The JPAC Team
David Bocarsly is the Executive Director of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC), the voice of California’s Jewish community to the State Capitol, and the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. Comprised of over 30 leading Jewish community organizations – including Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, Jewish Family Service agencies, and others – JPAC advocates in Sacramento on behalf of the Jewish community’s concerns and broadly shared values.
Prior to joining JPAC, David served as the Director of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, curating and implementing legislative and advocacy efforts for its 18 elected officials. In that capacity, he created an annual Tikkun Olam–Repairing the World bill package, guided the Caucus’s efforts to establish a widely-accepted statewide Ethnic Studies curriculum, and drove advocacy efforts that secured over $150 million from the state budget for Jewish community priorities.
He has worked for campaigns and elected officials at all levels of government, including U.S. Congressmember Jerry Nadler. Previously, he was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, UCLA’s first kippah-wearing Student Body President, and earned his Master of Public Policy degree from USC with a Certificate in Social Justice.
David is an alumnus of many distinguished fellowships, including the New Leaders Council Institute, Schusterman Foundation’s ROI Community, Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project, and America Indivisible’s Public Leaders for Inclusion Council. He serves as a delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee, on the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s New Leadership Council, and on the board of Los Angeles Hebrew High School.
David’s professional journey through the intersection of Judaism and politics stems from his Jewish upbringing in Los Angeles. His involvement in Camp Ramah, United Synagogue Youth, Nativ, and UCLA Hillel guided his belief in justice as a core component of Jewish tradition and political activism as an impactful tool to achieving desired change.
In his spare time, David enjoys dancing, backgammon, LA sports, and scenic overlooks. He is on Twitter at @davidbocarsly.
Helena Weiss-Duman, PMP, is a project manager, conference producer, and educator. As a past Advocacy Day attendee, she is thrilled to be more involved and support the work of JPAC. She is especially interested in immigration advocacy as her father was a Holocaust refugee.
Professionally, she has three decades of experience in public relations and event management. She currently serves as the Deputy Director of External Relations and Marketing Communications at UC Berkeley. As a consultant, she teaches project management at UC Berkeley Extension and has produced conferences at Berkeley, Stanford, and MIT.
Helena loves entertaining, traveling, and studying the cultural anthropology of religion. She enjoys her new empty-nesting status with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay (Castro Valley) and is a member of Temple Sinai in Oakland, where she has served on the board and the education committee and chaired Mitzvah Day.
Koret Student Fellow
Jessie Cooper is a Junior at the University of Southern California studying Communications, Music Industry, and Sociology. As an enlivened member of the Jewish Community, she hopes to utilize her skillsets in marketing, user experience, and creative design to uplift Jewish voices and causes. Born and raised in the Northshore of Chicago, Jessie was taught firsthand the importance of positively embracing and owning Jewish identity and hopes to translate that into her work. Beyond her role as a student fellow at JPAC, Jessie can be found coordinating wellness programs at her school’s Hillel, organizing inclusive concerts, and creating meaningful art. She is eager to be part of the JPAC team, helping with everything from campus communications to organizing JPAC Capital Summit.
Koret Student Fellow
Carly Roitblat is a first year at the University of California Santa Barbara studying the History of Public Policy and Law with an intended minor in Poverty, Inequality, and Social Justice. JPAC is at the intersection of Carly’s drive to fight injustice and empower her Jewish community, while fueling her vocation to the fields of law. Carly hopes to bring her passion for law and her proven leadership skills to inspire young adults to engage with politics and voice their needs.
As a member of Temple Sinai Oakland, where she went to preschool and became a Bat Mitzvah, Carly learned values to live by – the importance of kehilla kedosha (community), caring for others and fighting for what’s right (tzedakah).
In her free time Carly is active in UCSB’s Pi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, enjoys walking along the beach (which happens to be her college backyard), playing lacrosse, spending quality time with friends and family, and watching shows about prisons and the criminal justice system.
Cliff Berg is the President of Governmental Advocates and serve as JPAC’s representative in Sacramento. In this role, Mr. Berg works in a bipartisan manner to build deep relationships with legislative policy makers, the Administration and state agencies to advocate for JPAC’s policy priorities, including social services, traditional community concerns, and the broadly shared values that affect the residents of California.
He joined Governmental Advocates in 1995 and began working with JPAC in 1998 after spending 40 years in state government service, the last 22 of which were spent working for the California State Senate. Immediately prior to joining Governmental Advocates, Mr. Berg served 11 years as Executive Officer of the Senate. As Executive Officer, Mr. Berg was responsible for the administration of the State Senate and worked directly for two successive President Pro Tempores, Senator David Roberti and Senator Bill Lockyer. Due to this experience, Mr. Berg brings JPAC a unique perspective on the legislative and governmental process and insights into the politics of policy making in California.
He is a member of the California State Bar and a graduate of McGeorge School of Law. He has his B.A. from Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Active in the Sacramento Jewish community, Mr. Berg is currently on the Board of the Sacramento Jewish Federation and is active in a wide variety of civic organizations. He is married to his wife Debra and has three children.