Board Executive Committee

  • Rabbi Lester Bronstein

    Co-chair

    Lester Bronstein has served as rabbi of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, New York since 1989. He has served in leadership roles with the Westchester Board of Rabbis, the White Plains Religious Leaders Association, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the UJA-Federation of New York, the JFNA Rabbinic Cabinet, the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, and the New York Board of Rabbis. He attends the Hartman Institute, Hazon bike rides, and Institute for Jewish Spirituality retreats. For twenty years he sang and recorded with Beged Kefet, a tzedakah-based music group. He studies Torah every Wednesday with his White Plains rabbi chevra, hoping to gain strength for the ongoing work of advocating for human rights and dignity.

  • Rabbi Kenneth Chasen

    Immediate Past Co-chair

    Kenneth Chasen is Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles. In addition to his activism in support of immigrant rights, affordable housing and environmental sustainability, he has assumed a prominent role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. Rabbi Chasen is the co-author of two books which guide Jewish families in the creation of meaningful Jewish rituals in the home. In addition, he serves on the adjunct faculty of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and he is a nationally recognized composer whose original liturgical and educational works are regularly heard in synagogues, religious schools, Jewish camps and sanctuaries across North America and in Israel. Rabbi Chasen is married to Allison Lee, Executive Director, Southern California of American Jewish World Service. Together, they share the joys and challenges of raising three children, Micah, Benjamin, and Eliana.

  • Rabbi Nancy Wiener

    Co-chair

    Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D. Min., is the Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling and was named the Paul and Trudy Steinberg Chair in Human Relations at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, NY in 2010. She was ordained at HUC-JIR, where she additionally earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling and a M.A. in Hebrew Letters.  She also holds a M.A. in Jewish History fromColumbia University.  Rabbi Wiener also serves as the rabbi of the Pound Ridge Jewish Community.  Her publications include Judaism for Two: A Spiritual Guide for Strengthening and Celebrating Your Loving Relationship,Beyond Breaking the Glass: A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish WeddingMeeting at the Well: A Jewish Spiritual Guide to Being Engaged, co-authored with Rabbi Daniel Judson,  “A Reform Understanding of To’eivah” in the CCAR Journal, “Counseling Same-Sex Couples as They Sanctify Their Love,” in New Menorah Journal, “Of Women and Mirrors,” in A Women’s Torah Commentary: 54 Women Rabbis on the Weekly Torah Portions, ed. Elyse Goldstein, “A Practical Theology of Presence,” in Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, and “Jewish Marriage: From Legal Transaction to Spiritual Transition” in the CCAR Journal.

  • Eric Sloan

    Treasurer

    Eric Sloan is a partner with the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He received his B.A., with honors in English Literature, from Northwestern University, his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and his LL.M. (Taxation) with distinction from the Georgetown University Law Center. His clients include private equity and hedge funds and private and publicly traded corporations. He is a long-time member and former Treasurer of Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn. His wife, Dominique Bravo, a lawyer, is the General Counsel for the Roosevelt Institute, the think tank and campus network based in New York City. They have three children and live in Brooklyn.

  • Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann

    Secretary

    Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann catalyzed the founding of Mishkan Chicago in September of 2011. She was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2010. Selected for the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Award in 2013 for promising early-career educators, Lizzi was a 2013 ROI Fellow, and was in the 2012 cohort of CLAL’s Rabbis Without Borders fellowship. Interested in creating spiritual experiences that integrate the spirit, body and mind, that meld music and harmony with intellectual rigor, Lizzi has studied Buddhism and every flavor of Judaism. She developed and performed music with the Nava Tehila Levites in Jerusalem, and the IKAR Davening Team in Los Angeles, and is committed to environmental sustainability, and local and global human rights.

Board of Directors

  • Rabbi Michael Latz

    Rabbi Latz is the Senior Rabbi of Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previously, he was the founding rabbi of Kol HaNeshamah in West Seattle. A Wexner Fellow during rabbinical school, Rabbi Latz was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2000.

  • Rabbi Claudia Kreiman

    Rabbi Claudia Kreiman is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion (TBZ) in Brookline, MA. She grew up in Santiago, Chile and lived in Argentina. Rav Claudia moved to Israel in 1996, and received rabbinic ordination from Shechter Institute of Jewish Studies in 2002. She was the first Rabbi of Noam, the youth movement of the Masorti Movement in Israel. Rav Claudia moved to the US in 2004 and became the director of the Jewish Studies program at the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown. She has been part of TBZ since 2007 and is deeply invested in growing the social justice involvement at TBZ , and engaging community members in meaningful experiences of prayer. Rabbi Kreiman is the co-chair of the New England Jstreet Rabbinic Cabinet, she is one of the chaplains of the Fire Department in Brookline and currently serves as a board member of Boston’s JCRC. Rav Claudia is married to Rabbi Ebn Leader, who is on the faculty of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. They have two daughters, Alma and Ariel.

  • Jessica Dell’Era

    Jessica Dell’Era, a fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, served as a T’ruah Summer Fellow in 2018.  She has continued to incorporate justice work into her budding rabbinate, applying the religious and organizing skills she learned at Truah to subsequent summer positions as chaplain to formerly incarcerated people at the Fortune Society and a pastoral counselor with Ruach: Spiritual and Emotional Support. Year-round, Jessica works as the Resnick-Weinstein Rabbinic Fellow at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut.  She also serves as Gabbai in the Women’s League Seminary Synagogue on JTS’s campus and as the Secretary of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.  Jessica grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and holds a BA in Dramaturgy from Pomona College and an MA in Education from the University of California Berkeley.  In her previous career, she taught Spanish bilingual 3rd-6th grades in public school.

  • Rabbi Ayelet Cohen

    Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen is Senior Director of the New Israel Fund’s New York/Tri-State Region. Previously, she was Director of The Center for Jewish Living and The David H. Sonabend Center for Israel at The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. She served for 10 years at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue serving people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Passionately committed to progressive and feminist Judaism, she is an activist and an advocate for full inclusion and celebration of LGBT Jews in the Jewish world, and an advocate for LGBT civil rights. Rabbi Cohen has been profiled in the New York Times, was named one of the “Heeb 100,” Heeb Magazine’s “hundred people you need to know about,” and was honored at the 2005 Ma’yan Seder as a leading young Jewish feminist activist. She is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly and the New York Board of Rabbis.

  • Janice Fine

    Janice Fine holds a Ph.D. from MIT in Political Science and is Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University. She teaches and writes about low-wage immigrant labor in the U.S., historical and contemporary debates regarding federal immigration policy, dilemmas of labor standards enforcement and innovative union and community organizing strategies. Prior to coming to Rutgers in 2005, Fine worked as a community, labor, and electoral organizer for more than 25 years. Her ground-breaking book, Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream, was released in January 2006.

  • Joshua Friedes

    Joshua Friedes has over 25 years of experience as a manager, strategist, fundraiser and organizer. After a stint in the Peace Corps, Joshua got his law degree from the University of Colorado and then went to work for Common Cause Massachusetts, serving as its executive director. From there Josh worked for the AARP overseeing its federal advocacy program in 3 states. He left that position in 2000 to become the senior staff person at the Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts, an organization he helped build first as a volunteer and then as its board chair.

    In 1998, Joshua helped found, and for nearly a decade advised the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, an association of over 1,000 ordained clergy in Massachusetts. Joshua spent the next 14 years of his life advocating successfully for marriage equality, first in Massachusetts and then in Washington State where he became the Executive Director of Equal Rights Washington.

