Alumni Retreat Organizers

We are grateful for the support of our Alumni Retreat Planning Team in shaping this retreat (more bios and headshots coming soon!):

Jihelah Greenwald, 2017-2018 (info coming soon)

Rachel Leiken (2016-2017) is a student at Harvard Divinity School, where she is studying theology and faith-based organizing. She did JOIN in 2016-2017, working with the Labor Guild | Archdiocese of Boston to support workers around the Boston area in building skills and power to strengthen their unions. She also works as chaplain intern in the Office of Chaplains and Religious Life at Brown University, and as a communications associate with the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project which helps Jewish activists integrate Jewish wisdom and spiritual tools into their work. Rachel loves to have conversations at the intersections of Judaism and traditional practice, justice, sexuality, and theology.

Ariel Branz (2015-2016) began organizing parents at St. Stephen’s Youth Program as a JOIN Fellow in 2015. She holds a degree from Tufts University in Community Health and International Relations. Ariel has organized in local and international settings ranging from a campaign for janitors’ jobs at Tufts University to a water project in El Salvador. In her free time, Ariel enjoys hiking, baking bread, biking around Boston, and playing the oboe in a community orchestra.



Molly Bajgot  (2014-2015) is a Jewish singer-songwriter and community organizer currently living in Northampton, Mass. She is a lover of music, healing arts, and the outdoors. She loves to craft ritual, and to be in community both as a member and as an organizer. When she gets the chance to do all these things together, she feels at home. She’s looking forward sitting with alums and asking ourselves the question “what do we uniquely contribute as Jewish organizers?” now, today, years after our Fellowship.

Emilia Diamant (2012-2013) LCSW, is the first Executive Director of Jeremiah Program-Boston. Jeremiah partners with low income single mothers and their children to help transition families from poverty to prosperity, two generations at a time. Emilia approaches her work at JPB with an eye toward how systems of racial inequity impact families Jeremiah supports. Emilia came to Jeremiah with a passion for partnering with women; she spent time volunteering at Planned Parenthood in North Carolina, and helped Latina mothers navigate bilingual book reading with their children. She is a co-founder of Rising Voices, a fellowship for female-identified Jewish teens looking to expand their writing skills. Emilia teaches racial justice, pop culture, and feminism at Temple Israel Boston’s teen program and around New England.

Emilia was a JOIN for Justice Organizing fellow in 2012-2013. She has worked at the Brandeis Office of High School Programs, Centro Para Familias Hispanas in Raleigh, Peer Bridgers of PAI Raleigh, in transitional foster care homes and mental health facilities across North Carolina, and at MissionSafe in Boston. She now lives in West Roxbury with her boyfriend and their dog Mabel; she has lots of love for the Red Sox and Beyonce.

Liz Manlin 2008-2009 (pictured left with fellow JOIN alum Rachel Bedick)is a hospice social worker. While receiving her MSW at Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Policy, she was instrumental in leading her synagogue, Kol Tzedek of West Philadelphia, in becoming a founding member of PICO’s Philadelphia affiliate, POWER. As a JOI fellow, she worked at the JCRC of Greater Boston organizing synagogue youth and adults; and collaborating with GBIO and youth organizing efforts around the city. She was active with the Boston Worker’s Circle young adults community where she helped organize skill sharing workshops and the Hanukkah fundraiser party where she met her future wife. Liz lives in West Philadelphia with her wife and their dog Hershey.

Becky Herst, 2006-2007 (info coming soon)

Lizzie Pollock, 2004-2005 (info coming soon)

Parent Committee (supporting our work to make this retreat family friendly):

  • Idit Klein, 1998-1999
  • Catherine Bell, 1999-2000
  • Micha Josephy, 2000-2001
  • Laura Horwitz, 2003-2004
  • Felicia Kazer, 2003-2004
  • Lizzie Pollock, 2004-2005
  • Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg, 2008-2009
  • Sefira Bell-Masterson, 2009-2010
  • Eliza Parad, 2009-2010

Additionally, there are many other alumni supporting us in other aspects of this work. More information coming soon!