Maya Paley is Director of Community Engagement and Special Programs at the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles. The programs she works on include the annual Jewish Women’s Conference, a day-long event dedicated to educating, empowering, and inspiring multigenerational Jewish women to take action on issues important to them and year-round empowerment workshops for women.
Maya is a Los Angeles native who earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley and her Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. She has run college and career preparation programs for teenage girls in the inner-city of Los Angeles, worked on empowerment programs for sex workers in Guatemala City, and researched the effects of anti-human trafficking and domestic violence legislation in Tbilisi, Georgia. Maya has specialized in migration, gender, international development, and human rights throughout her academic and professional career. At Columbia, she co-produced “Gender, Peace, and Security,” a conference with more than 200 attendees and 25 panelists. She also advocated for policy changes in New York State with the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center. In August 2010, Maya moved to Tel Aviv as a New Israel Fund/Shatil Social Justice Fellow. Through the fellowship, Maya researched the experiences and coping mechanisms of asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea who are living in Israel. Her research culminated in the publication of two reports titled “Surviving in Limbo.” Her project was the first in-depth research on African asylum seekers in Israel. Maya co-founded the coalition Right Now: Advocates for African Asylum Seekers in Israel in July 2012.
Maya is a dedicated advocate for women’s rights both at home and abroad.