2009-10 Jeremiah Fellows

2009-2010 Jeremiah Fellows

(L to R and back to front: Nathaniel Berman, Tovah Pentelovitch, Josh Linden, David Krakow, April Baskin, Bert Ritvo, Jodie Honigman, Elissa Silverman, Julia Moss, Candace Nachman, Jacob Diamond, Dan Gordon, Rabbi Elizabeth Richman)

All bios are up to date as of fall 2009

April Baskin is a California native and currently a Schusterman Insight Fellow. In 2007, April earned a Sociology degree with concentrations in Community Health and Social Inequality from Tufts University.  She received high honors for her senior thesis about Jews of Color and continues to present her research and organize Jewish diversity events around the country. While at Tufts, April interned at a variety of educational and community-based organizations, including the Chinese Progressive Association and Chabad of Sacramento.  She further broadened her experience in community organizing through interfaith collaboration as an AmeriCorps fellow for an after-school program affiliated with the Black Ministerial Alliance of Boston. After graduation, April was a research assistant at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Outside of work, April enjoys writing, food, dance, and canines of all shapes and sizes.


Nathaniel Berman is an attorney employed at the United States Department of Labor and has worked there since November 2006. I am originally from New York and attended Cornell University, where I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations in 2002 and my Master of Public Administration degree in 2003.  I then attended St. John's University School of Law, where I obtained my J.D. in 2006.  My primary volunteer work is for Jews United for Justice, focusing particularly on the Day Laborer Justice campaign, which addresses the prevalence of wage theft in the D.C. area.  In what spare time I have left, I try to still follow local New York sports teams, especially the Mets.


Jacob Diamond was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he earned the highest awards for social justice and community service from Temple Isaiah.  After heading East for college to Drew University in New Jersey, he spent his last semester in Washington, DC interning in Senator Barbara Boxer's office.  He fell in love with DC and the political world and eventually earned a master's degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from The George Washington University.  He has spent his time volunteering for various political campaigns, getting his feet wet at a variety of nonprofit organizations working on a contractual basis, and is now looking forward to putting his social justice background and passion for helping those less fortunate into his work as a Jeremiah Fellow.


Elissa Froman is a legislative associate at the National Council of Jewish Women's Washington office. She advances NCJW's commitment to civil rights and liberties by working with coalition partners to strategically build campaigns and lobby members of Congress and other law-makers. Previously, Elissa worked as a legislative assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. In her spare time, she enjoys visual arts and serves on the board of directors for Jews United for Justice. Originally from Chicago, she received a BA in Judaic Studies and Women's Studies from The George Washington University.


Dan Gordon is the deputy Web editor at the Dana Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy and publisher that focuses mainly on neuroscience.  A native of Normal, Illinois, he has lived in the D.C. area since Fall 2002. Dan is the co-coordinator of GesherCity's contra and swing dance cluster and recently began writing a monthly column in the Washington Jewish Week. He also plays the violin in a community orchestra in D.C. He looks forward to strengthening his relationship with both Judaism and social justice via the Jeremiah Fellowship.


Mikah Goldman works for the PANIM Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, a division of BBYO. Prior to working for PANIM, she worked for the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Center at Brookdale Community College, the first Holocaust Education Center in the state of New Jersey. In 2008, she was selected to become a Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Alfred Lerner Fellow.  Mikah is published in the NJ Psychologist and was involved in the creation of THE EXHIBIT: A Journey to Life, an award winning Holocaust exhibit. During her spare time, Mikah enjoys volunteering, cooking, reading, and exploring the DC area.


Jodie Honigman I was born, raised, and educated in Wisconsin, yet I still tend to dress inappropriately for the cold. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Psychology, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew, I moved to Haifa to intern at Isha L'Isha, an NGO that works on anti-trafficking initiatives. Next, I spent a year at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, studying Torah, Talmud, and other Jewish texts. I moved to DC this past summer to begin a job as Assistant for Youth, Education, and Family programming at Ohr Kodesh Congregation. I spend my time exploring my neighborhood (Columbia Heights), swimming, reading, and twirling my pen during meetings.


Rachel Hutt has lived in Washington, DC for four years, but proudly hails from Cleveland, OH.  She graduated from Columbia University and is now a program manager at a nonprofit children's literacy organization.  Rachel is a proud participant and leader in the Tikkun Leil Shabbat and DC Minyan communities.  When she's not at a Jewish event or at her job, Rachel loves riding her bike, doing crossword puzzles, reading, and watching baseball and football.


David Krakow is a native of Los Angeles.  He spent seven years in Providence, Rhode Island earning two degrees from Brown University, the first in Africana Studies and the second in teaching Social Studies.  He cut his activist teeth volunteering on campaigns for immigration reform, and the successful election of a Green party city council candidate.  He has worked with community gardeners to win land tenure in urban cities, and organizes wealthy, young people with progressive politics to give money to match their ideals.  Most days he teaches high school History and rides a bicycle to work. 


