New Leadership Council

The New Leadership Council (NLC) comprises the next generation of Jewish leaders. The new leaders come from diverse backgrounds and are committed to JDCA’s mission to be the political home and voice of Jewish voters in support of Democrats who share our core values.

New Leaders
Lauren Baer, NLC Chair
Lauren Baer was the 2018 Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in Florida's 18th District. Proudly endorsed by JDCA, Lauren won more votes in the district than a Democrat ever had during a midterm election, and gained national attention for her campaign. An attorney and foreign policy expert, Lauren served as an official in the Obama Administration from 2011-2017, acting as a senior advisor to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. During her time in government, she was responsible for ensuring that the promotion of U.S. values remained central to foreign policy and advised on a range of critical national security issues related to human rights and international law.  Lauren started her career as a litigator, with a practice focused on international disputes and federal appeals and currently works as a consultant in policy and politics. Lauren holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her wife Emily, and her daughter Serena.
Jordan B. Acker
Jordan B. Acker is a Democrat from Huntington Woods, MI. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 2006 and his J.D. degree from American University – Washington College of Law in 2010.  Regent Acker worked for the Michigan Democratic Party as the Deputy Communications Director after graduating from UM and before moving to Washington to work as a communications aide to the House Judiciary Committee. While in law school, he served as the Editor in Chief of the WCL Legislation and Policy Brief. Additionally, Regent Acker served as an associate in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel before being appointed by President Obama in March 2011 to be an attorney-advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security.  While at DHS, Regent Acker worked on cyber, immigration, and other homeland security issues Regent Acker joined his family business, Goodman Acker P.C., in 2013, where he practices law and is responsible for the firm’s business development. He has also served on the Detroit Jewish Community NextGen Board of Directors from 2013-2017, was a Michigan Political Leadership Program fellow through the Institute for Public Policy and Research at Michigan State University in 2015, and was named a Rising Star by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, as well as a Detroiter to Watch by the Detroit Jewish Federation in 2016. Regent Acker’s wife Lauren is also a graduate of UM (’07) and they have two daughters.
Jonathan Allen
Jonathan is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland, where he served as Student Body President. In this capacity, Jonathan represented over 30,000 undergraduate students at the University to lawmakers, University administrators, and in the media. He advocated for the successful passage of Maryland state legislation including a bill reforming the University System of Maryland, and the introduction of a bill granting college athletes the right to collectively bargain. His work has been mentioned in the Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, and ESPN.
Prior to joining the ADL as a Government Relations, Advocacy, and Community Engagement Manager, Jonathan served as JDCA's Outreach Director. Jonathan also interned for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, then-Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). On-campus, he served on Maryland Hillel’s Board of Directors, as President of Terps for Israel, and one of four students on AIPAC’s National Council.
Adam Berg
Adam Berg is of counsel in the Washington DC office. A seasoned professional with 20 years’ experience in federal and state government, public policy advocacy and political campaigns, Adam has played a key role in enactment or defeat of major legislation across the full range of federal law.
Adam joined the firm after serving over 15 years on Capitol Hill, including as chief counsel to House Committee on Appropriations Democrats from 2017 to 2022. In that role, he advised the chair, staff director and the 12 subcommittee chairs during all markups, floor consideration and conference committee meetings on the “must-pass” annual appropriations measures. He also assisted members and staff with legislative drafting, floor and committee procedure, budget law, amendment strategy and floor strategy, working regularly with Democratic leadership and committee staff across the House. Prior to his time on the Appropriations staff, Adam spent over a decade at the House Committee on Rules, most recently as deputy staff director and counsel. Helping to lead the “Speaker’s Committee’s” efforts coordinating and executing House Democratic leadership’s legislative and messaging strategies, Adam developed strong working relationships with senior staff across the Hill. Earlier in his career, Adam conducted research on energy, environmental and natural resources legislation, served as staff in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and worked on a number of competitive political campaigns at the local, state and federal levels.
David Bocarsly
David Bocarsly is the director of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, the Jewish voice for justice, equality, and progress throughout the state. A coalition of 16 Jewish elected officials, the Jewish Caucus supports Jewish community issues and values through legislation and advocacy.  David has worked for local, state, and federal elected officials, including for Congressman Jerry Nadler, and as campaign manager for Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day. He is a Delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee and Treasurer of the Palms Neighborhood Council. Prior to his professional work in politics, David served as UCLA’s first kippah-wearing Student Body President and as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He earned his Master of Public Policy and Certificate in Social Justice degrees from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.  David’s strong Jewish upbringing guides his belief in justice as a core component of Jewish tradition. He weaves Judaism and social justice into all his work, both in the halls of government and in the streets. In his spare time, David organizes Jewish community members to advocate for race, class, and gender equity. He gets his spiritual rejuvenation from IKAR. He also enjoys dancing, backgammon, LA sports, and scenic overlooks.
Daniel Bral 

Daniel Bral is a first-generation Jewish Iranian American civil rights attorney, political and policy advisor, appointed California Democratic Party Delegate, and published author. He received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of Loyola’s International and Comparative Law Review. Daniel’s law review article on Israel’s Nation-State Law was one of three student articles selected for publication.

