January 16, 2019

Joining Jewish World Watch

This month, I became the Executive Director of Jewish World Watch (JWW). For me, assuming this role is an honor, a privilege, and a truly exciting opportunity to breathe life into the values that I have fought for throughout my career. Over the course of more than three decades – since receiving my Masters in Social Work (MSW) at age 22 – I have worked to advance the same fundamental moral imperative that drives JWW: safeguarding the rights and dignity of each and every human being, regardless of the circumstances into which they were born. I have worked with populations in-need on a local, national, and international level. Time and again, I’ve seen that there is nothing more meaningful – nothing more rewarding – than advancing the cause of social justice to change lives.

JWW’s mission speaks to me in a deeply personal way. As a child, I saw the great danger of prejudice firsthand – in the form of anti-Semitism. Growing up in a primarily non- Jewish community, I was denied access to social activities because of my faith. During high school and college, I was banned from social clubs and excluded from jobs because I was a Jew. Later, as an adult, I visited the death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, bearing witness to the evidence of the genocide of six million Jews – and millions of others. All of these experiences profoundly shaped my thinking, instilling in me a deep commitment to fight every form of racism and prejudice, wherever it might exist – and to heed the lessons of the Jewish people’s history by refusing to turn a blind eye to the innocents facing atrocities in our time.

Over the past 11 years, Jewish World Watch has shown that committed people of conscience can join together to make dramatic change in the fight against genocide. Together, we can raise awareness about the crimes perpetrated on the innocent, drive our policymakers to take action, and empower the survivors of the very worst atrocities with opportunities rebuild their lives.

I begin this new job with a sense of purpose, optimism, and belief that the work of our organization will continue to mobilize people throughout our community. I’m looking forward to working with JWW’s deeply committed members and talented professional staff to build on the bold vision of our organization’s courageous co-founders Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis of blessed memory and Janice Kamenir-Reznik. Together, I’m confident that we will continue to increase JWW’s impact, expand its reach, and turn the words “Never Again” into action all across our planet.