Bay Area 2017
Allison is a writer, social justice advocate, idealist, and aspiring futurist who questions systems, challenges narratives, and disrupts behavior to elevate human consciousness. Driven by curiosity and pursuit of justice, Allison has 5 years experience in sustainability, education, civic engagement, and food justice, including roles such as Sustainability Coordinator at Skyline College and Deputy Field Director at 50+1 Strategies. Currently, Allison is the Program Associate at the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, working with faith communities to increase local, healthy food access and food sustainability in the Bay Area. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis. When not working, she continues to explore life's greatest mysteries and forward-thinking ideas and organizations for future collaboration through traveling, reading, and meeting new people.
Shana Friedman is a California native who moved back to the west coast after spending 4 years in Boston, where she studied computer science and film at Tufts University. She has lived and worked in San Francisco as a software engineer for the past 2 years and is attempting to explore every hike in the Bay Area (it's an ambitious goal). In her spare time, Shana enjoys reading, listening to music, drinking Philz coffee, and spending time with friends. Shana is deeply invested in tackling issues of societal iniquity, and she is excited to be part of this year's Jeremiah cohort.
Marianne is deeply committed to re-imagining a Jewish lifestyle built on justice and equity. She is a Northern California transplant from LA and a UC Davis graduate with honors and degrees in Human Development and Religious Studies. She was the Event Coordinator at a multi-faith co-op, and led health and wellness activities at a local assisted living home. With a flair for full LGBTQ inclusion and making faith relevant for people of all ages, she organizes arts and cultural events at the Marin JCC. After work you can usually find her practicing yoga, making ceramics, enjoying a perfectly burnt grilled cheese, or befriending local dogs.
Kyle Hardgrave is a software engineer interested in politics, tech, and media, and exploring how to use those interests to make our society more just and equitable. Currently that means working with a progressive PAC to flip state legislatures blue, and before that he spent three years trying to save publishing at Medium, an online writing platform. Kyle graduated from University of Pennsylvania where he wrote for The Daily Pennsylvanian, led a for-students by-students software team, and ran a program to encourage students to have a more mindful and disconnected relationship with technology. When not fidgeting with computers, Kyle loves to read, write, and travel to new places — though recently he is embracing the San Franciscan pastimes of climbing and yoga, and would love for you to join him sometime!
Brittany is originally from New Jersey and spent the past two years traveling abroad to obtain her Masters and explore the world. She is a caring and thoughtful individual who deeply loves her work supporting the homeless community in San Francisco. In her free time, Brittany enjoys yoga, bouldering, being outside, reading, cooking and spending time with friends. She also has an immense love for classic rock, sarcastic humor and animals. Brittany has always had a curiosity within the forces that shape human interactions and has a passion for social development and justice.
Amanda is originally from the Los Angeles area, and now lives in San Francisco. She currently works in donor relations at The San Francisco Foundation, a nonprofit community foundation focused on racial and economic equity in the Bay Area. Prior to the Foundation, Amanda worked in nonprofit radio broadcasting, focusing on providing locally-sourced noncommercial content to the Santa Barbara area. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Psychology, Feminist Studies, and Labor Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. Amanda is passionate about prison reform, and looks forward to exploring methods of organizing around this topic that incorporate a Jewish lens.
James Koch is a San Francisco native who is thrilled to have returned home after four years on the east coast. He spent those years in Baltimore, earning a BA in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University while leading outdoor trips. He returned to work as an accountant for Penumbra, Inc., a medical device company focused on creating innovative devices to treat neurovascular and peripheral diseases. In his spare time he enjoys wildlife photography, hiking, sports and spending time with friends and family.
Naomi grew up in San Francisco, and attended a Jewish elementary school until eighth grade. Naomi went to high school in San Francisco and then went to college in Connecticut. Naomi studied psychology and French. After college, Naomi spent a year in Paris working as an au pair and traveling around Europe. Naomi just moved back to the city and is working as a Residential Counselor at Edgewood Center for Children and Families. Naomi hopes to pursue an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology, and is eager to explore the intersection between her Jewish and queer identity. In her free time, Naomi likes to explore the city, go on walks, take yoga classes, listen to music, or watch good films.
Zoe is a Los Angeles transplant who has been living in the Bay Area for five years! After attending UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree, Zoe felt compelled to stay in Berkeley and started her position as curatorial assistant at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, a Jewish cultural heritage museum associated with UC Berkeley. While attending Cal, Zoe began organizing around Israel-Palestine issues in Jewish spaces on campus. In this year following her graduation and in the wake of the November 9th results, Zoe has been exploring what kinds of work, on a domestic level, she can do towards making this world more just and free. When she is not helping to curate exhibition at The Magnes, Zoe can be found at Berkeley Bowl West, climbing indoor rock walls, cooking and baking, and hiking around The Bay! Zoe is incredibly eager and humbled to be partaking in The Jeremiah Fellowship with a cohort of like-minded, inspired and inspiring Jewish young adults.
