Former Congressman Andy Levin
A former member of Congress, union organizer, human rights activist, workforce policy expert and green energy entrepreneur, Andy Levin brought his unique expertise to the halls of Congress as the proud representative for Michigan’s 9th District from 2018 to 2022.
While in Washington, Andy authored, cosponsored, and helped pass legislation drawing on his lifetime of experience fighting for an equitable and inclusive future for all people. Most notably, Andy introduced and passed the resolution that protects congressional staff’s right to organize and bargain collectively in House offices. Congressional workers in the Office of Congressman Andy Levin were the first office to vote to form a union in U.S. history.
Andy has long been active in the spiritual and social justice life of the Jewish community. Until his election to Congress, he served as president of a Reconstructionist Jewish synagogue, Congregation T’chiyah, and as chair of the steering committee of Detroit Jews for Justice, an organization he helped create to fight for racial and economic justice in Detroit. After the battles in Gaza in 2021, Andy authored the Two-State Solution Act to realize the U.S. position of a secure, Democratic homeland for the Jewish people in Israel and honor the political and human rights of Palestinians. Andy married his high school sweetheart Mary Freeman in 1991. They have four children — Koby, Saul, Ben, and Molly.
Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann
Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann is the rabbi of SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All, the first Reconstructionist synagogue in America. She is passionate about bringing voices from the margins into the center in Jewish life and integrating Jewish spirituality and social justice. She is a proud alumna of JOIN, the Jewish Organizing Initiative & Network, and is actively involved with issues of racial and economic justice, including housing and homelessness, immigrant rights and reproductive justice, as well as being an advocate for LGBTQ youth and those experiencing mental illness.
In 2017, Rabbi Lauren organized the “Yes to Love, No to Hate: Interfaith Solidarity, Hope and Action” in response to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, VA that gathered over 600 New Yorkers and brought together over 70 sponsoring organizations. In 2020, Rabbi Lauren organized fellow clergy to stand with the men of the Lucerne, a group of houseless men sheltered in an Upper West Side hotel during the pandemic who were unjustly targeted for removal from the neighborhood. She was recently named one of the “Faith Power 100: New York’s Most Influential Religious Leaders” by City and State NY.
Rabbi Mira Rivera
Rabbi Mira Rivera is the first Filipina-American Rabbi to be ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). She belongs to the first cohort of the Jewish Women of Color (JWOC) Resilience Circle and the Selah Cohort 15 for Jews of Color through Bend the Arc.
Her experience as a Jew of Color in institutional Jewish spaces led her to co-inspire with inspiring colleagues here and across the country.
At Ammud: The Jews of Color Torah Academy, she is Rabbi and Board Certified Chaplain. At Lunar Collective – weareasianjews.org – she is Rabbi in Residence. With Harlem Havruta at St. Mary’s, the We Are Not Afraid Church in West Harlem, she has built a sukkah that is open to the whole neighborhood every year for the past six years. For this she was awarded the Rabbinical Excellence Award by Harlem District 9’s Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan in 2022 “for a Jewish Rabbi who teaches Torah through leading and developing spiritual communities and living out Tikkun Olam in NYC.”
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling is the Senior Advisor at POWER Interfaith, the Faith in Action affiliate in Pennsylvania. He was the founder and directed the Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from which he was ordained. Prior to that he was the Executive Vice-President of Jewish Funds for Justice (now Bend the Arc).
Earlier he was the Executive Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. He serves on the boards of the Shalom Center, Faith in Action, and the Faith and Politics Institute. He was the founding chairperson of Shomrei Adamah: Guardians of the Earth and a co-founder of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. He has written a number of book chapters and magazine articles. He is married to Lynne Iser and together they have five children.
Anne Germanacos is a writer, activist and educator living in San Francisco. She contributes time and other resources to a wide variety of individuals and organizations through the Germanacos Foundation and Firehouse Fund: Cultivating Sparks.
Her collection of short stories, In the Time of the Girls, was published by BOA Editions in 2010. Her experimental novel, Tribute, was published by Rescue Press in 2014. Together with her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Study Program in Greece, an intensive academic and cultural immersion semester program for high school and college students on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete for nearly thirty years.
In 2009, she founded the Germanacos Foundation, which supports a diverse range of individuals and organizations asking and attempting to answer complicated questions. Among the dozens of organizations supported are the National Library of Israel’s Bustan program, LABA Bay, and Ayin Press. She serves on the boards of T’ruah, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Etz Hayyim Synagogue (Hania, Crete) and is on the advisory board of Jewish Currents.