Senior Staff

Jeremy Ben-Ami, President. Jeremy Ben-Ami is the founder and President of J Street, bringing to the role both deep experience in American politics and government and a passionate commitment to the state of Israel. Ben-Ami’s family connection to Israel goes back 130 years to the first aliyah when his great-grandparents were among the first settlers in Petah Tikva. His grandparents were one of the founding families of Tel Aviv, and his father was an activist and leader in the Irgun, working for Israel’s independence and on the rescue of European Jews before and during World War II.

His political resume includes serving in the mid-1990s as the Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor in the White House to President Bill Clinton and working on seven Presidential and numerous state and local campaigns. He was Howard Dean’s National Policy Director in 2004 and helped manage a Mayoral campaign in New York City in 2001. For nearly three years in the late 90s, Jeremy lived in Israel, where he started a consulting firm working with Israeli non-profit organizations and politicians. He was chosen by America’s weekly Jewish newspaper, the Forward, for three years as part of the Forward 50, their compilation of the most influential Jewish Americans. He was one of 50 “People of the Decade” selected by Ha’aretz, the influential Israeli daily newspaper, and the Jerusalem Post included him in its list of the 50 Most Influential Jews in the world. Ben-Ami received a law degree from New York University and is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Relations at Princeton University. Contact Jeremy

Alan Elsner, Vice President for Communications. Alan Elsner has had a long career at the top ranks of American and international journalism prior to joining J Street. As State Department and later White House correspondent for Reuters News Agency, Elsner traveled the world with Secretaries of State and was on first name terms with presidents and vice presidents. His sharp questioning during the Rwanda genocide forced the United States to change its policy and was later highlighted in the Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda.” As Reuters National Correspondent, Elsner was the agency’s chief writer on 9/11/2001 and his byline was featured on the agency’s stories that day and through the subsequent period. Elsner is the author of two novels and two works of non-fiction. His first book, “Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons,” was hailed by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as a “wake-up call” and welcomed by the political left and right. Elsner later testified to governmental and independent commissions on prison reform. His first novel, “The Nazi Hunter,” was described by Publishers’ Weekly as "a gripping debut thriller and a compelling tale." Winner of the Knight International Journalism fellowship, Elsner spent a year in Romania in 2007 teaching journalism to students and professionals and strengthening the values of a free media. Contact Alan.

Josh Friedes, Director of Regional Operations and Strategy. Josh comes to J Street with over 20 years of experience as an organizer and strategist. After a stint in the Peace Corps, Josh 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 leaving that organization in 2000 to become the senior staff person at the Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts. Josh spent the next 12 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 Josh served as the campaign manager of the Approve 71 campaign, the first successful campaign to secure comprehensive legal protection of LGBT families through the ballot. Josh left the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the board of his synagogue, Kol HaNeshamah, to pursue a lifelong dream of working towards a two state solution. Contact Josh

Daniel Kalik, Vice President of Political Affairs. Kalik oversees all of J Street's political activity, including JStreetPAC, the largest pro-Israel PAC in the United States. Kalik’s political career began at an early age as he grew up in the ‘first in the nation’ primary state of New Hampshire where he was lucky enough to meet every presidential candidate who ran for office in the 80s and 90s. In 2003-4, Kalik worked in Vermont at the national headquarters of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Kalik holds a law degree from The George Washington University, is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and has a degree in Economics from Tufts University Contact Daniel

Steven Krubiner, Chief of Staff. Steven has spent the past decade working on Middle East conflict resolution including nearly five years in Israel. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Steven was J Street’s Director of Israel and International Programs and oversaw efforts to highlight the significant support that exists in Israel for a two-state solution. Steven first joined J Street shortly after its inception in 2008 as the Assistant Director of Political Affairs and then moved into the position of Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs. He designed and implemented targeted advocacy efforts that helped earn J Street the title of The Nation’s “Most Valuable National Advocacy Group” in 2009. Previously, Steven served as a policy associate at the Institute for Inclusive Security where he worked with Israeli and Palestinian women leaders on designing inclusive peace and security processes. Prior to that, Steven worked for Search for Common Ground where he was one of the coordinators of the Madrid+15 conference, convening officials and civil society leaders from the Middle East, Europe, the US, and the UN to strategize on launching a regional, comprehensive approach to resolving Arab-Israeli conflicts. A trained mediator, Steven holds a bachelors degree from Tufts University in International Relations and a masters degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Middle Eastern Studies. Contact Steven

