A four part series on economic empowerment for progressive Jewish movements in the US and Israel/Palestine.
Sponsored by NIF NewGen, Jewish Liberation Fund, Rise Up Initiative
Wherever there are powerful, progressive Jewish movements, there must be the resources and funding to fuel them. In Israel/Palestine and North America, the New Israel Fund and Jewish Liberation Fund are organizing wealth from within our communities so that civil society leaders on both sides of the ocean can propel real social change on the ground. Drawing from concrete examples and stories from these activists’ work, in this series we will take a look at the central role of collective giving in helping to enable our grantees and partners to succeed.
Wednesday, May 31, 12pm ET, followed by 30-minute discussion
Resources matter for progressive organizations looking to sustainably build power in their communities. However, people with the money to be considered traditional “funders” often have more conservative politics than the progressive organizations they’re giving to. This conversation will dive into values-aligned funding– funding from sources who do share leftist politics– and how it has the potential to make our movements in the United States and Israel/Palestine stronger, more agile, and more able to win.
Sally Abed is a member of the national leadership at Standing Together, the largest Jewish-Arab grassroots movement in Israel. In recent years, Sally has become a prominent Palestinian voice in Israel, advocating progressive causes for social and climate justice, and highlighting their connection to the struggle for peace and and end to the occupation through building a new majority in Israeli society. Sally is the Co-host of Groundwork - a podcast series about Palestinians and Jews refusing to accept the status quo and working to change it.
Shifra Sered (she/her) is the Deputy Director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) where she leads the development department. She moved to New York City after living in Israel-Palestine for several years where she was a member of All That's Left: Anti Occupation Collective, building networks of diaspora Jews to engage in solidarity activism led by Palestinians facing evictions/expulsion, demolitions and settler/state violence. She also served as the Resource Development and Advocacy Coordinator for Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which promotes the right to freedom of movement for Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip.
Scout Bratt (they/them) is the Operations Director at the Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJNV). Scout has led delegations with CJNV as part of on-the-ground solidarity efforts. In addition to having been board president for Tzedek Chicago and a national board member for Jewish Voice for Peace, Scout believes organizing to end the Israeli occupation is a core part of their Jewish praxis. When not engaging in Palestinian solidarity organizing, Scout teaches comprehensive, queer-inclusive, gender-expansive sexuality education in Chicago Public Schools.
Monday, June 26, 1pm ET
For some people, it was a band that influenced their politics. For others, a book, film, or television show; even a digital game or a video on TikTok. Culture surrounds us, constantly shaping our ideas in powerful and oftentimes subconscious physical and emotional ways.
Historical villains have understood and feared this power the arts have to transform our society: in the 80s, the Reagan administration slashed funding for thriving arts programs in America, and the right-wing Israeli government has cracked down fiercely on dissident artists and cultural makers in the region, so why do artists and culture creators around the world have so much trouble finding progressive funding? In this conversation, we will hear from artists not only about their work, but also about how culture creation has the possibility to open peoples' minds, call them to action, and why they need our support in bringing about the change we want to see in the world.
Libby Lenkinski is VP at the New Israel Fund and founder of ALBI, a new organization working to create culture change in and about Israel-Palestine. Prior to joining NIF, Libby lived and worked in the Israeli non-profit field for almost a decade. There she worked as Director of International Relations at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and as a strategy consultant for human rights organizations like Yesh Din and Physicians for Human Rights, for documentary films including Budrus and The Law in These Parts, new media initiatives like +972 Magazine, and for progressive campaigns. Libby is based in Brooklyn and travels to Israel-Palestine frequently.
Kendell Pinkney is a Brooklyn based theatre-artist, producer, and rabbi. His work has been presented or developed at venues such as Feinstein's 54 Below, Joe's Pub, LABA @ the 14th St. Y, Musical Theatre Factory, Two River Theater, and Goodspeed Opera House to name a few. Kendell has been featured in the acclaimed docuseries "The New Jew," with actor-comedian Guri Alfi, BuzzFeed's Tasty channel broadcast of “Saturday Night Seder,” and Crooked Media's religion and society podcast, “Unholier than Thou.” He is a 2023 IDEA Resident Artist at Opera America, as well as an “Expanding the Canon” play commission grantee at Theater J in Washington DC. Kendell is the founding Executive Artistic Director of The Workshop. A 2023 "Slingshot 10 to Watch" organization, The Workshop is the premier New York based arts and culture fellowship that supports and foregrounds the work of professional artists of BIPOC-Jewish heritage. NYU-Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing, MFA.
Anthony Russell is a vocalist, composer and arranger specializing in music in the Yiddish language. Anthony's work with klezmer trio Veretski Pass resulted in Convergence, an exploration of a century of African American and Ashkenazi Jewish music. His recent release on the Borscht Beat label with accordionist and keyboardist Dmitri Gaskin, Kosmopolitn, features their original settings of Yiddish modernist poetry for voice and string ensemble. Anthony has also been a culture essayist in a number of publications, including The Forward, Tablet Magazine, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, PROTOCOLS, Full Stop Magazine, Ayin Press and Jewish Currents.
