Rabbi Jonathan Klein
Executive Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Jonathan Klein has served as the Executive Director for CLUE since 2009. Prior to his ordination in 1997 from Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Klein served congregations in Flagstaff, Arizona and Rye, New York. Upon receiving his rabbinical degree, he served three years as Director of KESHER, the Reform Jewish Movement's college outreach program and then eight years as the Allen and Ruth Ziegler Rabbinic Director of USC Hillel at the University of Southern California. Reflecting upon his experiences of bussing, his family's financial struggle, and his brother's life with Down's Syndrome, Rabbi Klein decided to unite the disparate experiences of his ILGWU-shop steward-grandmother Sophie Klein and his multigenerational ancestry into his work as a religious community organizer. Prior to his role at CLUE, Rabbi Klein served on the staff of Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc). He is particularly proud of-and nostalgic for-his first job in the organization, as a Community Organizer.
Rabbi Klein has evolved CLUE from four staff members to a team of over ten, almost all Faith-rooted organizers, focused on the most vital economic justice issues throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Under Rabbi Klein’s leadership in 2015, CLUE-LA and CLUE-Orange County combined to form the more impactful powerhouse, “CLUE,” with wider reach and broader issue areas, touching on the multitude of issues impacting working people and their families.
Rabbi Klein currently serves on the boards of the ACLU of Southern California and the anti-war Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)..
As an animal rights activist and environmentalist, Rabbi Klein co-founded Faith Action for Animals, which organizes faith leaders to actively protect animals from human speciesism. His advocacy has helped lead to a ban on fur in West Hollywood as well as a ban on use of a bullhook on animals in circuses in Los Angeles and Oakland, and currently he leads efforts within California to curb the practice of Kapparot, a rite for expiation of sin through the slaughter of chickens during the Jewish High Holidays. Rabbi Klein also leads efforts to create a faith-based advocacy voice in cases of environmental injustices that disproportionately impact low-income communities.
Rabbi Klein is a songleader, music enthusiast, and lover of Jewish mysticism. He is the proud parent of his 16 year-old son Rachmiel, 13 year-old daughter Kinneret, and eight year-old daughter, Zimra.
Senior Organizer - email@example.com
Gabriella organizes in Santa Monica with CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice). She is a native of California, and believes in the importance of working for systemic changes at home, as well as abroad. In junior high and high school, Gabriella participated in various service trips to border cities in Mexico, as well as the country of Hungary. These experiences significantly shaped her world-view. They also impressed upon her the undeniable fact that root causes of poverty and injustice were not being addressed in a meaningful way in those forums. A desire to be a part of a social movement remained. Gabriella attended Westmont Christian College in Santa Barbara originally majoring in biology. After hearing a message from Father Greg Boyle with Homeboy Industries, she changed her major to Liberal Studies with the intention of becoming an Elementary School Teacher, working with marginalized communities.
In the Fall of 2001, Gabriella engaged in a study-abroad-program on the US/Mexico Border with an organization named Borderlinks. This profound experience forever altered the way she perceived religion and social movements. After teaching for a time, she felt called in a different direction. Faith has always been paramount in Gabriella’s life. One draw to CLUE was the inseparable weave of faith and justice. The Santa Monica CLUE Committee stands with women and men in various industries that routinely de-humanize, marginalize, and disrespect their Workers. In Santa Monica, there are three active campaigns with Hotel Workers, Iron Workers and Carwash Workers, or Carwasheros. A bar has been raised in Santa Monica in terms of living wages, safe working conditions, and respect on the job. In July 2014, the SM City Council voted to award Bonus Car Wash the contract to clean all City vehicles except the Big Blue Buses. Bonus Car Wash is the only union wash in Santa Monica, honoring and protecting its Workers with a fair contract. The Council recognized Bonus for being this beacon in the City. Bonus holds a special place in the hearts of residents for another reason. After a long and difficult battle in which clergy, lay leaders, and other community leaders tirelessly stood with the Workers, Bonus became the first wash in the entire country to sign a union contract! When situations look bleak and impossible, the faith community rallies with Workers. They stand united, and work to build a more just and sacred society. Gabriella feels blessed to be a part of this movement with CLUE and the Santa Monica CLUE Committee.
Senior Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Guillermo works in the Greater Los Angeles area, spearheading CLUE's immigration campaigns (Sacred Resistance & Sanctuary; UCARE) as well as our Hospitality Training Academy outreach to diverse communities. He advocates for strong community benefits agreements in new building developments, particularly for securing local and diverse hiring and worker rights. Guillermo was the lead CLUE organizer for the successful living wage campaign in Long Beach, and on the victory for flying food workers unionizing for the first time at LAX.
With a background as a Teamster and immigration rights activist, Guillermo comes to CLUE with a wealth of experience and a heart for the various communities we work alongside. Guillermo's faith is a vital part of his work: After years of being disconnected from his Pentecostal faith, a painful encounter in 2007 reconnected Guillermo to the suffering of others and the true meaning of love. Guillermo sees this love as God revealing Himself during one of the most painful moments of his life, as well as binding us to the injustices suffered by our neighbors.
Faith-Rooted Organizer - email@example.com
Sandra Ortega has been working with communities throughout Orange County for over 10 years in various capacities. She has provided leadership development to low-income and marginalized communities to increase their knowledge and skills in leadership and advocacy. She was a youth leader at her church for six years. During this time she engaged youth throughout Orange County to have a deeper understanding of their faith and gifts. She was also a part of Lives Worth Saving Gang Intervention which creates faith-based collaborative outreach efforts to youth and families who are at-risk or caught up in gang violence. She was also involved in Lives Worth Saving-Human Trafficking Intervention which is dedicated to identifying, locating, recovering and ensuring safe and effective aftercare for victims of trafficking. Sandra has also volunteered at Garden Grove United Methodist Church with the Hispanic Ministry and worked with woman in teaching them life skills.
