JVP STAFF
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Alana
Field Director

Alana, a Midwesterner in Brooklyn, she brings a love for community-based urban planning, using people-power to drive legislative change, and Jewish education as racial justice in action. She’s constantly floored by the commitment of JVP’s East Coast leaders to building the bold and beautiful grassroots movements needed to create futures beyond walls and state violence.

Alana@jvp.org

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Rabbi Alissa
Deputy Director

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.

Alissa@jvp.org

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Ari
Deputy Director

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.

Ari@jvp.org

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Audrey
Data and Development Manager

Before joining JVP, Audrey worked as an advocate for survivors of gender based violence who had been arrested or incarcerated after surviving. She brings over 5 years of development experience and a deep faith in grassroots fundraising, mass movements, and the power of a good database.

Audrey@jvp.org

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Elana
Director of Operations and General Counsel

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.

Elana@jvp.org

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Elena
New York Organizer

Before coming to JVP, Elena worked in the farmworker justice movement led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, whose decades of successful struggle taught her about the centrality of culture, art, humor and community in not only envisioning and fighting for a “new day,” but winning and building it.

Elena.Stein@jvp.org

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Granate
Communications Director

Had the occupation of Korea by Japan not ended, Granate wouldn’t be here today. The daughter of a Korean immigrant mother and (New York) Russian/Bialystock Jewish father, Granate wishes people took Emma Goldman’s words about being able to dance at the revolution more seriously.

Granate@jvp.org

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Ilana
Spiritual & Cultural Life Organizer

Ilana learned how to organize in 2007 from Palestinians organizing villages along the route of the yet-to-be-built annexation barrier. Then she learned how to farm. And then she organized rabbis, young folks, and congregations in Boston with powerful training from the JOIN for Justice network. Ilana is humbled to connect in spirit and strategy with some of the most courageous rabbis and spiritual leaders our time.

Ilana.Lerman@jvp.org

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Jimmy
West Regional Organizer

Jimmy grew up in Milwaukee, WI, and after moving to Seattle in 2012, they started organizing with the local queer community to oppose Israeli pinkwashing and build the movement towards justice in Palestine. They believe deeply in creating Jewish community that is rooted in solidarity, and are honored to work with JVP chapters, fellow JVP staff, and partner organizations to build a truly transformative movement for justice.

Jimmy@jvp.org

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Liz
Office Manager

Liz brings administrative experience from a variety of previous employment experiences in business and academia in order to assist in maintaining sound infrastructure at JVP. Through operations support, she participates in the larger organizing vision advocating for peace and social justice.

Liz@jvp.org

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Maya
Development Manager

Maya grew up in Minneapolis, MN and identifies as a proud Midwesterner, though she has lived in Seattle, WA since 2012. She completed her Master's degree in Public Health, and believes that colonization, war, and persecution are major public health crises. At JVP she combines her commitment to public health and her love of fundraising to help build a strong movement for social justice.

Maya@jvp.org

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Michael
Chicago Organizer

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.

Michael@jvp.org

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Rebecca
Executive Director

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 and was named one of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders worldwide by the Jerusalem Post in 2017.

Rebecca@jvp.org

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Samantha
Membership Manager

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.

Samantha@jvp.org

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Sonya
Media Program Manager

Sonya recently returned from 16 years in Beirut, where she worked with Palestinian grassroots organizations and learned the importance of joy and dignity in movement building. Proudly raised in an interfaith household, Sonya remains astounded at the growing transformation of the Jewish community and is thrilled to get to work daily towards justice in Palestine.
Sonya@jvp.org

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Stefanie
Deputy Director

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.

Stefanie@jvp.org

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Tallie
Research And Education Manager

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.``

Tallie@jvp.org

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Amira
Southern Regional Organizer

Amira@jvp.org

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Ari
Chicago Organizer

Belathar@jvp.org

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Leila
Campaign Organizer

Leila is a Palestinian American and grew up between the Washington DC area and Jerusalem. She is especially interested in organizing around the connections between the struggle for justice in Palestine and the broader struggles for gender, racial and economic justice worldwide.

Leila@jvp.org

Lena
Graphic Design and Social Media Coordinator

Lena@jvp.org

Maya
Campus Organizer

Maya.jo@jvp.org

Rachel
Website Designer and Administrator

Rachel@jvp.org

Reuben
Midwest Regional Organizer

Reuben@jvp.org

Tei
Administrative Associate

An artist and activist whose interests include collaborative works with scholars on land, disputed territories, re-imagination of landscapes and possibilities. Founder of an oral history and public health project that focuses on HIV/AIDS and issues of loss, migration, and community spaces like dance clubs. Graduate of Antioch College, graduate studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Human Sexuality.

Tei@jvp.org

JVP COUNCILS

The Artists and Cultural Workers Council is made up of Jews and allies who represent a broader network of hundreds of influential and talented artists and makers.

The Network Against Islamophobia provides support and resources for those interested in organizing against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism.

The Academic Advisory Council is a fast-growing, diverse network of tenured professors, contingent faculty, independent scholars and graduate students invested for justice for Palestine.

The Health Advisory Council includes physicians, nurses, mental health workers, social workers, public health workers, allied health professionals, complementary health practitioners, as well as others interested in human health.

The JVP Rabbinical Council is a fast growing network of rabbis, cantors and rabbinical students that have come together to speak out on behalf of justice for all peoples in the Middle East.

JVP BOARD OF DIRECTORS

GRACE LILE, CHAIR (Brooklyn, NY) is Director of Operations at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Prior to joining CCR, Grace was Chief Operating Officer at WITNESS, the global organization at the forefront of innovative and ethical use of video in human rights advocacy. Also an archivist, Grace co-authored the Activist’s Guide to Archiving Video, an award-winning online resource to support digital video archiving in social justice movements, and teaches in New York University’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 has been a member of congregation Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn since 2002.

