Please join us in “Lighting the Way” for a brighter future as we honor our Partners in Justice and celebrate Avodah’s 20-year contribution to strengthening the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States. Celebrate with us as we honor our Partners in Justice: Lori Cohen, Brooke Gladstone, Benetta Mansfield, Shana Bloom, Rabbi Brian Fink, Zahara Zahav, Elena Weissmann and Elana Bildner.
Dietary Laws Observed • Cocktail Attire
For more information please contact Kira Manso Brown at [email protected], or call 917-534-7484.
Lori Cohen is the Director of the Anti-trafficking Initiative at Sanctuary for Families, where she represents victims of human trafficking and domestic violence and conducts training sessions for law enforcement, health care professionals and service providers on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking. In April 2013, Ms. Cohen chaired “We Were Slaves: The Jewish Community Unites Against Sex Trafficking,” held at UJA-Federation of New York. Prior to joining Sanctuary for Families, Ms. Cohen taught Immigration Law at the University of Michigan Law School and served as the director for the Office of Immigration Legal Services at the Archdiocese of Detroit. Ms. Cohen has served in a leadership capacity at the Rodeph Sholom School, where her children have attended and at Congregation Ansche Chesed. Ms. Cohen is a board member of the National Council of Jewish Women. Ms. Cohen is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk for the Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Brooke Gladstone is best known for the…pause…that Bob Garfield inserts before mentioning her name in the credits for On the Media. She’s the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and many others you tend to collect if you hang out in public radio long enough. Just before coming to On the Media, she did some pilots for WNYC of a call-in show about human relationships with Dan Savage called A More Perfect Union. She also is the author of The Influencing Machine (W.W. Norton), a media manifesto in graphic form, listed among the top books of 2011 by The New Yorker, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, and among the “10 Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction” by The Atlantic.
Rabbi Brian Fink is the Director of UJA-Federation of New York’s Engage Jewish Service Corps at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. At the JCC, Brian is deeply involved with other strategic volunteerism initiatives, and also helps to oversee the What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life program. Through Avodah, Brian worked at the Urban Justice Center as a Legal Advocate in the Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project and continued in the position for several years after Avodah. He attended the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia and was ordained in 2011. While at RRC, Brian had internships in congregational, campus, chaplaincy and social justice settings, and studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. After graduating, he served as the Rabbinic Fellow at Cornell University Hillel, focusing on Reform Jewish life and community service efforts. He has taught at the National Havurah Committee’s Summer Institute and Limmud NY, and will be co-presenting a session in June at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Atlanta. He serves on the board of directors of Kolot Chayeinu synagogue. Brian, his wife Aileen, and son Nathan live in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Shana Bloom is the Assistant Director of Time For Good, UJA- Federation of New York’s citywide volunteer initiative. In that capacity, Shana works with Jewish organizations to help build creative, thoughtful, passionate Jewish communities engaged with and dedicated to, serving others. Through her career as a social worker, Shana has worked in settings committed to assisting vulnerable populations. She has developed a deep understanding of issues facing populations in need and is committed to infusing these aspects of her training into her work in the Jewish community. Shana has a B.A. in Jewish Studies from New York University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Hunter College. She is also a graduate of the Avodah Justice Fellowship.
Benetta Mansfield is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience as an advocate, mediator and manager. Most recently, Benetta served as the Chief of Staff of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents over 185,000 bus operators, maintenance and clerical employees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff of the National Mediation Board and directed the election of International officers for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, after being appointed to do so by a federal judge. She is also a Board member of the Mansfield Family Foundation. Benetta lives in Chicago, Illinois. Benetta is the Chair of the Avodah Board of Directors and also serves on the Strategy and Governance & Nominating Committees.
Elena Weissmann served as an Avodah Corps Member at the Bronx Defenders in 2014-15. She holds a BA/MPP from the University of Virginia, where her studies focused on urban policy and history. Elena is active in her Jewish community, teaching Jewish social justice courses, serving on her synagogue board, and serving her friends out of a Crock Pot for many Shabbat dinners. As an outdoor enthusiast living in Manhattan, Elena is always looking for new walking or hiking trails accessible to New Yorkers, and keeps trail mix in her work backpack. Elena is committed to fighting for justice in the criminal legal system and to ensuring the voices of directly impacted individuals are informing policy changes. Elena has worked as an advocate at The Bronx Freedom Fund since 2016, where she is currently the organization’s Director.
Zahara Zahav is a Community Organizer at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice working with the Caring Majority, a movement of seniors, people with disabilities, family caregivers, and home care workers, to win universal long-term care and quality care jobs in New York State. Zahara is passionate about faith-based justice work, and is inspired by Torah, Jewish thought, and tradition to build a sustainable world that values all our humanity. She previously organized for criminal justice reform with the Religious Action Center and supported cross-denominational rabbinic leadership for justice and service at Rabbis Without Borders with Clal. Zahara worked at Footsteps while in Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps after spending several years immersed in full-time Torah study at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Yeshivat Hadar. Zahara loves science-fiction, her hometown of Key West, and seltzer.
Elana Bildner’s experience ranges from the corporate sector—as a litigation associate at two law firms—to the non-profit sphere, where she has spent significant time working (as a community advocate, policy researcher, and lawyer) and volunteering (as a board member and funder). Elana received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Human Rights Law Review and a clinical teaching assistant supporting non-profit start-ups in the Harlem area. Elana currently splits her time between a private law firm and Quinnipiac Law School’s Juvenile Sentencing Project, which advocates nationwide for criminal justice reforms. She is committed to representing pro bono clients in prison conditions, immigration, family, and employment law cases. Before her legal career, Elana spent four years at anti-poverty organizations in New York and served as an editorial intern for Legal Affairs magazine, the Miami Herald, and The Wall Street Journal. She is grateful to Avodah (New York, 2006-2007) for spurring her to continually re-evaluate her efforts to bring about social change.
Host Committee (in formation): Alan and Marla Siskind, Alison Hirsh, Rabbi Andy Bachman, Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Barbara Deinhardt and Dan Silverman, Cheryl Cook, Christopher Rothko, Daniel and Lisa Price, Rabbi Leonard Gordon and Dr. Lori Lefkovitz, Janna Rosenberg and Michael Berger, Marilyn Sneiderman, Jeff Levin and Andrew Goffe, Jeffrey Schwarz and Rabbi Jennifer Krause Schwarz, Jonathan Zucker and Una Chae, Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Kalman Resnick, Katherine and Joe Mele, Michael Hirschorn and Jimena Martinez, Nancy Kaufman, Naomi Adland, Robert Bank and Alan Cohen, Rochelle Rosenberg, Sheila and Bill Lambert, Steven Dow, Suzanne Waltman and Martin Friedman, and Wendy Schwarz.
Purchase Tickets Below.
(The non-deductible, fair market value per ticket is $100).
We have a very exciting opportunity to grow your gift this year! Any first-time or increased donation will be matched by the Legacy Heritage Fund’s Project Accelerate by 50%. These donations will be used to execute our strategic plan. Thank you for considering a new or increased gift this year to help us maximize this significant opportunity.
The Brilliance: $18,000
The Blaze: $10,000
The Torch: $5,000
The Flame: $2,500
The Ember: $1,000
The Shining Sponsor: $430
The Alumni/Young Professional Shining Sponsor (35 and under): $360
The Spark: $360
Individual Ticket: $250
Alumni/Young Professional Ticket (age 35 and under): $180