical Jewish text in New York, and moved to D.C. for love.
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein is the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Prior to that, she was the long-time Director of Hillel of San Diego. Lisa is a past group leader for the American Jewish World Service and as a Mandel Jerusalem Fellow, she developed a new approach for bringing together justice work and contemplative practice in a Jewish framework.
Janice Fine is Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University where she teaches and writes about low wage immigrant labor in the U.S., historical and contemporary debates regarding federal immigration policy, dilemmas of labor standards enforcement and innovative union and community organizing strategies. She is the author of Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream (2006) published by Cornell University Press and the Economic Policy Institute. Prior to becoming a professor at Rutgers, Fine worked as a community, labor, coalition and electoral organizer for more than twenty-five years. She is a long-time board member of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and JOIN for Justice.
Marjorie Fine is the director and principal consultant of The Linchpin Campaign (TLC) whose goal is to expand the resources available to community organizing and social change efforts in the United States and internationally through project development, capacity building, coaching and training. Marjorie has over twenty years of experience leading grantmaking institutions. She served for more than a decade (1993-2005) as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, a national faith-based social justice grantmaker. Prior to her tenure at the Veatch Program, she was Executive Director of the North Star Fund, a public foundation serving the New York City progressive community. Marjorie consults regularly with national organizing and funder collaboratives and is featured in many workshops and conferences on social justice philanthropy and fundraising. She serves on the board of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy She has also spearheaded major donor campaigns for her synagogue and delivered winning fundraising pitches for several organizations.
Annie Fox is a Community Organizer with over 5 years of experience in broad-based, faith-based and union organizing. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Annie also completed a fellowship at Adamah, the Jewish farming fellowship. During her JOIN fellowship she worked at UNITE HERE, Local 26. She is now the Community Organizer for the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) and Resident Organizer at the Moishe Kavod House in Brookline. An avid dancer, eater and political wonk, Annie is passionate about building caring communities that act on their values. Annie Fox hails from New York City, full of pride in her home town, the “Upper West Side.”
Lisa Gallatin has over 35 years of grassroots organizing experience. Following several years as a community organizer with ACORN and then Massachusetts Fair Share, she spent almost 20 years as a union organizer, eventually serving as Director of SEIU District 925 in Boston. She brought the same grassroots organizing model to her leadership at Boston Workmen’s Circle. Ms. Gallatin has also been “organizing through singing” for over 20 years. She founded the union women’s vocal ensemble On the Line and founded and currently directs the 100-member A Besere Velt (A Better World),Yiddish Community Chorus of the Workmen’s Circle.
Rachel Galper is an art educator and ordained Maggid (Jewish storyteller, inspirational speaker, and spiritual guide). She lives in Durham, North Carolina and works throughout the Triangle with people of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of secular and religious organizations offering art, story and movement workshops and sessions, storytelling performances, and divrei Torah. Her passion is to support people and groups experiencing transition and conflict to reclaim their sense of the sacred possibilities as they engage in work for social, economic, and racial justice social justice and personal recovery and healing through creative ritual, energy work, story, art, and movement.
Marshall Ganz grew up in Bakersfield, California, where his father was a Rabbi and his mother, a teacher. He entered Harvard College in the fall of 1960. He left a year before graduating to volunteer with the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project. He found a “calling” as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and, in the fall of 1965, joined Cesar Chavez in his effort to unionize California farm workers. During 16 years with the United Farm Workers he gained experience in union, political, and community organizing, became Director of Organizing, and was elected to the national executive board on which he served for 8 years. During the 1980s, he worked with grassroots groups to develop new organizing programs and designed innovative voter mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns. In 1991, in order to deepen his intellectual understanding of his work, he returned to Harvard College and, after a 28-year “leave of absence,” completed his undergraduate degree in history and government. He was awarded an MPA by the Kennedy School in 1993 and completed his PhD in sociology in 2000. As senior lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, he teaches, researches, and writes on leadership, organization, and strategy in social movements, civic associations, and politics. He has published in the American Journal of Sociology, American Political Science Review, American Prospect, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and elsewhere. His newest book, Why David Sometimes Wins: leadership, organization and strategy in the California farm worker movement was published in 2009, earning the Michael J. Harrington Book Award of the American Political Science Association. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in divinity by the Episcopal Divinity School in 2010.
