Staff

Chief Executive Officer
Halie Soifer

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Senior Staff
Sam Crystal, Chief of Staff and Communications Director

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Sam joined the JDCA team shortly after the organization was founded in 2017. As JDCA's Chief of Staff and Communications, he manages the organization's growing staff and day-to-day work and develops and oversees JDCA's external messaging across all platforms. Samuel’s career has focused on political advocacy and communications in the global Jewish community. He received his Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Maryland with a specialization in Leadership and Management and was named a 'High Achieving Millennial' by the SparkVision Millennial Research Project. From 2015-2017, Samuel was the Director of Political Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel to New England, where he helped develop and implement diplomatic strategy between Israel and local and state governments in New England. From 2015-2016, Samuel lived in Jerusalem working as an Israel Government Fellow, where he attended over 100 seminars, lectures, and field missions studying Israeli politics, security, and paths toward peace with the Palestinians.
Sam is passionate about electing Democrats, criminal justice and prison reform, combating climate change, and supporting a two-state solution.
Get in touch with Sam and our Communications team.
Michael Berkowitz, Senior Political and Policy Director and Director of JDCA PAC

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Michael is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in political science. At Washington University Michael was heavily involved in Jewish life and progressive politics, leading WashU's J Street U chapter, volunteering for local electoral campaigns, and running the Orthodox minyan at WashU's Chabad. The summer before his senior year, Michael interned at Bluelight Strategies, a political consulting firm specializing in Jewish and Democratic politics. In his last year at WashU he served as the Midwest Vice President on the J Street U National Board, helping to lead the pro-Israel anti-Occupation student movement. Prior to joining JDCA, Michael worked as a field organizer for the Iowa Democratic Party in the 2020 general election.
Mil Dranoff, Senior Development Director

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Mil Dranoff is the Senior Development Director for the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). Prior to joining the organization, she was Director of Development for the National Council of Jewish Women's New York Section, and before that she was on Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice’s development team for 6 years. As an alumna of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, Mil is deeply passionate about creating systemic social change. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Political Science and Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband Mark and dog Jersey. Get in touch with Mil and our Development team.
Ben Kanter, Deputy Chief of Staff

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Ben is a Maryland native with a degree in Political Science from the Honors College at the College of Charleston and is also a member of the political science honors society Pi Sigma Alpha and psychology honors society Psi Chi. While in college, Ben interned at both the Charleston County Public Defender’s Office and on Joe Cunningham’s historic 2018 Congressional victory in South Carolina’s 1st district. Since graduating, Ben has focused his career on political research, activism, and advocacy. During the summer of 2019, Ben was selected to attend the Summer Institute for Political Psychology at Stanford University, a month-long interdisciplinary training and certificate program with leading political psychology professors and experts from across the country. Prior to joining JDCA, Ben worked as an organizer for Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential primary run in Iowa and Nevada. Since joining JDCA, Ben has worked in a variety of different roles including directing JDCA’s Outreach department and electoral efforts in 2022. Ben now serves as JDCA’s Deputy Chief of Staff, helping oversee staff wide projects and the implementation of JDCA’s national strategic goals and initiatives.
Robert J. (Bobby) Saferstein, Chief Program Officer

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Bobby is the Chief Program Officer at the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), having formerly served as Senior Director for Programming, Public Engagement, and Strategy. An interdisciplinary creative and entrepreneur, Bobby harnesses media, design, and ritual, to craft experiences that impact and strengthen community, and develops solutions that drive social good. A member of JDCA’s New Leadership Council (NLC) and Ohio Chapter Lead since 2019, Bobby officially joined the team in 2020, where he has overseen the creation and growth of the Programming and Events Department. Under his leadership, JDCA has developed and produced more than 700 virtual and in-person programs to meet the strategic, political, policy, development, educational, and volunteer engagement objectives of the organization. Bobby previously led efforts as Market Development Director of Sh’ma Journal hosted by The Forward — a platform to engage with matters critical to contemporary Judaism — to diversify content, grow the journal’s digital presence, reimagine its visual identity, deepen its impact, and broaden its reach. Named to The New York Jewish Week’s, “36 to Watch,” Bobby is a multiple Natan Grant recipient for his series of elevated Shabbat dinners for Jewish LGBTQI+ individuals, Friday Night Lights Events. In 2015, Bobby formed Eighteen:22 — a global network of Jewish LGBTQI+ and ally changemakers — as a Schusterman Connection Point in Salzburg, Austria, which in 2017, partnered with JDC Entwine to design and launch their portfolio of international experiences for LGBTQ+ young professionals. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bobby is an accomplished artist in the worlds of photography, film, music, and theatre. Bobby is proud to be an ROI Community Member, a founding member of UJA Pride, and an Hadar Institute Jewish Wisdom Fellow. He currently resides in New York City, and hails from Akron, Ohio. Get in touch with Bobby and our Programming team.
Staff
Brett Bauer, Development Manager

