Aisha Yasin is an Arab-American Muslim residing in Olde Kensington. She was born in Colombia after her family immigrated from the Palestinian West Bank. She currently serves as a member of Philadelphia’s 26th Police District Advisory Committee and is a participant in the Philadelphia Peace Walk community. Aisha believes in justice for all people and this is what motivates her work with NSM.
Heather is a member of Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia, a NSM member congregation. She is a native of Georgia, and lived and worked at the Open Door Community, a Christian community of radical hospitality and activism in Atlanta. In the late 1990s, Heather lived and worked in Mexico, where she witnessed the flow of migrants to the North in the wake of NAFTA. In 2000, she returned to the U.S., committed to working for hospitality and justice for immigrants in this country, after watching their home communities be economically devastated by U.S. driven policies. She is honored to be part of supporting the work of NSM where the values of welcoming the stranger and justice for the oppressed are central.
Originally from south central Pennsylvania, Jessica began working with social justice working in Honduras in 1999. Since then, she has worked with CATA – The Farmworkers’ Support Committee, as a community organizer, and lived in Philadelphia for the past 10 years. She is a member of Tabernacle United Church, a NSM member congregation, and a participant of the Romero Interfaith Center – a volunteer led effort that has sustained a sistering relationship with El Salvador for over 20 years. Jessica is excited to join the NSM Board to support the important and critical work that NSM is doing to support immigrant communities in Philadelphia and to build relationships of solidarity across the city.
Juan was born in Philadelphia as the second of five children to Colombian parents. He spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Cochabamba, Bolivia where his parents worked in holistic health and community development. During his time in Bolivia, Juan worked with rural and peri-urban communities supporting community-based programs such as: center or victims of sexual abuse, a health clinic, elementary school, health promoter training program.Since 2008 Juan has worked for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a multi-service organization with a mission of strengthening Latino communities. He is currently a member of Central Baptist Church Wayne, a NSM member congregation. Juan joined the NSM Board because of his belief in the dignity of every human being and the importance of living out faith through service, thus achieving a more just and humane world for all.
Rabbi Linda Holtzman
Linda Holtzman grew up in East Mount Airy and now resides in West Mount Airy. She is a rabbi in the Reconstructionist Jewish tradition. She was a participant in the original conversations that gave birth to NSM Philadelphia. A leader and participant in many faith-based social justice organizations, Rabbi Linda is the founder of Tikkun Olam Chavaruach, a member congregation with NSM. Her family migrated to America from Poland/ Russia and those that were unable to do so were all killed in the Holocaust. It is her family’s story that moves her to work toward ensuring that all who need to find a new home in order to live a full, secure, productive, happy life can do so. As Jewish tradition demands that we work for justice for immigrants, she says, “How could I not?”
Rabbi Michael Ramberg
Michael grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and Madison, Wisconsin. He now lives in Mt. Airy with his partner and their daughter and son. He is a rabbi in the Reconstructionist Jewish tradition and a member of Mishkan Shalom, a NSM member congregation. Michael is motivated in his work for immigrants’ rights after living in Peru for a year and developing relationships with many people who have since immigrated to the U.S. When he learned of the exploitation they faced, he felt obligated to help bring an end to it. Michael is on the board of NSM because he believes in the power of people drawing from the rich wells of their faith traditions to make the world a fit dwelling place for creatures created in God’s image.
Tara, a proud third-generation Irish American, is native to Norristown, PA, and now lives in the East Mount Airy section of Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters. She celebrates at Our Mother of Consolation Catholic Church. Tara’s professional experience includes community organizing and fundraising in agricultural California, service-learning programming in Tijuana, México, faith-based educational and advocacy efforts on justice and policy issues in San Francisco, and human rights accompaniment work in Guatemala. Tara continued her involvement with U.S./Latin America affairs as a Board member of the U.S. Office on Colombia. Tara graduated with a degree in English Literature from George Washington University and holds a Masters of Arts in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. She feels privileged to be a part of NSM because she hopes to accompany others in their journey.