Staff and Board
From upper left clockwise: Elizabeth Ingenthron, Ari Wohlfeiler, Stefanie Fox, Sydney Levy, Cecilie Surasky, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Alissa Wise, Alana Krivo-Kaufman. Not pictured: Yotam Amit, Liza Behrendt, Audrey Bruner, Jules Cowan, Naomi Dann, Gabi Kirk, Susannah Nachenberg, Tei Okamoto, Jesse Yurow.
ALANA KRIVO-KAUFMAN, East Coast Regional Organizer
Alana has organized in queer and Jewish communities in New York over the past 6 years around issues of HIV/AIDS, gentrification and displacement, police brutality and queer youth homelessness. In addition to working for justice in Israel/Palestine with JVP's Northeast Chapters, Alana is an educator with Kolot Chayeinu's Children's Learning program, and member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
ALISSA WISE, Co-Director of Organizing
Rabbi Alissa Wise is the co-Director of Organizing at Jewish Voice for Peace and has been an activist for justice in Israel/Palestine for over a decade in New York City with Jews Against the Occupation, on the West Bank with the International Women's Peace Service, and as the founding co-chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council. She is the co-founder of the Nakba Education Project (NEP) which offers educational resources to an American audience about the history of the Nakba and its implications in Palestine/Israel today. Before training for the rabbinate, Alissa worked as a tenant organizer with the Fifth Avenue Committee in Brooklyn and was a participant in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. As a rabbinical student, Alissa was the Education Director at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) in New York City. Alissa graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia in 2009 where she received the Rabbinical Student Association's Tikkun Olam Award for her work with Palestinian communities.
Contact: 510-465-1777 alissa-at-jvp.org
ARI WOHLFEILER, Development Director
Ari joined JVP's fundraising team in 2012. Previously, he worked at Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization dedicated to ending the prison industrial complex. A native of Oakland, CA, he is active with campaigns to reduce California's prison population.
Contact: 718-514-2071 ari-at-jvp.org
AUDREY BRUNER, Development Associate
Contact: 718-514-2071 audrey-at-jvp.org
CECILIE SURASKY, Deputy Director
Cecilie joined the staff of JVP in 2003 as part of a Ford Foundation human rights fellowship following 15 years working with NGOs on advocacy communications. A videomaker, former newspaper columnist and talk radio host, Cecilie's analyses of Israel-Palestine politics have appeared in numerous media outlets around the world. Cecilie graduated from Brown University with a BA in Religious Studies with special honors for her work in Modern Culture and Media. She is the editor of Muzzlewatch, JVP's acclaimed blog documenting efforts to silence open debate about Israel-Palestine policy, and is a leader in JVP's fundraising, media and online outreach efforts.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 303 cecilie-at-jvp.org
ELIZABETH INGENTHRON, Office Manager
Elizabeth is currently working on a Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, focusing on issues related to teaching about Israel/Palestine by studying race and Jewish identity. She is excited to be in the activist environment at JVP where theory and action come together to work for change on the ground.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 301 liz-at-jvp.org
GABI KIRK, Campus Liaison
Gabi grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and found that Jewish Voice for Peace fit with her love of Jewish community values and her deep commitment to international human rights. She cut her teeth organizing for multiple groups, including the Committee for Justice in Palestine at UC Santa Cruz, Occupy UCSC, and student environmental groups. Since then, Gabi has worked with environmental non-profits in Santa Cruz and San Jose, and spent five months traveling in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece. Gabi is excited to teach and learn from national student organizers in her position, and is also interested in the intersection of human rights and environmental justice in Palestine.
Contact: 510-465-1777 gabi-at-jvp.org
JESSE YUROW, Organizing Associate
Contact: 510-465-1777 jesseyurow-at-jvp.org
JULES COWAN, Graphic Designer
Contact: 510-465-1777 jules-at--jvp.org
LIZA BEHRENDT, JVP-Boston Organizer
Liza has been a JVP activist since 2010 when she co-founded a JVP chapter at Brandeis University and fought for inclusion of Palestine solidarity organizing in Hillel. After graduation, she organized with Gay Men's Health Crisis as an Avodah (Jewish Service Corps) member. She is a member of the Make Shift Boston co-working co-operative.