Simon Greer became the President and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation in January 2012 after a distinguished seven-year tenure at Progressive Jewish Alliance and Jewish Funds for Justice (PJA & JFSJ), which is now Bend the Arc. During his time at PJA & JFSJ, Mr. Greer led the organization through a period of dramatic institutional growth, including three mergers, high profile campaigns, programmatic innovation and increased philanthropic impact. Under his leadership, PJA & JFSJ developed the largest domestic Jewish service learning program in the United States, started an array of cutting edge leadership training programs, forged successful funder collaboratives and moved millions of dollars in low-interest loans to help businesses and homeowners revive the Gulf Coast after Katrina. In 2011 Greer was named to the Forward 50, an annual list of the country’s most influential Jews, in part for the role he played in convincing Fox News to cancel Glenn Beck’s popular daily show. Mr. Greer’s attention to organizational culture, change management, and leadership development helped enable the organization’s growth and emergence as a strong advocate for a fair, just, and compassionate America.
Rebecca Herst is originally from the Chicago area. She is an alumna of the JOIN Fellowship and after her Fellowship year, worked as JOIN’s alumni organizer and recruitment and selection manager (among other roles). In her volunteer time, Rebecca was a leader with an innovative organizing campaign run by the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council, working with a small team to build young adult power in the Boston Jewish community. This group’s efforts helped win a campaign to divest over $251 million from Bank of America. She is currently the community organizer at Temple Israel in Boston. As part of her portfolio she coordinates The Riverway Project, the synagogue’s program for Jews in their 20s and 30s. In the fall Rebecca is going to business school, where she looks forward to continuing to think about strategic relationship building and network development.
Nancy Kaufman is the chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Kaufman has had a distinguished career as a public servant, advocate, and non-profit leader. Prior to joining NCJW, Kaufman served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Boston for twenty years, where she led the social justice, Israel advocacy, and governmental affairs agendas for Boston’s Jewish Federation and its agencies. She has also held a variety of positions related to health and human services delivery in state and local government and in the nonprofit sector, including being founding executive director of a community action agency and working for the Dukakis administration as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Social Policy, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, and deputy commissioner of the Welfare Department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Kaufman is a graduate of Brandeis University and received an MSW in community organization and social planning from the Boston College School of Social Work, as well as a mid-career Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is also a recipient of an honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Northeastern University. Among other honors, she received an award for Greatest Contribution to Social Policy from the National Association of Social Workers in 1980, the Alumni Achievement Award from Brandeis University in 2002, and the Woman of Valor Award in 2007 from the Jewish Funds for Justice.
Rabbi Margie Klein is one of America’s leading young Jewish voices. In addition to serving as the Interim Director of the Jewish Organizing Fellowship at JOIN for Justice, she serves as rabbi of Congregation Sha’arei Shalom in Ashland, and is the founder and a board member of Moishe/Kavod House in Brookline, a community of 600 Jews in their 20s and 30s dedicated to Tikkun Olam. A graduate of Yale University and Hebrew College, Rabbi Margie is a member of the Synagogue 3000 Emergent Communities Leadership Network, and was invited to the White House with other religious leaders to speak about her work. She is the co-editor of Righteous Indignation, a Jewish Call for Justice (Jewish Lights), and her efforts have been featured in the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and on CNN. Prior to rabbinical school, she founded and led Project Democracy, a youth voting organization that mobilized 97,000 college students to vote. In 2010, she was a semi-finalist for the Jewish Community Heroes competition.
Richard Kirsch is an Institute Fellow at the Nelson Rockefeller Institute of Government and a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. From 2008 to 2010 he was National Campaign Manager for Health Care for America Now (HCAN),an 1,100 member coalition, led by major progressive organizations, that deployed staff in 44 states and spent $47 million to organize for comprehensive health care reform. From 1985 to 2008, Kirsch served as executive director of Citizen Action of New York. Kirsch also served as executive director of the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York, a research and educational foundation affiliated with Citizen Action. Kirsch is the author of several studies on health care reform covering such subjects as consumer advocacy, the financing of universal health care, health and health system global budgeting, and risk management. He has published op-ed pieces on health care, tax policy, telecommunications, energy policy and election reform. He sits on the boards of USAction and the Public Campaign Action Fund.
Elana Kogan is the Senior Director of Organizing at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. In addition to her work at Bend the Arc, Elana supports JOIN for Justice. Previously, she worked at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston as Director of Planning and Leadership Development and Director of Synagogue Organizing, where she organized synagogues, developed leaders, and ran campaigns in partnership with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and other coalitions. Elana has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Meir Lakein is the Director of Organizing at JOIN for Justice, responsible for developing and mentoring experienced organizers and developing training curricula. Meir has worked as a professional community organizer for over 20 years, helping develop the model for engaging Jewish communities in broad-based organizing, and serving as the mentor of a generation of young organizers. For the past six years, he has served as the Lead Organizer of the Greater Boston Synagogue Organizing Project. Through GBSOP, 14 synagogues, hundreds of leaders, both adults and teens, and thousands of Jewish community members have engaged in broad based organizing to identify their common values and interests, develop a common story and mission, and take action to live their values and defend their interests, both in the community around public issues and within their own institutions. Meir has also taught community organizing to almost 200 rabbinical students through classes and workshops with various seminaries. Previously, Meir built powerful organizations of homeless people in Connecticut and of Sepharadi, Russian, and Arab public housing tenants in Israel, and worked as the lead organizer of the Brockton Interfaith Community.
