Brooke Wirtschafter is Director of Community Organizing at IKAR, a Jewish spiritual community in Los Angeles. IKAR has gained national recognition for the moral vision of its founding rabbi, Sharon Brous, and for the community's engagement in justice work. At IKAR, she has worked closely with LA Voice, PICO CA, the Everyone In campaign, NewGround, MPAC, HIAS, CLUE, SCANPH, MOVE LA, STAND LA, and other organizations and faith communities to bridge divides, identify shared values and goals and work toward a better, more just, more humane city, county, and state. Brooke has been proud to help support IKAR's work in advocating for immigrants' rights, justice system transformation and housing. She helped launch a successful partnership with Safe Parking LA to start a safe parking lot at IKAR's office and a bi-monthly dinner for the Safe Parking guests and IKAR members to share a meal and conversation.
Before joining the staff at IKAR, Brooke served as a lay leader in IKAR’s organizing and service work and as a board member. Professionally, Brooke has been a city council aide, journalist, editor, grant-writer, and community organizer. She served as Social Justice Program Manager at Valley Beth Shalom synagogue in Encino, where she helped create that community's homelessness task force.
Brooke holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. from San Francisco State University in History. Her college senior thesis was about Jewish women in early 20th Century New York City organizing market boycotts when the price of chicken rose beyond their means and they felt that they were being denied the right to practice their own culture. She’s been a student of community organizing for justice and equity ever since.