Sara is a Bay Area transplant, originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a degree in Women's Studies in 2015, she packed up her bags and moved Westward. While she's envious of her friends who still get to experience all four seasons, Sara has fallen in love with the Bay Area. She works at San Francisco State University in the Title IX Office, and will soon be starting a Masters program in Women and Gender Studies at SFSU. While she's not working, she spends her time longingly browsing the shelves of queer lit at Dog Eared Books. She's been working on relaunching the SF Queer Oral History project as a volunteer for the GLBT Historical Society, and also volunteers at Family Dog Rescue, where she's made some awesome four-legged friends. Sara believes that storytelling lies at the heart of any community organizing or movement effort, and is looking forward to sharing and engaging with all kinds of stories through the Jeremiah Fellowship.
Abby is a somewhat recent Bay Area transplant, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduating from Bard College with a degree in human rights, she worked at Human Rights Watch and lived in an intentional community in Brooklyn with other members of Habonim Dror, a Jewish socialist youth movement. Abby grew up attending Habonim Dror summer camps and it shaped her connection to social justice and cultural Judaism. Since moving to San Francisco, she has been looking for new ways to create Jewish community and get involved in local activism. Abby has recently started a new job in podcasting, and enjoys exploring new hiking trails, learning to surf, and cooking delicious meals with friends.
Sahar is a writer, political organizer, computer scientist, data hacker, brother, and son. Born in Petah Tiqwa to refugees from revolutionary Iran, his current projects include living a more poetic and divine life. In his career, he has founded two prosocial startups, two publications, and served as the founding data scientist for Grovo Learning. Sahar has also been a Data Scientist for the Wikimedia Foundation, where he ran the data infrastructure and analysis for those banners you occasionally see asking for donations. His past has also featured a Zephyr Teachout's campaign for Governor, two cross-country walkabouts, emailing millions of people at a time, Rochester NY, Brandeis University, Springfield MO, co-founding Current Affairs Magazine, and the board of Citizen Action of New York. He is currently a senior mentor for StartingBloc, a founder of a radical community organization in San Francisco, and a data engineer at Facebook.
Nicoll lives in San Francisco. She works at Jewish Vocational Service, as the Jewish Community Outreach Coordinator. She does improv, likes cooking, and relaxing in her bathtub. For fun she enjoys spending time with family and friends who live nearby. You can find her doing her spiritual exercise at the Kitchen. She is passionate about fostering strong communities and building relationships. She is excited about being a Jeremiah Fellow this year and deepening connections with the Jewish Social Justice community.
Maya Peers Nitzberg
Maya is a New Jersey native/California-transplant and a recent graduate from Middlebury College in Vermont, where she majored in Religion. Since graduation in February 2017, Maya been working for a sex ed tech start-up as a community support team member and content writer. She is passionate about sex and pleasure education—particularly as it pertains to and intersects with social justice. Her other passion is poetry. Some of Maya’s favorite things are: emojis, enthusiastic consent and constructive criticism.
Originally from Buffalo, NY, Alex Rogers developed a strong connection between Judaism, justice and community engagement. After studying at Syracuse University, he moved to New York City to work in teen engagement with the Union for Reform Judaism. Tired of the snow and grouchy people, he jumped across the country to make the Bay Area home in 2014. Alex spent two years working on developing new programs focused on social justice and community building with Camp Newman, during which he spent three summers taking teens on social justice adventures. Currently a Community Manager for a coworking space in Oakland, Alex spends a lot of time focused on the intentionality of space. When not working, you can find him on his yoga mat, hiking in East Bay parks or facilitating justice education for 11/12th graders at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. After years of crafting experiences for others, Alex is excited to engage in racial and economic justice work as part of a new community.
Hana grew up in the 818 of Los Angeles amongst legendary hound dogs, in a house where kimchi and challah aren’t strangers on the dinner table. She received her B.A. in History with a Concentration in the Middle East and Jewish history at UC Santa Cruz. Her senior research, “African Asylum Seekers and Ethnic Democracy in Israel” was awarded the Chancellor’s Award and the 2016 Linda Peterson Award for best essay in Middle Eastern History. Hana currently works as the Outreach Coordinator at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at Berkeley Law. Before recently moving to the Bay Area, Hana spent two years living and backpacking in seven countries. In addition to her passion for education and nomadic lifestyle, Hana loves libraries, nature, magic realism, and Korean saunas.
