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 2,000 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 and Israeli Terrorist (1/11/19)
To arrange an interview with Rabbi Jacobs, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Operations and FinanceDanny (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.
Director of Development
Prior to finding her path on the Jewish social justice circuit, Ronit (she/her) enjoyed a career in the performing arts industry, both on the production side and in fundraising and development. Ronit helped launch 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 believes in the great potential for communication and understanding by way of artistic expression. A native of Queens, New York, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, and they travel far and wide, as often as they can.
Director of Strategy
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 sons Barzilai Khalil (aka Buzz) and Tav Hadar and daughter Sassonya Ness live in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington.
Director of Communications
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rabbi Alex Weissman
Director of OrganizingAlex (he/him) was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2017, where he studied Torah and served a range of communities including POWER, Avodah, and JOIN for Justice, in addition participating in T’ruah’s Rabbinical and Cantorial Summer Fellowship in Human Rights. Prior to rabbinical school, Alex worked in LGBTQ public health, was the first Social Justice Coordinator at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in NYC, and was in the inaugural cohort of JFREJ’s Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship. After rabbinical school, Alex served as the Senior Jewish Educator at Brown RISD Hillel for three years. He serves on the Ethics Committee of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and on the advisory boards of Evolve: Groundbreak Jewish Conversations and the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project. In addition to his time with T’ruah, Alex also serves as the rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, MA. Alex lives in Providence, RI with his partner, Adam.
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 recently served as OneTable’s first ever Boston Field Fellow, providing spiritual and logistical coaching to young adults for the purposes of building a relationship with Shabbat as they define it. Leah also serves as the Community Accountability Coordinator for the 20s & 30s Kavod Community of Boston, creating justice-driven communal infrastructure to address intra-community conflict and interpersonal harm. Wherever she finds herself, Leah is committed to connecting Jews to Jews, Jews to ritual, Jews to justice, and Jews to themselves.
Executive and Development Assistant
Jaime (she/her) is passionate about activism that centers on open communication and robust empathy. She received her B.A. in English and in Italian Studies from Wesleyan University in 2019, and prior to coming to T’ruah worked in various roles in the media and communications spheres. She spends her time writing and making messes in the kitchen. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Bennett Decker (he/him) is a recent graduate of the Joint Program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he studied Political Science and Talmud. Prior to working at T’ruah, he has worked for a number of political campaigns and political interest groups, and has learned previously at Yeshivat Hadar, the Hartman Institute, and the Conservative Yeshiva. In his free time, Bennett enjoys discovering new queer fiction to fall in love with, a spirited Hevruta, or agonizing over his soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur.
Ben (he/him) organizes T’ruah’s chaverim to win a better world. Previously, Ben served as the Senior Synagogue Organizer at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. Through the Synagogue Organizing Team, 18 synagogues, hundreds of clergy and lay leaders, and thousands of Jewish community members organized to understand their own stories, interests, and values; build partnerships and collective strategies; and take action to bring their values into the world, both in the public square and within their own communities. He has also organized with UNITE HERE Local 11 and J Street U. Ben is an alumni of the JOIN for Justice Organizing Fellowship, and currently lives in Los Angeles.
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, Lily.