Selah Leadership Program Participants
Samantha is the Director of Member Services at the Jewish Funders Network where she engages with the network, creating opportunities to cultivate interconnectedness and strengthen the network's impact on the Jewish philanthropic community. She comes to JFN with deep background in the field of philanthropy and social innovation. Previously, as Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, the philanthropic advisory firm, she led the New York office and managed a range of engagements for the firm's institutional foundation and family clients. Before that, at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University, she curated the thematic content for the largest global convening of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists that had ever been assembled. Prior to that effort, she directed the Yale School of Management/Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures, a $6 million venture fund that capitalized social entrepreneurs with start-up funds and educated nonprofits about building sustainable organizations.
Samantha is certified by 21/64, a division of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies in New York, as a philanthropic consultant to multi generational families. She is the editor of Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income: A Guide to Successful Enterprise Strategies (Jossey-Bass, 2004), and has written and spoken extensively about nonprofit management and philanthropy. Samantha graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and earned her master’s degree in U.S. Women's History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her partner Scott Anderson enjoy a busy blended family life with their six children. She lives in Brooklyn where she is a member of the congregation Kolot Chayeinu.
Ari is the Deputy Campaign Director of the Climate Action Campaign, a coalition of environmental and public health groups striving to fight climate change and limit carbon pollution. Aside from a short stint in teaching, he has spent his career in politics working on environmental, labor, women's rights and gay rights issues. Ari is a native of the Boston area and currently resides in Washington DC, where he loves playing sports on the National Mall, and walking and biking around the beautiful neighborhoods of the city with his lovely wife.
Sarah Bryer, the Director of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), has been engaged in justice reform work for more than twenty years. Prior to NJJN, she was the Director of Policy and Planning at CASES, an alternative-to-incarceration program in New York City. At the Center for Court Innovation, she started the Bronx and Queens drug courts, and initiated one of the City’s first Youth Courts in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She has been a victim-offender mediator for court-involved youth and an appellate investigator for adults on death row. She received a bachelor with honors and distinction in anthropology from Stanford University and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Shari Edelstein has over twenty years of experience as a grantmaker, consultant, manager and volunteer. For the past five years, Shari was the ED of 18 Pomegranates, a private foundation supporting the Jewish community of Boulder. Before moving to Colorado, Shari worked for the Maryland Association for Nonprofits on a program promoting best practices in nonprofit management. In Israel, Shari served as the Director of the Grants Department for NIF, as a Regional Manager for JAFI and as the Israel Field Representative for UJF Pittsburgh Federation. In her previous life, Shari practiced law at Arnold & Porter. She has a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Shari lives with her husband and two sons.
After years as Jewish lay leader, Ginna Green recently joined the Columbia Jewish Federation (CJF) in South Carolina as Community Relations Director. At CJF, Ginna manages communications, interfaith outreach, community programs and advocacy. Prior to joining the Federation, Ginna managed communications and messaging in California and for small-dollar loans at the Center for Responsible Lending. She has also held positions at AlterNet, the Breakthrough Institute, the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, the Appleseed Foundation, the Congressional Hunger Center and with Julianne Malveaux. Ginna works also with The OpEd Project, and has written for the L.A. Times, the S.F. Chronicle and the Washington Post.
For the past 10 years Galit has led successful campaigns in the US, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. She is currently a Senior Director of Strategy at Purpose, a movement-building consultancy that works with major NGOS and social businesses to build power and create change using technology and mass participation. Galit helped launched and served as Director of Strategy and Campaigns at Global Zero, the new movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons and was Global Campaigner and founding staff member at Avaaz.org, the largest online campaigning outfit in the world, with 22 million members. Originally from Mexico City, Galit holds BA from the University of Minnesota and an MA from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
Mark Hetfield graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where his most cherished college experience was as a volunteer tutor for Central American refugee children. HIAS hired Mark in Rome in 1989 as a casweworker to advocate on behalf of Soviet Jews applying to emigrate to the United States. So moved by the experience, Mark went to Georgetown law school, while working for the Immigration & Naturalization Service in Washington and Haiti. Mark married Miriam Jawitz in 1995, and they have two teenage children. Mark has left HIAS three times to pursue other areas in the immigration field, but has come back each time, most recently as President and CEO, because he loves the organization and everything it stands for.
Elana Kahn-Oren is director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. In that role, she serves on the executive committee of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology. She was formerly an award-winning editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and president of the American Jewish Press Association.
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster is the Director of North American Programs for T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Humam Rights, directing campaigns on slavery and human trafficking, torture and solitary confinement, and bigotry against American Muslims. Ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary, she is a noted speaker and writer on Judaism and human rights, including speaking internationally on behalf of the U.S. State Department on the issue of human trafficking. Her writing has appeared on CNN.com, the Forward, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, and many other publications. She was named to the Jewish Week's 2011 "36 under 36" for her human rights activism. She serves on the board of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
Jennifer Landau is the Executive Director and co-founder of the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. Ms. Landau has been involved in immigration and refugee issues, providing direct services and advocacy, since 1999. In 2007 she was awarded a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work with the El Paso based Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, Inc. on improving access to justice for New Mexican immigrants in deportation proceedings. She was also presented the 2009 Justice Pamela B. Minzer Outstanding Advocacy for Women award by the State Bar of New Mexico’s Committee on Women and the Legal Profession. Ms. Landau has often taught immigration courses as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law.