Board and Staff

Jews in ALL Hues is PROUD to have the insight and guidance of our board!

Board Members:

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Cody Greenes is a plaintiff’s attorney with a focus on product liability and mass torts.  Cody spent his early childhood in various cities across the United States and his teenage years in Surrey, England. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (’05) and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law – Camden (’08).

Cody grew up in a secular, mixed-heritage household – his extended Jewish family got together for Passover Seder most years, and each December they placed their Star of David on top of the Christmas tree (and received 9 days of presents!).  He became bar-mitzvah but did not belong to or attend a synagogue for the following 13 years.  After moving to Philadelphia and meeting young Jews with similar interests, including JIAH founder, Jared Jackson, he is now a fully invested and active member of the Jewish community.  Cody is on the board or planning committee of several young professional Jewish groups, is a member of a reform synagogue in Center City, and is an alumnus of Moishe House Philadelphia.

 

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Thalia Halpert Rodis is a writer, editor, and educator. She has a background in fundraising and grant-writing. Thalia currently teaches Hebrew school and preschool, and she is the communications coordinator for her town.

Thalia is a dual-heritage Jew with adopted, multi-heritage, and queer Jewish family members. Thalia’s childhood was spent in a racially and economically diverse Brooklyn neighborhood. She then moved to the (drastically different) white suburbs of New Jersey in the fourth grade. Thalia grew up cracking red eggs on Greek Easter with her father’s family and breaking matzah during Passover with her mother’s family. She became attached to Jewish customs and ideas — particularly those relating to Tikkun Olam and social justice — around the time of her Bat Mitzvah. She has been committed to Jewish learning and social action ever since.

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Graie Barasch-Hagans  is a Philadelphia based educator and community organizer. Originally from St. Louis, Graie has dedicated himself to a Jewish pursuit of justice. His pursuit of justice has led him to complete a Masters in Public Policy from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University and organize around education justice issues with POWER [Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild], the Philadelphia federation of the National PICO Network. Graie believes deeply in the power of community to bring about the world that G-d has given us the capacity to make – a world in which all may live in full peace. Graie uses he/him pronouns and identifies as a queer trans Black Jewish man.

 

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Tonda Case is an Afro-American Jewish Woman, strategic thinker, emerging writer, activist, and educator. Through Greenwood Babies, she is currently developing a Family Support and Education Consultancy and System of Care offering postpartum doula services, child care, training and loving support for families in the Bay Area. Her additional social justice activism focuses on relationship building, advocacy, and strategic planning in the Jew of Color community. She serves on the Coalition Building Workgroup and Membership Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council, East Bay. She is a proud member of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Training Cohort 14.

She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies and an MBA, both from Mills College.

 

Staff:

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Jared Jackson, Founder and Exec. Director of Jews in ALL Hues has been on the cutting edge of Jewish community programming and Jewish diversity advocacy for the past seven years. In 2008 he received the Schusterman Family Foundation’s Charlie Award for excellence in communal service and was recently named one (at #1) of “Ten Young Jews [Who] Will Change the World” by Maariv News. Jared also teaches music/Jazz improvisation/saxophone and Hebrew lessons and is a proud newlywed.

Recent Posts

Purim and Norouz: shared peacemaking customs

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Minyan in Tehran in 2009

Minyan in Tehran in 2009

 

Purim and Norouz: shared peacemaking customs. by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

Purim is a Jewish holy day that originated in ancient Persia. Many narrative features of the story reveal different aspects of Persian culture. Gift giving is an example of a valued custom and method of diplomacy which appears in the Purim text, and on bas-relief images carved into the walls of Persepolis. A line of diplomatics holding gifts, their hands on each other’s shoulders reveal the camaraderie of the moment. In Persepolis, both male and female workers were given three months leave after the birth of babies. The archeology of Persepolis also reveals the fact that queens inhabited their own castles. No wonder Queen Vashti demanded gender equality!

Gifts of food given at Purim are part of what we might call ‘banquet diplomacy’ , a peacemaking tactic used in Jewish and Iranian society to welcome people from all nations and invite them to enjoy a feast and share in the bounty of the host. Jewish people preserve the ancient gift giving and banquet customs at Purim in the form of a religious obligation to distribute gifts of food to our community. We share these customs with contemporary Iranians who have preserved the ancient festival of Norouz which features gift giving during the new year’s spring festival.

The gift giving custom can be a foundation upon which we create a new/old vision of shared culture and traditions with the Iranian people whose ancestors first gave welcome to Jewish exiles and helped our ancestors rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Many Jews stayed in Persia. Shiraz was known as the city of Jewish musicians. There is much beauty to remember and celebrate, and many bridges still to build.

There are still between 12,000 and 30,000 Jews living in Iran, mostly in the cities of Shiraz, Tehran and Esfahan. Jews of Iran feel deeply connected to the Jewish history of Persia and preserve many ancient pilgrimage sites, including the graves of Mordecai and Esther. They represent the oldest continuous Jewish community in the world and possess a Torah that is 1800 years old which resides in Hamadan.

To read more about Jewish Persian culture check out: Esther’s Children by Houman Sarshar, 2002. This book is a must read for anyone interested in Jewish Iranian history and culture.

The two links below are about Louisa Shafia, a dual heritage woman. Her father came from a Muslim household in Iran. Her mother is an Ashkenazi Jew from Philadelphia. Her parents met, fell in love and married. Louisa’s mom learned traditional Persian cooking for her husband. Their daughter combined her knowledge of cooking with the traditions of her parents and produced a wonderful cookbook. Check out the results below along with an interview. Purim and Norouz are featured in the HuffPo article.

http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/194183/a-bouquet-of-persian-purim-sweets/?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it9Vr5VHsdo