OUR MISSION,

OUR TEAM,

OUR STORY.

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Established in 2004, JQ is the premiere LGBTQ+ Jewish organization in Los Angeles. JQ celebrates the lives of LGBTQ+ Jews and their allies by transforming Jewish communities and ensuring inclusion through education, support, and identity-enrichment. From Shabbat dinners to holiday gatherings to educational panels to inclusion training for institutions, JQ’s community engagement and identity-enriching programs and support services promote the healthy integration of LGBTQ+ and Jewish identities. JQ envisions a world where all LGBTQ+ Jews feel a strong sense of self, pride, and community – a place where LGBTQ+ Jews and their allies are supported by communities that embrace their needs and celebrate their unique gifts.

Meet team JQ

Asher Gellis

Asher Gellis

Executive Director

Email: execdir@jqinternational.org
Phone:  +1.323.417.2627  x2

Arya Marvazy

Arya Marvazy

Managing Director

Email: amarvazy@jqinternational.org
Phone:  +1.323.417.2627 x3

Rabbi RBO

Rabbi RBO

Director JQ Helpline & Inclusion Services

Email: rbat-or@jqinternational.org
Phone: +1. 323.417.2627 x4

Anna Goodman

Anna Goodman

Director of Programming

Email: agoodman@jqinternational.org
Phone: +1.323.417.2627 x5

Amy Osiason

Amy Osiason

Director of Finance

Email: aosiason@jqinternational.org
Phone: +1. 323.417.2627 x6

Arianna Armstrong

Helpline Associate

Email: aarmstrong@jqinternational.org
Phone: +1.323.417.2627 x704

JQ Board of Govenors

Deb Engel Kollin

Deb Engel Kollin

Leadership Engagement Chair

Deborah Engel Kollin is an educator and parent of a teen in JQ’s Teen JQSA program. Her passion for JQ lies in her desire to make the most inclusive Jewish community possible to ensure her child is embraced as an LGBTQ+ Jew. Her dedication to JQ’s mission comes both from her family and from her own desire to empower teens through education and safe space. Deb was the Admissions and Outreach Coordinator at Westside Waldorf School and was the Director of Operations of the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am for 12 years.

Neil Spears

Neil Spears

Board Vice-Chair

Neil Spears serves as Executive Director of the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center after eight years as Regional and Executive Director at Power MyLearning, a nonprofit technology education service focused on serving lower income families. A longtime JQ community member, Neil has a BA from University of California San Diego and a Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Meir Kojman

Meir Kojman

Board Member

Meir Kojman is a Building Performance Engineer, working for a multi-national, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy firm. He works on  international projects using the application of thermo-fluid dynamics in building design, with expertise in Stadium and Arena. Meir gained a Master of Engineering degree in Architectural Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he lived for five years. On making Los Angeles his home in early 2018, Meir began attending JQ events, and is passionately involved in the organisation. 

Nikki Jacobson

Nikki Jacobson

Board Member

Nikki Mehrpoo Jacobson is a Los Angeles based attorney and advocate who focuses on social justice issues related to all aspects of immigration law, workers’ compensation law and LGBTQ+ rights. Ms. Jacobson is an active member of the Iranian American Lawyers’ Association and a Professor of Law at West Los Angeles College. 

Murray Levin

Board Treasurer

Murray Levin  is a CPA and CFO in the nonprofit sector. Murray is a longtime member of the JQ community and has over 35 years of experience in financial planning and accounting.

Eli Shahmoon

Eli Shahmoon

Board Member

Eli R. Shahmoon is an attorney at Encore Law Group representing businesses and individuals in corporate advisory, finance and transactional matters. He advises clients in all aspects of commercial law, including public and private financing, intellectual property and licensing, mergers and acquisitions, compliance and general business operations. He also has extensive operational, marketing and general counsel experience. Eli has a BA from Columbia University, an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business, and a JD from NYU School of Law.

Courtney Mizel

Board Member

Courtney Mizel is a film producer, nonprofit founder, and philanthropist. Courtney has worked to launch and advance several nonprofits to higher levels under her leadership. Courtney, a straight ally, is involved with JQ because she believes that allies are vital to JQ’s success in transforming the Jewish community. The 2017 JQ Community Leadership Award Honoree has a BSE from the Wharton School of Business and a JD from USC Gould School of Law.

History

JQ International was founded in 2004 to provide safe-space and identity-building programs for the LGBTQ+ Jewish and ally community. Whether through peer relationships, in the home, or with respect to Jewish institutions, LGBTQ+ Jews often feel forced to choose between being queer and Jewish. As the community grew and the programming became more popular, JQ recognized a common thread emerging from the personal stories of community members: LGBTQ+ Jews felt split at the root, divided between their cultural, religious, and spiritual identities. JQ is now the premiere LGBTQ+ Jewish organization in the greater Los Angeles area. Through transformative, dynamic, and engaging programs, JQ has established an impressive track record of innovative initiatives, services, and partnerships fostering leadership and inclusion throughout the region. JQ’s programs have impacted more than 13,000 lives in the LGBTQ+ and ally Jewish community in the past year alone.

 

JQ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate the lives of LGBTQ+ Jews and their allies by transforming Jewish communities, and ensuring inclusion through education, support, and identity-enrichment.

 

JQ's work is made possible by our generous supporters

© 2018 JQ International. All Rights Reserved.

 

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