Rabbi Jill Jacobs
Rabbi Jill Jacobs (she/her) is the CEO of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, an organization that trains and mobilizes more than 2,300 rabbis and cantors and their communities to bring a moral voice to protecting and advancing human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition, both published by Jewish Lights.
Rabbi Jacobs has been named three times to the Forward’s list of 50 influential American Jews, to Newsweek’s list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America, and to the Jerusalem Post’s 2013 list of “Women to Watch.” She holds rabbinic ordination and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a Wexner Fellow; an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, and a BA from Columbia University. She is also a graduate of the Mandel Institute Jerusalem Fellows Program. She lives in New York with her husband, Rabbi Guy Austrian, and their two daughters.
Read Rabbi Jacobs’ recent op-eds in The Washington Post:
- Trump Still Appears to Believe All Jews are Israelis (12/12/19)
- The False Comfort of Trump’s Condemnation of Anti-Semitism (2/8/19)
- Your Tax Dollars Are Propping up the Intellectual Heirs to an Israeli Terrorist (1/11/19)
To arrange an interview with Rabbi Jacobs, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Strategy Officer
Rachel, a collaborative leader and manager with experience growing nonprofit and advocacy organizations, has worked in the field of Israel/Palestine issue advocacy in the Jewish community for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining T’ruah, Rachel was a Senior Vice President at J Street, where she developed and oversaw the organization’s community engagement work and created and grew J Street’s National Conference. She graduated with a BA in Literature from SUNY Binghamton and holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she focused on the role of religion in public life. Rachel loves running, good books and bad television. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson
Director of Leadership and Learning
Lev (he/him) was ordained in 2013 from Hebrew College, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. In 2017, Lev was honored by the Covenant Foundation with a Pomegranate Prize, which recognizes early-career Jewish educators. Before attending rabbinical school, Lev taught fifth grade at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan for three years and worked for many summers at URJ Eisner Camp. He holds an AB in Geology from Brown University and spent a post-baccalaureate semester at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, where conservation and sustainable development are approached in the context of Arab-Israeli peace efforts. Lev, his wife Eliana, and their three kids live in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington.
Rabbi Becky Jaye
Program Manager, EmorBecky (she/her) is a 2022 rabbinic ordinee of Hebrew Union College—Jewish institute of Religion in New York and holds a BA in American Studies and an MA in Religion, both from Yale University. She is excited to join T’ruah after having been a T’ruah rabbinic fellow in 2021.
Rabbi Matt Dreffin
Manager of Rabbinic Education
Matt (he/him) was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and he established Southern roots over many summers at URJ Camp Coleman in North Georgia. After receiving a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Hot Glass Sculpture at Tulane University, he co-managed a New Orleans glass studio for a few years before earning his Masters in Jewish Education and Rabbinical Ordination at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. He was a senior staff member in the Education Division at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Mississippi, for nine years before joining T’ruah. His personal pursuits include exploring culinary delights, attempting to be a runner, leading local Ultimate Disc communities, and creating art projects with his family.
Max Antman (he/him) is a fourth-year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to beginning his studies, Max worked as an organizer and legislative staffer at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and United Nations Foundation in Washington D.C, focusing primarily on issues of racial equity, global health advocacy, LGBTQIA+ equality, and immigration. Max is passionate about the interplay between Judaism and policy, and is thrilled to be joining the T’ruah team after serving as a T’ruah Israel Fellow in 2019.
Director of Campaigns
Hannah (she/her) comes to T’ruah having worked as an organizer and advocate in the field of Jewish social justice. Before T’ruah, Hannah served American Jewish World Service as Senior Program Officer for Jewish Advocacy and Engagement, where she worked with rabbis and cantors who are passionate about human rights. Hannah also worked at the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a network of progressive organizations pursuing social justice from a Jewish perspective. She has been a community organizer for a number of campaigns and causes, and she was community organizer for the groundbreaking DC Paid Family Leave Campaign with Jews United for Justice. She was also a field organizer for a winning congressional campaign in New Hampshire. In her free time Hannah likes to sew, explore Queens, and listen to pop music. She holds a B.A. in politics from Oberlin College and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Director of Organizing
Sarah (she/her) became a community organizer because she loves building collective power to improve people’s lives and make societal structures and systems more just and fair. Before T’ruah, Sarah led Jews United for Justice and the JUFJ Campaign Fund’s Washington, DC organizing work. While there, she worked with grassroots leaders and partners as part of powerful coalitions to achieve legislative campaign wins for housing affordability, racial equity, and workers’ rights, as well as electoral campaigns that have resulted in the most progressive DC Council to date. Prior to community organizing, Sarah spent nearly a decade in the education field, first as an elementary special educator in New York City and then as a student and researcher of positive youth development while pursuing a doctorate in education in Boston. Sarah lives in Silver Spring, MD with her partner, Yosef Berman, who serves as the rabbi of the New Synagogue Project, their two kids, Adira Brucha and Leora Gittel, and her mom, Peggy.
Rabbi Margo Hughes-Robinson
New York Organizer
Margo (she/her) is passionate about co-creating an equitable and just world through deep relationship and inspired action. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2021, where she also earned an MA in Midrash and served for two years as the Program Coordinator of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue. While in rabbinical school Margo served a number of communities and organizations, including as a Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at B’nai Jeshurun and as a T’ruah Israel Fellow in 2018. She holds a BA in Jewish Studies and Theatre from Clark University, and enjoys writing, making music, and exploring kosher Cajun recipes. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife and their son.
Michaela (she/they) believes strongly in the power of community organizing to usher in transformative change. She was introduced to the world of organizing through Jewish-led social movements and went on to work as a field organizer and as a regional field director on a 2020 presidential campaign and as a field director for a progressive MA-based congressional campaign. She graduated from Dartmouth College (where she was involved with a variety of student-led organizing efforts) with a BA in Anthropology and Creative Writing. She currently lives in Somerville, MA with her dog.
