Two Dianes

Beginning today, our new executive director will be Diane Cantor, and Diane Balser, who has been serving in that capacity for the past year, returns to the board as co-chair of the Advocacy Committee.

Diane Balser has made an outstanding contribution to Brit Tzedek as executive director during the past year. Through her efforts and her past experience as a lobbyist, Brit Tzedek is now a known presence on Capitol Hill. Diane has also worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the rest of our staff to keep our organization at the cutting edge of political developments and public discourse that define our issue. Under her leadership we have begun to develop a media presence and grassroots activism has increased significantly. She has established enduring relationships with policy analysts in Israel, the Palestinian Territories and in the U.S. that continue to inform our internal discourse and the development of Brit Tzedek's policies. Diane has been a superb representative of Brit Tzedek to the organized Jewish community, both locally in Boston and nationally. She has often been intrepid as the only advocate for our position in rooms full of heavies, always reasonable, always inclusive of others' views.

Fortunately, we are not saying goodbye to Diane Balser. She will continue as a volunteer board member, co-chair of the Advocacy Committee, and one of Brit Tzedek's national representatives and spokespersons.

Diane Cantor, our new executive director, brings a lifetime's experience as a champion of social justice as well as depth and breadth of experience in administration and management. She grew up in Atlanta during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Her mother, a leading figure in the Southeast regional office of the Anti-Defamation League, was at the forefront of Jewish leadership in support of civil rights. Diane has experience working with grassroots networks as regional director for the Georgia Council on Child Abuse and as a regional rep traveling in eight states for the national Alliance of Business working with community groups advocating for employment opportunities in their communities. Her political experience includes a recent four-year term as elected president of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education, Georgia's seventh largest school district which serves over 35,000 students, including a majority African-American population and many students living below the poverty level.

Diane Cantor's most recent experience before coming to Brit Tzedek was a nine-year stint as executive director of the Savannah affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. During this period she successfully grew a very small non-profit to become regionally effective in exercising its mission. Diane brings a depth and breadth of executive skills to our internal organization as well as a deep and passionate commitment to Jewish values of social justice and Israel's well-being.

We welcome Diane Cantor, and we welcome, once again, Diane Balser as she morphs into a new leadership role in Brit Tzedek.

Marcia Freedman

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

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