We are thrilled to have a highly experienced team of trainers who will be working with us as Course Instructors during our Fall 2017 offering of Don’t Kvetch, Organize!. Course Instructors will be your guide throughout the course to support your learning, and each will facilitate a section of around 25-30 participants. You can read their bios below.
Molly Bajgot is a Jewish singer songwriter, community organizer, ritual enthusiast and soon-to-be body healer. She is currently living in Northampton Massachusetts, which is a familiar soil to her since she graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2014 with a degree in Sustainable Food and Farming. She likes thinking about how interconnected body pain and global pain are to each other, and how to best heal them simultaneously. She believes that music is one of the most powerful vessels for the movement.
Dan Gelbtuch was born and grew up with his three siblings in Boston Massachusetts where we was raised in Greater Boston’s Jewish Community including Solomon Schechter Day School, Temple Hillel Bnai Torah and Camp Yavneh. For High School, Dan attended Boston Latin School, then Wesleyan University where he majored in history and religion and finally he received a Master’s Degree in Education from Queens College. Dan taught for three years in the New York City public school system teaching special education at Intermediate School 145 for one year and social studies at the School for Democracy and Leadership for two years which he also helped to found. Dan returned to Boston in 2007 to begin the Jewish Organizing Initiative where he received community organizing training and began his career as a youth organizer at Dorchester Bay Youth Force. For the last nine years, Dan has been the Youth Force director and during this time co-founded the Youth Jobs Coalition. Most recently, Dan been interested in how to connect his spiritual path and his organizing work as well as how to connect key learnings from social movements into structure based organizing.
Rebecca Hornstein finds deep meaning in organizing the Jewish community to take bold, powerful action for social justice and brings experience with a variety of social movements and styles of organizing. She has worked for racial justice with ISAIAH, a faith-based organization in her home state of Minnesota, and for housing justice with a direct -action based group called Occupy Homes. She has been a leader in the student-labor movement with United Students Against Sweatshops, and has worked with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, a community-labor coalition challenging corporate power. Rebecca is an alum of JOIN’s Jewish Organizing Fellowship. She worked in the Massachusetts labor movement for three years as the organizer for the North Shore Labor Council (AFL-CIO), a coalition of labor unions based in Lynn, MA.
Rebecca is currently a second year rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA where she is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. When she is not finding new ways to connect her passions for Judaism and social change, Rebecca enjoys making art, cooking and starting spontaneous dance parties.
Megan Pamela Ruth Madison is an early childhood educator, scholar, and organizer based in New York City. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy. Her research examines the effects of “colorblind” policymaking on racial inequities in the early care and education workforce. When she’s not working on her dissertation, she works as a trainer for Border Crossers and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, facilitating workshops for teachers on race, gender, and sexuality. As an extension of her interfaith, interracial Jewish family, she is also an active member of the Jewish Multiracial Network, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Bend the Arc.
Chris Messinger has been a community organizer, social justice educator and youthworker for almost 20 years. After a start in St. Paul, MN as a community organizer working to reduce community violence, Chris spent several years teaching in the Boston Public Schools before becoming the Director of Boston Mobilization, a youth social justice organization. Chris’ Jewish roots include JOIN for Justice (fellow ’08-09), the Selah social justice leadership program and being an active member of the Boston Worker’s Circle, where he co-chairs the Acting for Racial and Economic Justice committee.
Chris is active in racial justice work with SURJ-Boston, and is on the national leadership council of Within Our Lifetime, a network of more than 100 different racial justice, equity and healing organizations across the country. Chris is a certified trainer with Class Action, helped found the Sub/Urban Justice Program, publish the Speak Up! Anthology and start the Social Justice Leadership Institute. While Chris is incredibly modest, he does tend to write his bio’s in the third person. It helps.
In addition to training and organizing thousands of teens and adults over the past 20 years, Chris plays a lot of soccer, dehydrates a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and hangs out with his niece in his spare time.
Rabbi Mira Beth Wasserman, PhD, is Director of the Center for Jewish Ethics and Assistant Professor of Rabbinic Literature at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Mira’s work as a rabbi and scholar bridges Talmud study, community building, and the pursuit of social justice. The author of Jews, Gentiles and OtherAnimals, a work of scholarship, and Too Much of a Good Thing, a children’s title, Mira served as a congregational rabbi for over a decade. She earned her doctorate at UC Berkeley, attended rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She trained and interned as a community organizer with the IAF in northern California. Mira is a leader in POWER Metro, a multifaith, multiracial movement of congregations affiliated with PICO that pursues justice in the Philly suburbs and beyond. She is active in the campaign for education justice in Pennsylvania’s public schools.
Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg is an NYC-based rabbi, educator, and organizer. She currently works as Director of Adult Jewish Learning and Interfaith Engagement at JCC Manhattan. Rabbi Wajnberg has worked as a community organizer on the Reform movement’s national and California organizing efforts, and served Jewish communities in Los Angeles, Washington state, Montana, and New York. An alumna of JOIN for Justice’s Jewish Organizing Fellowship and the Seminary Leadership Project, Rabbi Wajnberg is excited to be returning again to the JOIN for Justice community as a course instructor.