NAOMI DANN, Media Fellow
Naomi recently came to JVP after campus organizing with Students for Justice in Palestine and other groups at Vassar College, where her interest in human rights, political geography and nonviolent theory converged in a bachelor's degree in Peace and Justice Studies. Naomi is excited to put theory into action and thrilled to be a part of a team of dedicated and like-minded activists.
Contact: 718-514-2071 naomi-at-jvp.org
REBECCA VILKOMERSON, Executive Director
Rebecca has over fifteen years of experience in community organizing, advocacy, program development and fundraising in the United States and Israel. Rebecca has been an active member of JVP since 2002, and lived in Israel with her family from 2006-2009. In 2010, the Forward recognized her as one of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in the U.S.
Contact: 718-514-2071 rebecca-at-jvp.org
STEFANIE FOX, Co-Director of Organizing
Stefanie has a masters in community organizing for public health from the University of Washington and more than a decade of experience in grassroots organizing for social justice. She brings well-tested enthusiasm to the task of sparking and sustaining movement leadership from her wide array of professional organizing experience--having managed electoral campaigns, organized new tenants unions, and mobilized with a broad spectrum of grassroots anti-violence organizations in the city of Seattle. Stefanie came on staff as a devoted member of the Seattle JVP chapter, and sees the position as a complete dream job and tremendous honor.
Contact: 510-465-1777 stefanie-at-jvp.org
SUSANNAH NACHENBERG, JVP-Bay Area Organizer
Susannah grew up in Southern California and went to school in Santa Cruz where she studied the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and completed a 6-month field study in Jaffa examining the effects of the Israeli education system on its non-Jewish citizens. She has been active with the Bay Area chapter since 2011 and is now the chapter's part time local organizer. She is interested in the dynamics and challenges of doing this work particularly in Jewish communal spaces and solidarity communities.
Contact: 510-465-1777 susannah-at-jvp.org
SYDNEY LEVY, Director of Advocacy
Sydney has worked for over 15 years in nonprofits advocating for LGBT human rights organizing for media justice, and assisting in the preparation of death row appeals. He is the son of Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Venezuela, where he was born. Sydney lived in Jerusalem for seven years, where he received his Masters degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University. Sydney has been working with JVP--first as a volunteer, then as a staff member--since 2000.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 302 sydney-at-jvp.org
TEI OKAMOTO, Administrative Associate
Tei has 20 years of experience working at the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality. Tei is a member of the HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? collective and has two oral history projects detailing the lives and means of survival of many Communities of Color in the midst of the devastation of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. Tei has attended graduate programs in Human Sexuality and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Contact: 718-514-2071 tei-at-jvp.org
YOTAM AMIT, Technology Solutions Coordinator
Contact: 718-514-2071 yotam-at-jvp.org
JVP NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013-14
BETH HARRIS (Ithaca, NY)
CINDY GREENBERG, VICE-CHAIR (Brooklyn, NY) is a new JVP member but longtime JVP supporter who got deeply involved with JVP through the organization's Moving Forward Process in 2008-2009. She has over 20 years of experience working in the progressive and national Jewish communities and has traveled to Israel and Palestine twice. She is an independent consultant to non-profit organizations, specializing in organizational development, fundraising, and project management issues, and is proud to be the President of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives Congregation and a longtime member/leader of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice.
DONNA NEVEL (New York, NY), a community psychologist and educator, coordinates the Participatory Action Research Center for Education Organizing (PARCEO) in partnership with the Educational Leadership Program at NYU Steinhardt, where she teaches PAR. She has been a long-time organizer for equity and racial justice in public education. She has been involved with Palestine/Israel peace and justice work since the 1970's and is also part of groups to challenge Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism.
