Devorah Brous, Founding Executive Director
Devorah is a community organizer with two Masters degrees in Development Studies and Israel Studies from Hebrew University and has been trained extensively in facilitation, mediation, and nonviolent communication. She immigrated to Israel and lived there for 15 years, where she organized on the front lines as the founder of Bustan (orchard), a Jewish/Bedouin civil rights and environmental justice NGO. Since moving to LA in 2008, she became a UC Master Gardener, a Food Preserver, a certified Composter, and she became certified in Bio-intensive gardening and Permaculture design. Devorah is passionate about fermenting and canning homegrown food; aquaponics; and wildcrafting medicine for family and friends. She speaks Hebrew and Arabic and believes in the power of the land to bring us all together. She lives with her husband Laurence Weber; their two little wizards, Sela and Zeke; and seven happy hens.
Leeba Morse, Director of Development
Leeba is a development professional with expertise in writing and engagement. She comes to Netiya with an MBA and Masters in Jewish Education and an enthusiasm to share Netiya’s mission and accomplishments with the greater LA community. Leeba lives in Echo Park with her husband, Reuben, son, Alfie, and two senior shelter cats, PJ and Skid.
Netiya’s Executive Board
Rabbi Adam M. Allenberg
Rabbi Allenberg is the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admission for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He has been personally exploring and teaching about Judaism and its relationship to the environment for over a decade and currently serves on the Board of Netiya, an interfaith just food organization committed to strengthening food quality and food security in Los Angeles; and has served on Hazon’s Food Advisory Council; and the Executive Board of Hazon’s Jewish Food Conference, a multi-generational and multi-denominational gathering of rabbis and farmers, journalists and activists. He and his family are slowly reclaiming traditional food preparation techniques such as pickling, soap making, baking with wild yeasts and brewing beers and meads.
Joel is the retired Executive Director of the Pacific Southwest Region of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism serving from 2000-2012. Mr. Baker’s background experience includes executive positions in B’nai B’rith International, Jewish Community Centers, the University of Judaism, camping, and private consulting in fundraising, strategic planning and Board Development. He presently serves as President of the Far West Youth Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Conservative Foundation. He is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa and has a Master’s Degree in Group Dynamics and Social Work Administration from Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Calabasas, CA with his wife Shelley, a pharmacist. They have two sons, Daniel and Benjamin. Joel and his family are members of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, CA.
Lisa has been a leader in Netiya since it’s inception. She is the founder and director of the Lisa and Maury Friedman Foundation. Fueled by Lisa’s passion for the environment, Judaism and Israel, the foundation’s current focus is on school and community gardens and farms, which Lisa considers an ideal tool for teaching community environmental education and peaceful cooperation. This is reflected in all of the organizations she works with, both in the U.S. and Israel.
Lisa is a San Fernando Valley native, has been active in local Jewish life for many years. She is currently very involved at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School where she has led many projects including chairing four Mitzvah Days and more recently starting a Community Supported Agriculture program at the school.
Mary is a journalist who has been writing about food for more than two decades. She was a board member of one of the first CSA projects in the United States, and has taught cooking classes to people of all ages. Her parents grew up on farms, giving her a lifelong appreciation for the effort it takes to get good food.
Alan is President and Managing Partner of Giant Angstrom Partners, where he provides consulting, training, and project design services for university, K-14, and NGO clients (especially faith-based organizations). His work includes : proposal development for university institutes and centers; startup business planning for NGOs; board retreats for government and NGOs; policy analysis for state government; regional economic development planning; and executive education for government and military agencies.
Jessica is a freelance writer and journalist in Los Angeles covering a range of topics including food, design, architecture, and travel. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Sunset, Tablet, KCET, the Jewish Journal, Angeleno, and Los Angeles Magazine. Jessica was previously an architectural historic preservation consultant for many years, and she also sat on the board of directors of LACER Afterschool Programs based in Hollywood. She holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from U.C.L.A. and a B.A. in Art History and American studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Zak is an entrepreneur, visionary, marketing/branding expert and senior strategist for Every1Team, Boombang, Metabrand, Snack it Forward, and Kopali. From strategic planning to market analysis, from business set up to raising capital, from product formulation and development to sourcing, supply chain and outsourced operations, Zak has the expertise and relationships critical to insure success.