Noa's activism started in elementary school, when as a first-grader she organized her entire grade to demand justice in the form of a reform in the bathroom-pass policy for kids on the playground. She became increasingly politicized throughout her experiences as an undergrad in college, participating in and then leading a social justice freshman orientation program at Harvard University. Since then, she's worked as a community organizer in the Bay Area with Bend the Arc and helped launch the Kitchen's innovative family school. She's had the honor of teaching social justice and Judaism to teens at seven synagogues for almost ten years in the Bay Area. After earning a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, she worked as an Expressive Arts Therapist for several years teenagers whose strength and brilliance moved her every day.
Rachel got involved with social justice activism through Resource Generation, were she's been organizing young people with wealth to redistribute their resources towards racial and economic justice as a leader of the Bay Area chapter. She's also coordinated volunteers, led fundraising teams and facilitated study groups with Catalyst Project, an organization that does anti-racist political education and movement building with predominantly white communities. She has extensive experience working with youth leading outdoor education trips around California. When she's not working, she spends her time biking and hiking, taking dance classes, playing music, cooking and sometimes baking, and enjoying time with her adorable blue-nosed pit bull Maggie. She brings her love of Jewish community, deep commitment to social justice and belief in the power of youth activism to JYCA and is so grateful to be part of this community.
Board of Directors
Iris is a National Organizer and Coordinator of Family Philanthropy Programming at Resource Generation. She grew up in the Marin County, CA and currently lives in Oakland, CA. Iris was so inspired by the JYCA gala in the Spring of 2017 that she immediately became a donor and wanted to get more involved, and was honored to be invited onto the board in August of 2017. In her spare time, Iris is a singer-guitarist in a band, runs a climate justice group, hosts Shabbat dinners and instigates conversations about money with strangers.
Izzy was born and raised in Berkeley, California and participated in JYCA from 2007 to 2009.
Izzy attend Occidental College in LA. Following college, Izzy participated in AVODAH, a program dedicated to addressing issues of urban poverty from a Jewish perspective. Izzy spent two years at her AVODAH placement site, Chicago Run, helping to develop classroom resources that encourage more students to be active and working to fight the obesity epidemic in Chicago Public Schools. She recently returned to Berkeley and is excited to re-join the JYCA community and re-engage with alumni, youth, parents and community members on the board!
Glenn Shor is currently Research and Policy Advisor to the Director, Department of Industrial Relations. He has served in several positions in California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) including Project Manager, Chief of Policy and Legislation, and acting Research Manager.
He is a lecturer and affiliated researcher with the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at U.C. Berkeley.
Shor has a Ph.D. and Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Graduate School of Public Policy (now Goldman School of Public Policy) at U.C. Berkeley, and a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania.
REBEKAH ESPINO DROBNER
Rebekah is a JYCA alum who was in JYCA from 2006-2008. She is currently in her second year on the board and sits on both the finance committee and alumni outreach committee. Following graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years. In her free time she likes community organizing and watching Netflix.
Sharon Siskin is an artist and professor of visual arts in the Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College in Port Townsend, WA. She teaches courses in environmental and socially-engaged art at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, CA and Laney College in Oakland, CA. Sharon is a longtime board member of Women Eco Art Dialog and has served on the JYCA Board since 2015. She is the mother of twin daughters Maya and Rachel, who loved their three years in JYCA, and became JYCA alumni and college freshman in 2016.
Richard and his wife Ellen joined Kehilla Community Synagogue shortly after its 1984 formation. Richard serves on the synagogue’s Economic Justice Committee (EJC) and has taken a turn on the synagogue’s board of trustees.
Following their Bat Mitzvot, Richard and Ellen’s two daughters participated in JYCA. In support of them as well as of the organization, Richard served on the JYCA board from 1998 until 2006. After a ten-year absence he re-joined the board in 2016- Because he was asked, because he enjoys working with the other board members, and because he believes that it’s really important to help connect youth to their larger community both during high school and thereafter. Richard thinks JYCA does a great job of that.
Before all this Richard studied sociology and completed a doctorate in criminology. His research projects address policies that affect low-income individuals, families, and communities in California and nationally.
Matt recently retired after 35 years as a public educator. He served the last fourteen years of his career as a school principal and prior to that taught at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college level. He earned his teaching credential at UC Berkeley. He continues to work part-time as an induction coach for new administrators.
Matt and his wife have two children, one a proud JYCA alum. Matt is currently serving his second year on the JYCA Board.
Mollie Speiglman joined the Board in 2014. She credits JYCA with turning a spotlight on social justice, community building, and leadership development as focal points in her life, as well as making her high school years infinitely more fun and meaningful. She has served as the Board Chair since July 2015.
Mollie's professional work has been focused on creative problem solving and relationship building in support of organizations working for social change. She now works in philanthropy with a focus on network building and systems change.