Rachel A. Lerner, Senior Vice President for Community Relations. Rachel joins J Street after working for the Jewish community for close to ten years. Most recently, she was Director of Strategic Community Planning Initiatives at the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto. Prior to that, Rachel was Director of the Israel Advocacy Initiative at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in New York. Rachel graduated with a BA in Literature from SUNY Binghamton and a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she focused her studies on the role of religion in public life. Rachel has been deeply passionate about Israel and social and political justice since she can remember. She spent her freshman undergraduate year in Israel at Bar Ilan University, a summer at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, and countless trips traveling the country. Rachel is a native New Yorker. She lives in Washington, DC. Contact Rachel

Nan MacNamara, Vice President of Finance and Administration. Nan comes to J Street having spent more than 20 years in non-profit financial management. As a CPA, Nan spent six years in public accounting with a large regional firm in Maryland, specializing in governments and not-for-profit organizations, followed by 15 years as the Director of Finance with Interfaith Housing Alliance, Inc, a non-profit organization based in Frederick, Maryland. A native of Pittsburgh, Nan is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has degrees in both Accounting and English. She has served for six years as the treasurer of Advocates for Homeless Families, Inc., in Frederick and has also served on the Corporate Development Committee for the Presidential Leadership Scholarship Fund at Hood College. She is a past member of the Non Profit Committee of the Maryland Association of CPAs. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contact Nan

Yael Patir, Israel Director. Yael joined J Street in 2012 following six years at the Shimon Peres Center for Peace where she served as Director of the Civil Leadership Department. In that capacity, she oversaw cross-border peace-building programs that engaged a wide range of civil society figures, including Palestinian and Israeli young political leaders. Yael helped establish the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum, a network of some 100 Palestinian and Israeli peace and dialogue organizations, and has served as the Israeli Director since the Forum’s inception in January 2006. Yael graduated from Tel Aviv University’s School of Social Sciences where she also worked as a teaching assistant and a research assistant in the Political Science Faculty. Yael is a certified mediator and a group facilitator specializing in dialogue between groups in conflict. In the spring of 2011, Yael joined the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in King’s College London as an Atkin Research Fellow. Yael was born, raised, and is currently based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Contact Yael

Jessica Rosenblum, Director of Media and Communications. Jessica comes to J Street from Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, where, as a vice-president, she worked to raise the profile of a number highly successful advocacy campaigns including the Great Schlep and the campaign by retired senior military leaders to end US-sanctioned torture. There she also worked to establish and grow J Street’s presence from its inception in 2008. Prior to joining Rabinowitz/Dorf, Rosenblum was the Director of Media and Communications for Brit Tzedek v’Shalom–then the largest American Jewish grassroots peace movement. An accomplished media trainer, she pioneered the organization’s highly effective media training strategy–now a model for other emerging grassroots movements–to integrate the communications and media goals of both the national organization and its local chapters. Rosenblum also has served as a communications consultant for a various non-profit organizations and political campaigns, including then-State Senator Barack Obama’s first run for the United States Congress. Contact Jessica

Sarah Turbow, Director, J Street U. Sarah has previously served as the DC Metro & South Campus Organizer for J Street U, and the Executive Assistant to Jeremy Ben-Ami. She joins J Street after graduating from Yale University with a BA in Political Science. In college, Sarah was the President of the Yale College Democrats, helped found the J Street U chapter on campus and worked to increase conversation about Israel among Jewish students. In 2007 she traveled to the region for the first time with the Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace internship program, and she returned there in 2009 to conduct senior research on integrated education in Northern Ireland and Israel. Sarah recently returned to her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Contact Sarah

Dylan J. Williams, Vice President of Government Affairs. Dylan joins J Street after serving as Counsel for Foreign Relations, Trade and Immigration to US Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Dylan brings more than a decade of experience advising US government officials and private clients on international affairs and law. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dylan is a member of the New York Bar and holds a law degree and Bachelors in Government from Cornell University. Contact Dylan

Communications and Digital

Davis Bates, Digital Associate Davis joins J Street with over 3 years of federal campaign and legislative experience. Graduating from the College of Wooster with a BA in International Relations, Davis went on to play an important role in Rep. Ben Chandler’s (KY-06) close re-election in 2010. After starting as Executive Assistant on Rep. Chandler’s DC staff, Davis was named to the dual role of Legislative Correspondent and Press Assistant, where he was responsible for the Congressman’s constituent correspondence apparatus and legislative research. During his time on the Hill, Davis assisted Rep. Chandler and his staff on his Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee work in the 112th Congress, and was named a Truman National Security Scholar in 2012. At Wooster, Davis was a 4 year collegiate athlete and wrote an extensive thesis where he analyzed why parts of the Arab-Israeli conflict stalled while others endured. A native of Frankfort, KY, Davis now resides in Washington, DC. Contact Davis

