Cole Parke-West (they/them/theirs), Senior Statewide Organizer. Cole is an experienced organizer, activist, researcher, and facilitator with a deep passion for supporting faith communities in fulfilling the call to resist oppression and advance social justice. They are an expert trainer and practitioner in conflict transformation, and prior to relocating to Durham in 2018, Cole spent the previous five years working for Political Research Associates, a Boston-based think tank dedicated to understanding and interrupting right-wing extremism, including white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and antisemitism. Cole can be reached at [email protected].
Alanna Davis (she/her/y'all), Statewide Organizer. Alanna is a hard-working team player with a diligent attention to detail and a strong commitment to bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice. After moving to North Raleigh at a young age in the early 1990s with her family from Montreal, Alanna briefly attended day school at Sha'arei Israel before matriculating through Wake County schools in downtown Raleigh. She grew up attending and eventually teaching Hebrew school at Beth Meyer Synagogue, and then held multiple leadership roles in student organizing of both secular and Jewish life during her time at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her background is an intentional balance of grassroots community organizing and professional startup operational roles in the multimodal transportation sector, both of which have provided her with extensive experience in leadership development. She is interested in rethinking models of land stewarding as part of the Advisory Crew at the Respite in the Round retreat center. Alanna lives in Chapel Hill with her partner and pets where she passionately advocates for queer liberation and disability justice. Alanna can be reached at [email protected].
Lisa (she/her/hers), Statewide Organizer. Lisa is an Interfaith Minister raised culturally Jewish. She worked for more than a decade with The Community Foundation of WNC, notably contributing to the formation of Hispanics in Philanthropy and Women for Women, a women’s giving circle. From being Executive Director of an English as a Second Language school, to serving as a Spiritual Care Provider with the American Red Cross, to exploring spirituality and world religions with students at her local Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Lisa has enjoyed many vast and varied professional and personal experiences. She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Administration and Training – this love of other cultures led her to live and work overseas for more than eight years, visiting fifty countries and still counting! She values relationships and is a seasoned facilitator with a passion for helping nonprofit organizations become stronger and sustainable. Her husband (a native North Carolinian), two children, and two dogs have called Asheville home since 1999. Lisa can be reached at [email protected].
Board and Steering Committees
Carolina Jews for Justice is currently led by a volunteer Board of Directors from Jewish communities in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Mebane, and Asheville. CJJ local chapters are led by volunteer chairs of local steering committees.
Meredith Cohen, Board President
Meredith (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Hillsborough, NC and grew up attending Beth El Synagogue in Durham. After many years away from the area, which she spent attending college, teaching elementary school, and learning to farm at Adamah, she is so happy to be back home in NC, putting down roots near family and old friends. In 2018, Meredith founded One Soil Farm, a Jewish farm serving the Triangle Jewish community. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to grow food for her community and to share her combined love of Judaism and farming.
Julia Barnard, Board Vice-President
Julia (she/her/hers) holds a B.A. with highest distinction in History from the University of Kansas and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from UNC. She works as a researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she fights for student loan cancellation and other fair lending campaigns at the federal and state levels.
Debbie Goldstein, Board Treasurer
Debbie (she/her/hers) lives in Durham with her husband, Steve Prince, son Avery, and daughter Hannah. She is the Executive Director of the NC Leadership Forum at Duke University and previous worked at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she advocated against predatory lending. Debbie serves on the boards of Bend the Arc and Beth El Synagogue in Durham and previously served as a board member of Durham Congregations in Action. Debbie is originally from the DC area, and has lived in Durham for over 20 years.
Emma Cohn, Board Secretary
Jack Holtzman, Board Member
Jack (he/him/his) is an attorney at the NC Justice Center, with a focus on housing discrimination. He has been in NC since 1985 and has previously helped lead the Progressive Jewish Network/(Triangle chapter of New Jewish Agenda), the Triangle Childrens' Shule and the CRC of the Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federation. Jack’s wife Pam is a professor of public health and he has two grown daughters, Rachel and Danya.
Ray Katz, Board Member
Ray Katz (she/they) is a PhD student who has been living in Durham since the Fall of 2017. In her preschool evaluation, her mother was informed that she has "a strong sense of justice that she is not afraid to correct with her fists." She's since gotten better at using her words. Her first involvement with CJJ was in Spring of 2018, writing a pro-union themed Purim spiel. She is now an active organizer in Fed Up as well as the occasional CJJ study. She also has experience in electoral political organizing, but has a real love for more community-based work.
Dove Kent, Board Member
Dove Kent, Senior Strategy Officer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, has two decades of experience in grassroots organizing, political education, and movement building. As the executive director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (2011-2017), Dove supported the organization to triple in size and win game-changing legislative victories for police accountability and worker’s rights through powerful local coalitions. She teaches nationally and has been published in many anthologies and news outlets including the Guardian and Ha’aretz, and is the co-author of the ground-breaking "Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering To Our Movement" (2017). Dove is the co-founder of the national Tzedek Lab network, and lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Rabbi Dusty Klass, Board Member
Rabbi Dusty Klass (she/her) serves as Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Charlotte. She was ordained from the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion with Masters degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Educational Leadership. Much of her world view has been shaped by her experiences growing up in South Seattle (the West Charlotte of Seattle) as a lower-middle-class white Jewish kid with a Jewish dad and a Catholic mom. She loves tea, story-sharing, finding Judaism in American pop culture, and the pursuit of a world where all people recognize the holiness in each other and choose to act accordingly.
Milan Pham, Board Member
Milan (she/her/hers) lives in Hillsborough with her spouse and their many animal family members. She is a partner in her firm and concentrates her practice on queer family creation via adoption and assisted reproduction law otherwise known as subverting the cis/het/erosexist paradigm. She serves on the boards of Equality NC, The Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice and GoldenGirlz, NC. She has been a member of Judea Reform Synagogue and served on the Social Justice Committee there. She's excited to lend her passions and knowledge to CJJ and to be in j/Jewish community.
Rochelle Sparko, Board Member
Rochelle (she/her/hers) grew up in western Massachusetts where she was an active member of her synagogue and USY. She received undergraduate degrees from Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary and spent her junior year abroad at Hebrew University. After three years in Washington, DC, where Rochelle attended law school, she moved to Hawaii. Rochelle practiced law at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and taught the b’nai mitzvah class at a Honolulu synagogue. Since moving to Durham in 2008, Rochelle had a five year stint practicing law at the NC Justice Center, and then served as the policy director for a sustainable agriculture non-profit from 2013-2019. Now she serves as the Director of NC Policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. She’s been missing Jewish community life, and looks forward to working hard with CJJ to advance her social justice values in the context of her Jewish identify.