Claire Landers, Co-Chair
Tracie Guy-Decker, Co-Chair
Rabbi Daniel Burg
Rebecca Barson, Co-Chair
Jayme Epstein, Co-Chair
Anita Lampel, Co-Chair
Carol Stern, Co-Chair
JUFJ is made up of thousands of Jews and allies who work for change in the DC-Maryland region. We are governed by Leadership Councils from each of our jurisdictions, as well as by our Board of Directors.
Thanks to all of our fantastic former staff:
Katie Ashmore, 2012-14
Jonah ben Avraham, 2017-18
Joanna Blotner, 2015-21
Sarah Brammer-Shlay, 2012-16*
Ariana Brenig, 2018-19
Lizzie Busch, 2010-11*
Emmanuel Cantor, 2018-20*
Isaac Deitz-Green, 2017-18*
Nathaniel Eisen, 2013-14*
Rebecca Ennen, 2010-20
Eliana Golding, 2014-16
Carla Hashley, 2014-21
Elizabeth Heyman, 2016-19*
Sam Jewler, 2014-15
Monica Kamen, 2011-14, 2019*
Melanie Kesner, 2015-16*
Andrew Kirschner, 2015-16
Lori Leibowitz, 2006-07
Holli Levinson, 2014-17
Darya Mattes, 2007-09
Liat Melnick, 2015-16
Ashley Morse, 2019-20
Aimée Pohl, 2018-19
Roberta Ritvo, 2015-16
Avi Rosenblit, 2004-06
Rakhel Silverman, 2019-20*
Liz Simon-Higgs, 2016-17
Jevera Temsky, 1999-2004
Anya van Wagtendonk, 2015-17
Hannah Weilbacher, 2014-17*
Zach Weinstein, 2019-20
Allison Wessells, 2014-15*
Shira Wolkenfeld, 2019-20*
* denotes Avodah Corps Member
Thanks also to all of our former part-time and temporary staff, who are just as fantastic:
Rabbi Laura Bellows
Rabbi Shahar Colt
Rabbi Brent Spodek
Thanks to all of our fantastic former Board members:
Rabbi Aaron Alexander, 2019-20
Rabbi Erica Asch, 2013
Jim Auerbach, 2001-04
Maude Bauschard, 2004
Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, 2011-15
Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg, 2015-18
Jill Cohen, 2000
Emily DeVoto, 2000-02
Lee Diamond, 1999-2000
Jacob Feinspan, 2006-07
Anna Levine Fink, 2016-18
Elissa Froman, z”l, 2006-13
Rabbi Josh Ginsberg, 2004
Alisa Glassman, 2002
Dan Gordon, 2014
Simon Greer, 1999-2001
Roberta Hantgan, 2004-07
Rabbi Doug Heifetz, 2006-07
Carolivia Herron, 2004-05
Evin Isaacson, 2006-07
Rabbi Marc Israel, 2003-04
Stephen Jascourt, 2000-01
Robin Katcher, 1999-2001
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, 2006-09
Rabbi Jessica Kirschner, 2014
Sharlene Kranz, 2008-10
Deena Feinstein Krulewitz, 2014-18
Laureen Lazarovici, 2002-04
Revital Levi, 1999
Abigail Levine, 2011-15
Ilana Lipsett, 2006
Danielle Lutterman, 1999
David Mackoff, 2008-14
Sarah McKenzie, 1999
Rabbi Sarah Meytin, 2009
Minna Morse, 1999-2001
Shelley Moskowitz, 2001-13
Brianne Nadeau, 2011-14
Joelle Novey, 2003
Rabbi Jessica Oleon, 2010-13
Rachel Pentlarge, 2000
Carrie Port, 2004-05
Ed Rehfeld, 2002-06
Harvey Reiter, 2013-17
Roberta Ritvo, 2010-17
Adina Rosenbaum, 2006-17
Michael Rubin, 2009-18
Rabbi Bob Saks, 2008-14
Lenny Sapozhnikov, 2004-6
Erin Scharff, 2007
Susanna Shapiro, 2004-06
Rabbi David Shneyer, 1999-2000
Marilyn Sneiderman, 2002-03
Sy Sokatch, 2006-09
Eli Staub, 2004-07
Rabbi Alana Suskin, 2004-06
Ericka Taylor, 2018-20
Jevera Temsky, 2007-10
Jon Wheeler, 2008-10
Eric Wiesner, 2000
Baltimore Leadership Council
Tracie Guy-Decker (she/her/hers) is the co-chair of both the Baltimore Fundraising Team and the Baltimore Leadership Council. Tracie has been engaged in JUFJ’s Baltimore work since the protests that emerged after Freddie Gray’s murder in 2015. Born and raised in Baltimore County, Tracie moved back to the city of her birth in 2013. She lives on the city’s west side with her Navy Chief husband, their elementary-aged daughter, a petite cat, and 2 poorly-behaved dogs.