Vince is an Asian Jewish Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario, who found himself transitioning from a career in laser physics research at the University of Virginia to more human-focused life paths in science outreach and teaching in the Bay Area. From his experience growing up in a multicultural, multi-racial environment outside of the United States, and his successes and obstacles in integrating into different Jewish communities, he seeks to question the meaning of Jewish religious, cultural, national, and racial identity. His personal struggles and recovery from childhood developmental trauma inspire him to seek a broader sense of justice for the students he mentors and the world around him. Vince enjoys exploring new places, cooking Indian vegetarian food, riding his bike, learning languages, playing Jewish geography, and doing improv. Outside of teaching physics, his long term goal is to be in a position to challenge the values, divisions, and prejudices we all grow up with and spread empathy around and across different groups of people. Vince holds a B.S. degree from the University of Toronto and a M.S. degree from the University of Virginia.
Passionate about equity and social justice, Alyssa spends most days working with nonprofit organizations on effective communications. Through that work, she's honed her expertise in working with groups that serve children, families and educators. Alyssa graduated from the Ohio State University with bachelor's degrees in Spanish and International Development. She is an Oakland-loving Cleveland native with a penchant for puns and an affinity for the outdoors.
Isabelle Staines is currently the Coordinator of the Executive Office for the New Israel fund. She graduated from Hendrix College, a liberal arts school in Conway Arkansas, with a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations in 2016 and has also studied in Israel and Hungary. Isabelle is originally from Clarksville, Maryland and moved to California to begin her career with NIF. She enjoys exploring her new community and spending time outdoors.
Los Angeles 2017
David Bocarsly is pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree, with a certificate in Social Justice, at the USC Price School. He also works as a Community Liaison for CA State Senator Ben Allen (SD-26). David’s commitment to progressive activism stems from the Jewish values of justice he learned from his Jewish upbringing in Los Angeles. He has dedicated his professional life to working at the intersection of Judaism and social justice. David served as UCLA’s Student Body President and as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, then worked in local, state, and federal government. In his spare time, David organizes Jewish community members to advocate for race, gender, and economic equality. He also enjoys dancing, playing backgammon, laughing, and being outdoors.
Max is a Los Angeles native who returned here after attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He enjoys reading and playing sports, though he is certainly better at the former and probably should only spectate the latter. Max is interested in politics and loves discussing political climate and ideologies with others, even those he disagrees with vehemently. Though he is not entirely sure of his future plans, he has an interest in going to law school. Max has been involved in various Jewish organizations, including AEPi, Diller Teen Fellows and NFTY.
Daniel Eyal is a native of the beautiful city of Los Angeles. As such, his passions include authentic Thai food, good music and environmental and social justice. Daniel is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his B.A. in Global & International Studies. After interning in the Obama White House, Daniel realized the importance of local politics and returned to LA, where he recently served as a field director on a campaign for California’s 34th Congressional District. Daniel is excited to learn about social justice through a Jewish lens and is looking forward to getting to work with his Jeremiah cohort.
Maia Ferdman is the Program Coordinator for Global Jewish Experiences and the Fishel Fellow at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The Fishel Fellowship, in partnership with JDC Entwine, took her all over the world: she volunteered with children living in a Mumbai slum, worked with teenagers creating their own startups in Israel, and lived in Sofia, Bulgaria for one year, working with JDC’s initiative Junction to create international programming for Jewish young adults throughout Europe. Today Maia brings her diverse global experiences to various Federation initiatives and departments. Maia is an avid reader and writer, intricate doodler, and proud sister of two younger brothers. She holds a B.A. in Global Studies and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from UCLA.
Sarah Ilana Flam
Sarah Ilana grew up in the coastal town of Ventura, California. She enjoys musical theater, nature, poetry, klezmer music, travel, and building community. Currently, she is working as a bug farmer at an insectary, developing business skills and learning about biological pest control. Sarah graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Masters in Social Welfare and has her License in Clinical Social Work. She has spent most of her career working with the foster care system and with families coping with trauma. She also is a Certified Expressive Art Therapy Practitioner and loves creating spaces for healing through the arts. Sarah is a founder of and organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice Ventura County and strives to transform broken systems into ones which promote wellness and allow people, the community, and the planet to thrive!
Matthew Hom is a doctoral student in Jewish history and literature who is delighted to join the Jeremiah Fellowship cohort in advocating for and effecting progressive change from a Jewish social justice perspective. A native of Cerritos, California, he attended UC Irvine for college, where he studied history as well as music composition, and New York University for graduate school. Matthew is proud to have grown up participating in the Reform movement, while he also sought over the years to sincerely encounter the diversity of contemporary Jewish thought and practice. After gaining indispensable experience in activism through the Religious Action Center and the Hillary Clinton campaign, he is excited to contribute towards enacting progressive change at the local and national levels, especially at a time in which this is more necessary than ever. He is passionate about a variety of issues, including solidarity with vulnerable minority groups in today's America, separation of church and state, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration reform.