Benjamin Silverstein, Senior Digital Associate. Benjamin joins J Street with six years of progressive student activism experience in New Mexico and Maryland. As an Amnesty International field coordinator he was the lead student organizer on the campaign to abolish New Mexico’s death penalty. He volunteered as an educator and homebuilder in Uganda for a year before attending Johns Hopkins University, where he studied political science and sociology. His political science thesis investigated the influence of the first intifada on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. After graduating, he worked as a development writer for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Benjamin now resides in Washington, DC. Contact Benjamin

Avi Zollman, Digital Director. Avi joins us after more than two years as Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network. In that role, he led efforts to connect JFN members with one another and grow a community of high-impact, strategic funders. He launched new tools and opportunities for connection and created a strong program of ongoing engagement that reached a broad cross section of members. He also overhauled the organization’s internal approach to strategic communications, leading and training staff to serve as effective network hubs, identifying themes, messages and communication opportunities. Previously at Repair the World, Zollman developed outreach strategies and communications platforms and built partnerships with peer organizations both national and community-based. Before entering the world of Jewish philanthropy, Zollman worked at the Gerstein Agne communication group where he focused on helping clients in the political, non-profit, and corporate sectors focus their messaging and build better outreach, online and off. One of his clients at that time was J Street. Zollman joined Gerstein Agne after working as a researcher, web producer, and community manager at Media Matters for America and in the policy and research department at the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2003/4. Zollman’s academic background includes a B.A. focused on the conflict and graduate work in international relations and politics. Contact Avi

Aaron Zucker, Communications and Media Associate. Aaron joins J Street after interning around Washington, DC for the Council on Foreign Relations, in the U.S. Senate for the Subcommittee on Investigations and the Committee on Foreign Relations, for the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressmen Joe Sestak and David Cicilline, and at the White House for Vice President Biden's National Security Office. Aaron graduated from Tufts University with a BA in International Relations, focusing on U.S. foreign policy and the history of the Middle East and South Asia. At Tufts, he wrote for the Roundtable political magazine, was involved in playwriting and sketch comedy groups, and taught a literature seminar on the television show LOST in 2010. He conducted his senior research project on foreign policy speechwriting in the Obama Administration. Aaron grew up in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania and now lives in Washington, DC. Contact Aaron

Government & Political Affairs

Sam Berkman, Government Affairs Associate and Policy Analyst. Sam joined J Street in 2011, initially spearheading Congressional recruitment for J Street Education Fund missions to Israel, before joining the government affairs team. Prior to this, Sam gained experience with both the Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate and the Senate Committee on Appropriations. He also served one year as a Team Leader in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, where he worked directly with FEMA and led a disaster response team in Tennessee to assist with flood relief. While in college, Sam served as a legislative affairs intern for the Economic Development Administration. Sam holds a Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in Writing and Sociology from Northland College. A Chicagoland native, Sam currently resides in Washington, DC. Contact Sam

Anya Gelernt, Political Assistant.. Anya joined the J Street team in January 2015 after two years working for Evans & Katz, an FEC Compliance firm. In her role as a client manager and as the DC Office PAC Coordinator, Anya was responsible for managing all in-house PAC caging, as well as handling five PAC clients of her own. Before joining Evans and Katz, she worked for the Tufts University Public Relations office, Crossroads Campaigns, and worked on Rep. John Adler’s 2008 Congressional Campaign in her home state of New Jersey. Anya graduated from Tufts University in 2013, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Judaic Studies. She lives in Washington, DC. Contact Anya

Shannon Kellman, Government Affairs Associate. Shannon Kellman joins J Street after working as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), where she handled judiciary, health, agriculture, animal protection and women's issues. Shannon previously worked as the Development and Communications Associate for Pacific Environment, an environmental non-profit based in San Francisco. She also has experience working on political campaigns and as a fundraising consultant to non-profits. Shannon has her BA in Russia and Eastern European Studies from the University of Michigan and her MSc in International Relations and Human Rights from the London School of Economics. A native of Chicago, Shannon currently resides in Washington, DC. Contact Shannon

Kevin Rachlin, Deputy Director of Government Affairs. Kevin Rachlin joins J Street after serving as the Legislative Assistant for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s Washington Office, where he worked on a number of Federation priorities, including US-Israeli relations, Iran, combating global anti-Semitism, and healthcare reform. Prior to this, Kevin was the Federal Policy Intern for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Public Policy Office. Kevin received his Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies from The Ohio State University and also spent a quarter living in Jerusalem, attending ulpan at Hebrew University. A native of Dayton, OH, Kevin currently lives in Washington, DC. Contact Kevin

Ben Shnider, PAC Manager. Ben graduated from Emory University with a BA in Political Science in August, 2011. He served as the student president of Emory Hillel during the 2009-2010 school year, and worked with student leaders to develop a dialogue between Hillel and Emory’s Muslim Student Association. Ben joins J Street after managing Saqib Ali's 2010 campaign for Maryland State Senate and working as an Atlanta field organizer for President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. He spent a semester of high school living outside of Jerusalem with NFTY’s Eisendrath International Exchange program, and studied for a semester at University College of London. A native of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Ben now lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Contact Ben

