Staff and Board
From upper left clockwise: Sydney Levy, Cecilie Surasky, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Stefanie Fox and Alissa Wise. Not pictured: Ari Wohlfeiler, Jane Suskin and Elizabeth Ingenthron.
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
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 leads JVP's fundraising, media and online outreach efforts.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 303 cecilie-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
STEFANIE FOX, Director of Grassroots 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
JANE SUSKIN, Administrative Director
Long active in movements toward justice, peace and equality, Jane joined the staff in 2008. She is honored to be able to spend the work week (evenings and weekends too ;) supporting an organization whose goals she so strongly shares.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 301 jane-at-jvp.org
ALISSA WISE, Director of Campaigns
Rabbi Alissa Wise 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 most recently as the founding co-chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council. 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, Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator
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
ELIZABETH INGENTHRON, Administrative Assistant
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. Elizabeth was hired as an employee in January 2013.
Contact: 510-465-1777 x 308 liz-at-jvp.org
JVP NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2012-13
ABBY OKRENT (Sacramento) is a Reconstructionist Jew. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she grew up believing that the cry "Never again is now" was a call to work for justice and human rights for all peoples. She has been involved in the pursuit of peace in Israel and Palestine through human rights volunteer work and organizing in the Occupied Territories, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. She works as an attorney in Sacramento.
CINDY GREENBERG, BOARD VICE-CHAIR (Brooklyn) 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
DANA BERGEN (Bay Area) sees her work in Jewish Voice for Peace as an expression of her Jewish heritage of social justice activism. She has been active with JVP for seven years in a variety of roles, including developing literature, organizing educational events, coordinating outreach efforts, chairing the Chapter Coordinating Council, and serving on the Board during JVP's transition to a national organization.
DONNA NEVEL (New York), 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.
ELISHA BASKIN (Boston), is an Jewish activist and scholar from Jerusalem currently located in Boston where she recently finished her graduate studies at Brandeis University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Baskin was a conscientious objector and did alternative civil service at the Israeli section of Amnesty International and continued to work with a variety of social justice organizations such as Btselem, Assaf-Aid for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, Boycott for Within, Students for Justice in Palestine, United for a Fair Economy and more. Elisha currently works as a community organizer at SEIU local 615 as part of a the Jewish Organizing Initiative Network (JOIN) and is proud to be a JVP board member.
GLEN HAUER (Berkeley), 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.
JETHRO EISENSTEIN, TREASURER (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
JORDAN ASH, SECRETARY (St.Paul) entered Brown University in 1985 at the height of the campus anti-apartheid movement and quickly became involved in the school’s divestment campaign. He later dropped out of college to work as a union organizer for SEIU. After 12 years working at ACORN, where he played a leading role in the group’s campaign against predatory mortgage lending, he returned to the labor movement and now works for SEIU again. In 2007 he traveled to Israel and the West Bank and came back committed to working for a just and peaceful resolution of the situation and decided on Jewish Voice for Peace as the best avenue for his activism. He is a member of Mount Zion reform synagogue in St. Paul, MN.
LEV HIRSCHHORN (Chicago)
NOAH T. WINER (Philadelphia) was a founding campaign strategist at MoveOn.org from 2003 to 2010. He's an alumnus of the first Birthright Israel trip, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, the Selah Leadership Program at Jewish Funds for Justice, and the Elat Chayyim Advanced Meditation Program. Noah's love for Judaism, the Jewish people, and kvod habriot (human dignity) motivates his work for peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in 2001. He lives in Philadelphia, where he's a member of Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue.
REBECCA SUBAR, BOARD CHAIR (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