2021 Speakers

Extraordinary speakers for extraordinary times. Join our virtual panels and hear from the most knowledgeable speakers and experts discussing the urgent topics of the day. Here are some of the experts who will be speaking at Never Is Now. Register Now to join the conversation and learn how to fight hate, antisemitism and bigotry in your community right now.

Jean-Paul-Agon

Jean-Paul Agon

Chairman of L'Oréal

Jean-Paul Agon is the recipient of the 2021 ADL Courage Against Hate Award.

Graduated from HEC, Jean-Paul Agon joined the Group in 1978, in which he has worked his entire career. He successively led several of its brands, countries and geographical zones. He created in particular the Asia-Pacific zone in 1997, that has become the 1st region of the Group since, and then managed the North America Zone as of 2001. He became CEO of L’Oréal in 2006, and then Chairman and CEO from 2011 to 2021.

In 15 years, Jean-Paul Agon adapted the company by leading in-depth strategic transformations, notably the digital and e-commerce revolution and the one of responsibility and sustainability. With a double ambition: combining economic performance and exemplarity in environmental, social, ethical and societal fields.

The Ethics Resource Center awarded him the “Pace Leadership in Ethics Award” for L’Oréal’s achievements in the area of business ethics, diversity, financial transparency and sustainable development.

He is a Director of Air Liquide, co-chairman of the France China Committee, a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists, and a Director of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri).

He is an officer of the French Legion of Honour.

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Juju Chang

Co-Anchor, ABC News' "Nightline"

Juju Chang is an Emmy® Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” Chang reported on the recent rise of hate crimes toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as anchor of the ABC News Live special “Stop The Hate: The Rise In Violence Against Asian Americans” and the “20/20” special “Murder In Atlanta” following the Atlanta mass shooting.

Chang has been recognized for her in-depth personal narratives set against the backdrop of pressing national and international news. Her recent reports include a critical examination of the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) known as the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy. The story was told through the eyes of one pregnant woman and her family among the 60,000 asylum seekers camped for months along the Rio Grande. Chang’s award-winning report on violence against transgender women of color across the country caps a series of her stories on LGBTQ+ issues. Chang won a GLAAD award for her story on the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder and the legacy his parents have built in his honor. Chang’s exclusive television interview with transgender solider Chelsea Manning, after seven years in prison, explored issues of national security leaks, medical treatment for incarcerated transgender people and LGBTQ+ military service.

Chang has covered the major breaking news for decades for ABC News, including the extensive COVID-19 science and the fallout on hospital ICU’s, health care and essential workers. Chang covered Superstorm Sandy, the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing.

She has traveled around the world to report on global issues and gender-based violence, including a trip through Central Africa on the front lines against Boko Haram and #bringbackourgirls. She traveled to Honduras for “Femicide: the Untold War,” an eye-opening look at rampant violence against women.

Chang has profiled newsmakers like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah Winfrey as well as entertainers like Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Tom Hanks and Nicki Minaj. Her extensive feature reporting covers parenting dilemmas, digital addictions and social media moguls like Dude Perfect and Kendall Jenner.

A former news anchor for “Good Morning America,” Chang joined ABC News just after college as an entry-level desk assistant in 1987 and rose to become a producer for “World News Tonight.” After reporting for KGO-TV in San Francisco and the ABC News affiliate service NewsOne in Washington, D.C., she co-anchored the overnight show “World News Now.” Chang’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including multiple Emmy’s, Gracie’s, a DuPont, a Murrow and Peabody awards. In 2017, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Front Page Awards.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Northern California, Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communication. She is married to WNET president and CEO Neal Shapiro and, together, they have three sons. Chang is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation.

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Daniel Dae Kim

Actor, Producer, Activist

Daniel Dae Kim has captivated global audiences with his transformative performances across film, television and theater. His body of work continues to evolve with powerful roles and compelling narratives as an actor, director and producer.

Up first, Kim will appear in an episode of BJ Novak’s The PremiseThe show is a fearlessly ambitious new series that uses comedy to engage with the biggest issues of our unprecedented modern era.  His episode, “Butt Plug”, tells the story of a once-poor child of immigrants, who has now become one of the world’s richest men presents a chance at redemption to his former school bully: an uninterrupted hour with his board of directors to pitch a very specific product. Written by B.J. Novak and directed by Jake Schreier, Daniel’s episode premieres on FX on October 7th.

Following that, he will star in the second installment of Nat Geo’s scripted anthology series, The Hot Zone: Anthrax.  The gripping series marks Daniel’s first leading role in his career and is based on the domestic terror attacks following 9/11.  Kim stars as the federal agent on the case, opposite Tony Goldwyn.  The show premieres on Nat Geo this Thanksgiving.

Next year, Kim can be seen in AMC’s Pantheon, the ambitious one-hour animated drama, based on a series of short stories by Ken Liu about Uploaded Intelligence. AMC has ordered two seasons of the timely drama, which also features the voices of Katie Chang, Paul Dano, Rosemarie DeWitt, Aaron Eckhart, Taylor Schilling and Ron Livingston. Pantheon will premiere in 2022.

