Emor Institute Staff

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Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson, Director

Lev (he/him) has been with T’ruah leading educational programs and resource creation since his 2013 ordination from Hebrew College, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. In 2017, the Covenant Foundation awarded Lev a Pomegranate Prize, which honors exceptional early-career Jewish educators. Lev graduated from M2’s Senior Educators Cohort in 2022. He holds an AB in Geology from Brown University. Lev, his wife Eliana, and their three kids live in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington, where Lev also serves part-time as the rabbi of the Flatbush and Shaare Torah Jewish Center.

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Rabbi Becky Jaye, Program Manager

Becky (she/her) is a 2022 ordinee of Hebrew Union College in New York and holds a BA in American Studies and an MA in Religion, both from Yale University. She serves as a key thought-partner for Emor’s leadership and a day-to-day leader of its programs.

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Ronit Schlam, Chief Development Officer

Prior to finding her path on the Jewish social justice circuit by joining the T’ruah team in 2011, Ronit (she/her) enjoyed a career in performing arts. She helped launch and run the Castleton Festival, an annual international opera festival under the artistic direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel, and has worked for and consulted with organizations including Lincoln Center, the Châteauville Foundation, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Saratoga Jazz Festival. She plays classical piano, enjoys photography, and believes in the great potential for communication and understanding by way of artistic expression. A native of Queens, New York, and a long-time Brooklynite, she now lives in Manhattan with her husband. They travel far and wide, as often as they can, treading lightly upon the earth.

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Shira Danan, Chief Communications Officer

Shira (she/her) joined the T’ruah team in 2019. She is a writer and proud RK (rabbi’s kid) who has worked as an editor and social media manager in the private and non-profit sectors. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Columbia University in 2007, and spent a year studying Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University. As a comedy writer, she has written for many publications, including the New Yorker, The Onion, McSweeney’s, and Mad Magazine. Shira lives in Queens with her husband and children.

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Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO

Rabbi Jill Jacobs (she/her) is the CEO of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, an organization that trains and mobilizes more than 2,300 rabbis and cantors and their communities to bring a moral voice to protecting and advancing human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition, both published by Jewish Lights.

Rabbi Jacobs has been named three times to the Forward’s list of 50 influential American Jews, to Newsweek’s list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America, and to the Jerusalem Post’s 2013 list of “Women to Watch.” She holds rabbinic ordination and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a Wexner Fellow; an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, and a BA from Columbia University. She is also a graduate of the Mandel Institute Jerusalem Fellows Program. She lives in New York with her husband, Rabbi Guy Austrian, and their two daughters.

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Madi Spector, Communications Assistant

Madi (she/her) is a former local politics reporter from south Florida and a fierce advocate for multimedia storytelling as a tool for peace among young Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.She has been involved as a researcher and peace-builder of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since her senior year of college. Following her graduation, she worked as an intern with the Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security (ROPES) while living in Tel Aviv during her gap year. Over the last two years since her return to the United States, Madi has worked in communications, social media, and development for both the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) and J Street. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a certificate in international relations from the University of Florida and a master’s in Ethics, Peace & Human Rights from American University’s School of International Service where she specialized in NGO management and communications.