Allie Zeff assumed the role of DJJ’s Executive Director in early 2022 after three years in the role of Organizer for Campaigns and Education. She started her career in Detroit in 2014 as a Music Teacher. Her transition into community organizing was catalyzed by the local and regional political climate, especially in the ways it affects Detroit’s education system. Allie served as a volunteer leader with Detroit Jews for Justice for 4 years, serving in multiple roles including chair of the Grassroots Fundraising Committee, Steering Committee Member, chair of several cultural events, including Festival of Rights and Purim, and contributing artist for several campaigns. Allie established both a political and spiritual home in the Detroit Jews for Justice community. The shift from volunteer role to staff was a natural progression and a testament to the organization’s commitment to creating organizers and leaders out of their members. As Executive Director, Allie is committed to stewarding DJJ’s growth into a new era of work. She is passionate about cementing DJJ as a major player in the Detroit organizing community that is truly progressive, trustworthy, and effective.
Outgoing Deputy Director
Susannah joined the DJJ staff as Deputy Director in November 2019. As a founding member and former Steering Committee member, DJJ is the most meaningful way Susannah expresses her Jewish identity. Susannah grew up in Congregation T'chiyah and is now a member of both T'chiyah and the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. She has been involved in interfaith community organizing all her life, including participation in the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network (DION), the Riverfront East Congregational Initiative (a program of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion), and the Cranbrook Peace Foundation's Youth Leadership Project. After 8 years as an arts administrator for Detroit-based arts nonprofits, Susannah brings creative and intuitive skills to DJJ, along with strong administrative organization. Susannah oversees HR, Finance and Organizational Development initiatives.
Incoming Deputy Director
Eleanor joined DJJ in its early stages as a “Community Organizing Intern.” She then became the first Organizer on staff, a role she held from 2016 to 2018, before moving onto the Office of Congressman Andy Levin. In recent years, Eleanor has enjoyed supporting DJJ as a volunteer leader, advising on the structure redesign process and serving as a Co-Chair on the Freedom Team. She is delighted to return to Staff as the Deputy Director, bringing her passion for DJJ’s mission, intentional organizational culture, and relationship-building. She holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Brown University and has received training on facilitation, movement organizing, and nonprofit management from Training for Change, Spring Up, and Nonprofit Democracy Network. A passionate student of urban studies and the city of Detroit, she previously worked as Outreach and Recruitment Director for the University of Michigan Semester in Detroit program and participated in the Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) fellowship. Eleanor’s staff role is part-time; she also works as a freelance facilitator for meetings, retreats, and organizational processes.
Organizer for Campaigns and Education
Dr Elijah Silver joined DJJ’s team in 2022 in the role of Organizer for Campaigns and Education. Elijah was heavily involved in social justice work through their youth and early adulthood, then became an educator in 2006.In 2010 Elijah attended National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR, graduating with a doctorate of naturopathic medicine in 2014. While in medical school, Elijah worked with clinic staff and faculty to implement major improvements in transgender medicine and cultural humility within the organization. After graduating, in addition to running a small private practice, Elijah worked as an LGBTQ healthcare competency educator for Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Center and as a gender-affirming therapy counselor for Transcend the Binary. A dedicated member of their local Reconstructionist synagogue, Elijah is thrilled to have an opportunity to contribute to Jewish social justice work in the SE Michigan area.