Daniel is currently in production of Apple TV+’s Roar. The anthology series, created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch (GLOW) and executive produced by Nicole Kidman, is based on Cecelia Ahern’s book of short stories. The series features eight, half-hour episodes, each told from a female point of view. In Daniel’s episode, a best-selling author receives critical acclaim for her book on being Black in America, she’s flown to Hollywood and as her work becomes increasingly exploited for mass cultural consumption, she slowly starts to turn invisible.

Kim recently starred in Joe Penna’s Stowaway, opposite Toni Collette, Anna Kendrick and Shamier Anderson. After a stowaway is discovered on a mission to Mars, the crew is faced with an existential decision that may jeopardize all their lives. An intensely personal human drama, Netflix released the film worldwide on April 22. Kim also recently lent his vocal talents to Disney +’s Raya and The Last Dragon, which also features the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Benedict Wong and Sandra Oh.

Kim’s imperative work as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion for Asians throughout the US, as well as in Hollywood, has been documented in the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News Nightline and a ground-breaking five-part PBS documentary. Kim has testified in front of Congress twice and was instrumental in the passing of the bill “Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act”  In addition to Kim’s public-facing activism work, he is also a founding board member of the newly formed non-profit The Asian American Foundation, which aims to solve for the longstanding underinvestment in AAPI advocacy and power-building infrastructures.  Since May, TAAF has already donated $125 million in support of AAPI causes and raised $1.1 billion in its first month.

Kim’s production company, 3AD, which specifically develops content featuring characters that are traditionally underrepresented, in front of, and behind the camera, is extremely active with several projects in development, through a first look deal with Amazon.  For the past five years 3AD has produced the hit ABC show, The Good Doctor, which is a one-hour drama featuring a doctor with autism, which Kim adapted from a Korean format – he also serves as Executive Producer.  Additionally, a dramedy series entitled Shoot the Moon starring Ken Jeong was just greenlit at Amazon.  This is Always is set up at Amazon as well, with Mina Shum writing and directing and Daniel in talks to star.  3AD has several more projects in development, including a highly anticipated heist movie with Randall Park.

Prior to his seven-season portrayal of Chin Ho Kelly on the juggernaut series Hawaii Five-0, Kim was perhaps best known for his role as Jin Soo Kwon on the hit TV series Lost, for which he shared a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble and was individually honored with an AZN Asian Excellence Award, a Multicultural Prism Award and a Vanguard Award from the Korean American Coalition, all for Outstanding Performance by an Actor. He has been repeatedly recognized with the prestigious KoreAm Driven Award in the field of Arts and Entertainment.

In 2016, Kim received a Broadway Beacon Award for his role as the King of Siam in Lincoln Center’s Tony Award-winning production of The King and I, as well as the Theater Legacy Award from New York’s Pan Asian Repertory Theater.

Previous credits include the films: Hellboy, Insurgent, Allegiant, The Jackal, For The Love of The Game, The Hulk, Spider-Man 2, as well as the Academy Award® winning film Crash.  Previous television credits include:  The Legend of Kora, Flack, New Amsterdam, Crusade, and 24. 

Kim has also lent his voice talents to animated series and films, such as the award-winning Studio Ghibli film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, as well as the PBS nature documentary series, Big Pacific, and Asian Americans.  Kim has also voiced characters for several video games, most notably, Johnny Gat in the bestselling series, Saints Row.

Born in Busan, South Korea, and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, Kim discovered acting while a student at Haverford College. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he began his career on stage, performing in classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Ivanov and A Doll’s House. Despite early success, he chose to further his knowledge of the craft by enrolling in New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, where he earned his Master’s Degree.

When not working, Kim and his family make their home in Hawaii.

 

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Yair Lapid

Israel's Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Yair Lapid is the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel’s 36th Government. He is also the Chairperson of the Yesh Atid Party.

Foreign Minister Lapid was born in Israel in 1963, is married to Lihi and is the father of Yoav, Lior and Yael.

He is the son of the late Yosef ‘Tommy’ Lapid, who was a journalist and later CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Member of Knesset, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, and of Shulamit Lapid, an author who has published numerous works in Hebrew and was former chair of the Israeli Writers’ Association.

Before entering politics, Minister Lapid was a journalist, television presenter, creator and writer. He published 12 best-selling books, the most prominent of which was Memories After My Death, written about his late father’s life and reached the top of the bestseller list 100 times and has been translated into many languages. He published a weekly newspaper column that was the most widely read in the Israeli press, and presented multiple TV programs, that won numerous awards as well as being the most watched news show on Israeli TV. In addition, Foreign Minister Lapid has written hit songs which reached the top of the charts in Israel.

Before entering politics, Minister Lapid was active in many social organizations, including: Aleh -the Association for Assistance to People with Special Needs; “Children at Risk” for Autistic Children; YRF Association for Renewal in Education for Young People with Disabilities and taught citizenship at a school in Jaffa.

In 2012, Lapid announced his entry into politics and founded the Yesh Atid party, which he heads to this day. Yesh Atid is a centrist, Zionist, and liberal party. At the center of its ideological concept is to clean up the political system and fight corruption, balance between the Jewish and democratic values of the country, fights for the rights of women, LGBT and other minority groups, strengthen Israeli law enforcement and improve education and science. The party believes in strengthening security in Israel, striving for regional stability and extending Israel’s hand in peace to all its neighbors.

