Rachel Wahba is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer, psychotherapist and the co-founder of Olivia Travel. An Egyptian-Iraqi Jew, Rachel was born in India and grew up stateless in Japan. The many dimensions of her exile and displacement are a constant theme in her professional work as well as her activism as an advisory board member for JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa).
Zack Bodner is the CEO of the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, CA. Prior to joining the JCC, Zack served as the Pacific Northwest Director of the AIPAC (based in San Francisco) for 14 years. Zack has written articles on Jewish peoplehood, Israel, and Zionism that appear regularly in publications throughout the U.S. and Israel, including blogging for the Times of Israel. He lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, Ronit, and three kids, Talia, Elie and Orly.
Sam Lauter is a public affairs professional with over 30 years of experience in local, state and national politics. Sam, a fifth-generation San Francisco native, utilizes his years of experience to manage Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners’ (BMWL) public affairs and lobbying business. In his volunteer life, Sam is a key voice and fundraiser for the organized Jewish community in both the Bay Area and Washington, D.C. Sam’s volunteer work in the pro-Israel community has been recognized with the Israel in Our Hearts award given by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, as the Champion Ally by A Wider Bridge, and several times by AIPAC.
A native Californian, Stephanie Lauter spent her formative years in Lausanne, Switzerland before moving to the Bay Area, where she now lives in San Francisco. She is a UCLA graduate and has a professional background in marketing. Stephanie’s passion for Israel was deeply influenced by her parents’ deep-seated Zionism and their family trips there. It was later strengthened on USY Pilgrimage and on her Volunteers for Israel program as a college student. She met her husband Sam while taking part in AIPAC’s first Leadership Development Program.
Sam and Stephanie have two children, Aliza, a junior at UC Davis, and Jacob, a senior at Lowell High School (Sam’s alma mater). Sam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Over the past 40 years, Judy Dlugacz has helped achieve groundbreaking victories for the LGBTQ community, and she is still going strong! Judy is the co-founder of Olivia Records, which grew to become one of the industry’s leading independent labels. She is also the founder and president of Olivia Travel, which has become the premier travel company for the lesbian and LBTQ+ community. Judy has received countless honors and recognition throughout the years for her work, including a recent Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association for her pioneering work with Olivia Records. Judy strongly believes in giving back to her community and has worked with many nonprofit organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, and Equality California.
Jeff Farber Jeff Farber is the chief executive officer of the Koret Foundation, a San Francisco foundation committed to strengthening the Bay Area community and nurturing the continuity of the Jewish people worldwide. Jeff’s over 30 years of business experience ranges from executive positions at Bank of America, to vice chairman and chief operating officer of Shorenstein Realty Services, to partner of a boutique financial services firm. Jeff’s community and philanthropic involvement spans numerous roles in both the general and Jewish communities. He currently serves on the board of overseers of Stanford’s Hoover Institution; the board of governors at the Commonwealth Club; the board of American Friends of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds; and the national executive committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is a trustee at the Center for Human Rights Leadership at his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College.
Barbara Farber is the Director of Development of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, one of the largest and oldest family service institutions in the US. Her deep involvement in the Jewish community, personally and professionally, spans throughout her career. Barbara served on the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet, the board of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the Jewish Community Federation, and Northern California AIPAC.
Jeff and Barbara live in Marin County. They have two grown children and two wonderful grandchildren.
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A Wider Bridge is the North American organization working through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grant-making to create equality in Israel by expanding LGBTQ inclusion in Israel, and equality for Israel by cultivating constructive engagement with Israel.