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August 27, 2015 | 12th Elul 5775
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Staff

Julie Chizewer Weill

Julie Chizewer Weill is the Acting Director Just Congregations. She has worked to strengthen synagogue life and in the field of Jewish social justice for the past 20 years as a staff member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago, and both the Union for Reform Judaism and the Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) in New York. While at JFSJ she initiated its program to engage synagogues in congregation-based community organizing and planned the first-ever national gathering of involved congregations. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and received a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She and her husband, Rabbi Jeffrey Weill, live in Deerfield, IL and are the parents of Betsy, Ruthie, and Samuel.

Email: JCWeill@urj.org

Joy Friedman
Joy Friedman has worked as a community organizer for the last nine years. Currently, she is Senior Organizer for Just Congregations, taking primary responsibility for the Rabbis Organizing Rabbis campaign, a project of the Reform Movement's social justice initiatives. As Synagogue Organizer for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Joy founded and coordinated the first teen organizing effort across multiple synagogues in the Boston area. She has provided training on community organizing principles and practices to synagogue and church members in the Boston, Detroit and Kansas City regions. Joy worked for several years with the Kansas City affiliate of the PICO National Network to mentor clergy, lay leadership, and staff in the Kansas City area on influencing legislation, developing and enhancing their communities, and supporting collaboration among diverse communities around common interests. Most recently, Joy served as Lead Organizer of the URJ's Campaign for Youth Engagement, helping to launch a North American endeavor to transform 875 congregations' efforts to engage young people in Jewish life. A cum laude graduate of Carleton College, Joy was selected to participate in the Leading Change program at Harvard's Kennedy School and the Jewish Funds for Justice's Selah development seminar.
Lee Winkelman

Lee Winkelman leads the efforts of Reform CA, the statewide partnership between Just Congregations, the Religious Action Center and the CCAR, and strengthen the local community organizing efforts of Reform congregations in Southern California. Lee grew up in the Reform Movement: his family members were leading forces in Temple Beth Jacob in Pontiac, Michigan; he learned leadership in NFTY; he met his wife at OSRUI. He was a community organizer for 14 years in the greater Boston area working mostly on issues of affordable housing and community control of development. He has been a funder of community organizing with Jewish Fund for Justice (where he partnered with Julie in the early 2000s to develop the field of synagogue community organizing) and the UU Veatch Program. Lee also worked in El Salvador for two years helping popular movement groups prepare for the country's first post-civil war election. As a lay leader, he spearheaded efforts of two synagogues to join congregation-based community organizing groups: Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn and IKAR in Los Angeles. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science degree in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University. Lee lives in Los Angeles with his wife Wendey and eleven year old son Henry, where Lee has consulted with foundations and community organizing groups for the last eight years.  

Rabbi Jessica Oleon Kirschner

Rabbi Jessica Oleon Kirschner strengthens the local community organizing efforts of Reform congregations in the Bay Area and anchor their participation in Reform CA. Jessica was ordained as a rabbi in 2007 from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and served as Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Washington, DC until 2014, where she led the congregation's efforts to join and participate in community organizing as a member institution of Washington Interfaith Network (WIN). During rabbinical school she worked for many Reform Movement and social justice institutions including URJ Camp Newman and the Religious Action Center. She is also an active member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Committee on Peace, Justice, and Civil Liberties. A native of Oakland, Jessica earned her BA from University of California, Berkeley and recently married and returned to home to live in the Bay Area.

 

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