In the 2013 general election, Yesh Atid was the surprise party of the election receiving over half a million votes, and becoming the second largest party in the Knesset (Israeli parliament), with 19 seats. The Yesh Atid party held, in addition to the finance portfolio, the education portfolio, the health portfolio, the welfare portfolio and the science, technology and space portfolio. Minister Lapid served as the Minister of Finance and was a member of the political-security cabinet, during Operation “Protective Edge”.

In 2013, Lapid was included in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers.

In the elections to the 24th Knesset, Yesh Atid received 17 seats. Minister Lapid received the mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form a government, and on the 2nd June 2021 Minister Lapid informed the President that he had been successful in forming a government coalition. On 13th June 2021 the new government was sworn in and Yair Lapid became Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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Esta Gordon Epstein

Chair of ADL’s Board of Directors

As her top priority for over thirty years, Esta Epstein is the Chair of ADL Board of Directors. Most recently, she has held positions of Executive Vice Chair of the National Advisory Board and Chair of the Regional Operations Committee. She has been a member of the National Executive Committee for two terms, and also chaired the Education Committee. She was a Regional Board Chair of the New England Region and was awarded the Distinguished Service award by ADL upon completing her term.

A magna cum laude graduate of Tufts University, and former preschool teacher, Esta has been an A World of Difference facilitator since its inception in 1985, and, with her husband Robert, co-chaired the program for many years, helping it to become the internationally recognized anti-bias program it is today.

Among other community engagements, Esta has been a Director of the Citi Performing Arts Center, having co-chaired its Education Committee, believing that the arts makes us a civilized society. Esta has also served on the Board of Overseers of Combined Jewish Philanthropies. As a past chair of the Miriam Fund, she serves on its executive board, granting funds to empower girls and women. As the founding Board Chair of Interfaithfamily.com for its first five years, she helped grow and establish the organization, assuring non-judgmental resources for interfaith families. Esta is a member of the Curator’s Circle of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

As a member of the President’s Advisory Board of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she also proudly serves on the Board of the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma, founded by her daughter and son-in-law in the aftermath of the 2013 marathon bombing in Boston. Esta lives in Boston with her husband Robert, and happily has two daughters,two sons-in-law and four granddaughters.

Jonathan-Greenblatt

Jonathan Greenblatt

CEO and National Director, ADL

Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO of ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and its sixth National Director. As chief executive of ADL, Jonathan leads all aspects of the world’s leading anti-hate organization. He is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovative leader with deep experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

Since becoming CEO in July 2015, Greenblatt has modernized ADL while refocusing it on the mission it has had since its founding in 1913: to fight the defamation of the Jewish people, and tosecure justice and fair treatment to all.

Under Greenblatt, ADL has modernized its operations, innovated its approaches to counter antisemitism from all sides and enhanced its efforts to combat extremism in all forms. During his tenure ADL rebooted its Center on Extremism that analyzes and monitors extremists and hate groups; launched “Never Is Now” the largest annual convening in the world focused on antisemitism and hate; created the Center for Technology and Society in Silicon Valley to fight the rising tide of online hate and harassment; partnered with the Aspen Institute to launch the Civil Society Fellowship, an innovative program that builds cohorts of emerging leaders across a continuum of ideology and identity; developed the Sports Leadership Council to engage athletes, teams and leagues to confront bigotry and discrimination more effectively; and executed Stop Hate for Profit, the successful campaign that organized businesses, celebrities, nonprofits and policy makers to fight the rampant racism, antisemitism and extremism on Facebook.

Jonathan serves on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and has been recognized on multiple occasions for his leadership at ADL. He has been named by The NonProfit Times to its list of Top 50 Nonprofit Leaders from 2016-2020. Recode named Jonathan to its inaugural “Recode 100,” a list of the top 100 people in business and technology. He has been named among the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in the global Jewish community by The Jerusalem Post and as one of the Top 50 Jews to follow on Twitter by the JTA.

Before ADL, Greenblatt served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Social Innovation. He came to that role after a long career in business. In 2002, he co-founded Ethos Brands, the business that launched Ethos Water, a premium bottled water that helps children around the world access clean water. Ethos was acquired by Starbucks Coffee Company in 2005. Following the acquisition, Jonathan was named VP of Global Consumer Products at Starbucks and joined the board of the Starbucks Foundation.

In 2009, Jonathan founded All for Good (AFG), the largest database of volunteer opportunities on the Internet. Incubated at Google, AFG developed an innovative strategy to organize the world’s volunteer listings. AFG was acquired by Points of Light in 2011. Jonathan also served as CEO of GOOD Worldwide, a diversified media company and as an executive at REALTOR.com, joining the company as a product manager and eventually heading up its consumer products division. REALTOR went public in 1999 (HOMS) and was acquired by News Corp in 2014.

