Meet our team of bright, passionate and dedicated professionals who infuse their work with a fierce desire to create a better future for our community, our region and our world.
Abigail Michelson PorthExecutive Director
Abigail Michelson Porth
Abby is a public affairs veteran, managing complex and sensitive community relations issues and developing and executing effective organization-wide strategies to advance JCRC’s mission of pursuing a just society and a secure Jewish future.
Abby was appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee to serve on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in 2015. She also serves on the Boards of Congregation Emanu-El and Scattered Among the Nations, an organization that assists geographically and politically isolated Jewish or Judaism-practicing communities around the globe. She previously served as an officer of the San Francisco Interfaith Council; on the Advisory Committee of San Francisco CARD, which trains social service agencies to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters; and on the Board of Directors of San Francisco Head Start.
Before coming to JCRC in 1999, Abby managed a Boston-based juvenile hate crime offender program that diverted children out of the criminal justice system. She earned both her Master of Management and B.A. at Brandeis University. In her free time, Abby reads voraciously about child development and travel, and loves to hike and bake. She is an aspirational vegetarian and die-hard San Franciscan.
Hallie BaronAssociate Director
Hallie has more than 35 years experience in marketing, communications, strategy, management and problem-solving. She believes that all problems are really challenges, and that there’s an opportunity/learning experience/silver lining in all of them. Before joining JCRC, Hallie was a marketing consultant for nine years, working with many Bay-Area Jewish non-profits. After a career in the healthcare and financial sectors, she got her start in the Jewish communal world as the Marketing Director for the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation. Hallie has a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts and a Certificate of Management from Harvard University. When not working, Hallie spends as much time as possible on her bicycle and in her garden.
Randi Dodick FieldsJewish Coalition for Literacy Director
Randi Dodick Fields
Jewish Coalition for Literacy Director
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Randi has been happily living in the Bay Area for 20 years. Her career began in broadcast journalism as a network news producer at ABC News in New York, but after moving to San Francisco she began to focus her work on the local Jewish community. Randi is especially proud of her role as Co-Chair of the 2009 JCC Maccabi Games, which brought together thousands of local volunteers and participants from across the world for a week of athletic competition and social service. Randi has a B.A. from Brown University and a Master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Karen StillerMiddle East Project Director
Middle East Project Director
Karen has been with JCRC since 2002. A native of Buffalo, New York, she moved to the Bay Area in 2000, where she worked in the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford University, a project run by former high-level U.S. Department of Defense officials. Karen started her professional career in social work and nonprofit management, and has worked as Development Director and Manager of a program for formerly homeless families. She has an MSSA with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University. In her spare time, Karen fiddles with photography and enjoys reading, hiking and traveling.
Ilana KaufmanPublic Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay
Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay
Ilana has twenty years of leadership, community building and organizational development experience. She serves as a strategic thought partner to Jewish and secular organizations working on issues of equity and justice, and is a member of Bend the Arc’s Regional Council. Prior to joining JCRC, she was a program officer at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Pedagogy from Mills College, and is energized by complex problems with solutions that require innovative designs. Ilana has been featured in the Jewish Times of America and the J Weekly and has published articles in eJewish Philanthropy, The Foundation Review and Independent School Magazine. A nationally recognized speaker, Ilana was featured in the series “ELI Talks: Inspired Jewish Ideas” in 2015.
Ilana is a proud Berkeley resident with deep connections to the public schools and in the civic arena. A regular participant in the Berkeley Crop Swap with a passion for creating edible bee and butterfly habitats, she leads a secret life of culinary goodness.
Jessica TrubowitchPublic Policy and Community Building Director
Public Policy and Community Building Director
Jessica is the mom of two young boys and enjoys camping with her family. She has a strong background in public policy, advocacy, and policy-making through consensus. Jessica is a California native and has been living in the Bay Area for over ten years. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Governance from California State University, Sacramento.
Jon FeldmanDevelopment Director
Jon received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park in Government & Politics and has more than twenty years of experience in the development arena working with arts, environmental, health, Jewish, and social justice organizations. He also worked earlier in his career on the staff of a member of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Jon is originally from the East Coast, and has lived in the Bay Area since 1992. He enjoys reading, tennis, travel, movies, and the Bay Area’s culinary scene.
Sarah FieldsPublic Affairs and Civic Engagement Manager, Peninsula
Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Manager, Peninsula
A native of San Diego and a Brooklyn-American for a time, Sarah brings bicoastal expertise in state and local government as well as faith-based community organizing to her JCRC role. She holds a B.A. in Metropolitan Studies and Politics from New York University and Master of Urban Planning from the City University of New York, Hunter College. Between degrees, Sarah was an early participant in the Bina Center’s Tikkun Olam-Tel Aviv post college volunteer and learning program in Israel. Prior to joining the JCRC staff, she worked as an aide to State Senator Marty Block, founder of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. She enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring her new home, and baking elaborate cakes.
Jeremy RussellDirector of Marketing and Communications
Director of Marketing and Communications
A San Francisco native, Jeremy has been a communications specialist for nearly twenty years. Prior to joining JCRC, he managed communications for a trade association. He has also worked as a general-assignment journalist for a daily newspaper, The Billings Gazette in Montana, and been a free-lance writer and illustrator for a variety of publications, including the late San Francisco Bay Guardian. He graduated (with honors) from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in English and Interdisciplinary Studies, and is an award-winning author.
