Leader feature

Sumner Lewis: Championing Climate Justice and JoC Leadership in the Jewish Community

Lewis envisions a future where JoC have more agency within the Jewish Climate Movement, creating resources and opportunities for leadership. Meeting with rabbinic fellows at Dayenu, she aims to empower JoC to initiate their circles, ensuring their voices are valued. This lifelong pipeline of opportunity is crucial for impactful change in the Jewish and climate justice community.

Micah Pierandri: An Empowered Jewish Leader for Today and Tomorrow

In the heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a remarkable young leader reflects a new era of Jewish leadership. Meet Micah Pierandri, an 18-year-old deeply involved with BBYO, both locally and on the international stage. Her journey, marked by personal experiences in Jewish communal spaces, and a commitment to inclusivity, led her to create MoCA, the Members of Color Alliance.

Leave No Part of Yourself at the Door: Yolanda Savage-Narva on Community Transformation

Her firsthand knowledge of the way being heard and received with empathy can impact change has shaped Savage-Narva’s current work with the URJ, where she leads internal and external consulting efforts that promote racially equitable and diverse communities. “One of the things I really try hard to do, is to meet people where they are in their journey, and understand that people are coming from so many different places and bringing their experiences, biases, and baggage,” said Savage-Narva.

Myrna Melgar: Walking in Different Worlds

When she decided to run for Board of Supervisors in District 7, which encompasses many neighborhoods in Western San Francisco, some of her colleagues expressed doubt.“It's a conservative district. You're too progressive. You have no chance,” Melgar recalled being told. “And I was like, I'm used to walking in different worlds. I'm Jewish, I'm Latina, I'm an immigrant. I'm so many different things. My synagogue is in this district. My kids all went to school in this district. I know all the PTA moms and all the soccer moms. I walk in different universes and I think that gave me that ability to just talk to different people, and connect with them.”

Mentorship Worth Its Weight in Gold: The Leaders Behind The Workshop

Pinkney’s time in the JoCI Incubator was one of several crucial mentorship experiences that helped him define his vision for The Workshop. “I want to speak to one thing that has made all the difference in my life. And that is mentorship,” said Pinkney. “It is worth its weight in gold. I cannot emphasize it enough.” Pinkney described a “theory of mentorship” that has formed over the years: a diverse array of mentors, those who provide support financially, emotionally, or career-wise, is crucial in developing the skillset and network necessary to realize a mission, or achieve professional goals, especially as individuals with marginalized identities. 

Divine Timing: Jordan Daniels and Sarah Starks’ Journeys to JoCI

In August 2022, the JoCI hired two incredible leaders to become part of our expanding Grants team. Sarah Starks and Jordan Daniels are JoCI’s Junior Program Officers and represent a generation of JoC whose leadership experiences and backgrounds contribute to the richness of our ever-expanding field.