2019-2020 Jewish Organizing Fellowship Class


Eva Ackerman headshot

Eva Ackerman is from Brookline, Massachusetts and is excited to organize in the same state that she grew up in. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, with a double-major in History and Spanish. At Bryn Mawr, she was a supervisor at her school’s cafe, a lead tutor in an after-school bilingual mentoring program, and a co-founder and leader of a bi-college consortium Jewish group, Bi-Co Jews for Inclusion, a club that works to promote greater inclusion in the Jewish communities on both campuses. Last year she worked as the national organizer for Open Hillel, advocating for pluralism and open discourse in the Jewish American community. In her free time she enjoys swimming, reading, theater and learning about radical organizing histories. She is looking forward to working as the Civic Engagement Fellow at Madison Park Community Development Corporation.


Sivan Ben-Hayun headshot, in front of window with grass behind it.

Sivan Ben-Hayun is an Israeli-American originally from Long Island, New York. She spent the last four years at Brandeis University, where she majored in Sociology and minored in Gender Studies, Social Policy and Theatre Arts. It was there that she first began learning about justice work from a Jewish lens. Through experiences like being a student organizer in J Street U, organizing around sexual violence, and studying at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Sivan fell in love with the practice of Jewishly rooted justice work. She is absolutely elated to be spending 2019-2020 at Kavod, a Boston based young Jewish spiritual home, as their Jews of Color, Indigenous Jews, Sephardi and Mizrahi Caucus Organizer.


Owen Berson headshot. Owen Berson is passionate about listening and facilitation as tools to connect, build power and pursue justice. Raised in Newton, MA, Owen graduated from Oberlin College with a major in Latin American Studies. Since then, they have worked at social service nonprofits serving low income and HIV positive people in the Boston area, before turning their focus to nonprofit capacity building and grassroots organizing. For the past three years, Owen has worked at Third Sector New England (TSNE) MissionWorks, where they are a Consulting Associate specializing in values-based human resources for nonprofits and foundations. Owen spent five years volunteering on the leadership circle of Black and Pink, a prison abolition organization supporting LGBTQ people in prison. Owen has spent the last two years serving as a volunteer advisory board member and interpreter with Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity (CCDS), and looks forward to continuing their work with CCDS in a new organizing position as their JOIN placement. . They are excited to support the immigrant community of East Boston in envisioning and building worker-owned cooperatives to transform the local economy.


Emma Rose Borzekowski headshot, in front of shelves.

Emma Rose Borzekowski grew up in the DC area and recently graduated from Wesleyan University where she studied a mix of social theory, economics, history and planetary science. She first became interested in organizing through her experiences in Hashomer Hatzair. While in school, she worked with Wesleyan’s United Student Labor Action Coalition and organized undergraduate student workers. She is thrilled to begin working for the New England Jewish Labor Committee this year.


R headshot.

R Feynman grew up in the suburbs of Boston and lives in Allston now. They graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2015 with a physics degree, and have been working in research since then. They organized around LGBT issues in college. Upon moving back to Boston they got involved with IfNotNow, where they connected their Judaism and their drive for social change. R is Accessibility Chair at BATS, a local support group for trans people by trans people. They’re excited to spend this year organizing at the Disability Policy Consortium.


Gabriel Fontes headshot. Gabriel is wearing an orange T shirt, with a flipchart in the background.

Gabriel Fontes was raised in Western Massachusetts to a Jewish father and Portuguese mother. A recent graduate of Brandeis University, majoring in English and African & Afro-American studies, Gabriel is committed to equalizing educational opportunities for youth and plans to use community organizing and public advocacy to pursue these goals. In 2016, Gabriel worked with REACH Beyond Domestic Violence in Waltham, supporting survivors of abuse. In 2017, Gabriel interned with New York Communities for Change (NYCC) in Brooklyn on campaigns to protect tenant and workers’ rights, and fight gentrification developments. In 2018, Gabriel interned with the Fight for $15 campaign in Atlanta, to help workers fight for higher wages and better working conditions. This year Gabriel will be working with youth at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs to develop their confidence and leadership capacity through community organizing.


