About Us

MISSION

 

Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration (WJCI) is a non-partisan organization that convenes both the Jewish and interfaith communities to make the United States a place where

refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants can live in safety with dignity.

 Print the WJCI one-pager here.

OUR VISION IN ACTION

 

Working together with WJCI, YOU Can make a difference.  Through mobilization, education, advocacy and partnership, WJCI provides our community with experiences and opportunities to make the United States a place where refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants can live in safety with dignity. 

EDUCATION

Involving the Jewish and wider Westchester community on immigration issues.

Please check out Westchester Immigration Statistics here.

MOBILIZATION

Networking to mobilize Westchester's Jewish community to warmly welcome and support refugees, asylees and other immigrants.

SOCIAL ACTION

Bringing people together in an atmosphere of mutual encouragement to effect change through community-wide projects. 

PARTNERSHIP

Standing in solidarity with other organizations within and beyond the Jewish community on advocacy, legislative, and policy initiatives.

ADVOCACY 

Advocating for policies that transform immigrants’ lives. WJCI stands up for human rights and social justice around the major issues facing immigrants today, including citizenship, food insecurity, healthcare, housing, and employment.

Education
Advocating for the Immigant Community
Mobilizing the Jewish Community
Promoting A Pro-Immigrant Jewish Community
Joining In Solidarity

March 5, 2022

OUR PARTNERS

 

WJCI works with a range of organizations including the following

UJA Federation New York
HIAS logo
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Afghan Women Strong
ossinging for refugees
Community Resource Center logo
HVJC Logo
New Neighbors Partnership
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Probono Partnership
Westchester Jewish Council
JCC MidWestchester
Neighbors for Refugees logo
Hearts & Homes For Refugees logo
Upwardly Global
NYIC logo
The Synagogue Coalition
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Tha Sharpio Foundation Logo
IRIS Logo
Shames Jewish Community Center
Catholic Charities logo
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Rivertowns for Refugees

Truah Logo
Right to Council logo
Indivisible Westchester

LEADERSHIP

 
Holly Fink Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration President and Co-founder

Holly Rosen Fink

President 

Holly has always had a deep interest in Jewish history and the Holocaust and has applied that passion to helping refugees and asylum seekers. She is a former Communications and Marketing executive who has worked in various sectors at companies and organizations such as ABC, Viacom, John Wiley & Sons, and the United Nations Foundation. She is also a former Vice-President and Board of Directors and current volunteer for Neighbors for Refugees, a refugee resettlement organization based in Westchester, a board member of Westchester Jewish Council, a board member of Jewish Plays Project, and she serves as an advocate for Indivisible Westchester. She is head of the World Jewry and Holocaust Learning Committees at her synagogue, Westchester Jewish Center. Holly has proudly produced several NYC plays including a show called "The Best of Everything Based on a Book by Rona Jaffe" that received a New York Times Critic's Pick. She recently received her MSW from Fordham University and is a practicing therapist. She currently works as a psychotherapist at Westchester Jewish Community Services. She lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two teenage children.

Laura J. Lewis, JD Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Commitee Member

Laura J. Lewis

Vice President

An immigrant, Laura is a passionate believer in immigration reform. Born in the UK, Laura attended both college and law school in the US. After a short law career she transitioned to nonprofit management. Laura has advocated at the diplomatic, federal, state and local levels, as well as specialized in interfaith and intergroup work forging alliances with people of different faiths and ethnicities. Subsequently, Laura specialized in non-profit change management. She is currently a board member of the Inter-Religious Coalition of New Rochelle, and also serves on the Westchester Women’s Agenda Race and Equity Task Force, and on a regional task for Encounter. She is a former board member of Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle and the Education Priorities Panel, NYC.

Marti Micheal

Vice President

Marti’s nearly 50-year career has been in Jewish community service, working for UJA-Federation, Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law, Central Synagogue, Hebrew Union College, Hillel International, and, for 28 years, at the Riverdale YM-YWHA, rising to serve as its COO and finally as Executive Director. 

