Meet the Reform California Staff

Lee Winkelman, Southern California Organizer

Lee leads the efforts of Reform CA, the statewide partnership between Just Congregations, the Religious Action Center and the CCAR, and strengthens the local community organizing efforts of Reform congregations in Southern California. Lee grew up in the Reform Movement:  his family members were leading forces in Temple Beth Jacob in Pontiac, Michigan; he learned leadership in NFTY; he met his wife at OSRUI. He was a community organizer for 14 years in the greater Boston area working mostly on issues of affordable housing and community control of development. He has been a funder of community organizing with Jewish Fund for Justice (where he partnered with Julie in the early 2000s to develop the field of synagogue community organizing) and the UU Veatch Program. Lee also worked in El Salvador for two years helping popular movement groups prepare for the country’s first post-civil war election. As a lay leader, he spearheaded efforts of two synagogues to join congregation-based community organizing groups: Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn and IKAR in Los Angeles. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science degree in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University. Lee lives in Los Angeles with his wife Wendey and eleven year old son Henry, where Lee has consulted with foundations and community organizing groups for the last eight years.