Yotam is an accidental technologist. With experience in direct social services, he believes strongly in human dignity and equality and has the curious distinction of being a nonviolent martial artist.
Elana is an attorney by training and has been active in prison abolition, racial justice, juvenile justice, and immigrant justice work since her college days. She is passionate about systems and operations and is thrilled to use her enthusiasm and skills in those areas as she continues to pursue her ideals in a professional capacity at JVP.
Liza has been a JVP activist since 2010 when she co-founded a JVP chapter at Brandeis University and fought for inclusion in Hillel. She is a member of the Make Shift Boston co-working co-operative.
Tallie grew up in the San Fernando Valley and still thinks of herself as a Los Angeleno, despite moving away in 2001. She completed her PhD in Cultural Studies at UC Davis in June of 2014, and is currently working on a book manuscript titled ``Gay Capital: San Francisco, Tel Aviv and the Politics of Settler Colonialism.``
Joseph has organized for justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis for over a decade. Ordained at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, Rabbi Berman draws upon years of experience in advocacy and faith-based community organizing.
Samantha is originally from Seattle, but went to college at the University of Oregon, and later completed her Masters at Georgetown University. She has been writing and speaking on the topics of Jewish identity, Zionism, and Jewish institutional culture as it relates to Palestine/Israel for several years.
Originally from the San Fernando valley and a staunch valley girl, Audrey received a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley with a focus on public discourse. Before joining JVP, Audrey worked as an advocate for survivors of gender based violence and she’s excited to still be doing violence prevention work, but this time armed with spreadsheets and development databases.
Jules uses graphic design to share stories and analyses among grassroots social justice movements. He's inspired by the potential of design to connect people with visions of self-determination, dignity, and transformative justice.
Naomi received a BA in peace and justice studies from Vassar College. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and brings experience with campus organizing and media relations from her work with Open Hillel and Students for Justice in Palestine at Vassar.
Michael has organized around immigrant justice and labor rights in Chicago with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and served as the Chicago Program Director for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.
Stefanie has been on staff since 2009. She brings over a decade of field organizing experience, a Masters in Public Health focused on community organizing, and deep love for the beautiful, messy, exhilarating sometimes-slog of grassroots movement building.
Born and raised in the UK, Michael oversees the sending of the mass emails you either find inspiring or tedious. He lives in Maryland with his wife, a public school teacher, and aspires to one day own a dog.
Liz brings administrative experience from a variety of previous employment experiences in business and academia in order to assist in building sound infrastructure at JVP. In this way she operation-systemically participates in the larger organizing vision advocating for social justice in Israel/Palestine.
Ilana's first organizing mentors were Palestinians in the West Bank, where she volunteered for 7 months and her second were Jewish leaders in Boston's JOIN for Justice network, where she organized rabbis and congregations for almost 5 years. Ilana is humbled to connect in spirit and strategy with some of the most courageous rabbis of our time.
Ben has developed as an organizer and activist through his experience organizing workers at Walmart warehouses, connecting migrants with humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border, and working as a journalist in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He’s humbled and inspired to develop campus leadership that challenges Israel’s occupation and builds movement power in the struggle for justice.
Susannah grew up in Southern California and went to school in Santa Cruz where she 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 JVP chapter since 2011 and is interested in the challenges of doing this work particularly in Jewish communal spaces and solidarity communities.
``Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.``
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Natasha officially joined JVP in April of 2015. She has over 19 years of experience managing programs at non-profits in the Bay Area and New York City including the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC); The Contemporary Jewish Museum; and the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS).
Ilana has been involved in Palestine solidarity activism since 2009 with Students for Justice in Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and Minnesota Break the Bonds. The daughter of a Reform rabbi, Ilana is interested in leveraging the collective voice of Jews committed to human rights and equality, and redefining and building Jewish community based on those values.
Cecilie is a founding staff member of JVP and has come a long way since walking the streets of downtown Philadelphia wearing a 5-foot Campbell’s Cream of Exploitation soup can and flyering about farmworkers rights. Decades later, her passion still remains the intersection of communications and social justice. Cecilie’s favorite Hebrew word is chesed: lovingkindness.
Rebecca has been a member of JVP since 2001. She lived with her family in Israel from 2006-2009. In 2010 she was named one of the 50 most influential Jewish American leaders by the Forward, and was named one of ``14 Women to Watch`` in 2014.
Alissa was the founding co-chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council and 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.
Ari is from Oakland, CA. Before coming to JVP, he was the Development Director at Critical Resistance, and has worked extensively with grassroots organizations fighting the prison industrial complex.
Born and raised in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Jesse now calls Oakland home and wonders if he will always live near large estuaries. Jesse is inspired by the long and ongoing legacy of people collectively organizing to move the world as it is towards the world as it could be.
