Dear Member,

Please vote for Brit Tzedek’s Board of Directors 2007-2010. Simply fill in the ballot and reply to this message.

The election process for board members is a single slate system, whereby a nominating committee of board members and activists will recommend a list to the organization’s general membership for ratification.

Printed below is a ballot with the names of the proposed slate members. You have the option of voting for the entire slate or for individual members. To vote, please reply to this email and place an “x” next to the entire slate option or next to the individual name(s) you wish to support.


More information follows:
Position Description
Candidate Bios
Continuing board members



____ I support the entire slate.

____ I wish to vote for the following individual candidates (Choose up to 9):

(I) Incumbent

____ Aaron Ahuvia (Ann Arbor, MI)     

____ David Albert (Austin, TX)           

____ Cherie Brown (Washington, D.C.)

____ Elliot Figman (New York, NY)

____ Rabbi John Friedman (Durham, NC)

____ Ivan Handler (Chicago, IL)

____ Steven David Masters (Philadelphia, PA)

____ David Matz (Brookline, MA)

____ Donna Spiegelman (Boston, MA)



Brit Tzedek's Board consists of 24 members. The Board term is 3 years, with a maximum of 2 terms. Brit Tzedek has a grassroots working Board. Board members commit 10-15 hours a month, either as an active committee member, chapter leader or activist, or by providing specialized knowledge and skills. One to two hours of this time is spent on monthly board calls. We meet in person once or twice a year, as possible, usually for a day-long meeting. A great deal of our business is conducted by email. Keeping up with and participating in email discussions and votes can add an additional 4-5 hours to the monthly time commitment.


Aaron Ahuvia is co-founder of the Ann Arbor BTvS chapter, Board Secretary, and holds a seat on the Board of Directors.  He is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan – Dearborn School of Management, teaches Social Marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, and directs grant funded economic development programs for the US government in Yemen and Libya. He served as religious affairs director on the board of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation in Evanston and co-founded a Havurah on Chicago’s North side that is still active today.  He and his wife founded the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation in Ann Arbor.

David Albert is a founding board member of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom. David serves as chair of the Austin, TX chapter of Brit Tzedek and also serves on Brit Tzedek's Advocacy, Policy Advisory, and Public Information Committees. He is the co-owner of Salaam-v-Shalom, an online Arab-Jewish dialogue group and has been involved in many Arab-Jewish dialogue groups.  David has a BA in Government & History from the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  He also has an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas - Austin where he is currently a Doctoral candidate in Government.  His MA thesis was a study of religion and politics within Israeli civil society.  His dissertation is a study of the politics of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Cherie Brown is a founding board member of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, serves on the board’s Executive Committee and is the chair of the Chapter Development Committee. Cherie is the founder and executive director of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). Cherie has been involved in Middle East Peace Work for 36 years, including helping to found Breira, New Jewish Agenda, and  Break the Silence. She has led Black-Jewish work for 30 years, been the keynote speaker at conferences in San Francisco and NYC on anti-Semitism and the Left, and is the author of many leadership training manuals, including:  Leading Diverse Communities: A How to Guide to Move from Healing Into Action.  She is a frequent contributing writer for Tikkun Magazine on Middle East Peace Issues.  Cherie has an M.Ed in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University.

Elliot Figman is the founding treasurer of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and serves on the board’s Executive Committee. He works as the Executive Director of Poets and Writers, Inc., the nation’s largest non-profit organization serving creative writers.  His most recent book of poems, Big Spring, was published by Four Way Books.

Rabbi John Friedman currently serves on the board of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and as chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet.  He was also the founding chair of the Durham/Chapel Hill chapter.  He has been the rabbi of Judea Reform Congregation for twenty-seven years.  His synagogue serves the Jewish communities of Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. Rabbi Friedman served as President of Durham Congregations in Action and was instrumental in founding Genesis Home, a shelter for homeless families.  He is a recipient of the Martin Luther King “Keeper of the Dream” award, the City of Durham “Better Human Relations” award and the Elna Spaulding medal for Social Justice for his work in race relations. From 1991 to 1995, Rabbi Friedman was chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbi's Interreligious Affairs and is past-president of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the CCAR. He is currently the chair of the United Way’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program.  Rabbi Friedman attended the University Kansas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Harvard University where he was a Charles Merrill Fellow in 1994.  He received a doctorate from the Hebrew Union College. His articles on Bible, Jewish literature, Jewish education, and Black-Jewish relations have been published in a variety of journals.  Rabbi Friedman is also a trained mediator.

Ivan Handler currently serves on the board of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and on the Wired Committee.  He has been a social justice activist since his high school days.  He has helped found Networking for Democracy in Chicago, an organization that addresses multiple social justice issues. He is the Chief Information Officer of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  In addition he is the vice president of the board of Growing Home, a social enterprise dedicated to providing job opportunities in urban organic agriculture to homeless and disadvantaged people. 

Steven David Masters is a founding board member of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, serves as the co-chair of the national Advocacy Committee and as a national spokesperson.  He has represented the Jewish Labor Committee on the board of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council for the past 12 years.  In the late 1980’s, Steve was a national and local leader in New Jewish Agenda and was Assistant Director of the Jewish Peace Lobby in the early 1990s.  While living in Israel in the mid 1980s, Steve served as a consultant on Foreign Law for the Jerusalem based Association for Civil Rights in Israel, founded the Jerusalem chapter of Israelis Against Apartheid and lectured on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the Moshe Sharet Institute of the World Labor Zionist Movement.

David Matz is a board member of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and chair of the Public Information Committee.  He is director of the Dispute Resolution Graduate Programs at the University of Massachusetts – Boston and a partner in The Mediation Group, a firm providing mediation, training, and arbitration services.  Since 1982, he has been a member of the board of directors of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salaam, an intentional Arab-Jewish village between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  He was a founding member of an alliance of American Jews and Arabs focused on urging the American government to become more actively involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  He holds a seat on Brit Tzedek v'Shalom’s Board of Directors.

Donna Spiegelman is a founding board member of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, serves on the board’s Executive Committee, as the chair of the Membership and Outreach Committee, and chair of the Boston chapter. She is a Professor of Epidemiologic Methods at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1992.  After graduating from Brandeis University in 1977, Donna became a lifelong advocate of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, working over the past 25 years in the Boston area, with Jews for Justice, Matai and New Jewish Agenda.  She founded Boston Jewish Women’s Committee to end the Occupation in the late 1980s, was a founding Women in Black and a member of the Middle East Working Group of the Boston District Workmen’s Circle/Arbiter Ring.


Board Members with terms thru June ’08:

  1. Allan Abrams (Prairie Village, KS)
  2. Marcia Freedman (Berkeley, CA)
  3. Molly Freeman (Berkeley, CA)
  4. Roger Kahn (Denver, CO)
  5. Jen Klein (Boston, MA)
  6. Rabbi Joshua Levine-Grater (Pasadena, CA)
  7. Sid Topol (Boston, MA)
  8. Lara Weitzman (New York)

Board Members with terms thru June ’09:

  1. Rainer Waldman Adkins (Seattle, WA)
  2. Diane Balser (Cambridge, MA)
  3. Jan Jaben-Eilon (Atlanta, GA)
  4. Gil Kulick (New York, NY)
  5. Alison Pepper (New York, NY)
  6. Sue Swartz (Bloomington, IN)
  7. Beth Wasserman (Somerville, MA)
  8. Rabbi Scott B. Weiner (New York, NY)

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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