About Us

WHO WE ARE

OUR 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
 

LEADERSHIP

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

Holly Rosen Fink

President  and Co-Founder

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 most recently at Westchester Jewish Community Services and currently at St. Vincent's Hospital. She lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two teenage children.

Marti Micheal

Marti Michael

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.

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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.

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Judy Fensterman

Board Member and Secretary

As the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants who fled Germany in February 1939, shortly after Kristallnacht, and the great granddaughter of a survivor of 4 internment camps during the Holocaust who arrived in the U.S. in 1946, Judy is profoundly aware of the historical imperative of and need to welcome and help new immigrants to the U.S.
 

Judy has worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation for 34 years and has been Assistant General Counsel since 1998. She has her undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she majored in Urban Planning. She spent her senior year studying at Hebrew
University in Jerusalem and then attended Brooklyn Law School. Her work at NYCEDC allows her to use her urban planning and law backgrounds.

 

Judy is a long-time member of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, Westchester. She has volunteered in a variety of lay roles, including serving as a trustee, Vice President and Financial Secretary on the TST Board of Trustees over a period of 6 years. She continues to be involved in her synagogue community, serving from time to time on the Nominating Committee and she remains active in social action initiatives. Judy is also the co-chair of the Shaaray Tefila LGBTQ Inclusion Committee. Judy
currently volunteers with ReSET Westchester, a community-based refugee resettlement organization in
Northern Westchester.

 

Judy lives in Mount Kisco with her partner, Gerry Malkin, a tenor saxophone jazz performer and music teacher, and her dog, Stella, and has 2 grown sons.

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.

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Robert Klein

Board Member

Robert Klein is a retired licensed architect whose 45 year career focused on large scale institutional planning and design, including healthcare, criminal justice and higher education. He was a leader in establishing the value and importance of pre-design programming and strategic planning. He has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design Executive Education Summer Program as well as sharing his expertise at international conferences in Europe and South America. His interest and curiosity on the impact of other cultures on solving architectural design problems led him to live in the United Kingdom for five years where he began an international journey to experience his Jewish heritage and training in other countries and settings.

 

Since retiring, Mr. Klein has devoted his time to sitting on a number of boards that span his interests, including his current positions as a Scarsdale School Board Trustee, a Board Member of The Clay Arts Center of Port Chester, and as a founding and current Board Member of Neighbors for Refugees, which resettles and supports refugees primarily in Westchester County. His interests in affordable housing and the built environment has served as a focus in his work on helping newly arrived immigrants settle into their new lives in Westchester.

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Kate Sabiston

Graphic Design Freelancer

Kate is a senior 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.

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Rebecca Geller

Social Media Intern

Rebecca is a junior at Byram Hills High School who is passionate about helping others and affecting global change. She wants to help refugees and immigrants receive the same experiences that she is privileged to have. Rebecca is also affiliated with another Jewish organization, J-teen, where she serves as the Associate Chair of Philanthropy. She works to empower and inspire Jewish teens from all backgrounds with leadership training and also participates in community service.

 

In her free time, she plays tennis on the Byram Hills Varsity Tennis Team, which she has been a part of since her sophomore year of highschool. As a Social Media Intern, Rebecca hopes to learn more about advertising and marketing.

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Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza 

Intern

As a daughter of immigrants who are living out their American dream, Jocelyn wants others to achieve their own. She attends Iona University pursuing a degree in Political Science/Public Policy with a minor in English. Intending to pursue a law degree, she aspires to have a career in politics, immigration and labor law. At Iona, she currently serves as the event coordinator of Model UN, news editor of the Ionian, and a class senator.

OUR PARTNERS

 
UJA Federation New York
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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
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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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Truah Logo
Right to Council logo
Indivisible Westchester
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SYNAGOGUE AFFILIATIONS