Jonathan has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and as a senior fellow at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jonathan graduated cum laude with a BA from Tufts University and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Kahlief Adams

CEO and Host of Spawn On Me Podcast

Born and raised in the Bronx, Kahlief is an avid technophile and lover of all things video games. He set his career path in the direction of a life making game until he found out his archnemesis, Math, had other plans in store. So instead of making the next Tetris, he found himself writing and talking about games on his website The Spawn Point Blog and Spawn On Me.  Spawn On Me has been downloaded over 1.5 million times and can be heard in over 125 countries. They have been featured in publications like NY Times, Polygon, IGN, Gamespot, Forbes, and NYMag.

Kahlief has been recently featured at the Game Awards Future Class for their conversations around race and games and is currently an employee at Riot Games as a Project Manager on their DEI Partnerships Team.

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Imran Ahmed

CEO of Center for Countering Digital Hate

Imran Ahmed is the founding CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate. He is a recognized authority on the social and psychological dynamics of social media, as well as what goes wrong in those spaces, such as trolling, identity-based hate, misinformation, conspiracy theories, modern extremism and fake news. He regularly features in the media as an expert in online malignant behaviour and how bad actors use digital spaces to harm others and benefit themselves. Imran is a trustee of the UK charity, Victim Support. He advises politicians in the US, UK, Europe and elsewhere on policy and legislation. Imran was raised in Manchester, England. He holds an MA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Imran lives in Washington DC, and tweets at @imi_ahmed.

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Jasmine Beroukhim

UCLA Student

Jasmine Beroukhim is currently a junior student at UCLA. Intrigued by patterns of human behavior she is actively pursuing a major in Psychology and Linguistics. Jasmine has demonstrated her pride in her Judaism and Israel throughout her life. She has participated in the March of the Living, Israel exchange programs, and grew up to be a camp counselor at Camp Ramah, California. In her collegiate career, she has joined various Jewish clubs on campus. She is an active member of Hillel, and will be continuing her activism on the Bruins for Israel board this fall. Her focus is to center the forging of Jewish and non-Jewish coalitions as a means of broadening allyship and understanding across organizations.

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Nathan Diament

Executive Director for Public Policy of Orthodox Union

Nathan J. Diament is the Executive Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, where he develops and coordinates public policy research and initiatives on behalf of the traditional Jewish community. Nathan has testified before congressional committees and works closely with members of both political parties to craft legislation addressing religious liberty issues, education reform, family friendly social policies and life issues. In 2009, Nathan was appointed by President Obama to serve as one of 25 members of the President’s Faith Advisory Council. In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security appointed him to its new, 11-person Subcommittee for the Prevention of Targeted Violence Against Faith-Based Communities. He is a co-editor of Tikkun Olam: Social Responsibility in Jewish Thought and Law (Aronson Press, 1997) and the author of articles and essays on issues including religion and state, constitutional law, social policy and international affairs. His writing has been featured in law journals as well as publications including The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The Forward, and The Jewish Week and he has been a guest on CNN, FOX News, NPR and other broadcast media. He is an honors graduate of Yeshiva University and the Harvard Law School.

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Katy Gates

Student at University of Georgia

Katy is a first year at the University of Georgia majoring in Political Science with a pre-law intent. She is the founder of Students for DEI, a coalition of young people dedicated to fighting for the implementation and continuous improvement of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in public school systems across the state of Georgia.

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Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn

Visiting Assistant Professor in Israel Studies at Northwestern University

Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor in Israel Studies at the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University.  Her expertise focuses on Diaspora-Israel relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israeli ultra-nationalist movement. Her first book, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Harvard, 2017), hailed as a landmark contribution to the field, was the winner of the 2018 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature Choice Award, a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award, and a nominee for the 2021 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.  She is currently working on a new book manuscript tentatively entitled “New Day in Babylon and Jerusalem:  Zionism, Jewish Power, and Identity Politics Since 1967” on American Zionism since the Six Day War.   She teaches courses and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students in Israel Studies and related fields.  Prior to her appointment at Northwestern, Dr. Hirschhorn was the University Research Lecturer and Sidney Brichto Fellow in Israel Studies at the University of Oxford (2013-2018) and a postdoctoral fellow in Israel Studies at Brandeis University (2012-2013).  She is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and the University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D) and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships.  Apart from her academic work, Dr. Hirschhorn is also a prominent voice bringing scholarship into the public square as a frequent public speaker, writer, media commentator, and foreign policy consultant on Israel/Jewish Affairs.  Follow her work at sarahirschhorn1@twitter.

Oren-Jacobson

Oren Jacobson

Co-Founder of Project Shema

Oren Jacobson is a civic entrepreneur, organizer, thought leader, policy advisor, and consultant focused on helping communities and organizations build the strength and capacity necessary to improve people’s lives. His civic advocacy spans local to international engagement,and he’s emerged as one of the most trusted young Jewish leaders in the progressive movement.

In professional and personal practice, deep pride in his Jewish identity instills in him a sense of duty to disrupt the unjust imbalances of our world. With a strong, clear voice in the fight against antisemitism and white supremacy, Oren is known for showing up consistently as an ally and organizing to help build power and change policy. To help deepen understanding and build bridges, Oren co-founded Project Shema, which helps Jewish students, lay leaders, board members, and organizations navigate the difficult conversations surrounding Israel and antisemitism inside the emerging progressive movement.