    In 2009, Joshua served as the campaign manager of the Approve 71 campaign, the first successful statewide campaign to secure comprehensive legal protection of LGBT families through the ballot. In 2012, Josh served on the Board of Directors of the Approve 74 campaign, the first successful statewide ballot measure to secure marriage equality. Joshua then went to work for J Street and spent two years directing the field staff and then a year coordinating the organization’s rabbinic cabinet and synagogue engagement efforts.

    Joshua moved to Palm Springs full time in 2016. Joshua has served on nearly a dozen boards and advisory boards and consulted on campaigns and lobbying effort in several states in a variety of issues.

  • Rabbi Rachel Gartner

    Rabbi Rachel Gartner graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2002 with awards in Practical Rabbinics and in Spiritually Motivated Social Action. She currently serves as the Director of the Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown University. Rabbi Gartner is a co-author of Moving Tradition’s, Rosh Hodesh: It’s A Girl Thing Sourcebook, and the author of multiple articles and op-eds. Rabbi Gartner serves on the board of the National Religious Coalition Against Torture Action Fund.

  • Anne Germanacos

    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 through a variety of unique methods. Among the dozens of organizations supported are the National Library of Israel’s Bustan program, LABA East Bay, and Yale University Press’ forthcoming Black Lives series. More information on Anne’s books, teaching and philanthropy.

    Anne is an active member of San Francisco’s synagogue, The Kitchen. 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.

  • Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae

    Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae is the spiritual leader of West End Synagogue. She has a passion for co-creating sacred community and spaces which are inclusive, meaningful, and joyous. Her desire is for each and every person to feel fully seen, embraced, and celebrated as part of the West End Synagogue congregation and extended community. Rabbi Kennebrae graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2017 and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow Alum. She served as a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah for two years prior to her ordination. She also served as a rabbinic intern at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore on Long Island and
    Bristol Jewish Center in Pennsylvania.

    Rabbi Kennebrae works towards building healthier, more vibrant, and just environments through both social activism and pastoral care. She is a member of Bend The Arc’s first Jews of Color Selah cohort, and engages in local and national conversations on inclusion both within and beyond Jewish communities. She served as a chaplain intern at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, Pennsylvania and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Additionally, Rabbi Kennebrae has been a member of a Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) for many years. One of Rabbi Kennebrae’s areas of focus is to engage and support individuals, families, and communities with regards to the importance of end of life planning. She currently serves on the board of the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

  • Rabbi Esther L. Lederman

    Rabbi Esther L. Lederman works at the Union for Reform Judaism directing the Communities of Practice program. Previously she was an assistant rabbi at Temple Micah. Before moving to Washington, DC, she served as the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of Manhattan, a prestigious and competitive position in one of the United States most dynamic synagogues.  She was ordained in May 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.

  • Rabbi Michael Lezak

    Michael Lezak is the staff rabbi at the Glide Center for Social Justice in San Francisco. Previously, he served 14 years as rabbi of Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, California, where he oversaw the congregation’s Chevra Kaddisha and New Jim Crow Working Group.  Rabbi Lezak is on the board of the Bay Area Organizing Committee.  He is married to Rabbi Noa Kushner and is the proud parent of three daughters.

  • Sara Moore Litt

    A former New Yorker, Sara was a corporate lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, executive vice president and associate general counsel of the Courtroom Television Network, and executive director of The Interfaith Center of New York. She has also done consulting work for ABC News, the Markle Foundation, and the Yale Law School. She has served as the president and board chair of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan and a board and executive committee member of American Jewish World Service. She is currently a board member of Bend the Arc and the Northwest Immigration Rights Project and a member of the Pacific Northwest Leadership Council and the International Council of the New Israel Fund. Sara now lives in the Seattle area with her husband Andrew and her springer spaniel Louie.

  • Rabbi William Plevan

    Rabbi William (Bill) Plevan holds a doctorate in Religion from Princeton University where he wrote a dissertation on the German-Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. He has taught Jewish philosophy, theology and ethics at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Gratz College, Hebrew Union College, and in a variety of adult educational settings.

