Uncentered

I love living in Beer Sheva. I love the desert. The expanse, the space and the heat. The B7, as we call it, is one of the oldest cities in the world- traveled by Abraham and all of the tradesmen, profits, families and pioneers since. It has somehow frozen throughout time- in between growth spurts and perhaps just now catching up. In so many ways Beer Sheva is the perfect place for my family. Small enough to avoid traffic and city-parking-battles and just big enough to provide a taste of culture and nightlife when you want it. The mood is calm, slow and less contentious than other cities in Israel. We can walk our son to daycare in the morning and my partner walks to work, yet when we get the chance to go out, there is always new restaurant or bar to check out. The local flavor includes diversity, community, and a real sense of responsibility for one another. A large, forward-thinking university and a new high-tech park- booming. Ever a place of contradictions, there is also extreme poverty here and deeply rooted streams of backward societal norms- embodied in racism, sexism and homophobia. I guess we have it all.
Somehow when I moved to Beer Sheva I felt at home. I fit here. I never liked the big cities. Tel Aviv was too hectic and hip for me and the tensions of Jerusalem grew strenuous after 5 years.
Though we call Beer Sheva the city of opportunities, alas, it will never be in the “center.” It is the very definition of peripheral. There has been A LOT of progress here and so many people are doing great work- from grassroots  to the mayor- to increase employment opportunities, keep living costs low and foster culture here. But it isn’t always easy. In a job search it will always feel like 90% of the jobs in your field are looking for people who live in Jerusalem or Tel  Aviv. Some of your friends and family will scrunch their noses up when you invite them down for the weekend, unaware of the utter greatness of this place. Also, you can’t always find canned black beans in the store so you will have to learn how to cook the beans from scratch. You will have less fabulously out LGBT neighbors and you have your work cut out for you if you openly take issue with racist and sexist “jokes” (like I do).
Despite its challenges, I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Israel. The quality of our life here is rich and abundant. All else comes together, with hard work and positive life energy. If home is where your heart is, then mine is in the Negev.
Advertisements

Organizations that stole my heart

I am so proud to have dedicate time and energy to the following great organizations. I remain a staunch supporter of their work to advance equality, to improve the lives of individuals as well as changing Israeli society as a whole.

Women of the Wall נשות הכותל

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Toleranceהבית הפתוח לגאווה וסובלנות בירושלים

MEET (Middle East Education through Technology) מפגש חינוך טכנולוגיה

MASLAN The Negev’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Support Center מסל”ן מרכז סיוע לנפגעות ונפגעי אלימות ותקיפה מינית בנגב

 

My Experience

Professional Experience:

Freelance: (Current)
Communications consultant: Strategist and project management with expertise in Public Relations, web presence, social networks, branding, content writing, campaigns. International Relations: Building partnerships, visits, lectures and meetings abroad
Clients include: Make a Point: Online Messaging Tool, Simpact: Sustainable Social Impact

Women of the Wall (2010- Current)
Director of Public Relations and Development
(Interim Director December 2013 – July 2014)
Responsibilities include: Supervision of full time, part time and freelance staff, writing English materials including press releases and articles, developing and managing strategies for all social networking sites, managing web content for English and Hebrew site, press contacts and organizational partnerships in Israel and abroad, overseeing logistics and PR for events.

MASLAN- The Negev’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Support Center (December 2010- March 2012)

Director of the Education, Prevention and Advocacy Department: Responsibilities included supervision of professional staff- full time and freelance- cooperative efforts with other organizations; communication with institutions including educational and welfare frameworks, municipalities and local government; overseeing resource development, marketing, budgets, and statistics for the department; development of MASLAN’s new website, social networks; recruitment and facilitation of the education and instruction course.

 

Shatil, New Israel Fund (2010)

Interim Coordinator of the Training Department (2010): Responsibilities included coordinating logistics, finances and administration for Shatil training courses and seminars in the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas and responding to all organizations looking for first-time support from Shatil.

MEET: Middle East Education through Technology (2008- 2010)

Summer Program Coordinator: Responsibilities included coordinating summer program for excelling Palestinian and Israeli high school students at Hebrew University; overseeing staff from the US and Israel, budget and cash-flow

Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (2007- 2010)

  • Coordinator of the Open Clinic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Health Center (Spring 2008- Spring 2010): Responsibilities included recruiting and overseeing a staff of 10 medical and mental health professionals; fundraising; building international networks with experienced LGBT Health Clinics abroad; coordinating community activists to expand the clinic’s health fields; overseeing the writing of protocols and procedural regulations
  • Community Coordinator (Spring 2007- Spring 2008): Responsibilities included programming social activities for different groups within the LGBT community; building and managing the programming budget; PR online and within the community; coordinating volunteers and cooperative work with organizations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; writing curriculum, coordinating speakers, recruiting participants and facilitating the first LGBT Leadership Course in Israel.
  • Fundraiser, Grant Writer (Spring 2007- Fall 2007): Responsibilities included writing letters of interest, grant requests and reports; meeting with donors and foundations; relationship-building with supporters, donors and foundations.
  • Coordinator of the 2007 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance (Summer 2007): Responsibilities included coordinating logistics; overseeing hundreds of volunteers; communication between all official parties involved, on behalf of the Open House: staff, board of directors, PR firm, Police, production company and municipality.