Stephen Lerner is a labor and community organizer and architect of the groundbreaking Justice for Janitors campaign. Over the past three decades, Lerner has organized hundreds of thousands of janitors, farm workers, garment workers, and other low-wage workers into unions, resulting in increased wages, first-time health benefits, paid sick days, and other improvements on the job. A leading critic of Wall Street bankers and the increased financialization of the US economy, Lerner argues the growing power and influence of the finance industry has led to record income inequality and served as the primary driving force behind the creation of overwhelming debt obligations seen at the state and local level. Lerner advocates for the use of non-violent civil disobedience as a tactic to challenge the influence of Wall Street and corporations. He is a frequent contributor on national television and radio programs and has published numerous articles charting a path for a 21st century labor movement focused on growth and meeting the challenges of a global economy. Lerner has three sons and currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Marilyn.
Sarah Lesser is currently the Director of Repair the World Programming at Moishe House, supporting their 46 houses worldwide in service and tikkun olam programming. She completed her Masters in Social Work at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work Block Program. Prior to coming to Moishe House, Sarah spent two and a half years working in Israel with refugees and at-risk youth. She also completed her clinical internships at the welfare office in Israel and as a school social worker in San Francisco. Sarah has a strong background in Jewish service as an alum of AVODAH: Jewish Service Corps and AJWS Volunteer Summer. She began her work in Jewish Service while studying for her BA in International Studies at Washington University. During that time, she was a leader with Hillel’s service programs.
Ari Lipman is the Executive Director of the Ohio Industrial Areas Foundation and the founding lead organizer of Greater Cleveland Congregations. He was the founding Lead Organizer of Faith Vote Columbus, a non-partisan voter mobilization organization affiliated with the Ohio IAF, which ran the largest independent non-partisan voter mobilization effort in Ohio in 2008. Ari worked previously for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, where he was part of a team of religious leaders that created a historic health care reform law that has since provided health insurance coverage for over 500,000 Massachusetts residents. As a senior organizer with Action In Montgomery, the IAF affiliate in Montgomery County, MD, Ari worked on successful campaigns to increase affordable housing development, expand health care clinics, improve college access programs, and protect services for immigrants. Ari graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with an undergraduate degree in Social Studies, and he received a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.
Ilana Lerman is a Synagogue and Youth Organizer for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and a 2010 graduate of JOIN’s Jewish Organizing Fellowship. She brings movement, song, and healing practice into the liberatory work she does in the world. Ilana is newly beekeeping and palm reading.
Isaac Luria is Senior Director of New Media, Engagement and Technology for Auburn Seminary. He is Organizing Director Groundswell, a new multifaith social action initiative housed at Auburn. Isaac is the former Founding Communications Director of J Street.
Yotam Marom is a political organizer, educator, and writer based in New York City. He has been active in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and is a member of the Organization for a Free Society. Yotam has also been a long-time member of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, has a background in Jewish communal living and democratic education, and has spent time in Israel doing social justice work. His writing can be found at www.yotammarom.com.
Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit providing resources for Jewish Diversity and advocacy for Jews of Color in the United States. In 2008, after directing Ayecha for eight years, Yavilah assumed the New England directorship of The Curriculum Initiative, (TCI), a non-profit educational consultancy that serviced close to 600 prep schools across the nation. Yavilah now works to expand awareness of Jewish identity and culture and empower individuals to contextualize their Jewish journeys within the framework of anti-oppression leadership, citizenship, and pursuit of excellence, through her directorship of Dimensions Educational Consulting in Boston. In her spare time, Yavilah enjoys teaching and performing her family’s legacy of Jewish Gospel.
Rachel McCullough, Jews For Racial and Economic Justice Community Organizer for Shalom Bayit: Justice for Domestic Workers Campaign, has been a member leader with the Shalom Bayit campaign and an ally to Domestic Workers United since 2008. Originally from Brooklyn, Rachel has been working and organizing in struggles for immigrant and workers’ rights, youth empowerment, and LGBTQ and gender justice in Los Angeles and New York since 2004. She graduated from Scripps College in 2008 with a degree in History and later interned for one year as a Know-Your-Rights trainer with domestic worker organizations in Lima and Cusco, Peru. She is thrilled to be on the staff of a transformative organization and to pursue implementation and enforcement of the hard-won Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Mik Moore is recognized as one of the leading political and communications campaign strategists in the American Jewish community. He is known for developing and implementing innovative efforts to harness the power of online media to create social change. Mik co-created The Great Schlep, which mobilized Jewish support for then-candidate Barack Obama; Haik U Glenn Beck!, an interfaith response to Beck’s attack on social justice oriented churches; and Al Tirah USA, a call for civil civic engagement, featuring Rabbi Sharon Brous, in response to the rise of the Tea Party. Before starting his own firm in 2011, Mik was the Chief Strategy Officer at Jewish Funds for Justice. Links to his projects, published writing and television appearances, and firm portfolio can be found at www.mikmoore.com.
Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2000 she helped start Domestic Workers United, the New York based organization that spearheaded the successful passage of the state’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2007, DWU helped organize the first national domestic workers convening, out of which the National Domestic Workers Alliance was formed. Ai-jen serves on the Board of Directors of Momsrising.org, National Jobs with Justice, Working America and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Among Ai-jen’s numerous awards are the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Award and the Independent Sector American Express NGen Leadership Award.
Vivian Rothstein got started as an organizer in the Mississippi Freedom Summer program of 1965 and has played a role in many of the key social movements of her era. Vivian was a community organizer with Students for a Democratic Society, helped found the Chicago Womens Liberation Union, was Middle East Peace Education staff for the American Friends Service Committee, and has most recently served as Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), building strong labor/community partnerships in California. She’s lived a meaningful life, raised 2 children, and is interested in supporting and mentoring the next generation of justice organizers.
Taya Shere plays passionately in the realms of transformative ritual, mystical movement and embodied vocalization. She co-founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute and serves as rabbi/spiritual leader at Olney Kehila Congregation in Olney, MD. Her chant albums Halleluyah All Night and Wild Earth Shebrew have been heralded as “cutting-edge mystical medicine music” and rock devotional tribe world-wide.
Marilyn Sneiderman was appointed the Executive Director of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps in July 2010. Ms. Sneiderman most recently served as Deputy Director and Chief Field Officer of the B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO) where she revamped their field organization to help transform BBYO into one of the premier Jewish teen leadership development organizations in North America. Marilyn spent most of her life as a community and union organizer. From 1996-2005, she directed the Department of Field Mobilization for the National AFL-CIO. Under her leadership, the AFL-CIO launched a national initiative designed to unite community, union, religious, and civil/immigrant rights groups across the country to campaign for decent jobs, better schools, and social and economic justice. Prior to that, Marilyn served as Education Director for the International Teamsters Union, where she worked to involve the members in key contract and organizing campaigns of the union.
Karla Van Praag is a founder and Executive Director of JOIN for Justice, the national institution dedicated to training, supporting, and connecting Jewish organizers and their communities. Before launching JOIN, Karla directed its predecessor organization, the Jewish Organizing Initiative, a community organizing apprenticeship program for young Jewish adults. Prior, she worked at Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council, where she was Director of Synagogue Social Justice Programs and helped to create the Greater Boston Synagogue Organizing Project, which involves synagogues in broad based organizing and has become a national model for meaningful Jewish involvement in interfaith justice work. She has substantial experience in youth development in low-income communities in Washington, DC and Boston, and also served as the Deputy Director of the Somerville Community Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing developer and community development corporation. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Karla holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She concentrated in Leadership, Negotiation and Urban Development and was a Public Service Fellow.
Noah T. Winer is a senior partner at Dragonfly Partners (www.dragonfly-partners.com), a social change consultancy helping changemakers get “unstuck.” Noah was a founding campaigner at MoveOn.org for 7 years. During this time, he helped MoveOn grow by 4 million members, raise $130 million in small donations, and win and lose countless campaigns. In 2010, Noah directed the online organizing team for Greenpeace India in Bangalore, and he trained Greenpeace online organizers from China, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Italy, the U.K., the U.S., Argentina and South Africa. Noah is a board member of Jewish Voice for Peace. He is based in Philadelphia.
Gordon Whitman is Policy Director of PICO National Network, the largest faith-based community organizing network in the United States. He is responsible for leading PICO’s national campaign staff working on immigration reform, health reform implementation, foreclosure and Wall Street accountability and mass incarceration; managing strategic partnerships; and guiding PICO’s strategic expansion efforts. He was lead organizer on PICO’s national Cover All Families campaign to bring the voice of low-income families into the debate over the Affordable Care Act, and PICO’s Cover All Children campaign to extend the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover 4 million uninsured children. Gordon is on the management team of the New Bottom Line, a path breaking effort to end the foreclosure crisis and align the nation’s largest community organizing networks on a common economic agenda. He has helped found faith-based community organizations in Philadelphia and Flint, Michigan. He has a BA in History and Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.