Leadership Team


Professional Staff



Abby Lublin
(she/her/hers), Executive Director
Abby believes in the power of story to transform conflict, build empathy, and act collectively.  The story we write together here in North Carolina is that Jews belong in the fight for greater justice, organizing includes your best okra recipes, and that together, with trust and hustle, we can win what we need for all to thrive.

Abby brings expertise and creativity from her public high school teaching years in New York City, facilitating racial equity education in Durham, a commitment to dismantling our entrenched systems of oppression, non-profit board experience, relentlessness, and humor.

Prior to moving to North Carolina, Abby coordinated projects and programs in urban agriculture, public storytelling, youth apprenticeships, and alternative economies, in the effort to help the post-industrial city of Troy, NY move towards greater equity and sustainability.

Abby earned a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. from Teachers College of Columbia University, and a graduate certificate from the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

She lives in Durham, NC with her multigenerational family of three adults, two kids, and many schedules.  She convinced her parents to let her stop going to Hebrew school after her Bat Mitzvah, and wow, look at her now.

Abby can be reached at [email protected].

Alanna Davis (she/elle/הִוא), Statewide Organizer. 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 Advisor Collaborator Crew at the Respite in the Round, a woodland river retreat oasis. Alanna is a passionate advocate for queer liberation and disability justice and can be reached at [email protected].

Lisa Forehand (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 Members

Carolina Jews for Justice is currently led by a volunteer Board of Directors from Jewish communities across North Carolina. CJJ chapters are led by volunteer chairs of local steering committees. 

 

Julia Barnard, Board Member

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.

Herb Baum pi shirt

Herb Baum, PhD, Board Member

Herb and his wife moved to Greensboro nine years ago from the Washington, DC area where he worked for various companies as a program evaluator for federal, state, and local programs. Herb teaches statistics at Guilford College, consults to a local community-based organization on strategic planning, works for a colleague on valuing the services provided by human-service organizations, and will travel for a good pastrami sandwich.

Herb has two daughters and two grandchildren in the Washington, DC area, and belongs to Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro. He serves on the Steering Committee of the CJJ-Triad chapter and the CJJ Statewide Voting Rights Team.

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.

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 previously 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. Debbie serves on the CJJ Statewide Voting Rights Team. 

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.

Ron Katz, Board Member

Ron Katz (he/him/his) is a retired nonprofit professional who most recently worked for the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo and an M. Ed from Springfield College. He moved to the mountains of Western NC and Asheville in 1996. He is involved in several social justice organizations including the League of Women Voters Asheville Buncombe, the Interfaith Initiative for Social Justice and Faith 4 Justice in addition to his work with CJJ-West, the latter focused on Democracy Rights. He currently edits several e-newsletters covering social justice. He is also the administrator for the WNC Social Justice Advocacy Guide website which seeks to link people passionate about such policies with nonpartisan organizations working on one or more of 18 issues that are currently listed. 

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.

 

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. 

 


CJJ Staff Graduates

Brandon Mond, Former Statewide Organizer

Cole Parke-West, Former Statewide Organizer

Rabbi Salem Pearce, Former Executive Director

Anna Grant, Former Statewide Organizer

 

Former Board Members

Emma Cohn, CJJ West & Durham/Orange County

Frank Goldsmith, CJJ West

Rabbi Dusty Klass, CJJ Charlotte

Judy Leavitt, CJJ West