Devra Goldstein headshot with green bushes in the background. Devra Goldstein grew up in the Philadelphia area, close with her family and Jewish communities. She came to Clark University for college with questions about the roots of injustice, and began organizing through Israel & Palestine politics and Black Lives Matter. She is thrilled to deepen her relationships with Worcester community members and organizers, and to support their visions coming to life through working with Worcester Interfaith this year. Devra also loves swimming in natural bodies of water, drinking tea, and singing in community.


Lior Gross kneeling down, smiling, holding some soil.

Lior Gross grew up in the wetlands, forests, creeks, and mountains of Maryland, with mud between their toes and a penchant for asking questions. They research biological soil crust for desert ecosystem restoration and use this knowledge of ecology as a lens for understanding social change in order to build resilient communities. Through their experiences co-leading a fossil fuel divestment campaign at CU Boulder, as well as the Queer Trans Rosh Chodesh kehillah and the Nonbinary Hebrew Project, they have learned the rootedness of reciprocal relationality, the joy of embracing liminality, and the power that emerges when their organizing is grounded in their Jewish tradition. Lior is passionate about hope as a revolutionary practice at pivotal points of change, in honor of cyclicality’s duality with the constant potential for systemic shift. They look forward to learning from and growing with grassroots communities across the state of Massachusetts through their work as an Indivisible organizer during this coming year.


Ari Jahiel headshot.

Ari Jahiel graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN this past May with a double major in Geography and Environmental Studies. Originally from central Illinois, she spent her summers at Camp Tavor in southwest Michigan. It was at Tavor, which is part of the Jewish youth movement Habonim Dror (HDNA), that Ari began learning and educating about various social issues. After a gap year in Israel-Palestine with HDNA, she started organizing with JStreet U on campus. Throughout her time at Macalester, Ari worked intensely on building and expanding IfNotNow’s presence on college campuses. During this time she also volunteered with MN350, an organization dedicated to mobilizing Minnesotans to take action around climate justice. She is excited to transition to a new issue, electoral reform, leading up to the November 2020 election, as an organizer with Voter Choice Massachusetts (VCMA).


Netanya Perluss headshot with a brick background.

Netanya Perluss is committed to building a transformative, just, and liberated world through creating vibrant, joyous community and organizing at the local level. Originally from Los Angeles, she moved to Massachusetts to attend Wellesley College, studying Political Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. While at Wellesley she got her first taste of community organizing with IfNotNow Boston, and in the past two years has found her home in the progressive Jewish community through ritual with Kavod and continued organizing with IfNotNow. Despite being a West Coast transplant, Netanya has found the warmth of her communities in Boston make the cold and snow worth it! Since July 2019, Netanya has been an organizer with Massachusetts Senior Action Council, where she supports its senior activists in using their voices to address key public policy and community issues that affect their health and well-being.


Roxy Rozo-Marsh headshot in front of a plant.

Roxy Rozo-Marsh is a graduate of Scripps College who recently moved to Boston from the much sunnier state of California. She is excited to work on issues of labor, housing, and immigration justice with the amazing New Lynn Coalition. Aside from those issues, Roxy is also passionate about prison abolition and anti-imperialism from Puerto Rico to Palestine. 


Hana Sarfan headshot.

Hana Sarfan grew up in the Bay Area, California. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in Gender Studies and Spanish. As an undergraduate, she organized in solidarity with undocumented students to increase admissions access, financial aid and support services. This work motivated Hana to direct her studies towards understanding social and immigration policy and their impact on immigrant workers. Since graduating in 2017, Hana has taught English abroad in Madrid and worked at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). At IPS, she supported progressive social movements though policy research, organization development and editorial writing. She is thrilled to be building collective power with domestic workers this year at the Matahari Women Workers’ Center.


Sagie Tvizer headshot in front of pond. Sagie Tvizer grew up in Plainsboro, New Jersey and moved to Boston to attend Brandeis University, where he studied History, Politics, and Legal Studies. While at Brandeis, he honed his rhetorical and argumentative skills as a member of the Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society, aptly abbreviated as “BADASS,” and in his coursework. However, he found that he preferred to act to address rather than only debate problems. He has since engaged in campaigns ranging from an LGBT equality ballot-initiative and a city council campaign, to gun violence prevention and Title IX reform. Sagie looks forward to refining his approach to social change-making and to better understanding his place in the Jewish community. His JOIN Fellowship placement at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) is as a Resident Organizer to build power with JPNDC constituents and improve the quality of life of affordable housing residents.