Rabbi Ian Chesir-Teran
In addition to working at T’urah, Ian (he/him) is the Manager of Diaspora Communications and Engagement at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the Reform Movement’s religious and civil rights organization in Israel. Ian earned a Bachelor’s degree in French Civilization in 1992 from Georgetown University, a juris doctor degree in 1995 from the Georgetown University Law Center, and was ordained as a rabbi in 2014 at the Jerusalem campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Ian made aliyah from South Orange, New Jersey in 2010. He is a member of Kibbutz Hannaton in the Jezreel Valley, where he lives with his husband Daniel and their three children, Eliezer, Yonah and Tamar.
Neta Hamami Tabib Dror
Israel Program ManagerNeta (she/her) comes to T’ruah with a long history as an activist, educator, and group facilitator of youth and adult groups dealing with issues of identity and social justice. As a Mizrachi woman, Neta teaches and lectures about traditional and social Judaism and has been a teacher of Torah and social justice at Bina since 2014. Neta has been involved in a variety of Israeli social issues, including feminist movements, campaigns against police violence, and—as a vegan—animal rights. She’s also a co-founder of “gonutss – the Vegan Translator platform.” Neta is a freelance Arabic teacher and holds a BA from the Open University in humanities and social sciences, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa.
Bennett Decker (he/him) is a graduate of the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he studied Political Science and Talmud. He has served for five years as a board member of Keshet and is an alumnus of the Hartman iEngage year-long fellowship. He comes to T’ruah with experience organizing on a number of political campaigns and political interest groups during the 2016-2019 election cycles. In his free time, Bennett enjoys playing board games, a spirited hevruta, or agonizing over his soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur.
Chief Communications Officer
Shira (she/her) is a writer and proud RK (rabbi’s kid) who has worked as an editor and social media manager in the private and non-profit sectors. As a comedy writer, she has written for many publications, including the New Yorker, The Onion, McSweeney’s, and Mad Magazine. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Columbia University in 2007, and spent a year studying Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University. Shira lives in Queens with her husband and two sons.
Chief Development Officer
Prior to finding her path on the Jewish social justice circuit by joining the T’ruah team in 2011, Ronit (she/her) enjoyed a career in performing arts. She helped launch and run the Castleton Festival, an annual international opera festival under the artistic direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel, and has worked for and consulted with organizations including Lincoln Center, the Châteauville Foundation, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Saratoga Jazz Festival. She plays classical piano, enjoys photography, and believes in the great potential for communication and understanding by way of artistic expression. A native of Queens, New York, and a long-time Brooklynite, she now lives in Manhattan with her husband. They travel far and wide, as often as they can, treading lightly upon the earth.
Leah Robbins (she/her) comes to T’ruah after graduating from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program with MA’s in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. She also serves as the Development Chair on the Coordinating Team (board) and Co-Chair of the Israel/Palestine Team at Kavod — a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, 20s & 30s Jewish community in Boston, weaving Jewish ritual and transformative local community organizing. Wherever she finds herself, Leah is committed to connecting Jews to Jews, Jews to ritual, Jews to justice, and Jews to themselves.
As Grants Officer, Caryn Fliegler (she/her) works closely with T’ruah’s Director of Development and leadership to manage a growing profile of institutional giving supporters. Prior to T’ruah, Caryn was Grants Manager at Josselyn, a Community Mental Health Center serving 3,600 people in the Chicago area. She is an active community volunteer, serving as a Board member at Makom Solel Lakeside synagogue in suburban Chicago, and as the Illinois co-lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She also serves as Clerk of Northfield Township, Illinois. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University.
Development AssociateJaime (she/they) is a writer with credits in Apparition Lit, Sublunary Review, and elsewhere. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in English and Italian Studies, and comes to T’ruah with prior experience in the media and communications sphere. They are based in Brooklyn, NY, and most days can be found taking very long walks and thinking too closely about TV shows.
Chief Operating OfficerDanny (he/him) is committed to supporting organizations that strengthen the Jewish community and advance tikkun olam. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2005 and a Masters degree in Experiential Jewish Education from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2014. He is proud to have been a 2019 Ruskay Fellow. He enjoys baking, and co-founded Challahback Bakeshop, an organic whole-wheat vegan challah bicycle delivery service, in San Francisco. Danny and his wife live in the Hudson Valley with their daughter.
Rhonda E. Otten
Rhonda (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a Certified Public Accountant with 15-years of finance and accounting experience. Rhonda recently became ordained as an Interfaith Minister and enjoys supporting non-profit organizations through her volunteer efforts. She resides in Montclair, NJ with her spouse Debra and daughter, Dawn.
Kevin (he/him) is excited to support T’ruah’s vital work from behind the scenes. Previously he served as the database manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Dance Theater Workshop while also consulting throughout New York for both arts and social justice nonprofits. Besides being a long-suffering Buffalo hockey fan, he is a professional actor, photographer and filmmaker whose work has played across the globe and in film festivals across the U.S.
Special Assistant to the CEO
Victoria Cano (she/her) joins T’ruah as a creative administrator with a diverse background working across the arts and nonprofit sectors. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, she recently returned Stateside after spending a decade living in London working as professional playwright, producer, and fundraiser. Her international artistic and administrative experiences have enabled her to craft a bespoke approach to supporting both the big picture and day-to-day needs of organizations with a social justice mission. Victoria holds a B.A. in Theatre and English from Northwestern University, and an M.A. from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She loves short story collections, abstraction expressionism, and, against her better judgement, the New York Giants.