Former deputy to city comptroller John Liu and former head of the Empire State Pride Agenda Alan Van Capelle has a new gig with a Jewish progressive organization according to a release sent out by the group this morning:
Progressive Jewish Alliance & Jewish Funds for Justice, which merged in June, has chosen Alan van Capelle as the organization’s new President & CEO. He will begin his new position in January, as PJA & JFSJ launch into a planned national expansion.
Alan is currently Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York, where he serves as chief advisor to Comptroller John Liu on inter-governmental relations, media, public policy and community relations. Previously he was Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda for more than seven years, where he created strong alliances with business, labor and faith communities that successfully advocated for statewide advances in law and policy for LGBT New Yorkers.
Before his work at Empire State Pride, Alan spent nearly ten years in the labor movement, organizing and negotiating alongside nursing home attendants, janitors, security officers, doormen and other health care and building service employees. At SEIU 32BJ he built one of organized labor’s most effective political action committees.
PJA & JFSJ Board Member John Levy was on the search committee that hired van Capelle. “Alan has exactly the right combination of skills, experience, values and personal attributes to guide our expansion into a national organization engaging and investing in communities all across the country,” Levy said. “He is a dynamic, engaging communicator with the ability to manage and inspire and, most of all, lead.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead PJA & JFSJ at such an exciting time for the organization and such a critical time for the country,” Alan van Capelle said. “My connection to Judaism is inextricable from my commitment to helping to build strong communities and create a better, more equitable America.”
“We are fortunate to have recruited Alan as our new leader,” said Stosh Cotler, Executive Vice President. “Not only is he an innovative manager, accomplished organizer and prolific fundraiser, but as a former board member he is also a member of our family.”
“With a decade of on-the-ground experience in the labor movement, Alan brings to PJA & JFSJ his sharp political acumen for finding solutions to systemic injustices and rallying an active grassroots behind social change,” said Board Co-Chair Amy Dean.
“I first met Alan more than a decade ago at an annual gathering of young Jews, where we were each exploring our belief that the Jewish community could and should be a major force for social change in America,” said outgoing President & CEO Simon Greer. “I cannot imagine a more appropriate choice to lead this organization.”
“Alan is one of the most exciting and effective voices to emerge in the progressive community in the last decade,” said Elissa Barrett, Chief of Regional Operations. “We are lucky to have him to at this exciting moment in our history as we follow the Jewish tradition of pursuing justice, creating economic opportunity and securing basic rights.”
Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) and Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) formally merged on June 1 with a plan to expand local base building and organizing capacity nationwide. The new organization, which will soon announce a new name, is building on the strengths and successes of PJA & JFSJ in training skilled leaders, investing in communities, combating fear and bigotry, and making the pursuit of social and economic justice synonymous with Judaism.