As Sandra continued along this journey, she discerned there was a greater need, something deeper and bigger taking place. Meeting the immediate need was no longer enough. she found an opportunity with CLUE in 2013 to combine her faith and confront the many injustices communities are facing today. Immigration issues, low-wage work, lack of resources, gang violence and separation of families were real issues that had to be addressed. She has worked on Covered California outreach and education, Anaheim Electoral Districts, and Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities: Restorative Justice and Equity for All.
Sandra attended Fullerton College and transferred to University of California-Irvine, receiving her BA in Sociology. She has 2 daughters, Briana 20 years old and Cassandra 25 years old. She is also a proud grandma of 3 grandchildren. She enjoys going on family outings, art, music and balloon decorating.
Faith-Rooted Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Grecia Lopez-Reyes began her journey with CLUE in the summer of 2015 as a Young Religious Fellow, learning and working on the Ports Campaign with Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Truck Drivers, the Coalition to End Wage Theft, and the Hospitality Campaign with Long Beach Hotel Workers at the Renaissance and Westin. She continued to develop her gifts and organizing skills as CLUE’s Faith-Rooted Organizer around the OUR Walmart campaign. She is currently focusing her organizing work around the ports and hotels of the Long Beach area.
Grecia spend her childhood years in Guatemala; her family’s way of living imparted in her the importance of living a life of simplicity, hard work, servitude and humility. As an undergraduate student, she studied Global Studies at Azusa Pacific University, a program that allows students to integrate multidisciplinary coursework with first-hand experience of the challenges faced by marginalized communities in Central Los Angeles and abroad. Through this type of education, she grew a passion for social justice, advocacy, and working on the grassroots level. Following graduation in 2011, she joined the Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) program. During this time, approximately two years, she resided in New Delhi and Kolkata (India) living and working on various social-justice issues with groups of people and local leaders that have taught her that social change happens through solidarity, commitment, integrity, and courage. Currently, she resides in the Pasadena area and is extremely grateful and excited to have the opportunity to work and learn alongside CLUE.
Faith-Rooted Organizer - email@example.com
Irene Arellano is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, was raised in a strong labor union household in Anaheim, and has been involved with the labor movement through family all of her life. Her admiration for religious communities rallying around social justice issues was born out of this union upbringing as well as her Catholic faith.
Beginning as a student activist, Irene organized students and service workers in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania. In 2013, she organized UC Irvine students in support of a fair contract for service workers within the UC system throughout the state of California. She was later hired as a full-time organizer with AFSCME Local 3299 in Los Angeles, where she walked the halls of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center ensuring that workers had a voice on the job against management abuses. Irene graduated with a degree in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton in 2015.
That same year, Irene was granted a scholarship from The Pennsylvania State University for a Master’s degree in the school of Labor and Employment Relations. Her program in Labor and Global Worker’s Rights had a strong focus on strategic corporate research, gender and race relations at work, and workers’ rights in the global economy. Under the umbrella of the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE), her cohort took the first step in calling for a unionization election in an effort to secure better pay, health benefits, and protections for the 3,500 graduate employees at Penn State.
Irene has since returned to Anaheim to bring together workers and faith-based communities in the common cause of justice. When she's not fighting for worker’s rights, she enjoys painting, learning about Frida Kahlo, and spending time with her lovely daughter, Alessandra.
Rev. Andy Schwiebert
Faith-Rooted Organizer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Andy Schwiebert first came on board with CLUE in the summer of 2016 to coordinate the Young Religious Leaders Fellowship and now serves part time as a faith-rooted organizer in both San Fernando Valley and Pasadena. He also serves as a pastor at the First Congregational Church of Pasadena, United Church of Christ.
Previously, Andy served as Director of Recruitment at Claremont School of Theology, was the Director of the Interfaith Council for Economics & Justice in San Jose, was a worker and community organizer with Justice for Janitors (SEIU), and has led voter registration, worker solidarity and immigrant rights organizing efforts in Arizona and Northern California. Originally from Arizona, Andy studied as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley before working for 3 years in Mexico and Colombia with the Latin-America-focused, peace and justice organization Witness for Peace. Andy received his Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion, where he met his wife, Rev. Allison Mark (a United Methodist pastor). They have two young daughters: Kaira and Amara.
Rev. Rebecca Bijur
Director of Development - email@example.com
Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who has served congregations in Santa Monica, CA, as well as Stow and Cambridge, MA. A dynamic speaker committed to spiritual pluralism, worker justice, and anti-oppression ministries, she is also an experienced fundraiser who has supported nonprofit and faith-based organizations in increasing their funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources. Rev. Bijur was born in Tokyo and grew up in Japan, suburban Maryland, and India. She holds degrees from Yale College and the Harvard Divinity School and lives in Santa Monica with her husband and three children.
Director of Operations - firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher recently completed his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Claremont School of Theology. His focus was the intersection of Religion and Politics in social movements. He previously worked with Greenpeace for their global warming campaign and other issues around environmental justice. He was also a hotel front desk worker and a member of UNITE HERE Local 2 in the Bay Area. Christopher understands economic justice and his work at CLUE as integral to his faith in praxis.