About Us

Friends of Ethiopians Jews, Inc. (FEJ) was started by members of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) and other veteran activists dedicated to assisting the Ethiopian Jewish community. FEJ leadership today includes:

Nathan Shapiro, FEJ President, served as President of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) from 1983-1993. Under Nate’s leadership, AAEJ provided relief, rescue and advocacy on behalf of the threatened Ethiopian Jewish community in Ethiopia and Sudan, leading to the successful aliyah of the community. Nate has been President of FEJ since its inception. Nate holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University and is the Founder and President of SF Investments in Chicago, as well as Chair of a large insurance company in Indianapolis. He is an active community leader, and serves as an Executive Board member of B’nai Torah in Highland Park, IL.

William Recant, FEJ Vice President, was the Executive Director of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews from 1984-1993, and is an experienced, effective advocate and expert in International Relations. Since 1994, Will has worked as the Director for the International Development Program for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and oversees programs in 12 countries. Will Recant holds a Ph.D in Political Science from George Washington University. His experience with the Ethiopian Jewish community includes work with Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel, the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, FEJ and a host of other programs.

Susan copy 3Susan Pollack, a co-founder of FEJ, is currently serving as Executive Vice President. Susan is a human rights activist, program director and development specialist who has worked on behalf of the Ethiopian Jewish community since 1981. Susan worked in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Israel from 1981-1993 for the Canadian Association for Ethiopian Jews (CAEJ) and the American Association for Ethiopan Jews (AAEJ), as Ethiopia Country Director during the worst crisis years. Susan went on to work on behalf of Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel for nine years, empowering young Ethiopian-Israelis through Yemin Orde’s acclaimed education and leadership programs. Susan holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, with specialties in Nonprofit Administration and Refugee Affairs.   Susan lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.   (photo by Joan Roth)

Gerald Frim, Esq., FEJ Treasurer, has worked with and for the Ethiopian Jewish community for more than 11 years and is a co-founder of FEJ. Formerly on staff at the IAEJ in Jerusalem for 2 years, Gerry now works as an attorney in Boston for The McCormack Firm, concentrating in commercial litigation and insurance law. Gerry is a member emeritus of the Ethiopian Jewry Committee of the JCRC of Greater Boston. He received a B.A., M.S. in Education and law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature degree from Hebrew College in Boston.

Barbara Gaffin, FEJ Vice President, is a decades-long advocate on behalf of Ethiopian Jews. With over 30 years experience working in Jewish community relations and public policy, some of Barbara’s previous positions include serving as Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston and Congressional Liaison for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry in Washington, DC. Barbara also serves on the board of the North American Conference of Ethiopian Jewry and was the director of the American Friends of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews. Currently, Barbara is Managing Director of Zamir Chorale of Boston.