Oren co-founded and serves as the Co-Executive Director of Men4Choice and previously served as National Chapter Development Director for the New Leaders Council, growing NLC into the largest leadership development organization in the progressive movement. He holds a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Chicago, a Master’s in Economics and Policy Analysis from DePaul University, and an MBA from Regis University.

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Debbie Yunker Kail

Executive Director at Hillel Jewish Student Center at Arizona University

Debbie Yunker Kail is the Executive Director for Hillel at Arizona State University, and recently celebrated 15 years in the Hillel movement.  By prioritizing pluralism, innovation, collaboration, and leadership development she is overseeing a revitalization of Jewish life on campus. The Covenant Foundation recognized Debbie’s leadership and ambitions with the Pomegranate Prize award in 2015. Debbie is passionate about the Hillel International movement, holding several volunteer positions including member of the Hillel International Board of Directors and Vice Chair, External Relations of the Directors’ Cabinet. She also serves on the board of FruitfulAZ and is a part of the ADL Glass Leadership Institute. In December 2020, Debbie was recognized with Hillel International’s highest honor, the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. Debbie holds a B.A. in psychology from Emory University and an M. A. in Higher Education Administration from New York University. She lives in Phoenix with her husband Ben, son Gabe and daughter Emma.

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Lisa Kaplan

Founder and CEO of Alethea Group

Lisa Kaplan founded Alethea Group to help organizations navigate the new digital reality and protect themselves against disinformation. At Alethea Group, Kaplan advises a wide array of clients, ranging from government entities to Fortune 100s on how to detect and mitigate instances of disinformation and misinformation to protect their ability to communicate with their constituents, brands, and bottom lines.

Previously, Kaplan served as digital director for Senator Angus King’s reelection campaign in 2018, where she designed and executed a proactive and defensive digital strategy to identify, understand, and respond to disinformation campaigns. She is among the few people who can share firsthand experience from the campaign trail. She previously worked as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to the U.S. Department of State, and served as an aide in the United States Senate.

Kaplan has briefed members of Congress and their staffs, advised senior U.S. Government and NATO-allied officials, and facilitated conversations between EU/G-7 partner nations on threats stemming from disinformation. She writes for the Brookings Institution and Lawfare on countering disinformation and protecting democratic institutions. She is widely featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Washington Post, Axios, and MSNBC. She was recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 for her work to combat disinformation.

A Maine native, Kaplan lives in Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of Colby College.

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Jordan Kraemer

Director of Policy and Research at ADL's Center for Technology and Society

Jordan Kraemer, PhD, is Director of Policy and Research at ADL’s Center for Technology & Society. Jordan is a media anthropologist with deep expertise in qualitative social science research on social media. She has conducted grant-funded research on digital platforms and neighborhood organizing and policy-oriented research for New_ Public, ADL, and other non-profits. She is currently completing a book on social and mobile media among urban middle classes in Berlin (forthcoming from Cornell University Press). Previously, she taught at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and at Wesleyan University, where she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. Her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others. Jordan has a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from UC Irvine.

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Bertram Lee

Counsel for Media and Tech at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Bertram Lee is Counsel for Media and Tech at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights where he works to advance the interests of marginalized communities in technology and media policy. His portfolio includes broadband access,media diversity, facial recognition, law enforcement surveillance technologies, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, algorithmic bias, artificial intelligence, content moderation, and platform accountability. Previously, Bertram worked as PolicyCounsel at Public Knowledge, where his portfolio encompassed algorithmic decision-making, artificial intelligence, broadband spectrum, online content moderation, Section 230, copyright policy, and platform accountability. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Lee served as Policy counsel at the U.S House Committee for Education and Labor under Chairman Robert C. Scott, working on technology, labor, and health care issues for the Committee. Bertram received his J.D. from Howard University School of Law and hisB.A. from Haverford College.

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Adam Lehman

President and CEO of Hillel International

Adam Lehman serves as Hillel International’s President and CEO.  After beginning his career in Mergers and Acquisitions at Skadden, Arps, Adam spent two decades developing and growing a variety of new technology, marketing and media ventures, including as a Senior Vice President at AOL. He joined Hillel International in 2015, initially serving as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer for four years, prior to being appointed Hillel International’s fifth President and CEO in December of 2019.

Adam graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Dartmouth College and cum laude with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was a Harry S. Truman Scholar. He has served as a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah and Fair Chance D.C., and as a volunteer at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Camp Ramah of New England. Adam has also been active in the Jewish arts scene, as the author of a series of plays inspired by the Jewish holidays, and as a founding member of the D.C.-based Jewish a cappella group JewKvox.

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Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin

Senior Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA

Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA. Rabbi Mates-Muchin focuses her efforts in serving her community through worship, pastoral care, social justice work, and encouraging the recognition of the vast diversity within the Jewish community. As the first Chinese American Rabbi, she has spoken broadly on the changing nature of the American Jewish community and how established Jewish institutions can become more inclusive. She is actively engaged in the general East Bay community, as well, through interfaith and other organizational work. Nationally, Rabbi Mates-Muchin serves as a Central Conference of America Rabbis representative to the Board of the Union for Reform Judaism. She was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. After three years as the Associate Rabbi, and became Senior Rabbi in 2015. She is married to Jonathan Mates-Muchin and together they have four children.