Samantha Blau (she/her/hers) is the co-chair of the Baltimore Leadership Council, a resident of Baltimore’s Patterson Park neighborhood, a former science educator, and current social justice organizer. She has volunteered with JUFJ since 2016, in that time giving testimony in Baltimore City Hall and Maryland State committee hearings, completing a Jeremiah Fellowship, and currently serving as the co-chair of the Maryland Justice System Reform & Immigrant Rights team. When she’s not organizing, Samantha can be found pursuing the perfect scoop of ice cream.
Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg (he/him/his) has been rabbi of Beth Am Synagogue since July of 2010. Prior to his position at Beth Am, he served at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now American Jewish University), he holds an M.A. in Rabbinic Studies and another in Jewish Education from there and a B.A. in Hebrew Studies and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin.
Rabbi Burg has helped to articulate a congregational mission and vision for Beth Am’s community engagement initiative (See New Jewish Neighborhood Project) and “In, For Of, Inc.” a 501(c)3 organization affiliated with Beth Am. He serves on the board of the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS) and IFO, and on the Baltimore Advisory Board of Jews United for Justice. He has been a vocal supporter in Annapolis and Baltimore of marriage equality, police reform, legislation to curtail gun violence and other important social and societal issues affecting Beth Am’s city and state.
Rav Daniel is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a member of the Maryland Task Force on Reconciliation and Equity. His writing has appeared in eJewish Philanthropy, the Jewish Review of Books, The Forward, The Times of Israel, the Baltimore Jewish Times and the Chicago Sun-Times. He was featured in the Cover Story for Conservative/Masorti Judaism’s international publication and in Baltimore Magazine and has appeared in The Atlantic, the Baltimore Sun and on MSNBC and several local Baltimore media outlets. He is a contributing author to Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation about Rabbinical Education (Ed. Herring and Roscher) and Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays (Ed. Steinberg). He blogs at www.theUrbanRabbi.org.
Rav Daniel lives near Beth Am in the historic Reservoir Hill neighborhood with his wife Rabbi Miriam Cotzin Burg and their two children, Eliyah and Shamir.
Ruth Crystal (she/her/hers) is a transplanted New Yorker who has lived in Baltimore for 45+ years. Prior to retiring, Ruth worked in the fields of affordable housing, alternative education, and workforce development. She has directed two housing mobility programs and served as Executive Director of Maryland Low Income Housing Coalition and government liaison for the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development.
Ruth has an MBA in Information systems from the University of Maryland, an MA in teaching from Antioch College, and a BA in urban studies from Hunter College.
Her community work has included serving on the boards of National Low Income Housing Coalition, Coalition for Low Income Community Development, Maryland Alliance for the Poor, Maryland Affordable Housing Trust, Maryland Alliance for Responsible Investment, Baltimore League of Women Voters, Maryland League of Women Voters and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. She currently is editor of LWVMD Report from State Circle; serves on the Leadership Council of Baltimore Jews United for Justice; is a volunteer tutor with the Dyslexia Tutoring Project and a mentor with the International Rescue Committee.
She is happily married to David Cramer (the Cramer in CramerCrystal) and has a daughter Lissaivy who is an expressive arts therapist in San Francis.
Jeremy Gombin-Sperling (he/him/his) is co-chair of the Community Building and Education Team for JUFJ-Baltimore and joined the JUFJ Leadership Board in early 2019. He became involved with JUFJ starting in summer 2018 and has truly enjoyed and learned so much from his experiences being part of the organization. As a White Jewish man, Jeremy comes to this work with a desire to utilize local issues and systemic struggles in Baltimore to enter discussions of power and oppression within larger global historical contexts. Outside of JUFJ, Jeremy is a Ph.D. Candidate in the International Education Policy (IEP) program at the University of Maryland-College Park where he focuses his research at the intersection of initiatives for inclusion and social justice, and work on international education and exchange programs. Jeremy’s passion is food and whenever he can you can find him in his kitchen cooking up a storm!
