WHO WE ARE
RABBI REBECCA LILLIAN
Rebecca has been working at the intersection of Judaism and social justice for three decades, viewing the commandment to support the foreigner as central to her rabbinate. While living in the USA, she was a founding board member of Brit Tsedek V’Shalom: The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, working on Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. Prior to moving to Scandinavia in 2011, Rebecca directed the Interfaith Hospitality Network in Evanston, Illinois, part of a national organization of congregations that house homeless families in churches, synagogues and mosques and support them in finding affordable housing.
After moving to Malmö, one of the most diverse cities in Northern Europe, Rebecca worked as a Project Leader for the Open Skåne social cohesion initiative and in 2015, helped steer the focus of the organization to working with immigrants and refugees. With the Common Ground Malmö network, Rebecca has worked to create opportunities for newcomers and long-time residents to create mutually beneficial projects together. Having recently moved to neighboring Copenhagen, she continues to work on such projects. She is a Network Practitioner with A World of Neighbors, the EU-wide interreligious migration strategy initiated by the Church of Sweden.
"In 2014, when complaining to an American colleague that there were not any Jewish social justice groups in Europe outside of the UK, she suggested that I start one. I told her that I didn’t know enough people, and this work is all about networking. Six years later, I am happy not only to know enough people, but to be working with Zachary Gallant to organize such a group, Rodfei Tsedek!"
Zachary started his career working for US Senator Ben Cardin, as well as a board member of the American Jewish Congress's Maryland chapter, before heading to the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright scholarship in 2008. He has remained in Europe since, where he has been working on migration, conflict, and interfaith relations. Since 2015, he has been a loudly Jewish voice leading projects on refugee integration in Germany, bringing the culture he learned in his American Jewish background (such as themed Seders on refugees and social justice) to Jewish and interfaith life in Germany. His project "Integrationswerkstatt" was one of the winners of the 2019 German Integration Prize. He is a founding member of the OSCE-supported European Institute for Dialogue and a member of the Steering Committee of A World of Neighbors. In 2020 he served as Head of Migration and Refugee Affairs for the Muslim Jewish Alliance, where, in a conversation with Daniela Oberstein, he came to the realization that strengthening a sense of belonging and social justice as a part of European Jewish identity was a necessary first step before an interfaith alliance could have any kind of positive impact in Europe. It was with this thought that he and Rabbi Rebecca Lillian together created Rodfei Tsedek to build the kind of strong local identity in Europe's Jews as has been created over the past centuries among Jews in America.
Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Daniela studied Governance and Public Policy at the University of Passau, Germany, and the University of Warsaw and then went on to complete a M.Sc. in International Public Policy at University College London, U.K. Prior to this, she'd spent a year at a Jewish boarding school in the U.S. and later a 2-month language course at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In 2016, she completed a traineeship at the European Parliament in Brussels, and then stayed on to work at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), whose main mission is policy analysis and political education. After 3 years in Brussels she moved on to work for the communications department of the foundation's headquarters in Berlin, Germany, where she currently works in the international department on press and media freedom and is managing the foundation's International Journalism and Media Dialogue Programme, exploring the effects of disinformation, particularly on journalism. Besides her work at the intersection of politics and communication, she’s interested in the communication between different groups and individuals of different backgrounds and faith, which has particularly manifested since her participation at the Muslim Jewish Conference 2017 in Sarajevo, Bosnia.