About Democrats for Israel Los Angeles
Founded in 1990 to serve as a bridge between the Democratic Party and the Jewish/Pro-Israel community. Democrats for Israel Los Angeles has two missions -- fighting antisemitism in our party and in society at-large and supporting Israel in any way that we can. DFI-Los Angeles puts on a variety of educational and cultural events each year, some aimed at teaching a new generation of activists about the evils of antisemitism, and other events about current developments in Israel. Above all, Democrats for Israel Los Angeles spreads the word about the rich, multi-ethnic history of the world’s only Jewish country.
We engage in local and state politics, supporting elected officials and candidates who have demonstrated support for Israel, and who speak out consistently against Antisemitism and hate of all types. Democrats for Israel Los Angeles has cultivated relationships of solidarity with many of the organizations who represent different parts of the diverse communities found here in Los Angeles.
Additionally, there are many volunteer opportunities for those who want to stand up for Israel, and who want to join in the fight against hate and Anti-Semitism.
Democrats for Israel Los Angeles uses dues money to:
Democrats for Israel Los Angeles Executive Board Members 2022-2023
Gregg Solkovits - President of DFI-LA & Secretary of Democrats for Israel – California
Gregg is a 35+ year LAUSD high school Social Studies, Journalism and English teacher, and a former Secondary Vice President for United Teachers Los Angeles. He is an activist within the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association, having worked on many committees for both of the statewide teachers unions. With a deep rooted passion for environmentalism, Solkovits is also the past editor of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club’s Southern Sierran newspaper, which he headed for 10+ years. Currently is serving his third term as a California Democratic Party delegate from the 45th Assembly District. He also serves as a member of the Executive Board of Valley Grassroots Democrats, and is a member of the North Valley Democratic Club.
Leeor Alpern – Past President
Leeor has over twenty years of public affairs, government relations, legislative affairs, public policy, community relations and strategic communications experience. He serves as Senior Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs for World Energy, a global leader in clean energy production. He heads World Energy’s engagement with local, state and federal agencies and policymakers. Prior to joining World Energy, he worked for 13 years on air quality, transportation and clean energy policies at planning and regulatory government agencies. Prior to that, he worked at an international clean transportation non-profit as well as policy consulting firms. Leeor is also a recognized leader and supporter of various community and non-profit organizations.
Michelle Elmer – Vice President and Candidate Outreach
Michelle has been the Vice President of Democrats for Israel L.A. since 2017. She has been involved in the Democratic party for over the past decade, starting in college and in Young Democrats organizations - including a stint as the chair of the Young Democrats of America Jewish Caucus. Currently, she is also an elected assembly district representative to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a state delegate to the California Democratic Party. In addition, she serves as the L.A./Ventura County regional Vice President for Democrats for Israel California.
Miran Kalaydjian - Chair of Education and Civic Engagement
Miran is the vice president of Strategy for Aerospace Global Services, providing strategic planning and support to Government and Commercial Services businesses focused around supply chain, digital aviation & analytics, training & professional services; and engineering, modification & maintenance capabilities across McKinsey & Boeing Global Services. Miran is responsible for the development and implementation of the function’s strategy and planning activities including alignment to Boeing enterprise strategy, benchmarking, and positioning Boeing Global Services for growth. Miran is a prolific writer with articles frequently appearing on citywatchla.com and publishedreporter.com.
Andrew Lachman – Past President of DFI-LA & Current President (and Founder) of Democrats for Israel – California
Andrew has been a leader in Los Angeles for over 13 years and an activist for over 20 years for improved education, stronger communities, civil rights, investment in the arts and a strong tech/entertainment community. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/G) and is licensed to practice law in California and the District of Columbia serving as a technology licensing attorney for companies such as Move.com and Paramount Pictures. He has also worked in government, serving on the Advisory Board of the Congressional Internet Caucus and as the Committee staff-person to the Joint Committee on the Arts for the California Legislature for State Senator Curren Price.
Jay Greenstein - Outreach & Growth
Jay returns to the DFI-LA board after a hiatus of over twenty years. He was among the group of activists that helped spin off DFI-LA as a grassroots pro-Israel Democratic Club back in 1991. He served as a club Vice President for six years before serving as DFI-LA President from 1997-1999. For 24 years, he served on the staff for three elected officials in four different public offices. Previous to that, he served on the staff of the American Jewish Committee and for twelve candidate and statewide initiative political campaigns. In the 90s, Greenstein served on the executive board of the California Democratic Party and as a long-time member of the County Democratic Central Committee where he co-chaired two of their standing committees. He looks forward to helping reinvigorate the club for future generations.
Debbie Paperman - Social Media
Public Affairs and government relations consultant. Works with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Debbie has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Miami.
Colleen Schwab - Community Outreach
Social Studies and Spanish teacher for over 35 years. Colleen worked on the airlifts out of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, which led her to becoming an Educator. Schwab is President of her synagogue and is a student of Hebrew.
Janet Lucar - Education and Political Outreach
A career teacher ranging from elementary school to adult school, Janet is a life member of UTLA and sits on the UTLA Steering Committee. Previously served as a delegate at multiple NEA conventions, and currently is on the board of CalRTA.
Sunny Zia - Community Outreach
Sunny is serving her third term on the Long Beach Community College District board, having been elected Trustee for Area 3 in April of 2014. Upon securing this post, she became the first Jewish-Iranian American woman to assume elected public office in California. As a first-generation Iranian American, the importance of hard work and education in achieving the American Dream have been paramount in her life. Zia was the only female and the first to graduate from her class of Civil Engineering with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran. She later graduated with honors and received a Master of Science from University of California, Irvine in Civil Engineering. She has over two decades of experience in Construction, Environmental, Water and Infrastructure projects.
David Alpern - Digital Content
David has a black belt in digital advertising and has contributed to interactive strategies at both entrepreneurial and big brands like Mazda, Skechers, Yokohama Tires, Fox, Experian, Public Storage and more. He has an MBA from USC's Marshall School of Business and a BA from the University of California, San Diego.
Aaron Boudaie - Legislative Impact