Founder and Executive Director
As an MIT engineer with a Masters from the U. of Hawaii, Donna is especially interested in advancing the technology that brings good neighbors throughout the world together for peace. She began her work in the Middle East in 1990 with a New York Times op‐ed, “Small Lights in the Darkness,” which was translated into Arabic and presented to the Iraqi Women’s Federation just before the First Gulf War began. In 1999, Donna completed a three week Compassionate Listening course in Palestine and Israel, and in 2002, she launched Rebuilding Alliance.
In 2008, Donna was awarded Special Congressional Recognition by Rep. Barbara Lee for legislation she drafted that passed the House unanimously, HRes 3691 In Recognition of Israeli and Palestinian Peace Makers. She also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Rep. Anna Eshoo, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez. In 2016, Donna was awarded Rotary District 5150’s Service Award and was also awarded the Rachel Corrie Conscience and Courage Award from American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Orange County.
Donna believes young people can make a difference and welcomes interns because in 2010, on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Polish Solidarity movement, she was awarded a Medal of Gratitude at the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland before 27,000 people for her work organizing the Support of Solidarity committee in Chicago when she was 24 years old.
Social Worker - South Hebron Hills
Fatma is the founder and Executive Director of the Rural Women’s Association of the South Hebron Hills. She has been a community volunteer and advocate for women in the since 1998. As the only social worker in the southern Hebron Hills, Fatma provides weekly counseling and guidance sessions to students and their mothers at schools in the five surrounding villages. Her work improves the lives of local children and helps provide an understanding of their critical needs.
After visiting the U.S. Congress on International Peace Day in 2015, Fatma joined Rebuilding Alliance to bring a project called 'Pinwheels for Peace' to the Palestinian communities in the hills south of Hebron.
Monica plays a key role as clerical associate by performing key administration tasks and processing donations. She also provides on-site support at local Muslim Community Association events and speaks at Rotary Clubs across the Bay Area. She graduated from the College of San Mateo with high honors in 2003 with an Associate Degree in Liberal Studies.
This year she celebrated ten and a half years at Rebuilding Alliance. She finds her work at the organization deeply meaningful because of the opportunity it provides her to help support people rebuilding their lives in war-torn areas.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jamal Alradeideh, Chair
Paul Gardner, Vice Chair
Betsy Valdez, Secretary
Ray Rischpater, Treasurer
Prashanth Mundkur, Board Member
Na'ela Bakour, Board Member
Lina Karamali, Board Member
Ray Rischpater is a software engineer and author with twenty-four years of industry experience and sixteen books to his credit. In that time he's developed custom mobile and geospatial solutions for a number of Fortune 500 companies and small firms while working at startups and companies including Microsoft and Google. Previously, he served on the board of Ben Lomond Quaker Center, a non-profit Quaker retreat and program center in the Santa Cruz mountains. When not working, he enjoys making music, hiking, and photography with his family and friends in and around the San Lorenzo Valley in central California. When he's able, he also provides public service through amateur radio as the licensed Amateur Extra station KF6GPE.
Betsy Valdes is a retail business analyst in SF. For many years she has followed and been concerned about the situation and events in Israel-Palestine, and was thrilled to discover Rebuilding Alliance a few years ago offering opportunities to take action. The relationship started with donating, attending and volunteering at Rebuilding Alliance events, and Betsy joined the Board of Directors in 2017. The highlight of Betsy's experience so far was traveling with Executive Director Donna Baranski-Walker to Palestine in February 2018 and witnessing first hand the conditions and efforts of Rebuilding Alliance in support of Palestinian rights. Betsy lives with her family in Burlingame, CA
Lina has been with Rebuilding Alliance since 2012. Currently, she is an undergraduate student at Stanford University where she studies Symbolic Systems and Human Rights. In her time interning, she conceived of the Collective Song: Music Center project. The project was motivated by Lina’s passion for social justice and music. Lina plays violin, flute, and piccolo, composes music, and is an amateur activist. She also has worked for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and The Markaz Resource Center at Stanford to foster inclusivity and facilitate dialogue between diverse groups of people. In 2018 Lina joined Rebuilding Alliance’s board. Her favorite word is defenestration, and she is an avid proponent of the Oxford comma.
Dore Stein joined Rebuilding Alliance as a board member in 2018. He is the long time producer/host of Tangents, a radio program that explores the bridges connecting various styles of music, including world and roots music, and creative jazz hybrids. Stein started Tangents in 1985 and brought it to KALW (SF, 91.7fm, kalw.org) in 1995. It also aired on Paris based Mondomix.com and is currently webcast on Berlin’s Multicult.fm. For almost 15 years, Stein has produced unusual music tours throughout Greece, Turkey and Morocco arranging world class concerts for locals as well as Tangents listeners who accompany Stein. Stein’s interest in Turkish and Kurdish issues resulted in being published in the independent news portal Truthout.
His Gaza Corner corner radio segment provides commentary on Middle Eastern issues. It covers news largely ignored by the mainstream media often from Palestinian and Kurdish perspectives. During his college years, Dore produced the documentary "Nicaragua: Another Bay of Pigs?" which was aired on PBS. And during the 1990’s Dore was Music Director at KKSF, SF where he was a five time Gavin Award nominee. In addition to music and travel, Dore’s other major passion is softball. He has played in the SF Softball league for 25+ years. A resident of San Francisco’s Portola neighborhood, Dore lives with his long-time girlfriend, poet Clara Hsu, and their feline companion Klimey.
Paul Gardner was born in Massachusetts. He moved to California in '76 and graduated from San Jose State in '91 with a degree in political science. Seven years later he started Whole House Building Supply which won Best Small Business in the State of California by 2008. The business received honored for its work of keeping materials out of the landfill, reuse of materials, and putting formerly incarcerated persons to work. Paul has been involved with various social justice causes such as the anti apartheid in South Africa and the Nicaragua solidarity movements in the 90's.