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Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Rabbi and Cantor for Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

Rabbi Hazzan Dr. Jeffrey Myers has served as the Rabbi and Cantor for Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh since the summer of 2017. He moved to the City of Bridges after spending decades in ministry in New Jersey and Long Island. After the horrific morning of October 27, 2018, when a heavily armed gunman began a murderous rampage in the Tree of Life synagogue, Rabbi Myers—who survived the attack—became the face of the tragedy. Since then, he has set about sending the key message that love is stronger than hate. Rabbi Myers has frequently shared this view on national media outlets, while acknowledging that a lack of understanding of our neighbors leads to fear and sometimes loathing. Fear leads to the “H word” and the “H word” leads to act of violence. Rabbi Myers believes that if we are ever to remove the “H word” from our society, it must start with pledging not to use that word in speech, just as he has done in honor of the 11 precious lives lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate in Jewish Music from The Jewish Theological Seminary, and an honorary doctorate of divinity from Washington & Jefferson College. He has also been privileged to receive the Heroes designation from CNN, a Rescuer of Humanity medal from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Rescuer of Humanity from Values in Action, and the John E. McGrady Award for Community Service from the Heinz Foundation. He has testified before both Houses of Congress and has spoken throughout the United States on the proliferation of H speech.

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Susan Heller Pinto

Senior Director International Affairs and Director Middle Eastern Affairs at ADL

Susan Heller Pinto is Senior Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s International Affairs Division and Director of the Department of Middle Eastern Affairs.   In this capacity, she evaluates and interprets international issues and events and develops ADL policies and programs on these matters.  She serves as a liaison to the Jewish community, media and government on issues such as global anti-Semitism, Israeli-Arab relations, U.S.-Israel relations, anti-Zionism, the BDS campaign and other efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Ms. Heller Pinto received a Masters of International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where she also earned a certificate from the Middle East Institute. A native of Toronto, Ms. Heller Pinto holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, where she studied history and political science.

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Jerika L. Richardson

Senior Vice President of Equitable Justice & Strategic Initiatives at the National Urban League

Jerika L. Richardson is Senior Vice President for Equitable Justice & Strategic Initiatives at the National Urban League. She leads the organization’s advocacy, public education, and strategic work on civic engagement, police reform, criminal justice reform and other justice related areas. Previously, Ms. Richardson was Deputy Executive Director and the Senior Advisor & Secretary to the Board for the nation’s largest independent police oversight agency, the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.

She has also served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Counsel to the Mayor of New York City and Special Advisor to the Mayor for media relations, criminal justice, and public safety planning. Before working in City Hall, Ms. Richardson was the Senior Spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and a Field Producer & Off-Air Reporter for ABC News. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. in English from Spelman College.

 

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Jordan Robinson

Hillel International Student Cabinet, Michigan State University Student

Jordan Robinson is currently a fourth-year undergraduate at Michigan State University studying Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in Jewish Studies, Leadership of Organizations, and Sociology. Currently, Jordan serves on the Hillel International Student Cabinet as well as Chair of the Hillel International Student Advisory Cohort on Israel and antisemitism. At Michigan State, he serves as the Executive Vice President of University Relations for the Jewish Student Union and as the Senior Relationship Building Intern. He also is currently a StudentSupervisor for MSU Tours. Jordan looks forward to crafting innovative ways to combat antisemitism across campuses to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish communities.

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Yolanda Savage-Narva

Director Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Union for Reform Judaism

Yolanda Savage-Narva has twenty years’ experience working with public agencies and non-profit organizations to promote equity and inclusion. She is a Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-trained public health specialist who has led community-based efforts in community health assessments for Indian Health Service, public education for the Alzheimer’sAssociation, pedestrian safety and advocacy for America Walks, and health equity for the National Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Yolanda was also the Executive Director of Operation Understanding DC, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.

In Yolanda’s current role she is leading the Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) work for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). She is also a member of the JewVNation cohort, a fellowship sponsored by the URJ, a 2019 Schusterman Senior Fellow, a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Greater Washington and the Capital Jewish Museum. Yolanda is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; an international Black sorority dedicated to community service and education.

Yolanda is a graduate of Tougaloo College(Sociology) and has a master’s degree in education from Jackson State University.

In her spare time Yolandaloves being outdoors, reading, birdwatching, playing sports and traveling with her family.

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Julia Schroers

High School Student Activist from Connecticut

Julia Schroers is a sixteen-year old student activist in Connecticut. She has worked with the ADL as a teen trainer for four years. In addition to her work at the ADL, she is involved in various local school and town-side activism, including working to the change of the “Indians” mascot and fighting for equitable curriculums. She serves as the Equity Officer on the New York Parliamentary Debate League. Julia is also involved at her local synagogue and loves painting.

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Rabbi Moti Seligson

Director of Media Relations at Chabad-Lubavitch

Rabbi Motti Seligson is the director of public relations for Chabad-Lubavitch and often serves as the media’s go-to resource for everything Jewish. As director of media relations, Seligson also oversees strategic initiatives at Chabad.org, the largest faith-based website, with a reach of 54 million unique-visitors last year. Before assuming this position, Seligson served dozens of Jewish communities in states across the U.S. and in countries across Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. He received a degree in religious studies from the Rabbinical College of America and was ordained as a rabbi at the Rabbinical College of Sydney, Australia.