After her retirement, Marti turned her efforts to support legal asylum seekers at the US southern border, first in Phoenix with Arizona Jews for Justice and then, after MPP went into effect, in Brownsville, Texas where she crossed nightly to the tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico to serve food, bring supplies including tents and, on Sundays, help with the school created by Mexican and American teachers.  She also works with Grannies Respond, groups of volunteers across the country who meet migrants at bus stations as they travel to their sponsors, re-supplying them on their journey with toiletries, food, warm clothing, and toys and books for the children.

 

Marti is a board member of the Westchester Jewish Council, where she chairs the Greening Round Table, and of the Manhattan College Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education.  She served on the advisory committees of the Jewish Greening Fellowship of UJA-Federation, the Jewish Climate Action Network, and the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.

Amy Beth

Amy Beth

Board Member

Amy Beth has held academic library leadership positions for both public and private higher education institutions, and has held executive positions on professional, civic and community based organization boards.  In a second field of training, Dr. Beth holds a PhD in Environmental Psychology. Her work focuses on libraries as environments of significant meaning for people over the course of their lives. Quaker educated, Feminist and Jewish at her core, social justice alongside humanitarian values have driven her activism and volunteer service.  A parent and aunt to 3 remarkable college age women, Amy is an avid bicyclist, a dedicated cook and foodie, an audiobook bibliophile and a fan of dogs too big to fit in a purse.

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Amy Ecker

Board Member

Amy, who traces her family ancestry to Spain during the time of the Inquisition, grew up listening to stories about her great-grandparents emigrating to the United States and Israel. Amy’s family history has been one of the primary motivating factors behind her desire to become an active member of WCJI. Amy is the co-chair of Temple Israel of New Rochelle’s (TINR) Social Action Committee and a member of its Board of Trustees. She also represents TINR on the executive board of the Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW). Amy’s volunteer work has only solidified her passion for helping immigrants. Amy is a licensed speech and language pathologist who practiced pediatric speech-language therapy for 20 years, focusing on children with pediatric language issues. She worked at the Stephen Gaynor School and was in private practice in New York City. Amy resides in New Rochelle with her husband and two teenage children.

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Brian Fink

Treasurer

Brian has a deep interest in helping new immigrants arriving in the United States where he has been active for a number of years in local refugee resettlement organizations. He enjoys working directly with immigrant families helping them with accommodation, navigate some of the cultural differences and find employment.

 

Brian is a Managing Director within Accenture's CFO-EV RIsk and Compliance practice in New York.  Brian has nearly 30 years of experience leading technology modernisation programs across middle and back office functions at U.S. and international banking institutions.

 

He grew up in Manchester, UK and graduated from Leeds University in Northern England.  He started his career in the City of London implementing treasury and financial reporting systems at Sema Group and then at Credit Suisse Financial Products.  He moved to New York in the late 90's and worked at Credit Suisse and UBS leading regulatory remediation initiatives and as a consultant where he led technology initiatives at the DTCC and Societe Generale.  In 2006,  he joined Accenture's Capital Markets Solutions Group becoming a Managing Director in the CFO-EV practice specialising in Digital FInance, RIsk and Compliance. He is responsible for managing client sales and delivering high value consulting across a number of key global client accounts.  Brian is a member of Westchester Jewish Synagogue, he has a wife and 2 teenage children and lives in Westchester.

Alan Himmelstein

Executive Committee

As the granddaughter of immigrants who thrived in the United States, it is important to Ruth to see that other immigrant groups have that same experience. She has worked in advertising sales for 19 years, at The Jewish Week in New York and now at Mid-Atlantic Media which owns many publications including The Baltimore Jewish Times and Washington Jewish Week. Ruth serves on two UJA Federation of New York committees, including the Community Initiative for Holocaust Survivors.

