Leadership & Staff

The JVP Boston Chapter Organizing Team (COT) is responsible for overall policy and direction of JVP Boston.

Melissa Nussbaum Freeman

Boston Local Organizer & Chapter Organizing Team Member

I bring all of my Queer, multi-cultural, bi-lingual theatre-maker/activist self to creating art & encouraging change that moves toward social equity and justice in Palestine and wherever I am. I identify as a Jewish person of mixed ethnicities: Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Mongolian, and Spanish. Because I am guided by core Jewish values to repair the world; welcome the stranger; and the interconnectedness of everything, I am compelled to do all that I can to stop the Israeli settler colonial project. Zionism does not speak for me.

Elsa Auerbach

Chapter Organizing Team Member

Elsa Auerbach is Professor Emerita of English from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  The daughter of Jewish refugees from Germany, she has been a lifelong activist involved in issues related to South Africa, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and language education. Since retiring, she has co-chaired JVP Boston and been a member of its Steering Committee, with a focus on fundraising, We Divest work, and organizational planning.

Jill Charney

Chapter Organizing Team Member

Jill Charney is a retired Somerville school social worker. She was taught strong Jewish social justice values by her progressive parents. Her activism has focused on the anti-nuclear movement, children’s rights, and local community issues. Her outrage after traveling to the West Bank in 2013 left her no choice but to continue upholding her Jewish values by fighting for Palestinian rights.

Marc Gurvitch

Chapter Organizing Team Member

A psychiatric nurse for 30 years, Marc Gurvitch is now a clinical instructor at Simmons College School of Nursing. He was active in the anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights struggles of the 1960’s and 70’s and has been a labor organizer and union activist. From 2010 to 2012, he participated in the Health and Human Rights delegations, sharing his nursing skills and knowledge in West Bank Palestinian clinics while witnessing the impact of the occupation. He coordinated the education committee, served on the steering committee and is now a member of the Chapter Organizing Team.

Allie Goldsmith

Chapter Organizing Team Member

Allie became involved with Israel/Palestine activism after taking a course in which she learned more about the topic.  She then joined Students for Justice in Palestine and upon moving to Boston, became involved in JVP-Boston.  She previously coordinated JVP-Boston’s Education Committee and is now a member of the Chapter Organizing Team.

Lauren Jappe

Lauren Jappe has a degree in Islamic & Middle East Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies from Brandies University, and was an active member of her school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. She lived in Jordan for four months studying Arabic, and has traveled extensively throughout Palestine, most recently on an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation in 2015. Following the trip she published writing detailing the effects of imprisonment and trauma on West Bank families. Lauren coordinates JVP’s sister relationship with Laylac, a women’s and youth empowerment group in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp.