At JAA we are lucky to have such a dedicated team. Staff come to JAA for many different reasons, and bring with them a wealth of experience, interests, passions and ideas. JAA is committed to being a great place to work where employees feel that they are valued, treated fairly and given recognition for their contribution to the organisation’s success. JAA aims to provide an environment that fosters good working relationships at all levels and offers flexible and supportive work practices. We believe that investing in our staff is the key to ongoing learning, and offer a wide range of professional development choices for staff to undertake.
Organisational Development Team
Gary Samowitz (CEO) was appointed JAA’s first CEO in 2009. Under Gary’s leadership the organisation has swiftly expanded its programs and volunteer base. Gary holds degrees in History and International Relations and is a dynamic public speaker and community leader. In 2012 he was the recipient of an Australian Leadership Award.
Lillian Kline (Development Director) began her career as a corporate lawyer. Since then she has held roles in government, universities and the private sector and has gained extensive experience in the not-for-profit world. Lillian recently completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights.
Zoe Peck (Planning and Reporting Coordinator) holds a BA and a BSc and a Masters in International Development and Environmental Analysis. She has previous experience with the African Refugee Development Centre in Tel Aviv.
Ravit Tidhar (Administration Coordinator) has been an Architect since 1998. Ravit has been volunteering with JAA since early 2011 in a number of Refugee Support Programs.
Jade Solomon (Programs Support) is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts/Law. She has a particular interest in pursing social justice and offers support to JAA’s programs in a range of capacities.
Melbourne Programs Team
Lisa Buchner (Local Programs Director) has been at JAA since 2004. She is a Special Education Teacher, has taught in both the mainstream and disability fields and has worked in the community sector with those experiencing homelessness.
Diane Broinshtein (Refugee Support Programs Coordinator) is completing her Masters in Management (Economics). She has previous experience at the World Food Programme in Nepal, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York and Oxfam Australia.
Melbourne Education Team
Joel Lazar (Melbourne Community Engagement Coordinator) was previously head of education and a madrich at Hineni Youth & Welfare and has completed his BA in Creative Writing. He is currently also in the process of completing a Law degree and directs his own creative writing business.
Elise Teperman (Melbourne Schools and Stand Up Coordinator) holds a double degree in Sustainability and Psychology, and has volunteered overseas in the past teaching English in developing countries.
Dean Levitan (Campaigns Coordinator) is an Arts/Law student who has not-for-profit experience in areas of advocacy and fundraising.
Arielle Rutman (Informal Educator) is an Law/Arts student who was previously a madricha at Habonim Dror. She is passionate pursuing social justice through informal education and collective responsibility.
Sarah Jacobs (Sydney Programs Coordinator) a community welfare worker. She holds a B.Com and has recently completed a Masters in Social Development. Sarah has worked in Australia, England and India in a range of programs for youth and people with disabilities.
Keri Gaddin (Director of Indigenous Partnerships ) is a qualified Paediatric Nurse and community welfare worker. She is passionate about community development and has worked in these fields in both Australia and Africa.
Janet Granek (Sydney Education Director) holds a BA in Social Inquiry. She has worked with the Jewish community in Sydney since 2004. Most of this time she developed and delivered youth, young adult and family programs at North Shore Temple Emanuel.