Judy Pam-BycelJewish Coalition for Literacy Program Manager
Jewish Coalition for Literacy Program Manager
Judy has devoted her professional career to education and fostering better relationships between people from all backgrounds. Prior to joining JCL she served as the Executive Director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) in Santa Monica for fifteen years, where she spearheaded new programs to fight bias and bigotry through education. She has also taught grades 2-12 in NYC, Larkspur and Santa Monica. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Berkeley and Master of Arts in Education from the University of Southern California. Judy is an avid Israeli folk-dancer and enjoys her family, hiking, swimming and reading.
Michael BeneschDevelopment Manager
Michael loves classic rock, cycling through the Headlands, photographing concerts and standing on top of mountains. Before joining JCRC, Michael spent a year in Israel teaching English at an underserved public elementary school in Petah Tikva. A San Rafael native, Michael was raised with a voracious appetite for learning, a sense of justice, and a desire to heal the world. These values inspired Michael’s passion for public policy and the Middle East, which he further developed as an Economics major at Pomona College.
Jennifer KamenetzGrants Manager
Jennifer grew up in Northern California and has lived, joyfully, in the Bay Area since 1998. For more than ten years, she has worked in fundraising and communications for Bay Area nonprofits focused on the Jewish community and/or public education, including the Koret Foundation, the San Francisco Education Fund and Kevah. She cares deeply about JCRC’s work because its mission links her interests in Jewish and Israel studies, justice and ethics, and meaningful, inclusive community projects. She loves to write, edit and tell compelling stories that share good work and good news and, in addition to her work, is passionate about baking, reading and learning, and day trips to the ocean with her husband. Jennifer is also a soferet, a Jewish ritual scribe.
Matthew ReaddickMiddle East Project Educator and Program Manager
Middle East Project Educator and Program Manager
Matthew joined JCRC after finishing a graduate degree in music performanceat the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He also studied music performance, specifically viola, as an undergraduate at UC Irvine. While there he held leadership positions at Anteaters for Israel and Hillel. He saw a great deal of anti-Israel activities on campus during his student years, which inspired him to become involved in Israel activism. Matthew grew up in Sacramento and his interests include cooking, exploring and being active in the Bay Area Jewish community. He also remains an active chamber music performer around the Bay Area.
Gabi KuhnPublic Policy and Community Building Associate
Public Policy and Community Building Associate
Gabi is a proud Jewish-Chinese adoptee who grew up with a strong commitment to the values of social justice and tikkun olam. She worked through school and graduated a year early, receiving her BA in Global Studies with honors from The New School in NYC. Passionate about all things international, Gabi spent her junior year of high school learning Mandarin and living with a host family in Beijing. She studied genocide and reconstruction in Rwanda, backpacked through post-apartheid South Africa and participated on a Birthright trip to Israel. Her time in Israel so deeply moved and inspired her that she hopes to return one day to study. After college, Gabi moved to San Francisco and spent two years with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), where she quickly became immersed in the San Francisco Jewish community. Gabi is very excited to be with JCRC, helping to lead efforts in outreach and advocacy.
Carole-Anne ElliottExecutive Assistant
Carole-Anne is originally from the Boston area and has made San Francisco her home since 1999. A former newspaper reporter and forever copy editor, she loves learning about people and writing profiles and feature stories. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and History from Allegheny College and a Master’s from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Carole-Anne has extensive volunteer experience in the education sector, having worked with kids at San Francisco’s Mission High, written and edited the newsletter of the San Francisco chapter of Room to Read and, most recently, served two years as an English Educator with the Peace Corps in Moldova. She is happy to be back home with friends and family and to be resuming her loves of running, dance, reading, going to music shows and singing on road trips to Sierra Nevada backpacking trails.
Serena ZhenAdministrative and Program Assistant
Administrative and Program Assistant
Serena was born and raised in San Francisco. She has a B.S. in Business Marketing from the University of the Pacific and loves to use her amazing organization skills in fun and creative ways around the office. Before JCRC, she held a variety of positions, including night-shift stocker at Safeway and director at a summer camp. A Chinese American, she enjoys Korean food, Asian television dramas and variety shows, and bonding with her family. She is passionate about singing, volleyball and her Christian faith, and understands deeply how important it is to be open to new experiences. She believes that one must step into a variety of roles in order to grow and learn, and that it’s also just as important to be able pass on the knowledge you obtain along the way.
Jessica SterlingEast Bay Program Assistant
East Bay Program Assistant
Born and raised in California, Jessica lives with her family in Oakland and loves to cook. It is this passion for food that led her to form a cooking chavurah with several friends from her synagogue, which is still going strong. Jessica has been actively involved in publishing for the past 30 years, beginning her career at the University of California, Santa Cruz Jewish quarterly, Leviathan: Jewish Journal, and later working for the San Francisco-based J Weekly. In addition, she worked for 10 years in the Creative Services Department of Pacific Bell Directory. She was educated at Parsons School of Design and UC Santa Cruz.
Join the JCRC Team
Interested in becoming part of the JCRC team? Check out our career openings.