    Bill has served as President of Matan, an organization devoted to promoting special needs Jewish education. He grew up in New York City and lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and son.

  • Rabbi Susan Talve

    Rabbi Susan Talve is the founding rabbi of Central Reform Congregation, the only Jewish congregation located within the City limits of St. Louis. When other congregations were leaving the city for the suburbs, Rabbi Talve joined with a small group to keep a vibrant presence in the city to be on the front line of fighting the racism and poverty plaguing the urban center.  Rabbi Talve leads her congregation in promoting radical inclusivity by developing ongoing relationships with African-American and Muslim congregations, and by fostering civil liberties for the LGBTQ community. She has performed same gender marriages since she arrived in St. Louis in 1981 and was on the first Marriage Equality bus to Iowa where she married her first legal couple and has since had the privilege of marrying more LGBT couples than she can count. As part of a committed pro-choice congregation, Rabbi Talve continues to stand on the front line of abortion and reproductive rights issues. In addition, access to quality affordable health care has always been a passion for Rabbi Talve.  In 2007 she became a founding member and president of Missouri Health Care for All, a statewide grassroots advocacy organization that is building a strong coalition for groups and individuals working to bring health care access to all Missourians.

  • Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

    Senior Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel has been with Temple Micah since 1983 and has woven his open-minded, creative approach to Judaism into the culture and worship at Micah. He feels his primary role as rabbi is grappling with the challenge of “translating” the inherited Jewish past into a theology and practice that speaks to today. A graduate of Brown University, Rabbi Zemel received his rabbinic ordination from the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1979. Over the years, he has been involved in numerous community and Jewish organizations but derives greatest satisfaction from being a founder of Micah House, a group home for formerly homeless women in recovery from addiction. His 20-year involvement with Synagogue 2000 was instrumental in shaping his vision of synagogue life and the role of rabbi. Rabbi Zemel has written many articles and essays on a wide variety of Jewish topics; he contributed an essay to each volume of the Prayers of Awe series, a multi-volume commentary on the High Holy Day liturgy edited by Rabbi Larry A. Hoffman. Rabbi Zemel published A Time to Speak, a book of his sermons and writings, in 2019. Rabbi Zemel is blessed with a loving family that is the center of his life. When not at Micah, he is either with family, visiting Israel, reading, studying, thinking, or dreaming of his beloved Chicago White Sox playing in the World Series.

  • Kelly Whitehead

    Kelly Whitehead (she/they) is a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (’24) and the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai in Summit, NJ. Kelly grew up in New York City before moving to Washington DC, where she attended undergrad and worked as the Youth Engagement Specialist at Temple Sinai. Kelly participated in the Reform Movement’s Jew V’Nation Jew of Color Fellowship, where she learned to create and facilitate Anti-Racial Bias training for Jewish Professionals. Kelly now provides trainings and workshops for Jewish organizations looking to become Anti-Racist and inclusive communities.

  • Rachel Faulkner

    Rachel is a community organizer, coach, social justice advocate, and anti-racist educator. She has done this work through roles at City Year, Match Education, the Community Builders, and Citizens of The World Elementary School, and currently serves as the Director of Community Investments at the Safety Respect Equity Network. Additionally, Rachel served as the National Organizer for #JWOCMarching, is an alum of Bend the Arc’s Selah program, the Schusterman Foundation’s REALITY trip, and is an organizer with Black Lives Matter DC’s Cop Watch. Ultimately, Rachel is passionate about ensuring that the voices of Jewish Women of Color are centered in Judaism and in the greater world. But when she’s not busy doing that, she spends time with her daughter Ori Justice taking long walks around the nation’s capital.

Advisory Board

  • Rabbi Amy Eilberg

  • Rabbi Arthur Green

  • Danielle Sered

  • Rabbi David Ellenson

  • Rabbi Elliot Dorff

  • Rabbi Gerry Serotta

  • Iain Levine

  • Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon

  • Martina Vandenberg

  • Pamela Shifman