Cohort 16: Jewish Leaders of Color
Community Organizer, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (Chicago, IL)
I am a child of the 60's with a deep understanding "that because of them we can". A native Chicagoan that has grown up living the Tale of Two Cities and raised by parents that migrated from the south to have a better life and made sure their children attended the best schools Chicago had to offer. I am the child of a man that was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit and the granddaughter of one of the first black police officers in Wichita. I have been guided by some of the most resilient men and women in the world. I am the proud mother of an adult daughter. I have had too many jobs to list and I believe my job as a Community Organizer was devine order. I want my work to have a positive impact on future generations.
Consultant, Change Elemental (Washington, DC)
Natalie is a Mizrahi Jew and first gen kid. Her people are from Basra and Tehran. She is a DC-based facilitator and rabble rouser working to strengthen social justice organizations and movement networks. As a consultant at Change Elemental, Natalie supports racial equity transformation processes, stronger governance practices, and strategy setting to build a world where power and resources are shared in just ways. She is most in her purpose when working towards liberation at the intersections of racism and anti-semitism.
Program Associate, GHR Foundation (Minneapolis, MN)
Cassie Bean is a Program Associate at GHR Foundation, providing support to the Foundation’s education initiative. In this role, she manages the grants process, monitoring and evaluation, and assists in strategic programming efforts to advance the foundation’s and learning. Prior to joining GHR, she held numerous leadership roles in international education where her work centered on internationalization efforts, teaching intercultural communication, programming, immigration advising, management, faculty engagement and advocacy.She earned a MA in Educational Leadership and a grad certificate in International Development from the University of St. Thomas, where she also completed a bachelor’s in Spanish and International Relations.
Eddie Chavez Calderon
Campaign Organizer, Arizona Jews for Justice (Phoenix, AZ)
Since he was a teenager, Eddie Chavez Calderon has been deeply involved in social justice work. From the trenches to the coasts and everywhere in between, Eddie fights for a progressive movement that works towards a more inclusive, diverse America. Despite having many obstacles in his way, nothing has deterred Eddie from continuing to fight for the Latino community as well as LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion, woman’s rights, economic justice, workers’ rights, citizenship and civic engagement, voter equality, and much more! He is excited to be a part of an interfaith coalition to continue to advocate for the dignity of every person no matter their creed or national origin.
Communications Associate, Leichtag Foundation (Oceanside, CA)
Jordan Daniels is the Communications Associate for the Leichtag Foundation in San Diego, where he amplifies the voices of Jewish North County San Diego through various mediums of storytelling, data-driven communications, and community engagement. Jordan’s identity as a Fat, Queer, Afro-Jew makes him committed to uplifting others by creating spaces of “belonging” for marginalized people, and holding space for dialogue about pursuing all forms of justice. He is also a published writer and photographer with a focus on fashion, culture and social commentary through a Queer POC lens. Through Selah, Jordan is eager to evolve his capacity as a leader and ability to create intentional, meaningful and productive environments for social impact. In his spare time, you can usually find Jordan dancing, reading personal development books, or searching for a city’s best coffee shop.
Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife
Executive Director, Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute (Pittsburgh, PA)
Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife sprinkles sparkles, disrupts expectations, and offers blessings wherever she goes. As Executive Director of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, she delights in serving the community and supporting organizational growth. She also pours love and intention into her work as founder and leader of Kesher Pittsburgh, and more broadly as a shlichat tzibbur, life spiral ceremony/ritual creatrix, liturgist, songstress, teacher and public speaker. Keshira received Kohenet smicha in 2017 and earned her BS (Social History) and MS (Public Policy & Management) at Carnegie Mellon University. A dual-citizen of the USA and Australia, she and her beloved seek balance between traveling and nesting at home in Pittsburgh, PA.
Interim Executive Director, Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund (Belmont, MA)
I'm a 30-year-old Salvadoran patrilineal Jew with a long history of mental illness who has recently finally entered the work force. My day job is doing diversity and inclusion work in the tech sector. My side gig is running the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund, where we've recently undergone a massive racial justice values re-alignment. As I've started trying to deepen my connection to both sides of my heritage. I also am a massive sci-fi/fantasy and gaming geek and love singing and music, and I'm always happy to talk about any of it.
Co-Founder, Co-Organizer, Mason County Climate Justice (Hoodsport, WA)
Julianne Gale is a queer Ashkenazi Jewish and Han Chinese community organizer. She co-founded Mason County Climate Justice with her partner, a two spirit, mixed Native, Sephardic Jew of color. Julianne is committed to supporting Native sovereignty, complete liberation for all people, regeneration of healthy land and water, and a just transition in the face of the climate crisis.