GLEN HAUER (Berkeley, CA), is working toward a society that will support everyone to thrive. For the last twelve years he has helped build Jewish Voice for Peace on the theory that transforming US Jews into a force for liberation would be an excellent first step. He was a founding board member and assisted JVP’s transition from an all-volunteer to a staffed organization, and from a local to a national one. Glen wrote the article “How The System Of Anti-Semitism Can Derail Progress Towards Peace & Justice In Israel And Palestine, And What To Do About It.” He is US Coordinator of International Healing from War workshops, which take place in Warsaw, Poland, and at the former death camps of Auschwitz-Birkinau. He is a leader in his San Francisco synagogue, and a retired appellate lawyer.
GRACE LILE (New York, NY) has spent 11 years at the human rights organization WITNESS where she has served as Director of Operations and Archives since 2010. She founded the WITNESS Media Archive in 2003, and has been a leading proponent of the importance of archives and documentation to human rights advocacy and activism. She teaches in NYU’s graduate Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program. Grace traveled to Palestine in 2013 with Librarians and Archivists with Palestine, with whom she remains active. She is a longtime member of congregation Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn.
JAMES SCHAMUS, New York, NY) is a producer and writer known from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, and The Ice Storm. He is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University.
JETHRO EISENSTEIN, CHAIR (New York) is a lawyer in private practice. Since 1971 he has been involved in the longest-running civil rights case in New York, which established a right to sue the NY Police Department to restrict surveillance of peaceful political activity. He received a Gideon Champion of Justice Award from the NY Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2000 for overturning a wrongful murder conviction. He has secured political asylum in the US for refugees from Sudan, Ghana, Haiti and other countries. He was drawn to JVP by what he learned, growing up, at Pesach: “Do not oppress the stranger. You know what it is like to be a stranger, having been strangers in the land of Egypt.”
KAREN ACKERMAN (Takoma Park, MD) is former Political Director of the AFL-CIO.
LEV HIRSCHHORN (Chicago, IL) is a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. A transplant to the Midwest, Lev grew up in the East Bay and has been a member of Jewish Voice for Peace since 2010. Lev graduated from Brandeis University in 2011, where he co-founded the Brandeis chapter of JVP. During his senior year, he co-led the JVP chapter's campaign to become a member of the Brandeis Hillel. He has served on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace since September of 2012.
RABBI LINDA HOLTZMAN (Philadelphia, PA) is the rabbi of a newly founded Tikkun Olam Chavurah and is on the regular faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She was the senior rabbi of Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructionist congregation until June 2013. A native Philadelphian who was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1979, Rabbi Holtzman has received a B.A. and M.A. in English from Temple University and a B.H.L. from Gratz College. She has served as the rabbi of Beth Israel, a Conservative congregation in Coatesville, Pa, as part-time rabbi of Beth Ahavah, the LGBT congregation in Philadelphia, as director of the religious school at Mishkan Shalom, and for many years as Associate Professor and Director of Practical Rabbinics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is the founder and organizer of the Reconstructionist Chevra Kadisha of Philadelphia, on the board of Philadelphia’s New Sanctuary Movement, a member of POWER, and on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace.
REBECCA SUBAR, (Philadelphia) is a mediator, organizational strategy consultant, and senior partner at Dragonfly Partners LLC. She teaches Peace and Conflict Studies at West Chester University, where her academic focus is on the relationship between unilateral and joint activities in organizational, civic and political conflict. For thirteen years, Rebecca has advised and supported official and un-official political change-makers in dealing with conflict and organizational change. Her firm has managed a consensus policy-development process for the State of Pennsylvania mental health department; facilitated a multi-party union/management health care negotiation; led dialogue among Jews in Chicago; taught negotiation to Palestinians in Ramallah and to political consultants in Northern Ireland. She received her Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Contact JVP's Board at board-at-jewishvoiceforpeace.org