Fifteen Bay Area Jewish Leaders Selected to Travel to Uganda and Learn From Advocates for Human Rights

Trip is part of new year-long Global Justice Fellowship launched in the Bay Area by American Jewish World Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading international Jewish human rights and development organization focused on ending poverty and realizing human rights in the developing world, announced that 15 Bay Area residents were selected to participate in the AJWS Global Justice Fellowship. The Global Justice Fellowship is a competitive, year-long program designed to educate and train key opinion leaders in the American Jewish community to become advocates in support of U.S. policies that will help improve the lives of people in the developing world.

The Bay Area fellows will deepen their knowledge of human rights through the fellowship, which will include a week of on-location study in Uganda in February where fellows will learn from local human rights activists who are using grassroots organizing tactics to defend the rights of women, girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans and to help them overcome discrimination and violence. The Bay Area fellows will participate in innovative trainings that will prepare them to mobilize their communities and networks in support of AJWS’s policy campaigns to improve the lives of people in the developing world.

“At a time when national polls of the Jewish community make it clear that the majority of American Jews view their commitment to social justice as central to their sense of Jewishness, we are proud to launch the Global Justice Fellowship in the Bay Area, said Laura Talmus, executive director of AJWS in San Francisco and the Western Region. “The Global Justice Fellowship provides an opportunity for a new, diverse group of Jewish activists in the greater San Francisco area to engage their extensive networks to advocate for human rights and create lasting social change.”

The Bay Area fellows are the third group to be selected and participate in this new national program created by AJWS, following Los Angeles and a national group of rabbinical and graduate students. The Bay Area fellows, selected through a competitive process, range in age from 25 to 67 years old, and represent a diverse array of backgrounds, communities, professional experiences and networks. The Bay Area fellows include:

East Bay

  • Liora Abrahams-Brosbe, Treatment Specialist at Family Paths, Inc.
  • Lauren Greenberg, Coordinator, San Francisco Teen Outreach Program for the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
  • Ellen Greenblatt, Educational Consultant
  • Suzanne Rose, Analyst/Consumer Advocate at the California Public Utilities Commission
  • Beth Sirull, President of Pacific Community Ventures
  • Jeffrey Tiell, Program Manager at


  • Erin Mooallem, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Ruthann Richter, Director of Media Relations at Stanford University


  • Yoav Schlesinger, Executive Director of The Kitchen

San Francisco

  • Sonia Daccarett, Communications Professional
  • Elizabeth Hausman, Director of Marketing and Event Planning for Huckleberry Youth Programs
  • Daniel Kaufman, Development & Communications Officer for the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
  • Leah Price, Attorney at the Law Offices of Christina Y. Chen
  • Amy Randel, Account Executive at Yelp, Inc.
  • Sharon Rose, Project Coordinator/Navigator at the University of California, San Francisco

The Global Justice Fellowship includes a10-day trip to a developing country during which participants learn from local grassroots activists, supported by AJWS, who are working to overcome poverty and injustice. The fellowship is building a strong network of Jewish leaders in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for human rights and ending poverty in the developing world.

“As Americans Jews and global citizens, we have a responsibility to advocate for the dignity and human rights of the poorest and most oppressed people in the developing world,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “We launched the Bay Area Global Justice Fellowship to expand the number of local Jewish leaders who will use their influence to call on our government to do all it can to improve the lives of women and girls, LGBT people.”

The launch of the AJWS Global Justice Fellowship in San Francisco Bay Area signifies AJWS’s deep commitment to working with the Bay Area community. In addition to the fellowship, in August, AJWS launched its Bay Area Action Team made up of 16 local activists committed to advancing AJWS’s domestic and international work.

AJWS first began working in San Francisco in 2002. Since then, the staff has grown to include Laura Talmus as its executive director, Matthew Balaban as its development officer, Gavriel Elkind as its development associate and office manager, Erica Hymen as its program officer and Sprinza Katz as its senior development officer.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at