Assistant Director, Camp Tawonga (San Francisco, CA)
Kiyomi is the daughter of a Japanese-American mother and Jewish-American father. She graduated from Pomona College in 2007 with a degree in Environmental Analysis: Race, Class, Gender and the Environment. She has worked at the intersection of experiential education and social justice at nonprofits including Mission Graduates, New Door Ventures, Amigos de las Americas, the Mosaic Project and Kiva. After participating in the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, Kiyomi attended graduate school at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kiyomi is currently an Assistant Director at Camp Tawonga, a residential Jewish summer camp located just outside of Yosemite National Park.
Program and Network Manager, JOIN For Justice (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Jihelah is a Filipinx - Ashkenazi woman raised in rural Oregon on land cared for by Clackamas people. Since moving to Boston she has found grounding in her justice work through Jewish spiritual practice and relationships with other JOCs and Asian Jews. She is currently inspired by her queer Pilipinx community Boston PEAR who are fun, creative, and steadfast in the struggle against imperialism. Jihelah is the Program and Network Manager at JOIN for Justice. She graduated from JOIN’s Jewish Organizing Fellowship in 2018.
Mercedes Gail Gutierrez-McDermid
Partner, Congregation Bet Haverim (Davis, CA)
I am visual artist currently residing in California. My childhood years were in East LA. I received my BA from Stanford and MA from UC Berkeley. I have been a college instructor, a community volunteer, an Arts Administrator of a Fine Arts program in California's adult prisons, and a mother and wife. In my life, I have experienced discrimination and exclusion from people due to my ethnicity. As a conceptual installation artist I create environments that deal with issues of Identity and of Separation. I returned to Judaism twenty-two years ago and, after retiring, made Aliyah. I felt a part of Israel and developed a clearer identity than the hyphenated one of my childhood. I want to make this connection available for others in my community.
Board Member, Beth Chayim Chadashim (Los Angeles, CA)
Everlyn A. Hunter is an Educational Psychologist, educator and activist who works with children and families from diverse ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. She is accomplished in psychoeducational assessment of regular education and special education, K-12 students in the U.S. educational system with extensive experience with non-public school and autistic populations. She is also an experienced collaborator with families, administrators, and governmental agencies (DCFS and probation systems). Concurrent with her professional work, Everlyn has held numerous leadership roles as a board member of non-profit human rights and LGBTQ organizations, including her most recent stint as a board member with the world’s first LGBTQ synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim. She earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology with specializations in Clinical Child and School Psychology, and is an alumni of the URJ’s 2018 JewV’ Nation Fellowship cohort. Everlyn currently lives in Los Angeles where she works as a Psychologist and writer.
Executive Director, Jews of Color Torah Academy (Brooklyn, NY)
Hailing from New York City with roots in the Philippines, Spain, and Eastern Europe, Arielle Rivera Korman is an educator, musician, graduate student at Columbia University, member leader at JFREJ (Jews for Racial and Economic Justice), and the co-founder of Ammud, the Jews of Color Torah Academy. Ammud is an educational space by self-identified Jews of Color for Jews of Color. She has taught at the National Havurah Committee’s Summer Institute, tutors b’nai mitzvah students, and recently has begun facilitating trainings with JFREJ to combat antisemitism. She was the featured teacher at the Jewish singing retreat Let My People Sing! where she taught and performed her original music. She will return to Let My People Sing! Summer 2020 as a lead teacher.
Farm Educator, Abundance Farm (Florence, MA)
Rebecca Leung is a queer, Chinese, white Ashkenazi Jewish woman living in Nonotuck, currently known as Northampton, MA. Following an interest in small scale sustainable farming, she moved to western Massachusetts. She currently works as a farm educator at Abundance Farm, and she can often be found swimming in the river near her home, dancing, or making stovetop popcorn.
Founder/Culture Consultant, Jewtina y Co. (San Francisco, CA)
Analucía Lopezrevoredo is a community strategist and social researcher that works to advance equity in education, health care, Jewish community and in the workplace. Committed to advancing the visibility of Latino Jews and other Jewish communities of color, Analucía founded Jewtina y Co. in 2018 as a means for which to raise awareness of Jewish-Latina/o/x culture via auto-ethnographic and mixed media storytelling. Born in Lima, Perú, Analucia was raised in Madrid, Spain and Orange County, California, and today calls many places home. Her educational background lies in international relations and social work ethics, and her doctoral studies were centered around Latino immigrant and refugee resiliency. Keen on human connection, she is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Ladino, and cooks and eats in every language.
