Tamara Fish (Harvard, A.B.; Columbia, M.Phil.) is the immediate past president of the Jewish Multiracial Network and a former Asst. Dir. of the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia Univ. A gleefully recovering academe who was once a professor of religion at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, Tamara converted to Judaism midway through her New Testament Studies doctoral program. The immediate past president of Congregation Tehillah in Riverdale, NY, Tamara served on its board for six years and is currently an active member of two synagogues: Congregation Tehillah and Congregation Ansche Chesed, New York City. She was a fundraising co-chair for the inaugural 2016 Jews of Color National Convening and is the founder of The Presentation Professional, a boutique communications firm specializing in ghostwriting and manuscript services. A consummate educator, Tamara enjoys helping synagogues, seminars, boards and workshops acquire practical methods for actively including Jews of Color and facilitating constructive conversations about race in Jewish communities. She has presented or lead workshops for numerous organizations and synagogues. As a member of Jewish Social Justice Roundtable Racial Equity Advisory Group, she helped shape the Roundtable’s vision, values and mission statements. Her widely acclaimed article, "Ahead of Yom Kippur, How Can You Repair Relationship with African-American Jews?" was published by The Forward in Oct, 2016.
Sara is a Legislative Attorney for New York City Council, where she serves as Counsel to the Committee on Health, and the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction. In this capacity, Sara drafts and negotiates laws, guides the hearing process, and briefs the committees on a wide range of issues. Prior to working for the City Council, Sara worked as a Staff Attorney in the Patent Litigation Group of Paul Weiss LLP, where her work focused on medical and pharmaceutical intellectual property. Sara has also served in a wide range of political offices, working as a Legal Policy Fellow on the gubernatorial campaign of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, as a White House Intern under President Barack Obama in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and as a Legal Fellow in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office on Capitol Hill. She has also volunteered on the campaigns of Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, President Barack Obama, and District Attorney Bob Morgenthau.
Sara is a proud Jew, a proud Zionist, and a proud progressive. Sara has been active in progressive politics and in the Jewish Community nearly her entire life. She sits on AIPAC's Young Leadership Council, is the chair of the Emerging Leaders Initiative Pro-Israel Political Effort, and serves on the board of directors for COJECO and Zioness. Sara is a devoted public servant, a 4th-generation Bronx resident, and a proud graduate of NYU and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Sara Atkins’ unexpected path to become a leading activist began in 2006, when she first recognized that thousands of children, like her own, facing food allergies, desperately needed people to fight not only for their rights, but for their health. In 2016 with the election of Trump, her oldest daughter, who faces many medically complex issues, asked Sara to make sure they didn't "kill" her. This emotional parental moment transformed the way Sara saw her role, from being a passionate parent-advocate to a mom willing to do anything to fight for her child’s life. Sara has served as the fundraising director of Philly March for Science, a Democratic committee person, Director of Activism for Torah Trumps Hate, an active bird-dogger, and has been arrested many times for non-violent civil disobedience. She was involved both locally and nationally in the fight to save the ACA, against the Trump tax bill, and against Kavanaugh's nomination. Many people might remember her being dragged out of the Kavanaugh hearing as she screamed "shame shame shame." Sara announced her bid for PA State Senate District 17 in early January and is the first Orthodox Democrat to run for a State House seat.
Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, writer, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is a descendent of Rabbi Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. In that world Abby attended Yeshiva, and became a rabbi in 2011. She left the Hasidic world the following year, and came out as a trans-woman in 2015. Since then, Abby has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. Her story has been covered in publications such as the New York Times, New York Post, WSJ, New York Magazine, Jewish Daily Forward, Daily Mail, The Daily Dot, Haaretz, Refinery29. She also appeared on NBC, Fox News, CNN, Huffington Post Live, ShowTime, and more. In 2016 Abby was named by The Jewish Week as one of their "36 Under 36" emerging Jewish leaders. She is currently studying gender studies and political science at Columbia University, and her memoir will be published by Seal Press in 2019.
Abby is also a member of the national Women's March's steering committee.
The Women's March and
Anti-Semitism: A Panel Discussion
We've all seen the headlines. Now, let's talk about it.
JOFA is hosting a panel event to produce a diverse, nuanced, and productive conversation - one that many of us are craving to have in person and off social media. The goal is not to debate, but rather to engage with one another to promote productive dialogue on important issues and to educate ourselves on the different sides of this contentious topic. We will explore questions relating to leadership expectations, litmus tests, privilege, intersectionality, and more.
Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz
Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz has spent more than
15 years in the field of Jewish secondary and post-secondary education. She currently serves Associate Principal, General Studies at SAR High School in the Bronx, New York. Rivka also serves as a research fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, studying how Orthodox Jews engage as American citizens. Rivka earned a Ph.D. in History of Science from Princeton University, writing her dissertation about the cultural history of the Manhattan Project. She lectures widely on issues of contemporary importance in the Orthodox community. Rivka lives in Washington Heights, New York with her husband, Rabbi Ezra Schwartz, and their five children.