Sophia was born and raised in Los Angeles. She moved to the east coast for college where she graduated with a degree in East Asian Studies, with a concentration in Chinese and Gender and Women’s Study Minor at Connecticut College. Having studied Chinese in college Sophia received a fellowship to conduct research on law and its impact on sexual minorities in China and Taiwan. After graduating college, Sophia completed an internship with the US-Asia Institute in Washington DC developing educational exchanges for students and congressional staff members between Asian countries and the US. After the national election in November, Sophia returned to Los Angeles to work in local politics. She worked as a regional field director for Nick Melvoin for LAUSD school board. Sophia is passionate about issues of social justice and is looking forward to working in her local community. In her free time, Sophia loves to cook Chinese food and explore the diverse culinary scene in Los Angeles.
A Los Angeles native and dedicated nonprofit professional, Madeline Miller is fascinated by the bonds and identities that form the basis of dynamic communities. She is the Development Associate at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, an environmental justice nonprofit that creates urban parks and community gardens throughout LA County. Prior to joining the Land Trust, Madeline participated in Avodah: the Jewish Service Corps in Washington, DC where she promoted financial literacy and economic empowerment. She is interested in promoting equity through environmental advocacy, food justice, educational reform, and the protection of women’s rights. In her spare time, Madeline reads, hikes, practices yoga, and stays up too late watching movie trailers and tv shows. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lexy was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She works at Beit T’Shuvah, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment center, in the Development Department as the Alumni Coordinator and Development Assistant. She attended college at California State University, Northridge and received her bachelors degree in Criminology. Lexy is currently attending Louisiana State University to earn her Masters in Non-Profit Management and hopes to start her own non-profit working with underprivileged kids one day. She loves animals, traveling & trying new foods. Lexy wants to help the voiceless and learn more about social justice in Los Angeles & Jewish Communities.
Ian Stuart grew up in the San Fernando Valley and recently returned home after a stint in the Bay Area and nearly 7 years living overseas in Thailand. Trained as an English instructor for adults, Ian taught for a bit in San Francisco and later at a university in Bangkok. Ian eventually moved to full-time work in the nonprofit sector, where he assisted Boat People SOS in developing its refugee legal aid clinic and in implementing a range human rights and capacity building projects. New to the field of human rights, Ian learned through immersion in regional work and collaboration with veteran human rights defenders and civil society leaders from across Southeast Asia. Now back in the U.S., Ian is eager to build on this experience to work on social justice issues in California. Ian currently works as a Program Manager for the Tools for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement program at the Museum of Tolerance. Ian likes eating spicy Thai food and is an avid pick-up basketball player with a dream of one day dunking a basketball.
Julia graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After graduating, she interned in development at Planned Parenthood. She currently works as a career counselor at Beit T'Shuvah but plans on going to graduate school in clinical psychology in the near future. In addition, she serves as a relationship mentor to at-risk foster youth at Vista Del Mar. She loves Harry Potter (the books), Audre Lorde, and probably spends too much time with her yellow Lab, Chloe.
Jeremiah Fellowship Testimonials
When Bend the Arc calls, it's time to say yes
When I became a Jeremiah Fellow I didn’t know just how much of a transformative experience it would be. I am thankful for the many opportunities I have had because of being actively involved with Bend the Arc. Being able to say yes to invitations to engage volunteers, celebrated lay leaders, the White House and prominent civil rights activists has been powerful. I’ve come to know that when Bend the Arc calls, it’s time to say yes, take action and dive in.
Tera Greene, Southern California Bend the Arc member and Jeremiah Fellow 2011-2012
Related Program: Jeremiah Fellowship
I saw just how much power we had
I had been living in San Francisco for 6 years and had tried numerous times to find my Jewish community, with no success. When I finally found Bend the Arc's (then Progressive Jewish Alliance) Jeremiah Fellowship, I immediately knew I found the place and the people with which I could engage politically, socially, and culturally as a Jew in my community. Half way through my year as a Jeremiah Fellow, I was laid off from my job as a part-time lecturer at San Francisco State University. At the same time, all the Fellows were to begin work on an action project of our choosing. I really wanted to do some kind of work around the debt in California and the state of public education, but I felt I had absolutely no agency to affect such an overwhelmingly large system. With the support of my cohort and Bend the Arc staff, I joined forces with other volunteer leaders and proposed the idea of what has become our long-term campaign for Progressive Taxation and the Common Good. The major "ah-ha" moment for me happened while we were working to pass Proposition 30 last year and I saw just how much power we had when we joined together around our common values and turned them into powerful action by harnessing our strength as a community.
Jo Gordon, Bay Area Regional Council member, leader on the Progressive Taxation for the Common Good campaign and 2011-2012 Jeremiah Fellow
Related Program: Jeremiah Fellowship