We are thrilled to begin our work as the 2018-2019 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants. We bring a diverse set of interests and experiences to the RAC but share a deep commitment to building a world of compassion, justice, and wholeness. These values are central to Reform Jewish tradition, and we are proud to represent the Reform Movement at this critical moment in history. Our work will include legislative advocacy, leadership development, and community organizing. Please feel free to reach out at any time. We look forward to partnering with you, both in Washington, DC and across North America.
Applications for the 2019-2020 class are due on Friday, February 8. Learn more and apply at rac.org/LA
Sammi Goldsmith (she/her) is a proud product of the Metro Detroit Reform Jewish community. Sammi recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where she studied Sociology with a concentration in Law, Justice, and Social Change. During her time at Michigan, she did creative arts work in the local county jail, assisted in sexual assault prevention research, and helped to revive a racial justice committee within her Hillel. Sammi spent the last two summers in Washington working for the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Anti-Defamation League. She’s excited to be back in the District working on a portfolio that includes civil rights, racial justice, voting rights, criminal justice reform, the death penalty, and gun violence prevention. She will also be supporting the RAC’s legislative priorities in the state of Ohio.
Jacob Greenblatt (he/him) grew up just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was a member of Temple Beth El. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Political Science and a Minor in Social and Economic Justice. During college, Jacob was President of UNC Young Democrats, served as a Buckley Public Service Scholar, and interned for Congressman David Price in Washington, DC. He was very involved in Jewish life, working as a front office assistant at UNC Hillel and teaching first grade religious school at a local synagogue. Jacob’s portfolio includes separation of church and state, LGBTQ equality, interfaith issues, Holocaust, world Jewry, anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and judicial nominations. He will also work to support RAC-CA’s priorities.
Talia Kaplan (she/her) is excited to bring her passion for strengthening communities, creating meaningful pathways for Jewish engagement, and mobilizing Jews around social justice work to the RAC. Talia graduated with high honors in Government from Wesleyan University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, completed certificates in Jewish & Israel Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, and wrote a thesis on experiential Israel education and attitude formation. Outside of the classroom, Talia co-created a new leadership structure for the Wesleyan Jewish community; developed a campus interfaith network; taught Hebrew school; and interned with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Juvenile Law Center, and Leo Baeck Education Center. Talia’s legislative portfolio includes immigration, refugees, human trafficking, civil liberties, and campaign finance reform. She will be working alongside RAC-TX on their legislative priorities.
Ally Karpel (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied Speech-Language Pathology and Social Work and received an interdisciplinary certificate in Intervention and Vulnerable Children. Ally was deeply engaged in social justice work during her time in college, which included co-founding and facilitating the Bella Abzug Social Justice Fellowship, serving as president of the University Interfaith Council, and participating in the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Founders’ Fellowship. Outside of the university setting, she has enjoyed interning for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Migration Hub Network in Berlin. A proud member of Temple Emanu-El Dallas and an alumna of URJ Greene Family Camp, Ally is beyond thrilled to call DC her new home. Her portfolio includes reproductive rights, disability rights, gender-based violence, pay equity, economic justice, labor issues, and Women of Reform Judaism. Ally will also be working with RAC-IL.
Aaron Torop (he/him) has been very active in the Reform Movement, growing up in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and serving on the NFTY-STR Regional Board. He graduated from American University with a double major in Political Science and Jewish Studies, including a semester studying abroad in Jerusalem on the Nachshon Project. He loves spending his summers at URJ Camp Coleman, where he has been a camper, counselor, and unit head. Aaron served as a teaching assistant in the American University Honors Program and the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program. He also served as an American Jewish Committee Goldman Fellow in Melbourne, Australia. Aaron’s legislative portfolio includes Israel, arms control, the environment, Native American issues, foreign policy, global health, and international religious freedom. He also will support the RAC staff and leaders in New York.