Jennifer (Jen) Cheslock (she/her/hers) holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University. Jen worked as a youth organizer, program director, and religious educator in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York before moving back to her hometown of Baltimore in 2012. Jen brings more than 15 years of non-profit management experience supporting children, youth, and their families. Each of her professional roles has included strengthening relationships with stakeholders and developing policies, programs, and people. Jen was a Jeremiah Fellow in 2018-2019, served as Maryland District 41 captain in 2019-2020, and serves as the co-chair for the Baltimore Community Building and Education team.
Jen loves a good cup of coffee, duckpin bowling, and doing her part to build a more just and resilient Baltimore for all its residents.
Jody Harburger is retired from a 50 year career in Jewish Communal Service primarily as an Executive Director for several Jewish Federations, Israel Bonds, and the American Jewish Committee. He is a graduate of UCLA in Hebrew Literature and graduate of the Hebrew Union College Graduate School of Jewish Comminal Service. 48 years ago he married Sheila, his life partner, and has 5 grandchildren here in Baltimore. Their parents are involved with JUFJ as well. In addition to serving as Chair of the Baltimore JUFJ Fundraising Committee, Jody serves on the boards of The Good People Fund and Chizuk Amuno Congregation where he chairs the Stuhlman Adult Education program and is a member of the Social Justice Advocacy Committee. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Marketing Committee of Na’aleh, The Associated’s new Hub for Leadership Learning and sits on the Advisory Council of The Darrell Friedman Institute. Jody recently completed a term on the Board of Hillel at Goucher College, and actively supports JPride Baltimore. ACLU, Southern Poverty Law and Jewish Volunteer Center.
Ethan Hasiuk (he/him/his) joined the Baltimore Action Team in 2018, was a 2019-2020 Baltimore Jeremiah Fellow, and was also part of the JUFJ Campaign Fund Leadership Council for the 2020 Baltimore City elections. Ethan has worked as a transportation planner in Baltimore City and is currently serving for a year with the Maryland Conservation Corps in Patapsco Valley State Park. He is a Baltimore City resident and a member of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, where he plays drums in the klezmer band.
Sarah Hiller (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Baltimore County, was a 2019-2020 Baltimore Jeremiah Fellow and is a co-chair of JUFJ’s Labor and Housing Justice Team. Her interest in economic justice issues began with her study of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, where she wrote her senior thesis on how parental leave and childcare policies impact working mothers and women’s economic security. After college, Sarah lived in Jerusalem for a year, where she participated in the Israel Government Fellows program and worked for the Israel Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs’ Department of International Relations. She currently works at Adeo, a strategic communications and advocacy agency. In addition to her work with JUFJ, Sarah serves as the President of Camp Louise Circle, the alumni organization for the Jewish sleepaway camp. She enjoys dancing, making and drinking coffee, attending live concerts and theater performances, and saying “hi” to dogs.
Stuart Katzenberg (he/him/his) joined the Leadership Council in 2017 and lends support to variety of JUFJ initiatives. A lifelong organizer, Stuart is the Director of Collective Bargaining and Growth at AFSCME Council 3 which represents State, University, and private sector workers. Born and raised in Baltimore City, Stuart enjoys spending time with his extended family locally and then getting away to explore new places through traveling.
Lauren Kelleher joined JUFJ as a volunteer leader in 2020. She has participated in organizing efforts around police reform and paid family medical leave and now serves as a co-chair of the Baltimore Action Team. Lauren moved to Baltimore in 2018 with her husband and small dog; all three of whom are proud residents of the Hoes Heights neighborhood. Her day job is as a consumer protection attorney and she has previously worked on issues ranging from employment discrimination to prisoners’ rights. Lauren received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern and a J.D. from Georgetown. She is an active member of Bolton Street Synagogue and a devotee of all things Baltimore.
