Sarah Shamirah Chandler is the CCO (Chief Compassion Officer) and team leader at JIFA where she works to support Jewish institutions to establish meaningful food policies rooted in Jewish ethics and animal welfare. She recently served as the Director of Earth Based Spiritual Practice for Hazon’s Adamah Farm and teaches, writes and consults on a national level on issues related to Judaism, the environment, mindfulness, food values, and farming.
Yadidya Greenberg is Program Coordinator and Kosher Meat & Animal Welfare Specialist at JIFA where he works to increase access to and popularity of higher welfare kosher meat products. Yadidya is a certified shochet (kosher slaughterer) who’s worked in an industrial kosher slaughterhouse and has taught about shechita and animal welfare throughout the country.
Melissa Hoffman is the Humane Education and Program Specialist at JIFA where she works with Jewish institutions and communities to develop materials and programs that foster compassion, respect, and responsibility for all living beings. Recently, she earned a M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. Melissa has also worked extensively as a cantorial soloist and Jewish educator, and is an animal care volunteer at the International Bird Rescue in California.
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.