Arlene Goldbard is a New Mexico-based writer, painter, speaker, consultant and cultural activist. Books include The Wave, The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future, New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, and In The Camp of Angels of Freedom: What Does It mean to Be Educated? She formerly served as Chief Policy Wonk of the USDAC and President of The Shalom Center.
Tuesday, July 25, 1pm ET
It is unsurprising that American Jewish philanthropy, like many American institutions, has been tainted by racial bias. Rather than serving all of our people, Jewish communal funding mechanisms have often provided for the needs of some and excluded others. In this session, we’ll hear from leaders of organizations that serve Jews of Color, Sephardim & Mizrahim about their experience moving through the American Jewish philanthropic system, what we can change, and why we must do better.
Kohenet Shoshana A. Brown, LMSW is a healer, educator, and organizer. They organize as an abolitionist and is a cofounder of the Black Jewish Liberation Collective and a member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice where they host Beyond The Pale, a radio show on WBAI 99.5FM. As an educator, Shoshana works as the US Director of Pedagogy and Training for the Diaspora Alliance and has a long history of working as a Restorative Justice Practitioner, NYC High School Social Worker, adjunct professor at (CUNY Hunter) Silberman School of Social Work, syringe exchange program director and forensic social worker. She is a Black- mixed race Jewish femme who generates liberation and full self-hood in the essence of love.
Tom Mehager is the Executive Director of the Amram Association - The Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Children Affair. He is a regular contributor to Haaretz, +972 Magazine and Middle East Eye as well as a former fellow at Harvard Divinity School's Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative (2019–20).
Tom also served as Program Manager, Globalization and Sovereignty Cluster at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and prior to that, directed the Communications Department at Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Jenni Rudolph (she/her) is a Los Angeles-based musician and multimedia editor with a passion for authentic and underrepresented storytelling. She was raised on the periphery of multiple communities as a mixed race, secular Asian American Jew with Cantonese and Russian Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. She serves as Co-Executive Director of the LUNAR Collective, cultivating connection, belonging, and visibility for Asian American Jews. Jenni is a Berklee College of Music graduate, Pat Pattison Songwriting Award scholar, Songs 4 Social Change honoree, and Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project fellow.
Dr. Analucía Lopezrevoredo (she/her/ella) is a Peruvian-Chilean-American sociologist, born in Peru and raised in Spain and the United States.
A scholar of migration, Analucía founded Jewtina y Co. in 2019 to offer Latin Jews from around the world a community in which to celebrate and explore Latin-Jewish multiculturalism and Jewish Peoplehood.
She is the recipient of the National Young Woman of Distinction award, is a former Fulbright and Rotary International Scholar, sits on JDC Entwine's council, JPRO and Urban Adamah's board of directors, is a member of the Schusterman Foundation's "ROI community," Elluminate's "Collective," and is a Wexner Field Fellow. A passionate global citizen, she's traveled to over 135 countries and all seven continents (having lived in five of seven!).
Tuesday, September 12, 12pm ET / 9am PT
Strikes, protest, mutual aid: these are often understood as ways progressive individuals can make an impact. Left off that list? Giving to progressive organizations and causes to make sure they have the resources to continue the fight for justice. This conversation will delve into the impact we can make through collective giving and inspire us to dream about what could be possible if our movements had the resources to win.
David N. Myers is Distinguished Professor and holds the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish Chair in UCLA; he also serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy and the UCLA Initiative to Study Hate David has been an NIF board member since 2014 and served as the board president from 2018-2023. He is the author or editor of more than fifteen books in Jewish history, including most recently the award-winning American Shtetl.
Keren Soffer-Sharon (she/her) has been a leader in the Jewish left for over a decade. She is a former senior organizer at Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) where she co-founded and led the first ever Mizrahi/Sephardi caucus in the country and co-authored the organization's resource, Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement. She is currently the Director of Rise Up Project, where she funds powerful initiatives that strengthen our movements for multiracial democracy by building the spiritual capacity of Jewish social justice leadership and the communities they lead.
Joanna (Jo) Ware (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Jewish Liberation Fund as well as an organizer, facilitator, and educator. She has spent over a decade working with organizations – inside and outside of the Jewish world - to bring forth a more just, whole, and liberatory world. Joanna has worked as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant, Adaptive Leadership teacher and practitioner, community organizer, and popular educator at the intersections of identity, power, leadership, and social justice. For many years, she worked for LGBTQ equality in the Jewish community, as a core member of Keshet’s program team.
Zak Witus is the Young Leadership & Education Coordinator at the New Israel Fund where he directs NewGen programming and oversees NIF fellowships. Zak has held a variety of leadership roles in progressive social movements, including solidarity activist in Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills), grassroots anti-occupation community organizer, and tenants' rights proponent. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Zak is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.