J Street Education Fund

Logan Bayroff, Operations and Communications Associate. Logan joins J Street after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History. After founding Penn's J Street U chapter, he served as President of the J Street U National Board for 2011-2012. During the 2012-2013 year he served as National Communications Co-chair for J Street U. He has interned with the Fellows Program at the New America Foundation, and with the communications team on Bill de Blasio's 2013 New York City mayoral campaign. Contact Logan

Sarah Beller, Director of Education and Programs. Sarah joins J Street after earning her Masters degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University. Previously, she taught in public schools and directed the Music and Literary Festivals at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, after graduating from Harvard University with a degree in Social Anthropology. Trained in experiential education, facilitation, evaluation, and trauma response, Sarah has conducted research for Encounter and designed a training program for the Jewish Dialogue Group. A recipient of the US Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, Sarah studied Arabic in Cairo, Egypt and has traveled throughout Israel and the West Bank. Ever since growing up in New Haven, CT, Sarah has been deeply involved in Jewish communities across the religious spectrum. She lives in Washington, DC. Contact Sarah

Aviv Celine, Israel Campus Organizer. Aviv joins J Street U after making Aliyah in 2013. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013, focusing on Legal Studies and Civic Engagement, Education & International Justice. At the University, Aviv was Organizing and Training Director in the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy, which deals with accessibility and affordability to public higher education, gender equity, campus culture, and labor rights through student-run campaigns. She was also involved in the University's Hillel, working on the community service and social justice efforts of the community. Throughout her studies, she also traveled abroad, studying at Tel Aviv University in 2010 and Leiden University in Holland in 2012, and interning at Volunteer Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2011. Born in Ramat Gan, Aviv was raised in both Matan, Israel and Lexington, Massachusetts; she currently resides in Tel Aviv. Contact Aviv

Madeleine Cereghino, Programming Associate. Madeleine comes to J Street from the lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones, where she worked as an assistant for two years. In this capacity she planned and staffed the firm’s events for members of Congress. She also planned and prepared clients for meetings with Congress, tracked legislation, and covered Congressional hearings for the firm. Prior to joining Peck Madigan Jones, Madeleine worked as a paralegal, handling complex litigation and settlements for the law firm Steptoe and Johnson. Madeleine is a graduate of Whittier College, with a degree in Political Science and French. During undergrad, Madeleine got her start planning events for the student body as a member of the college’s Programming Board. Madeleine is native of the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Washington, D.C. Contact Madeleine

Ben Elkind, New England Campus Organizer. Ben joins J Street after two years of organizing with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation. Prior to his work there, Ben attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he co-founded a J Street U chapter and later served on J Street U's national student board. Ben spent the summer before his senior year in Jerusalem, working for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and participating in J Street U's first "Engage with Israel" summer trip. At UNC, he studied philosophy and cultural studies, and wrote a thesis about leftist activism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ben is from Washington, DC, and now lives in Cambridge, MA. Contact Ben

Elyssa Feder, Midwest Campus Organizer. Elyssa joins J Street after completing an organizing fellowship with the Obama campaign in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds an MSc in Comparative Politics and Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in International Affairs and Women’s Studies from George Washington University. Elyssa's interest in gender in ethnonational conflict led her to internships with the Women’s Foreign Policy Group and the National Endowment for Democracy. She also has experience working on Capitol Hill for Senator Frank Lautenberg. Born and raised in New Jersey, Elyssa currently lives in Chicago. Contact Elyssa

Rabbi Jonah Geffen, Rabbinic Director.
Rabbi Yehoshua said: great is peace, for Israel is called peace... (Talmud Bavli, Tractate Derekh Eretz, Perek Hashalom, Halacha 12)
Jonah joins J Street following two years as Rabbinic Fellow at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City. For nearly ten years Jonah has dedicated himself to teaching and promoting the cause of peace as refracted and understood by the Jewish tradition. He served as Senior Coexistence Educator for Kivunim: New Directions, was a senior educator for the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution’s Rodef Shalom program, and has been a trip facilitator and leader of the Peacemakers’ Beit Midrash with Encounter. Jonah spent his freshman year of college on Young Judaea Year Course, was a Kollel Fellow at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, a summer fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. Born and raised in Manhattan where he graduated from the Heschel and Fieldston Schools, Jonah received his BA in History and Jewish Studies from Indiana University, studied with Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin earning an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and received an MA in Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Contact Rabbi Jonah

Sarah Groner, Israel Program Associate. Sarah joins J Street after working at Ben Or Consulting on a broad array of social change projects. Since making aliyah from the United States in 2005, Sarah has dedicated her career to fostering social justice and democracy in Israel. Previously, Sarah worked and volunteered for various Israeli non-profit organizations, including: Tebeka, HIAS, Ofek Liyladenu, Maagalei Tzedek and Mesila. In addition to being deeply involved in the Israeli social change community, as an American, Sarah has a stake in the future of the American Jewry. She is active in the progressive Jewish community in Tel Aviv, where she lives. Sarah completed her Bachelor's degree in Social Work at Bar Ilan University. Contact Sarah

Emily Koppel, Office Manager. Emily joins J Street after working as a Field Organizer on President Obama’s reelection campaign in Clermont County, Ohio. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Middle Eastern Studies. While there, Emily was an active member of Cal Berkeley Democrats, serving as Events Director her senior year. At Berkeley, she was also involved in Kesher Enoshi: Progressives for Activism in Israel and served as the campaign manager on a student body Senate race. Emily’s involvement with J Street extends back to 2010, when she interned at New American Foundation’s Middle East Task Force through J Street U’s inaugural Congressional Internship Program. In 2011, Emily was fortunate enough to be part of J Street U’s first trip to Israel and the West Bank. A Southern California native, Emily now lives in Washington D.C. Contact Emily

Jacob Plitman, Mid-Atlantic Campus Organizer. Jacob joins J Street U after a year spent as the President of J Street U's National Student Board and as a full-time Organizing Fellow for Define American. With Define American, Jacob helped to coordinate a media and political strategy centered around the organization's film, Documented. On the day of its CNN release, the plan paid off; the film's hashtag trended nationally on Twitter. At school, Jacob spent much of his time organizing various Progressive initiatives, including a student body president race that garnered press attention from the New York Times, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. Jacob spent a gap year after high school on Young Judaea's Year Course program and has spent several months there in other capacities as well. He holds a BA in Peace, War, and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and kinda speaks Hebrew.Contact Jacob

Courtney Rohrbach, Associate Director for National Events. Courtney joins J Street with over ten years of development and event experience. Most recently with the Alzheimer’s Association, Courtney has a diverse background in the arts, Jewish community and health care. A native of Chicago, Courtney spent four years at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago specializing in event production, branding and marketing. Prior to that, Courtney worked with corporate and individual giving development at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. As a teen and through her college years, Courtney worked at Camp Chi starting as a camper and working through the ranks to Program Director. A graduate of University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Courtney is a native Chicagoan that has recently relocated to Washington, DC. Contact Courtney

Jodie Rubenstein, DC Metro and South Campus Organizer. Jodie joins J Street after working as a children’s therapist for witnesses and survivors of domestic violence at Sanctuary for Families in New York. Born and raised in the DC Metro area, Jodie received a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University. In the summer of 2008, Jodie worked as an intern at Health Unlimited Peru in Lima, providing sexual health education to indigenous women and girls in the Andes region of Peru. Jodie received a Masters degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2011, specializing in contemporary social issues and trauma-focused treatment for children. After completing her Masters degree, Jodie spent five months living in South Tel Aviv and working with the African Refugee Development Center at a shelter for single mothers and pregnant women from Eritrea and Sudan. Since returning to the states in 2012, Jodie has led several Birthright trips and worked to create meaningful conversations about the future of a democratic state in Israel, most recently as the co-chair of the J Street Young Professionals Network in New York. Jodie is from Alexandria, VA and lives in Washington D.C. Contact Jodie

Naomi Shiffman, Senior West Coast Campus Organizer. Naomi joins J Street after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the HandsOn Network for a year, while concurrently interning for J Street in San Francisco. Naomi graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Psychology and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. While at UCSD, Naomi was heavily involved in the Jewish and pro-Israel community: she interned at Hadassah, the women’s zionist organization, during the summer of 2007; served as the Grinspoon Israel Advocacy Intern at UCSD Hillel during the 2008-2009 school year; and co-founded an interfaith dialogue group in the same year. She currently serves on the leadership council of New Israel Fund's New Generations in San Francisco. Born in Tel Aviv, Naomi was raised in Palo Alto, California, and currently resides in Oakland, California. Contact Naomi

Sammi Sinsheimer, Senior Programming Associate. Sammi joins J Street after two years at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where she worked as a program assistant for the Middle East and North Africa team. At NDI, she focused extensively on democratic development programs in Jordan, visiting the country three times to provide support to the Institute’s ongoing activities and international observation of the 2013 legislative elections. Sammi graduated from Emory University in May 2011 with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. While at Emory, she interned both at Hillel as well as within the Academic and Cultural Affairs department at the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast. A native of Atlanta, Sammi now resides in Washington, DC. Contact Sammi.