Claire Landers (she/her/hers) has been an active member of JUFJ-Baltimore since its first community meeting in early 2015. She has been Co-Chair of JUFJ’s Police Accountability Campaign Team and Baltimore Leadership Council. After working in Washington, DC for AIPAC and the Women’s Legal Defense Fund, she earned her M.A. in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew University and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She helped establish CHANA, Baltimore’s domestic violence program for Jewish women, as its first Assistant Director and has been an active community volunteer as a board member for agencies of The Associated, including the JCC, CJE and DFI. Claire serves as a Legislative Aide for Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond. Originally from Boston, MA, Claire received a B.A. in Government from Harvard. With her husband, Steven Falk, and her daughter, Felice, Claire is an active congregant at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
Michele Levy (she/her/hers) was captivated by possibility she felt at JUFJ’s first Baltimore community meeting and is grateful to have since found her organizing home. She is a member of Baltimore’s Leadership Council and former co-chair of the Rent Court campaign team. Michele works as an organizational consultant, serves as president of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, and is constantly dreaming of her next cycling adventure.
Laura Menyuk (she/her/hers) graduated with her BA in French and Hearing and Speech Science with a focus on linguistic anthropology from the University of Maryland in 2005. Following graduation, she spent a year in DC’s Avodah: The Jewish service corps, an entrée into non-profit leadership and a study of Judaism, community building, and urban anti-poverty work. Since then Laura has studied and taught literacy, Chesapeake Bay ecology, civic engagement, team building facilitation, disaster relief, early American studies and Indigenous-Jewish farming practice to students from age 3 to adults. Laura is a facilitator and experiential educator. Raised bilingual in one of the most diverse regions of our nation, she has always sought to uplift the rich diversity which makes up the fabric of a thriving, resilient, and just global society. Laura is currently a farm to school specialist for Baltimore City Public Schools, and volunteers as chair of Baltimore Jews United for Justice’s education and community building team.
Andy Miller (he/him/his) has been an active member of JUFJ since 2016. He is a past president of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and is chair of Chizuk Amuno’s Social Justice Advocacy Committee, and he currently chairs JUFJ’s Social Justice in the Synagogues Roundtable and serves as a member of the Leadership Council. He grew up in northern New Jersey, completed his bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences at Brown University and his PhD in Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He has been a faculty member at UMBC since 1983 and is a professor in the Dept. of Geography & Environmental Systems with research and teaching interests in water and watersheds. He is a member of the Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality and currently serves as chair of the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. He lives in Baltimore County with his wife Sandra Dzija and they are the proud parents of Ben Miller and Ezra Miller and grandparents of Sophie and Lily, all of whom live just an hour away in Washington, DC.
Dan Richman (he/him/his) started volunteering with JUFJ in 2017. He has served as the Maryland Labor and Housing Justice Team co-chair, participated in the JUFJ cohort of ‘Don’t Kvetch, Organize!’ training, and is currently a Maryland District Captain and co-chair of the statewide District Organizing program. Dan works as a biophysicist and lives in Baltimore’s Patterson Park neighborhood from which he loves exploring the city by foot and bus.
Evan Serpick (he/him/his) is a communications professional with backgrounds in journalism and social justice activism. He is currently the Director of Strategic Communications for Open Society Institute-Baltimore, and previously served as the editor-in-chief of Baltimore’s weekly City Paper, senior editor at Baltimore magazine, and associate editor at Rolling Stone. Evan has also been a lifelong community activist, serving in a wide range of roles, including as an Ambassador for Baltimore Ceasefire and Social Action Committee Chair for Beth Am Synagogue. He is a member of the United Way of Central Maryland’s Regional United Network Advisory Board for Baltimore City. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of General Studies and School of Journalism. He lives in Baltimore City with his wife Brenda, an English teacher at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and his sons Jack and Benny.
Gabriel Stuart-Sikowitz (he/him/his) Originally from Gaithersburg, Gabriel grew up at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase. After graduating Thomas Wootton High School, he then attended, and graduated from, Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. After graduating with a degree in history in 2013, he interned for two different Congressmen, interned at the Center for Responsive Politics, and worked on several campaigns culminating on Councilmember Shannon Sneed’s successful election in 2016. He then served as her Chief of Staff through her time in City Council, and is now the Legislative Director for Councilmember Odette Ramos. In his spare time Gabriel likes watching the Orioles and Capitals as well as reading about history, Steinbeck, and Roth.
