Beza Abebe was born in Yabello, Ethiopia, a small town close to the border of Kenya. She grew up in Hawassa and received her LLB from Hawassa University. In 2009, at the age of 23, she moved to Israel and officially made aliyah in 2014. For the last 10 years, she worked in Jewish philanthropic organizations in Israel that strive for the integration, empowerment and equality of the Ethiopian Jewish community. She worked at Tebeka, advocating for the Ethiopian community, and The David Foundation, which works on leadership and education for Ethiopian Jews.
Beza holds a masters in government and diplomacy from IDC Herzliya and a masters in law (LLM) from Tel Aviv University. Beza is currently a SJD doctoral student at Golden Gate University in San Francisco specializing on International law.
Marcella graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in English. She holds an M.A. in Literature from San Francisco State University, with particular focus on the memoirs of early 20th-century Jewish American women writers. Prior to working with Be’chol Lashon, Marcella was an editor, copywriter, social media and content manager, and marketing consultant with Silicon Valley startups in the parenting and education spaces.
Marcella looks forward to joining Be’chol Lashon’s mission to offer global Jewish learning and resources to students around the world through the Passport to Peoplehood curriculum.
A third-generation San Franciscan, Marcella lives in the City with her husband Greg and children Maia and Noah. They are entering their 6th year as a Camp Bechol Lashon family.
Maya Katz-Ali is the Program Coordinator for Be’chol Lashon. She is a recent graduate from Clark University in Massachusetts where she earned a B.A. in International Development and a M.A. in Community Development and Planning. Maya was born in culturally diverse Oakland, CA to a European-Jewish mother and an Indian-Muslim father. She grew up in a home always filled with people from all different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds, which has further inspired her to work to bring people of varied backgrounds together.
Maya interned at Be’chol Lashon during a summer through Jewish Vocational Services, while still enrolled in University. During her internship, she found that Be’chol Lashon’s mission of advocating for and celebrating the diversity of the Jewish narrative so deeply resonated with her own perspective of Judaism. She has since found her work as providing her with a unique opportunity to further explore the intersections of her own identity as well as educate others in the Jewish community on our global peoplehood.
Shekhiynah Larks recently graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BA in politics. She is a native of Oakland and is very involved in Jewish life in the Bay Area.
Rabbi Juan Mejía was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Raised a Catholic, he converted to Judaism after discovering the powerful beauty and message of Judaism. He holds a degree in philosophy from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Masters degree in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Juan was ordained in 2009 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. He lives in Oklahoma City, where he serves as the Jewish Educator for Emanuel Synagogue. He also serves as Rabbi in Residence for Be’chol Lashon.
Juan is a passionate advocate for converts and making Torah available to all. He has been teaching Torah in Spanish for over a decade through his website, www.koltuvsefarad.com
Aryeh K. Weinberg is the Director of Research for Be’chol Lashon / the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. Aryeh’s core areas of research focus on Jewish identity, philanthropy, as well as anti–Semitism and anti–Israelism in American education. He is co–author of a number of publications including The UnCivil University: Politics and Propaganda in Higher Education, An Exceptional Nation: American Philanthropy, and A Profile of American College Faculty Vols. 1 and 2.
Aryeh received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies.