In an effort to increase transparency, the Strategic Transition Committee (STC), which is overseeing this process, is sharing information regarding the search and transition here. This webpage will be updated as new information is available.
Letter from Molly Schulman and Laura Loeb, Co-Chairs, Strategic Transition Committee
Dear JOIN Supporter,
As you know, JOIN’s long-time Executive Director Karla Van Praag will be leaving that position while continuing as a thought leader for our important work. We have begun the critical process of recruiting our next ED, and we have been asked to Co-Chair the Strategic Transition Committee (STC) by the Board of Directors.
Members of the STC include: Rabbi Judith Kempler, Idit Klein, Jeannie Appleman, Evan Traylor, Dan Rosan, Rabbi Lauren Tuchman, Jordan Berg Powers, and Phil Rosenblatt.
Our first step was to interview executive search firms, and we decided to engage DRG Talent Advisory Group. DRG has extensive experience and a successful track record of consulting with and recruiting top talent for nonprofits, social justice organizations, and Jewish organizations. Sarah Raful Whinston, Senior Search Consultant, and Yasmine Coccoli, Talent Consultant, will be leading the search on our behalf.
The STC and Board are committed to conducting an open, transparent search, and the STC and DRG will be reaching out to JOIN’s stakeholders to listen to your thoughts about the kind of leader JOIN needs to guide us into the future.
If you would like to fill out a survey about our next Executive Director, the link is HERE. The survey will be open until Tuesday, July 6.
We are committed and confident that our search process will yield the right next Executive Director for this exciting next chapter in the life of JOIN.
We will involve and inform the community throughout the process. We are looking forward to engaging with the JOIN community throughout this process and to diving into this inspiring and important work.
Molly Schulman and Laura Loeb
Co-Chairs, Strategic Transition Committee
Timeline & Job Posting
Strategic Transition Committee Co-Chairs
Laura Loeb has been very involved with several of JOIN’s programs, including ROAR! A Jewish Leadership Training for Resistance, Organizing, Action, & Resistance, which provided one-day trainings in 19 cities in 2017, a 2018 voter registration drive in Atlanta with Jewish groups working in coalition with African American organizations, and the successful campaign in Florida to pass Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to rehabilitated felons. Laura is an active member of the Community Issues/Social Action Committee at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C. She volunteers with organizations sponsoring brain tumor research and is also supportive of the work of Tahirih Justice Center, which provides legal services to immigrant women and children fleeing violence. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council and received a BS degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois. She was a healthcare regulatory lawyer for 22 years, becoming a partner first at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) and then at King & Spalding. After the unexpected death of her brother, Laura became co-owner and manager of Herman L. Loeb LLC, a family-owned, privately held oil and gas exploration production company. She lives in Potomac, MD with her husband and has two daughters age 26 and 24.
Molly Schulman (she/her) received her B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University with a focus on institutions and power. Since graduating, Molly has sought opportunities to combine her passions for community organizing, resource mobilization, and Judaism. She is an alumna of JOIN for Justice’s Jewish Organizing fellowship (2019), the Chordata Capital fellowship, and the Urban Adamah fellowship. She has worked as an educator in both Jewish and secular settings, founding and facilitating a Rosh Chodesh circle, curating and facilitating a Jewish praxis group with Resource Generation, teaching at Central Synagogue, and training at multiple orientations with IfNotNow. She has served on the board of JOIN for Justice since 2019, is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and is an ALEPH Kesher Fellow. Molly lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Strategic Transition Committee Members
Jeannie Appleman co-founded the Seminary Leadership Project in 2005 with Meir Lakein and Rabbis Stephanie Kolin and Noah Farkas and has trained more than 750 seminary students in organizing, congregational development, and leadership. In addition to the Seminary Leadership Project, she also runs JOIN’s Clergy Fellowship and has trained and coached hundreds of Rabbis and Cantors, lay leaders, and staff from the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements, Federations, and other communal organizations. Jeanine is currently working to create new ways to integrate traditional organizing with anti-oppression and anti-racist frameworks alongside JOIN staff and organizational partners & trainers of color, Megan Madison and Megan Black.
Before coming to JOIN to teach organizing to others, Jeannie, herself, was an organizer for 25 years. Through the Industrial Areas Foundation, she served as the lead organizer for a primarily African- and Caribbean-American-led affiliate in Queens, New York, as well as their Long Island affiliates. Jeanie led electoral campaigns in Chicago and Baton Rouge, and directed a successful statewide campaign in Illinois to stop contra aid in congress. Additionally, Jeanie has written several articles, created and directed a national foundation to faith-based organizing, and conducted two research studies on faith-based organizing.