Inspired by his late grandfather, Mousa Bral, the second-ever Jewish member of Iran’s parliament, Daniel has been a dedicated Jewish community leader, as well as a dogged champion of a just future for Israelis and Palestinians. He is a proud member of J Street LA's Executive Committee; steering committee member of Israel Policy Forum; coach for Project Shema; member of the Jewish Federation’s Rautenberg New Leaders Project; founding member of Iranian American Democrats of California; and past board chair of Progressive Zionists of California. In addition to being a published international law author, Daniel writes about Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the American Jewish community for Haaretz and other publications.

Stacy Burdett
Stacy Burdett is a public policy strategist and lobbyist with nearly three decades of experience as a Jewish community advocate on civil and human rights issues. She has directed advocacy helping organizations manage complex constituencies in a volatile political environment.  She has managed coalitions and partnerships with an eye toward broadening the universe of stakeholders in Jewish community issues and helping make them a political winner on both sides of the aisle.  As Vice President for Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement for the Anti-Defamation League, Stacy testified before Congress and international organizations about countering hate crimes, antisemitism and discrimination as well as on coalition building strategies. She directed issue campaigns and advocacy training for activists around the country and designed coalition building training programs used in the US and abroad. Stacy represented ADL at the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in September 2001 and has worked to ensure that anti-Semitism is on the agenda of forums such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations.   During her tenure as the first Government and External Relations Director at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, she piloted new initiatives to promote the relevance of Holocaust history to the roles and responsibilities of government officials and thought leaders. Stacy studied Middle Eastern Studies at Barnard College and has lived and worked in Israel.  She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and teenage son. 
Kate Chavez
Kate Chavez is a Latina and Ashkenazi nonprofit professional, educator, and organizer who currently serves as engagement director for the California Young Democrats Jewish Caucus. Kate served as the Executive Vice President of Associated Students at Sonoma State University, where she focused on adequate funding for public higher education and DACA and undocumented student support. She has served as a Jewish Democratic Council of America Senior Organizing Fellow during the 2020 General Election and the Georgia Senate Runoff. Kate has experience in reproductive rights advocacy with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and is currently an Israel Policy Forum Bronfman Convener Fellow. Kate also serves as an IsraAID Ambassador after volunteering on a mission in North Carolina to support populations affected by Hurricane Florence. Currently, Kate is the National Associate Director of High School Affairs for StandWithUs, an Israel education organization that focuses on combating antisemitism.
Jenny Davis

Jenny has nearly three decades of experience in politics, advocacy, and government. A dynamic, collaborative senior leader and strategist, she has produced successful campaigns and programs to enhance public reputation and advance organization goals and policy agendas.

She currently serves as Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Jenny has been appointed to the New Jersey-Israel Commission, and she serves on multiple other boards, including  NJ Shares, the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Union County Improvement Authority, and the Union County Workforce Development Board.

A native of Philadelphia, she first engaged in politics as a high school student involved in her local school board campaign. Her involvement in Jewish youth outreach widened her political involvement.  Since that time, she has navigated political contexts, managed key stakeholder relationships, and built partnerships on a local, state and national level.

Her main passion these days is being Mom to her two children, Marcus and Serena, with her husband, Michael.

