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 Leadership Council
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.
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.
Matt Ratner is a film producer and director. Ratner has produced ten films under the Tilted Windmill banner, and all have premiered to critical acclaim at top-tier film festivals such as SXSW and Sundance, winning multiple awards. STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN, his directorial debut, starring Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. He received the award for Best Directorial Debut - U.S. at the Heartland International Film Festival, where the film also received the “Humor and Humanity” award. Additionally, Ratner received the Best First Feature award at the Naples International Film Festival, and the film received the Audience Award at Washington West Film Festival and the Best Screenplay Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival among others. Most recently he produced the indie comedy WE BROKE UP, starring Aya Cash and William Jackson Harper, which premiered exclusively on Hulu.
Matt founded Tilted Windmill Productions with the belief that commercially viable and artistically fulfilling filmmaking need not be mutually exclusive. After graduating from Northwestern University, Matt spent several years working in politics and government, including as the Director of Jewish Outreach for the Ohio Democratic Party during the 2008 Presidential election, and at the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
Ratner has a variety of philanthropic and civic pursuits and is heavily involved in wildlife and habitat conservation in Africa, serving on the board of Conservancy Guardians USA. He also serves on the Next Generation Leadership Council for the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
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 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.
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.