Howard Horowitz Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Committee Member

Howard Horowitz

Board Member

Jewish values (and history) as encapsulated by the words of Hillel, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” compels Howard’s advocacy for all immigrants and refugees who bear the burden of war, racism, nationalism and the inequities of our economic order. A political scientist by training and market researcher by profession, who over his long career has shaped and advanced the practice of market research on cable television services and programming, home entertainment services, and broadband and mobile content and services for his major media clientele. Established in 1985, and located in downtown New Rochelle, NY, Horowitz Research has become the go-to company for research on urban markets, multiculturalism, and Latinx, Black and other historically marginalized consumers.

Howard has been active in local, national and international social justice and human rights issues for decades. He is Board Chair the WESPAC (Westchester People’s Action Coalition) Foundation and serves on the Executive Committee of Interfaith Council for New Americans (ICNAW) providing support services to refugee families in Westchester and NYS. He served as lead organizer of the Hudson Valley Call to Action in support of Syrian refugees in Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley in 2016. In 2009, Howard was a founding member of the Iraqi Student Project in Westchester that provided tuition and financial assistance, and emotional support to war refugee Iraqi students, enrolled at local universities, including Manhattanville and Bard.

Howard has an M.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Psychology from New York University, graduating with honors and Phi Beta Kappa. He lives in New Rochelle, NY with his wife, Professor Alisse Waterston, and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.

Andrea Kott

Andrea Kott

Board Member

Andrea Kott earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has spent her 40-year career straddling the worlds of public health journalism and creative nonfiction. 

 

As a public health writer and editor, Andrea produces development and consumer education materials for global and national nonprofits, academic medical centers, foundations, and other health nonprofits. She writes and edits materials about all aspects of health and health care, specializing in issues related to social determinants of health, and racial/ethnic/sexual and gender disparities in health and health care. 

 

As a writer of creative nonfiction, Andrea produces memoir-essays, which have appeared in The New York Times, Lilith Magazine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and literary journals. She is also the author of the recently released memoir, Salt on a Robin’s Tail: An Unlikely Jewish Journey Through Childhood, Forgiveness and Hope (Blydyn Square Books).

 

Since earning her TESOL certification in 2014, Andrea has been teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to immigrants and refugees.

 

She and her husband have two grown children and live--with their pandemic pup Wally--in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Ruth Braidy Rothseid Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Committee Member

Ruth Rothseid

Board Member

As the granddaughter of immigrants who thrived in the United States, it is important to Ruth to see that other immigrant groups have that same experience. She has worked in advertising sales for 19 years, at The Jewish Week in New York and now at Mid-Atlantic Media which owns many publications including The Baltimore Jewish Times and Washington Jewish Week. Ruth serves on two UJA Federation of New York committees, including the Community Initiative for Holocaust Survivors.

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Audrey Ledford

She/Her Virtual Spring 2022 Intern

Audrey Ledford is a sophomore at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She is an international affairs Major taking the culture and politics track with a concentration on international migration and an art history minor. She plans on pursuing work in refugee advocacy and policy-making post graduation. 

 

She is the education director for Georgetown University’s chapter of No Lost Generation, a refugee advocacy organization for students, where she coordinates speaker events, educational film screenings, and refugee-based class information for students.

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Kate Sabiston

Spring 2022 Intern

Kate is a junior at Sarah Lawrence College pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies and Science with a focus on human rights, environmental justice, and climate change. She intends to pursue a law degree post-graduation and aspires to have a career in environmental law. 

 

She is passionate about social justice and advocating for marginalized communities. She has been involved with organizations such as Humans for Justice, a nonprofit that funded the educations of human trafficking survivors. She is currently the co-chair of Herbicide Free Campus at Sarah Lawrence College which seeks to end pesticide use on her college campus and emphasizes the importance of environmental justice. Her desire to work with WJCI stems from both her interest in human rights issues and concern for how climate change will shape migration and affect vulnerable, frontline communities.

SYNAGOGUE AFFILIATIONS