J Street Field

Rabbi Alison Abrams, Midwest Regional Director. Alison joins J Street after working at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago as the Director of Organizing. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL. During her time in rabbinical school, Alison trained as a community organizer on economic justice issues and became the Director of Faith Community Outreach for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Alison decided early on she wanted to be a rabbi and weave together her commitment to Jewish life and her passion for creating meaningful change in the world. She has been a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street for several years and is excited to continue her work in the pro-Israel, pro-peace community. Alison was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and received her B.A. at Smith College. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two children. Contact Alison

Timna Axel, Midwest Field Organizer. Timna graduated from Northwestern University in 2012 with undergraduate degrees in Journalism and History. She was born in Israel and spent her early childhood on kibbutz, and later spent many summers participating in the Habonim Dror progressive labor Zionist youth movement. In college she spent 10 months on an NIF fellowship working with various progressive NGOs in Tel Aviv and Akko. She joins J Street after several years of organizing for J Street U in college and doing elections work for J Street during the 2012 congressional cycle. Timna lives in Chicago, Illinois. Contact Timna

Scott Brockman, Southern Regional Director. Scott comes to J Street with more than twenty-five years of experience as a professional in the Jewish communal and informal education fields in the United States and Israel. Most recently, Scott was the Executive Director of the Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, which serves over 8,000 Jewish students in South Florida at five universities. Immediately before Hillel, Scott served as the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Director of Campaign Outreach and Expansion. Scott grew up very active in the Reform movement where his passion for Israel, politics and advocacy were born. While living in Israel during the Oslo process Scott became an ardent and active supporter of the two-state solution. Scott considers one of his mentor’s in Israel, Rabbi David Forman, of blessed memory, as a modern Zionist hero and activist. Contact Scott

Amos Buhai, Southwest Regional Director. Amos joins J Street with a strong and varied background in the political, public and private sectors. Amos has served as a field organizer for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign in Wisconsin, worked as a Field/GOTV Director and Legislative Director for New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin, and he managed Steve Warnstadt’s successful 2006 campaign for the Iowa State Senate. Amos honed his fundraising and communication skills during Obama’s primary campaign for president, serving as a high-donor fundraiser and the New York State Director for DraftObama, a grassroots organization promoting an Obama presidential candidacy. Amos was the Director of Business Development for the LA-based start up, which created an online platform for self-serve TV ad placements. He most recently worked as a consultant for the Personal Democracy Forum, an organization that studies how technology is changing politics, government, and civic engagement. He holds a BA in History from The George Washington University, and is a fifth-generation Los Angeles native and a staunch supporter of the LA Clippers. Contact Amos

Rachel Eisner, Northwest Regional Director. Rachel joined J Street in 2010, with 15 years of experience in community outreach, leadership development and fundraising in the Bay Area and New York Jewish communities. She previously served as the Director of Development for the 14th Street Y in New York City, a vibrant JCC. She also served in senior development roles at flagship PBS station Thirteen/WNET, and at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. In the late 1990s she devoted several years to expanding the San Francisco chapter of the New Israel Fund. Rachel holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration on the modern Middle East from U.C. Berkeley, which included a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a certified mediator. A Manhattan native, Rachel lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and 3 children. Contact Rachel

Rebecca Kirzner, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. Rebecca joins J Street after spending a year in Israel working with Ir Amim and several other non-profit organizations advocating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prior to joining the J Street staff, Rebecca spent four years as a teacher and education activist in the Philadelphia public school system. She is a Teach for America alumna, and holds a MS in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Rebecca is a native of the Mid-Atlantic area, having lived in almost every state in the region. She is very excited to be building the movement in this area. Contact Rebecca

Yael Maizel, Southwest Field Director. Yael joins J Street after five years in Israel where she worked with a number of social justice and human rights organizations. Most recently she served as the Senior Development Associate at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). As a recipient of the Shatil Social Justice Fellowship in Israel, Yael worked at YEDID,The Association for Community Empowerment, where she coordinated several grassroots organizing projects for YEDID’s Haifa Center. Yael has extensive experience in progressive Israel advocacy, through her involvement with organizations such as UPZ, Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, Shatil and ACRI. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in the same field from Tel Aviv University. Contact Yael

Kate Press, New York City Regional Director and Deputy Field Director. In 2009 Kate joined J Street as the East Coast Student Organizer. She became a member of the Field Team in June 2010. Before J Street she worked in Freetown, Sierra Leone building public administrative capacities in the provinces outside of Freetown. In this role, she trained local college graduates and found them placements in provincial government offices. Before that Kate worked for the International Development Research Center. Kate has a Masters in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Kate has spent a over a year living in Israel and traveling the West Bank extensively as part of the Dorot Fellowship in Israel which works to assemble and empower a network of young Jewish lay leaders to enliven the American Jewish landscape. Born in Toronto, Canada, Kate now lives in Brooklyn. Contact Kate