Nanette Fridman
Nanette Fridman co-founded Effect Collective to help nonprofit and corporate leaders and team members do the work that matters most. Effect Collective is a one-stop shop for strategy, facilitation, coaching, training, and speaking services on leadership & team development, governance, strategic planning, fundraising, and more.    Before launching Effect Collective, Nanette founded and led Fridman Strategies, Inc. for nearly 20 years. During that time, she helped thousands of leaders across North America—from small start-ups to large international organizations—advance their missions and maximize their impact.  Known for her good humor and high energy, Nanette is a frequent keynote speaker, trainer, and facilitator. A nationally recognized nonprofit expert, she is the author of Holding the Gavel: What Nonprofit Board Leaders Need to Know and On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service Earlier in her career, Nanette worked as a corporate attorney and as a national field director for an advocacy organization. Originally from Rhode Island, Nanette earned her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, and Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University. She received her BA, summa cum laude, in political science from Tufts University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Nanette is honored to be a Harry S. Truman Scholar.  Nanette has held many volunteer leadership roles in the greater Boston community and beyond. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and two children. 
Joe Goldman
Joe Goldman is the Community Engagement Director for the Western Region at HIAS, the world’s oldest – and only Jewish – international humanitarian agency serving refugees and asylum seekers of all backgrounds. He mobilizes activists, organizations, and lawmakers across California to ensure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve. Before joining HIAS, Joe worked at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, where he worked to expand the social safety net to vulnerable communities nationwide. Prior to MAZON, he spent nearly half a decade at the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Relations Council, where he advocated on behalf of numerous progressive causes, hosted largescale civic events, and staffed a culture and trade delegation to Israel and Palestine with the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Joe is currently in the fourth cohort of the Coro LEAD LA Fellowship. He served on the boards of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and Jewish Film Institute and is a proud alumnus of both the Equality California Institute Leadership Academy and Point Foundation, the country's largest LGBTQ scholarship organization. A longtime political activist with campaign experience, Joe served on the Biden for President Finance Committee. He holds a BA in Political Communication and Master’s of Political Management from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Adam.
Emily P. Goodstein
Emily P. Goodstein combines her love of digital media with her extensive grassroots organizing background to help clients scale quickly and sustainably. Emily’s work helps organizations fulfill their missions, leveraging a multichannel approach to meld offline and online tools, including social media strategy, web and email outreach, fundraising, user experience consulting, and content marketing. Goodstein brings over 15 years of nonprofit advocacy, fundraising, marketing, and organizing experience to her work. Before launching Greater Good Strategy, she served as a Client Success Manager for Blackbaud (previously Convio), where she empowered nonprofit clients to achieve their online fundraising and advocacy goals. During her work at Blackbaud, Goodstein managed a wide range of accounts, including internationally-focused relief and aid groups, local and regional food banks, and DC-based advocacy organizations. Prior to her move to the private sector, Emily was Director of Student Outreach for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), an interfaith coalition working to preserve reproductive freedom. Emily has been featured on NPR and WTOP, in the Washington Post, the Washington Jewish Week and Washingtonian and on DCistApartment Therapy and the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of Selah, the Rockwood Leadership Training Program’s collaboration with Bend the Arc, and an active member of the Women’s Information Network and Sixth & I Synagogue. When she’s not Instagramming, Emily can be found behind the camera. In 2013, she completed the photography for the Washington, DC Chef’s Table cookbook — using her lens to document the city’s dynamic food culture. Goodstein completed her second cookbook in 2017, Great Food Finds, Washington which includes over 60 recipes from DC area restaurants and mouth watering images to accompany them. Her third book, No Access Washington, DC is a behind the scenes look at hard to reach or off limits spots in and around DC. It is expected to hit shelves in December 2018. She also specializes in photographing birth, joining women for home, birth center, or hospital births to capture the day their little ones arrive. An activist at heart, Emily’s interest in organizing and online outreach was sparked while she was a student at The George Washington University (GW). She earned a BA in human services at GW and started the university’s chapter of Planned Parenthood. She’s a lifelong supporter and former board member of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. Emily lives in DC’s Columbia Heights neighborhood with her partner, Ron. Their books are arranged in rainbow order.
Tiffany Harris
Tiffany Harris is the Chief Program Officer at Moishe House. In her role at Moishe House, she oversees a global program team that engages hundreds of thousands of Jewish young adults each year. Prior to Moishe House, Tiffany oversaw a global education program focused on accelerating IT and cloud-related learning at Amazon. Tiffany served as Peace Corps Headquarters’ Public Affairs Specialist. She was a founding member of Shalom Corps (Peace Corps’ Jewish Employee Resource Group), a founding member of Peace Corps’ Diversity Board, and she sat on the Chief of Staff’s Diversity Governance Council. The National Peace Corps Association honored Tiffany on its decennial 40 under 40 list. Tiffany is a former Moishe House Board member and a former Jim Joseph Foundation Board member. Her undergraduate degrees are from Seattle University and she has an MA from Tel Aviv University. Tiffany earned an Executive Certificate in Project Management (PMP) from Georgetown University, she completed the Board Member Institute for Jewish Nonprofits at Kellogg, and she is currently pursuing an Executive Certificate in Applied Business Analytics from MIT.
Olivia Hazlett
