• Rabbi Jill Jacobs headshot

    Rabbi Jill Jacobs

    CEO

    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. Watch Rabbi Jacobs speak with other panelists on the expansion of the Occupation at J-Street conference, 2019 Read Rabbi Jacobs' invocation at the Council on Foreign Relations' 2019 Religious Freedom & Foreign Policy Workshop. Read Rabbi Jacobs' recent op-eds in The Washington Post:

    Watch Rabbi Jacobs on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" Watch Rabbi Jacobs with the ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt on MSNBC's "Velshi & Ruhle." Listen to Rabbi Jacobs on NPR's "Code Switch." To arrange an interview with Rabbi Jacobs, email vcano@truah.org.  

  • Rachel Lerner

    Chief Strategy Officer

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    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

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    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 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.

  • Hannah Weilbacher

    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.

  • Rabbi Jenna Shaw

    Rabbi Jenna Shaw

    Associate Director of Israel Campaigns and Education

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    Jenna (they/them) is a passionate connector, educator, and organizer. They were ordained in 2023 from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Jenna grew up in Chicago and fell in love with political activism and how social justice interacts with their Jewish identity when they stumbled into a local mayoral campaign office. Their deep call to activism and Jewish learning pulled them to American University in Washington DC, where they discovered that Torah is one of the most powerful tools for working for justice. While in DC, they became involved in Jewish organizing and activism, particularly around Israel and The Occupied Palestinian Territories.
    After college, Jenna moved to LA and taught teens and middle school students about the magical power of Judaism. In LA, Jenna’s genuine passion for organizing came to life during their year as a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Arc. Jenna has served as an educator and rabbi in a variety of Jewish educational settings across the country, including BBYO, Temple Israel of Boston, Hill Havurah in DC, Boston University Hillel, Temple Sinai of Brookline, and Prozdor at Hebrew College. Most recently, Jenna served as the Assistant Director of Schools K-12 at Adas Israel Congregation, where they oversaw curriculum and pedagogy for the synagogue's religious school. When they are not working, Jenna can be found biking around the streets of Washington, DC, trying new vegan recipes, and (most importantly) cheering on their beloved Chicago Cubs!

  • Headshot of Sarah Novick

    Sarah Novick

    Director of Organizing

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    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.

  • Michaela Caplan

    Boston Organizer

    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.

  • Gen Slosberg

    Gen Slosberg

    Bay Area Organizer

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    Gen Xia Ye Slosberg (夏夜) (she/her) is an organizer, researcher, and writer. She grew up in Guangzhou, China, and Orange County, California. She got her start in politics working on the 2016 Presidential campaign cycle, then contributed to a few other electoral campaigns in the 2018 cycle and sharpened her organizing skills while advocating for first generation, low-income students of color at UC Berkeley. Joining the Bay Area Jews of Color community re-ignited her interest in and connection to Judaism, and showed her that she could exist as her full self in Jewish spaces despite not having been raised with Jewish culture. She then joined the Bay Area Jewish communal landscape, first as a Jews of Color (JoC) youth educator at Jewish Youth for Community Action then as a Program Associate at Urban Adamah. She is also the cofounder and former Executive Producer of The LUNAR Collective, the first and only organization by and for Asian American Jews. At LUNAR, she successfully managed the launch of a docu-series about Asian American Jewish experiences, covering topics like the intersection of anti-Asian racism and antisemitism, assimilation, and heritage. Outside of her Jewish professional work, she is an avid researcher and analyst of China's role in the Latin America and relationship to the US -- she was recently a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a DC based foreign policy think tank. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, specializing in quantitative methods and Latin American politics. Her non-political passions include reading long articles, being near bodies of water, and being in any setting where time extends.

  • Rabbi Ian Chesir-Teran

    Rabbinic Educator

    In addition to working at T'ruah, 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 Manager

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    Neta (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.

  • Bella Orden

    Programs Assistant

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    Bella Orden (she/her) is a passionate and proactive administrator who comes to T’ruah with a background in trauma-informed healthcare. Her experiences in past roles allow her to support the big picture and day to day needs of T’ruah’s programs department with care and compassion and she is excited to join the T’ruah team in their crucial human rights work. Bella received her B.A. in Animal Behavior and Cognition from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia. Originally from Massachusetts, Bella currently lives in Georgia with her husband. She enjoys horseback riding, yoga, and nature walks with her adorable dog.

  • Max Davis headshot

    Max Davis

    Massachusetts Rabbinical Student Organizer

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    Max David (he/him) is a Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He is a committed organizer, educator, and spiritual leader, with experiences across the Jewish world, in grassroots organizing, electoral campaigns, and state government. Max believes deeply in the healing, spiritual power of community organizing. He is passionate about the symbiotic relationship between thriving cities and thriving Jewish communities. In his free time, Max is an avid rock climber, biker, and Chicagoan.

  • Shira Danan

    Chief Communications Officer

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    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 YorkerThe 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.

  • Madi Spector

    Communications Assistant

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    Madi (she/her) is a former local politics reporter from south Florida and a fierce advocate for multimedia storytelling as a tool for peace among young Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.
    She has been involved as a researcher and peace-builder of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since her senior year of college. Following her graduation, she worked as an intern with the Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security (ROPES) while living in Tel Aviv during her gap year. Since her return to the United States, Madi has worked in communications, social media, and development for both the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) and J Street.
    She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a certificate in international relations from the University of Florida and a master’s in Ethics, Peace & Human Rights from American University’s School of International Service where she specialized in NGO management and communications.

  • Ronit Schlam

    Chief Development Officer

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    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 is driven by 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

    Development Officer

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    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.

  • Alex Druzbanski

    Development Assistant

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    Alex Druzbanski (he/him) is excited to join the T’ruah team as the development assistant. With a background in the arts and fitness, he is thrilled to bring his creative side to the analytic work of the job. Alex hails from Atlanta, Georgia, but has called many parts of America home such as Pittsburgh, Dallas, Chicago, and of course, New York City.  Before jumping into the nonprofit world, Alex was a professional modern dancer for five years in NYC which gave him his consistent work ethic, ability to work as a team, and great flexibility.

  • Caryn Fliegler

    Grants Officer

    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.

  • Danny Drachsler

    Chief Operating Officer

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    Danny (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.

  • Aaron Fellows

    Operations Assistant

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    As a kid, Aaron (he/they) liked to take things apart to figure out how they worked. Today, rather than dissecting radios from the town dump, Aaron prefers to take apart spreadsheets, operating procedures, and organizational systems. He would like to think he has gotten a bit better at putting things back together, hopefully making them work better than before.

    Prior to joining T'ruah, Aaron worked for the exoneration of wrongfully incarcerated people at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. His varied background includes leading outdoor adventures, teaching martial arts, and selling vegetables. When not at his desk, you can find Aaron biking around D.C., preparing meals out of seasonal produce, or petting cats.

  • Rhonda E. Otten

    Financial Manager

    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 Gay

    Data Manager

    Email Kevin Gay

    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.

  • Victoria Cano

    Special Assistant to the CEO

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    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.

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