Board and Staff



Founder & President: Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz has twice been named one of America’s Top Rabbis by Newsweek and has been named by The Forward as one of The Most Inspiring Rabbis in America as well as one of America’s 50 most influential Jews. Rabbi Yanklowitz is the author of seventeen books on Jewish ethics and his writings have appeared in outlets as diverse as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Atlantic among many other secular and religious publications. He has served as speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and a Rothschild Fellow in Cambridge, UK.

Rav Shmuly received a Masters from Harvard University and his Doctorate from Columbia University. He serves as the President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash (Torah learning center), the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek (the Orthodox Social Justice movement), the Founder and CEO of Shamayim (Jewish animal advocacy), and the Founder and President of YATOM, (Jewish foster and adoption network). Rabbi Shmuly, his wife Shoshana, and their four children live in Scottsdale, Arizona. They are also foster parents.

Rabbi Avram Mlotek

Rabbi Avram Mlotek is the co-founder of Base Hillel and serves as rabbi of its Manhattan site. Base Hillel is a growing movement of pluralistic rabbinic couples who use their homes as convening points for Jewish life centered upon hospitality, learning and service. A scion of Yiddish cultural activists, his own Yiddish cultural work has brought him to Sweden, Romania, China, Australia, Ethiopia and Israel. Mlotek’s writing has appeared in The Forward, Tablet, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Week, The Huffington Post and Kveller among other blogs. In 2012, the New York Jewish Week selected him as a “leading innovator in Jewish life today” as part of their “36 Under 36” section and in May 2016, Mlotek was listed as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Forward. Mlotek received his BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University and studied clinical pastoral education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He is blessedly married to Yael Kornfeld, a social worker, and proud Tati to Revaya and Hillel Yosl.

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman is the Marta d’Atra and Senior Rabbi of The Kehilah in Riverdale. From 2006-2013, RK Najman was the Marta d’Atrah at Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan (the first Orthodox synagogue to appoint a woman as senior Rabbi of a shul). She is head of the Gemara department at SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY. RK Najman has extensive experience teaching and speaking in the Jewish community on topics ranging from bioethics to environmental law. Rosh Kehilah Najman has served on the board of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society (HODS) for more than a decade and presently serves on the YCT and JOFA Advisory Boards as well. She participated in JOFA’s Agunah Task Force where she was the Education Committee chair.

Rosh Kehilah Najman studied at Michlalah in Jerusalem where she earned a teaching certificate. She went on to Yeshiva University, where she majored in Biology and minored in Judaic Studies, Music and Speech/Drama. Upon graduation, Rosh Kehilah Najman studied as a Drisha fellow and then went on to study at Nishmat, where she learned in their Machon Gavoha/Niddah learning program. She received her Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber. Rosh Kehilah Najman was a Torat Miriam Fellow and earned her certification in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from NYU/Einstein Bioethics and Medical Humanities Certificate Program. She compiled Jewish legal source material for HODS and has developed and taught halakhic curricula for the Drisha Institute as well as Ma’ayanot and SAR Yeshivot. RK Najman is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Evan Farber 

Evan is currently an Associate in the Commercial Litigation Group at Reed Smith LLP.  He graduated in 1999 from Yale University with Distinction in Religious Studies, and in 2003 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  Evan has also clerked for Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York and for Judge Robert S. Smith of the New York Court of Appeals.

Evan has provided pro bono counsel to several synagogues and other Jewish institutions.  He has served on the Board of Directors of Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, where he had previously completed a year-long fellowship, and of his shul, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  Evan has also volunteered for other organizations, including the Unemployment Action Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, and the Anti-Defamation League.

Rabbi Aaron Potek

Rabbi Aaron Potek is the rabbi at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC. Rabbi Potek grew up in Saint Louis Park, MN, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering. After studying in Israel for two years, one at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem and one at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut, he enrolled at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York. A passion for working with teens led to his work with organizations like the Nesiya Institute in Israel, Impact and Genesis in Boston, and Moriah College in Sydney. Aaron has participated in a variety of interfaith programming. He interned at Beth Israel Congregation in New Orleans, LA, and at Hunter College and Harvard University Hillels. Aaron loves hiking, music, comedy, and podcasts. From 2013-2015 he served as the campus rabbi for Northwestern University Hillel. Previously, Rabbi Potek worked with Gather DC. His writings can be found  at “Rabbi Rants.”

Judry Subar 
Jud grew up in a Modern Orthodox community in Rochester, New York.  After attending Yeshiva University for college, and then Georgetown University Law Center, he practiced law for nearly four decades, most of it as a litigator in the public sector, retiring from that work in 2018.  During that time, he (along with his wife Amy, who herself retired after a distinguished career as a research nutritionist) raised three sons while staying active in his synagogue in Potomac, Maryland, and participating in other community activities as well.  Since then, Jud has undertaken a variety of educational and writing projects, while also getting out on his road bike when he can, and has steadily increased his involvement in the work of Uri L’Tzedek



Rabba Dr. Carmella Abraham

Rabba Dr. Carmella Abraham is a physician and member of the Orthodox
clergy. She has taught Torah and Talmud in both formal and informal
settings ranging from the Drisha Community Beit Midrash and JOFA
conferences to Jewish community centers and college Hillels. Carmella
earned her BA degree from Barnard College, her medical degree, and from
Mount Sinai School of Medicine. At Mount Sinai, Carmella did a
Fellowship in Women’s Health. Afterward, she practiced at the
Mount Sinai Women’s Health Program with a dual appointment in Medicine
and Ob-Gyn.  In 2017, she was ordained by Yeshivat Maharat. Carmella
currently works at a Pharmaceutical company specializing in Women’s

Current Staff                

Operations Manager: AJ Frost

AJ Frost is the operations manager for Uri L’Tzedek. A Phoenix native, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and a double minor in History (American) & Religious Studies and went on to earn a Masters at Columbia University in American Politics and Religion. In his spare time, AJ is an active member of Moishe House Phoenix, a board member for NowGen, an editorial consultant for Avalanche Comics Entertainment, and a freelance writer and editor.

Campaign Organizer: Eddie Chavez Calderon

Since he was a teenager, Eddie Chavez Calderon has been deeply involved in social justice work. From the trenches to the coasts and everywhere in between, Eddie fights for a progressive movement that works towards a more inclusive, diverse America. Despite having many obstacles in his way, nothing has deterred Eddie from continuing to fight for the Latino community as well as LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion, woman’s rights, economic justice, workers’ rights, citizenship and civic engagement, voter equality, and much more! He is excited to be a part of an interfaith coalition to continue to advocate for the dignity of every person no matter their creed or national origin. 

 Community Outreach Organizer: Austin Davis

Austin Davis is a poet and student activist currently studying creative writing at ASU. Austin is the author of The World Isn’t the Size of Our Neighborhood Anymore, published by Weasel Press on March 3rd, 2020.

Youth community organizer: Ellie Sims

Ellie Sims is a senior at BASIS Chandler, an Alumna of the ACLU National Advocacy Institute, and co-President of BBYO for Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. She enjoys spending her time with her two cats and learning more about the cultures around her. She is passionate about racial and gender equality, and is very excited to be joining the Uri L’Tzedek team!

Community Partnership Organizer: Salma Ortiz Diaz

As a DACA recipient, Salma has been involved with the immigrant rights movement for a few years. She is the past co-chair of South Mountain Community College’s Mecha chapter. Salma has recently graduated from South Mountain Community College with my Associates in Arts and will continue my education at Arizona State University in the fall, where I will be majoring in social work. Salma hopes to one day earn a master’s in social work and become a school social worker.