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.

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.

Rebecca Barson (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. She is currently a member of the Birth to Three and Racial Equity Core Teams and has been a part of the DC Leadership Council since it began in the summer of 2017. Rebecca is a resident of Woodley Park and loves reading, Sunday crossword puzzles, and being an aunt. 

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.

Jayme Epstein (she/her/hers) is a member of the Racial Equity team. She 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.

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.

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.

Annie Rosenthal headshot

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 Spokane

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.

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. 

Anita Lampel, Co-Chair: 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: 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: 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: 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 headshot

Melissa Goemann: 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: 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.

Anna Levy: bio coming soon.

Jeffrey Rubin: Jeff became active with JUFJ in 2014, and has been part of the Leadership Council since its founding in November of 2018. He is the Leadership Council secretary and co-chair of the Maryland Economic Justice for Working Marylanders 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: bio coming soon.

Bruce Turnbull: 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: 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: 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.


Thanks to all of our fantastic former staff:

Katie Ashmore, 2012-14
Sarah Brammer-Shlay, 2012-16*
Ariana Brenig, 2018-2019
Lizzie Busch, 2010-11*
Emmanuel Cantor, 2018-19*
Isaac Deitz-Green, 2017-18*
Nathaniel Eisen, 2013-14*
Eliana Golding, 2014-16
Elizabeth Heyman, 2016-2019*

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
Aimée Pohl, 2018-19

Roberta Ritvo, 2015-16
Avi Rosenblit, 2004-06
Liz Simon-Higgs, 2016-17
Jevera Temsky, 1999-2004
Anya van Wagtendonk, 2015-17
Hannah Weilbacher, 2014-17*
Allison Wessells, 2014-15*
Bennet Wilcox, 2017-18

* 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
Camille Harris
Kavitha Kasargod-Staub
Talia Laster

Alli McCracken
Ethan Miller
Shelley Moskowitz
Jessie Posilkin
Andy Ratto

Colby Sangree
Sophie Schoenberg
Rabbi Brent Spodek
Michelle Sternthal
Josh Swanner
Janelle Treibitz


Thanks to all of our fantastic former Board members:

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
Jevera Temsky, 2007-10
Jon Wheeler, 2008-10
Eric Wiesner, 2000

Leadership Councils



Claire Landers, Co-Chair
Tracie Guy-Decker, Co-Chair
Samantha Blau
Rabbi Daniel Burg
Ruth Crystal
Jeremy Gombin-Sperling
Stuart Katzenberg
Michele Levy
Laura Menyuk
Natalia Skolnik
Gabriel Stuart-Sikowitz
Matan Zeimer



Rebecca Barson, Co-Chair
Jayme Epstein, Co-Chair
Rachel Anderson
Alana Eichner
Shira Markoff
Emma Rafaelof
Annie Rosenthal
Lauren Spokane
Evan Traylor
Hannah Weilbacher

Montgomery County


Anita Lampel, Co-Chair
Carol Stern, Co-Chair
Debbie Amster
Bob Barkin
Melissa Goemann
Jerry Kickenson
Jeff Rubin
Bruce Turnbull
Mark Wolff
Fran Zamore