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Stosh Cotler

An unconventional CEO with tattoos, a black belt, and a reputation as a radical social activist, Stosh Cotler has mobilized Jewish Americans to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, and workers’ rights. Cotler became involved with advocacy work in her twenties, while living in Portland, Oregon. There, drawing on her skills as a black belt, she created Open Hand, an organization which taught women and girls self defense and offered violence prevention and empowerment training. Meanwhile, she became involved with the Jewish Radical Action Project and Jews for Global Justice, speaking out for the rights of Palestinians. In 2005 she began working for Jewish Funds for Justice in New York, helping build the organization (which merged with the Progressive Jewish Alliance in 2011 to become Bend the Arc) into a multi-million-dollar non-profit which blends advocacy, community organizing, and leadership training. She ran their Selah Leadership Training Program, which has trained more than 300 activists working for various Jewish and secular organizations. She became executive vice president in 2011 and CEO in 2014, the same year she was honored as one of the Forward 50.

1 Comment

tDear Ms Cotler - having just heard the Al Jazeera discussion around Pittsberg massacre, I sincerely appreciate your voice & activism --- as an atheist i still respect religion as well as ethnicity and rights of minorities. The other speaker, Steve Rodgers supporting Trump & the current GOP. So called "white nationalism / male supremacy" is a disease deeply encoded in WASP America from the Puritans onward, through slavery & an ongoing climate of violence triggered by Trump's rhetoric & links to fascist Israeli right wing who are equally a danger to ordinary Jews & others, whether Jedaism is a religion or Semitic as a ethnic identity.  Keep up your good work & speaking out. Know that many so-called "White" males reject that label & all the invectives & insanity that follows. JAB




Stosh Cotler
Full image
Stosh Cotler, CEO and radical social activist.
Courtesy of Bend the Arc
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Olympia, Washington

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Stosh Cotler." (Viewed on January 19, 2019) <>.


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