About Us

ABOUT US

MISSION

Our Mission

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

 

PARTNERSHIP

Connecting with key partners to mobilize our community around social action initiatives, indirect service, and volunteer opportunities that support local immigrants and refugees

Provide indirect service actions to support immigrants in Westchester county. 

Engaging in learning and dialogue about issues impacting immigration

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:

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

EDUCATION

Involving the Jewish and wider Westchester community on immigration issues.

Please check out Westchester Immigration Statistics here.

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. 

JOINING IN SOLIDARITY

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

OUR PARTNERS

 

WJCI works with a range of organizations including the following

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

Rivertowns for Refugees

Truah Logo
Right to Council logo

WHO WE ARE

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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 lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two teenage children.

Amy Beth

Amy Beth

Executive Committee

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 Ecker

Executive Committee

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.

Howard Horowitz Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Committee Member

Executive Committee

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

Executive Committee

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.

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

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

Executive Committee

Marti Micheal

Executive Committee

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.

Ruth Braidy Rothseid Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Committee 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.

Ruth Braidy Rothseid

Executive Committee

Jeff R. Swarz Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration Committee Member

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

Executive Committee

SYNAGOGUE AFFILIATIONS