Assistant Professor, CA State University, Northridge (Woodland Hills, CA)
David McCarty-Caplan is an assistant professor of social work at California State University, Northridge. He specializes in research and teaching related to intersections of macro and micro-level social work education and practice, with a focus on the health of at-risk youth, support of LGBT populations, social policy, and HIV/AIDS prevention. His clinical experience includes training youth activists to be sexual health educators, counseling HIV+ incarcerated adults and their families, and mentoring emotionally disturbed adolescents. David has also recently published refereed journal articles on drug use and sexual risk among men who have sex with men, and the impact of school-based sex education on LGBT families.
Tenant Organizer, Public Interest Law Center/Renters United Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
Ariel Morales is the son of a Puerto Rican father and an Ashkenazi Jewish mother. He was raised first in the Bronx and later in Woodstock, New York where he learned to work with his hands in his family's laundromat and housing businesses. The global economic crisis in 2008 radicalized him as he sought to understand the crisis’s root causes. This political education led him to organizing as the solution. Since 2013 Ariel has organized in Philadelphia in housing and land justice. He is currently a tenant organizer at Renters United Philadelphia, a new project of the Public Interest Law Center.
Chief Operating Officer, Envision Education (Oakland, CA)
Born and raised in West Oakland, Sele is an organizer, analyst, facilitator, daughter, neighbor, and friend. As Envision’s COO, she leads the operations, growth, and finance teams, ensuring Envision’s operational and financial health and sustainability. Sele joined Envision after 9 years at Oakland Unified School District, as Financial Services Director and Manager of Operations Support. She was previously the Youth & Training Director of the Freedom Archives and the Org Development Admin for Kids First. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Geography from Macalester College and a Masters of Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley. She and her partner Jesse enjoy surfing, biking, cooking, and hiking with their dog, Ketubah.
Executive Director, Saul’s Light Foundation-Neonatal Support (New Orleans, LA)
Kimberly Novod is an educator, doula, and health advocate. She is the founder of Saul’s Light Foundation, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, dedicated to supporting neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and bereaved families in New Orleans. As executive director of Saul’s Light, Ms. Novod is an organizational member of the Maternal Child Health Coalition, Children’s Hospital Patient Family Advisory Council, NICU Parent Network, and National Coalition for Infant Health. In 2014, Ms. Novod’s son, Saul, passed away as a result of complications from his premature birth. His legacy is the inspiration for Saul’s Light
Co-Chair Multiracial Sinai Committee, Temple Sinai (Silver Spring, MD)
Deitra Reiser is a school psychologist for a large public school district. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Sinai in Washington, DC and serves as a co-chair of the Multiracial Sinai Committee. She is drawn to the work of intersecting identities, particularly race and Judaism. In a collaborative effort, she designed a study curriculum to provide congregants tools to explore race and identity with the overarching goal of developing racial stamina to be antiracist. She has co-led study groups employing the curriculum, Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community. She has lived in many places including New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Wisconsin, Tennessee and has spent considerable time in Alabama. She and her spouse, Jeff, are parents to two fun-loving daughters. Deitra holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Director of Libraries and Archives, Temple Emanu-El (Dallas, TX)
Anjelica N. Ruiz is the Director of Libraries and Archives at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX, where she also teaches Judaica to fourth graders on Sunday mornings. She holds a M.S. in library science from the University of North Texas; a M.S. in criminal justice from Texas State University; and a B.A. in criminology from St. Edward’s University. Anjelica is an aluma of the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewV’Nation Fellowship’s 2018 Jews of Color cohort and the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute and currently sits on the ADL’s Texoma Regional Board.
Director of Clinical Services, Footsteps (New York, NY)
Leon Setton, LCSW is a practicing psychotherapist and the Director of Clinical Services at Footsteps, an organization that provides support for people transitioning out of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. Leon is a candidate in Psychoanalysis from the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center (PPSC) in New York City. Prior to his current work, Leon worked as the Assistant Director of Behavioral Health at Gay Men’s Health Crisis working with LGBTQ and HIV+ populations. Leon’s experience has also encompassed working with individuals dealing with substance misuse, trauma, depression, anxiety, and issues of sexual and gender identity.