Josh Linden Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Josh is a graduate of James Madison University, where he earned a degree in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Communities. After spending his junior year studying at Ben Gurion University in Israel, Josh moved to Tel Aviv to serve as a volunteer coordinator for Amnesty International's Israel Section, working to promote awareness of Israel's less-talked about humanitarian crisis: the influx of African refugees. More recently, he interned at The American Prospect magazine, which provided him with a wonderful platform to both develop his writing and deepen his knowledge of the broader progressive movement. He contributed a number of pieces to the magazine's blog, TAPPED, and is eager to continue writing for a variety of forums should the opportunity arise. Since moving to DC, Josh has learned to enjoy biking through the gauntlet that is the DC street scene. He also loves hiking, camping, rafting, and especially traveling...in order to hike, camp, and raft.


Julia Moss is a part-time Scrabble player and a full-time Dodger fan.  A native of Los Angeles, Julia ventured East to get her bachelor's degree in Political Communications from The George Washington University, where she spent most of her time engaging students in Jewish social action programs at Hillel and convincing people to cut their hair and buzz their heads for kids with cancer. She spent the summer of 2006 working for the Progressive Jewish Alliance in Los Angeles, where she learned about the power of storytelling in organizing, which is how she ended up a journalist. Julia now covers health care policy for a daily health care news brief here in D.C. Julia is passionate about seven-letter words, froyo, podcasts, and experimental cooking.


Candace Nachman is a Washington, DC area native who returned to the area five years ago after completing her Masters degree in Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.  She has been able to pursue her love of the environment both professionally, as a fishery biologist for NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources, and personally, as the president of the Green Group at Kesher Israel in Georgetown where she works to educate the community about the importance of protecting the environment from a Torah perspective.  Candace loves college football (Go Canes!) and playing in poker tournaments.


Tovah Pentelovitch Tovah hails from Minnesota and graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Upon graduating from college she moved to Southern Spain on a grant from the Spanish government to teach English in Aznalcollar, a small mining village outside of Sevilla. After a year of living in Spain and wandering around Europe, Tovah decided it was time to face reality and get a full-time job in the United States. She currently works at a boutique consulting firm that provides strategic marketing and research for nonprofits (mostly environmental) and spends a good deal of her free time volunteering at a women's transitional housing shelter in D.C. She plans to return to school in two years to pursue her Masters in Social Work and a JD. She will take the mountains over the beach any day and is anticipating the day she can afford to take a hot air balloon ride somewhere beautiful.


Roberta ("Bert") Ritvo is Pro Bono Counsel at DLA Piper.  While most of her time is spent matching lawyers with pro bono clients and managing the firm's program, she also represents clients directly.  After graduating from Smith College, Bert moved to Houston to teach sixth grade with Teach for America.  She then ran an education nonprofit for a year before moving to Austin to earn her JD and Master of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.  During school, Bert interned at the International War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.  Bert likes watching and volunteering at figure skating competitions, all things chocolate, and living in Washington, DC.


Elissa Silverman recently transitioned from objective observer to social justice activist. After a decade working as a local reporter in Washington, DC, she is now a policy associate with the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank focused on the needs of low and moderate income District residents. She also has returned to school and is enrolled in the Master's program in Urban Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Elissa is a resident of Capitol Hill and enjoys riding her purple Bianchi bicycle, cooking, playing tennis, and generally goofing around with friends big and small. She hopes the Jeremiah Fellowship will help her find a Jewish home in DC. She also participates in services with Hill Havurah, Tikkun Leil Shabbat, and 6th and I synagogue.


Coordinator Bio:

In addition to her work as Program Director and Rabbi in Residence at JUFJ, Rabbi Elizabeth Richman has also served as a member of the Jewish Funds for Justice Clergy Taskforce and as a board member of the National Havurah Committee.   Rabbi Richman is an experienced teacher, having taught for organizations as diverse as Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar, the AIDS Institute's Faith Communities Project, and various Hillels and synagogues.  She has also written for a variety of publications, including LILITH, Sh'ma, My Jewish Learning, and Jewschool.  Rabbi Richman was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and holds an A.B from Princeton University and a certificate in Tanach, Talmud, and Halacha from the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education.  During rabbinical school she was a lead organizer in the campaign to open Conservative rabbinical schools to openly gay and lesbian students, allow Conservative rabbis to perform same-sex commitment ceremonies, and create greater inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in the Conservative movement.  In her spare time, she enjoys roaming local farmers' markets, cooking vegetarian dinners for friends, listening to This American Life, and singing.