Rabbi David Mason is the Executive Director of HIAS+JCORE. He previously served as rabbi of Muswell Hill Synagogue for over 14 years, and at Kingston Synagogue in South West London prior to that. Born in Edinburgh, he studied at George Watsons College before receiving a BSc and MSc in Econometrics from the London School of Economics. He attended yeshivot in Israel for 7 years before joining the Rabbinate. David also has a Masters in Conflict Resolution in Divided Society from King’s College London.
Amos Schonfield is a community builder and activist from London. He has worked to support and mould ecosystems of leaders and communities from marginalised backgrounds with the skills and connections to create a society rooted in social justice and dignity. As Deputy Director of HIAS+JCORE, Amos works across volunteering, education and youth engagement, as well as supporting the rest of the team across the organisation. He also founded and is CEO of Our Second Home, the UK’s refugee youth movement. Previously, he was CEO of Mavar, and has worked at Student Action for Refugees, Noam Masorti Youth, and Yachad (where he remains a trustee). Amos studied International Relations at the University of Leeds and holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford.
Campaigns & Communications, and Office Administrator
Jack first joined HIAS+JCORE in 2019. In his current role, he helps support our office administration, fundraising and recruitment. He also supports our campaigns, communications and youth engagement work. Jack holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies from King’s College London, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Leeds.
Eliza grew up in South London and joined HIAS+JCORE as the Unaccompanied Minors Project Lead in February 2023. Eliza has completed a Masters in Migration and Global Development from the University of Sussex, and has most recently worked as an employment caseworker and as a Manager at the social enterprise Luminary Bakery. Eliza has also spent time working in Greece on a search and rescue team, and went on to write a research piece on the criminalisation of humanitarian aid in the EU.
Daniel Hall is a movement builder and social entrepreneur based in the South of England. He has worked across both the corporate and charitable sectors driving and encouraging innovative solutions to complex social issues. As Programme Director of the Joint Refugee Action Network (JRAN), Dan concentrates on engaging with a diverse network of organisations from across the UK in researching and facilitating proactive discussions on refugee and asylum policy as well as ensuring a strong voice for those with lived experience.
Dan studied Politics & International Relations at The University of Kent and holds an MA in Humanitarianism & Conflict Response from the University of Manchester where he was recently recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Social Innovation at the 2023 Social Responsibility Awards
Rebecca joined HIAS+JCORE as the Unaccompanied Minors Project Lead in July 2023, having recently graduated from the University of Oxford with an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Previously she has worked in positions across the refugee sector: as an Outreach Office and Regional Manager at SolidariTee, as a Youth Leader at Our Second Home, and has volunteered in refugee camps across northern France with Utopia56. She has also worked at the Mediapila Foundation in Buenos Aires helping displaced and migrant women access employment. She comes to HIAS+JCORE with her own family background of intergenerational refugeehood, where her grandpa was a refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria. She is excited to engage Jewish communities in refugee-related work, and hopes to build from work she did during the COVID pandemic with UK Orthodox Jewish Communities on how they can engage in anti-racist action.
Dr Edie Friedman was born in Chicago. A student in the 1960s, she was heavily influenced by the civil rights and peace movements. She came to England to study in Leeds and subsequently worked for Oxfam and the Community Relations Council in Ealing, West London.
She founded the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) in 1976 with the aim of providing a Jewish voice on race and asylum in the UK, and has led the organisation since. Over the 45 years, JCORE has campaigned together with the UK’s Black and Asian communities, taken race-equality education into Jewish schools, and supported refugees and asylum seekers through innovative projects.
In 2008 she co-authored Reluctant Refuge – The Story of Asylum in Britain. She has also authored and co-authored a series of race equality education resources covering the primary school to adult age ranges.
Adam is a solicitor and partner at the law firm, Mishcon de Reya, in London. His legal practice is in the technology space, where he focuses especially on data protection, privacy and commercial data issues.
Adam graduated in law and accounting from Manchester University, and has a Masters in Law degree from the London School of Economics. He is trustee of a number of charities, and has been a trustee of HIAS+JCORE since 2014.
Isabel is the senior director of community engagement programs and initiatives at HIAS. In this role she oversees initiatives that enable the American Jewish community to act in support of refugees through public events, volunteer and educational opportunities, and grassroots advocacy. Most recently she has led the launch and implementation of HIAS’ Welcome Circle initiative in the US – a private citizen-powered resettlement model implemented as an emergency response to help Afghan refugees and later, displaced Ukrainians. Prior to joining HIAS, Isabel worked in non-profit management, community organising, and community development both in congregational settings and in agencies in the US and UK. She holds a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Oxford University, and a Masters in International Development from SOAS, University of London.
Karen’s family came as refugees to the UK, including her mother who was on the Kindertransport. As a practising social worker with over forty years’ experience, having specialised in the services for separated asylum seeking and migrant children, she is dedicated to ensuring the needs and rights of the children and young people arriving today are honoured and upheld under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and all childcare legislation.
Karen has held many senior positions, lectured, and undertaken work as an independent consultant and trainer in the statutory and voluntary social work and refugee sector. She currently co-manages the Family Group Conference services in a London Local Authority.
Rebecca is a Performance Director at digital agency In Digital and have been a trustee since June 2021.
She has held voluntary roles in Jewish community organisations since her teens, from youth work to event management. Rebecca aim to combine prior voluntary community experience with professional expertise across digital communication strategy to support and elevate HIAS+JCORE’s work.
Adam works as a Director in the public affairs team at Dentons Global Advisors. In this role he works with leading businesses across the FMCG and clean transport sectors, supporting their engagement with government. Adam was recognised by PR Week as a “30 under 30” for 2022.
Before joining Dentons Global Advisors, Adam worked for HIAS+JCORE as campaigns and communications officer, supporting the organisation’s advocacy and media activities. He studied International Relations with Political Science at the University of Birmingham.
Rachel is Vice President, International Policy and Relations, leading HIAS’s advocacy on refugee rights internationally, communicating HIAS’s international impact, policy recommendations, and thought leadership. She also oversees engagement with international Jewish communities and builds HIAS’s partnerships with the US State Department, USAID, Congress, UNHCR and other UN bodies, the private sector, and international, national, and local NGOs.
Rachel previously served as HIAS’ VP, International Programs, where she led HIAS’ growth in four core program areas (legal protection, gender-based violence prevention and risk reduction, mental health and psychosocial support, and economic inclusion), more than tripling the department’s budget, and significantly growing its geographic footprint. In previous positions, Rachel launched international refugee legal programs, led research on LGBTQ refugee protection, and coordinated multifaith refugee welcome campaigns.
Prior to working with HIAS, Rachel lived in Istanbul, where she co-founded and directed Turkey’s first legal clinic for refugees. Before that, she litigated race and gender discrimination claims in federal and state court in New York City. She has published numerous journal articles and reports on international refugee protection issues. Rachel received her BA from McGill University and a law degree from the University of British Columbia.
David is a Film & TV producer and executive who has been responsible for over 150 projects, including work that has won Baftas, Golden Globes, Oscars and Emmys. For 10 years, he ran the feature film and single drama team of the BBC, before setting up his own production company. David is also Professor of Production at Royal Holloway, London University. Film projects have included Billy Elliot, the Oscar nominated An Education, Notes on a Scandal, Woman in Gold, Mandela,Catherine the Great, and Revolutionary Road (Leonardo de Caprio and Kate Winslet).
David has been a trustee of HIAS+JCORE for three years and is also a trustee of One to One Children’s Fund. His particular charity interest is projects for asylum seekers and he has made many films exploring social concerns in the UK and beyond.