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Brett is an Illinois native with a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was deeply involved with the local Chabad chapter. He has previously worked with Democratic fundraising and campaigns and has additional political experience through a Capitol Hill internship with a Democratic member of Congress. He is an Honorary Board Member for the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss. He studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and served as Rush Chairman and Scribe of Boulder's chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Brett now lives in DC with his partner and Service Dog, Harlow. Get in touch with Brett and our Development team.
Matthew Craig, Director of Operations and Scheduling

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Matthew is a proud Kentucky native with a degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University. Since graduating from college, Matthew has worked extensively across the country for Democratic Campaigns. Matthew is most proud of working on Tom Perriello's campaign for Governor, Bernie Sanders' 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, and the successful 2018 ballot measure Prop 3, Promote the Vote in Michigan. His most recent work was with the Amy McGrath campaign where he managed field operations for the largest campaign in Kentucky's history. Matthew is incredibly grateful to have grown up as one of the only three Jewish people from his public high school (the other two being his siblings). He credits his parents with helping him form his strong Jewish values. Previously, Matthew served as JDCA's Operations Manager and Executive Assistant. Matthew loves spending his free time with his family but mainly with his Grandma Minnie and her twin sister Aunt Jackie! Get in touch with Matthew and our Operations team.
Gideon Eichenwald, Programming Associate

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As JDCA’s Programming Associate, Gideon helps plan, organize and manage events ranging from Zoom panel discussions to in-person convenings. Gideon holds an associate’s degree from Bard High School Early College and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at the University of Maryland. A native Brooklynite, his political career traces back to his Jewish day school student council presidency. While Gideon’s efforts to persuade the administration to bring in a vending machine were ultimately unsuccessful, he credits his day school teachers with imparting the values and inquisitive spirit that continue to shape his political perspectives. Gideon began engaging with national politics in high school, as an intern with President Biden’s Michigan campaign. In his free time, Gideon enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, visiting museums and supporting the Green Bay Packers.
Becca Hammerman, Outreach Manager
Becca graduated Magna Cum Laude from George Washington University (GWU) where she studied Human Services and Social Justice. While at GWU she was actively involved in The Ronald McDonald House Charities and Camp Kesem, both non-profit organizations that support children and their families.  Prior to joining JDCA full-time,  she enthusiastically served as a Midterm Fellow and Outreach Intern with JDCA during the 2022 midterm elections. Becca additionally interned on Capitol Hill with a Democratic member of Congress and more recently served the Biden-Harris Administration as a White House Intern. Currently, Becca is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with a field of study in Politics, Policy, and Administration at GWU. Becca spent most of her childhood in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is the granddaughter of a Cantor, she is proud to say that her Jewish identity grounds her and naturally pulls her in the direction of public service. In her spare time, Becca enjoys teaching pilates and taking long walks with her faithful companion, a 6-year-old Yorkie.
Beverly Schreiber, Director of Outreach and Partnerships