Olivia is the Mid-Atlantic Community Manager, managing and enabling our community builders to be leaders in creating meaningful, welcoming experiences that serve the young adult Jewish community in their city. Two of Olivia’s greatest passions are connecting with people and exploring new environments. She admires Moishe House’s mission to link young Jewish professionals to their surrounding social and physical communities, further proving that “wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish”! Born and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Olivia moved to Washington, DC after graduating from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. Olivia comes to Moishe House from Maryland Hillel, where she served as the Springboard Social Justice Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys playing kickball and trivia with friends, reminiscing about her time aboard Semester at Sea, and trying her hand at new Home Chef recipes.
Darcy Hirsh
Darcy Hirsh is the Senior Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Interfaith Alliance, where shes leads the organization’s policy work at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as its critical advocacy in the courts. Previously, Darcy was the Associate Vice President of Public Affairs at the Jewish Federations of North America and was the Director of Virginia and D.C. Government and Community Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. In this role, she advocated before local, state, and federal government officials on issues of importance to the Jewish community including support for social services, maintaining the separation of church and state, and combating anti-Semitism and other forms of bias. Darcy previously served as the Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League Washington, D.C. Regional office and prior to that, as Director of Day School Advocacy at UJA-Federation of New York. She holds a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and a BA in Religious Studies from Barnard College. Darcy is a proud Buffalo native. After living in New York City for many years, she and her husband now reside in Chevy Chase, D.C. with their son and daughter.
Sarah Hurwitz
Sarah Hurwitz was a White House speechwriter from 2009 to 2017, starting out as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then serving as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. Before serving in the Obama Administration, Sarah was chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential primary campaign; deputy chief speechwriter for Senator John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign; deputy chief speechwriter for General Wesley Clark’s primary campaign; and a speechwriter for Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Sarah was also a lawyer at the Washington, DC office of WilmerHale.  Sarah is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and she is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).
Mike Iger
Mike Iger is a Vice President in The Glover Park Group’s Government Affairs Division. He joined GPG after an extensive career on Capitol Hill as a Senior Aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as experience in the private sector as a management consultant. Using his more than 15 years of legislative experience and understanding of business strategy, Mike serves clients across a broad range of industries.  Prior to joining GPG, Mike served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), working with the Obama and Trump Administrations, House and Senate Leadership and the House Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform Committees. Previously, Mike served as the Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. Mike has also worked as a consultant with the Boston-based firm Altman Vilandrie & Co., advising telecom, media and tech clients on business strategy and investment-related matters.  Originally from New York, Mike graduated from Union College with a BA in Political Science and from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with an MBA. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and two daughters.
Jenny Kaplan
Jenny Kaplan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Wonder Media Network (WMN), an audio-first media company dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices. She also hosts WMN's Encyclopedia Womannica and Women Belong in the House. An award-winning journalist, Jenny quit her job at Bloomberg News to start something new. At Bloomberg, Jenny covered global business, touching on everything from Coca-Cola to cannabis. She also developed and co-hosted Bloomberg’s Material World podcast, where she fell in love with audio.
Barry Klein
Over two decades as a leading political operative and communications consultant, managing direct mail for candidates across the country. Barry knows how to communicate effectively with people—and has used that expertise as a Senior Advisor to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and to Beto O’Rourke. As a baseball and softball dad, if he’s not working, you can probably find him on a field somewhere.
Brian Klein
Brian Klein is a Director at Rialto Capital Advisors, a commercial real estate fund based in Miami, Florida where he has worked for the past ten years. His management role focuses on leading teams servicing commercial loan portfolios and the oversight of the Rotational Analyst Program. Brian has also been a longtime lay leader with Experience Camps, an organization which provides free one-week bereavement / sports camps for kids who have lost a parent or sibling. He served as the inaugural Boys’ Program Director of BluEx, an Experience Camp that served the southeastern United States. He held that role for three years, and helped build the camp up to 120 campers. During the 2020 Election Cycle, Brian served as a co-chair for the Florida Chapter of JDCA. Brian graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science in 2007, and subsequently attended the University of Miami where he received a JD/MBA in 2011. He is married to attorney Alexandria Klein.
David Kramer
David Kramer, a former practicing attorney, uses his legal background to assist law firms of all sizes with insurance placement, policy structuring, and risk management. David is a frequent speaker at law firm industry conferences including various state bar associations, and several IP law firm associations. Prior to entering the insurance industry over 15 years ago, David practiced law at prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and Detroit. David completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University. David serves on the board of several community organizations including the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit. He is a past recipient of several civic and professional honors, including Crain’s 40 under 40, the Frank Wetsman Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and the Young Advocate Award from Orchards Children’s Services. David is a bit of masochist and enjoys tormenting himself watching the Detroit Lions, playing bad golf and being abused on the basketball court by his two teenage sons. His wife stands back and observes all of this with much amusement!  
