Chief Rabbi Capers Shmuel Funnye - Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation
Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch - New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann - Mishkan Chicago
Pastor Booker Vance - Elevate Energy
Judith Helfand - Director/Producer, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code
Rabbi Funnye, Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation
Capers C. Funnye, Jr. is rabbi and spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, located at 6601 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60629. Rabbi Funnye also serves as the chief rabbi of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, Inc., which serves congregations in the United States, the Caribbean, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, and Uganda.
In his capacity as chief rabbi, Funnye works to bring diverse communities into the Jewish fold, through the Halakah, the Jewish code of law. This work is most apparent working with the Lemba community of South Africa, the Ibo communities in the south and southeastern regions of Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Uganda.
Rabbi Funnye earned a Bachelor of Arts in Hebrew Literature and rabbinic ordination from the Israelite Board of Rabbis, Inc., Queens, NY. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies and Master of Science in Human Service Administration from Spertus Institute of Judaica, Chicago, IL.
Rabbi Funnye is a member of several boards in the Jewish community, The Chicago Board of Rabbis, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs-past President, Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, Chicago Theological Seminary, The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and Chief Rabbi of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Funnye has lectured at several institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. Rabbi Funnye has also served as a consultant to several institutions throughout the United States. Du Sable Museum of African American History, Chicago, Illinois, Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture, Washington, D.C., and the Chicago Historical Society.
Rabbi Funnye is married and he and his wife Mary have four children and are the proud grandparents of twelve grandchildren, nine grandsons and three granddaughters.
Rev Dr. Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr: New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church
Rev Dr. Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr: Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr. has been the Pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church located in the heart of Chicago’s West Garfield community since 1993. Born March 11, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois, Marshall Hatch is a native of the west side. His spiritual development began in Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorate of his father, the late Reverend Elijah Hatch. In 1985, he was ordained as a minister, and later in that same year was appointed as Pastor of the Commonwealth Missionary Baptist Church in North Lawndale.
Throughout his ministry, Marshall Hatch has commenced numerous community outreach programs. Most notable among these are the Westside Isaiah Plan, Ezra Homes, and Pilgrim Village Homes-Washington Boulevard, new construction affordable housing development projects that built over 200 single family homes in Chicago. In 2009, Hatch established “Passports to The World”, a biennial overseas African missions trip for the church’s inner city youth. He has also launched a visitation and correspondence ministry for the incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail, organized the Mountain Men Ministries, the Women of Purpose discipleship ministry, “The Call To Life” Substance Abuse Support Ministry, the Safe Haven CPS after school program, and the Pilgrim Development Corporation of West Garfield Park (Pilgrim Village & Pilgrim Village Apartments). Currently, NMP/PDC has partnered with Chicago Cred to employ at risk young men (18-24 years old) in a community development program called the “MAAFA Redemption Project”. The MR Project completes rehab of a multi-unit residential building and preps the adjacent Pilgrim Village Early Child Development/Community Arts Center on the Washington Boulevard campus.
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann - Founder, Mishkan Chicago
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann is the founder of Mishkan Chicago, an independent spiritual community in Chicago whose mission is to reimagine and breathe new life into Judaism– leading people toward greater purpose, connection and inspiration. Mishkan engages, educates and. empowers people through dynamic experiences of Jewish prayer, learning, social activism and community building. Since its founding in 2011, Mishkan has gained national recognition for its unique brand of inspiration and inclusivity, bringing thousands of diverse and mostly unaffiliated people into Jewish community and practice, many of them young adults. Lizzi currently sits on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, as well as the rabbinic cabinet of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corp. She is an alumnus of Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship and the Clergy Leadership Incubator, a native of Chicago's South Side, and a graduate of Stanford University and the Conservative Movement Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.
Booker Steven Vance - Policy Outreach Coordinator, Elevate Energy
A recent addition to the Elevate Energy Team as a Policy Outreach Coordinator. Served as Pastor of St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church on the South Side of Chicago for over 25 years before engaging in the intersection of Community Organizing and the Environmental Justice Discipline. He likes to see Ecumenical Interfaith Environmental Justice Communities engage in productive collaborative work. He was a part of the Chicago Climate Table Working group who help shape and pass the FEJA – The Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016. He remembers the Heat Wave of 1995 and appreciates the documentation of the crisis. He considers his time at Faith in Place as pivotal in his growth as Environmental Justice Advocate and Ecumenical/Interfaith Leader. He lives on the South Side of Chicago. He is the Father of Two Sons, Booker Jr. and Erwin. Erwin is married to Krystal and they are the parents of 3 children. Therefore Pastor Vance as he is affectionately referred to is the Grandpa of 3, Aniyah, Isaiah and Nia.