Yosef Webb-Cohen (he/him/his) served as the 2019/2020 Jeremiah Fellowship
Co-Coordinator in Baltimore after participating in the fellowship in 2018/2019. Yosef is an educator committed to supporting individuals and communities in their journeys for personal, social, and cultural growth and change. Yosef is the Senior Educator of the Calico Hill Collective, developing experiences to support individuals and communities who are seeking to strengthen their capacity to live out their justice values and to engage effectively, ethically, and authentically across identity differences, including race, gender, sexuality, religion, class, immigration status, and disability/mental health among other differences. Yosef received his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in NW Washington, DC where he focused his studies on interfaith (Jewish/Christian/Muslim) dialogue for peace, a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis on the experiences of indigenous Native American peoples, from California State University, Sacramento. He successfully completed 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is trained as an interfaith and mental health chaplain. Yosef is currently pursuing an MSW at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
DC Leadership Council
Rebecca Barson, Chair (she/her/hers), is a self-employed health policy and advocacy strategist. She first became involved with JUFJ after attending a house party during the summer of 2016 and quickly joined JUFJ’s advocacy efforts for paid family leave, affordable housing, and an equitable DC budget. Rebecca has served on and chaired several JUFJ core teams and working groups and has been a part of the DC Leadership Council since it began in the summer of 2017. She is a resident of Woodley Park in Ward 3, a founding member of the New Synagogue Project, and loves reading, Sunday crossword puzzles, and being an aunt.
Jayme Epstein, Co-chair (she/her/hers), originally became active in 2017 with JUFJ in Montgomery County, where she served as co-chair of the Maryland Equal Justice Under the Law team and as a member of the Racial Justice core team for Montgomery County and the Campaign Fund. Jayme moved to DC in late 2018 and joined the DC Leadership Council in the summer of 2019. Outside of JUFJ, Jayme volunteers in a variety of forums to support education about and advocate for racial equity.
Hannah Blumenfeld (bio coming soon)
Ari Brickman (she/her/hers) is the current co-chair of the Housing Security Working Group. Ari first became active in JUFJ in 2020 when she joined JUFJ Campaign Fund’s Campaign Core Team and from there quickly became involved in JUFJ’s work around ensuring that all DC residents have access to fair and safe housing. Ari has been in DC for three years and when she is not at work she loves eating her way through the city, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Ariel Drehobl (she/her/hers) is the co-chair of the Housing Security Working Group. She first became involved in JUFJ in 2018 when she joined the DC Campaign Fund Core Team, where she supported JUFJ’s DC electoral work and community meetings with Councilmembers. Ariel also supported JUFJ’s DC Just Recovery Core Team in the summer of 2020, where she worked to ensure a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for all residents of DC. Ariel has lived in DC since 2014, and for her day job she works at a nonprofit on energy affordability and clean energy policy. She enjoys attending theater and storytelling shows, reading memories, and hosting Shabbat dinners.
Michelle Engelmann (she/her/hers) is the co-chair of the Under Three Working Group. She first became involved with JUFJ as part of her grants work at Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation (TOWF). She started advocating for early childhood education through her work with the Reproductive Health and Rights Working Group at Temple Sinai. In 2020 she joined the Tax and Budget (TAB) Working Group and served as the Under 3 liaison. She enjoys going to the theater and art museums, playing the cello, traveling and especially being a grandmother.
Katharine Landfield (she/her) is the current co-chair of the Economic Justice Working Group and past co-chair of the Tax and Budget (TAB) Working Group. TAB supported the Just Recovery DC campaign in winning a tax increase on DC’s highest earners to fund three excellent anti-poverty efforts. She is also on the leadership team for the Excluded Workers campaign. Katharine has two wonderful grown sons and loves to cook, eat well, travel, and wander trails in Rock Creek Park.
Shira Markoff (she/her) is co-chair of the DC Campaign Fund core team. She first became active with JUFJ in 2018 and joined the DC Leadership Council in July 2019. Shira has lived in DC for more than six years and works for Prosperity Now. She enjoys reading, travel, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Yael Nagar (bio coming soon)
Annie Rosenthal (she/her/hers) is a former JUFJ DC Jeremiah Fellow and current co-chair of the Birth To Three core team. Annie has lived in DC for ten years and loves learning, listening, and advocating for the city. While she has attended JUFJ events sporadically for the past few years, she became active in JUFJ in 2018 and joined the DC Leadership Council in July 2019. Annie works in communications for the United Nations Foundation, writes long Twitter threads on articles and books that interest her (check her out at @anniero2727), and searches for local food that reminds her of her childhood in California.
