Selah Leadership Program Participants

Cohort 14

Georgette Kennebrae

Georgette Kennebrae is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is deeply immersed in congregational work, currently serving as a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York.

Georgette also has a deep love for chaplaincy work; helping individuals as they navigate health, spiritual, and family difficulties. She has been a member of a Chevra Kadisha society for a number of years and feels blessed and honored to participate in this incredibly poignant, moving work.

Georgette is a current Wexner Graduate Fellow. She earned a joint Master’s degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Women and Gender Studies from Brandeis University in 2008.

Jessica Kingston

I am a successful executive professional with extensive experience in human rights, contract negotiations, and procurement. As a former chair of the Edina Human Rights Commission I have engaged in a variety of civil rights issues. In 2012, I was appointed Director of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity for the City of Saint Paul. I have spearheaded several innovative large-scale change initiatives that have better positioned HREEO to fulfill its mission of championing justice and equity. I am a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, hold a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and a master’s degree from Metropolitan State University.

Rachel Luce-Hitt

Coming from a very diverse family, Rachel has always been interested in dimensions of culture. She identifies as both Filipino and Jewish, but has relatives spanning the globe from different nations, faiths, and perspectives. She pursued a degree in Anthropology that allowed her to explore her own heritage as well those she had little exposure to previously. Although continuing her education by earning an MBA, it was always people, cultures, and experience spoke to her. She began her career in higher education focusing on Multicultural Affairs. Ever since, she has used her time and talents in seeking diversity, inclusion, and social change. Currently, she is the Coordinator of Inclusive Excellence at Valencia College in Orlando, FL.

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon

Shahanna McKinney Baldon is Midwest Director for Be'chol Lashon. A former classroom teacher, Shahanna has served in leadership positions including Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Family & Community Engagement for large public school districts, Jewish federation high school program director, and synagogue education director. She holds degrees in Hebrew and Communications Education from UW Madison & Social Justice Education from UMass Amherst, and has participated in community groups including Dane County Equal Opportunity Commission, Everytown Wisconsin youth social justice leadership program, the Jewish Multiracial Network, AWARE (A Women’s Approach to Race and Ethnicity), & the Milwaukee ACLU, for which she served as chair for several years. Shahanna was recently named to lead the work of establishing a future vision for the historic Alliance of Black Jews organization. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children.

Vita Murrow

I am an educator and youth and families programming director. I am committed to strengthening high quality educational and non-profit programs in order to build capacity and provide resources and experiences to enrich communities as a whole. I have a secondary vocation as a media artist, with achievement in film and Children’s publishing. My background as a creative professional informs and strengthens my work through discipline, communication and visual sensitivity. I am a relationship builder with a focus on details and systems. It gives me great pleasure to evaluate and strategize programs and lead talented staff to bring improvement and changes to life.

Lindsey Newman

Lindsey Newman is a Program Manager at Be'chol Lashon. Previously to joining Be'chol Lashon Lindsey worked as a research assistant at a women's rights organization and as an early childhood educator at a small day school in New York City. In 2011 she spent 6 months living in Tel Aviv and working for Itaach Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice. A native of New York City, Lindsey is a biracial adoptee dedicated to advancing diversity in the Jewish community. She received her B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Tamu Nolfo

Tamu Nolfo is a developmental psychologist and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellow who integrates the latest research developments and community needs into strategies for youth and family wellness. Her expertise lies in developing culturally and linguistically appropriate programming and services. She has served as a classroom educator, direct service provider and program director as well as a program designer, coalition coordinator, technical assistance provider, evaluator and researcher. Dr. Nolfo currently serves the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity, where she has been instrumental in developing and implementing the inaugural California Statewide Plan to Promote Health and Mental Health Equity.

Yasmeen Perez

Yasmeen Perez is the Program Director at Social Justice Fund Northwest in Seattle, WA where she works to fund grassroots community organizing in WA, OR, ID, MT, and WY. Yasmeen has been a community organizer, educator, and resource organizer for over 12 years in racial and economic justice, youth liberation, and LGBTQ left movements. Yasmeen has been a staff member of Seattle Young People's Project, FIERCE, Domestic Workers United, and Right To The City Alliance. In his spare time Yasmeen enjoys being an uncle, singing karaoke, and reading memoirs.

Aaron Samuels

Aaron Samuels is a Pushcart-nominated poet, a nationally touring speaker, and an acclaimed facilitator of critical identity discussions. Raised in Providence, Rhode Island, by a Jewish-American mother and an African-American father, Aaron has spent the past ten years writing poems about identity intersection. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, featured on TV One’s Verses & Flow, and has appeared in many journals including Tidal Basin Review and Muzzle Magazine. His debut collection of poetry, Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps was released on Write Bloody Publishing in fall 2013.

Chava Shervington

Chava is the President of the Jewish Multiracial Network, where she’s brought to bear her experience and knowledge of corporate governance, non-profit development, and program coordination. A passionate and committed Jewish diversity advocate, prior to JMN, Chava co-founded an organization which provided opportunities for Jews of Color to connect in safe spaces across the East Coast. A regular speaker and writer on Jewish diversity, she has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, JTA, and The Salon on the Jewish Channel.  Chava was also selected as one of the Jewish Week's "36 under 36" in 2015.  Until recently Chava served as Program Coordinator for Building Skills NY, a not-for-profit ensuring that low income communities access job opportunities created by affordable housing construction and has founded Shervington & Associates P.C., a general corporate and real estate law practice located in Brooklyn. Chava has a Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School and is barred in NY.

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