Staff

Yehuda NeubergerChairman

Nathan DiamentExecutive Director
Maury LitwackDirector of State Political Affairs
Miriam Harmer Director of Congressional Affairs
Roslyn SingerDirector of Communications 
Karen Paikin Barall, Mid-Atlantic Director
Jake AdlerActing Director for Policy - New York
Arielle Frankston-MorrisDirector of Field Operations – New York
Michelle TwerskyAssociate Mid-Atlantic Director
Josh PruzanskyRegional Director – New Jersey
Daniella Lazar Public Affairs Assistant
Michael BodnerLegislative Fellow
Melissa KatzAdministrator

nathan-diamentNathan J. Diament, Executive Director

Nathan J. Diament is the Executive Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, where he develops and coordinates public policy research and initiatives on behalf of the traditional Jewish community. Nathan has testified before congressional committees and works closely with members of both political parties to craft legislation addressing religious liberty issues, education reform, family friendly social policies and life issues. In 2009, Nathan was appointed by President Obama to serve as one of 25 members of the President’s Faith Advisory Council. He is a co-editor of Tikkun Olam: Social Responsibility in Jewish Thought and Law (Aronson Press, 1997) and the author of articles and essays on issues including religion and state, constitutional law, social policy and international affairs. His writing has been featured in law journals as well as publications including The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The Forward, and The Jewish Week and he has been a guest on CNN, FOX News, NPR and other broadcast media. He is an honors graduate of Yeshiva University and the Harvard Law School. back to top

maury-litwackMaury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs

Maury Litwack directs a state-by-state plan for political action and advocacy in the OU’s many communities around the country, with a principal focus on seeking greater government support for Jewish day schools and their families in order to address the acute education affordability challenge the Orthodox community is facing. In his prior role as National Deputy Director, Maury helped lead the OU’s federal advocacy efforts on key issues while working to mobilize and teach communities the importance of active civic engagement. A recognized advocacy expert and author of The Capitol Plan, a comprehensive Washington advocacy strategy, Maury has worked with elected officials, municipalities and the OU on major aspects of their federal and state agendas during the last eight Congressional sessions. Maury’s thoughts on Washington politics are regularly quoted and have appeared in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Forbes. Maury has been a contributor to a number of media outlets including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Fox News, Orlando Sentinel, The Bergen Record, Business Insider and The Hill. back to top

Miriam_Harmer_photoMiriam Harmer, Director of Congressional Affairs

Miriam Harmer joined the Orthodox Union in March of 2015 as the Director of Congressional Affairs. She works closely with members of Congress, their staffs, and other advocacy groups to promote the OU’s interest in energy, education, Israel, and religious freedom issues. A veteran of four presidential campaigns, Miriam has spent much of her professional career with the United States House of Representatives and Senate. As a Hill staffer, Miriam was a Legislative Assistant for Representative Rob Bishop, Counsel for Senator Bob Bennett, and most recently a Legislative Counsel for Senator Mike Lee, where she advised him in his position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Prior to her time on the Hill, Miriam clerked in the office of Utah’s Attorney General and with the law firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair. back to top

roz-singerRoslyn Singer, Director of Communications

Roslyn Singer serves as the Director of Communications for the OU Advocacy Center. In this position, she oversees and directs all marketing and communication efforts for OU Advocacy, including media outreach, materials and collateral development, internal communications, web site management and social media. Roz comes to OU Advocacy with a background in both for-profit and non-profit PR/communications and has worked with several Jewish organizations on messaging and outreach. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Roz served as director of external relations for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and as an account director with Steinreich Communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. back to top

karen-barallKaren Paikin Barall, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Karen Paikin Barall joined OU Advocacy in January 2014 as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. In her role, Karen manages OU Advocacy’s efforts in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Karen served as Director of Maryland Government and Community Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, where she organized the agency’s state and local legislative efforts, secured millions of dollars in state and local funding, and developed and executed successful grassroots advocacy programs. Before joining the JCRC, Karen served as a politically-appointed foreign affairs officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and as Special Assistant for Community Affairs to New York Governor George Pataki. Karen has an extensive background in Jewish communal service and grassroots activity where she has actively served in leadership roles to encourage community activism. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lander College for Women of Touro College. back to top