Rachel Schreiber, Northeast Deputy Regional Director. Rachel comes to J Street with a background in leadership development, fundraising, and politics. Most recently, she worked on development efforts at Sexual Assault Support Services and Arts in Reach in New Hampshire. As a Program Officer at World Learning, she worked with people from around the globe, empowering them to develop their professional connections and skills. Rachel started her career in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill, working for her home state representatives from New Jersey. After her first trip to Israel in 2007/08, she was thrilled to come home and discover J Street’s new voice building momentum in US politics. Rachel received her B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University. She now lives in New Hampshire and is determined to meet all the candidates before each presidential primary. Contact Rachel

Ezra Tzfadya, New York Regional Field Director. Ezra joins J Street as the New York Regional Field Director after having completed an M.A. in Princeton’s Religion, Ethics, and Politics program, focusing on modern Jewish and Iranian-Shiite political thought. Before graduate school, Ezra worked in the American Jewish Committee’s Berlin office and studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Free University of Berlin. He has also worked at the German Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee and at the United Nations Secretariat's Office of General Assembly Affairs. Ezra is a Dartmouth College grad with majors in Arabic and German, and also has advanced proficiency in Hebrew and Persian. Contact Ezra.

Shaina Wasserman, Northeast Regional Director. Shaina Wasserman came to J Street from the world of Jewish education. Most recently, Shaina was the Project Manager for Congregational Learning at The Jewish Education Project (formerly the BJE) in New York. She oversaw the organizational change process for over 50 congregations. Previously, Shaina served as an Education Director and Community Organizer at Congregation Beth Am in Northern California, worked the Progressive Jewish Alliance, and at the Jewish Federation in Chicago. She has professional and volunteer experience in faith based community organizing, Israel advocacy, and fundraising. Shaina wrote a curriculum for teens and adults entitled: My Israel: A Non-Traditional Approach to Israel Advocacy. She holds a Joint Masters Degree in Jewish Non-Profit Management and Jewish Education and from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. in History and in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Shaina grew up in Habonim Dror and has been a long time supporter of a two-state solution. A.D. Gordon is her favorite early Zionist thinker. Contact Shaina

Alex Willick, Northwest Regional Field Director. Alex is a recent graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and holds a master’s degree in Jewish Experiential Education with a focus in Israel education and Jewish communal leadership. Prior to JTS, he attended Colgate University where he studied music and philosophy, both of which continue to be passionate areas of study. Over the past few years, Alex has lived in Israel as an Otzma fellow as well as a participant of the Kesher Hadash program under the advisement of Dr. Alex Sinclair. By joining J Street, he is truly fulfilling his dream of working toward a more just, more peaceful State of Israel. Alex lives in Oakland, California. Contact Alex

Mendel Zecher, Field Assistant. Mendel joins J Street after spending the last year working in local New York City politics. As a member of the field teams for both Julie Menin and David Menegon’s campaigns, Mendel worked to educate voters and encourage voter turnout. Mendel graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Political Science and Finance, where he was extremely involved in the Student Government and the Jewish community at large. A New Jersey native, he currently resides in Manhattan. Contact Mendel


Tamar Ariel, Manager of Leadership and Development Operations. Tamar has worked at J Street for 2 years. She came to J Street after working at Friends of the Earth- Middle East in Tel Aviv as a New Israel Fund/Shatil Social Justice Fellow and five years as a Jewish Educator. While in Israel, she was a founder of a forum called “Activist Potluck” which brings together young, English-speaking, Jewish progressives to share experiences in Israel. Tamar graduated from Brandeis University in May 2010 with a BA in Economics and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a minor in Hebrew Language and Literature. At Brandeis, she served as the Director of Student Rights and Advocacy on the Student Union Executive Board and was a founding member of the J Street U chapter on campus. Tamar was born in Jerusalem and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Contact Tamar

Ilya Braverman, Development Associate. Ilya joins J Street after almost two years of development work at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After receiving a BA in history and religious studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010, Ilya went on to complete his MA in history at Kent State University. As a graduate student, Ilya’s work focused on the rise of extreme right-wing groups in Weimar Germany, and the plurality of Nazistic ideology. While at Kent State University, Ilya traveled to Germany to conduct primary source research at the Federal Archives and was an active member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Born in Russia, and raised in Israel and Wisconsin, Ilya now resides in the Washington, D.C. area. Contact Ilya

