Farm Forward Leadership
JIFA is a Project of Farm Forward
Aaron S. Gross is the Founder and CEO of Farm Forward, the organization executing the new Jewish Initiative for Animals. Gross founded Farm Farword in 2007 while collaborating closely with Jonathan Safran Foer on Foer’s internationally best-selling book, Eating Animals, and is currently writing a co-authored book with Foer. Gross also serves as a tenured Associate Professor at the University of San Diego where he teaches courses on animals and religion, food and religion, and modern Jewish thought. He has authored two scholarly books, including his critically acclaimed book on the infamous AgriProcessors kosher slaughter scandals in Postville, Iowa, The Question of the Animal and Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications. Gross serves as Vice President of the Society for Jewish Ethics and serves as a Jewish representative on the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States.
Ben Goldsmith joined Farm Forward as Executive Director at its inception in 2007. Under Goldsmith’s leadership Farm Forward has developed a reputation for strategic innovation that has lead to the largest animal protection groups in the country–the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Global Animal Partnership, the Humane Society of the United States, and others–hiring Farm Forward for a range of consultations that have ultimately improved the lives of hundreds of millions of farmed animals. Goldsmith’s work has helped to bring about industry-wide improvements for farmed animals, including a first of its kind commitment from Unilever, the third largest consumer goods company in the world, to invest in technology that will help end the horrific practice of killing male layer chicks. Goldsmith’s maternal grandparents were holocaust survivors and he attributes his passion for animal protection in part to his family’s deep-rooted commitment to transforming the Jewish historical experience of oppression into fuel for activism and community service.