2017 JVP Board Election Candidates

The 2017 JVP Board Elections will take place online from July 17 – 28. Eligible voters (those who have been JVP members for 6 months or longer) will receive a link to the electronic ballot on July 17th.

This year members will vote for five candidates. There are five open seats but each candidate must receive a majority of affirmative votes in order to win a seat. The five candidates are:

  1. Eran Efrati
  2. Beth Harris
  3. Linda Holtzman
  4. Annie Kaufman
  5. Grace Lile

I have lived in Baltimore for 14 years, though I recently returned from a year in Chicago, where I studied Talmud at Svara, the queer yeshiva. Professionally, I’m a patternmaker and fashion designer but I’ve also been involved in social justice organizing since my childhood training at Camp Kinderland. I’ve been a union organizer, founded an anarchist bookstore collective, and served as a branch secretary/treasurer for the IWW, but for the past 8 years my main organizing has been as a chapter leader of JVP. I’ve seen our chapter grow through a lot of phases and I’ve built many strong organizing relationships throughout the city and the country. Currently, our chapter has a strong decolonial, police-abolition grounding, so I am very fired up for the Deadly Exchange campaign and the structure that a long-term campaign can provide. I am also an active Yiddishist and love the diversity of JVP and the Palestinian rights movement.

Grace Lile*

Grace recently joined the staff of the Center for Constitutional Rights as Director of Operations, after 14 years at the human rights organization Witness, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. An archivist by training, she founded the Witness Media Archive in 2003, and has been a leader in the realm of human rights and activist archiving and documentation. 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. She joined JVP in 2011 and is a member of the NYC Chapter.

Linda Holtzman is a Reconstructionist rabbi and social and political activist in Philadelphia. She is the rabbi of the Tikkun Olam Chavurah, a community dedicated to spiritual social justice work locally and in Israel/Palestine, and is on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Linda has served other progressive synagogues in the Philadelphia area as rabbi and educational director. Linda has been on the board and the rabbinic council of JVP for three years. She has been actively involved with the New Sanctuary Movement, POWER (a Philadelphia social justice group), Heeding God’s Call to work against gun violence, and Interfaith Power and Light working to slow climate change. Linda founded the Reconstructionist Chevra Kadisha of Philadelphia in the early 1990’s, a group that has been preparing dead bodies for burial in a traditional yet progressive Jewish manner ever since. She is a native Philadelphian and has been together with her wife since 1981; together they have raised two sons and several dogs.

Beth Harris*

BETH HARRIS (Ithaca, NY) is completing her first three-year term on the JVP Board, where she has worked in a dedicated, knowledgeable Board-staff team to facilitate JVP’s amazing growth and collaborated with JVP chapters and members on innovative approaches to organizing, mobilizing and resistance. Between 1999 and 2014, Beth was an Ithaca College Politics professor, teaching about the relationships between law, politics, violence and injustice within the United States and internationally. Beth’s work for justice in Israel/Palestine began in 1995 as chair of her Seattle synagogue’s Tikkun Olam committee. Since her first trip to Palestine/Israel (2000), she has co-founded several organizations in Ithaca, including JVP-Ithaca, the Committee for Justice in Palestine and her synagogue’s Israel-Palestine Social Justice Working Group, to advocate for human rights and justice in Palestine/Israel. Beth also participates in local and transnational organizations in solidarity with Latin American social movements and undocumented immigrants and in resistance to US military aggression and corporate domination and expoitation. Beth’s political work consistently addresses the intersections between struggles for justice, equality and liberation within and beyond the United States.

Eran Efrati*

Eran Efrati is the executive director of RAIA (Researching the American-Israeli Alliance), an investigative researcher into the Israeli military, and former director of ICAHD-USA. He formerly served as the chief researcher of Breaking the Silence, where he collected testimonies from hundreds of IDF soldiers about their activities. He has worked with the International Criminal Court and participated in both independent and UN investigations into Israeli military operations. His investigative reports have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian, among others. Today his research is focused on international military and police partnerships between the United States and Israel.



* Board-Nominated


‡ Incumbent Board Member

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The Role of the Board and Expectations of its Members

The Board supports the work of JVP and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by JVP’s Executive Director and staff, the Board and the Executive Director work in close partnership to achieve JVP’s mission and vision.

While the Board is accountable to a range of stakeholders, including JVP members, staff, donors, and allies, its primary accountability is to the mission of JVP. As such, while working closely with the above constituencies, and relying on them for counsel, guidance, and deep expertise, the Board also functions independently. This is a core principle of governance.

The role of the Board is to:

  • Serve as a trusted advisor and partner to the ED in developing and implementing JVP’s strategic vision and plans.
  • Provide fiscal oversight of JVP, through regular review of financial reports, careful review and approval of the annual operating budget, review and approval of the annual audit, and review of any material business decisions.
  • Provide legal and ethical oversight of JVP, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws, and actively addressing such questions as they arise.
  • Take a leadership role in fundraising.
  • Evaluate the performance of the ED on an annual basis.
  • Set and/or approve ED compensation.
  • Select or dismiss the ED as necessary.
  • Oversee the recruiting and nominations process for new Board Members, with input from the Nominations Committee.
  • Represent JVP to stakeholders, and act as an ambassador for the organization.
  • Support JVP’s commitment to achieving a board and staff that reflects JVP’s diversity.
  • Act to ensure the sustainability of JVP as a legal, ethical, effective and financially sound organization, not only in the present but for the future.

Board Members are expected to:

  • Be committed to the mission, values and strategy of JVP.
  • Commit to Board unity.
  • Conduct themselves in accordance with JVP core values and ethics.
  • Attend board and committee meetings regularly, with a goal of attendance at a minimum of 10 of 12 annual meetings, and 2 out of 3 in-person meetings. Travel expenses are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Attend JVP’s biennial National Member Meeting.
  • Unfailingly honor and uphold confidentiality of all board communications and any other JVP matters so designated.
  • Serve on a minimum of one standing or significant ad hoc committee per year, and reliably and substantially contribute to its work.
  • Be able to read and understand financial statements and budgets, and contribute to decision-making on financial issues, to ensure financial health, compliance, and prudent use of assets.
  • Consider JVP a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority.
  • Actively participate in fundraising. At a minimum this means participation in JVP’s bi-annual major donor solicitation program, but may also include donor cultivation, event hosting, personal appeals, and so on.
  • Participate in all board governance and oversight obligations, as referenced above.
  • Abide by all bylaws, policies and decisions of the Board and JVP, regardless of any personal differences or disagreements.
  • Work effectively with JVP staff, when relevant, in a manner of respect; and understand board-staff boundaries.
  • Be able to resolve differences through constructive discussion and board-led processes.
  • Make decisions that are in the best interests of JVP.
  • Promote the mission and goals of JVP through a range of activities, which will vary from member to member.


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