Our mission is to mobilize the Jewish community to support immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through partnership, social action and engagement.
OUR VISION IN ACTION
Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration (WJCI) is a non-partisan organization that envisions the United States as a place where refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants can live in safety with dignity. We convene both the Jewish and interfaith communities to act in support of immigration through:
WJCI works through:
ADVOCATING FOR THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY
Advocating for policies that will transform immigrants’ lives. This includes standing up for human rights and social justice around the major issues facing immigrants today, including citizenship, food insecurity, healthcare, housing, and employment.
MOBILIZING THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
Increasing our network to mobilize Westchester’s Jewish community around specific initiatives that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups.
PROMOTING A PRO-IMMIGRANT ATMOSPHERE
Bringing people together in an atmosphere of mutual encouragement to effect change through community-wide projects.
WJCI works with a range of organizations including the following
WHO WE ARE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Holly Rosen Fink
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 lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two teenage children.
Amy Beth holds academic library leadership positions. She joined CUNY’s Guttman Community College in 2015 as the Chief Librarian. Previously Dean of Libraries for both public and private higher education institutions, she has published on a variety of library challenges and on topics pertaining to women’s midlife development. Dr. Beth has worked on many projects and Boards and is an active member of several professional associations. In a second field of training, Dr. Beth holds a PhD in Environmental Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her work focuses on libraries as environments of significant meaning for people over the course of their lives. Her research incorporates the life experience of space and place as described through the environmental autobiographies and narrative descriptions of architects who now work on library building designs and renovations, and details the influence of environmental meaning in relation to library planning. A co-chair for the Environmental Design Research Association 50th Conference held in Brooklyn, and editor of the Proceedings along with Dr. Rich Wener, she remains active in supporting the ongoing work of EDRA. Dr. Beth serves on the Architecture and Social Science Committee of the AIANY and partners as a Research Associate with UDIG (User Design Information Group), a research sub-group of the Center for Human Environments at the GC.
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.
As the son of an immigrant who was on one of the last kinder transports out of Germany, and who didn’t want to talk about it until recently, Alan is acutely aware of the pain of remembrance, the need to remember, and the obligation to act so that others don’t suffer through similar experiences. An experienced commercial and transactional attorney with over 30 years of in-house legal experience following eight years in private practice. He worked in the cellular telephone, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and oil and gas transportation industries, before shifting his focus in the last few years to non-profit work, as a lawyer, administrator and Board member. Alan still acts as an independent legal consultant, advising clients with respect to the procurement of goods and services, including information technology. He is also a soccer referee and a third dan black belt in taekwondo. Alan is also on the Executive Board of Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW), an organization involved in sponsoring and resettling refugees in Westchester County, New York, and he helps to coordinate immigration-related activities for his synagogue, Temple Israel Center, in White Plains.
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 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.
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.
Laura J. Lewis
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.
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.
Ruth Braidy Rothseid
Jeff is the great grandson and grandson of Polish and Russian immigrants who escaped poverty and pogroms to be free from hunger, fear. and death. I can do no less for others to honor their memory. Ph.D: Founder and co-Executive of the Interfaith Council of New Americans Westchester (ICNAW) 2017-Present. Mgr. Director and Partner at MM Dillon & Co. Investment Bankers. Formerly at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and FBR. Member of Beth El Synagogue Center (Finance sub-committee) and Anshe Shalom. Mentor to several under-resourced students through NYC Catholic Schools. Member ACLU. SPLC and AAAS.
Jeff R. Swarz, Ph.D