Dear Member,

Please vote for a new slate of Brit Tzedek's Board of Directors 2008-2009. Simply fill in the ballot and reply to this message.

Brit Tzedek's board of directors is elected through a single slate system. A nominating committee of board members and activists recommended the list of candidates on the ballot printed below. 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


____ Allan Abrams (Prairie Village, KS)     

____ Rabbi Elliot Dorff (Bel-Air, CA)           

____ Molly Freeman (Berkeley, CA) (I)

____ Marcia Freedman (Berkeley, CA) (President Emerita)

____ Rabbi David Gordis (Newton, MA)

____ Rabbi Joshua Levine-Grater (Pasadena, CA) (I)

____ Steven David Masters (Philadelphia, PA)

____ Barbara LaHav (Mercer Island, WA)

____ Ben Murane (New York City, NY)

____ Michael Peshkin (Evanston, IL)

____ Rabbi Brant Rosen (Evanston, IL)

____ Sid Topol (Boston, MA) (I)



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.


ALLAN ABRAMS is the former owner of a securities firm that specialized in Israeli corporate stocks registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and is now a semi-retired tax attorney, investment adviser, and a professional arbitrator/mediator. He has served as National Trustee for the NCCJ (National Conference for Community & Justice, formerly known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews), as a board member of NCCJ's local chapter since the 1970's, chairperson of the Christian-Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Group of Greater Kansas City, and principal adviser to Kansas City's Minority Museum and Diversity Coalition. He has served as president of the Kansas City chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and on AJC's International Relations Commission in Washington, D.C. He has lectured and published articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process since the early 1990's.

ELLIOT DORFF, Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at American Jewish University, earned his Ph.D. in philosophy with a dissertation in moral theory. For the last 23 years he has directed the rabbinical and Masters programs at American Jewish University. For 30 years, he also taught a course on Jewish law at UCLA School of Law as a Visiting Professor. He was awarded the Journal of Law and Religion's Lifetime Achievement Award, and he holds three honorary doctoral degrees.

Rabbi Dorff is Vice-Chair of the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and served on the editorial committee of Etz Hayim, the new Torah commentary for the Conservative Movement. His papers have formulated the validated stance of the Conservative Movement on infertility treatments and on end-of-life issues, and his Rabbinic Letters on human sexuality and on poverty have become the voice of the Conservative Movement on those topics.

He has chaired three scholarly organizations: the Academy of Jewish Philosophy, the Jewish Law Association, the Society of Jewish Ethics. In Spring, 1993, he served on the Ethics Committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force. In March, 1997 and May, 1999, he testified on behalf of the Jewish tradition on the subjects of human cloning and stem cell research before the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission. In 1999 and 2000 he was part of the Surgeon General's commission to draft a Call to Action for Responsible Sexual Behavior; and from 2000 to 2002 he served on the National Human Resources Protections Advisory Commission, charged with reviewing and revising the federal guidelines for protecting human subjects in research projects. He is currently working on a project on Judaism and genetics for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is a member of that organization's Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee charged with establishing the moral norms that govern stem cell research in the State of California.

In Los Angeles, he is Immediate Past President of Jewish Family Service, and he is a member of the Ethics committees at the Jewish Homes for the Aging and UCLA Medical Center. He serves as Co-Chair of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and he is a Vice-President of the Academy for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Studies.

Rabbi Dorff's publications include over 200 articles on Jewish thought, law, and ethics, as well as 13 books.

MOLLY FREEMAN has led the SF Bay Area chapter for five years. As a national Board member she has served on the Policy Advisory and Advocacy committees. In the local Jewish community she has served as vice president of a conservative synagogue, chair of the JCRC, and continues to serve on the board of Lehrhaus Judaica, an adult Jewish education agency. Professionally she studies the integration of technology in education and publishes reviews of research for posting on an educational website. Her doctorate is in Complex Systems and Distance Learning.

MARCIA FREEDMAN is Brit Tzedek's founding President and has served on the Board of Directors since the organization's inception. She was one of the founders and leaders of the feminist movement in Israel in the early seventies. She served in the Knesset from 1973-1977 and co-founded the Women's Party. She also founded the Community School for Women, a school without walls that provides women's studies in the community as well as courses designed for economic empowerment. She is an active member of the Israeli Women's Coalition for a Just Peace. In Berkeley, she is a frequent lecturer and an advocate for Israeli women's and peace issues in the North American diaspora. She is the author of an acclaimed memoir, “Exile in the Promised Land,” and numerous articles and reviews.

DR. DAVID M. GORDIS is immediate past president and professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew College and founding director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies (formerly the Susan and David Wilstein Institute of Jewish Policy Studies). He has lectured and written extensively on the subjects of Jewish life in America and Israel, Israel/Diaspora relations and Judaism in America and Israel. Prior to assuming the presidency of Hebrew College in 1993, Dr. Gordis was vice president, provost, and associate professor of Talmud at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and lecturer of Jewish Law at UCLA. He has also served as vice president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee; and the founding executive director of the Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel.

RABBI JOSHUA LEVINE GRATER was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999. Thereafter he spend two years as a Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow for Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York City and three as the rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Israel in Kingston, New York, before becoming the spiritual leader of the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center. Rabbi Grater's work is a balance of activism, tikkun olam, and spiritual discipline. As an activist, he is involved in local social justice causes, often with interfaith coalitions. His writings have been published in Tikkun and on He is an executive council member of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, a member of the Rabbinic Council of the Southern California branch of Americans for Peace Now and on the Advisory Board of The JustVision Project. He is a teacher of Jewish meditation and a proponent of contemplative prayer in his own synagogue and in the general community. 

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.

BARBARA LAHAV lived in Israel for over 16 years and studied at Bezalel School of Art & Design in Jerusalem.  She has been the Managing Editor of Kol Ha’Ir, Jerusalem, an administrator for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and program director for a large religious organization for ten years.  For the past nine years she has been an independent event planner producing fundraisers, lecture series, concerts and auctions.  She is also the coordinator of a local multi-faith organization, Find Common Ground, and the lead fundraiser for the legal defense fund of a member of the United States Congress.  Barbara attended the founding conference of Brit Tzedek and has proudly served as a chapter chair and board member and steering committee member.

BENJAMIN MURANE is the co-chair of the New York City chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, a contributing editor to, and the former director of the Jewish Student Press Service, publisher of New Voices magazine. His blog can be read at Ben is presently the New Generations and Development Associate for the New Israel Fund. Prior to his current position, he was communications coordinator for Hazon.

MICHAEL PESHKIN is chair of the Chicago chapter of Brit Tzedek. He is a member of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois.  He has served on the boards of Reba Early Learning Center and the North Suburban Peace Initiative. Currently, he is working on student voter registration for the 2008 elections in battleground states. He works as an engineering professor at Northwestern University, and is the founder of three spin-off companies.

RABBI BRANT ROSEN is the past President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and is rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston, IL. His synagogue's new building is the first LEED Platinum certified house of worship in the nation. Brant participated on our first delegation to Israel this past   January and was one of our trip bloggers. He has been active in our rabbinic cabinet and in our Chicago chapter and is a prolific progressive Jewish blogger.

SIDNEY TOPOL, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Boston Latin School, where he was named Man of the Year in 1982.  His college years were interrupted during World War II when he became 2nd Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Air Corps at 19.  He holds a B.S. in Physics and honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts.  He graduated from Harvard-MIT Radar School and has been awarded the MIT Corporate Leadership Award.  His graduate study in electrical engineering was done at the University of California in Berkeley.

He spent 22 years with Raytheon Company in Massachusetts and Europe.  After several assignments as Engineering Manager and Director of Marketing of Raytheon-Europe, he became General Manager of Selenia Telecommunications Division, a joint venture in Italy.  In 1965 he returned to the U.S. to head up the Raytheon Communications Division.

In December 1971 he was appointed President and Director of Scientific-Atlanta.  He was the Chief Executive Officer from 1975 to 1987 and served as Chairman of the Board from 1978 to 1990.  During his tenure as Chairman, President and CEO, the company grew from approximately $16M to over $600M in sales.

He is married to Lillian Friedman Topol, and they have three daughters, all of whom are married and pursuing professional careers.

He is past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Electronic Industries Association.   He is on the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University,  Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Beth Israel Hospital,  and Southern Center for International Studies.  He serves on the board of overseers of WGBH and the PBS board and previously served as President of the Atlanta Partnership of Business and Education and the Boards of Atlanta Arts Alliance and the Atlanta Symphony.  He was named the 1989 recipient of the electronic industry's highest award - the EIA Medal of Honor.  

Mr.Topol was a fellow at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University from 1989 to 1994.  He lead a research program and seminar series on the impact of globalization of business on the American community, particularly the activity of the States in economic development and trade policy; then concentrated on telecommunications policy and defense conversion.

He has been active with the State of Georgia and the federal government in export expansion, serving the Export Now Committee in the Reagan administration and on the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee in 1989. He was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Weld to serve on the Advisory Committee on Information Technology(GACIT) and the Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation.  Mr. Topol has traveled extensively abroad, including China and the Soviet Union.  He co-chaired, with former Secretary of Labor Ann McLaughlin and former President Carter, a major conference on competitiveness held in Atlanta in 1988.  Mr. Topol was the founding  Chairman of the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council and criticalmass.

Mr. Topol has been inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Cable Television Hall of Fame, MTC Hall of Fame and the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame.

Currently, he is President of The Topol Group LLC and The Topol Family Fund.


Board Members with terms thru June ’08:

  1. Rainer Waldman Adkins, Seattle, WA
  2. Jan Jaben-Eilon, Marietta, GA
  3. Gil Kulick, New York, NY
  4. Sue Swartz, Bloomington, IN
  5. Alison Pepper, New York, NY
  6. Beth Wasserman, Somerville, MA

Board Members with terms thru June ’09:

  1. Steve Masters, Philadelphia, PA
  2. David Albert, Austin, TX
  3. Cherie Brown, Silver Spring, MD
  4. Donna Spiegelman, Cambridge, MA
  5. John Friedman, Durham, NC
  6. Aaron Ahuvia, Ann Arbor, MI
  7. David Matz, Boston, MA

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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