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Beverly has spent almost 15 years working in the political sphere, primarily as an issue and electoral organizer, where she has focused her efforts on getting young people engaged in the political process. She started her career as a campus organizer for Fandom Forward (previously The Harry Potter Alliance), a nonprofit that uses the power of pop culture and fandom to engage young people in social justice issues. During her time there, Beverly created the Granger Leadership Academy, an annual conference focused on training chapter members in advocacy tactics and leadership development through a fan activism lens, to help build positive social change in local communities. For the last six years, Beverly worked in her home state of Nevada, holding positions such as the Nevada State Youth Director for NextGen America, the largest youth vote organization in the country, and the Field Director for the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus, where in 2020, she helped elect nine candidates to the Nevada State Assembly. Beverly holds a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management & Policy, with a focus on International Policy and Management from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She currently resides in Las Vegas and in her spare time serves as an advisor for the same BBYO chapter she was part of in high school (shout-out to Helene Gorbena #1938, Mountain Region #47) and tries to get cuddles from her super fat, super cuddly orange tabby cat Muffin.
Get in touch with Beverly.
Dalia Segal-Miller, Political and Policy Associate
Dalia graduated from Northwestern University where she studied Social Policy and Civic Engagement. Growing up in the dynamic political landscape of North Carolina, Dalia developed a passion for political accountability, advocacy, and community organizing, and she began her political involvement in high school through environmental justice efforts. Prior to joining JDCA full-time, she worked for a Jewish Democratic member of Congress and interned with House Majority PAC, where she researched Democratic House campaigns in the 2022 midterm elections. She also spent two years working with the City of Evanston to increase representation and accessibility in local politics through the city’s first Participatory Budgeting initiative. At Northwestern, Dalia was heavily involved in Jewish life on campus, TEDxNorthwesternU, and College Democrats. Dalia now lives in Chicago where she enjoys exploring new coffee shops and taking walks along Lake Michigan.
Jacob Spiegel, Deputy Communications Director

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Jacob is a proud Ohio native who has spent the last few years managing local and statewide races in his home state. Jacob started at JDCA in April 2023 as the Communications Manager and was promoted to Deputy Communications Director in May of 2024. Prior to his time at JDCA, Jacob served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Jeff Crossman’s campaign for Ohio Attorney General race in 2022 where he oversaw the political operations, earned and paid communications strategies, and day-to-day functions of the campaign. In 2021, Jacob served as the Campaign Manager for a successful Cincinnati City Council campaign, where he won as a first time campaign manager with a first time candidate in a crowded field. Jacob graduated from The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Management, Leadership, and Policy, a degree in Strategic Communications, and a minor in Campaign Media & Communications.  Jacob first became involved in political action and advocacy in 2016, when he was inspired by his late grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, who warned him that the rhetoric she was hearing in American politics surrounding immigrants and Muslims was eerily similar to the rhetoric she heard about the Jewish people when growing up in Nuremberg. Jacob then joined Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign as a fellow, and has been involved with a campaign every year since 2016, from City Council and State Representatives, to Presidential primaries. Jacob now lives in Washington D.C. with his fiancée, where he enjoys rock climbing, traveling, and getting bit by his and his fiancée's cat, Georgia. Get in touch with Jacob.
Sydney Tepper, Youth Voter Engagement Manager

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Sydney graduated The University of Texas at Austin where she was a double major in Government and Sociology.  While at Texas she was actively involved in Texas Hillel, VP of Philanthropy for her sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi, and a Voter Deputy Registrar where she registered students to vote in the 2018 midterms. Additionally, she was a J.J. Pickle Congressional Research Fellow where she researched co-sponsorship rates in Congress and the correlation between party and gender.  She then moved to Washington DC, where she completed her Masters in Public Administration at George Washington University, focusing in Politics, Policy, and Administration and was an Organizing Fellow with JDCA during the 2020 elections. Prior to joining JDCA full-time,  she worked at B'nai B'rith International where she worked in their development department. She most recently comes from the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP where she served as their Strategic Communications Specialist. Sydney grew up on the south shore of Long Island and spent her summers going to jewish sleep away camp in Wayne County, PA. In her spare time, Sydney likes to read any queer romance book she can get her hands on, watch Doctor Who, and play on her LGBTQ+ recreational kickball team.
Get in touch with Sydney.

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