Adam Metzendorf
Adam currently holds the position of Director of Business Operations for the Phoenix Mercury and was previously the Director of Membership Experience for the Phoenix Suns, where he built a values-driven culture that retained staff and engaged fans across the political divide. A proud Arizonan, Adam ran for Congress to bring people together through our shared values and create opportunity for Arizona's families. Adam graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and built a career in professional sports management. As Director of Membership Experience for the Suns, Adam managed a dedicated team, and interacted with the community daily. The Suns practice what they preach when it comes to family and support, and he has never been prouder to work for an organization. Like many local businesses, the pandemic presented Adam - and the Suns - with new professional, health, and economic challenges. Adam worked to keep morale high, his staff unified and employed, and the business moving forward. Instead of backing down or waiting for an answer, Adam’s team was proactive and solutions-oriented. As a result, the Suns built even stronger relationships with the community, developed new strategies to communicate, and enhanced their engagement with fans and ticket-holders. Adam shared these success stories with other teams from both the NBA and WNBA with the goal of lifting up as many people, teams, and communities as possible. Adam also volunteered his time to help Arizonans in need. He participated in multiple charitable events with the Phoenix Suns, including food distributions with St. Mary’s Food Bank and Feed My Starving Children. He helped people receive their vaccinations at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Pecos Campus. He also worked with Suns Assist to raise money for college scholarships, community basketball courts, and non-profit grants. Adam is also a member of Temple Solel in Paradise Valley. Adam has seen firsthand how the Valley withstood the pandemic and how inspiring it is when Arizonans pull together and work towards common solutions. Our current Congressman is out of step with our community, and is more concerned with lining his own pockets than creating economic opportunity for Arizonans. Adam will put people first, create a culture that drives Arizona forward, and hold those who get in the way accountable.
Sydney Rachael Levin-Epstein
Sydney Rachael Levin-Epstein is a philanthropist, strategic democratic operative, and community leader. She served as JDCA's Finance Director from February - October 2021. During the 2020 Georgia Senate Runoff elections, Sydney led creative programming, financial performance, and digital engagement for a portfolio of national events for Senator Jon Ossoff, which helped secure a record-setting $117M raised in the runoff and earned the designation of best-funded Senate campaign in history. Previously, Sydney was the Deputy National Finance Director for Senator Ed Markey. Sydney secured $10M in funding during a highly-contested Senate primary – out-raising the opponent in every quarter in 2020 – through creative in-person and digital fundraising on national, regional, and local levels. She was rapidly promoted from Special Projects Manager and Finance Associate. In 2016, Sydney served the office of The Ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres and managed flagship media and event functions to promote establishment and launch of Peres Center for Peace & Innovation in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Sydney received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at The George Washington University and is a proud native of Western Massachusetts.
Jordan Nodel
Jordan Nodel is an attorney and real estate professional from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His company specializes in operating affordable manufactured housing communities nationwide. Before returning to Michigan, Jordan worked as a corporate attorney in New York where he co-chaired the Israeli practice group. Prior to that, Jordan worked for various Israeli governmental and NGO groups, as well as for the Jewish community liaison for the John Kerry campaign for president. Jordan graduated from the University of Michigan and received his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University, where he was a member of the International Law Review. 
Serena Oberstein
Serena Oberstein has an extensive background in philanthropy and public service. As an Executive Advisor with Star Insights, she creates infrastructure to cultivate positive social change. She has spent nearly two decades creating solutions on the local, state and federal level in the nonprofit and public sectors. Serena served as president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission from 2014 to 2018. She helped lead an ethics commission that worked to provide greater transparency on campaign finance reform, elections and proactive accountability for those violating LA City Ethics Code. As the Chief Operating Officer for Vision to Learn, a national nonprofit organization that provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to students in need. Oberstein oversaw strategic growth and service delivery across 10 states and 75 school districts equipping thousands of children in high-need communities with glasses so they can lead more successful lives. She previously worked as the Southern California Regional Director of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, as well as the founding Southwest regional director of J Street, Serena successfully grew the organization throughout Southern California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii. Serena served her community as a policy analyst and special assistant in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office where she helped shape policy. She also has experience working on campaigns for candidates running for federal, state and local office. Oberstein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and a Master in public administration degree from New York University Wagner School of Public Service. She and her husband live in Northridge with their young daughters.
Carly Pildis