Jordan Berg Powers is the Executive Director at Mass Alliance, where he previously served as Deputy Director of Mass Alliance. In his nine years there, he has helped elect new progressive leaders across the state, recruited progressive champions to run, and trained hundreds of grassroots organizers. In 2015 Jordan was recognized for his exceptional work in politics as an inaugural inductee into the 40 under 40 Poly Award. Using his expertise in talking to ordinary voters about progressive policy, Jordan is active in campaigns for saving public education, gender equality and more progressive tax system for the Commonwealth. He conducts trainings across the state on campaign strategy and management, candidate recruitment, progressive messaging and women in politics. Jordan has a Masters in International Politics from the London School of Oriental & African Studies as well as a B.A. in International Development and a B.A. in Economics from American University.
Rabbi Judith Kempler serves at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Flordia specializing in outreach and engagement with unaffiliateds in their 20s and 30s, young families and empty nesters. A graduate of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, Rabbi Kempler holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature. She was ordained in May 2009. A native of Columbia, Maryland, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and a concentration in Modern Dance.
Upon ordination, Rabbi Kempler joined the staff at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue as the Youth Director. She also taught adult Hebrew, led Torah study and facilitated the URJ’s Introduction to Judaism course. She has also officiated at several life-cycle events, in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to working in the American Jewish community, she travelled to the Former Soviet Union to lead Passover seders and participated in an American Jewish World Service rabbinic delegation to Senegal. When not working or studying, Rabbi Kempler is an avid runner, yogi and modern dancer. She loves to cook and regularly makes a “mean” chocolate-chip challah.
ldit Klein is a national leader for social justice with more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Since 2001, she has served as the leader of Keshet, the national organization for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. ldit built Keshet from a local organization with an annual budget of $42,000 to a national organization with an annual budget of nearly $4 million. Under her leadership, Keshet has supported tens of thousands of rabbis, educators, and other Jewish leaders to make LGBTQ equality a communal value and imperative.
Prior to leading Keshet, ldit worked in Jerusalem for Israeli-Palestinian peace and helped envision the Jerusalem Open House as a leader in the Israeli LGBTQ rights movement. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, ldit earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on social justice and anti-oppression education. She serves on the advisory board of the Safety Respect Equity Coalition and the leadership team of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable to strengthen the national Jewish social justice movement. ldit was honored by the Jewish Women’s Archive with a Women Who Dared award as well as by Jewish Women International with a Women to Watch award, and selected for the Forward 50, a list of American Jews who have made enduring contributions to public life. She lives in Boston with her wife, Jordan, son, Lior, and pup, Langston.
Dan Rosan is an experienced health care strategist with over ten years of experience in the nonprofit and private sector. Currently he supports Biogen’s Development Sciences organization as the head of Business Analytics, where he drives resource planning, performance measurement, and special projects. Prior to joining Biogen, Dan was a management consultant for a boutique firm serving the biotechnology industry, where he worked with the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies and top tier venture capital funds. He also led the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility’s health care practice for four years. Dan has a BA in History from Vassar College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
Phil Rosenblatt is a partner at the Boston law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish. Inspired by the Jewish Organizing Initiative’s founding Executive Director, Michael Brown, Phil joined the JOI Board many years ago and has worked with their leadership to guide the organization through a number of exciting transitions, culminating in JOIN for Justice’s collaboration with PJA & JFSJ to bring the organization to a whole new level. Phil also serves or has served on the Board of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, as Vice President and Board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, as President of the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, as an Executive Committee and a Board member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, as President of the Lincoln Station Phase I Homeowners Association in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and as a Board member of the Loon Mountain Alpine Ski Race Team, also in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Phil received a BA from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts with his wife Nancy and dogs Hannah and Bode. Their two sons live in Washington, DC and Houston, Texas.
Evan Traylor, originally from Oklahoma City, serves as the associate director for college engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism, after spending two years as the inaugural URJ presidential fellow for millennial engagement. Evan graduated from the University of Kansas studying political science, Jewish studies, and leadership studies. He is a past NFTY president, Kansas Hillel intern, student member of the Hillel International Board of Directors, and co-founder of the Hillel International Student Cabinet.
Rabbi Lauren Tuchman received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2018 and is, as far as she is aware, the first blind woman in the world to enter the rabbinate. A sought after speaker, spiritual leader and educator, Rabbi Tuchman has taught at numerous synagogues and other Jewish venues throughout North America and was named to the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for her innovative leadership concerning inclusion of Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life. In 2017, she delivered an ELI Talk entitled We All Stood At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah.