I’m thrilled to share that JFREJ’s staff is growing — big time! We’ve been implementing a series of structural changes at JFREJ over the last six months to build a more leaderful, accessible, and powerful organization, and we’re overjoyed that part of those shifts include additional staffing and some internal role changes for people on our team to lead in new ways.

First... please welcome to the JFREJ staff team:

Adi Aboody (she/her), our part-time Mizrahi/Sephardi organizer! Adi is a queer Mizrahi-Ashkenazi heart-centered woman, who is dedicated to restorative justice, collective liberation, and cultivating communities of care. She is a community weaver, birthworker, herbalist, and educator, and is passionate about Mizrahi/Sephardi identity, cultural work and activism. Adi is deeply honored to support the caucus and join the JFREJ community.

Ben Bienstock (he/him), our new Development and Database Associate! Before joining JFREJ staff, Ben was an activist and student journalist at Brown University, where he studied the history of radical Black social movements and was a member of Brown’s independent, progressive Jewish community, Friday Night Jews. Ben became a JFREJ member in 2019 and took part in the #JewsAgainstICE campaign before becoming Development Intern in 2020. In addition to organizing with JFREJ, Ben cut his teeth as a radical oral history organizer at Popular Praxis, a volunteer on the Zephyr Teachout and Bernie Sanders campaigns, and a researcher of the Black Power Movement in Providence, Rhode Island. A born-and-raised New Yorker—currently living in exile in Massachusetts—Ben is also an avid musician and knitter.

Sophie Ellman-Golan (she/her), our new and first ever Director of Strategic Communications! Sophie is a progressive political and messaging strategist who has spent the last two years running a small but scrappy strategy team researching and organizing against antisemitism and white nationalism on the political right, helping to expose ties between elected officials and far-right hate groups. Sophie has been an active JFREJ member since 2014, organizing with the Campaign for Police Accountability, Anti-Jewish Oppression Working Group, and The Jewish Vote. She is the former Director of Communications and Digital Outreach at Women’s March. The Forward named her one of the nation's 50 most influential Jews in 2017, The Jewish Week named her on their list of 36 Under 36 in 2018, and JTA named her one of 50 Jews to follow on Twitter in 2019. Sophie has written for Newsweek and the Forward. She has appeared on MSNBC, NY1, and WNYC, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, Cosmopolitan, HuffPost, Haaretz, The Jewish Week, Vox, and +972 Magazine. Prior to joining the Women's March team, Sophie worked at Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation's largest gun violence prevention organization. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Barnard College in Africana Studies and Human Rights.

In addition to these wonderful new team members, I’m pleased to share the new titles for other members of our team, reflecting the expansive and growing skills that we are individually and collectively nurturing as, together, we continue to build JFREJ.

  • Leo Ferguson, who’s led some of our most groundbreaking efforts since joining the staff in 2015, is JFREJ’s new Director of Strategic Projects;
  • Sara Goldberg, who joined us as a Development Associate in 2017, is JFREJ’s new Development Coordinator;
  • Rachel McCullough, our long-time Organizing Director, is now JFREJ’s first ever Political Director; and
  • Zahara Zahav, who joined us as a Community Organizer in 2017, is JFREJ’s new Director of Organizing.

And, now’s as good a time as any to re-introduce you all to the rest of our staff and our roles. So in addition to all of the above, the staff also includes:

  • Rachel Jensen: Administrative Assistant (part time)
  • Kirstie Kimball: Development Director
  • Tanya Roopnarine: Finance & Operations Manager
  • Keren Soffer-Sharon: Community Organizer
  • Yehudah Webster: Community Organizer
  • (And yours truly, Executive Director)

Please join me in expressing a hearty and heartfelt Mazal Tov and Mabrook to our brilliant and growing staff team. We are getting in formation to build the New York of our wildest, most radical, and liberatory dreams!

With excitement,
Audrey Sasson
Executive Director, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice