Who Are The People Behind Unorthodox Celebrations?

Rabbi Getzel Davis

Rabbi Getzel Davis was born and raised in New York City.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University and his rabbinical ordination from Rabbinical School of Hebrew College where he also received a Masters in Jewish Education.  Getzel is beginning his fourth year of work as a rabbi and educator at Harvard Hillel and also as an Harvard University Chaplain, where much of Getzel’s work is to engage students who do not consider themselves to be observant. There, he is the adviser for the Reform Minyan, teaches regular classes, and counsels students, faculty, and community members.  Before coming to Harvard, Getzel worked as a rabbinic intern at Boston Synagogue and as the Spiritual Director of Eden Village Camp.   He has also worked as an Jewish social justice educator at American Jewish World Service, Bend the Ark, PANIM, and the Teva Learning Alliance.  Getzel received quite a bit of press coverage for his contributions to Occupy Judaism at Occupy in New York and in Boston.

Julie Aronowitz

Julie Aronowitz helps communities and organizations develop leaders and effective systems and strategies to create high impact change through her consulting and community organizing work. She most recently worked at Brockton Interfaith Community, a local affiliate of the national congregation-based community organizing network PICO. There,she supported 30+ congregations and organizations to develop leadership teams that helped pass legislation including the nation's highest statewide minimum wage and strongest sick time. She previously worked at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and Chelsea Neighborhood Developers. An alumna of Brandeis University and the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Julie has developed expertise in leadership and organizational change through the Selah Social Justice Leadership program and Marshall Ganz's fellowship program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her learning at Hadar and the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies has informed her passion to build inclusive and values-driven Jewish community as the Board President at the Moishe Kavod Jewish Social Justice House and just about anywhere she tries to do Jewish.  

Sheila Webb-Halpern

Sheila Webb-Halpern is a consultant and strategist with expertise in public affairs andorganizational change. She has more than 10 years of experience in communications, new media, government relations, and political campaigns. In 2012, Sheila co-founded a consulting practice, co-see group, which offers a variety of client services including website development and strategy, specialized hiring and talent management, and meeting facilitation and strategic planning. She received her training in organizational development, change management, and leadership coaching at The New School, where she earned her M.S. in Organizational Change Management in 2013. Her graduate research focused on organic change, an organizational development approach that contains powerful pathways to meaningful, productive, and collaborative workplaces. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College, concentrating on mass movements and structural inequality. Previously, Sheila has directed communications and special campaigns for Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice organization; consulted on electoral campaigns; and managed government and media relations for Planned Parenthood. Sheila specializes in developing and enabling communities of diverse members whose work is as admirable as their process. 

Justin Held

Justin Held is the newest member to the Unorthodox Celebrations team. Justin is originally from Minneapolis and is thrilled to join the Boston Jewish community. Justin recently moved there to begin rabbinical school at Hebrew College in Newton. Justin graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Religious Studies and Judaic Studies. At KU Justin was involved in the Jewish community by interning at Hillel and was a member of the ZBT fraternity. During his time at KU Justin studied abroad at the Hebrew University in Israel which was one of his six unique Israel experiences. 

Want to contact the staff?  Email us at unorthodoxcelebrations [at] gmail [dot] com.