Alumni Steering Committee Member Profiles
Allegra Stout grew up in Montville, NJ, and moved to Boston in 2012 after graduating from Wesleyan University with majors in Psychology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Spurred by her own and her siblings’ experiences as people with disabilities in an ableist world, she has been involved in disability rights campaigns and communities since middle school. She was thrilled to develop her organizing skills and connect her Judaism and social justice values through the Jewish Organizing Fellowship in 2012-2013. Allegra continues to organize for disability rights at her fellowship placement organization, the Boston Center for Independent Living. In her free time, Allegra enjoys hiking, crafting, participating in spiritual community at First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, reading, holding babies, and hanging out with the eight other housemates in her co-op. She is excited to build a stronger JOIN alumni community this year and see what we can all accomplish together. Get in touch with Allegra.
Bess Beller-Levesque is a JOIN alum from 2012/2013, and recently joined the JOIN staff as the Operations and Development Officer. Bess was born and raised in Maine, and is a graduate of Smith College, where she studied Sociology. After college, she participated in the Adamah Jewish farming fellowship. In her free time, she volunteers with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, sings in the Somerville Community Chorus, and ponders how to stop climate change. Get in touch with Bess.
Chloe Zelkha first fell in love with sustainable agriculture and strong youth-adult partnerships during a high school semester learning and farming at The Mountain School in Vermont. She turned to issues of social justice while studying at Carleton College, organizing around sexual violence prevention and response, facilitating anti-oppression workshops inside and outside schools, and co-leading nonviolent communication courses with inmates in local prisons. Her year as a JOIN Fellow (’13-14) allowed her to explore the relationship between transformative education and social justice, and to dive deep into her youth and sustainable agriculture work at The Food Project. In her current role as the Fellowship Manager at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, she directs all aspects of a Jewish fellowship for young adults around urban farming, social justice, & mindfulness. Get in touch with Chloe.
David Schwartz is the co-founder and Campaign Director of Real Food Challenge (RFC), a national student movement to create a more healthy, just and sustainable food system. Through student-led campaigns RFC has won over $75 million in university commitments to purchase from local, ecological, fair and humane farms and food businesses. David leads major national youth summits, trainings and days of action, involving more than 100,000 young people on over 300 college campuses each year. David was was name one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” for 2013 and previously honored by Variety Magazine and the VH1/Do Something Awards. He has also served on the Board of The Food Project, Inc. and JOIN for Justice. He holds a B.A. in the History of Food, Agriculture and Environmentalism from Brown University. Get in touch with David.
Emilia Diamant, MSW, is the Assistant Director at Prozdor of Hebrew College. Her areas of focus are in social justice, leadership, and cross-cultural dialogues with young people. She has taught in Boston, New York, Costa Rica, North Carolina, Ukraine and Italy, in many languages and settings. Emilia’s training as a Social Worker enables her to employ both micro (therapeutic) and macro (systemic) techniques in her work as an educator. She loves bringing together teens from different cultures, ethnicities, religions, and communities together to learn and grow as informed citizens. Emilia was a JOIN fellow in 2012-2013. She was recently published in the Fall 2014 edition of Lillith Magazine, and was brought in as a guest teacher at LimmudAtlanta. She lives in Boston with her boyfriend Nathan and their two dogs, and can most likely be found thinking or talking about the Red Sox. Get in touch with Emilia.
Henry Neuwirth is an organizer with the Merrimack Valley Project (MVP). He grew up in New York City and graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota, majoring in religion. In college, Henry worked to create more curricular civic engagement opportunities and was the program director of the Carleton College radio station (KRLX). He has worked extensively and serves on the board of directors of the Haiti Justice Alliance, a nonprofit organization that connects Minnesota universities with grassroots organizations in Haiti. He wrote his senior thesis on Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s theology and linguistic theory. At MVP, Henry organizes congregations and other institutions to win on issues of justice in the Merrimack Valley. Get in touch with Henry.
Ivy Hest did the JOIN fellowship in 2007, and worked at Rosie’s Place during her fellowship year and beyond. She’s currently a fellow with the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Program and volunteers with Young Workers United, ensuring that new minimum wage laws are implemented in workplaces. Throughout high school she focused on homeless issues and helped establish Students Taking Action Now: Darfur while studying at Brandeis University. She soon found that beyond specific issues she wanted to help others to become actors, not just observers, and to find this power herself. Most recently Ivy worked with Massachusetts Senior Action Council, helping low-income seniors fight for their rights. She organized campaigns on issues such as Social Security, public housing rights, and public transportation equity. She also expanded the organization’s volunteer-led voter engagement program and multi-lingual/multi-cultural capacity. Ivy’s passion lies in building the leadership of others, supporting new organizers, and working to build the organizational capacity and effectiveness of social change organizations. To this end, she’s very excited to be a part of the Alumni Steering Committee! In her spare time, Ivy co-founded and directed an a cappella group, the Mass Whole Notes. While starting her new life in California, she can be found singing jazz at local bars. She is always the first to volunteer to dress in costume for a direct action. Get in touch with Ivy.
Mimi Micner was a Jewish Organizing Fellow in 2010-2011. She is currently a Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Before attending Hebrew College, she was the Senior New England Campus Organizer with J Street U, where she organized college students for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Before working at J Street U, Mimi was a union organizer with the American Federation of Teachers. Mimi attended Middlebury College, during which she studied Political Science and was involved in Israeli- Palestinian peace work: she worked in the summer of 2008 with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) to advocate against house demolitions in East Jerusalem and started a chapter of J Street U at Middlebury College the following year. Mimi lived in India her junior year of college where she became involved in civil society peace building between India and Pakistan. This year, Mimi serves on the Moishe Kavod House Social Justice Committee. Mimi is from Vancouver, British Columbia and now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. Get in touch with Mimi.
Rose Levy was born and raised in Austin, Texas. After 18 years in the Lone Star State, she ventured toward the great northeast and studied Political Theory and Spanish at Bates College in Maine. During her college years, Rose focused on a variety of of political and Jewish activities, ranging from the 2008 Obama campaign, to involvement in the Bates Hillel & Interfaith life on campus, to working at a Jewish, social-justice summer camp in Northern California. She also spent time studying the exploitation of coffee workers in Nicaragua. Following college she returned to Austin and worked at a progressive worker center, organizing with immigrant workers, primarily in the construction industry. Before too long, Rose returned to Boston where she is currently focused on organizing for workplace justice at SEIU Local 32BJ, District 615, organizing service workers at Logan Airport. Get in touch with Rose.