The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper has been Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church for five years. Her life goal is to animate spiritual capacity for public ministry. That means orienting individuals to find their power in such a way that they redistribute power and make the world beautiful and fun for all. She imagines beauty and enchantment as God’s purpose in the beginning – and joins in the great stream of the enchanted as a life love. She also grows a fine tomato – and helps to grow fine congregations.
She keeps worms in her kitchen where they turn scrap into soil and grows a variety of greens in her backyard. She is an avid green guerilla and weeds in public gardens whenever she can. Her Manhattan front yard is filled with multiple hues of morning glories. Upstate in her Fishkill place, she is joined often by guest Judsonites in growing tomatoes, corn, sweet peas, and the occasional dahlia.
You can find her at Judson, often, or at the Sotheby’s auction for the finest heirloom vegetables grown in the area. Think a Turkish Orange Eggplant or Black Sea Man Tomatoes.
Previously in ministry in Chicago, at Yale, in Miami, and Tucson, Schaper has been involved with a series of turn around congregations and a host of social action issues. She was instrumental in the God is Still Speaking Campaign for the UCC and in founding the Open and Affirming Movement in the UCC. In Miami she was rejected for membership in the Coral Gables Garden Club because some feared she would do the same thing she had done at the church, which is to grow it with new members of color, diverse orientations and backgrounds. She is less anti-racist than she is pro color.
Schaper was one of the first women trained by Saul Alinsky in community organizing. She leads a group of community ministers at Judson, mostly seminarians, in learning how to get power for social change. She calls this program “mutual mentoring.” There are 28 graduates, many of whom “hang around” at Judson. Additionally she is active in the New Sanctuary Movement, based in Judson and beyond, which accompanies undocumented immigrants in such a way as to shift the host and guest balance in the United States.
Schaper has written 31 books. Her best selling book is Keeping Sabbath. Her latest book is Sacred Chow. Her favorite book is Grass Roots Gardening: Rituals to Sustain Activists. She is a Slow Food Activist, guerrilla gardener, bike riding, golden retriever raising, cat loving mother of three adults and married to Warren Goldstein, author of the Biography of William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
“When the elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Schaper lives to build Judson as a grass protecting and grass-liberating place. Her usual language is Christian but she calls herself a post denominational person.
Charles Lenchner is a founder of Organizing 2.0 and a nonprofit technology consultant. He has led workshops and spoken at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, Netroots Nation, NeighborWorks Training Institute and other nptech training events. He has worked for or consulting with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, The Shalom Center, New York Neighbors for American Values, the Working Families Party, National Employment Law Project, Keshet and other nonprofits.
Nate Heasley has been working with non-profit organizations from the beginning of his career, in both managerial and pro-bono capacities. He has worked in such areas as civil and human rights, economic justice, environmental law, and corporate social responsibility. Nate currently runs Grassrootscamp.org, a group that provides technology workshops to non-profit organizations. Nate has an Bachelors degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law in New York, NY.
Farra Trompeter has more than 15 years of experience in communications and fundraising for nonprofit organizations. She is Vice President of Client Relationships + Strategy at Big Duck (www.bigducknyc.com), a communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations to transform the way they communicate. Her expertise focuses on helping nonprofits use the Internet (social media, websites, email, etc.) to increase visibility and connect with donors, activists, and other stakeholders.
She actively serves on the board of the New York City Anti-Violence Project and is a part-time faculty member at Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, where she is currently teaching a class about Online Engagement for Nonprofits in Spring 2010. She also holds an M.S. degree in nonprofit management from The New School.
Isaac Luria is Vice President of Communications and New Media at J Street, a Jewish organization in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Prior to J Street, Isaac spent four years consulting in online organizing, 2 years of which he spent at the online marketing firm Donordigital in San Francisco. Isaac received his Bachelors degree in American Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. During 2007-2008, Isaac lived in Jerusalem, Israel as a Dorot Fellow. Isaac lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sara, who is studying to become a Reform Rabbi.
Anna Mumford founded Letitia Productions with the vision that through video, the personal stories of real people can be distilled so that complex issues resonate with a larger audience.
Having spent more than seven years in strategic communications for political campaigns and nonprofits including the ACLU, John Edwards for President and SEIU, Anna has the experience to understand what messages engage the media and the public.
Anna received a master’s degree in international education policy from Stanford University, as well as an undergraduate degree in feminist studies.
Over the past 12 years I’ve worked with organizations with a wide range of missions, constituencies, structures and budgets. I often collaborate with other web developers and graphic designers, including Jack Aponte of Palante Technology.
Recent clients include the United ENDA Coalition, Fenton Communications, Al Fakhoora, Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), the National Coalition for LGBT Health, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Seacoast Outright, the Audre Lorde Project and the winning One Kalamazoo campaign. I’ve also worked with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and managed the website, database and online communications of Young People For (YP4), a program of People For the American Way Foundation.
I serve on the board of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, am a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and hold a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Reed College, with a focus on social movements.
Judah Ferst is currently getting his MBA at Baruch College. Prior to that he worked for Hillel of Greater Philadelphia for five years where he was the Director of Technological Services and worked with college students to promote Jewish identity and community. In 2006, Ferst founded The Buzzing for Change Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children living with cancer by empowering college students to take part in its mission. He has strived to improve non-profit’s capacity to execute their missions through technology. In 2009, he founded Ferst Solutions, a consulting company, whose mission is to help non-profits think strategically about their web-based investments.
Norman Reiss, Jewish Funds for Justice.