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Spandi Singh

Policy Analyst, New America’s Open Technology Institute

Spandi Singh is a Policy Analyst at New America’s Open Technology Institute where she leads and works on projects related to content moderation, disinformation, algorithmic accountability, government surveillance, and privacy. Singh is also currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the Esya Centre in New Delhi, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, and part of the fifth class of Google’s Next Gen Policy Leaders program.

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Tema Smith

Contributing Columnist, The Forward

Tema Smith is a diversity advocate, writer and Jewish community builder. She is currently the Director of Professional Development at 18Doors(formerly InterfaithFamily), an organization that empowers people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them. This comes after seven years as a synagogue professional, most recently as the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s oldest synagogue.

Tema is also a contributing columnist at The Forwardwhose writing has been published in MyJewishLearning, the Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Jewish News. Tema is dedicated to building a meaningful and inclusive Jewish community through research, training, writing and relational engagement work.

Over the past ten years, Tema has worked to advance the conversation on racially diverse Judaism, working with organizations like Be’chol Lashon, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Miles Nadal JCC, CJPACand conducting trainings and presentations for numerous synagogues and Jewish organizations, including the Boston JCRC, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Hillel International, Limmud North America, the JCRC of Greater Washington, the Buffalo JCRC, Hadassah, the AJC, Drexel University and the ADL.

Tema is also a member of the Nexus Task Force examining the issues at the nexus of Israel and Antisemitism in America and of the inaugural cohort of the Shalom Hartman Institute Seminar & Writers Workshop for Journalists.

Tema lives in her hometown of Toronto with her sidekick, an twelve-year-old extraordinarily stubborn shih tzu named Tashi and his tiny buddy Padma, her pour over coffee gear, and way too many books.

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Will Sommer

Politics Reporter for The Daily Beast

Will Sommer is a politics reporter for The Daily Beast covering the far-right and the author of Trust the Plan, a forthcoming book investigating the rise of QAnon and its effects on the United States  (HarperCollins, March 2022). His reporting on QAnon was featured in the HBO documentary Q: Into the Storm.

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Varun Soni

Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California

Varun Soni is the dean of religious life and spiritual life at the University of Southern California, where he also served as the inaugural vice provost of campus wellness and crisis intervention, and where he teaches courses in the School of Religion and the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Before arriving at the University of Southern of California, he spent four years teaching in the Law and Society Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

A prolific public speaker and scholar of religions, his work is featured in a number of media outlets, including CNN, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, National Public Radio, PBS NewsHourWashington Post, and Harvard Divinity Bulletin. He has served as a consultant for Showtime, Facebook Watch, ESPN, CW Television Network, Biography Channel, Live Nation, Oprah Winfrey Network, and the video game company Naughty Dog, and he is currently senior adviser for Religion of Sports, a media platform and production company founded by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady, and Michael Strahan.

Soni is the author of Natural Mystics: The Prophetic Lives of Bob Marley and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and he contributed to the edited volumes My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and TransformationWords to Live by: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement; and Next-Generation Ethics: Engineering a Better Society. He also produced the graphic novel Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary, which is currently being developed for television. In 2019, Soni received the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Honors award from Harvard Divinity School in recognition of his national leadership in spiritual innovation.

Soni serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Los Angeles and on the Board of Trustees for the Carlthorp School, and he is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Academy of Religion, and the Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education. He holds degrees in religion from Tufts University, Harvard University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Cape Town, as well as a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Dr. Constance Steinkuehler

Professor of Informatics at University of California-Irvine

Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine where she researches culture, cognition, and learning in the context of multiplayer online videogames. She is an ADL Belfer Fellow,  the chair of UCI’s Game Design and Interactive Media Program, Co-Director of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Center, and Chair of the Annual GLS Conference. She teaches courses on games and society, visual design, and research methods. Her current projects include investigations of toxicity and extremism in online games, evaluation of an enriched esports for high school students, and reasoning with misinformation. 

Constance formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst under the Obama administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on videogames and digital media. She is the founder of the Federal Games Guild, a working group across federal agencies using games and simulations as tools for thought, and the Higher Education Video Games Alliance, an academic non-for-profit organization of game-related programs in higher education. Her research has been funded by the Anti-Defamation League, the Samueli Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Universities of Cambridge, Wisconsin-Madison, and California-Irvine.  She has published over one hundred articles and book chapters including six conference proceedings, four special journal issues, and two books. She has worked closely with the National Research Council and National Academy of Education on special reports relate to videogames, and her work has been featured in Science, Wired, USA Today, New York Times, LA Times, ABC, CBS, CNN NPR, BBC and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Constance has a PhD in Literacy Studies, an MS in Educational Psychology, and three Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics, English, and Religious Studies. Her dissertation was a cognitive ethnography of the MMOs Lineage I and II where she ran a large siege guild. Her husband Dr. Kurt Squire is Co-Director of the GLS center at UCI. They live with their two adolescent gamers in Southern California where they enjoy surfing, trail running, camping, and all manner of headset-wearing, dps-flinging, computer-screened mayhem.

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Marcel Walker

Illustrator, Arts Educator, CHUTZ-POW! Project Coordinator

Marcel L. (M.L.)Walker is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based freelance artist specializing in graphic prose (a.k.a. “comic books”), illustration, and graphic design. He’s an expert on social applications for the graphic-prose arts. Since 1993, he’s taught workshops and classes on comic-book and narrative arts creation. He serves as board president for the ToonSeum, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that champions comics as a force for social good, and he’s the lead artist and project manager for the biographical anthology comic-book series CHUTZ-POW!: Superheroes of the Holocaust, which is published by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

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Eric K. Ward

Executive Director of Western States Center

Eric K. Ward, a nationally-recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate violence, and preserving inclusive democracy, is the recipient of the 2021 Civil Courage Prize – the first time in the award’s history that an American has won the prize, revealing the dangerous proliferation of hate crimes and political violence by authoritarian and extremist movements in the United States. Eric brings over three decades of leadership in community organizing and philanthropy to his roles as Western States Center’s Executive Director and Senior Fellow with Southern Poverty Law Center and Race Forward. Since Eric took the helm in 2017, Western States Center has become a national hub for innovative responses to white nationalism, antisemitism, and structural inequality, towards a world where everyone can live, love, work, and worship free from bigotry and fear. In his 30+ year civil rights career, Eric has worked with community groups, government and business leaders, human rights advocates, and philanthropy as an organizer, director, program officer, consultant, and board member. Currently Co-Chair for The Proteus Fund, Eric is a member of the Pop Culture Collaborative’s Pluralist Visionaries Program and the recipient of the Peabody-Facebook Futures Media Award. Eric is in high demand as a speaker and media source, and is the author of multiple written works credited with key narrative shifts, including “Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism.” He has been quoted in The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, ESPN, Black News Channel, NPR, BBC, Rolling Stone and numerous other media outlets, and regularly publishes on Medium. Eric has a special interest in the use of music to advance inclusive democracy. In 2020 he helped to launch the Western States Center Inclusive Democracy Culture Lab which works with musicians to create new narratives that puncture the myths driving our political and social divisions, and invite people who don’t always trust politicians and movement leaders into the safe and trusting conversational space that exists between a performer and their audience.

 

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Meredith R. Weisel

Senior Associate Regional Director of ADL's D.C. Office

Meredith R. Weisel currently serves as the Senior Associate Regional Director in the ADL Washington, D.C. Regional Office.  Her operations portfolio includes oversight of the office’s legislative advocacy, community engagement and coalition partnerships, law enforcement training, and incident response.

Meredith is an experienced attorney and government relations professional who has spent decades engaged in public policy and community issues in the Greater Washington area. In addition, she serves on the Montgomery County Commission for Women and is active on committees at her synagogue Shaare Torah.

Prior to joining ADL, Meredith served as the Director of Maryland Government and Community Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington.  During her time at the JCRC she helped to advance legislative priorities that focused on advocating for strengthening hate crimes laws, confronting and educating about antisemitism, securing security funds for houses of worship, schools and childcare centers at-risk of hate crimes, enhancing Holocaust education, and more.

Meredith was also the principal owner of Weisel Government Relations, LLC, which she established in April of 2010. Through the firm she provided clients in Maryland with governmental affairs and relations consulting on legislative action and public policy solutions, community relations, political affairs, lobbying and legal services. She also served as one of partners at Government Affairs Strategies, LLC, which helped to develop strategic visions for clients nationally to help them achieve successful public policy, political affairs, and public advocacy outcomes.

Finally, Meredith served for 9 1/2 years in-house as the Vice President of Public Policy for Maryland and Legal Counsel for the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (GCAAR). She represented GCAAR at the state and local government level in Maryland from 2000 through 2015 where she served as the Maryland state and local lobbyist, representing real estate professionals on numerous local, state, and federal legislative initiatives.

She holds a B.A. from American University in an interdisciplinary study of Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government and a J.D. from the Widener University School of Law.  Meredith is admitted to practice law in Maryland.  She lives with her husband and their 2 children, and 1 dog in North Potomac, Maryland.

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Victoria Kirby York

Deputy Executive Director of National Black Justice Coalition

Victoria Kirby York is the Deputy Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition. In this capacity she is responsible for managing the operational policies and efficiencies of the organization, strengthening the organization’s grassroots constituency engagement efforts, and leading the advocacy and action agenda.

Mrs. Kirby York most recently served as the Deputy Director for the Advocacy & Action Department at the National LGBTQ+ Task Force where she managed the policy, organizing, and faith team to queer (do differently) advocacy around faith, equity, and democracy. She has been organizing in a variety of capacities for over 20 years regarding a number of progressive issues and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. She served as the Florida Director for Organizing for Action (OFA), the non-profit formed from the President’s electoral campaigns to support President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda. She has also worked in senior-level roles in gubernatorial and presidential campaigns in Florida, for US Congresswoman Kathy Castor, youth education nonprofits, and in the private sector.

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Asher Zemmel

Senior at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Asher is a Senior at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, New York. He has worked on numerous political campaigns, started a Jewish political advocacy group, and was an intern at the Anti-Defamation League. He also has led efforts to reduce hyperpartisanship in New York and connect students with opportunities to get civically engaged.