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Repro Erev Shabbat Service With Akselrad Guest Lecturer Shira Zemel

Friday, February 17, 2023 26 Sh'vat 5783

6:15 PM - 7:30 PMSanctuary and betham.org/streaming; Oneg Shabbat to Follow in the Social Hall

Beth Am is pleased to welcome our 5783 Akselrad guest lecturer, Shira Zemel, in conjunction with National Council of Jewish Women’s Repro Shabbat on Friday, February 17.

Shira Zemel is the Co-Director of National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)'s abortion access campaign, the Jewish movement for reproductive health, rights and justice. In this role, Shira activates and mobilizes the Jewish community to take action for abortion access. Prior to coming to NCJW, Shira was the Director of Youth Leadership Development at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). There, Shira led the L’Taken Social Justice Seminars; these high school leadership conferences — focused on advocacy, Jewish values and the legislative process — bring 2,000 students to Washington, D.C. each year to lobby their members of Congress. Over nearly eight years at the RAC, Shira transformed these seminars into the centerpiece of a leadership development pipeline to foster the next generation of Jewish social justice advocates.

A Washington, D.C. native, Shira earned a Master’s degree in Education from SUNY University at Buffalo and a B.A. from Goucher College in English Literature and Judaic Studies. As a student-teacher in a Buffalo city public high school Shira witnessed firsthand the racial and economic inequity at play in our country, fueling her passion for and commitment to the work of social justice. Shira serves on the ARCH board, a local abortion fund serving patients seeking care in northern Virginia. When not getting into good trouble and fighting for a just world, Shira enjoys curating feminist yard signs for her front lawn, listening to podcasts, watching Real Housewives of nearly every city, and working on seasonal craft projects — preferably with her two young kids.

The service will be followed by an oneg Shabbat in the Social Hall, co-sponsored by the Akselrad Fund, Beth Am Women and Pursue Justice.

The Rabbi Akselrad Lectureship Fund, created in memory of Beth Am’s beloved Rabbi Emeritus Sidney Akselrad (z”l), is dedicated to providing speakers and programs related to social justice, ethics and/or human relations. Please consider making a contribution to the Rabbi Akselrad Lectureship Fund in honor or memory of a loved one.

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