2020-2021 Faculty

The 2020-2021 Faculty is coming together now and will include most, if not all, of last year’s Faculty.

YOLANDA SAVAGE-NARVA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATION UNDERSTANDING DC

YOLANDA SAVAGE-NARVA

Yolanda Savage-Narva has devoted her professional career to helping people live their best and most healthy lives. For a little over 20 years, Yolanda’s has collaborated with Tribal governments to strengthen public health systems, promoted pedestrian safety and advocacy and coining the phrase, “Walking is a civil right,” and advancing health equity in states ad territories. Yolanda currently holds the position of executive director with Operation Understanding DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.

AMBASSADOR DENNIS ROSS

WILLIAM DAVIDSON DISTINGUISHED FELLOW WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAREST POLICY

AMBASSADOR DENNIS ROSS

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.

JEREMY BURTON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JCRC

JEREMY BURTON

Jeremy Burton is the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC). Through advocacy, organizing, service and partnerships JCRC defines and advances the values, interests and priorities of the organized Jewish community of Greater Boston in the public square.

Previously he was the Senior Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funds for Justice, and Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funders Network. Jeremy also served as a board member of Keshet, working for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.

CONGRESSMAN JAMIE RASKIN

CONGRESSMAN JAMIE RASKIN

Congressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties. Congressman Raskin was sworn into his second Term at the start of the 116th Congress on January 3, 2019.

Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He quickly earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis, and delivered a series of landmark legislative accomplishments. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years.

RABBI JACOB BLUMENTHAL

HEAD OF THE RABBINICAL ASSEMBLY

RABBI JACOB BLUMENTHAL

Since Rabbi Blumenthal joined the RA as Chief Executive, he has initiated organizational and cultural change through the Zera’im project, in addition to meeting with rabbis from North America, Latin America, and Israel to hear and address their concerns. He has fostered relationships with key Jewish communal leadersip and hosted a webinar series bringing rabbis together from the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements on the topic of understanding anti-Semitism today.

FR. JOSH THOMAS

SEEDS OF PEACE

FR. JOSH THOMAS

Josh Thomas is the new Executive Director of Seeds of Peace, an international NGO that equips exceptional youth and educators with the skills and relationships to work in solidarity across lines of difference to create more just and inclusive societies.  Prior to Seeds of Peace, Fr. Thomas was the Executive Director of Kids4Peace International, a Jerusalem-based interfaith youth movement serving more than 1,800 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim youth, parents, volunteers each year. Kids4Peace’s mission is to end conflict and inspire hope in Jerusalem and divided societies around the world. KidsPeace operates a six-year, year-round program of dialogue and action for youth age 12-18, along with initiatives for parents and young adults, through 8 international summer camps and a network of local chapters in Jerusalem and across North America.

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

THE NEW YORK TIMES

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Thomas L. Friedman became the paper’s foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. He joined the paper in 1981, after which he served as the Beirut bureau chief in 1982, Jerusalem bureau chief in 1984, and then in Washington as the diplomatic correspondent in 1989, and later the White House correspondent and economic correspondent.

Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel). He also won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Mr. Friedman is the author of “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award in 1989. He has written several other books, including “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” an international best seller.

JUDITH HEUMANN

JUDITH HEUMANN

Judith Ellen Heumann, “Judy” is an International disability rights activist from the United States of America. She is recognized internationally as a leader in the disability community. Heumann is a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Her work with governments and non governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, and various other disability interest groups, has produced significant contributions since the 1970s to the development of human rights legislation and policies benefiting children and adults with disabilities. Through her work in the World Bank and the State Department, Heumann led the mainstreaming of disability rights into international development. Her contributions extended the international reach of the independent living movement.

RABBI JASON KIMELMAN-BLOCK

BEND THE ARC JEWISH ACTION

RABBI JASON KIMELMAN-BLOCK

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block is the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and the Director of National Government Affairs and Rabbi-in-Residence of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, where he works to bring the voices of progressive American Jews into the halls of power in Washington DC. He previously served as Bend the Arc’s Senior Director of Leadership Initiatives and directed the Selah Leadership Program. He served as the Director of the PANIM Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values is the co-editor and co-author of Just: Judaism. Action. Social Change and. He received his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and his B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College.