Carly Pildis has dedicated her career to fighting for justice and equality. She was named one the 2019 Forward 50, Forward’s annual list of influential American Jews. She is an organizer, advocate, and writer. She currently serves as a Contributing Editor for Tablet magazine. Past work includes Zioness, RESULTS, Obama for America 2012, Jubilee USA Network and American Jewish World Service. Carly served as Director of Jewish Outreach for Obama for America DC before being promoted to Operation Vote Director, overseeing DC constituency outreach for Jewish Americans, LGBTQ Americans, African Americans, Muslim Americans, and Women. She mobilized over 51,000 phone calls into Virginia as well as organizing Jewish Days of Action, Obama Shabbats, and a joint African American Jewish American Seder. At RESULTS, she created and managed the REAL Change Youth Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship. The Fellowship produced 171 events with over 4,000 attendees, 209 media hits, and 1661 lobby meetings. Additionally, she managed RESULTS candidate engagement projects during the 2016 and 2018 elections.
Carly serves as a board member for the JCRC of Greater Washington and the Inter Jewish Muslim Alliance (IJMA).  She has been featured in Forward, Refinery 29, Washington Jewish Weekly, Tablet Magazine, the Washington Post, Politico, CNN, and the Jerusalem Post. She was spoken at the ADL Never Again is Now Summit and National Leadership Summit, The Israel Forum at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Z3, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs Conference, The Israeli Embassy, and AIPAC.
Brandon Pollak
Brandon Pollak is the Head of Global Civic Engagement & Strategy at Bird. Throughout his career as an entrepreneur and political strategist, Brandon has always adopted a forward-thinking approach on global civic engagement. At Bird, Brandon fuses his builder mindset with his forward-thinking view regarding civic engagement to create initiatives and partnerships that will ultimately help cities evolve to become more people-centric than car-centric. Brandon has served as a strategic advisor to high growth startups, Fortune 500 companies, and business organizations on catalyzing innovation globally. Previously, Brandon was Co-Founder and Head of Global Affairs for 1776, a startup incubator and venture fund. He lead market strategy and public affairs to enable growth for startups transforming highly regulated sectors, and advised policymakers, including World Leaders, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, and Ministers on policies to grow the innovation economy. Prior to 1776, Brandon was a Policy Advisor at Bryan Cave, and served on Presidential, U.S. Senate, and Gubernatorial campaigns. Brandon is a Senior Advisor to the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), serves on the Executive Board of Venture for America, and the Advisory Board of The Artists & Athletes Alliance.  
Adam Rosen
Adam Rosen is a partner at Trzaska Rosen Faller LLC in Cleveland, Ohio focusing on real estate and general counsel services for businesses. Prior to founding TRF Legal, Adam served 4 years as Economic Development Director at Detroit Shoreway CDO, helping to add dozens of businesses to the neighborhood. Adam is third generation born in Akron, Ohio and his family has lived in the region for more than 100 years. Adam did his undergrad at The Ohio State University and then worked at the Ohio House of Representatives for 2 years before moving back to Northeast Ohio to attend Cleveland State University, where Adam graduated with a JD/MPA from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the Levin College of Urban Affairs in 2013.
Ora Rosenbaum
An Atlanta-based, Los Angeles-born political strategist and fundraiser, Ora is wholeheartedly committed to building the Democratic bench, criminal justice reform, fighting antisemitism, and telling you to pay attention to the South. Now, she is the interim Executive Director of The Next 50, an organization building a more representative democracy by investing in the next generation of political leadership – we endorse 50 leaders, 50 years old and under, running in swing districts and states, every two years. In 2022, we achieved an 80% win rate. Currently pursuing a Master's in Public Policy from Northwestern University, her research focuses on criminal justice policy, mass incarceration, bail reform, restorative rights, and more.
Joshua Rubenstein
Joshua Rubenstein is a trial attorney and real estate professional who lives in his native New Orleans.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Federation of New Orleans and will be serving as Campaign Co-Chair in 2020 as well as the Israel & Overseas Chair. Joshua is a former president of Jewish Family Service of New Orleans and former member of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana and Congregation Temple Sinai boards. He was also a member of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and co-chaired the 2017 Cabinet Study Mission to India. Joshua has been on the United Israel Appeal board since 2016 and is currently the organization’s treasurer and was a New Orleans Gambit Weekly “40 under 40” honoree in 2010, is a fellow of the Institute of Politics at Loyola University, & was a New Orleans CityBusiness “Leader in Law” in 2014 & 2015.  
Merry Rutrick
Merry Rutrick recently joined American Jewish Committee (AJC) as a fundraiser.  She spent the previous decade serving on the fundraising staffs for Virginia Democrats, including Congressman Don Beyer and state Sen. Adam Ebbin.  She is a native of Newton, MA.
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels was a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri's 2nd District in the St. Louis area. Inspired to run by increasing threats to our democracy, Ben built on his bipartisan political experience and ran a campaign that focused on job growth, public safety, and addressing the climate crisis. Before running for Congress, Ben served as a Director for Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, focusing on climate, transportation infrastructure, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He led a 13-state regional intiaitive to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Before working for Governor Baker, he served as Managing Operations Officer for Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, leading projects focused on infrastructure and good governance. Ben began his career at data analytics software start-up, Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), and then for Mastercard after they acquired APT. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College, where he majored in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, focusing on Yiddish language and culture, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Craig Saperstein