Lauren Jacobson Spokane (she/her) serves on the Board of Directors as well as the DC Leadership Council of JUFJ. She got involved in JUFJ as a member of the affordable housing core team in fall 2015, worked on the budget core team in spring 2017, served on JUFJ’s strategic planning team in 2017, and was a member of the DC field building research team in 2018. Lauren works in the DC office of Faith in Action as Director of Development and is the Lead Instigator and Board Chair of the New Synagogue Project. She began her career in Boston as a community organizer with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rachel Anderson (she/her/hers) joined the Leadership Council in 2019 after serving on a variety of JUFJ core teams over the last year and a half. She currently co-chairs JUFJ’s Campaign Fund core team. Rachel has lived in DC for almost 10 years and currently loves living in Eastern Market. Outside of JUFJ, Rachel works in education policy and enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking.
Alana Eichner (she/hers) joined the DC Leadership Council in 2019 when she became a co-chair of JUFJ’s Birth to Three campaign. Alana lives in Mt. Pleasant and has followed the work of JUFJ from a distance during her six years in DC but is excited to have this opportunity to deepen her involvement. Outside of JUFJ, Alana is a labor policy activist and enjoys arguing about politics and feminism.
Emma Rafaelof (she/her) is co-chair of the DC Racial Equity Team. She became regularly active in JUFJ after being a member of the Campaign Selection team in 2018, and has been passionate about affordable housing and racial justice in DC since coming to DC 2015. Emma also serves as co-lead for the New Synagogue Project’s People of Color, Indigenous, Sephardic, and Mizrahi (POCISM) Space. She lives in Columbia Heights and enjoys running, cooking, baking, and biking.
Evan Traylor (he/him/his) is co-chair of the DC Racial Equity Team. He recently got involved with JUFJ, and is passionate about racial justice work within the Jewish community. Evan is originally from Oklahoma City, and currently lives in Columbia Heights. He currently works for the Union for Reform Judaism overseeing college student engagement and leadership.
Hannah Weilbacher (she/her/hers) joined the DC Leadership Council in the summer of 2019, and it’s a great way for her to continue her commitment to JUFJ’s community after working at JUFJ from 2014-2016 and then serving on the Campaign Fund Core Team. She works at American Jewish World Service and has a podcast about pop music + politics.
Montgomery County Leadership Council
Anita Lampel, Co-Chair (she/her/hers): Anita has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018 and is the co-chair of the Community Building and Education team. She is a psychologist whose practice has included managing a major child-adolescent mental health program and providing court-ordered evaluations in criminal and civil cases. She volunteers in the Jewish community, serving in the past as an officer in her synagogue and now as a member of the JxJ (formerly Washington Jewish Film Festival) Council.
Carol Stern, Co-Chair (she/her/hers):Carol has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018. Carol is the co-chair of the Maryland Equal Justice under the Law Team, has testified in Annapolis, and built solid relationships with District 16 state legislators. She was co-chair of the Marriage Equality effort at Adat Shalom that brought together 100 members to canvass, phone bank, and advocate in Annapolis for the passage of the law. After the successful fight for marriage equality, Carol married her longtime partner, Miriam Eisenstein. When not working with JUFJ, being a Bubbi to her grandkids is one of her favorite activities.
Debbie Amster (she/her/hers): Debbie became active with JUFJ in 2014, and has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018. She is the co-chair of the Community Building and Education team. Retired from a career in Jewish Communal Service, she is currently a culinary coach providing healthy cooking demos in the workplace. Debbie’s daughter, Molly Amster, is the Baltimore Director of JUFJ.
Bob Barkin (he/him/his): Bob has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018. He has been a leader in Jewish non-profit organizations for 25 years and is currently a Board member and Treasurer for Jews United for Justice. He is also a board member for JCRC and a former president of Adat Shalom. Professionally, he was Vice President, Corporate Communications, for ICMA-RC, a financial services corporation, based in Washington, DC that provides retirement plans for public sector employees.
Melissa Goemann (she/her/hers): Melissa has been part of the Leadership Council since the spring of 2019, and is the Racial Equity and Policing Reform co-chair. Melissa Goemann is the Senior Policy Counsel for the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), a membership-led organization that works to demand change in youth justice systems both locally and nationally. Melissa previously worked as the legislative director for the ACLU of Maryland, where she was responsible for advancing a broad range of civil liberties issues. Melissa is an active member of her synagogue, where she helped to organize a series of racial justice films and discussions together with JUFJ last year.
Jerry Kickenson (he/him/his): Jerry has been active in JUFJ since 2017 and part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018, and is the Migrant Justice chair. He is also the cluster leader of the Montgomery County chapter of the Congregation Action Network, which is an organizing network of congregations in the DC/MD/VA region that provide support and solidarity to neighbors, friends, and family who fear being detained, deported or profiled. Jerry also helps organize the annual Sukkot in Spring project for his synagogue’s social action committee. When not working, Jerry enjoys listening to blues and classical music, hiking, kayaking, and walking with his dog Eko.
Heidi Rhodes (she/her/hers): Heidi is originally from Michigan, but spent most of her life in Maryland; except for 6 years in Britain, where her daughter was born and where she picked up the annoying love of bagpipe music. She worked for the federal government for 36 years primarily researching, writing, and briefing, and teaching others how to do the same. Now that she’s retired, she’s loving volunteering with JUFJ in addition to her other passions of the Capitals, Nationals, and Shakespeare.
Anna Tubiash Levy (she/her/hers): Anna has been part of the Leadership Council since fall 2019. She is a member of the Economic Justice platform team and a member of the priorities planning team for the 2020 legislative session. Anna is retired from a career at the National Cancer Institute, which included work in strategic science planning, and on cancers in women and minorities. She also volunteers with Courtwatch Montgomery. Anna enjoys time with her children and grandchildren, is active in her synagogue, and likes to cook, read, and spend time outdoors hiking and cycling.
Jeffrey Rubin (he/him/his): Jeff became active with JUFJ in 2014, and has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018. He is also co-chair of the Maryland statewide Labor and Housing Justice team. When not working on JUFJ activities, Jeff serves as Scientific Advisor for a cancer drug development company (Paradigm Shift Therapeutics) and enjoys exercise (jogging, swimming, hiking), photography, reading and time with his family.
Jo Shifrin (she/her/hers): Jo lives in Bethesda, MD in District 16. She has been part of the Leadership Council since Fall, 2019. She is a member of a number of JUFJ teams (Economic Platform, Equal Justice Platform, Community Building and Education, Racial Equity and Policing, and Heschel). She is also very involved in getting the Time to Care Act (paid family and medical leave) passed. She has given testimony in Annapolis during the 2019 and 2020 sessions of the General Assembly. Before moving to Bethesda, she worked for 25+ years as an administrator in medical schools and teaching hospitals. Now retired, she enjoys time with her grandchildren, cooking for friends, participating in two book clubs, and taking exercise classes.
Bruce Turnbull (he/him/his): Bruce has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018 and serves on the Board of the Jews United for Justice Campaign Fund. He is a lawyer in private practice, representing major technology companies and multi-company consortia in the negotiation and deployment of licensing regimes for cutting edge technologies that deliver entertainment content to consumers, before opening his own practice. Bruce is a co-founder of, and pro bono counsel to, the Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society, an organization founded by Jewish descendants of a town in what is now Ukraine. He also serves on the Lawyers’ Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bruce is married to Susan Wolf Turnbull, and they reside in Bethesda, Maryland. They are the parents of two adult sons (and their wives) and the incredibly proud grandparents of three grandsons.
Mark Wolff (he/him/his): Mark became active with JUFJ approximately five years ago and has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November 2018 as an at-large member. He is an active member of Congregation Adat Shalom. Mark is a retired biostatistician, having worked mostly on vaccine clinical trials. In addition to JUFJ, he spends his time doing pottery and photography.
Fran Zamore (she/her/hers): Fran became active with JUFJ in Fall of 2016, and has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018 and is the co-chair of the Racial Equity & Policing Reform team. When not involved with JUFJ she is involved with her Jewish spiritual journey through study with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She is an active member of her synagogue, co-chairing their committee that promotes and facilitates contemplative practices (Makom) and the racial justice sub-committee of the Social Action committee. Fran also hikes, plays bridge, knits, and bakes.