World Union for Progressive Judaism, International Headquarters (2006- 2007)

Programs Coordinator: Responsibilities included logistics and communication for the 2007 International Convention and its hundreds of attendees; management and planning of web site; organizing other projects around the world and in Israel.

Israeli Knesset (2004- 2006)

Coordinator of the Christian Allies Caucus: Responsibilities included event planning in Israel and abroad, media relations

networking works

I am a HUGE fan of networking, personally and organizationally. The success, for me, has been in finding the balance between creating bonds with people who share my passion for social change work and trying to get what I want- whether it was a job, donations or  volunteers. Sure, networking usually has an end goal but it isn’t selfish, at least I don’t believe it is. Facebook started of as a bunch of nerds trying to get laid, and I can’t blame them for that, but it also ended up connecting silenced activists living under dictatorships to the outside world. Unfortunately, hate groups and bullies unite through networking online, but so do civil rights groups and victims of abuse. Some of my closest friends started as “networks”- colleagues or mentors or clients- and I often network with my actual best friends today.

If networking is creating bonds and taking advantage of those bonds to further a cause or ourselves, then we owe it to ourselves to learn how and make it work for us! For organizations it is important to create a voice- a clear personality that is inviting, exciting and interesting that calls for others to join on and get active! I love social networking for the right cause because I enjoy creating the right character for the organization that represents its goals and its leaders– and helps it grow. The keys to creating online buzz is actively reaching out to the right people and organizations to get support, and offer mutual support, as well as creating interesting and maybe even controversial conversations. Connecting to relevant articles, video, media and music does not hurt– and neither does a sense of humor!

Let me know if I can help your organization develop its online presence and work that network!

I believe- my manifesto

I have always been an idealist, a believer. Here are the things I learned from my years of work in nonprofits and social change activism…

Integrity is crucial to social change:

  • Personal integrity: Direct communication, being true to expectations, deadlines and high standards
  • Honest public messages: Telling the true, full story- even when it might scare or upset the foundations we stand on. Uncertainty comes before change, it is a natural process.
  • Organizational transparency: Honoring organizers, donors and community members alike

I believe that we cannot fight for women’s rights without also working to close the gap on the rights of the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender community. I believe religious pluralism and women’s rights are cornerstones of Israeli democracy.  I reject racism in all forms and I believe that it is the responsibility of all who benefit from this system to change it.

I believe that as an activist for social change I am privileged to be able to transform theory to practice. I am honored to be able to promote values of equality, sustainability and tolerance- globally and locally.

Education

 I was fortunate enough to be one of the last years of women to be accepted and graduate from Douglass College– Rutgers University’s Women’s College. Douglass provided amazing opportunities and eye-opening experiences for me at a time when I was very impressionable. My deans and professors were brilliant, strong women who saw my potential and guided me, supported me and empowered me. They saw me, they believed in me and through them I began to believe in myself.

I studied Women and Gender Studies, graduating with Honors in 2004. I focused my studies on politics, policy and leadership, studying political theory, poverty, human rights, civil rights, and political leadership through a gendered lens.

I was a scholar with the Institute for Women’s Leadership, focusing on political social change. Years after I graduated as a scholar of IWL, I was asked to contribute to a book by Dr. Mary Trigg, Leading the Way: Young Women’s Activism for Social Change, published by Rutgers University Press. I am honored to have written a chapter in this fantastic book, along with my fellow scholars, the amazing, talented women who contributed to this important book.

Why work with me?

I know nonprofit organizations inside and out- I understand the different dynamics, needs and struggles of nonprofit organizations. I understand the heart, soul and community that goes into a developing, growing and thriving organization.

For years, I have lived the fragile balance between the need to fundraise for financial survival and the drive to advance a vision, goals, reach benchmarks, and provide direct services. I have the experience and perspective to come in to an organization and listen to you, and help your organization grow.

I am organized, dependable and independent.

Why freelance?

I can offer you a combination of commitment and perspective. An experienced, independent observer is a valuable asset to an organization. I see things from a new, fresh place and combine that with listening to your assessment of the situation at hand. And whether managing your website and social networking sites or writing a grant proposal, I bring the best of both worlds in order to advance your goals.