Meet the Staff

Rabbi Jonathan Klein

Executive Director - jklein@cluejustice.org

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Rabbi Jonathan Klein has been Executive Director of CLUE since 2009. Prior to his ordination in 1997 from Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Klein served congregations in Flagstaff, Arizona and Rye, New York. He is also a graduate from the Selah Leadership Fellowship and UCLA. 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 working people and their families experience.
Rabbi Klein 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 to lead a ban on fur in West Hollywood as well as a ban on the use of bullhooks on circus animals 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.

Rebecca Benefiel-Bijur

Director of Development - rbijur@cluejustice.org

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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. She is 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.  

Tessie Borden

Communications Specialist - tborden@cluejustice.org
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Before joining CLUE, Tessie was communications director at CARECEN and partnered with CLUE on initiatives including efforts to help unaccompanied children. She was part of the UCARE Coalition from its inception. She was drawn to CLUE because of its immigrant rights work, but found inspiration in its other campaigns for worker justice and equity. Tessie was born in the U.S. to Cuban parents but spent most of her childhood in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. During a 19-year journalistic career, she covered immigration and was a foreign correspondent in Mexico before turning to social justice advocacy.


Kevin Johnson

Office Manager - kjohnson@cluejustice.org
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From our Los Angeles office, Kevin oversees the processes that enable CLUE to do its work efficiently and effectively and collaborates with other organizations working for a just economy. He has an extensive background managing grassroots social and environmental justice causes, work that has taken him to forty three states, and even Antarctica. He is an occasional speaker and writer on these topics. He joined CLUE because of the current attacks on the dignity of workers and poor communities. Because faith plays an important role in his life, he believes clergy are uniquely positioned to stand with those struggling for a better society.


Guillermo Torres

Senior Organizer - gtorres@cluejustice.org

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Guillermo spearheads 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, diverse hiring, and worker rights. Guillermo was the lead CLUE organizer for the successful living wage campaign in Long Beach as well as for the flying food workers unionizing for the first time at LAX.

With a background as a Teamster and immigration rights activist, Guillermo came to CLUE with a wealth of experience and a heart for the various communities we work alongside with. 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. 


Gabriella Rosco

Senior Organizer - grosco@cluejustice.org

Gabriella_RoscoSM.jpgGabriella is a senior organizer working with the Santa Monica CLUE Committee, which has succeeded in raising the bar in that city for living wages, working conditions and worker respect. She believes in working for local and global systemic change. Gabriella attended Westmont Christian College in Santa Barbara, where she felt called to become an elementary school teacher after hearing Father Gregory Boyle, of Homeboy Industries, at a campus event. After teaching for several years, Gabriella was moved to involve her faith more fully in her work. She became an organizer with CLUE, which drew her with its integrated spiritual and strategic approach for creating systemic change. 


Sandra Ortega

Senior Organizer - sortega@cluejustice.org

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Sandra Ortega has been working with Orange County communities for more than 10 years in various capacities. She has provided leadership training in low-income and marginalized communities 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.  


Rae Huang

Faith-rooted organizer - rhuang@cluejustice.org

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Rae Huang is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has a Masters of Divinity from Boston University-School of Theology and a Masters of Theology from Duke Divinity.  I She has 13+ years experience working in non-profit, ecumenical, and interfaith contexts domestically and abroad, ranging from organizing youth and families on healthcare and street violence, to street, university, and hospital chaplaincy work.  She also works with Kaleidoscope Institute, training faith leaders and clergy in anti-racism work and leadership, and provides mediation support for communities and schools.   


Stephen "Cue" JnMarie

Faith-rooted Organizer - cue@cluejustice.org

Stephen_Cue_JnMarieSM.jpgPastor Stephen "Cue" JnMarie is a former Virgin Records hip-hop artist who became the pastor at Skid Row's Church Without Walls. He joined CLUE's Black/Jewish Justice Alliance in 2014 after hearing about it from a program at USC’s center for Religion and Civic Culture. In addition to his pastoral duties, Pastor Cue is a faith-rooted organizer for CLUE.


Mary Duong

Faith-rooted Organizer - mduong@cluejustice.org

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Mary Duong is a faith rooted organizer in Long Beach. She believes her work with CLUE is her faith in practice.  Mary coordinates the Long Beach committee and helps with the Justice for Port Workers campaign. She is honored to partner with faith and community leaders to make Long Beach a hospitable and just city for everyone. She received her Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and was first introduced to CLUE through the Young Religious Leaders Fellowship in 2016. No matter where she finds herself, she brings the gift of her birthplace and childhood city, which is Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. She loves reading, running, eating good food, and great conversations with friends. She also likes to ride motorcycles and go rock climbing.


Sarah Bedore

Faith-rooted Organizer - sbedore@cluejustice.org

Sarah_BedoreSM.jpgSarah is a part-time organizer for CLUE who has worked on CLUE's Anti-Predatory Lending Campaign, Safe Parking Campaign, and some immigration work. Sarah has an interest in policy advocacy and policy analysis. Sarah is a graduate of the Zigler's Young Religious Leaders Fellowship. She became interested in working with CLUE because of her passion for social justice and desire to see faith intertwined with justice work. She is currently in her final year of her Bachelors in Social Work at Azusa Pacific University.  She plans to continue her education and obtain her Master's in Social Work with a focus on public policy and contemporary social issues. In her free time, Sarah enjoys surfing, climbing, and hiking.


Irene Arellano

Faith-Rooted Organizer - iarellano@cluejustice.org

Irene_ArellanoSM.jpgIrene 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.


Lucero Garcia

Faith-rooted Organizer - lgarcia@cluejustice.org

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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.


Amanda Zeidner

Faith-rooted Organizer - azeidner@cluejustice.org

Amanda_Zeidner_SM.jpgAmanda Zeidner is the organizer for CLUE  P♀WER (People Organizing for Women's Economic Rights). She is a senior at Occidental College, studying Urban and Environmental Policy and Education. She originally came to CLUE as a part of a community organizing class at Occidental and has stayed because of her dedication to justice and intersectional feminism work. She is a graduate of the Ziegler Young Religious Leadership Fellowship and is originally from Minneapolis, MN. 


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