KAREN ACKERMAN (Takoma Park, MD) has long been active in the movement for social and economic justice. She spent many years as a union organizer, leading organizing campaigns and contract/bargaining fights for the Hospital Workers Union, United Auto Workers, and Communications Workers of America. She was appointed the Political Director of the Public Employees Federation of NY. In 1992 she was the campaign manager for the successful campaign of Nydia Velazquez, the first Puerto Rican Woman ever elected to the US Congress and became the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff in DC. In 1996, Karen was recruited to the AFL-CIO to become its deputy Political Director and seven years later, became the first woman Political Director of the AFL-CIO where she served in that position until 2011. Karen is helping to develop JVP’s Congressional Outreach Program.
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 rules governing the NY Police Department that restrict police surveillance of peaceful political activity. Under the rules established in this lawsuit, he is currently challenging NYPD surveillance of the Muslim communities in New York. 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 U.S. for refugees from Sudan, Ghana, Haiti and other countries.
CINDY GREENBERG, VICE-CHAIR (Brooklyn, NY) is a former organizer and independent consultant. She provides strategic assistance to the progressive sector and is the co-editor of “I Still Believe Anita Hill: Three Generations Discuss the Legacies of Speaking Truth to Power.” Cindy serves as President of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives Congregation, is a longtime leader of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, and has worked to build justice-focused, anti-racist Jewish communities, organizing and activism for over 25 years. She has served on the JVP Board since 2009, after working with JVP to support its transition from a local to national organization.
BETH HARRIS (Ithaca, NY) began her social justice activism concerning Israel and Palestine 20 years ago as chair of the Tikkun Olam committee at Congregation Eitz Or in Seattle. From 1999-2014, Beth worked as a professor in the Department of Politics at Ithaca College, where she served as co-coordinator of the Classrooms Beyond Borders Initiative and co-taught a transnational classroom with an An Najah University professor. After Beth’s first research trip to Palestine and Israel, she co-founded the Finger Lakes Interfaith Coalition for a Just Peace in August 2000. In 2010 she was a founding member of the Ithaca chapter of JVP and two years later became chairperson of the Israel-Palestine Social Justice Work Group at Ithaca’s Reform Congregation Tikkun v’Or. Beth is also a founding member of the Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine, which formed in 2014.
GLEN HAUER (Berkeley, CA) is working toward a society that will support everyone to thrive. Since 2000, he has helped build JVP on the theory that transforming U.S. Jews into a force for liberation would be an excellent first step. He was a founding board member of JVP and assisted the organization’s transitions 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 U.S. 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.
LEV HIRSCHHORN (Philadelphia, PA) is an organizer with the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia. Lev grew up in the East Bay and has been a member of JVP 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. After graduation, Lev worked as a community organizer in Chicago with SOUL – Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, an affiliate of National People’s Action. He has served on the JVP board 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 (RRC). She was the senior rabbi of Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructionist congregation until June 2013. A native Philadelphian who was ordained by the RRC 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 RRC. She is the founder and organizer of the Reconstructionist Chevra Kadisha of Philadelphia, on the board of Philadelphia’s New Sanctuary Movement and a member of POWER.
GRACE LILE (Brooklyn, 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.
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 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.
JAMES SCHAMUS, (New York, NY) is a producer and screenwriter known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, and The Ice Storm. He is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University.
REBECCA SUBAR, (Philadelphia, PA) teaches Peace and Conflict studies at West Chester University. She is a consultant with Dragonfly Partners, giving advice and support to political activists on movement strategy and organizational change.
JVP ADVISORY BOARD
Filmmaker, writer, and visual artist, Freedom Theater of the Jenin refugee camp
Actor and Emmy award winner
Rabbi Buzz Bogage
Director of Jewish Life, Depauw University
Professor of Talmudic Studies, UC Berkeley
Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley
Academy Award winning documentary maker
Film producer, poet, professor of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley
Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author and lecturer
Member of Israeli-Palestinian Parents Forum; lost daughter to a suicide bombing
Obie Award winning playwright, performer, and feminist activist
Actress, singer, former member of the Weavers
Musician & performer
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Co-founder of Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence and The Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point
Author and journalist
Author, scholar, founding director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
Journalist, syndicated columnist, author and activist
Playwright, Pulitzer Prize winner
Professor of cognitive linguistics, UC Berkeley
Poet, essayist, historian
Writer and Co-founder of Israel’s New Profile
Younger son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, founder and Executive Director of Rosenberg Fund for Children
Academic, activist, attorney, author and President of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Adrienne Rich ז״ל
Poet and writer, Winner National Book Award
Writer, playwright and historian. Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York
Actor and playwright
Microcredit, community organizing and development activist. Founder, the Shimkin Foundation.
Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman
Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison, Wisconsin
Howard Zinn ז״ל
Author and historian