Jake Adler_croppedJake Adler, Acting Director for Policy, New York

Jake Adler joined OU Advocacy in September 2013. In his role, Jake works with elected officials on the state and local level to raise awareness of the needs of the New York Jewish community. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Jake worked for New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield, where he worked his way up to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff. In this capacity, Jake managed the Council member’s budget portfolio and the budget operations of the Brooklyn delegation, assisting the Councilman and the delegation in securing millions of dollars in government funding for communal nonprofits, yeshivas and charitable organizations. He is a graduate of Touro College. back to top

arielle-frankston-morrisArielle Frankston-Morris, Director of Field Operations, New York

Arielle Frankston-Morris works to increase Jewish political engagement in New York and develops communal support for important legislation. Arielle is responsible for engaging with school and synagogue leaders, supporting community members as they meet their legislators. Arielle graduated from Yeshiva University’s Stern College with a B.A. in English Literature and received her M.S.W. from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. back to top

michelle-twerskyMichelle Twersky, Associate Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic

Michelle Twersky works in partnership with the Kohelet Foundation and the Jewish leadership of the Keystone State to advance the needs of the Jewish community. In 2013, Michelle, together with OU Advocacy’s community partners, secured approximately $6.5 million for Jewish day schools from tax credit scholarship programs and $400,000 in security funding. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Michelle served as Government Relations Coordinator at SAR Academy, a private Jewish day school with a student body of more than 1,400 students in Riverdale, NY. Her responsibilities included overseeing the NYC Loan Certificate Program and NY State Mandated Services, and serving as the liaison to the New York City Committee on Special Education. During her time at SAR, Michelle increased SAR’s eligible funding under these programs significantly and developed many of the protocols and processes in use today to solicit and administer these programs. Michelle graduated Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business with a B.S. in marketing. back to top

josh-pruzanskyJosh Pruzansky, Regional Director, New Jersey

Josh Pruzansky works with local and state legislators to raise awareness and advocate for the issues that are important to the New Jersey Jewish community. In 2013, Josh successfully secured $1.4 million in technology aid and $200,000 in nursing aid for Jewish day schools. Josh has been involved in Jewish communal work for more than 20 years, beginning his career as the Executive Director of the Yeshiva of the Telshe Alumni in Riverdale. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Josh served as the New Jersey State Director at Agudath Israel, where he cultivated a relationship with the state’s political leadership in a bi-partisan fashion and successfully became a fixture in the State House. He has served as the Chairman of the Non-Public School Advisory Committee at the Department of Education and was a member of the Non Public Education Funding Commission, appointed by Governor Jon Corzine. back to top

Daniella_Lazar_low-resDaniella Lazar, Public Affairs Assistant

Daniella Lazar joined OU Advocacy in January 2015, where she serves as the Public Affairs Assistant, focusing on projects in the field, mainly with Jewish day schools and synagogues. A recent college graduate, Daniella assumed leadership roles on campus, and coordinated advocacy opportunities, including AIPAC involvement within the university community. During this time, Daniella was also a valued member of the JCRC-NY team, where she contributed to a variety of projects to improve the NY Jewish community, specifically through developing quality lay leaders. With a deep commitment to community service, she has spent the past two summers volunteering in literacy programs for youth in Dimona, Israel. Prior to joining OU Advocacy, Daniella worked at AXA-Advisors, a financial advisement firm. Daniella graduated Yeshiva University Stern College with a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a concentration on international policy. back to top

Michael-BodnerMichael Bodner, Legislative Fellow

As the OU Advocacy Legislative Fellow, Michael Bodner provides senior staff with original research, writing, and analysis. He is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he served as programming chair for the Jewish Students Association, as well as policy desk editor for the JHU Politik, Johns Hopkins’ weekly political newspaper. Michael has a strong interest in political journalism, and has published pieces on subjects such as homeland security funding and the exportation of American unmanned aerial vehicles. back to top

melissa-katzMelissa Katz, Administrator

Melissa Katz is the Administrator of OU Advocacy, located in Washington, D.C., providing high-level administrative support to the OU Advocacy Center. Prior to her joining the OU, Melissa spent nine years as the office manager and principal’s assistant for a Jewish day school in Maryland. She has gained a variety of skills from prior work experiences, including 12 years as owner and manager of Mail Boxes Etc., and conference and administrative expertise from working with small organizations. back to top