Lois Nagy Weinsaft
Interim Executive Director
Lois previously served as the Senior Vice President, International Affairs, for the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. In that position, she oversaw Federation’s activities in Israel and other world Jewish communities. This included the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership, Pluralism and other grant programs, World Jewry programs, and the Federation’s liaison to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).
Lois has her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California and her Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Los Angeles. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois.
Lois has been the President of Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California and has received their Career Achievement Award. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and of the Tzedek Award from Ameinu (formerly the Labor Zionist Alliance).
Lois, who was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, has been a resident of Los Angeles since 1974. She lives in Studio City and has a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Matthew Wayne, and is the proud Savta of their son, Aydin.
Michael Lieb Jeser
Incoming Executive Director
Michael Jeser will become Jewish World Watch’s Executive Director on July 1, 2013.
Jeser is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Allen & Ruth Ziegler Executive Director of the USC Hillel Foundation and the USC Jewish Alumni Association. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing the financial, development and programmatic operation of a campus Hillel serving more than 2000 Jewish undergraduates. During his four years at USC Hillel, the organization doubled its fundraising results, underwent a capital renovation (called “the Extreme Hillel Makeover”), and achieved national recognition for its programs, fundraising initiatives, and creative campus coalition building efforts.
Prior to joining USC Hillel, Jeser served as Director of the Real Estate & Construction (REC) Division, the most successful business division of The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Under his leadership, the REC Division raised more than $8 Million in 2008, the largest campaign in its history. He led successful fundraising events that generated more than $3 Million over 2 years, not including the acquisition of multiple seven figure endowment gifts for the Jewish Federation.
Prior to his tenure at The Jewish Federation, Jeser served from 2004-2007 as the JCC at Milken’s Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Executive Director, performing critical development, administrative, and programmatic roles.
Jeser began his professional career in Jewish communal service when he worked as a Youth Services Professional and Jewish summer camp administrator at the Jewish Community Center of Metro West, New Jersey. After leaving JCC Metro West in 1999, he participated on UJC’s Project Otzma in, living in several of Israel’s development communities, teaching English, and working with Russian, Ethiopian, and Moroccan immigrants.
Following his volunteer experience in Israel, Jeser served as the Youth Outreach Professional of TeenJCC, at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston from 2000-2002. His responsibilities included teen outreach, program development, teen leadership development, and year-round JCC Maccabi youth sports programming.
Jeser received his BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1998 and completed the Double Masters program from HUC’s School of Non-Profit Management and the USC School of Social Work in 2002. Michael is engaged to the beautiful and talented Laura Rosenberg.
Naama Haviv, who holds an MA/ABD in Comparative Genocide from Clark University, joined JWW’s team in April 2007. At JWW, Naama develops education and advocacy programs, implements JWW youth activist initiatives, researches current world conflicts to assess the risk of genocide, and works to ensure the strength and quality of JWW-supported relief and development projects. Before joining the JWW team, Naama created and managed educational programs connecting students from the U.S. to students in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan and the West Bank for Relief International, and held research positions with the Institute for the Study of Genocide, the Middle East Media Research Institute and the American Anti-Slavery Group.
Naama lives in Los Angeles with her husband Greg and their new daughter, Lena.
Director of Outreach
Mina has been the Director of Outreach at Jewish World Watch since 2008. Her passion for JWW’s mission has inspired synagogues, schools, youth groups and individuals to take an active role in building a world without genocide. In addition to partnering with the representatives of JWW’s 68 member synagogues to engage and activate their communities, Mina has helped to create the Orange County Walk to End Genocide, enabling Jewish World Watch’s southernmost synagogue members to participate in the meaningful advocacy that the Walk inspires.
Before joining Jewish World Watch, Mina worked in both a professional and volunteer capacity for several organizations serving the local Jewish community and Israel. In addition, she spent eleven years in the field of Jewish Education. Mina and her husband Jordan are the proud parents of Tzvia, Atara, Harel and Penina.
Chief Operating Officer
Jan not only assures our office runs smoothly on a day to day basis but also has helped JWW effectively streamline its operation. In 1985, Jan and her husband Doug started one of the nation’s first Interconnect companies, which they owned and operated for 25 years. Jan is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts. Jan and Doug, along with their children Zach and Aleah, are active members of Congregation Kol Tikvah.
Miriam Markus Zacuto
Development Associate/Solar Cooker Project Coordinator
Miriam joined Jewish World Watch in December 2012. She brings a portfolio of experience in program and resource development, communications and external and membership/client relations in the not-for-profit sector, education and private industry. She previously served as Vice President of Programs- Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Director of Development- Cal State Northridge College of Business and Economics, Campaign Associate- The Jewish Federation, and Manager of Programs and Administration- UCLA’s Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. In addition, she has experience in her local public schools as a volunteer and in the classroom, including working with children with special needs. She is passionate about the work of JWW and honored to have the opportunity to help further its mission!
Miriam holds a BA in Political Science from UCLA and an MSc in International Relations from The London School of Economics. She and her family (husband Curtis, an urban planner/environmental consultant, children Gaby, Ben, Rebecca and Jeremy, and dog Zoe) live in the Conejo Valley.
Elisabeth (Liz) Braun
Outreach and Advocacy Associate
Liz, a graduate from UC Berkeley, decided to take her English degree and go down the most obvious path: genocide activism. Since starting at JWW in September 2009 as a volunteer, she has spent intervals as JWW’s Policy Intern, Volunteer Coordinator, 2011 Walk Coordinator and unofficial copy editor. In June 2011, she returned to the policy work she enjoys most in her position as JWW’s Outreach and Advocacy Fellow, which a year later became an Associate position. She contributes to JWW’s annual genocide risk assessment, drafts grants, maintains a dialogue with local congressional representatives and helps facilitate JWW’s advocacy campaigns, community events, and publications. In her free time, she tells her friends and family all about coup d’états and the funniest rebel leader names.
Amy Friedman Cecil
Walk Development Director
Amy joined JWW professionally as Walk Development Director after many years as a devoted volunteer, event docent and SAC volunteer facilitator. She has primary responsibility for the five separate Walk to End Genocide events, including the Conejo Valley Walk, taking place for the first time in 2013. She is also involved in and passionate about all of JWW’s fundraising and awareness building events.
Before attending American Jewish University (AJU) to obtain a MBA in Nonprofit Management, Amy practiced law for more than 27 years and taught elementary school for LAUSD. She is a partner in the philanthropic organization Los Angeles Social Venture Partners, co-chair of the 2012-13 AJU Women’s Lunch & Learn program, and teacher of a seminar in business writing skills for AJU MBA students in Spring 2013.
Amy and her husband Tom, a partner in the Encino law firm Lewitt Hackman, have two amazing sons, Max and Zachary.
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis Rabbinic Fellow
Deana Sussman is a Rabbinical Student at HUC-JIR on the Los Angeles Campus, and is currently in her fourth year of rabbinical school. Last year, Deana opted to add an additional year of school to earn her Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR. She has served in student pulpits at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in Ridgecrest, California and at Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar in Lancaster, California. Last year, Deana worked in an education internship at Temple Beth Sholom, in Santa Ana, California. This past summer, Deana had the opportunity to work as a Schusterman Summer Resident at Central Reform Congregation in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to HUC, Deana was a student at Indiana University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2004, majoring in both Jewish Studies as well as Religious Studies, and minoring in Hebrew and Psychology.
Deana is thrilled to be the Harold M. Schulweis Rabbinic Intern, and is excited to have the opportunity to work with Jewish World Watch this year!