Jews of Color Organizing Fellowship Advisory Council
The Jews of Color Organizing Fellowship’s Advisory Council is a diverse collection of rabbis, non-profit professionals, JOC leaders, organizers, and educators. This team gathers monthly to guide the development of this fellowship through thoughtful discussions, problem-solving, and tracking progress. We are grateful to have their support and experience on our side.
Charles Espedido (he/him)
Charles (or Charlie) Espedido (he/him) is the Senior Manager for the Just program and is responsible for helping to advance Just, ILFI’s transparency platform for socially just and equitable organizations. Charles works to inspire organizations to pursue Just, provide customer support, submission reviews, and label drafting. Originally from Chicago, IL (the lands of the Three Fire Council and many tribes in the Great Lakes region), Charles graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science: Public Health from Loyola University Chicago. He previously worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Environmental Justice team and most recently as a Program Manager for the Environmental Leadership Program facilitating environmental racial equity and justice programming for the cohort of Fellows from the RAY Diversity Fellowship. In his personal time, you can find Charles taking a hot yoga class, playing tennis, being out in nature, all in one day.
Cydeny Wallace (she/her)
Cydney Wallace is a Torah observant wife and mother of four, born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Cydney graduated high school a year early and attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, where she met and began dating her husband in 2002, though she was unable to finish school due to lack of funds. Working exclusively in customer service jobs, her first job as a grocery store stocker in Sandy Springs, GA paid her just $5.45/hr in 2004. Cydney now works for CBRE, managing three mailrooms, two in Chicago, IL and one in Tempe, AZ, and oversees fifteen employees for a financial institution. After a childhood of constantly moving/being evicted, and a stint of homelessness in college, Cydney and her husband bought their first home in Chicago Lawn/ Marquette Park to be within walking distance of Beth Shalom B’Nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew congregation, where she currently serves as vice president. She joined the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs after becoming increasingly frustrated with how the 2016 election cycle was going as a volunteer of the Police Accountability campaign (now the Community Safety Committee) in 2016. She is an Avodah Fellowship alum of ’17-’18, became a board member of JCUA in 2019, and was named a Double Chai in The Chi: 36 Under 36 in 2020.
אני הכל ושום דבר שחשבת שאני אהיה
Jackie Baldwin (she/her)
Jordan Berg Powers (he/him)
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.
Kelly Whitehead (she/they)
Kelly Whitehead (she/they) is a 4th year rabbinical student and Jewish Nonprofit Management MA student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Kelly participated in the Reform Movement’s JewV’Nation Jews of Color Fellowship, where they learned to create and facilitate Anti-Racial Bias training for Jewish Professionals. They serve on the board of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and was selected as one of The Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for 2021.
Leili Davari (she/her)
Leili (she/her) joined the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable (JSJR) in March 2022 with 11 years experience of grassroots organizing, facilitation, and leadership development. Her experience includes organizing state-level campaigns in support of labor rights for domestic workers in California as well as local school funding formula campaigns in Los Angeles. Before joining JSJR, Leili was the Selah Program Director at Bend the Arc where she led two cohorts dedicated to Jewish People of Color. Three core values that guide her life and work are: (1) To honor that each human being is created in the image of the Divine and should be treated as such, (2) Accountability is core in creating the world we want, and (3) There is a place for love within conflict. As the Director of Racial Equity and Inclusion, Leili supports the Jewish social justice field and its journey towards honoring race equity and inclusion within its organizations. She has a BA in Political Science from New Mexico State University and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. As a woman of Mexican and Iranian heritages, Leili takes pride in cooking family recipes including Khoresh Bademjan that her Iranian late father taught her, as well as her mom’s enchiladas. She lives on the ancestral land of the Kikapoo tribe (Dallas, TX).
Yehuda Webster (her/him)
Spiritual activist and community organizer Yehudah Webster works to animate and integrate anti-racist behaviors and culture in communities, supporting the collective organizing, advocacy and direct service efforts to dismantle racism systemically. As the Program Director and Faculty at Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project, Yehudah equips communities with the daily concrete spiritual tools of Mussar to subvert racism within ourselves and others through facilitating workshops, consulting with organizations, and building a community of anti-racist practice. He has presented in a wide variety of settings, including staff developments for organizations, college campuses, communal institutions, and youth group programs. Yehudah is a graduate of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship, Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, and Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project’s Ovdim Fellowship.
Jews of Color Organizing Fellowship Advisors-at Large
Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein (he/him)
Aryeh Bernstein is a 5th-generation Chicago South Sider (rightful land of the nations of the Council of Three Fires), who is a veteran Torah educator, especially in social justice settings. Aryeh is the National Jewish Educator and Chicago Justice Fellowship Director for Avodah, Educational Consultant for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), and frequent Staff Educator for the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA). Aryeh is the author of the 2018 article, “The Torah Case for Reparations”, is a Senior Editor of Jewschool.com, and is a member of the Tzedek Lab. Aryeh studied in several institutions of higher Torah learning and received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes’s Yashrut Institute.