 

RABBI LINDA HOLTZMAN, VICE-CHAIR (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.

 

SETH MORRISON, TREASURER (Las Vegas, NV) has been active in Jewish and Zionist organization for his entire life. He was formerly a leader in J Street and other Jewish organizations before becoming a BDS activist. Professionally he recently retired from a career in marketing and strategic planning in the cable television industry.

 

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.

 

PHYLLIS BENNIS (Washington, DC) is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She is a longtime activist and analyst on Israel/Palestine, other Middle East and U.S. war issues, and helped found both the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the United for Peace & Justice anti-war coalition. She writes and speaks widely, and her most recent books are Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror, and Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. Phyllis has worked closely with UN officials and agencies on Palestine, co-chaired the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine, and was short-listed twice to become the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine.

 

SCOUT BRATT (Chicago, IL) teaches body-positive sexual health education in Chicago Public Schools and community-based organizations. Originally introduced to anti-occupation organizing through feminist philosophy and feminist critiques of the occupation, intersectional feminism remains a key part of not only Scout’s Judaism but also Scout’s Palestinian solidarity work. Scout majored in Peace Studies and Philosophy at Goucher College and is currently studying Youth Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 

ESTEE CHANDLER (Los Angeles, CA) is the founding organizer of JVP Los Angeles which was launched in 2010. She hosts and produces the long running Middle East in Focus Radio show on KPFK along with Nagwa Ibrahim; and is the executive producer, co-creator and host of The Middle East Minute+, a short format weekday news report also on KPFK.

 

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.

 

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.

 

ANNIE KAUFMAN (Chicago, IL) is a plus-size fashion designer who lives in Baltimore, where she teaches patternmaking and Talmud, enjoys her Yiddishist community, and organizes with Baltimore Palestine Solidarity and JVP.

 

LINA MORALES (Boston, MA) is a longstanding member of JVP and former Education Chair for JVP Boston and a core member of the Jews of Color Mizrahim Sephardim Caucus in partnership with JVP. She is a biracial Ashkenazi jew from Chicago who has been active organizer and educator in the Palestine solidarity movement since 1998.

 

JESSIE SPECTOR (Brunswick, ME) is the Director of Donor Organizing at Thousand Currents, a social justice foundation supporting grassroots movements in the Global South and advocating in the field of philanthropy for more equitable, just and power-sharing practices. Prior to this role, Jessie was the Executive Director of Resource Generation, working with young people with wealth and class privilege toward the equitable distribution of land, wealth, and power. J

JVP ADVISORY BOARD

Udi Aloni
Filmmaker, writer, and visual artist, Freedom Theater of the Jenin refugee camp

Ed Asner
Actor and Emmy award winner

Rabbi Buzz Bogage
Director of Jewish Life, Depauw University

Daniel Boyarin
Professor of Talmudic Studies, UC Berkeley

Judith Butler
Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley

Debra Chasnoff  ז״ל
Academy Award winning documentary maker

Sami Chetrit
Film producer, poet, professor of Near Eastern Studies,  UC Berkeley

Noam Chomsky
Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author and lecturer

Rami Elhanan
Member of Israeli-Palestinian Parents Forum; lost daughter to  a suicide bombing

Eve Ensler
Obie Award winning playwright, performer, and feminist activist

Ronnie Gilbert  ז״ל
Actress, singer, former member of the Weavers

Goapele
Musician & performer

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Co-founder of Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence and The Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point

Adam Hochschild
Author and journalist

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz ז״ל
Author, scholar, founding director of Jews for Racial & Economic  Justice

Naomi Klein
Journalist, syndicated columnist, author and activist

Tony Kushner
Playwright, Pulitzer Prize winner

George Lakoff
Professor of cognitive linguistics, UC Berkeley

Aurora Levins-Morales
Poet, essayist, historian

Rela Mazali
Writer and Co-founder of Israel’s New Profile

Robert Meeropol
Younger son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, founder and Executive  Director of Rosenberg Fund for Children

Michael Ratner  ז״ל
Academic, activist, attorney, author and President of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Adrienne Rich  ז״ל
Poet and writer, Winner National Book Award

Sarah Schulman
Writer, playwright and historian. Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York

Wallace Shawn
Actor and playwright

Michael Shimkin ז״ל
Microcredit, community organizing and development activist. Founder, the Shimkin Foundation.

Avi Shlaim
Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Cecilie Surasky
Former Deputy Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman
Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison, Wisconsin

Howard Zinn  ז״ל
Author and historian

WATCH JVP’S STORY

Back in the mid-90s, three young Jewish women realized they could no longer keep silent about Israel’s occupation – and decided to do something about it. Watch their story – our story – here.

Deadly-Exchange-Both-Mockup-Social

GET THE DEADLY EXCHANGE REPORT

Researching the American Israeli Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace’s report reveals the extent of massive training programs between U.S. law enforcement and Israeli police, military, and the Shin Bet.

End the Deadly Exchange

When US law enforcement trade tactics with the Israeli police and military, Israel deepens its military occupation and the US heightens its violence of policing.

Booking.com: Tell the Truth

Days ago, Booking.com bowed to pro-Israel activists and started describing all of Jerusalem as a “city in Israel” – literally erasing Palestinian East Jerusalem. Let’s get Booking.com to tell the truth: East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

Senators: Investigate Israeli Violence!

No one should be killed for taking part in a peaceful protest. It’s up to us to call on progressive Senators to investigate Israel’s massacre in Gaza that killed over 100 Palestinians wounded 12,000 others.

Huge Palestinian march with text overlaid reading "support the #greatreturnmarch"