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.
GRACE LILE, VICE-CHAIR (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.
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.
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.