Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The disappearing hairy gray elephant

Note to the SFJFF staff: remember, it's often the cover-up that gets you.

It appears that the SFJFF is trying to play down the radical background of their board member Rachel Pfeffer, the Interim National Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. Sorry, guys -- the Internet is forever, and it's impossible to shove things like this down the memory hole. Nice try, though!

Here's my friend Max G's explanation:

The hairy gray elephant (Rachel Pfeffer, Ph.D.) I identified in my previous email has attempted to morph into Cindarella. In the wake of my realization that the Jewish Voice for Peace leader is on the SFJFF Board, and the inevitable community rage that resulted, Peter Stein and his people evidently abridged and utterly modified Pfeffer's bio on the SFJFF website: http: //fest.sfjff.org/about/our-team/board-amp-advisors#rachel But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a cached version of the original survives on zoominfo.com! I have cut and pasted both the original and current versions below for your general amusement. Could it be that the Board is trying to hide something (e.g. that there is an anti-Zionist extremist among their ranks)? You be the judge.


P.S. Please note that the original bio was uploaded to Pfeffer's zoominfo website on 5/10/09, and that references to her as Interim Director of JVP litter the internet, and date from November 2008 to the present. We know EXACTLY who she is and what she stands for.

ORIGINAL VERSION (until 7/20/09):

Rachel Pfeffer is Interim National Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. Rachel is a Brooklyn native with over 15 years of experience as an executive director and 30 years as a grassroots activist. She served as Interim Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a 93 year old peace organization that does important work on behalf of peace in the Middle East, Colombia and Anti-Military Recruitment work globally.

Rachel has published a number of articles and a book on gender specific youth development, including Surviving the Streets: Girls living on their own; one of the first US ethnographies celebrating Punk identified young women. Partnering with young women was the jumping off point in founding the first of many award winning non-profit organizations including the Center for Young Women's Development in San Francisco, Young Women United for Oakland and co-founder of the Queer Youth Training Collaborative in San Francisco.

Rachel received the Women's Prison Association Award for years of work in the juvenile injustice system and Union Square Award in 2001 for co-founding Sister Outsider in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Supporting progressive leadership is Rachel's passion and her contribution to progressive/radical politics. No one has worked herself out of more jobs while advocating for power sharing, training and supporting new leaders than has Rachel. Over the course of 30 years Rachel was active in the following movements: anti-nuclear, women's consciousness raising, central America, ACT-UP, women's health, Israel/Palestine to name a few.

Rachel has been an avid film supporter. In the past, she has been known to take a week off from work to attend the Jewish Film Festival, and the International Film Festival. She also supports friends who are film makers and most recently she organized the Kids Movie Salon, a monthly East Bay hot spot for 5-8 year olds to watch and discuss movies while eating pizza and ice cream without parents.

CURRENT VERSION (since 7/20/09):

After founding and co-founding award-winning youth development organizations and transitioning out with skilled young people directing the organizations, Rachel began a consulting business to support progressive organizations and leadership. Rachel advises young leaders in particular and facilitates social change locally nationally and internationally. Rachel's consulting business includes executive management transitions. She has served as interim executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, GirlSource, Inc, Jewish Voice for Peace and Nuestra Casa


  1. Jewish Voice for Peace and Nuestra Casa

    "Nuestra Casa" is that the Spanish version of Neturei Karta?

  2. I also found the cached page (dated 7/8/09) via Google. If you search for "Rachel Pfeffer Interim National Director" you'll be linked to the current page, but there is a link on Google to the cached version.

    It is odd that Pfeffer got so much space compared to other, longer-serving board members.

    At the same time, jvp doesn't list a "national director" interim or otherwise, on their site and Rachel Pfeffer is not currently listed as affiliated in any way.

    Something funny is going on here.


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