Selah Leadership Program Participants
Karen has worked as an organizational consultant, coach, and researcher for 20+ years. She is passionate about facilitating effective dialogue and transformative change at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. She draws on her in-depth background in organizational dynamics, leadership development, conflict resolution, counseling, diversity awareness, and relationship-building. Karen’s a founding partner of Rally Point, a new consulting platform supporting leaders and their organizations to further develop essential capacities for collaboration across diverse worldviews. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University; M.A. in Organizational Psychology & Ed.D in Adult Learning & Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
JoEllen Chernow is the Organizing Director at the Leadership Center for the Common Good. For the last 15 years she has worked in progressive grassroots organizations, where she has been responsible for mapping out strategies, running national programs and campaigns, and building organizational capacity for unions and community groups.
Marjorie Dove Kent
Marjorie Dove Kent is the Executive Director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. She comes to JFREJ with nine years of experience in issue-based, identity-based, and neighborhood-based organizing. She has worked as an organizer for the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, the Boston Workman’s Circle Center for Jewish Culture, and a Community Development Corporation in St. Louis. Marjorie has also organized a coalition of Boston Jews to support the construction of a mosque, and worked with the MIRA Coalition to build a diverse support base for the DREAM Act. She is a graduate of the Hebrew College Me’ah Program in Jewish Learning, the Jewish Organizing Initiative Fellowship, and the Community Arts Training Fellowship.
Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas serves at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino CA. where he oversees the synagogue's social justice portfolio. In addition, Noah founded VBSnextGen, creating a home for engaged and married Jewish couples in their 20s and 30s. While in rabbinical school Noah co-founded the Seminary Leadership Project, a fellowship program that teaches Jewish clergy the art of communal organizing, housed at JOIN for Justice. Noah founded Netiya, the faith-based network that seeks a more just and resilient food system in Los Angeles. Noah speaks nationally about issues of social justice, generational engagement, and Jewish thought. He has appeared on NPR, and writes a monthly column, Turning the Tables for the Jewish Daily Forward.
Stefanie Fox is the Director of Grassroots Organizing for Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP provides a home for the growing number of Jews and allies who believe that a lasting peace in the Middle East can only come through justice and equality for both Palestinians and Israelis. Stefanie supports the 125,000 members and supporters, 35 chapters, and robust youth wing within the organization. She leads JVP’s political education, community-building, and leadership development programming. Stefanie grew up as an organizer in the AIDS and anti-violence movements and holds an MPH from the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle where she spends time with her fabulous friends, writes poetry, and makes a cozy home with her partner and 3 cats.
Maureen Greenwood-Basken is the Executive Director of the Women, Girls and Population Program of the United Nations Foundation (UNF). For the past two decades she has led advocacy-based efforts for global social justice, development and human rights. She was the Acting Managing Director of the Government Relations and Advocacy Development Unit of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) in Washington. For a decade she served as an AIUSA Advocacy Director covering the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She worked for the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s in Russia. She earned a M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Seth Johnson currently serves the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as an Assistant Director of Political Action, overseeing the department’s political communications, research, financial and compliance functions and running the unions Independent Expenditure programs. In the 2010 cycle, Seth ran the day-to-day operations of AFSCME’s IE. In the 2008 cycle, Seth was loaned to America Votes, where he served as the progressive coalition’s National Field Director. Since joining AFSCME’s political shop in 1999, Seth has run campaigns for the union in more than a dozen states, and spent two years managing the International Union’s political and legislative program in Maryland. In his younger days, Seth worked as a budget, tax and intergovernmental finance analyst in AFSCME’s Public Policy Department, for the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts, at the U.S. House Committee on the Budget and for Federal Funds Information for States (a joint project of the NGA and NCSL). Seth holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Kate and their dog Nessie.
Victoria is an organizer, trainer, triathlete, and Campaign Director at MoveOn.org, innovating ways to engage 8 million members in leadership to win progressive issue and electoral campaigns. During the 2012 election, she managed a program through which MoveOn members made more than 1.5 million volunteer recruitment calls. She got her start as an organizer with United Students Against Sweatshops at Duke University, where she studied Cultural Anthropology. She has a graduate degree in Trade & Economic Policy from the Latin American School of Social Sciences in Quito, Ecuador. Victoria has volunteered her time at a youth immigration clinic, and with JUFJ and Bend the Arc.
Rachel Laser is the RAC's Deputy Director. Ms. Laser has a diverse background in policy advocacy, coalition-building, message development and political strategy. As the Culture Program Director at Third Way, a Washington, DC progressive think tank specializing in understanding and reaching moderates, she launched the Come Let Us Reason Together Initiative, which mobilized evangelical Christians and progressive activists to work together on divisive social issues. She was the architect of the first-ever pro-choice/pro-life abortion bill in Congress. She also founded Third Way’s gay equality project, which contributed innovative research and strategy on how to win moderates' support for marriage equality and other LGBT equality issues. Prior to Third Way, Rachel served as Senior Counsel at the National Women's Law Center in the Health and Reproductive Rights Group, where she founded the Pharmacy Refusal Project, and as General Counsel for Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington. Her most proud achievement is having three children and a husband she adores.
Abby is the Director of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and has over a decade of experience working for social justice through organizing, non-profit management and fundraising. She was the founding San Francisco staff member for Progressive Jewish Alliance, now Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. She went on to work in the 2008 election cycle as Central Ohio Field Director for America Votes, a coalition of progressive organizations that coordinates electoral activity. Prior to joining the Roundtable, she was Development Manager at DC Vote, which works for congressional representation for DC residents. She lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and 2 year old son, Zachary.