Craig Saperstein, a former staff member to two Democratic U.S. senators from his home state of North Carolina, is a Partner at the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP law firm.  He assists clients in developing and implementing government relations strategies at all level of government and provides legal counsel to entities in highly regulated industries.  Craig lobbies on behalf of corporate, nonprofit, foreign sovereign, and public sector clients in Congress, the Executive Branch, and state and local governments. He represents clients on a variety of policy issues, including financial services, cybersecurity, international trade, veterans, energy, economic development, transportation, and health care matters. Craig is a native of Greensboro, NC and resides in Chevy Chase, MD with his wife and two children.  
Andrew Shapiro
Andrew Shapiro is a Founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Mr. Shapiro has been a national security leader for over twenty years, with experience at the Department of State, Congress, and in the Department of Justice. Mr. Shapiro has overseen major U.S. policy decisions and served as an advisor to senior officials on U.S. foreign policy and national security matters.  Mr. Shapiro is regarded as an expert in U.S. foreign policy, the Middle East, international defense cooperation, and foreign military sales and export controls. From 2009-2013, Mr. Shapiro served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs where he revitalized and deepened political-military partnerships at home and abroad, and promoted record setting foreign military sales creating thousands of jobs in the United States while contributing to the security of key U.S. partners. As the longest serving Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Mr. Shapiro managed our security relationships with partners in the Middle East, identifying opportunities for improved relations with some partners while reducing risks when they arose. He deepened U.S. political-military talks with India and Brazil and made key contributions to the U.S. pivot to Asia by leading an increase in military sales and transfers to U.S. partners including Taiwan, Japan, and Indonesia. Before being confirmed as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Shapiro served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Prior to joining the State Department with the Secretary, he served from 2001-2009 as Senator Clinton’s Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor. He also served as a member of the Obama-Biden Department of Defense Agency Review Transition Team before shifting to Secretary of State Clinton’s confirmation and transition team once she was officially named. During the 2000 Presidential Election Campaign, Mr. Shapiro served on the Gore-Lieberman campaign as the Briefing Book Director for Vice Presidential Candidate Joseph I. Lieberman.  He received a B.A. cum laude with honors distinction in Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania and a joint law/master’s in international affairs degree from Columbia University where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Shapiro is the recipient of the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, Gold Star Wives of America Appreciation Award, and the National Guard Association’s Patrick Henry Award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
Gabrielle Sherb
Gabrielle Sherb is the Vice President of Development for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/The Leadership Conference Education Fund, the nation's largest coalition of civil and human rights organizations. Prior The Leadership Conference, Gabrielle served as a fundraising and development leader at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in both New York and Washington, DC.  Gabrielle received her Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Administration from the Baruch College Marxe School of Public Affairs in 2012 and is a graduate of Binghamton University. She is a Co-Chair of Binghatmon University's Harpur College Advocacy Council and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Residents of Northwest DC, Gabrielle and her husband, Cory, are members of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, where their young son, Bradley, attends the Gan HaYeled Nursery School. 
Elise Shutzer
Elise Shutzer is the Project Director and senior member of the Field Operations team at Pew Charitable Trust.  In this capacity, she builds, manages and directs the Pew Environment field presence across the United States and the European Union.  Prior to joining Pew, Elise cultivated areas of expertise in public affairs, grassroots, and political campaigns, as well as corporate affairs. She spent a decade developing and implementing strategies for national grassroots, grasstops and coalition-building campaigns as a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a preeminent full service public affairs, advocacy, and communications firm specializing in the development and support of issue advocacy through on-the-ground, digital, grassroots, multicultural outreach, and social innovation.  Ms. Shutzer also has an extensive political campaign background, most recently overseeing the Get-Out-The-Vote effort for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in Nevada. Ms. Shutzer also worked in the Corporate Affairs division of Citizens Bank, where she executed programs in the fields of government relations, charitable giving and corporate communications.  She was also the recipient of a prestigious Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellowship to Madrid, Spain where she studied International Politics and Conflict Resolution.  Additionally, Ms. Shutzer leads the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of the National Capital Area and served on its Board of Directors for six years.  Elise is a native of Swampscott, MA, and graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in Diplomatic History and International Political Science.
Daniel Silverberg
Daniel Silverberg serves as Capstone’s Managing Director of Corporate Practice and co-leads the Capstone National Security Team. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at CNAS.  Daniel has strong relationships in the Executive Branch and Capitol Hill based on 16 years of service in international security. Daniel has provided commentary on CNN, NPR, the Atlantic, and other media on key foreign policy matters. Prior to joining Capstone, Silverberg served as the National Security Advisor to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, working to coordinate foreign policy legislation and inform Congressional leadership on major geopolitical developments. He previously served as Majority counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he provided legal advice regarding sanctions, arms procurement, and foreign assistance. He additionally served as an attorney for the Department of Defense, working with counterterrorism and partnership strategy offices. Daniel commenced his legal career as an Associate with Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College.
Jamie Simon