Shira Barchilon Frank, Mid-Atlantic and Southern Finance Director and Director of Development Operations. Shira brings nearly a decade of work in women’s philanthropy and Jewish non-profit fundraising with her to J Street. In 2000, Shira began her involvement with women’s philanthropy in San Francisco at the Women’s Foundation of California. Shira then worked for the Women and Financial Independence Center in Northampton, MA, developing new initiatives in young women’s entrepreneurship and leadership, and directing the launch of SmiThrift, a philanthropic retail business. While living in Israel, Shira partnered with the municipality of B’nei Brak, seeking international foundation support for the Women’s Health and Information Center serving urban ultra-orthodox communities throughout Israel. Immediately prior to joining J Street, Shira worked as the Associate Director of Institutional Advancement for the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital, successfully transitioning the school from event-based fundraising to a donor-centered campaign model. Shira is an active member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Outreach and Engagement Committee as well as the Stuart S. Kurlander Program for Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Engagement. Shira holds a Bachelors degree in Government from Smith College. She hails from the Redwood Coast of Arcata, CA and has enjoyed living in Washington, DC since 2006. Contact Shira

Ilissa Gold, Southwest Assistant Finance Director. Ilissa rejoins J Street after previously interning for J Street in the summer of 2010. That year, she also assisted in launching J Street Nashville in her hometown. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2011, Ilissa has been involved in a wide variety of progressive and Jewish causes. She is the president and founder of the Miracle Mile Democratic Club, one of the most active Democratic clubs in Los Angeles. She was also a Jeremiah Fellow with Bend the Arc Southern California in 2014, and serves on the board of the Jewish Women's Conference of Southern California and the Advocacy Training Project of National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles. Ilissa received her B.A. in Government from Cornell University and her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Contact Ilissa

Marina Javor, Northern California Associate Finance Director. Marina Javor joins J Street with over five years of nonprofit fundraising and international community development experience. Prior to J Street, Marina served as Communications & Events Manager at Aim High, the Bay Area's largest tuition-free summer learning program for low-income youth, and worked as a Development Associate and Events Coordinator at the New Israel Fund in San Francisco. Marina served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer (2008-2010) in Azerbaijan and has also worked as a community development volunteer in Sri Lanka. Marina is a current Master's candidate in the Nonprofit Administration program at the University of San Francisco, and holds a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. A native of San Diego, Marina spent a year in Eilat, Israel during her childhood with her mother, and has many vivid memories of swimming in the Red Sea and hiking in the Negev. Marina currently lives in San Francisco. Contact Marina

Barbara Lahav, Pacific Northwest Finance Director. Barbara joins J Street with over two decades of political activism in pursuit of Middle East peace. Barbara is a founding member of the interfaith group Find Common Ground. A graduate of Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Barbara lived in Israel for more than 16 years, working in design for the Israel Museum as well as administration for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Before moving back to the Seattle, Barbara was the managing editor of the local Jerusalem newspaper Kol Ha’Ir. In the Seattle area, Barbara worked for the Jewish Federation and for ten years as the program director for the largest Conservative congregation in the area. For the past eight years, Barbara worked as an administrator and consultant for a variety of non-profit organizations. Barbara now lives on Mercer Island with her husband Eli, a native of Tel Aviv. Contact Barbara

Alon Mazor, Development Assistant. Alon joins J Street as a recent college graduate with a degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, Alon was heavily involved in J Street U, serving on the national student board as the West Coast Representative in 2010-11. He also helped found the J Street U chapter at Berkeley in the Fall of 2011. Alon was a leader in interfaith work on campus and developed bridges between the progressive community and the Jewish community. He intends to pursue policy and social justice work further with aspirations for a dual degree in Public Health and Public Policy. Born in Jerusalem, raised in Sunnyvale, CA, Alon currently resides in Washington, DC. Contact Alon

Daniel Rosove, Southwest Finance Director. Daniel is entering his fourth year with J Street since joining in the Fall of 2009. After arriving in Washington in 2008, Daniel worked for five months for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where he worked on Middle East issues. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2007 with a degree in political science. After graduating Daniel spent eight months living and traveling in Israel. He attended five months of ulpan Hebrew immersion at Ulpan Akiva in Netanya, followed by volunteering for two months as an ambulance medic with Magen David Adom Ambulance Service in Nazareth. Contact Daniel

Adee Telem, New York Finance Director. Adee joins J Street with a decade of experience in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution space. She previously served as the West Coast Director for the OneVoice Movement, helping to double the organization’s funding over eighteen months and driving area network, foundation and corporate partnerships. She has worked in development, policy and research positions at Israel Policy Forum, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the US Institute of Peace. Adee is the Co-Founder and Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, an international corporate engagement, philanthropy and fundraising services firm. She has been named one of 65 American-Jewish Leaders by the Center for Leadership Initiatives and was recently selected as one of 25 Emerging Leaders in Conflict Resolution by the U.S. Department of State and the Washington-Ireland Program. Adee was born in Israel and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Contact Adee