Jamie Simon is the Chief Executive Officer of Tawonga Jewish Community Corporation – a San Francisco-based “Jewish community center without walls” most known for its residential summer camp program near Yosemite, Camp Tawonga.  Jamie is also a senior consultant for Tawonga Institute, specializing in justice and equity work. crisis management and women’s leadership training and mentorship.

Jamie was selected to join the 2020 Emerge California Fellowship, which prepares women to run for office. She also participated in the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Executive Leadership Institute.

Prior to Tawonga, Jamie worked as the prevention education director at United Against Sexual Assault in Sonoma County. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies from Sonoma State University.

Jamie loves working with youth and is passionate about politics and the San Jose Sharks. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their sons, Ezra and Eli.

Ariella Thal Simonds

Ariella Thal Simonds is a partner of KTBS Law LLP. She has a broad restructuring practice, with a focus on shepherding distressed companies through Chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court workouts.  Her practice also includes representation of non-debtor parties in bankruptcy proceedings, including lenders, bondholders, municipal bond insurers, landlords, vendors, and purchasers.  Ms. Simonds has represented clients in the entertainment, technology, financial services, private equity, oil and gas, automotive, alternative energy, food and beverage, and hospitality industries, among others.

Ms. Simonds received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship.  During law school, Ms. Simonds served as a Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review and Co-Chief Articles Editor of the Women’s Law Journal and externed for The Honorable Christina A. Snyder at the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Ms. Simonds serves on the Board of Trustees for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and is Co-Chair of the Jewish Center for Justice Lawyers Committee.

Ms. Simonds is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California.  With more than ten years of experience representing restructuring clients in these courts and others throughout the country, Ms. Simonds’s pro bono practice has also included an argument before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and briefing to the Ninth and Eleventh Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Rachel Sumekh
Rachel Sumekh is the Founder & CEO of Swipe Out Hunger, the leading nonprofit that addresses hunger amongst college students. Her work has been recognized by The Obama White House, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, and the Forward's 50 most influential Jews. Rachel created Swipe Out Hunger in 2010 with a few friends at UCLA. The organization has grown onto over 130 university campuses, serving 2 million nourishing meals to students in need. Their innovative approach allows university students to donate unused funds from their meal plans to food insecure peers. She wrote the Hunger Free Campus Act which the state of California passed and has since sent $50+ million to anti-hunger programs on campuses.  
She also serves on the board of her temple IKAR and is a proud native Angeleno and alum of UCLA and Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps. She credits her upbringing as the child of Iranian Jewish immigrants for her intersectional perspective.
Emma Davidson Tribbs

Emma Davidson Tribbs is a professional advocate and government affairs operative who has made a career of joining political and social movements at key moments of change to define the next stage of success. She is a Co-Founder and Principal of Harrison Clark, a state-focused political consulting firm, along with fellow Statecraft member Sarah Higginbotham. Statecraft Collective is the brainchild of that partnership.

Emma brings more than 10 years of experience in advocacy campaigns, message development, corporate legislative planning and lobbying to her work. Her expertise is in finding common ground on some of the nation’s most contentious issues, including protecting reproductive health rights, passing gun violence prevention policies, expanding voting rights and access to the ballot, increasing renewable energy solutions to local communities, rooting out government corruption, and electing progressive candidates to local, state and federal offices. As a Principal at Harrison Clark, Emma serves clients by developing multi-state campaign plans, designing and implementing PAC endorsement programs, and overseeing strategic ballot initiatives.

Emma has been trained as a spokesperson by the Women's Media Center, completed management training at the Center for Creative Leadership, and is a graduate of the New York Junior League’s Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse. Emma is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and earned her Master’s Degree in International Development from the University of Bristol.

Meital Waibsnaider
Meital Waibsnaider is the General Counsel of Blue State, a partner to leading causes, campaigns, and companies.  Blue State moves people to elect presidents, change laws, fall in love with brands, and donate millions to progressive and humanitarian causes.  Meital lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two kids, and cat Cleo.
Julie Zebrak
Julie Rodin Zebrak is a veteran D.C. attorney and a seasoned political consultant, organizer and fundraiser. Zebrak currently serves as Director of Digital Strategy & Outreach for Washington Monthly. Zebrak spent 18 years at the Department of Justice, including as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General, before joining the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In 2016, Zebrak left the federal government to focus on political consulting and organizing. She is the founder and CEO of political action group Yes Moms Can and co-founder of Mamas4Kamala, where she leverages her expertise in the federal government, policy-making and politics to organize moms around the country in support of progressive candidates. A leading voice on law and politics, Zebrak is a contributing writer to Washington Monthly, and a frequent contributor to outlets including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Politico, Slate, The Daily Beast, USA Today, MSNBC, Vanity Fair, & Vox. Zebrak recently was honored with a “Fearlessly Using Your Voice Award” by She Rocks the World, a non-profit for teenage girls.

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